Friday, December 30, 2005

A Step in the Right Direction

More here


Thursday, December 29, 2005

British torture memos

Bush Policy
The above link discusses damning evidence for Bush administration's policy of torture. Although known by many, the Uzbekistan situation is now unequivocally linked to Bush, Cheney and Blair. This link may be too graphic for many. I have no words for this incomprehensible cruelty. All I can say is impeach, arrest, and transport to Hague for trail.

Additionally, the proof that Bush et al have ties to one of the most repressive, criminal regimes in the world disproves the libertarian, liberal and conservative argument that Hussein had to be overthrown because of his crimes. Being close allies with and participating in crimes against humanity with Uzbekistan demonstrates without question that any human rights statements by Bush are by definition hypocrisy.


Interesting Card


Venezuela's Path


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Racism, Free Speech, and the College Campus


Saturday, December 24, 2005

Most outrageous statements of 2005

The voices of reaction. In action.


Friday, December 23, 2005

What White America Doesn't Hear


In Memory


They murdered a peacemaker
Capital punishment and the injustice system


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Iraq and the Laws of War


National Security Archive: Return of the Fallen

One of the Costs


Cheap Venezuelan Oil Will be Heating up a few Tenements in the Bronx

U.S. oil corporations were quick to gouge consumers after the disastrous aftermath of Katrina. Free markets at their best--the plutocracy profited once more. The other approach is to use resources in common for the benefit of all. Hugo Chavez's program to benefit the poor in select U.S. cities is already making an impact, and provide a way for the U.S. working class to see the other way in action. This quote is great:

“To those who say this is to score political points,” Representative Jose E. Serrano (D-N.Y.) told a shivering crowd when the first oil arrived, “I invite any American corporation that wants to score points with my community to start this afternoon.”


Guns for Hire


Iraq on the Record: The Bush Administration's Public Statements on Iraq


Monday, December 19, 2005

Cowboy Imagery and the American Presidency

This is so well written.


Free Software as a Social Movement


Thursday, December 15, 2005

John D. Dingell's Answer to HR579


Our Torture Problem


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bush and the Constitution


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Freedom IS on the March!

The embodiment of buffoonery inhabiting 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is well known for repetitively spouting off "catch" phrases. Carefully designed by handlers knowing his ability to pronounce only the most rudimentary vocabulary, combined with his limited understanding of even the simplest political issues, these phrases provide the executive with an escape valve when and wherever asked questions. Witness his initial campaign in which he was pressed on views on the pending court decision against the grossest violator of anti-trust laws in history he would parrot "I prefer innovation to litigation," a phrase indicating he would absolve the Redmond based firm if propped into power. Another favorite whenever asked during the 2004 debates on anything about the one sided class warfare his administration has waged since day one from minimum wage reform to job losses to offshore sites was "no child left behind."

There is however, one catch phrase the executive has repeated ad nauseam that actually has a kernel of truth to it. "Freedom is on the march," which he has used extensively in reference to the neo-colonial projects in Afghanistan, Iraq and other unfortunate lands. Tragic-comic examples of what they consider freedom are constantly presented in the compliant reactionary corporate media. "Afghan women freed from their burkas" goes one story, completely ignoring that the average woman in that region now stands a much greater chance of being assaulted, raped, or killed than before their so called liberation. "Iraqis vote for democracy" goes another, ignoring completely the wholesale murder, destruction, and widespread misery the illegal occupation has and still creates every day.

No, freedom isn't on the march in any of the places the Empire has chosen to visit its broad military and economic might upon. Instead it is on the march because the current attempts to subjugate the Near East have seriously limited the U.S. ruling class' ability to maintain its stranglehold on long time "Washington Consensus" victims. Yes freedom is on the march, on the march in places like Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. On the march because ordinary people, working class people, have had enough of the cruel and inhuman consequences of neo-liberal policies. On the march because they have stood against neo-liberalism and have seen major victories against it. On the march because they have experienced their power through struggle and have developed necessary class consciousness.


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

50 Cent, the War Profiteer and the $10 million Bat Mitzvah


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Religious Task Force on Central America and Mexico


Hugo Chavez vs. the King of Vacations

Great piece explaining Chavez's plan to subsidize heating oil for impoverished U.S. citizens. Contains some great Chavez quotes and gives some very important statistical data leaving no doubt Bush's recent speech lambasting Chavez was a petty attempt to distract people from the fact Bolivarian policies help people while neoliberal policies harm. Lastly, you have to love any prose that employs the phrase "predatory capitalism."


Lawrence Britt's "The 14 Characteristics of Fascism"

Click the above link for the above full description of each point. This should seem hauntingly familiar to anyone living under the current regime. The original article is here.
    Protofacism in the U.S.
  • Powerful and Continuing Nationalism

  • Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights

  • Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause

  • Supremacy of the Military

  • Rampant Sexism

  • Controlled Mass Media

  • Obsession with National Security

  • Religion and Government are Intertwined

  • Corporate Power is Protected

  • Labor Power is Suppressed

  • Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts

  • Obsession with Crime and Punishment

  • Rampant Cronyism and Corruption

  • Fraudulent Elections


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Lost Lives and Impoverished Souls


Friday, November 18, 2005

Pure Genius


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bush's Rewriting of History

The draft dodger had the gall to make a speech on Veterans' day. A day he knows nothing about. In line with the right-wing extremist tactic of always going on the attack, his diatribe against those starting to speak out on his long standing lies was something for the annals of infamy. The above piece deals with his accusations of revisionism.


Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterans' Day

Many see the party of pure reaction as pro-veteran. After all, don't they all adorn their vehicles with the imperative "support our troops" ribbon magnets? Those of us who have actually served know different. The draft dodging commander in chief's best photo opportunities, from donning a flight suit and posing in front of a mission accomplished banner to having carefully scripted and rehearsed "spontaneous conversations" with troops abroad are the extent of his calloused support of troops.

Since this administration was appointed by the court in 2000, I've seen my VA co-payments for prescriptions and clinic visits steadily increase. VA actually charges interest on partial medical payments now, something I found out after only being able to pay half a bill last summer. My mind drifted back decades ago to when that slick recruiter told me enlistment guaranteed free medical care at the VA for life. Their ability to lie to young working class kids has only improved since I volunteered for active duty (as opposed to the Texas Air Guard).

VA is woefully underfunded and the preemptive war party's best response is to vote against increasing funding five times this year. All the while they fill Walter Reed hospital with the human aftermath of their failing imperial adventures. Support our troops indeed. They support young service people's ability to further their delusions for oil and empire. After that, they are on their own. I'm just waiting for Bush to suggest a "faith based" solution to depleted uranium poisoning. We all know the Connecticut born child of privilege has never needed Veteran Administration services himself. Not that his cowardly "service record" somehow warrants it.


Rumsfeld Can Authorize Torture under New Directive


The Rise Of America's New "Enemy"

Leave Chavez alone!


Monday, November 07, 2005

The Philosopher's Stone


Venezuela's Path


Friday, November 04, 2005

Lawrence Wilkerson indicates Cheney Created Culture of Torture

Atrios links to this important piece.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Revisionism Stemming from Treason-gate

Reckless even by their low standards, the Bush administration's treasonous outing of a covert CIA operative and subsequent cover up has brought attention to tissue thin WMD arguments used to justify the brutal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Strangely the voices of reaction are now saying they barely stressed the WMD issue, that it was only mentioned in passing while ramping up for invasion. Tom Tomorrow takes this revisionist lying to task in Everything old is new again. About midway through the post he lists a portion of the countless times Cheney, Bush, Rice, Frist et al lied without conscience to the Congress and the nation. The list, while seemingly long, is only a selection of WMD quotes. It debunks completely and irrevocably the notion that WMD wasn't used as fear club to bludgeon the nation into acceptance of PNAC's imperialist plans. The list of falsehoods contains Bush's most famous lie of all:

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Cheney continues to lobby for torture

We've seen Bush's "a few bad apples" alibi disproved in that the chances of individuals from a whole range of organizations, from regular Army, to SEAL Teams, to OGAs (read CIA), and even private sector paramilitary employing the exact same methods and techniques are simply impossible. This doesn't even take into account the same torture techniques are employed by countries the administration hands off individuals enduring extreme rendition. The methods and techniques in Abu Ghraib are identical to those in Guantanamo Bay, to those in Afghanistan. They are the same in many other places as well, and harken back to the same methods employed in Latin America during Negroponte's reign of terror. The notion that somehow all these individuals from completely different organizations in locations separated by huge expanses somehow employ exactly the same methods of torture by accident--not by policy is preposterous at best. The "bad apples" argument is no argument at all. Scapegoating seriously sick and misguided low ranking enlisted personnel through courts martial, while deserved (these are cases in which military personnel are compelled to disobey orders -- Nuremberg set precedent that orders to commit war crimes are invalid), doesn't address the problem. This administration's policy is torture.

Bush PolicyRumsfeld's even more loathsome statements of U.S. torture is akin to "college pranks" is just as ridiculous as the "bad apples" nonsense. A recent report from autopsies on U.S. held captives show that 21 of the detainees were homicide victims. This chilling news in the reactionary corporate media is only what is publicly known about the brutal, inhuman policies the U.S. ruling class visits upon persons held with no legal justification. The report mentions "detainees were smothered, beaten or exposed to the elements." Bush's torture policies feature the rape and sodomizing of male and female detainees. It features beatings, exposure to extremes, and the most inhuman treatment. Not to mention racist and ethnocentric treatment of other people's religions and ethnic beliefs. The brutality is so bad that hunger strikes and attempted suicides have become the norm for those kept in U.S. concentration camps. Not sure what college Rumsfeld went to, but if the above is what he considers college pranks, I am glad I didn't go to his school.

So much more could be written about their rationalizations and excuses, but it boils down to one thing. There is never, ever, a justification for torture. This is the most barbaric of barbarisms, and even the ultra reactionary U.S. Senate voted 90 to 9 against it. Still Cheney lobbies for torture. This has to stop. It has to stop now. We must demand the reactionary corporate media stop calling torture and murder "abuses" and call it what it is. The amount of evidence proving torture is policy is overwhelming. Soldiers and officers have come out and told the truth about it. The terrible photos and videos that shocked the world are unfortunately the tamest of those in existence and rest need be released. Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice et al need to appear at Hague and tried as the war criminals they are. Although the ruling class often places itself above the law, and although the neocons are the most extreme example of lawless beasts, they shouldn't be allowed to ignore Geneva Conventions. No one should be allowed to systematically commit the most flagrant human rights violations without consequence. None of the reactionary apologist (Malkin and friends call themselves conservatives, too politically ignorant to know what they really are) excuses stand up to John McCain's statement "This isn’t about who they are. This is about who we are. These are the values that distinguish us from our enemies." No person should ever have to endure torture. Bush and his ilk have clearly taken the lead in the 21st century as the monsters we read about in previous century.



Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Christian Right and the Rise of American Fascism


Donald R., Torture is not "A College Prank!"

Bush Policy
Sadly, more and more is appearing about the barbaric "Culture of Torture," the neocons have gleefully employed to carry out their imperial plans at behest of the ruling class.

Ex-Head of Abu Ghraib Prison Speaks Out
War Crimes In Afghanistan
Why Torture is OK (article is strangely titled)
Torture and Misery in the Name of Freedom

However, some Canadians are trying to see that international law and order apply to the most flagrant violator of human rights this century. Prosecuting Bush in Canada for Torture


Friday, October 21, 2005

Rise of the 'Patriotic Journalist'


Bill Bennett, Bob Bennett, and the Criminal Element

The authors talk about real crime, the kind that actually hurts society.


How to vote November 8th

What's good for UTLA is good for all working class people.


Monday, October 17, 2005

Luis Posada and Bush's Drinking

This was exceptional.


Extremist Cleric at it Again


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Voices of a People's History

Zinn Event

Zinn Event
Readings from Anthony Arnove and Howard Zinn's "Voices of A People's History of the United States," held at the George and Sakaye Aratani Japan America Theatre, sponsored by CERSC and KPFK. Readings were from voices of the people's struggle from a selection of people including Susan B. Anthony, John Brown, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Tecumseh, Mark Twain, Cindy Sheehan and many more.

Photos from the event.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

McCain Fights Bush's Culture of Torture

Maybe because he is a real veteran and not a daddy-git-me-in-the-Texas-Air-Guard over-privileged draft dodger. Maybe because he served his time in the military instead of being AWOL to work on his father's senatorial campaign. Maybe because he was a POW during the last major U.S. ruling class imperial action. Whatever it is, John McCain has amended a bill to end the policy of torture that has gone unabated since this administration began. The coward in chief has threatened to veto it. Guess McCain doesn't understand the Culture of Torture the neocons have worked so hard to bring us.


White New Orleans

Bush, Inc. has big plans for New Orleans. Aside from lucrative no-bid contracts to Cheney's favorite ex-employer, HUD secretary Alphonso Jackson made some recent statements that all but confirm the reactionary right's dream of a color-free New Orleans. Jesse Jackson talks about this in Eased Out Of The Big Easy.


Torture Begins at Home

Bush PolicyLouisiana: After Katrina, Inmates Face Prison Abuse
End Abuses against Inmates Who Were Evacuated after Katrina

Evidence that the U.S. ruling class policy of torturing detainees in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere has its roots in the cruel and racist U.S. prison system is fairly indisputable. Just how cruel the U.S. prison system manifests itself isn't often headline news in the reactionary corporate press.

After abandoning Gulf Coast prisoners to their fate during Katrina, many of whom survived a harrowing ordeal unthinkable to most, the face of abuse peeks through yet again. Transfered to Jena Correctional Facility, surviving inmates have been subjected to brutal beatings and other detestable treatment. The Human Rights Watch Articles above are accounts of their plight.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Porn for Porn

We've all heard the ghastly story of the site that trades porn for photos of mutilated bodies of Iraqis butchered in the ongoing occupation. Being a veteran myself I know what kind of people they let in the service. So while it didn't surprise me it did make me somewhat sad. Author John Chuckman deals with the latest Bush administration scandal. War Porn: What the Gruesome Images Say


Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday Felines

050930 Friday Cats cats

I am still looking for someone in the Los Angeles are to consider adopting the kitten in this previous post.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bill Bennett Shows Compassionate Conservatism

Despite the reactionary right's constant mantra that there is no racism in this country, mainstream corporate media radio personalities such as Bill Bennett are allowed to make the most reprehensible racist statements on air with absolute impunity. The former Reagan administration "conservative hero" recently stated:

I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down...


Classic Video

I'm not one to post humorous things often, but this video is just too funny not to post.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Torture is on the March!

Lynndie England Convicted in Abu Ghraib Abuse Case Famous for her "thumbs up for torture" poses, perverse, sick, but simply following orders from the top, England is convicted of what every member of the Bush administration is guilty of. The voices of reaction are still claiming there is no torture going on under U.S. cognizance. I wonder how the courts martial keep happening for things that never happened.

The Legal Responsibility Goes to the Top Jennifer K. Harbury looks at the unstated Bush administration policy of torture.

Torture and Cowardice Ray McGovern tries to understand why U.S. religious leaders are silent on U.S. torture policy.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Me and George Galloway MP

Me and MP George GallowayIt's not everyday I get to shake hands with a member of the British Parliament. Mr. Galloway was cordial and gracious. His principled stance on the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq is both refreshing and inspiring. Only a handful of photos from this event, I had to work up front and didn't catch much of the speech. For the photos, a short description of the event, and links for more information see these photos.


Monday, September 19, 2005

Oil for the U.S. Poor Courtesy Hugo Chavez

Chavez' Surprise for Bush Hugo Chavez is taking the initiative to help the U.S. poor with subsidized heating oil and diesel fuel. In complete contrast to the monstrous price gouging by Cheney Inc., the Venezuelan subsidies will be of great help to those most in need.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Racist Nation Updates

Jim Crow still alive and well despite contrary claims by blame the victims author John Perazzo. Tyson Sued for Maintaining Segregated Work Areas: ‘Whites Only’ Sign and Padlock Placed on Bathroom Door. Just one more example of how this country is the cradle of racism.

This blog entry talks about an incident in which a young man wearing a Klan T-Shirt was involved in a scuffle. The quote by the young man sounds very much like the rhetoric of racist apologists and SOS/MMP/FOBP vigilante border patrols:

"I'm not racist or anything," he said. "It's just, some people I hate, some people I don't get along with. And black people just happen to be the ones because they think they're better than everyone else."

In other words, "everything I think, do and say is racist. But I'm not a racist--you better not call me a racist."

Racist Jillian Bandes penned an extreme example of institutionalized racism in a UNC newsletter. Her depraved thinking and disregard for human dignity earned her praise from a certain God fearing patriot.


More Class Warfare

New Bankruptcy Law Could Sink Katrina Survivors - Lawmakers, Rights Groups Like we didn't see this coming when the ruling class parties passed this earlier this year.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Quick Ones

Ralph Nader poses serious questions that Supreme Court nominees should answer in Questioning Judge Roberts.

The Profit-Driven War Brian J. Foley talks about the current generation of war profiteers and how corporations require war to survive.


Monday, September 05, 2005

New Orleans in Reality

Greg Palast examines what happened the last time the ruling class allowed a preventable disaster in New Orleans. His account is of Huey Long and how he started this nation in a direction that saw great gains for working class people. Gains that have been slowly eroded over the past thirty years, most notably under the Cheney/Bush plutocracy. The historical parallels are undeniable, but more importantly it is a call to action based on an example of what can be. Bush Strafes New Orleans: Where is our Huey Long?

While Bush prevaricates, Venezuela offers help to US poor Venezuela was the first to offer aid for New Orleans, both financial and otherwise. Furthermore, a CITGO refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana was opened as a shelter for those in need. Far from the monster the U.S. State Department tries to make him, democratically elected Hugo Chavez not only made the aid offer, he points out that a system concerned only with profit allowed for the terrible aftermath that we have seen. The U.S. government callously brushed aside aid offers, partly out of trying to keep their false picture of Chavez and the Bolivarians alive, and partly out of the reality that those suffering aren't Bush's base.


Friday, September 02, 2005

Evidence of the Torture Horrors Still on Hold

Judge: Release of Abu Ghraib Pictures Too Dangerous This is one of many articles that will be linked here discussing how the Pentagon is pulling out every stop to prevent the release of the remaining photos and video footage of the depraved systematic torture Abu Ghraib is infamous for. If this administration was so worried about the repercussions of their crimes against humanity being exposed, maybe they shouldn't have had a policy of torture to begin with. After all, why would you have John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales draft so much paperwork justifying the vile acts before they occurred. Such a priori knowledge alone is condemnation enough, but as we all know it goes so much deeper than that.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Friday Felines

I have family here from out of town, so a Friday post is unlikely.
Hence I'll do this early. 050830 Friday Cats cats


This weeks' good stuff

Was Hiroshima and Nagasaki a Sin? Reprint from NCR on Z. Every once and a while my church actually takes a principled stance that isn't pure reaction. Too bad the rest of the church doesn't follow the Latin Church and embrace Liberation Theology, which is the only thing that tracks true to the Gospels.

New Orleans and the Death of the Common Good Chris Floyd looks at the Bush policies that led to the Gulf Coast disaster.

I learned the difference between "finding and looting" this week. Good thing the ruling class teaches us that distinction from day one in our path of indoctrination. Good white folk find. Bad, bad black folk loot. Despite the insane ravings of racist apologists like John Perazzo, this nations' racism is beyond institutional. Radical Fundamentalist Calvinists blamed the destruction of New Orleans on homosexuals. If we are trying to attribute this to divine retribution, maybe we should look no further than Bush's extreme hubris and crimes against humanity in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On Using Derived Terms to Further Their Racist Ideology

The far right employs the following convoluted logic. Aliens are persons who are not citizens nor naturalized under current immigration law. Any "alien" who gains entrance without documentation is breaking current immigration law. A person breaking immigration law is hence called an "illegal alien" in reaction-speak. The most reactionary drop the word alien and refer to undocumented peoples as "illegals."

The problems with this derived description are manyfold. First off, when did we begin associating what we call individuals by a single action they have committed? If we follow this line of thinking, what other derived terms can we come up with? Clearly any one using the term "illegal alien" has, at one time or another, broken the law. More than likely they have exceeded the speed limit or failed to come to a complete stop at a sign or signal. Using reaction-speak we should start calling these people illegal drivers. If these people are citizens should we call them illegal citizens? After all their single action of breaking the law should be forever associated with their citizenship status according to the above logic. Another example. When an executive flagrantly breaks international law by illegally detaining and torturing people should we call them an illegal president?

Calling another human being illegal because of their immigration status is nothing short of institutionalized racism. If we apply the illegal moniker to anyone who breaks laws, why do we reserve the term just in relation to immigration status? The answer is it allows the right to further villanize these poor working class peoples. They are not human beings displaced by oppressive economic or political situations, they are illegals. The very term allows them to segue into even more inflammatory descriptions. Never mind the racist and elitist USCIS quota system that overwhelmingly favors political refugees agreeing with reaction, or workers with a particular skill needed by large capitalists. No, our immigration policies are fair, and hence anyone who doesn't follow them deserves special terminology. The USCIS doesn't even use the term "legal alien" anymore, they call such status a "permanent resident.'

Employing the word illegal at every opportunity, right wing extremists weave apocalyptic phrases intended to heighten the culture of fear the government and corporate media work so hard to maintain. Examples of the fear mongering:

"...devoured and plundered by the menace of tens of millions of invading illegal aliens." -- MMP W3 Site

" is ravaged by the illegal alien invasion and turned into a Third World cesspool." -- SOS W3 Site

"...our borders are wide open and accessible to illegal aliens and terrorists." -- FOBP W3 Site

SOSSuch reactionary prose finds a home with uneducated citizens who have been whipped into an ongoing condition of fear with state supplied color "Threat Advisories." While the border extremists and their apologists continually maintain they aren't racists, their actions and rhetoric are nothing but. Wasn't too long ago when this photo was taken of a SOS rally against the Laguna Beach Day Laborer Center. Swastikas and confederate flags held aloft by their sister contingent of white supremacists intermingled with and encouraged by the SOS membership. Funny how the AN/NV/Stormfront types use the phrase "illegal alien" in the same sense as the so called "law respecting border security" folks do.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Feral Feline Motorcycle Rider

cats Feral Feline Rider I was writing last night when I was overcome with a chocolate craving. When I went to the kitchen, I noticed a feral cat sitting on my RC46. At first I wanted to get him off, but then realized it would make for some fun photos.


Bush Administration Renews Offensive Against Title IX

Save Title IXBush has stated his disdain for Title IX on various occasions and even mentioned changing the law which has been in place since 1972. Women's groups and concerned parents forced the administration to reconsider drastic changes in 2003 to satisfy Bush's stated position of being "opposed [to] quotas or strict proportionality." A recent Department of Education Title IX policy under the guise of a clarification now threatens the very foundation of Title IX.

The Bush administration's new policy allows schools to skirt previous requirements of gauging interest in programs through serious research by merely sending out a mass email survey. School can then take non-replies as a lack of interest and not have to commit to "equal" funding. As the Save Title IX site says: "Given the notoriously low response rates to surveys in general and this era of excessive e-mail spam, the Department's new policy undermines the law and its intent to provide more opportunities for women and girls."

Title IX, while still not providing real equality, has been a major factor in advancing academic, athletic, and other opportunities for women over the past thirty years. As Ralph Nader wrote once: "The law gave women access to classes, facilities and opportunities that had historically been male-only." Decades of Title IX opportunities have produced myriad advances for women in various fields and even created conditions for professional women's sports leagues like the WNBA. The current attack on Title IX is part of a broad attack on women in general by the Bush administration. From reproductive rights to educational opportunities, it is time for a movement that fights back unapologetically against Bush's misogynistic policies!

Some Resources for Title IX
Save Title IX
League of Fans - Title IX Action!
Join the Fight for Title IX by Ralph Nader


Monday, August 22, 2005

Right Wing Extremist Cleric Advocates Assassinating Chavez

Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuela's president. Amidst a string of lies about the State Department funded coup attempt and the classic corporate media's characterization of democratically elected President Hugo Chavez as a "strong-arm dictator," reactionary Pat Robertson joined the ranks of "violent extremists." The 700 Club and Christian Coalition of America founder unapologetically called for the outright assassination of the popular Venezuelan president, who has been elected by a majority of popular vote several times in succession. The reforms in place by President Chavez have done much to alleviate the abject poverty of the Venezuelan people. From food subsidies to medical clinics, the Bolivarian reforms had been a welcome relief from the brutal Washington Consensus (neoliberalism) of the years before Chavez's election.

As the U.S. has increased its overt and covert hostility towards Chavez and the people of Venezuela, he has increasingly taken a more defensive posture. Recognizing the imperialist nature of U.S. foreign policy Chavez has begun modernizing the Venezuelan military and forming alliances with other nations. Recently as State Department saber rattling has increased, Chavez has stated that he will consider cutting off oil to the U.S. This has the U.S. ruling class in a frenzy and Robertson's calls for state sanctioned murder come as part of a conscience campaign to prepare the way towards more overt action towards the sovereign nation of Venezuela. Any claims of Robertson respecting rights to life or being against extremism can be put to bed with this. The monstrous call for assassination by Pat Robertson can only be seen as real terrorism.

Thanks to Atrios


Review: Women and Socialism: Essays on Women's Liberation

Women and SocialismWomen and Socialism: Essays on Women's Liberation by Sharon Smith

Sharon Smith's book tackles current issues employing historical and sociological evidence to show how traditional feminism is bourgeois and hence offers no real hope for addressing the issues working women face on a constant basis. After providing the historical causes for women's oppression and the abortion debate in the first two chapters, Smith explains the sad state of modern feminism, its cause, and demonstrates why only a class-wide struggle will ever provide women with real equality and emancipation. A favorite quote from the end of chapter 3:

"Feminists have traditionally accused socialists of subordinating the fight against women's oppression to the class struggle. Yet socialists have held to the principles of women's liberation that long ago fell by the wayside for mainstream feminists, precisely because socialists fight for the interests of the entire working class."

Chapter four lays out the clear hypocrisy of Bush's supposed liberation of woman in the near east, which only substituted one form of oppression with another. It also makes the case for self determination as part of the road to woman's liberation, and condemns the racist policies cropping up in the western world under the guise of helping women. An important point throughout is how all mainstream religions are typically reactionary and used to enforce ruling class ideology on women.

The final chapter shows a glimpse of what society could look like without the existing bourgeois oppression against women and other super-exploited members of the working class by drawing on the aftermath of the 1917 Russian revolution. The massive gains made by woman under the short lived worker's state have still to be realized in supposed "free western democracies." Unfortunately we don't have a complete picture because Stalin's reactionary counter-revolution took away the vast majority of gains women made under the Bolsheviks. Nevertheless, the potential is visible in this and the argument made for women's liberation through class struggle is stronger now than ever.

The major retreats on every front of the women's movement combined with the post-feminist (read bourgeois) concepts like "power feminism" demonstrate why a grassroots effort by working women in conjunction with the working class is the only answer to solving exploitation and oppression. This book is a must read for anyone concerned with equality and emancipation of women, other exploited minorities, and the working class as a whole.

1 The Origin of Women's Oppression
2 Abortion Rights: The Socialist Case
3 What Ever Happened to Feminism
4 Women and Islam
5 Women and Socialism


Friday, August 19, 2005

feline friday

This series is fun, and there is a short video to boot.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Vigils

vigil vigil

I was probably at one of the smallest in town, but that doesn't diminish the fact that we, like the multitudes across the nation, stand in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan against the murderous policies of the Bush administration. Cowardly repugnant man who dodged the draft in his youth, he is now avoiding the bereft mother because there is nothing he can say to her to justify the ongoing occupation.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Border Bigot to Run for Congressional Seat

Right wing extremist and not so closeted racist Jim Gilchrist has declared his Congressional candidacy for Orange County District 48. Still trying to justify his bigoted vigilante organization by evoking 9/11 [1], he is attempting to raise funds and garner support for a congressional run. Although many suspected the leaders of these various white supremacist groups couched in rhetoric of border security have had political aspirations all along, Gilchrist is the first to fulfill this prediction.

All those concerned with preventing this hate-filled reactionary from making a serious run at congress need to mobilize. While Gilchrist and others like him are responsible for shootings and various other human right violations at the border, the corporate media and reactionary extremist California Governor have done their very best to make heroes out of them. These jingoistic individuals have spent so much of their lives in a culture of overt racism, they make racist statements while maintaining they aren't racists.

Some quotes from the MMP site:

"...while their nation is devoured and plundered by the menace of tens of millions of invading illegal aliens."

I've yet to see undocumented people devouring or plundering anything. Why are they a menace Jim? Is it the brown thing?

"Future generations will inherit a tangle of rancorous, unassimilated, squabbling cultures..."

Well Jim, you aren't trying to suggest that cultures other than your own are all rancorous and squabbling are you? Aside from the blatant ethnocentrism, your racism shows through this quote as well.

The racist rhetoric, affiliations, actions, and dire consequences of Jim Gilchrist's MMP are of grave concern and cannot be rewarded with a seat in the U.S. Congress. Making it clear that running for office on supremacist ideology will not be tolerated is critical. Stopping Gilchrist will prevent his fellow hate mongers like James Chase and Joe Turner from following suit in the future.

[1] "You've lost patience with politicians who do nothing meaningful to mend our broken borders, especially since 9/11." -- from


Monday, August 15, 2005

some real gems today

Ongoing Halliburton hyjinx in Cheney and Halliburton: the Stench Gets Worse, Blood and Gravy. Chris Floyd discussing the ongoing pillage by criminal mastermind Dick Cheney and his KBR/Halliburton thugs.

People that are begining to understand what real democracy looks like take care of dealing with transnationals like this: Bolivians Struggle for Democracy! Too bad the folks here aren't as interested in freedom as the Bolivians are.

An Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan, Crawford, Texas May You Prevail, Where Others Have Failed, Ralph Nader's searing critique of this criminal, murderous administration.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

something good after all

After watching the Sparks string together an astonishing amount of losses and basically dropping out of the playoff picture, they actually beat a decent team. Although their chances of making the playoffs and for that mater, advancing, are slim at best, at least they gave us a home game win for a change.

Quite frankly the zone defense and many of the offensive sets have proven to be a major problems. Understanding the injuries and integrating new players are somewhat to blame, the problems this year must rest upon the new coach. A disappointing year, considering the talent, and definitely in need of drastic change in the course of how things are called on the floor.


Friday, August 12, 2005

Ali on Blair

Blair's New Authoritarianism: Terror and Democracy Tariq Ali's latest insight.


Monday, August 08, 2005

366 miles to stand against Chase's Minutemen

bikers against borders Rode with a friend from La Tierra es de Todos coalition to Campo California to join in in the united efforts against the racist right wing Minutemen Project this past Saturday. Will post a longer account of the trip soon.


Friday, August 05, 2005

Remembering in silence. Only one country has ever used WMDs.

This weekend is a solemn one. It is the anniversary of when the U.S. ruling class callously decided to frighten their rivals by employing the most terrible weapons of mass destruction known at the time against hundreds of thousands of innocent and helpless Japanese civilians. The fortunate ones died instantly in the fires of capitalism's wrath. The less fortunate died miserably in the throes of radiation sickness. The tired old song about saving countless lives has been long exposed for what it is, and it is high time the working class take a hard look at the greatest crime ever committed against humanity.

The Hiroshima Cover-Up
Noam Chomsky: Revisiting Hiroshima
Hiroshima And Nagasaki: Worst Terror Attacks In History

Having been to that country, and having friends from there, I would attend the memorial at the Japanese American National Museum this weekend. Unfortunately I have to be in Campo CA at the border fighting against another set of disgusting racists--the Minutemen.


Saturday, July 30, 2005

SOS/MMP show their true colors today!

SOS MMP Stormfront racists

"But we're just enforcing the law. We're not racists, we're just concerned about the border." --SOS/MMP

The anti-immigrant groups' frail arguments fail to explain their close-knit association with proto-fascist and white supremacist groups. Today at the Laguna Beach Day Laborer Center they showed their true colors. Proudly flying confederate and swastika flags along with state and U.S. flags, we see the real face of their racism. SOS/MMP are nothing more than their skinhead partners without the haircuts. We ended up running them all off in the end. Stop the hate, stop the racsim, stop the SOS/MMP/Stormfront!


Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday Catbloggin'

Counterclockwise: Kissy, Komodo (Modo), Lucky, Cookie, and Mama-San (Fumiko).
All due respect to Atrios.


Thursday, July 28, 2005

We're just enforcing the law?

Texas Minutemen head quits, cites racism in group [This is now in a pay-for-archive. Preserved verbatim here free.] Not that we weren't already crystal clear on the inherent racism of MMP/SOS et al. But this article is a strong counter to those attempting to maintain this is about "enforcing the law." When their own members begin defecting citing racism, it is hard to argue that it isn't the prime motivator. This and the recent admission by a SOS member that a comment by Turner was racist (although he tried to rationalize it after conceding the racism).


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Deferment queens

My best friend mentioned that an election in Ohio is of interest because one of the candidates is an Iraqi war (read invasion) veteran. This wouldn't be of too much interest except that the reactionary GOP types are smearing the individual by saying that the only reason they served was to use it for later political advantage.

We live in strange reactionary times don't we. The ruling class servants will start imperialist wars, but can't stand the thought of participating in them (other than profiting of course). This is why Operation Yellow Elephant is so to the point. If you are one of the people that had the misfortune of having served in the military to further ruling class agendas, you are subject to ridicule (think Purple Heart band-aids). The simple fact that not one individual in this administration and other top GOP leadership roles have served active duty military is repugnant and disgusting in light that they have started and support (in speech only) so many conflicts abroad.

The utter cowardice, yet at the same time possessed of a jingoistic propensity to use force whenever profitable has lead me to steal and modify a phrase from the ultra reactionary b-movie star who occupied Pennsylvania Avenue during the eighties. I will call these cowardly, draft dodging children of privilege "deferment queens" from this day forward. According to the deferment queens, veterans are the new "Freedom Haters." As a veteran, I stand in solidarity with my fellow working class veterans who are insulted by the GOP. Cheney, Bush, Rove, Delay, Rice, O'Reily, Carlson and all the other deferment queens can try to twist things all they want. The reality is that they are cowards through and through.


Come fight the proto-fascists

Unapologetic white supremacist Joe Turner and his little band of hood-less klan members (nee SOS) are out to show more brown shirt tactics against the poor, hardworking day laborers. Here is a preliminary announcement from the coalition against them:


The SOS scumbags are coming back to Laguna Beach this Saturday -- this
time to a day laborers center. We'll have an actual post about it
soon, but for now plan on an event:

Saturday, July 30, 10am - 2pm
Laguna Beach Day Laborer Center
1765 Laguna Canyon Rd.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651


Sad depiction of imperialism

An Iraqi dies every hour. This blog feature graphic photos of the ongoing horror the U.S. ruling class has created in Iraq. I know reactionaries don't recognize brown people as being human, but the rest of us know better and need to fight against this ongoing series of crime against humanity. The blog features interesting photos.


Pigs and monsters

U.S.-backed groups organize regime change in Iran Not only is the thought of this frightening, the article describes the despicable racism of Jerome Corsi. This xenophobic pig talks about Islam like the reactionary corporate media, and the way our right wing extremist administration would if they could get away with it.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Some new articles

Red Christmas on Counterpunch
Depleted Uranium: States Take Action to Protect Their Soldiers and Veterans on GNN (think about the Iraqi people with this one)


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

They just can't get it together

I don't even want to speak about today's game. If they keep playing like his, going on this long road trip, they probably won't even make the playoffs.


Monday, July 18, 2005

Another home loss

I would have to check, but it seems as if the Sparks have lost more home games this year than in the past few years combined. We get Mwadi back, we loose Dixon. As soon as they announced Masciadri in the starting spot that is Holdsclaw's I knew something was wrong. The game notes for Tuesday's game list her as day to day with a hamstring problem. Despite the injuries and flatness in their play, this game was really won by a Seattle team playing to their potential. The zone left Jackson open for several open three point shots, and there were times when the press allowed Bird to find outlet players to easy layups. Again I credit the Storm for playing one of their best games of the year. Bird and Jackson played extremely well.

Infamous referee #35 Bryan Enterline was up to his usual tricks. Thomas fouled out, Mwadi was a foul short of the that and recipient of a dubious technical. Although there was only a seven team foul difference by the end of the game, there were also some calls that were hard to believe even with #35 officiating. I lost count of the times Burse was allowed to catch the ball in the paint and then take three to four baby steps before shooting. We're not talking change of pivot foot here, we're talking no pivot foot. Lennox was in her usual form, throwing elbows coming around screens, shoving players and more with only one call all game for all her rough and tumble.

While it will be nice to see long time Sparks standout Delisha Milton-Jones on Tuesday, the Sparks absolutely need that game before starting a long and difficult road trip. The Lynx are right behind them, and Seattle is waiting in the wings as well.


A letter never sent

I was going through my email and found a letter that I had written in April 2005 after a spiritual retreat that I had given myself a cooling off period before sending. In the end I decided not to send it. However, looking through it again I decided that this would be an appropriate place for it.

Padre X, CP:

I was on the April 15 weekend retreat with my parish - St. Teresa of Avila. I have some concerns for things that came up on the last day in the 'wrap up' meeting. I want to thank you for your handling of the delicate task of informing those suggesting the most reactionary of future possible retreat themes of the difficulties surrounding such topics. However, I want to voice my concerns for anything that would remotely reflect those requests. I would not be able to take part in a retreat that remotely resembled the types of themes that were being suggested that weekend.

It was only with the upmost restraint that I held my peace while retreat goers repeated reactionary, extreme right wing jargon, euphemistically known as 'talking points,' around the room as themes they would be interested in. It seemed as if it was naturally assumed that everyone present was subject to the same slavish devotion to ruling class ideology. While sounding innocent, the phrase 'culture of life' in its manifestation of current reactionary propaganda is anything but. I am in no way arguing against the church's stance on reproductive issues or care for the terminally ill. I will argue that the phrase was coined and brought into public conscienceless by a group of reactionaries who's actions have shown an utter contempt for life. A few examples:

Under the U.S. 'culture of life' regime hundreds of our Catholic brothers and sisters in Haiti have lost their lives after the illegal kidnapping of their democratically elected leader and subsequent occupation.

Under the U.S. 'culture of life' regime thousands of our Catholic brothers and sisters in Columbia have died while the U.S. funds reactionaries in their decades long extermination of the poor, first under the guise of a 'war on drugs,' now repackaged as the 'war on terror.' Notice how these neatly packaged phrases all sound so familiar.

Under the U.S. 'culture of life' regime 108 detainees charged with no crimes, have died horrible deaths, usually while being tortured, in illegal concentration camps like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

Under the U.S. 'culture of life' regime thousands of Afghans, and in Iraq at least 20,117, and by some estimates over 100,000 civilians have died under the unprovoked invasion and subsequent occupation. This in addition to the now estimated millions that died under the inhumane sanctions maintained by the previous administration representing the 'alternative' (read not as reactionary) ruling class party.

Under the U.S. 'culture of life' regime Catholic clergy, religious, and lay services workers remain top targets of SOA/WHINSEC trained and U.S. funded death squads. All for subversive actions like teaching the poor to read and preaching the gospel. While the vast majority of the retreat goers clamoring for a 'culture of life' retreat, blissfully unaware of their white privilege, have probably never even heard of U.S. assassination victims like Bishop Oscar Romero, Bishop Juan José Girardi, or of the countless other victims of the church in South and Central America.

Please understand why I was under duress listening to revolting suggestions that the reactionary corporate media was somehow promoting a 'culture of death' in direct opposition to what these men believe they stand for. The irony of them suggesting the media was somehow anything than corporate propaganda struck me hardest realizing that on the wall there is a photograph that many of them probably miss. A photograph of a man and his wife, founder and owner of a large fast food concern, who I know is a big supporter of Mater Dolorosa, and undoubtedly a very good and devout Catholic. Sadly, his company's major ad campaigns are at best sexist and at worst utterly degrading to woman (one viewing of the 'mechanical bull ad' should support my assertion). The insinuation that the media serves anyone other than the ruling class is a sad misinterpretation on behalf of my fellow retreat goers.

My further dismay while spending a weekend in prayer for all the brown children--Catholic and otherwise--dying as a direct result of the U.S. ruling class' penchant for imperialism and current 'culture of life' administration's preemptive war on the poor, was to have to stand in line for the Chapel behind a fellow retreat goer wearing a 'Surfers for Cheney and B___' t-shirt. I can't bring my self to type out the name of an individual responsible for extensive crimes against humanity. I am sure you will know what name it is. If any individuals are the embodiment of a so-called 'culture of death,' it is those named on that person's shirt. Other than a brief (and by the look on some people's faces, unwelcome) Sr. Judy's prayer on behalf of Iraqis after a meal, I felt as if I was at a P.N.A.C. convention rather than on a spiritual retreat.

It took everything in me not to stand up and suggest a retreat theme based on Liberation Theology, how it is the only modern Catholic school of thought that tracks true to the Gospels. How it is needed far more here; in the cradle of imperialism, than it is in the oppressed world countries where it flourished. If 'culture of life,' or any similar theme of self-righteous reaction is chosen for next year, please let me know. I will attend the 12 step retreat instead, since at least there we know how to focus on real issues of spiritually. Not ruling class ideology somehow cloaked as christian charity.

Your brother in Christ


Saturday, July 16, 2005

Little epiphanies

Last fall I was at my friend's house and they were discussing how a PBS program was cancelled because it would include a lesbian couple in a discussion of families. Her husband, a lawyer and one time leftist (not a former leftist, just one that is no longer active) made a comment about how the constitution was designed to protect the few from the many. That the producers of the show should fight for their right to have their point of view presented.

We have all be indoctrinated with this bourgeois notion, seemingly noble, that the minority would be protected from mass sentiment because of the brilliant design of our representative bourgeois "democracy." Nearly all my life I espoused that seemingly noble view, but was never able to come up with one concrete example of how any minority had ever been protected from oppression.

Until that day. It was so clear. Finally I understood and was able to articulate it. "The only minority the constitution is designed to protect is the ruling class. It is the only thing it has ever protected and ever will." My lawyer friend smiled and agreed. He knew at the time, but it took me a little longer to understand. That was my breakthrough from understanding Marxist theory to taking the path of the revolutionary.


Friday, July 15, 2005

Not too controversial

At the suggestion of a friend, I reposted my "An open letter to anti-immigrant groups" on Indymedia's site. I wasn't aware that it would generate such a great deal of controversy. Read through the comments to see what I mean. Unfortunately, those who seemed offended by the simple call to action can't seem to do anything other than quibble over statistics or attack me personally, when the clear path for them to solve what they consider the problem is laid out in my letter.


Never too many cat photos

Los Gatitos y Los Gatos | More Cats


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Mwadi's back

Tuesday's game was good in that the return of Mwadi Mabika saw her score 11 and get 7 assists. Her shooting form and first step weren't what they usually are, but I'm sure in time she will be back to normal. From some of the lead passes she made on the break, I have a feeling that Holdsclaw is really going to enjoy playing with Mwadi. Hopefully, this will mark a turn around in the Sparks' consistency this season. The game was a little too close until the end. The Sparks shouldn't be struggling to win at home against last place teams, but that is how this season has been.

The team waived Grubin and Nieuwveen over the last weeks. Dixon didn't play, and I heard rumors on the smoking patio that she needed to have her knee drained again. Saw Caron Butler at the game, I suppose that is before the Washington trade happened.


Excellent Venezuela article

Good Things Happening in Venezuela: Having just seen a Trotskyist speaker from Venezuela recently, it was nice to see an article by someone who recently visited. The whole region is exiting because working class people are starting to understand their strength and potential. Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and others are models of how things can change when the U.S. ruling class is too occupied oppressing other parts of the globe.

Midway through the piece I had to fight back tears. When I got to this line:

I visited one of the government-supported community food stores that are located around the country, mostly in low income areas. These modest establishments sell canned goods, pasta, beans, rice, and some produce and fruits at well below market price, a blessing in a society with widespread malnutrition.

There were several more items like the previous, which really brought out the emotions. I can't speak for anyone else, but it is things like this that made me a leftist. When Chavez and the Bolivarians are able to accomplish the most basic things that a government should provide, it is inspiring to continue the struggle. Countries as resource rich as Venezuela, Columbia and Argentina should never have people going for want. The Venezuelan and U.S. ruling class can try to vilify the democratically elected Chavez all they want. In the end who is closer to Matthew 25:35-40, Chavez or the monster in the White House?


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Reflecting on London

SW: Casualties of Bush and Blair’s war. Socialist Worker's concise way to view the London tragedy. A PDF version with a reverse side featuring statements from Mike Marqusee and George Galloway.

GNN: So you want to stop the suicide bombers? This is a reasonable discussion that provides actual proof of what the real left has been saying all along. If you want terrorism to stop, then stop occupying and supporting occupations. Pure and simple. Telling is the finding that "Once the occupying forces withdraw from the homeland territory of the terrorists, they often stop..." Robert Pape's book will certainly be ignored by the corporate press, because it proves the stereotypes and vilification of Islam completely wrong. The U.S. ruling class needs the mythology of 'freedom hating islamofacists' intact to justify its policies of mass murder and colonialism abroad, while keeping dissent to a minimum at home.

AP: Al-Qaeda has changed; Bush strategy also needs to shift. Wesley K. Clark sums up the liberal view of the situation. Notice how the focus is to 'encourage "moderates" in Islam,' in other words, perpetuating the entirely false notion that this is somehow tied to religion and not U.S. imperialism. The 'stay the course,' but involve moderates attitude reflects the liberal democrats' stance that they can somehow support invasions, occupations, and wholesale dismantlement of civil rights at home, but they are different than the administration because they have a different approach. If the Democrats were a real opposition party they would have unified in total opposition to the continued occupation. Since they serve the same masters all they can offer is slightly more "humanitarian" version of occupation.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Unexpected encounter

Waiting at the terminal to return home after Socialism 2005 this past weekend, I saw a man sit down across from me. His baggage had little basketballs on all the zippers, which I thought was cool. I got up to throw out an apple core and noticed a WNBA tag on the top of his bag. Although not good at speaking to strangers, I decided to ask the man if he was somehow involved with the league. Very cordially he replied he was a referee and that he was flying to Los Angeles for the Tuesday game. I told him that I was a season ticket holder and we talked ball the rest of the time waiting for the flight. Jeff Smith #53 works WNBA during the summer and men's NCAA during the winter. He was friendly and very knowledgeable about the game. He had played when he was younger and coached for many years before becoming an official. We discussed a great many things things basketball, including Ray Allen's career.


Up and down season continues

I can't remember the Sparks being this inconsistent since their days at the GW Forum. I know the continued absence of Mwadi is part of the problem, as is Macchi's absence and the injuries that Leslie and Teasley are playing through, but please. New York isn't a bad team, but they are a sub-500 team that doesn't have the talent to beat the Sparks at home if the Sparks played with some enthusiasm. Maybe it was the energy they expended Saturday (a game I missed since I was out of town). They looked flat and tired with the exception of Raffaella Masciadri, who continues to play with a great deal of energy.

Again, there were points in the game when I believe they should have dropped the zone defense and played man on man, but Bibby seems quite stubborn. Maybe this will pay off at a latter point in the season, but there have been some games in which it cost them the win. I don't remember them dropping games like this at home in the first place, and what should have been the game to place them in double digits for wins this season was squandered. Chamique Holdsclaw had a miserable game, but considering how well and how many minutes she has played this season she was probably entitled to an off game. She missed shots she nearly always makes, including several lay-ups. Her defense on Shameka Christon made Christon look like a starter instead of a reserve.

Lisa played well, considering how physically Wauters played her. Whitmore missed some of her usually money shots, and was fouled quite a bit under the basket in the second half without the benefit of calls. The Sparks really need to get it together after the All Star break. They probably won't catch the front runners for home court in the later playoffs, but really need to work on at least trying to finish in second place to have home court in the earlier rounds.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

An open letter to anti-immigrant groups

This letter is aimed primarily at the Minutemen and S.O.S., but the content applies equally to any anti-immigrant group that has taken up vigilante like actions. I have grown weary of constant complaints from your groups that you are mischaracterized as racist simply because you are "trying to enforce the law." Let us put aside the fact that statements like Joe Turners' about "cultures that are inferior" are inherently racist. Let us put aside the fact that your activities have emboldened, encouraged, garnered praise from and even drawn participation from white supremacist groups. Let us suspend the understanding that scapegoating immigrants under an ideology that they somehow threaten the middle class is frighteningly reminiscent of basic fascist tenets. Lastly let us ignore the fact that while your memberships occasionally hint at targeting northern or other borders, your focus to date has been on one border and against one group of people.

Instead let us examine your assertion you are merely enforcing the law. More importantly let us explore the economic reasons behind your claim. Towards this end I suggest a simple and modest proposal that you may have overlooked in a fervor of nationalism. If you were to adopt this methodology, you could accomplish your stated goals while avoiding the correct and necessary labeling of racism stemming from you current activities. I suggest you marshal your membership and resources and take on the following tasks.

Your claim that undocumented immigrant labor "steals" jobs from able bodied "American" workers could simply be dealt with. Using your pools of enthusiastic membership you could find all these un/underemployed Americans and match them with these jobs. I am quite sure, following your logic, that there is an unending supply of Americans ready and willing to do this work. They merely need your help in locating it and maybe assistance with transportation. Your groups could easily handle this task. By doing this you accomplish several things. You eliminate the economic incentive for undocumented labor because all the positions will be filled by Americans. Who would be willing to break immigration laws when all incentive to do so would be gone? Secondly, you further demonstrate your patriotic nationalism and avoid being labeled as racists because you have opened employment to thousands of Americans who otherwise would have had their jobs "stolen" by immigrants.

Additionally, by eliminating all economic incentive for undocumented labor to come here, you address two major factors you cite for your current activities. Since all potential jobs currently held by undocumented labor would now be held by U.S. citizens, it is highly doubtful that many undocumented people would want to come here. This would deal with your complaint that undocumented immigrants utilize public services at the tax payer expense. While this conception proves untrue since undocumented labor contributes much more to the tax pool than it ever uses, it wouldn't mater since they wouldn't be here. This also takes care of your concerns that local communities are being turned into what the S.O.S. website terms "third world cesspools" (and you wonder why you are called racists). Surely communities of red blooded Americans working at the same wage scales as undocumented labor does now would be the epitome of what Mr. Turner calls "great American culture."

You could call the effort something like "American Labor for American Jobs." Think of the benefits that your efforts would reap. Instead of long nights in the desert with binoculars, Minutemen membership could witness the joy on the face of a fellow American when they are matched with a much desired job in California's fruit picking industry. Instead of long hours in the sun protesting a misunderstood phrase on a train station monument, S.O.S. members could hear the praises of Americans happily employed in Los Angeles garment sweatshops. Since Mr. Turner has already targeted a large home improvement chain for its loose association with day laborers, that would be a great place to start. Instead of ineffectual flag waving, why not show up with a group of able bodied Americans to take back the work from these job stealing day laborers? There are so many jobs that you could open up in the agricultural, textile, construction, service, and janitorial fields to your fellow "legal" American citizens, and it is certain that they would be eternally grateful for the opportunity.

Think about it. All of your concerns: stolen jobs, tax expenditures, over-utilization of public services, so called dilapidation of local communities, and immigration law enforcement would all be addressed in one fell swoop if you and your memberships were to undertake this task. Avoiding the labeling of racism, you might even become heros through eliminating what you state as the cause of so many social ills in this country. In light of this I call on you, in fact I defy you, to drop all your current activities and resolutely take up the program of action stated above. Prove that our characterization of your racism is patently false. Prove us wrong in our understanding that it is our economic system, not undocumented immigrants, that causes misery in our society. Demonstrate that you really are just concerned with the law through removing all incentive for people to break it. Now that you have an easy and foolproof solution to your concerns, anything less would be disingenuous. Anything less will continue to expose you for what you really are.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

New SW online

Socialist Worker


OYE now in less offensive form

The General is offering OYE items in a 'pee less' form. As a veteran I hold all chicken hawks (especially daddy git me in the Texas Air Guard type) in complete contempt. The young GOP and other reactionary warmongers that want to send young, poor brown folk to kill other brown folk are almost as disgusting. If the ruling class and their servants had to fight their own imperial wars, there wouldn't be any.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Interesting Site


A few good ones on GNN

Unleashing the Resistance nice, especially considering it was penned by a libertarian. Surprisingly it not only shows an understanding of the different aspects and faces of the Iraqi resistance (almost non-existent in non-class based analysis), but it actually embraces the courage shown by the proud -- yet terribly oppressed people of Iraq.

Why George Went To War interesting, and in large part absolutely true. Unfortunately the liberal notion that only dubya and his fellow miscreants are responsible for what is clearly part of the Imperial agenda shows through in this.


Coach Bibby needs to rethink defensive schemes

Last night's blowout loss against Connecticut was for the most part due to Coach Bibby's inflexible attitude towards defensive schemes. The Sun are far too good a passing team to play zone against. If that drumming in the first half wasn't evidence enough, he continued having the Sparks play zone in the second half. There was a single possession when they played man to man and it caused nothing less than a shot clock violation. Learn from the experience? No, next possession zone again. Frankly they were lucky to lose by only twenty. Even the aggressive trapping in the backcourt was probably a bad idea. For the handful of turnovers it produced, it also allowed for several layups and other easy baskets by the Sun. Other than Whalen and maybe Sales, the Sun don't really have many players that can create their own shot with any regularity. It would have served the Sparks to at least try to play straight up defense and force them into a half court game.

Earlier this season they allowed Diana Taurasi to have a monster game by leaving her open on the perimeter the entire game. Fortunately, Taurasi's teammates don't share the ball as well as Connecticut or she would have set the WNBA record for points in a game. Bibby's penchant for the zone will certainly spell more problems down the road it there is an unwillingness to try something else when it doesn't work.


Stallman dead on in article

This might be one of the most clear examples catering to non-programmers in explaining the absurdity and inherent dangers of software patents. Patent absurdity