Monday, January 19, 2004

Right now it looks like Kerry, Edwards, then Dean....Gephardt a surprising loser
As you might suspect, I'm surprised and disappointed in Dean's poor showing in Iowa thus far.
I will be curious to see why Iowans decided upon Kerry. I think they swallowed the "electability" Koolaid and lost their guts..their initial intuition about Dean. My intuition tells me that Kerry isn't all that intuitive of a leader. He wound up emulating Dean like a chameleon. That gives me the creeps. Eeewwww.
This bugs me about Kerry, too. Not only his wife's money vs. a lot of individual American donations to candidates such as Dean, but this:
Kerry Carries Water for Top Donor
"Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., whose largest campaign contributor lobbies on behalf of telecommunication interests, pushed the legislative priorities of its clients in the wireless industry on several occasions, a Center for Public Integrity analysis of campaign, lobbying and congressional records has found."
Double eewwww.

Rep. Dick Gephardt dropping out
Rep. Dick Gephardt intends to drop out of the Democratic presidential race after a poor, fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, a party official said Monday night.
Here comes New Hampshire, folks!
Debt Relief--
Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Asks, "Why Only Iraq?"

U.S. Imposes Flatly Wrong Tax on Iraq
The Bigshots in Iraq, without democracy, have imposed a new tax system on that country. Halliburton and other campaign contributors to the Bush administration have been declared exempt from the taxes. Senior editor Fred Foldvary analyzes the new scheme and finds it a poor choice in every way.

"....Imagine a tenant farmer in Iraq who has to struggle with contaminated water, insects, and theft of his equipment. On the way to market he has to pass through U.S. checkpoints, where he is delayed, quizzed and groped for guns. After paying for rent and supplies, he manages to make a profit just enough to feed his family and buy seeds and gasoline, but now, down comes the U.S. tax collector to take way some of his gains. The tax is 15 percent of his income, but what is the profit?
-..The Iraqi tax collector working for the military occupation has to guess at what the right income is and whether the farmer is telling the truth...maybe this farmer is unpopular, and tax evasion would be a good excuse to lock him up in prison......
-..Can you see the implications? Do we really want to sow more corruption and oppression? Just because a flat tax works OK in Estonia does not imply it will go smoothly in Iraq. This tax will be a nightmare and another excuse for U.S.-hating terrorists to do violence. This is just one more example of the incredibly inept and incomprehensively foolish U.S. policy in Iraq..."

N.Y.C. Benefit Concert for Bam Earthquake Victims to be held January 23

art by one of featured artists, Arita Shahrzad

To my friends and readers in NYC, there will be a gathering to celebrate and remember the lives of those lost in the earthquake, and to provide help and support to the survivors of Bam to recuperate and rebuild their city.
It will take place at St. John the Divine Cathedral this Friday, January 23, at 7:00PM.
Artwork on auction by artists including:
Shirin Neshat, Abbas Seyed Alavi,
Kamrooz Aram, Amir Fallah, (Amir Fallah also here) Y.Z. Kami, Sheila Karbassian, Pali Kashi, Laleh Khorramian, Nicky Nodjoumi, Behrooz Nournia, Kasra Paydavousi, (Paydavousi also here) Arita Shahrzad
and Sadegh Tirafkan

Performers will be:
Sussan Deyhim (Composer, Vocalist)
(She will perform excerpts from poetry by Rumi & Hafez)
Richard Horowitz & Alan Kushan
Composer Richard Horowitz and Iranian master musician
Alan Kushan will perform solos and duos on Ney and Santur
Haale (Singer/Song Writer)
Darya Dadvar (Vocalist)
Shahrokh Meshkin Ghalam (Choreographer and Dancer)

--Sussan Lari (Architect, Urban Designer, Ex-President of American Institute of Architects - Long Island Chapter) will be speaking on the ancient city of Bam.
--Dr. Asghar Rastegar (Yale University Associate Chair for Academic Affairs, Philanthropist) will be presenting the humanitarian aspects of the disaster.
--Layla Diba (Persian Art Expert, Former curator at Brooklyn Museum of Art, Professor in Bard Graduate Center, New York) will present the donated works by Iranian Artists for auction.

On This Iowa Caucus Day, Remember Howard Dean, "THE ORIGINAL"
As Charley Reese put it last October:
"....An honest man with sincere convictions will get angry when he hears lies. Some of our greatest presidents had ferocious tempers. George Washington, Andy Jackson and Harry Truman are three examples.
You don't see other candidates getting angry because they are all phonies..."
"...Whether you agree with him or not, Howard Dean actually believes in his convictions. He is a genuine man.
An honest, genuine man will not suffer fools lightly, nor will he stand around like a dummy with a phony smile on his face while he hears himself lied about..."

Remember who led the charge...and remember how every other candidate turned left and followed Dean's intuitive lead. Dean is "the original"..the intuitive..the consensus-bulider...the leader. Accept no substitutes.
Follow the leader...but first ELECT the leader.

Informed Comment:
"US and UN: Caught between Shiites and Sunnis"

This is a great summary of status of Iraqi politics and current US/UN efforts.

The LA Times has an informative article from 1-18. LINK (reg. required)
".."If the United States brings in the United Nations, that would be a strong signal from Washington, and if there could be some certification that elections were not possible in such a short time, then Sistani might accept that," said Joost Hiltermann, head of the International Crisis Group's Jordan office, which tracks developments in Iraq. ICG is a Washington- and Brussels-based research organization that closely follows democracy development in troubled countries.
-"He only has to give one nod and he can turn off this stuff," Hiltermann said.
-With the U.N. certifying the difficulty of organizing free and fair elections, perhaps a compromise that called for caucuses with a broader membership, including some locally elected figures, might be palatable, he suggested.
-Others are less sanguine. They see Sistani as an unstoppable force who will refuse to back down from his demands.
-"They have to find an accommodation, and if they don't, when the transitional government is put in place, it will be broadly viewed as lacking legitimacy [by the Shiite majority], and that is a big problem," said Juan Cole, a professor of modern Arab history at the University of Michigan.
-Harder still is that whatever government is put in place will inherit the Sunni insurgency that has racked the center of the country, as well as the terrorist assaults — a long way from the stable democracy the United States has envisioned.

Guardian:"100,000 demand Iraqi elections"
Novak is wearing his twisted little heart on his scuzzy little sleeve
-Bob Novak outed Valerie Plame in his column last summer- knowing the criminally-secretive Bush White House would never allow his source to be "outed" themselves. Novak's safe from prosecution because of what he does for a living...but he knew what he was doing. He knew he could be risking the woman's life and safety. He knew it was a felonious and treasonous crime for someone within the White House to release that information. Ask yourself why a decent journalist would do something like that. Personally, I think he's a bit of a scum for doing what he KNEW he was doing to the Wilson family.
-Now--ask yourself why he wishes so badly for Howard Dean not to snare the Democratic nomination.
He's hawking Kerry here in this latest column..and doing all within his power as a journalist to pound and ground Dean.
We all know where Novak stands on the ideological scale. The very fact that he is fighting the idea of Dean tooth-and-nail leads me to believe Dean is a much bigger threat to these Bush-leaners than the confused mainstream press would have you believe.
-Novak is pining away about the fact that Dean told a disruptive Freeper heckler to sit down and shut up and give him a chance to speak in front of those who came to hear him.
I love it! Howard Dean shows the American people to take the power back and tell these Freeper-types to sit down and shut the hell up...someone should have proposed that idea long ago. Power to the People!
Novak..sit down and shut up, you're killin' me here. Bwahaha!
Martin Luther King Jr. Day-
Why we celebrate

"...[The Civil Rights movement]: King was never its only leader, but without his belief in nonviolence – "we must learn to meet hate with love," he told an angry black mob bent on revenge outside his bombed house – it might have failed.
King steered the mob's seething energies into passive resistance, which, as Gandhi had shown in India, is a formidable tool for the underdog.
King was not a popular figure for most Americans when he died – seen as an enemy of the established order, even a revolutionary. It took a quarter century for the nation to create a holiday for him.."

Out of the mouths of babes:
Celebrating the gift of Martin Luther King Jr.-

"I want everybody to be friends. I want the world to be better than the one I'm in now."
-- Jonathan, grade 2

"I had a dream about people being nice to people."
-- Tianna, grade 2

"To me, Martin Luther King Jr. means truth. He wanted little white boys and white girls to be friends with little black boys and black girls. The truth was that all people should be kind to other people. I can be like Martin Luther King Jr. I can tell people to be kind."
-- Marisol, grade 2

See I HAVE A DREAM speech here.