Monday, January 10, 2005

Jesus Loves a 4-Door

"..Jesus said to "feed my lambs, tend my sheep, and his sheep were the poor, the downtrodden, the poor in spirit. That's pretty challenging stuff.

I don't think progressives can ever win elections in this country without appealing to moral values and presenting our own. We want people to step up to the problems of the world.

We need to step up first.."

Jesus Loves a 4-Door

I found this article by Bob Geary at the Independent Weekly/Durham, NC, to be a good and sane way to begin to speak about progressive faith-based values.
"...when I listen to Bill O'Reilly, the Rev. James Dobson or any of a number of other conservative haranguers who've shoved themselves into our daily lives, I'm reminded how incongruous it is that a loving God would repose her moral values in folks who rant and rave about the people they hate and how stupid they are.

If we on the progressive side are going to reclaim the moral-values mantle, and I think we must, ranting and raving is not the way to do it. So I won't rant, at least from this point on. Good Catholic boy that I still am at some level, I think God comes to us with a smile and his hand out to help, even if--especially if--there's no rational reason why he'd want to help you.

I see a God at work at every execution, when People of Faith Against the Death Penalty come to Central Prison to plead for a life to be spared and stay into the early morning hours to pray for a soul when it isn't."
Geary provides a list of ministries in his area which are helping people in a very tangible way.

2004 In Review at Alt.Weeklies

2004 In Review at Alt.Weeklies

Catch the 2004 Best-Of Lists HERE.

-- I particularly enjoyed Geov Parrish's top overhyped and underreported stories.

-- Newcity Chicago's Top 5 of Everything That Matters is interesting. Ross McElwee's "Bright Leaves" made the Top 5 Documentary list.

-- Artvoice's Top 20 Albums of 2004

-- Seattle Weekly's Best Music Lists

-- Independent Weekly Durham, N.C. Best-Of Lists

I notice a group called "The Thermals" are on many of these Best-Of lists. I guess I'll have to check them out to see what I'm missing.

CBS Breakdown: How it Happened

CBS Breakdown: How it Happened
by Al Tompkins
Poynter Online

The investigation into what went wrong at CBS' "60 Minutes Wednesday" paints a portrait of an intensely competitive producer who feared being scooped...

I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I am with CBS News on the Rathergate incident. I wonder how many voters they may have turned off (and away from John Kerry) because of their impulsive reporting. Unfortunately, in the minds of many incompletely-informed Americans, a lack of credibility on the part of the CBS news network likely translated to a lack of trust in the party that was opposing Bush in the election. [Joe Lockhart's involvement here surely didn't help].

"If there was a journalistic crime committed here, it was not by me." - Mary Mapes

The sad part was this: The story about Bush, the way he was helped to get out of dangerous duty (in-country/Viet Nam), and his absence during his stateside tour of duty was, in essence, quite true and Bush supporters know it to this day. CBS, through deceit, whether intentional or unintentional, took the focus off the REAL story and, through their journalistic irresponsibility, made the story about THEM.

Mary Mapes most likely deserved to get the boot. But read Al Tompkin's series at Poynter Online. Mapes' superiors should have gotten the boot, too. They all belong together in the Armstrong Williams/Jayson Blair/Judith Miller/Bob Novak shitebucket of journalism. The way I see it, they may have played a key role in the Democrats' electoral loss on November 2.

I'd like to reiterate something I've said before: The bloggers DO deserve much credit for breaking the story. And quite a story it was. But the way our mainstream media works is such that the story was allowed to run away with the material truth behind Bush's desertion of duty in the National Guard. The bloggers who broke the story were partisans who rightly jumped on the story. Some of them wonder why "the left" is fairly silent on the matter today. The answer is that the partisan bloggers succeeded in doing their job and the matter was over on November 2, when Bush won the election. Why are they surprised that this story doen't garner quite the same attention now than it did when the heart and soul of America was at risk? The little deserter won his shady election and 1 in 5 Americans believe the election was won by fraudulent means. Now THERE'S something for bloggers to be talking about!



"The long awaited report of CBS's investigation of the 60 Minutes/Dan Rather report on President Bush's National Guard service record has arrived, bringing with it an interesting rational for their use of fraudulent documents. "Myopic Zeal". This bland sounding excuse for terrible behavior on the part of a national media outlet just got four 60 Minutes staffers fired.."

--Diane at Respublica

My previous Rathergate-related posts: HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE

Meanwhile, sloppy liars extraordinaire continue fibbing shamelessly, mockingly, and regularly at FOX News.

Is the U.S. Organizing Salvador-Style Death Squads in Iraq?

Is the U.S. Organizing Salvador-Style Death Squads in Iraq?
Democracy Now!
Monday, January 10th, 2005

Read Transcript - Amy Goodman interviews journalist/activist Allan Nairn

Listen to Segment

ALLAN NAIRN: "..I did in a closed session and was questioned by dozens of the Intelligence Committee staff for about three or four hours about what the U.S. had done to back and create the Salvadoran death squads. Now this was a bit curious since they were the ones, who had security clearance, who had access to the C.I.A. and Pentagon files. They were the ones who worked with them, indeed funded them, but they were asking me, I think in part maybe to try to find out how much I knew. What I knew is what I printed in the magazine, but I was trying to spur them to investigate. And they did. They then launched an investigation where they say they examined more than a million internal documents. They produced a 400 page report, which was heavily classified. They told me that only two copies of the report were produced, one was in a sealed room that only -- kept on Capitol Hill, which only the Senators on the committee could read, and another at the C.I.A. headquarters. A public report was released, which said nothing. Some of the Senators told me that the classified - they told me a little bit about the classified report. They said they had verified that in fact, yes, the U.S. had set up these death squads in Salvador and also that U.S. personnel had sometimes been on the premises during torture sessions and had supplied questions for the prisoners being tortured.

AMY GOODMAN: So, this was back in 1984 and 1985 when this was coming back -- coming out. Did it surprise you that the Pentagon is actually calling this proposal, according to Newsweek, to train -- it's not clear if it's C.I.A.-backed, Pentagon-backed assassination and kidnapping squads in El Salvador, that they're calling it the Salvador option. Have they ever acknowledged it publicly?

ALLAN NAIRN: Well, it sounds … No, they never acknowledged it publicly. That Senate report was classified. But now it sounds like in an offhand way, it's almost -- it sounds as if they're almost talking about it even in a -- almost a joking way, oh yeah, we'll do to them what they did to Salvador. It's an astonishing admission, but I think now that this is on the record, immediately, the Senate Intelligence Committee should release their classified report of 1984, and there should be a demand that the Pentagon and the C.I.A. release all internal documents they have about the Salvador option, and similar activities in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Salvador, also - there are dozens of other countries in the world where this has happened.

Poem for Mothers / Tsunami Charity for Women

Poem for Mothers / Tsunami Charity for Women

AP photo

When she awoke he was not there
She recalls a man with a mask shaking her
To a consciousness she'd wished she'd not regained

For all the pain that followed when memory fell
back in, like the flood that swept him away
from her desperate arms, his cries drowned by the sea

If she'd only been carried along with him
She would not be left here, cursed with knowing
she'll leave without his body, miraculously saved, alone.

--Jude Nagurney Camwell


There are many agencies ready and waiting to take donations for tsunami relief. I have posted a list of these agencies, with links, at my personal website. Sri Lanka and Indonesia are likely to have the greatest need for humanitarian support. In Sri Lanka alone, over one million people have been displaced. Among them are tens of thousands of pregnant and nursing women, who are especially susceptible to waterborne diseases and require emergency medical attention and trauma counseling.

I want to make readers aware of one of those agencies, which is called MADRE.
MADRE is an international women’s human rights organization that works in partnership with women’s community-based groups in conflict areas worldwide. MADRE specializes in assisting displaced women and families, offering them crucial trauma counseling which will help them cope with the deaths of their children and other loved ones, gradually heal from their trauma, and begin to rebuild.

MADRE has chosen to partner with INFORM. They are part of a regional network of women’s groups that can reach out immediately to many different communities at at time such as this.

MADRE can be found on several websites (including Charity Navigator and GuideStar) that rate the business practices and overall effectiveness of charities.

Donation information can be found HERE.

DNC Chair Election Buzz / Emanual Elected DCCC Head

DNC Chair Election Info /
Emanual Elected DCCC Head/
A Good Dem Committee Website

How is the DNC Chair Elected?


Here is a background on what happened down South with the interviews of
some of the candidates for the Chair.

Wnat to see an example of a gem of a local democratic committee web site?

Check it out.

I've been hearing a buzz amongst many grassroots Dems - -

"Joe Trippi for DNC Chair!"

Don't confuse DNC and DCCC positions. Rahm Emanuel hasn't been elected as the DNC Chairman, but was chosen as the "DCCC Chairman", which means he will spearhead democratic races for the House of


* Thanks to Vicki Trojnor, Fingerlakes DFA, for leading me to all the above-mentioned information.


Speaking of DFA, at Blog for America, Greg Greene has a great post. It deserves repeating here:

Irony Comes Supersized These Days ...

And now, the quote of the day — thanks to a Seattle Post-Intelligencer article about a Republican suit to throw out the result of the Washington gubernatorial election:

"... Harry Korrell, the lawyer for the GOP, said: 'If you can't tell who won an election because of errors and mistakes, you have to rerun it.'"

Wait a sec — really?!!