Palin’s selective use of the term “terrorist”


It had to happen sooner or later.  Palin has put her foot in her mouth again in a nationally televised interview with NBC’s Brian Williams.  Not even John McCain, sitting at her side, could help her get out of the mess she put herself in, refusing to call some people who want to harm innocent Americans terrorists, while claiming the likes of Bill Ayers, and of course by extension Obama, qualify for the term.  Check it out here.

But isn’t that what terrorists are?  People who inflict death and destruction against “innocent people”?  It just so happens that those who Palin was hesitatnt to give that name to, the people she was referring to were those who oppose abortion!  (Eric Rudolph would probably go on air to endorse the McCain/Palin ticket with the news of that proclamation. ) It’s not enough that Palin has problems back home in Alaska with the troopergate scandal,(Republicans regret the day they gave Clinton such a hard time with his own trooper problems), now she has to go and minimize or redefine terrorism so that her political cause which sometimes has expressed itself violently in the Homeland escapes that designation.  One can only wonder how long will it take for Palin to deny she ever said that? Judging by her past gaffs, it won’t be long.

UPDATE

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY is so steeped in political hypocrisy that they don’t know right from wrong, up from down.  In an effort not to offend their base, they dance all around terms like terrorism,domestic terrorism when talking about abortion, but use the same terms vigorously and glibly when talking about their opponents.  Keith Olbermann does a pretty good job of disarming the GOP’s terrorist bomb with this piece.

The election isn’t won yet, Joe!


Feeling awfully confident Joe McCain, not Joe the plumber, thought he was able to take public service a little too far and dumped on a 911 operator in the DC area of Virginia.  Seems Joe was impatient with the flow of traffic and wanted to inappropriately use public servants to vent his frustration.  Kudos to the 911 people who gave just as good as Joe tried to dish out!

UPDATE

Joe is stopping all campaigning on behalf of his brother.  It’s not that there isn’t enough bad news surrounding the campaign, Palin’s $150,000 tailor made wardrobe, the Ashley Todd story, and mass GOP defections to Obama; Joe’s story really offered a glimpse into how he and by extension his brother view power and their relation to it. I think this is the best announcement coming out of the McCain campaign.  I wish there were more like it.

The Racist Campaign of the Republican Party and its surrogates


There are plenty of people willing to “front” for THE REPUBLICAN PARTY in its fight against the Obama campaign, and none more diligently than the pages of the Drudge Report.  They are still running, as I type this, a story about a McCain volunteer who was robbed and then assaulted after it was discovered she was a John McCain supporter. The woman’s story is apparently so fishy that even those on the right of Drudge don’t support it.

Police planned to administer a polygraph test to Ashley Todd, 20, because her statements about the attack conflict with evidence from the Citizens Bank ATM where she claims the incident occurred, police said.

When it’s debunked, that story of it being a hoax won’t grace the pages of PARTY surrogates like Drudge who will go on to other sleaze.  The image below also appeared on a DrudgeReport page with the caption below: Obama +7.3 There is much more THE REPUBLICAN PARTY has up its sleeve. The late surge of Republican supporters for Jesse Helms who aired a racially charged commercial in his race against African-American Harvey Gantt was produced by some of the same people who have played a part in Party politics up to this point! The art of subliminal advertising in an election as historic as this will be used to the maximum degree to give the advantage to McCain.

But let’s not forget that today’s REPUBLICAN PARTY doesn’t always feel the need to be so subtle in their message.  Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama has already been attributed to race by many on the Right.  Limbaugh suggests Powell is an “uncle Tom” and should give back his four stars to Ronald Reagan and/or George H.W. Bush because they weren’t black.  But the excuse that Powell’s endorsement is about race ignores the fact that a lot of other people are endorsing Obama that have nothing at all to do with race but with the direction they perceive their candidate is going to take the country.  Kenneth Adelman, Chris Buckley, Scott McClellan, former Republican governor of Massachusetts William Weld all come to mind.  Would Limbaugh et.co say that black supporters of McCain back him because he’s white?  The idiocy of THE PARTY’S surrogates and THE PARTY itself is apparent.  One should expect much more of the same thing in the days remaining.

UPDATE ON THE ASHLEY TODD STORY

It appears her story is already falling apart and all that remains is why she came up with such a really big lie.  It’s not unusual for people to use racism to cover their personal faults.  The man who shot his wife in Boston and blamed it on a non-existent black thug or the teenager who claimed she was kidnapped and raped by white men in upstate New York, or the woman who drowned her children in South Carolina and claimed they were hijacked by a black bandit said these things when elections weren’t at stake. So the fault for why this was tied to an election lies at the feet of a corporate media that likes to sensationalize, and to the political hacks who want to advance their candidate at the expense of the welfare of the society.  Ms. Todd has “issues” and I hope she gets them resolved, but we as a Nation have the same issues that need fixing and unless we get help for them, we’re as likely to continue down the same road of destructive behavior as this young woman.

Colin Powell-In Your Face!


I  really was not that much of a fan of Colin Powell, but I might change my mind after his blistering endorsement of Obama where he scorched today’s  REPUBLICAN PARTY, taking no prisoners.  He said what Obama should have said, and what I have been hollering for him to say ever since the RACIST RIGHT has made being a Muslim an issue.  In case you missed it, this is what Powell said:

I wish more people would stand up to this right wing cabal that has played every racist card in their deck to keep Americans off balance and in the dark while they rob the country blind of its money and its wealth of freedom and liberty.  I hope Powell’s declaration in support of Obama will start a trend long missing in the political arena where people are confronted when they make racist, insane accusations against other Americans because of their dislike or hatred of them.  It’s clear we still have a tendency to do that here and not talking about it has only made it worse in the last eight years.  Powell said some things that needed to be said and I take my hat off to him.  Finally, some one with balls!  In fact, in my opinion, more balls than the man he’s endorsing, but at this stage in his life, Powell has nothing to lose and such a proclamation is appropriate for him to make.  Surely he’ll receive a lot of political fall out for it, but why should he or any of us care?  There’s more at stake than the professional career of someone who’s on the downswing of that career.  Powell’s imagery made us all confront our prejudices, that though we may have, should never get in the way of our rights and freedoms as citizens of this great country.  Oh, and it’s more than appropriate to show you the mother  who made Colin Powell proud to be American….and me too.

This is not good..


At first glance, the headline ‘When Settlers Strike, Palestinians Point and Shoot back’ had a hopeful ring about it, but this is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict we are talking about here and for the moment there’s nothing hopeful about that.

Video cameras like hers have emerged as a new nonviolent weapon for West Bank Palestinians – who face a rising number of attacks at the hands of settlers anxious over their fate in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. But the Palestinian video footage often ends up on Israeli TV, thus becoming a tool for both deterrence and justice.

“We’re trying to use the cameras to reduce the level of violence as a whole. When settlers see the camera, we hope that they will behave less violently,” says Sarit Michaeli, the spokeswoman for Btselem.

“We also want to use the footage to provide to the Israeli media to raise awareness of the problems and to pressure the law enforcement bodies to do their job.”

Btselem has given out 150 cameras as part of its Shooting Back program that started slowly last year and is beginning to show results. Already, footage shot by Palestinians has been used in at least 20 cases involving settler violence.

In any other society I would think that non-violent resistance could make a dent in the morality of the greater society, but that doesn’t seem to work in this conflagration, because all too often camera men and women are shot and their images so clouded in claim and counter claim minutae the impact of the captured images is lost.  Fadel Shana’s death was caught by his own camera and there was no mistaking who murdered him, but of course Shana’s offense was he was carrying a “camera” the IDF confused for some sort of weapon that he should not have been pointing at a tank that could more clearly see him through its “camera”  than he it through his, and so deserved to die.  Of course the people responsible for his murder were let off without even a reprimand because his execution was “sound“.

Amnesty remains extremely concerned that Israeli military personnel continue to operate unaccountably in Gaza. In April this year, for example, a Reuters cameraman – Fadel Shana – was killed by an Israeli tank shell in Gaza despite clearly displaying ‘TV-Press’ on his flak jacket and nearby vehicle.

Two Palestinian children – Ahmad Farajallah and Ghassan Khaled Abu ‘Ataiwi – were also killed in the attack that killed Shana and several other people were also injured. Shana and the two children were killed by a ‘flechette’ shell containing up to 5,000 5cm-long steel darts (or flechettes) that spread over an area as big as a football pitch when fired. These munitions are notoriously imprecise and should never be used in areas populated with civilians. In this case the Israeli army later wrote to Reuters saying it had investigated the incident saying the decision to attack the journalist was ‘sound’.

So far this year more than 420 Palestinians (including some 80 children) have been killed by Israeli forces, and 30 Israelis killed by Palestinian groups. Most of these deaths (some 385) occurred in Gaza. Amnesty International remains concerned at a widespread failure to bring people to justice for unlawful killings.

So, with this as background, the introduction of more video “vigilantes” as they most probably will be called, or worse, “video terrorists” is being heralded as a non-violent response to settler aggression?

We’re trying to use the cameras to reduce the level of violence as a whole. When settlers see the camera, we hope that they will behave less violently,” says Sarit Michaeli, the spokeswoman for Btselem.

When has that happened in the history of this conflict?? Is that a duh moment or what? For perspective one only need to ask Salam Amira whose story we highlighted earlier this year.

“Since my video was shown, the soldiers shoot at our house all the time,” she said. The shattered and cracked windows at the front of the building confirm her story. “When we leave the windows open, they fire tear gas inside too.”

Doesn’t seem like her possessing a camera and filming the shooting of a neighbor’s ‘big toe’ did either the neighbor or her any good.  You can see what she filmed here.

I’m sure the folks passing out the cameras are aware of all this, so why do they insist on this form of protest?  I can only think they might be saying to themselves if enough images of Israeli oppression are shown to enough people it will have a positive influence on the “peace process”, but in fact, Israelis are not like Americans of the 50s and sixties.  They are much more steeped in the dehumanization of their opponent, the Palestinian, and far more willing to accept the inhumane treatment he receives at their hand wihtout any conscious about it more so than his American counterpart. It’s that difference which makes both countries so special; no doubt the organizers of this “event” want to influence Israeli as well as American public opinion, but American opinion is controlled by a corporate media which is beholden to American politicians heavily lobbied by special interests which have reduced the atrocities of the aggressor and turned them into the aggression of the victim.  It’s gonna’ take more than cameras to change that.

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US supported Iraqi government responsible for Christian oppression


Politics do make strange bedfellows and especially in Iraq. Try to keep up.  Christians in Iraq are blaming the Iraqi government and in particular their inability to protect them from continued violence in Iraq for the exodus of Christians from Mosul. I thought the surge was working, but evidently not for Iraqi Christians. What I found very interesting was that Shi’ite Muslims are coming to the aid of their fellow Iraqi Christians.

Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, who is believed to be in Iran, sent some of his most senior aides from the holy Shiite city of Najaf to Baghdad to meet with church leaders in an expression of solidarity…..

One of Mr. Sadr’s representatives at the meeting, Sheik Muhanned al-Gharrawi, said that he had just spoken to Mr. Sadr by telephone and that he was instructed to convey a message from his leader: “We will not hesitate to turn into human shields for our Christian brothers if need be.”

Another Shiite cleric, Hazem al-Araji, said that some of the families that had fled Mosul to predominantly Christian villages in the Nineveh Plain, northeast of the city, sought the protection of his movement.

“We told them that we cannot provide military help but that we will exert pressure on the government,” Mr. Araji said.

He added that his movement would send trucks with food, mattresses and blankets to aid displaced families.

The Christian military might of the US isn’t helping Iraqi Christians, but Shiite Iraqi muslims are?