Fronzo West Jailed for Telling Authorities "Fuck the Police"
Phoenix civil liberties activist Fronzo West is currently doing time in the Maricopa County jail for exercising his freedom of speech rights as enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Folks like to say we have freedom of speech in this country, and in theory, we do. But in practice, it's a whole 'nother matter. West, 65, challenges that theory nearly every day of the week here in Phoenix by riding around in a car emblazoned with the slogans "Fuck the Police" and "Stop Police Brutality." He goes further than that. Everything he wears, from the cap on his head to his loafers also bears the same anti-cop messages.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
The reasoning behind The Obama Adiministration complicity in the hiding of the BushCo crimes really does illude me. Obama has chosen to become part of the coverup. He has chosen to become complicit in the whole dirty mess that Bush left. Why? --gailFrom yesterday's New York Times:
Documents gathered by lawyers for the families of Sept. 11 victims provide new evidence of extensive financial support for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family, but the material may never find its way into court because of legal and diplomatic obstacles.-- Not That It Matters by Turkana, The Left Coaster
... Bush declared "I'm the decider" and he meant it. [The Obama] administration obviously believes it has that right as well --- they just pretend otherwise. -- Transparent Obscurity by digby, Hullabaloo
Saturday, June 27, 2009
What this tells me is that annual temperature is indeed noisy: there have been many large fluctuations, indeed much larger than the up-and-down in the last decade or so. But the direction of change is unmistakable if you take the longer view. The fitted line in the figure is a 3rd-degree polynomial, but any sort of smoothing would tell you that there is a massive upward trend.The only reason I can figure for political recalcitrance on this matter is that politicians hate their children. Could there be another reason?
Of course, trend-spotting is no substitute for causal modeling; and the models are getting truly scary in their implications.
The Obama administration is rushing towards a unilateral plan to imprison people without trial, according to a huge, new joint article from the Washington Post and ProPublica. The proposal would completely cut Congress out of the process by using an executive order to essentially bring Gitmo stateside: ... -- Obama Courts Disaster With New Detention Plan by Ari Melber, 06/26/2009This is not the action of a sane American president.
--- ADDED ---
Glenn Greenwald writes today:
There has now emerged a very clear -- and very disturbing -- pattern whereby Obama is willing to use legal mechanisms and recognize the authority of other branches only if he's assured that he'll get the outcome he wants. ...What we have now is not a stupid wanna-be tyrant like with George W. Bush, but a very intelligent wanna-be tyrant. A lack of principles is a lack of principles. A tyrant is a tyrant.
As The New York Times columnist (and Obama supporter) Bob Herbert put it this week: "Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House."
The White House Press corps loves to laugh condescendingly at Helen Thomas because, tenaciously insisting that our sermons to others be applied to our own Government, she acts like a real reporter ... -- The "Neda video," torture, and the truth-revealing power of images by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com
Krugman comes up with a much kinder broadside than I can muster, as I see Obama throwing away all the progress we could have made without even bothering to expend any effort to do things right. --gailMy big fear about Obama has always been not that he doesn’t understand the issues, but that his urge to compromise — his vision of himself as a politician who transcends the old partisan divisions — will lead him to negotiate with himself, and give away far too much. He did that on the stimulus bill, where he offered an inadequate plan in order to win bipartisan support, then got nothing in return — and was forced to reduce the plan further so that Susan Collins could claim her pound of flesh.
And now he’s done it on a key component of health care reform. What was the point of signaling, right at this crucial moment, that he’s willing to give away the public plan? Let alone doing it at the very moment that he was making such a good case for it? -- Obama messes up on health care, big time by Paul Krugman, NY Times
This is extremely serious stuff, the question is not facetious in the least, why can’t the fucking Democrats possess the ability to learn Negotiation 101? ... -- Why, In Fact, Can’t Democrats Learn? by paradox, The Left Coaster
This assumes that they want to negotiate, that the health care 'debate' is not all a charade, that they do not already have some undocumented 'understanding' that they will not attempt to rock certain boats. Is there really any other explanation. Those who believe never get close enough to do anything. Those who are primed to subterfuge and non-action are always in the way. It happens over and over again ... just tell me there's no pattern to be seen here. --gail
I realize that anecdotes are not data. However, I have never personally met a woman of menopausal age — and I’m past that point myself — who blew off her life because of hot flashes. But I’ve known, and have known of, a number of men aged 45-60 whose lives crashed and burned because of sex. -- Should Middle-Aged Men Hold Public Office? by Barbara O'Brien, open.salon.com
Ha, ha. Shoe met other foot. --gail
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I no longer provide bird seed in the yard because having little baby mice doing acrobatics under the bird feeder was just way too much. If they had had the sense to stay mostly out of sight, well maybe ... but really to flaunt and caper in front of anyone who walked by was more that I could take. Though the mouse population did entice an owl family and once I was even visited by a baby or at least juvenile horned owl (which is NOT a small bird, by the way) who stayed in my yard near the bird waterer for several hours.
Anyway, I was writing about the cardinal family. Instead of feeding the birds generally I put out a few walnuts in the morning for the cardinals (and since they are real busy right now feeding the youngsters I sometimes also put a few more out in the late afternoon, specially if papa cardinal comes up and looks in the window). The nice thing about cardinals is that they know where those walnuts are coming from, or at least they know who provides them. Doves, now, doves know nothing, nothing. Like rabbits they have to reproduce lots and lots of themselves in order to survive. I won't get into where humans fit in this continuum between doves and cardinals.
What I was thinking about when I started this post was that one of the young cardinals is very fixated on playing with little flowers --when it's parent isn't close by at which point it goes into baby bird mode shaking its feathers and saying feed me, feed me, now, now. So I was wondering, is this baby's behavior playing with flowers, behavior I've observed frequently over the past two or three days (and, no matter how it may appear, I am not always sitting here in front of the window) ... is this behavior, interest in, or fixation on something other than food happening because they have, in addition to their usual diet, a few extra and easy to obtain walnuts to provide a little bird leisure for the contemplation of their environment? ... or is it genetically defined pre-nesting behavior?
Ain't life interesting.
Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand,
And the youth, mistook by me,
Pleading for a lover's fee.
Shall we their fond pageant see?
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
I really don't want to see or read about the details of other peoples love affairs (except for a few really endearing ones, whether real or literary).
I feel really sorry for Governor Sanford (and his family, that is Sanford's real family not some mafia-sounding entity called The Family). I felt really sorry for John Edwards (and his family). Neither of these situations should have generated the kind of spectacle we are now so used to in this country.
It's even possible if we lived in an environment that didn't attempt to force private family relationships in ways that go against the human grain Sanford would never had committed such a deriliction of his duty to his position as Governor. Any responsibilities he has to his wife, to his children and to his God should mostly stay between those parties as long as there is no abuse involved. Setting up such impossible performance strictures on men and women, with scandal as the prize for what could either be a miss step or the following of one's heart (a verdict that is often decided many years after the event) could be compared to the former (I assume this is mostly behind us) blackmailing of secret homosexuals who held prominent positions, though I doubt that Sanford or his defenders have the wherewithal to see the similarity.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Rahm: White House Open To Dropping Public OptionIn a few short months, Obama's words and his actions have become diametrically opposed.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Don't let your children grow up to be Republicans. Like Killer Jon Kyl they could become models of ...
Paul Krugman points out some of the torturous inconsistencies in thinking that is involved in a bill introduced by Jon Kyl and some of his worst groupies. The bill prohibits "Medicare or Medicaid from using “comparative effectiveness research to deny coverage.""
1. Politicians who rail against wasteful government spending are taking action to prevent the government from reining in … wasteful spending.
2. Politicians who warn that the burden of entitlements is killing the federal budget are stepping in to block … the single most painless route to reducing the growth of entitlements.
3. They’re doing it in the name of avoiding “rationing of health care” … but they’re specifically addressing taxpayer-funded care. If you want to go out and buy a medically useless treatment, Medicare won’t stop you.
4. These same politicians are, of course, opposed to efforts to expand coverage. In other words, it’s evil for government to “ration care” by only paying for things that work; it is, however, perfectly OK, indeed virtuous, to ration care by refusing to pay for any care at all.
Sad as it may be, inconsistent thought processes are quite consistent for the Killer.
... The U.S stands for freedom, democracy and human rights -- even when we don't. People who advocate unprovoked wars of aggression, torture and mass violence are irredeemable monsters -- except when they're American or our allies. -- Contradictions that aren't seen as contradictory by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com
Friday, June 19, 2009
Fixing the health care system is the first real test of whether or not the Democratic Party understands the new political era in which it's governing. The next couple of months will tell the tale.What will Harry Reid do ...What will Nancy Pelosi do ...What will Obama do ...
I think they will implement what the modern day Robber Barons want; that they will fail the people and fail the Democratic Party and end the Democratic Party's resurgence. Using past Democratic legislation as a model the bills they pass will be worse than what the Republicans would have been able to pass were the majorities reversed. The Democrats continually give everything away BEFORE they even begin to negotiate. Or rather Democrats make a habit of reassuring moronic media hacks that they are not really, you know, liberal or very much of a Democrat and continually whittle down into uselessness, or worse, any contentious proposal before they even begin study or negotiations on the legislation. They do this again and again and over again.
Nancy Pelosi I can't figure out. She appears powerless. Harry Reid is a nonentity and it says a lot about the Democrats in the Senate that they placed this zero in 'charge.' Obama? Obama appears to be a liar. Where George Bush was a stupid liar, Barack Obama is an intelligent liar. But a liar is still a liar. And nothing, absolutely nothing, a liar says can be depended upon nor trusted.
Please, please prove me wrong ...
The question is why Democrats are inviting [GOP messaging expert,Frank Luntz] to advise them on how to use his patented fraudulent conservative propaganda and methods? You wouldn't be crazy to wonder if they may just share his goals. -- Sleeping With The Enemy by digby, Hullabaloo
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Sensing that my Latino comrades were getting the runaround, I gave Phoenix civil rights leader Salvador Reza a ring to ask him what he thought of this latest disappointment from the Obama administration.
"They want to take away any expectations we have," Reza explained. "They're sending the message to us that they're not ready to move on immigration, and to the right-wing that they're listening to their concerns. In the meantime, the repression continues, and they don't want to deal with it."
What exactly does Obama want to deal with? He started his tenure signing a few promising statements. Next he began hiding information about Bush and Cheney actions, legal or illegal. Then he began defending Bush/Cheney era authoritarian measures in court. Then he asked Congress to legalize anything that Bush/Cheney did that was still considered illegal. All because he wants those powers himself or he wants to look forward, not backward, or something. And this is the man who had the gall to run on open government. Oh and all the while he was helping shovel money into Wall Street coffers while letting the populace know we could expect some belt tightening. Now it's foreign banks that must have our money. And health care? I suppose he'll come up with enough energy to give the insurance companies whatever they want ...
Is there any group of supporters that he hasn't betrayed so far? The only people I can see that he's catered to are Republicans and they will continue to attack and defy him no matter how close he comes to supporting everything they want just because he's a Democrat.
And yet, we still have his addle brained followers telling us to wait, wait, we can't see his hold cards yet!
And Congress! OUR Democratic Congress is doing absolutely everything they possible can to ensure that they will loose their Democratic majority. Not that it matters given their 'accomplishments' so far.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Whip Count: The Final Total, or How We Went from 0 to 32
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Apparently neither the judge, the USDA nor the stores that passed on the products care whether the products they were selling (at higher Organic product prices) were actually organic.
The Bush administration did their best to bastardize the organic rules to favor corrupt corporations with sufficient financial clout. The next step is to make the label itself meaningless.
In the end, of course, this process helps no one. The consumer will not get the products they want but, in addition, once the label looses all trust no one will pay premium prices for the products. Not that the corporate Robber Barons care. They will just look around for the next scam to run. How long before they organize their own militias and invade our homes to take whatever they want.
In a world in which our own government is using contractors to conduct unwarranted invasions of our privacy, there's something utterly perverse about our own government then inventing FOIA exemptions to protect contractors from "unwarranted invasion" of their privacy. -- Leon Panetta: I’ve Got to Protect the Contractors from Unwarranted Invasion of Privacy by emptywheel, firedoglake.com
Talk about an understatement!
It's looking more and more like Barack Obama's pledge to usher in a new era of openness in government may well go unfulfilled. -- CIA Stance On Torture Tape Docs Suggests Obama's New Open Government Era Won't Materialize by Zachary Roth, Talking Points Memo
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
just does not work with such issues as people's rights no matter how much the 'pragmatic' Obama would like it to.
The article also leaves the impression that the Obama administration and Janet Napolitano may not be doing anything about the discriminatory practices because they are afraid. [Afraid of Sheriff Joe but nevertheless they propose to keep us safe by refusing to let us see pictures of past crimes.]
An update to the article follows:
UPDATE: A White House aide called me this morning, asking that I point out that the White House has a meeting scheduled on June 17 with congressional leaders of both parties to discuss immigration. Originally, the meeting was scheduled for June 8. The aide, who did not wish to be identified, could not explain the discrepancy between what Odio told Latino leaders last week, or with Abrams' statement to me quoted above. Nor could the aide tell me if the meeting will be held in public or private. The following is what the aide would say on the record:
"The president is inviting a small group of bipartisan Senate and House leaders on the immigration issue to the White House for a meeting to have an honest discussion of the issues, identify areas of agreement, and areas where we still have work to do." [emphasis added]
Get that, a 'White House aide' who one would assume is following someone's instructions in making this call does not want to be identified? And why not? And WHY did Stephen Lemons accept this type of information under those conditions? There is no reason whatsoever for the bearer of this information to be incognito.
Some of the worst of the worst are supporting Obama's journey to absolute Presidential power and government secrecy while the more enlightened of his own party are starting to question his more authoritarian and decidedly undemocratic proposals.
Just as Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman are Obama's staunchest supporters on his photo suppression policy (while progressive House Democrats oppose it), Sen. Feingold's hearing just began with a vigorous defense of Obama's preventive detention scheme from GOP Sen. Tom Coburn, which occurred right before human rights advocates and civil libertarian witnesses, and right after Feingold himself, explained their opposition. In addition to Coburn, two witnesses -- hard-core Bush follower David Rifkin and a former right-wing law clerk to Ken Starr -- heaped praise on Obama's preventive detention proposal.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Once the RNC figured out that Obama, like almost every other prominent Democrat, could be mau-maued into apologizing over an issue that didn't rate an apology, ... -- All Apologies by Phoenix Wmoan, firedoglake.com
... [Billo's] arrogance is so simultaneously cloying and macho that his act seems like some kind of retro, angry white man, drag queen performance art. ... -- by digby, Hullabaloo
... Somehow, the "Sweet Land" of liberty is plagued by murderous fears that one's freedom depends upon the death, exile or enslavement of some other. ... -- Before the Mountains: Sotomayor and Sitting Bull in America by Glenn W. Smith, firedoglake.com
In all the navel gazing about the future of journalism, it seems to me that one of the most important is consideration of the cracking of the insider culture. The media's failures of the past decade can be at least partially explained by its insular nature and class based identification with those they cover. ... [...] ... the fact is that American journalism is in crisis. They can pretend it's all about the financial model and parasite bloggers or whatever other excuse they can come up with. But one of the reasons is a catastrophic loss of credibility because they are consistently either missing the most important stories of our time or helping the powerful manipulate them. ... -- Covering Your BFF by digby, Hullabaloo
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Greenwald documents the nature and vileness of the attacks on Sotomayor.
But Crooks and Liars instead of critiquing Sotomayor based on what we know about her and working to get a productive confirmation hearing, C&L is supporting a campaign to get Sotomayor confirmed as a response to GOP sludge.
Seems all that's required is for the Republican to be unreasonably against something for us to support whatever non-progressive non-liberal Obama chooses to do.We Stand With Sonia Sotomayor By David Neiwert Saturday Jun 06, 2009 10:00am
"I stand with Judge Sotomayor, and urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to give her nomination a speedy hearing and a positive confirmation."
The Audacious Book Salon: Chapter One... and done -- Tue, 04/01/2008 - 2:07pm — vastleft
A short excerpt:
- Politics used to be gentlemanly
- But there were problems, like racism and such (and everyone had to be a "gentleman")
- In the 60s, some of those problems came to a head, and things got better
- Still, the Baby Boomers are "arrested development" cases whose whiny entitlement is the cause of today's political stalemate
- It should be said that the Republicans have done some terrible things. So, maybe it's not a stalemate.
- ... But I'm sure the Democrats have been just as extreme (even if there aren't any relevant examples). And, besides, we're losers.
- Bill Clinton played the GOP to a draw. I'm going to succeed like he did. But differently. And more so. In some way.
Friday, June 5, 2009
ABORTION FOE TO LEAD HHS FAITH-BASED OFFICE.Like, do you really think that I want a Catholic looking for the opportunity to tell me how to live my life and what my responsibility may or may not be. I think that as a country there are a few issues we must come to some understanding about (and notice I do not say agreement) but I do not wish those to be formulated by a Catholic, a Mormon, a Jew, a Moslem or anyone else set on imposing the rules of their own personal belief system on the rest of us. 'My God,' that's what this country was about to begin with.
Let's put an atheist in the office and see what happens. As far as I can tell Atheism appears to be as much of a religion as the rest. Better yet, let's get rid of this ridiculous office. It's just another case of Obama following down Bush's road. Step by step making it less likely we will ever pull out of our decline as a nation.
I guess we're going to find out that the only promises Obama keeps are those aimed at the religious right.
You know, Obama baby, if a woman thinks there is no reason known to man that would justify a woman having an abortion then let that woman forego such a procedure. Other than that let women make their own damn decisions.
Don't you think this country looks just a little ridiculous having this fight about the 'life' of a few cells when we are busily killing people in Afghanistan and have already killed, what, millions in Iraq. Killing like that is certainly not self defense and shows a wanton disregard of the life and well being of the people of those countries. In others words, Americans have shown that they care nothing for 'life.'
But we're are fighting about a few cells. Yea! Get real.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
It's my opinion that Obama will undermine anything that the monied interests don't want. And the only thing the monied interests in this country want is increasing wealth and power for themselves. While Obama will continue to verbalize beautiful thoughts he has shown little interest in fighting any battles that may reduce the profits of the Robber Baron bankers, the Robber Baron insurance industry, the Robber Baron military/industrial complex.
In general, the Obama followers sound a lot like the Bush followers. Things that were evil when BushCo did them are now a-OK just because it's Obama. The more 'balanced' progressively leaning blogs, while not silent on Obama's walk down the Bush road, are specially circumspect and third-personish in their analysis of where Obama is taking us.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
... The only "consistency" between widespread deregulation and a bailout is always giving the rich what they want - allowing them high profits for themselves in good times and protecting them from risk at public expense in the bad. ...There's much more.
... It's not just economics that seems to mystify [movement conservatism], though, but basic human nature. ...
Unfortunately, Tim Geithner and the Obama gang seem to be too willing to continue the dodgy moves of Paulson and the Bush administration. Maybe it's class solidarity, similar ideologies, or the difficulty of fighting the bankers who own Congress. Maybe they simply aren't working hard enough to protect the country's economy against astonishingly arrogant, reckless and selfish corporate narcissists. Maybe they simply fail to realize the true nature of these oligarchs, and how dangerous they are. Maybe they're just too corrupt themselves. What Jonathan Schwarz wrote back in October about a flabbergasted establishment is as relevant as ever:Who wouldn't be stunned when the most greedy, venal, vicious, cruel, arrogant, ignorant human beings on earth aren't eager to work in the public interest? Especially when people like them have never been willing to do so in the entire history of mankind, except on the rare occasions when they've been directly threatened with execution? It's stunning!Somehow, it never occurred to them that human beings would be greedy and selfish.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Obama, as a leader of the United States, should think this issue through and attempt to lead us out of the moral morass in which the US is drowning. But he won't. Unlike Bush, Obama has a brain. But like Bush, Obama is not a thinker ...
If this incoherent, boot-strapping rationale is the best we can come up with for our/Obama's Iraq policy, I'd said its time for us to get out. The issue isn't just the photos; it's the unthinking, unexamined presumptuousness of the occupation. We no longer have any moral claim, any valid justification for being there, if we ever had one.
We need to end that occupation; then apologize, come home and, as General Sanchez said on Countdown, try to confront what we've done to them, and to ourselves, and ask why/how we let it happen. And while we're doing this, it is we who need to be looking at the photos, not just the Iraqis.
[excerpt from McClatchy: Obama Heeded Maliki on Abuse Photos; What That Says for Our Occupation by Scarecrow]
Monday, June 1, 2009
We're all familiar with the idea that power corrupts.
The British historian Lord Acton said: “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”I don't think that's quite what's happened to Obama. Instead, it's a case of 'power makes people stupid."
"By using mathematical theories, the American scholar Jonathan Bendor proves the great value of independent thinking and the limitations of decision makers. When leaders are too busily occupied with myriad state affairs, institutional methods can be used to ease their cognitive constraints, by seeking wise solutions from among the people and encouraging independent thinking in government officials. But in a totalitarian country, such institutional methods do not and cannot exist."Inspite of all the hype about Obama being open to the ideas of those who do not agree with him, in actuality Obama's solution to problems come from a very narrow set of solutions proposed by those in power; those who benefit, usually monetarily, from those very decisions. Those with alternate solutions, solutions that may look beyond immediate gain of the Banksters and Robber Baron Corporatists are either shut out completely or allowed to voice their concerns after the decisions have been solidified.
As Glenn Greewald writes:Obama makes noises about many things. Nice sounding noises. But his actions belies his pretty words. Where Bush just ignored the law to do his evil, Obama thinks of changing the laws retroactively to accomplish the same evil. And if you don't think hiding war crimes, torture, rape and murder is evil then why do we spend so much effort to capture and convict those who commit such actions who are not government protected?
... For decades, we had laws in place authorizing citizens to sue their telecommunication carriers if the telecoms allowed government spying on their communications in violation of the law, but when it was revealed that the telecoms did exactly this, the Congress simply changed the law retroactively so that it no longer applied. For decades, we had laws imposing civil and criminal liability on government officials who engaged in or authorized torture, but when it was revealed that our government did that, the Congress just retroactively changed the law to protect the torturers. And now that courts have ruled that our decades-old transparency law compels disclosure of this torture evidence, the Congress is just going to retroactively change the law -- again -- this time to empower the President to suppress that evidence anyway.
Other than creating an illusion of transparency and accountability, what's the point of having laws that purport to restrict what the Government can do if political officials just retroactively waive those laws whenever they want? ...