Archive for November, 2005

Entry for November 29, 2005

November 29, 2005

How do we remember Rosa Parks?

By making The 50th Anniversary Of Rosa Parks’ Arrest, December 1, a Nationwide Day of Absence and Protest Against Poverty, Racism & War.

 

Rosa Parks Resources

Official Website of the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development

Rosa Parks Biography at Africana Online

Gallery of Rosa Parks photos

Full length interviews with Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks Story at My Hero Project

Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights
Includes Teachers Resources, Lesson Plans, Resources

No School, Work Or Shopping – Protests Across the Country

The Diggers (11/28/05)

November 28, 2005

The above poster is from the Digger’s Archive.  The caption found at UVA’s 60’s site reads,

The Invisible Circus: a 72 hour environmental community happening/sponsored by The Diggers, Artists Liberation Front, Glide Foundation; Glide Church, Taylor at Ellis, Friday 24, 8 P.M., 1967

The late Emmett Groganm  born this day in 1944,  founded “The Diggers,”  a group, something like the present-day Food Not Bombs.  Its members   scrounged for and provided food and other services to those in San Francisco’s  Haight-Ashbury district of  during the mid ’60s.  The group took  their name from the 17th Century English radical movement which opposed  feudalism, the Church of England and the British Crown.

Grogan  inspired Abbie Hoffman to emulate his efforts, but on the  Lower East Side of New York City.  He sang back-up for  Ramblin’ Jack Elliott on Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man.”  Dylan  dedicated his 1978 album “Street-Legal” to Grogan.   The actor Peter Coyote hung out with Grogan, while he was part of a radical street theater group.

Entry for November 27, 2005

November 27, 2005

 The State Board will meet tomorrow to certify election results and it would seem that a recount is inevitable in the attorney general’s race.  The margin between the two candidates has been reduced from a 3400-vote margin on election night to only 347 votes on Nov. 16. Deeds has appointed Larry Framme to chair the recount effort, so that he “may concentrate on preparing to be the next Attorney General.” Framme, who is former chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, also headed the recount efforts for former governor and current Richmond City Mayor L. Douglas Wilder.  The Daily Kos has a good summary.

Which makes me wonder about the new voting machines in Virginia and the lack of a paper trail.  More later…

 

Entry for November 26, 2005

November 27, 2005

Today, we’ll be wending our way back to Southwest Virginia ahead of all the congestion of Hokies and Highlanders (VA Tech and Radford U students) returning on Sunday from their own Thanksgivings.  Oh for mass transit.   Wonder how Governor-elect Tim Kaine’s transportation summits across the state will play out.

In Roanoke, on  November 16,  Kaine made his first public appearance as Virginia’s governor-elect at a town hall meeting on transportation, the issue that he believes will  define his four years in office.

The Washington Post reported that several hundred local officials, residents and community activists attended.  Kaine had no specifics on how to raise funding.

There always seems to be an issue that is complicated and tough . . . and transportation is that issue for the next governor.

The forum was the first in a series of stops for Kaine including one in Newport News and one for Henrico County and Richmond. The last two meetings will take place on  November 29  in Manassas and in Bristol on December 1.  If you cannot attend, you can write Kaine at transportation@govelect.virginia.gov.  

Said Michael Abraham of Christiansburg,

We need to re-engineer our communities around the needs of people and not around the needs of cars.

As a candidate, Kaine said that he would designate surplus state revenue and tax revenue from insurance premiums for transportation projects. He also said he would explore public-private ventures to build roads and rail lines, but will not seek new money until the state locks up its transportation trust fund, mandating that it not be spent on other needs. House delegates agree, having said repeatedly that such a lock is a top priority.

House Republicans say that additional money brought in by a good state economy, rather than new taxes, should fund transportation improvements. In the Senate,  the Statewide Transportation Analysis and Recommendation Task Force (START)  is working on a transportation package that is expected to suggest raising billions of dollars in new funds.  Republican Senator Chichester, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, will use the commission report to justify new funds.  The commission will next meet on December 15. Bacon’s Rebellion has coverage here.    Roanoke Times coverage is here. To contact START for information email start@leg.state.va.us.  Copies of START’s November 18 report to the Senate Finance Committee and its meeting materials are at http://leg3.state.va.us/quickplace/sfc2005/main.nsf .

Entry for November 25, 2005

November 25, 2005

Still in Northern Virginia with only a dial up connection at long distance rates, so I’ll be brief.  Pat Oliphant’s cartoon from this past Monday is the saddest/funniest comment on GM since Michael Moore’s Roger and Me.

Entry for November 24, 2005

November 24, 2005

Stop this turkey–the Patriot Act

I’m working on a second article for the New River Free Press on the Patriot Act.

The American Library Association (ALA)has the best alerts on the Patriot Act.  Because of citizen  pressure, the PATRIOT reauthorization vote did NOT take place before Thanksgiving. While neither the House or Senate version is ideal, the Senate version is better.  The conference committee stripped protections in that version.  Links to the report are here. 

November 17, John Sununu and two other Republican senators joined Russ Feingold(the only Senator who voted against the original Patriot act in October 2001) and others in opposing  the conference committee report.  It’s time to contact Congress (again and again) to tell them to support the Senate version of the bill.

November 18,  Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Spector (R-Pa.) joined Friday  critics at a news conferenceto reject the  proposed agreement, despite White House pressure to pass the measure before adjourning for Thanksgiving. 

My view is that the Patriot Act needs further analysis and some revision from what is in the proposed conference report at the present time.

 The statute expires Dec. 31, and pressure is building on Congress to act.
   

Here are talking points from the ALA: 

1. Support efforts to change the language of the Patriot Act conference report to reflect these concerns: 
 
2. The current draft has 7-year sunsets– We want a 4-year sunset that will make it possible to correct an abuse of Section 215 at an earlier date.
 
3. The current draft requires that the FBI need only assert facts “relevant” to a general terrorist investigation to get an order from a secret FISA court for records.  This is a lower and less protective standard than the Senate version of the bill that required the FBI to demonstrate a connection between the records sought and a terrorist organization or a suspected terrorist. We want the Senate language.
 
4. The current draft does not provide a meaningful ability to challenge an NSL or order of the FISA court. 
 
5.  The current draft does not provide meaningful safeguards for patron privacy. The Senate language is more protective.
 
6. Tell the PATRIOT conferees that you want the conference report to reflect the points above.
 
7. Thank you for supporting the civil liberties of library patrons.

Please get as many people as you can to be saying the same thing during this window of opportunity. Call your legislator’s local office and make an appointment to see them during this recess.  If we hear that they will be having a public meeting in your district we will alert you to this through your state association.  

.House conferees: 
Andrews; Baca; Bean;  Bishop (UT); Cardin; Case; Clyburn; Cubin;
Duncan; Ehlers Emanuel; Frank; Pelosi; Delahunt; Ford; Garrett; Harris; Harman; Higgins; Hoekstra;  Hoyer; Holt; Issa; Johnson (IL); Jones;  Kingston; LaHood; Lantos; Leach Lewis (CA); Lipinski; Mack, Manzullo, Meehan; Menendez; Musgrave; Ney; Pallone; Price (GA); Poe; Pomeroy; Rehberg; Rohrabacher,  Ruppersberger; Schakowsky;  Schiff; Sherman; Smith (WA); Smith (NJ); Strickland; Schwartz(PA);Spratt; Tauscher; Weiner; Whitfield; Westmoreland;Young (AK);
 
Senate conferees:
Bingaman; Boxer; Brownback; Byrd; Cantwell; Chafee; Coburn; Conrad; Corzine; Clinton; Dorgan; Gregg; Harkin;Jeffords; Johnson; Lautenberg; Nelson (FL); Obama; Harry Reid; Jack Reid; Salazar; Snowe; Voinovich; Wyden

Entry for November 23, 2005

November 23, 2005

Today in The Washington Post’s “Reliable Source” 

Oh, we’re back in Campaign 2004! As CNN carried Dick Cheney’s American Enterprise Institute speech Monday, a large black “X” flashed a few times over the veep’s face at split-second intervals for a kind of trippy subliminal effect. (Missed it? That’s what Matt Drudge is for!) Conservative bloggers went berserk yesterday, and the news network rushed out a statement citing a “momentary glitch” with a “computer place saver” that “we obviously regret.”

Entry for November 22, 2005

November 22, 2005

Here’s a draft of my story for the Free Press. Will do links when I’ve got something more than a modem connection with long distance charges.

On October 11, 2002, 77 senators and 296 representatives voted to give President George W. Bush unilateral authority to invade Iraq. Now, Act for Change, a Working Assets telephone company project, is circulating a petition asking those members of Congress if, “knowing what you know now…[w]ould you have voted differently?” It elaborates, “if you knew that: there were no weapons of mass destruction; that the White House ignored the Pentagon’s estimates about the number of troops needed; that the White House fired its chief economist for warning that a war could cost over $100 billion; many of the claims of weapons of mass destruction came from a convicted bank felon with close ties to the Iranian theocracy?” As of 1 p.m. on November 21, over 32,000 had signed on with a goal set for 50,000 signatures by December 31.

The petition follows last month’s fraying of support for the administration’s Iraq policy. On October 19 retired army colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff for Colin Powell’s State Department, spoke at New America Foundation. He dramatically described a “cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.”.

Then retired Air Force General Brent Scowcroft, national advisor to George H.W. Bush, talked about the use of force in Iraq with New Yorker reporter Jeffrey Goldberg for his October 31 story. “America is suffering from the consequences of [a] brand of revolutionary utopianism. You encourage democracy over time, with assistance and aid, the traditional way. Not how the neocons do it.”

Even Virginia Senator John Warner amended a spending bill November 15 to demand regular reports from the White House regarding the course of the conflict and the progress of Iraqi forces in securing their country. The amendment passed 79 to 19, as a substitute to Senator Carl Levin’s measure requiring a timetable for withdrawal, which itself had garnered 40 votes.

Support for the Iraq quagmire most spectacularly unraveled, however, on November 17, when the hawkish former marine, Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa), called a press conference to demand the removal of U.S. troops.

Murtha termed Bush’s war “a flawed policy wrapped in illusion,” and said the continued presence of our troops in Iraq is “uniting the enemy against us.”

He swiped at Cheney and Bush, who had accused critics of playing politics during a war. “I like guys who’ve never been there who criticize us who’ve been there; I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and [who’ve] never been there and sent people to war and then don’t like to hear suggestions [about]…what may need to be done.”

Murtha’s House Joint Resolution 73 calls for the removal of troops “as soon as possible” because “military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the people of Iraq, or the Persian Gulf Region, which were cited in Public Law 107-243 as justification for undertaking such action“.

It complains that “Congress and the American people have not been shown clear, measurable progress toward … improving security in Iraq or …a stable and improving economy in Iraq, both of which are essential to “promote the emergence of a democratic government”; It argues “additional stabilization in Iraq by U.S. military forces cannot be achieved without the deployment of hundreds of thousands of additional U.S. troops, which in turn cannot be achieved without a military draft” and that “U.S. forces have become the target of the insurgency“.

The measure enumerates how “according to recent polls, over 80 percent of the Iraqi people want U.S. forces out of Iraq” and “that 45 percent of the Iraqi people feel that attacks on U.S. forces are justified“. It mandates the U.S. to “pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.”

That night Bush spokesman Scott McClellan lashed out, calling it “baffling that [Murtha] is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party.”

House republicans, more inclined than those in the Senate to let the administration have its way, launched an offensive against Murtha’s resolution. Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter of California introduced a resolution calling for immediate withdrawal of troops, saying it was a fair interpretation of Murtha’s intent.

The measure failed 403 to 3, with Murtha criticizing Hunter’s resolution as not what “I envisioned” because it avoids a broader debate of the war. “The American people are way ahead of us” in wanting a strategy to bring the troops home, he added. “It’s easy to sit in your air-conditioned offices and send them into battle.”

The recipient of a bronze star and two purple hearts in Vietnam, Murtha remained unintimidated by the Bush rhetoric. “You can’t spin this. You’ve got to have a real solution,” Murtha said. “This is not a war of words, this is a war.”

Editor’s note, Free Press readers who wish to add their names to the Work for Change petition can find it at

http://www.workingforchange.com/activism/petition.cfm?itemid=19754/. For a link to email your representative and read about the status of Murtha’s H. J. Resolution 73, see the Library of Congress’s site, http://thomas.loc.gov/.

Entry for November 21, 2005

November 22, 2005

Visited Uncle Ben at Cherrydale.  An asian “gentleman” who had crudeely propositioned Carol stared singing.  We asked Ben what do you think?  H’s review, “Awful!”  Good thing he doesn’t get paid by the word.  Trader Joe’s has kosher turkey, so I guess ‘I’m cooking. 

Entry for November 20, 2005

November 22, 2005

Dave had spent the night on our couch so he wouldn’t have to drive home to West Virginia.  When he took me back to my car in Blacksburg we had brunch at Gillies.  My sister Carol was ready by 3:30 to drive up to Mom’s in Springfield for a Thanksgiving week visit.