Sunday, June 26, 2011

Truest statement of the week

I would -- I would argue that it's not so much the transition home as it is the disconnect. This country isn't at war. The service members are at war. And when service members get home and they realize that there's no one in this entire country that understands that and understands what they've gone through and wants to listen to them, when the media is continually talking about American Idol or some other pop issue instead of dealing with the actual issues -- that we are conducting two occupations currently, that we are conducting operations in Pakistan, that we are conducting operations in Libya and Yemen. We have service members on the ground in all of these countries and those service members are experiencing things and they are doing it as they believe on behalf of their country and their country doesn't even know it. The country doesn't even know what we do. And then we get home. And then there's nothing. There's no way to connect that. And that disconnect, that's the crime and that's the PTSD. That's-that's all of the trauma right there -- is the inability to understand what happened and why no one else understands. In fact, that's actually the definition of trauma: It's an experience that you haven't processed and therefore you can't communicate it. You keep rewinding it in your head. You keep trying to relive it over and over and over again which is why you have nightmares, why you have dreams, why you have anxiety. But you can't because you never actually experienced it the first time. And when you get home, there's no one that's experienced these wars. And that's -- that's where the trauma exists.

-- Aaron Hughes, Iraq Veterans Against the War appearing on KOOP's Rag Radio which IVAW has posted the audio to.

Truest statement of the week II

"So from Janis [Joplin] I learned that to make it as a female musician in a man’s world is gonna be tough and you need to keep your head held high. From Jimi [Hendrix] I learned grace and humility."

-- Stevie Nicks to Helen Brown (Telegraph of London).

Truest statement of the week III

Ah yes, those glorious days of "unity" – when no one, save a brave few, dared stand up against the war hysteria. When anyone who looked vaguely Muslim was attacked in the streets. United in hatred and fear — what a grotesque nostalgia for our "progressive" president to give voice to! Like his predecessor, Obama has often praised this mystic post-9/11"unity," including twice in this speech, and therein lies the mark of the tyrant, who always welcomes the unthinking submission to authority wartime brings.

This war-narrative is getting threadbare, however, and has some significant gaps: suddenly, we are told that, seemingly out of nowhere, "our focus shifted," and "a second war was launched" – apparently all by itself, by means of spontaneous combustion. One hardly expects him to mention of the key role played by his own party, which stood by and cowered – or cheered – as George W. Bush led the nation down into the quagmire, banners flying. But the distancing act – "by the time I took office" – is a little too glib: Bush gets all the blame for Iraq, and the decision to escalate the Afghan war is pushed off on "our military commanders." But isn’t Obama the commander-in-chief?

Our president, a prisoner of history, bravely confronts circumstances shaped by others. He praises himself for making "one of the most difficult decisions I’ve made as President," the launching of the "surge" in which 30,000 more troops were sent to the supposedly neglected Afghan front. "We set clear objectives," he avers, and yet our ultimate goal was – and still is – obscured in murk: does anyone, including the President, know what victory looks like?

-- Justin Raimondo, "Obama Soldiers On" (

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another Sunday. We're publishing at what's becoming our usual time.

First up, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

It was a long edition. A Green piece and two Iraq pieces bit the dust along with a music piece and one on Barack's speech.

What did we come up with?

This is Aaron Hughes and we all agreed on this. We had a problem with three we wanted to note on Barack's speech last week. We had planned to fold those into a piece on the speech. The mistake we made was in doing it as a group effort. We should have let Ava and C.I. tackle it by themselves. Instead we had a mishmash that was unreadable.
But we all agreed Stevie Nicks had a truest and we are supposed to be following the arts as well as politics.

But we ended up going with three statements because we really needed something on the speech. So this is Justin Raimondo who did one of the strongest commentaries on Barack's bad speech.

We were doing a piece on marriage equality that didn't work and we were taking a break. I grabbed Isaiah's sketch pad just because it was there (Isaiah was visiting this week at C.I.'s place) and saw this.

for jim's note

It really turned the idea that wasn't working into an editorial with several more points to make. C.I. was adament that it go up first at The Common Ills so that Isaiah didn't have to do a second comic. We were all in agreement with that.

Ava and C.I. love Fran and when everyone wanted to take a sleep break, they had just finished this piece. They agreed. Which is surprising. Or was until I read it. I want to note that Ava and C.I. don't play favorites. They critiqued Fran's new show strongly despite their feelings for Fran. That's what real critics do. Even if it depresses them to do so. Ava and C.I. also edited my title. I had titled their piece "She got custody of all the laughs." They argued it should be "She got custody of the laughs" because that's how you talk -- not "all." They were right.

If you're on a data plan on your cell phone or laptop (and there is talk of putting those into effect for all internet traffic), you can't afford to be streaming things you didn't want to stream. ABC News' pages are automatically starting to stream a commercial and then a news video. They need to stop that or they need to start picking up your data plan fee.

Michael Ratner's powerful commentary would have stood out as a radio moment any week.

Katty Kay. Erasing Iraq and all the destruction she helped foster.

Andrew Cuomo's statement about New York's marriage equality.

A repost from Great Britain's Socialist Worker.

A repost from Workers World.

As I noted at the top, we lost two Iraq pieces we had planned. That left us with only one so I was able to badger C.I. into letting us use this.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: We need a leader

The 'fierce advocate' for gay rights can't bring himself to support marriage equality. But don't worry, America, he's views are "evolving."

let someone else be the leader

[Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Let Someone Else Be A Leader."]


He has to 'evolve' to equality? He's not already on board with that?

This is the man who gave a big F-YOU to the LGBT community in 2007 by putting 'ex-gay' Donnie McClurkin on stage. And, as Kevin Alexander Gray and Marshall Derks (Black Agenda Report) explained, it wasn't just one homophobe put on stage by Barack at that event: "The gay bashing headliners included Reverends Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker, Pentecostal pastor of Brooklyn mega-church, the Love Fellowship Tabernacle and Mary Mary (a sister act duo)."

What exactly has Barack Obama done for the LGBT community?

A lot of whores love to insist he's done amazing things. He's not done a damn thing. He gets credit for repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell . . . except it hasn't been repealed yet. It hasn't been repealed yet. Barack made that a campaign promise and then went on to dither and ignore it. Under criticism, he finally made a few moves. February 2, 2010, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Adm Mike Mullen appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates: Last week, during the State of the Union address, the president announced that he will work with Congress this year to repeal the law known as Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He subsequently directed the Department of Defense to begin the preparations necessary for a repeal of the current laws and policy. I fully support the president's decision. The question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we must -- how we best prepare for it. [. . .] To ensure that the department is prepared should the law be changed, and working in close consultation with Adm Mullen, I have appointed a high-level working group within the department that will immediately begin a review of the issues associated with properly implementing a repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. The mandate of this working group is to thorougly, objectively and methodically examine all aspects of this question and produce its finding and recommendations in the form of an implementation plan by the end of this calendar year.

"The end of this calendar year" would have been December 2010. It's June 2011 and Don't Ask Don't Tell still hasn't been repealed.

That year-long study was seen by many as a delaying tactic. When November 2010 rolled around, and suddenly Democrats no longer controlled the House of Representatives, Congress finally felt a rush to act. December 18, 2010 (a Saturday!), the Senate took their vote. We'll note this from Senator Joe Lieerman's office:

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Senate, by a vote of 65-31, today passed legislation that will repeal the discriminatory policy barring homosexuals from serving openly in the military. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the lead sponsor of the "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal Act of 2010," issued the following statement:
"Repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is the right thing to do whether you're liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, or independent. It is the right thing to do for our military and the right thing to do for our country. The sixty-five Senators who voted to correct this injustice showed that we're still able to come together in a bipartisan way to fight for America's best interests."

And with the House of Representatives having also passed it, done deal, right? A done deal doesn't require the following.

US House Rep Niki Tsongas: But just to reiterate why we moved to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Since 1993, more than 14,000 gay service members have been discharged under the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. And of these discharges, nearly 1,000 were specialists with vital mission critical skills -- Arab linguists, for example. We hear those figures over and over again. I have always believed that this policy actually threatens the readiness of our military by discharging hundreds of military personnel critical to our national security and shutting the door to thousands more. And it's also unconscionable to maintain a policy when at least 24 other countries including allies such as Great Britain, Australia, Canada and Israel already allow open service by lesbian and gay service members. And that's why I've always strongly supported repeal of this policy. And I concur wholeheartedly with Adm Mike Mullen's distinguished leadership about this issue, his assessment when he stated in his testimony before the Armed Services Committee last year that this policy "forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens." Undermining a basic tenet of military service which is to be honest.

That was Tsongas reminding her Republican colleagues (and at least one Democratic one) on the US House Armed Services Committee April 1st what was what. And she was required to do that because the Republicans who now control the Committee were making it clear that they were not in agreement with repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. In the Senate, John McCain is gearing up for major opposition to the repeal.

Hopefully, repeal is coming but let's not pretend it's already arrived.

Members of the Cult of St. Barack insist that Barack's done so much more than Bill Clinton. Let's forget for a moment that the claim is false and let's instead note that when Bill Clinton tried to end expulsions of gays and lesbians from the military, when he fought for them to serve openly, not only was he opposed by Colin Powell and many other sex fiends, he was also taking a position that was controversial. He did so because it was the right thing.

Barack Obama shows up in the White House eight years after Bill's out and when the majority of the country favors marriage equality and allowing all Americans with a desire to serve to serve in the military. He's not a leader. Even now when the public supports these changes, Barack can't lead.

TV: She got custody of the laughs

We love Fran Drescher. Which is why Happily Divorced disappoints us.


Fran's new sitcom airs on TV Land (streams at TV Land and at Hulu) and is entitled Happily Divorced. A number of friends have asked us, "Did Fran really not know her husband was gay?" See, the new series is based loosely on her own life and her TV ex-husband, like her real life ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobson, is gay. Did Fran (real life Fran) really not know?

Oh, kids, not only did she not know she wrote a book (Enter Whining) that all but screamed "MY HUSBAND IS GAY AND I DON'T KNOW IT!!!" on nearly every other page. For example, page four about their jobs in high school:

Peter quit and decided to try his skills at Baskin-Robbins, but he was fired because he was too creative. He use to take the straws out of the wrappers to put them in the whipped cream of an ice cream soda to give it a little style. Some panache. Something to look at.

Happily Divorced
opened with Fran (her character's name is Fran also) in bed with husband Peter (John Michael Higgins) where he confesses that he's gay. It's in that scene that the show makes clear it may not recover.

Some people feel uncomfortable watching the show. It's not homophobic and Fran's own reputation for embracing full equality for all is well known. But there's a problem and they can't put their finger on it. Like the character Fran or the actress, they're missing the obvious.

The problem is Higgins.

John Michael Higgins plays shy, retiring types. In fact, "reticent" probably best captures his presence. He can be very good such as in Christopher Guest's classic films A Mighty Wind, Best In Show and For Your Consideration. If he were playing "Mr. Mooney" to Fran's "Lucy Carmichael," it might work. But he's playing Fran's ex-husband whom she's angry with. And he's gay. So her barbs and snap are hitting weak Higgins. What's next? An episode where Fran beats up on the elderly?

It's not that the writers don't give Higgins lines to say. Fran's not continually pelting him with insults. But his energy level is so low and Fran's is so high that their exchanges are uncomfortable.

Since they won't recast the role of Peter, the smartest thing the show can do is start taking the barbs Fran is supposed to hurl at Peter and giving at least half of them to Peter so that he's making comments about himself. That would do so much to fix the show.

All the other elements work. Rita Moreno as Fran's mother (Dori) works -- and we love Rita but who would have thought she could pull off that? Valente Rodriguez is doing a wonderful job as Cesar. And Tichinia Arnold (Everybody Hates Chris, Martin) is everything she needs to be as Fran's best friend Judi. She's everything and more and, in fact, the relationship Judi has with Peter is the sort people need to see between Fran and Peter.

There seems to be some belief that if every script doesn't repeatedly note that Fran and Peter divorced because he's gay, the audience will be confused. But each episode features a theme song that goes over all of this. It's as if every episode of The Nanny had included multiple jokes about Fran working at a bridal shop in Flushing Queens -- forgetting that this had already been covered at the star in the animated opening.

Fran developed this show but hadn't planned to play the lead. If she had cast someone else in the role, we think she would have seen the problem in rehearsals. Instead, she's the actress in the moment and Fran the producer is missing the problem while, we're guessing, Peter Marc Jacobson is too close to the issues to speak up.

The reality is that when the pilot was filmed, the proper move would have been to have reviewed it and come to the conclusion that Higgins wasn't going to work in the role. Truthfully, he's an 80s TV gay man. That is his type. As Peter, he gives off this kind-of-gay-maybe-not-I-can't-tell vibe. Will & Grace imploded that type and gave us Will as leading man and Jack as sexpot. So Higgins playing the a-sexual gay is something of a set-back.

But they didn't make the needed decision. That's too bad because every other element of the show works and we'd love to see a second, third, fourth, fifth season. But when Fran starts again going to the well on how their marriage ended, it's as if they're zooming in for a close up as she's kicking a defenseless puppy to the ground.

Tech: Time to boycott ABC News

Today, you're on DSL, broadband or dial-up, and you're surfing the net and paying whatever fee you have for each month that you use the net. So it may not seem like a big deal to some of you what's happening with ABC News.

But today there are also people using WiFi on their laptops, with a router possibly, and maybe they have unlimited WiFi each month or maybe, as with many cell phone plans (see AT&T's 'data plan') for surfing online, you're limited to the amount you can receive and transfer without paying additional costs.

What does that have to do with ABC News?

If you go to a CBS News story or NBC News story, you will often find video on the page to a televised report. And, if you want to watch it, you can click on play and it will start streaming.

Not so with ABC News, a news site which also provides "pop up" ads.


That screen snap is from ABC News' home page. Every one of those "latest headlines," when you click on them takes you to a text story that ABC pairs with a video (sometimes about the same story, sometimes not) which immediately begins streaming. Well, immediately after their commercial stops streaming.

You didn't ask to watch a video. You clicked on the links to a news story. But that's ABC News is conducting itself.

It makes a big difference if you are on a plan where you pay for the amount of date you pull in.

ABC News needs to stop their videos from playing automatically and leave it up to the web visitor to determine whether or not they should watch a video.

Radio Moment of the Week: The Guantanamo Syndrome

Attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) are the co-hosts of Law and Disorder Radio (which begins airing Mondays on WBAI and around the country on various radio stations throughout the week). Michael Ratner is also co-author with Margaret Ratner Kunstler of the forthcoming Hell No, Your Right To Dissent.

Law and Disorder Radio

Last week, at the top of the radio show, he addressed The Guantanamo Syndrome that has taken over the United States. It was probably the most important radio moment of the week.

Michael Ratner: On Law and Disorder, we've often brought you up to date news on Guantanamo, the so-called war on terror, military commissions -- all that goes with Guantanamo, torture, indefinite detention -- what I would like to call "The Guantanamo Syndrome" or "The American Operation Condor." If you remember, Operation Condor was when Chilean dictator Pinochet went around the world picking up people, torturing them, murdering them and jailing them. We have our own. Let's call it The Guantanamo Syndrome. Right now as we speak, there's a new national authorization defense act going through our wonderful Congress. It's passed the House, it's now in the Senate. This is the yearly bill that basically funds the empire's wars all over the world. And it's always like a Christmas tree and people put in some of the worst provisions you can imagine. And they're continuing to put in more and more ways of expanding The Guantanamo Syndrome. And the main one is one that we've talked about before in a different context or a different statute but it's now about to be amended. People may not recall but the statute that began the War in Afghanistan was called the Authorization to Use Military Force -- the AUMF. It's a very broad statue. It allowed the president on his own to attack any nation-state, person, individual, whatever anywhere in the world who was in any way involved with 9-11 -- peripherally, in any way at all. But it was linked to 9-11. And it's a terrible statute because that's what the president -- whether it was Bush or Obama -- is now using to go after not just Afghanistan, but to go after Pakistan, to go after Yemen. The AUMF is an awful statute as currently written because the president is using that not just for the War in Afghanistan, which it was originally written for, but the war in Pakistan, the war in Yemen, probably war in North Africa, detention of people he can pick up anywhere in the world, etc. So it's an awful statute. As broad as it is, and as bad as it is and as much authority as it gives the president to make war anywhere in the world without going back to Congress, without going to the American people, it's about to get worse. The House of Representatives just made it worse and the question is whether the Senate will continue with leaving it in the statute as it is. As I said, the old AMUF allowed attacks on any nation-state, etc., involved in 9-11, anywhere in the world. This one takes out any link with 9-11. It essentially says that anyone who's a threat to the United States, involved in an act of terrorism, whether in the US or abroad, can be subject to an attack by the president -- military attack and detention. So it takes out any link with 9-11 essentially broadening the so-called War on Terror even more than President Bush had done. Now it's interesting. The Obama administration says this is unnecessary and I wouldn't say that they're dead against it, but they'd rather not have it in there. And it's not that they're being so wonderful about this. It's just that they're already going way beyond the current AMUF in attacking anybody in the world. So they're essentially saying, "Don't put it in writing and make a red flag out of it, let's keep it away." So they're expanding war powers. So if you look at the American empire as one that is now sustained by war, some 771 military bases plus the power in one person -- the president -- to attack anywhere in the world, you're talking about an empire that's built on tanks, aircraft carriers and the Pentagon and war. And it's not going to be any good going forward. If there's any characteristic of this empire that seems out there and up front right now, it's that this is an empire of war. The National Defense Authorization Act also has some special provisions about Guantanamo. I won't go through all the details but basically we've already said on this show, Guantanamo is becoming a permanent aspect of the detention system in this world or in this country. It's open now forever, it seems. there's laws that say you can't bring people to the US for trial. There's preventative detentions and military commissions. This National Authorization Detention Act -- hard to believe -- but makes those provisions even worse. It now says that any non-citizen held by the US military -- any non U.S. citizen held by the US military in a foreign country cannot be brought to the United States. Not just people in Guantanamo can't be brought here but people in any foreign country. So if someone's picked up -- as they have been in the past -- for like bombing the USS Cole or something -- they can no longer be brought to the United States for trial even though the Cole people were brought to the US for trial -- or at least some of them. That means they have to be tried in the so-called military commissions or rum trials, trials that are completely no good for anything. A pretty amazing bill basically saying "No more Constitutional courts, let's just try these people in some court we set up somewhere in the world." Very, very bad provision. It also says that any non-US citizen in the United States who's involved in a terrorist attack cannot be tried in a regular US federal court but must be tried in a military commission. So there you go. If you thought we were moving towards fascism in this country -- at least certain aspects of it -- there we see it -- open and notorious. Perhaps we'll be lucky and these three provisions that I've talked about -- the broadening of the war, the prohibition on bringing anybody from any foreign country to the United States for trial, and the prohibition on trying any alleged US terrorists non-citizen in the United States in a regular court -- we're hopeful that those three provisions won't pass. But they've passed the House already and it's not clear to me that they won't go through the Senate. So it's not getting better, it's getting worse and worse and worse.

The Unrepentant War Whore

Poor Katty Kay, on a reposted BBC page where posters otherwise glorify her (not-so-hot) body in graphic detail, a stray ray of sunshine peaks through: "Katty Kay neocon stupid bitch," wrote Harj2009 on June 24, 2011 and 1:44 am.

i ugly katty

A page that documents the 'career' of Katty notes how she ushered in a right-wing tilt at BBC, "Mishal Husain, who had been reporting facts which contradicted the news spin shilled by American corporate news media, was replaced by right wing conservative pundit Katty Kay. Katty Kay pushes right-wing talking points, does not report on anything critical of the Bush and Blair governments, features right-wing pundits as guests, and herself appears as a guest on right-wing roundtable discussion shows along with other right-wing pundits."

And this is one of the people who is rewarded by getting to be a substitute host on The Diane Rehm Show. Katty Kay has very little to offer.

Especially, now that the Iraq War is underway, anything on Iraq. On Friday's 'international' hour, Katty Kay managed to ignore Iraq for the entire hour. This despite the fact that one day last week saw 27 people killed in multiple bombings in Diwaniya and 40 were killed in Baghdad.

She couldn't discuss Iraq even when Michael Hirsh (National Journal) managed to briefly interject it.

She couldn't discuss it even when discussing the turmoil in Syria as she fretted over it's neighbors . . . but forgetting Iraq. Iraq borders Syria. Iran doesn't. Katty mentioned Iran but 'forgot' Iraq.

'Forgetting' Iraq is very important for those who sold the illegal war. Remembering and acknowledging might prevent their chances of selling other wars.

So Katty stays silent and NPR and Diane Rehm are happy to assist her.

Historic moment

A press release from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's office on a historic moment:

Andrew M. Cuomo - Governor

Governor Cuomo Announces Passage of Marriage Equality Act

Printer-friendly version
Albany, NY (June 24, 2011)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced passage of the Marriage Equality Act, granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry under the law, as well as hundreds of rights, benefits, and protections that have been limited to married couples of the opposite sex.

"New York has finally torn down the barrier that has prevented same-sex couples from exercising the freedom to marry and from receiving the fundamental protections that so many couples and families take for granted," Governor Cuomo said. "With the world watching, the Legislature, by a bipartisan vote, has said that all New Yorkers are equal under the law. With this vote, marriage equality will become a reality in our state, delivering long overdue fairness and legal security to thousands of New Yorkers."

"I commend Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Minority Leader John Sampson for their leadership and Senator Tom Duane for his lifetime commitment to fighting for equality for all New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo continued. "I also thank Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell for ushering this measure through their chamber."

The Marriage Equality Act amends New York's Domestic Relations Law to state:

  • A marriage that is otherwise valid shall be valid regardless of whether the parties to the marriage are of the same or different sex
  • No government treatment or legal status, effect, right, benefit, privilege, protection or responsibility relating to marriage shall differ based on the parties to the marriage being the same sex or a different sex
  • No application for a marriage license shall be denied on the ground that the parties are of the same or a different sex

The Marriage Equality Act was amended to include protections for religious organizations. The Act states that no religious entity, benevolent organization or not-for-profit corporation that is operated, supervised or controlled by a religious entity, or their employees can be required to perform marriage ceremonies or provide their facilities for marriage ceremonies, consistent with their religious principles. In addition, religious entities will not be subject to any legal action for refusing marriage ceremonies. The Act will grant equal access to the government-created legal institution of civil marriage while leaving the religious institution of marriage to its own separate and fully autonomous sphere. Additionally, the Act was amended to include a clause that states that if any part is deemed invalid through the judicial process and after all appeals in the courts, the entire Act would be considered invalid.

The Act was made a reality thanks largely to New Yorkers United for Marriage, a coalition of leading New York LGBT rights organizations who have fought so that all couples in New York have the freedom to marry. The partners include Empire State Pride Agenda, Freedom to Marry, Human Rights Campaign, Marriage Equality New York, and Log Cabin Republicans.


HIV: why profit comes before treatment (GBSW)

From Great Britain's Socialist Worker:

HIV: why profit comes before treatment

comment on article | email | print
Share on: Delicious | Digg | reddit | Facebook | StumbleUpon

by Noel Halifax

The second in our series on HIV/Aids looks at battles over medicines

There was an initial panic that HIV/Aids would cause a pandemic on the scale of the 14th century Black Death.

This began to subside when it became clear that the HIV virus wasn’t easily transmitted.

Science overcame irrationality and the search for a cure or vaccine began.

But the development of Aids drugs exposes the rot of capitalism.

It is a system that, despite enormous capacity and wealth, puts profit before people’s health.

In 1980 a worldwide research programme was launched to find a cure.

This was dominated by a race between French and US research teams as to who could first identify and name the virus.

They withheld research from each other because they knew that, in a world of privatised medical research, patents and profits would go to the victors.

After a fight, the US got most of the patents and the profits.

Drug patents give the holder exclusive rights to make and sell the drugs.

This is despite the fact that they can be manufactured at a tiny proportion of the price they are sold for.

From the mid-1990s a number of drugs were developed that could keep the virus at bay for years.

But still there was no cure.

The brutal truth is that there is less profit to be made from a cure than there is from producing medicine that keep the patient alive, but dependent on the drugs.

The response of right wing politicians to

HIV/Aids was to scapegoat LGBT people.

They launched a vicious attack on the gains of the 1960s and 1970s.

This formed part of a general attack on the left.

Aids had a devastating impact. Many of the best activists of the gay rights movement died.

It put LGBT people and sufferers of HIV/Aids on the back foot and made the movement for liberation more defensive.

A drop in the level of general struggle across society exacerbated this.

Many activists retreated into their own community—a new form of “identity politics”. This divided LGBT activists off from the rest of society.


In most cities, clubs, bars and areas owned and run by LGBT people were set up, and the “pink economy” emerged.

The movement had retreated from protests on the streets.

But the slow pace of treatment and support, and the bigoted response to HIV/Aids, provoked a fightback.

In the US, president Ronald Reagan refused to fund research, treatment and support for people with HIV/Aids.

A US group called Act-Up (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power) was formed in 1987 as a result.

It used direct action to campaign against the drug companies and the government.

In March 1989, activists invaded Wall Street over the price of the one Aids drug.

They also shut down the Food and Drug Administration for a day that same year—with the largest demonstration since the Vietnam war.

Activists held “die-ins” across the country, promoting safe sex and highlighting homophobia. And, lacking the equivalent of Britain’s NHS, they supported people with Aids with an informal welfare system.

The movement spread to Britain, but with less of an impact.

Here the NHS provided HIV treatment for free.

And a widespread safe sex campaign helped tackle the spread of the virus and open up a discussion about sex.

But around the world the virus was spreading.

In the last decade it has become a critical issue across the Global South. A combination of poverty, lack of adequate health care and the presence of a life-threatening virus has been disastrous.

Around 22.5 million people were living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa at the end of 2009.

And, an estimated 1.3 million Africans died from Aids in 2009.

People with HIV/Aids in poor nations are battling US drug companies that have refused to waive patents to allow affordable drugs to be developed.

Brazil defied US threats and produced its own HIV drugs in 2001.

The drug companies capitulated—and reduced their prices by over half.

That same year, the UNHCR, the United Nations’ refugee agency, affirmed access to Aids drugs as a human right.

It was passed unanimously with one exception—the US abstained.

In my next column I will look at the current status of HIV/Aids across the globe, and the battle for access to drugs and for research shaped by need, not profit.

Also in the Aids then and now series:

The birth of the ‘gay plague’ myth

© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.

Rallies support activists targeted by FBI (WW)

From Workers World:

Rallies support activists targeted by FBI


Social justice activists held a militant protest in front of the Alhambra Court House in Los Angeles County June 16 at the hearing for Carlos Montes. The Chicano activist faces charges that arose from a 5 a.m. raid by Los Angeles County sheriffs and the FBI on May 17.

Mirroring recent FBI raids against anti-war and solidarity activists in the Midwest, political documents, computers and cell phones were confiscated from Montes, a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. FRSO has been the primary target of the FBI raids for participating in legal international solidarity actions.

International Action Center organizer Scott Scheffer, who attended the hearing, told Workers World: “We could hear the protest outside loud and clear and it seemed that the cops and judge were trying to appear to be extra nice, asking Carlos if he needed anything and saying they don’t want any problems and just wanted to move things along smoothly.”

In spite of the friendly tone by the court staff, Montes now faces six additional felony charges. He received a court continuance for July 7.

When Montes came out of the court, he was greeted with chants to drop the charges and cheers of admiration. He told supporters and the media: “They took documents going back 40 years involving the Chicano movement, the immigrant rights movement and more. Now they are trying to throw the book at me. But I’m smiling because I see you all here.”

Montes explained that when he asked for copies of their charges, the district attorney at first refused, but was forced to relinquish redacted copies, per instructions from the judge.

“This is part of the attacks nationally by the FBI in which my name was mentioned in their warrants. This is a political attack against our strong stand denouncing U.S. warmongering and intervention in Colombia, Mexico and against the U.S. support of the Israeli government that is oppressing Palestinian people.

“July 7 at 9 a.m. we’ll be here again — we must keep the pressure on Eric Holder and the grand jury, call him and sign the online petition,” Montes said.


Chants of “Solidarity is not a crime, from Colombia to Palestine” reverberated off towering federal building walls in the Oakland, Calif., City Center during rush hour on June 16.

More than 14 demonstrations were held across the country to protest the ongoing grand jury witchhunt against solidarity activist communities in this country. Today’s protests marked the first court appearance of subpoenaed Chicano activist Carlos Montes in Los Angeles.

“The FBI and the Department of Justice have now brought this attack home to California with the arrest of Carlos, and we will not tolerate being bullied into silence by the federal government,” said Corina Pedraza, a member of the Bay Area Committee to Stop FBI Repression, which organized today’s demonstration. “We will protest and continue to speak out for our rights to organize,” Pedraza added.

The FBI began its latest blatant harassment of social justice activists in September 2010, when it raided the homes of seven Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul activists and the offices of the Minneapolis- St. Paul Anti-War Committee. After seizing a voluminous amount of books, computers, personal papers, newspapers and even children’s art, 23 activists were subpoenaed and called before the grand jury.

Montes, a member of Freedom Socialist Road Organization and a long-time activist for immigrant rights and Chicano liberation in Southern California, was the most recent victim of an early-morning SWAT team raid by armed policemen on May 17.

Monadel Herzallah of the U.S. Palestinian Communities Network charged that the FBI is leading an “attack on the Arab and Muslim community. We are here today to support Carlos Montes and to say that we won’t be used as scapegoats to crush civil rights movements for justice.”

Richard Brown of the San Francisco 8, a group of ex-Black Panther Party members who were targeted by the FBI and grand jury for their anti-racist organizing, challenged the crowd to keep organizing to fight repression. “Never cooperate with the FBI,” Brown stated.

The Bay Area Committee to Stop FBI Repression is organizing community meetings and other events in support of all the subpoenaed activists and against continued FBI harassment of political movements. For more information, go to www.


As part of the national day of solidarity with Carlos Montes and the other 23 international solidarity activists raided by the FBI since September 2010, protesters came out to Milwaukee’s Federal Courthouse June 16. Chants included, “Stop the grand juries,” and, “From Colombia to Palestine: Solidarity is not a crime.” Members of SDS Milwaukee, Committee To Stop FBI Repression, International Action Center, Latin American Solidarity Committee, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Milwaukee Graduate Assistants Association-AFT, Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement, Welfare Warriors and Workers World Party participated.

C.I. Schools The New York Times On Iraq

C.I. was opposed to this being reprinted here. Why? "Who else is being reprinted?" Fine, I (Jim) said. But one of our Iraq features isn't making the cut so I asked again and argued that we needed the reprint for Iraq coverage here. At which point C.I. agreed.

Did NYT get 'creative' to help Nouri?

Michael S. Schmidt and Tim Arrango (New York Times) have a confusing article which opens, "Fifteen months after an election that was supposed to lay the groundwork for Iraq's future, the government remains virtually paralyzed by a clash between the country’s two most powerful politicians, who refuse to speak to each other." Are they simplifying for an audience they assume doesn't follow what's going on in Iraq or are they simplifying to mislead?

Nouri al-Maliki and Ayad Allawi have gone through periods in the last months where they didn't speak to one another and periods where they did. They currently don't. And let's look at why.

You and I both want to be prime minister. Your group ends up with more votes than mine in the elections. Per the Constitution, you are supposed to be given first crack at forming a Coalition and then named prime minister-designate and form a Cabinet (which requires nominating people and having Parliament approve them). At which point, you will become prime minister.

But I throw a fit and scream and yell and cry for recounts and still won't allow the process to move forward. I'm a big baby for over nine months and so leaders of all the political blocs -- including your bloc and mine -- go to Erbil for a meeting. There it is decided that I will be prime minister but an independent security commission will be created and you will be the head of it.

Following that meeting, I end up prime minister-designate. I never name a full Cabinet but bully and whine my way into being declared "prime minister" despite having failed to meet the Constitutional requirements. Having become prime minister, I now refuse to create the commisssion I promised to in Erbil.

Would you have any desire to talk to me after that? If you didn't, I don't think any sane person could blame you for avoiding me.

In the above scenario, you're Ayad Allawi and I'm Nouri al-Maliki and that is how events unfolded so it's no surprise that Allawi wants nothing to do with Nouri.

In November, Nouri was supposed to be nominating a full Cabinet. The New York Times and others covered for Nouri and pretended that the failure to do so was no big deal. It was a very big deal. And when you start disregarding a country's constitution, don't be surprised when other parts of it fall out. A constitution is supposed to be a country's supreme law of the land.

Nouri's disrespect for the Constitution demonstrates a disrespect for the law.

Can you catch the mistake in this from the Times: "In December, the two politicians, Ayad Allawi, the leader of the Iraqiya bloc, and the country’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, entered into an American-backed power-sharing agreement." The reporters get it correct that the Erbil agreement was "American-backed" but they place that in December. And do so again later in the article, "The power-sharing agreement in December allows . . ." No, November. It was November.

From the November 10, 2010 snapshot:

Leila Fadel (Washington Post) notes the latest rumors that a deal has been reached and explains the expected process: "Legislators are expected to meet Thursday afternoon for only the second time since the inconclusive March 7 election. Under the deal reached Wednesday, the parliament is expected to appoint a speaker from Iraqiya, then name the current Kurdish president, Jalal Talabani, as president. He, in turn, will name Maliki as prime minister. Maliki will then have to put together a cabinet that a simple majority in Iraq's parliament will have to approve." Whomever is named PM-designate -- whenever they're named -- will have 30 days to pull together a cabinet. Nouri's past history of ministers walking out -- as well as his own boasting in April 2006 that he'd put together a cabinet before 30 days -- are forgotten, apparently. Also forgotten is what this says: Elections are meaningless.
If the rumors are true about the make up of the next government and that does come to pass, the message is: "Elections are meaningless, voters stay home." The president and the prime minister remain the same? Only the speaker changes?
They didn't need a national election to change the speaker. Mahmoud Mashadani had been the Speaker and was repeatedly the victim of a disinformation campaign by the US State Dept -- with many in the media enlisting (such as in 2006 when he was in Jordan on business and a certain reporter at a certain daily LIED and said he was in Iraq, hurt and sad and refusing to see anyone -- that lie would have taken hold were it not for the Arab press). He stepped down. When he did so, Iyad Samarrai became the next Speaker and that was done by Parliament, no national elections required. So the message from the 2010 elections appears to be -- if rumors are correct -- that there is no point in voting. Iyad Samarrai got vanished from the narrative. Reporters and 'reporters' like Quil Lawrence (declaring victory for Nouri March 8th, one day after the elections) might have been a little more informed if they'd bothered to pay attention. Mahmoud Mashadani stepped down as Speaker. It took FOUR months for a new speaker to be appointed. And that was in the spring of 2009. Why anyone thought some magical mood enchancer would change things in 2010 is beyond me.
In a bit of classic understatement, an unnamed Iraqi official tells Jane Arraf (Christian Science Monitor), "It looks a lot like the old government." And for that, people were imprisoned this year and died this year?

From the November 11, 2010 snapshot:

An Iraqi journalist tells the BBC today, "I think a lot of people who voted this time round will have hoped for a change, and will be disappointed to see the same people in charge." John Leland, Jack Healy and Steven Lee Myers (New York Times) add, "Iraq's lawmakers took a small step toward forming a government of Thursday evening, hammering out the details of a deal struck one day earlier to end an eight-months political impasse."
March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. The Guardian's editorial board noted in August, "These elections were hailed prematurely by Mr Obama as a success, but everything that has happened since has surely doused that optimism in a cold shower of reality." 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government. In 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. It's eight months and three days and still counting.

Today the KRG website announces:

Baghdad, Iraq ( - Iraq's political leaders yesterday agreed to hold the parliamentary session as scheduled on Thursday and to name an individual for the post of Speaker of the the parliament (Council of Representatives). The Speaker post will go to the Al-Iraqiya bloc, which is headed by former prime minister Ayad Allawi.
During the meeting, which was attended by the leaders of all the winning blocs at President Masoud Barzani's Baghdad headquarters, agreement was reached on two other points: to create a council for strategic policy and to address issues regarding national reconciliation.
President Barzani, who sponsored the three days' round of meetings, stated that today's agreement was a big achievement for Iraqis. He expressed optimism that the next government will be formed soon and that it will be inclusive and representative of all of Iraq's communities.
Martin Chulov (Guardian) reports one hiccup in the process today involved Ayad Allawi who US President Barack Obama phoned asking/pleading that he accept the deal because "his rejection of post would be a vote of no confidence". Ben Lando, Sam Dagher and Margaret Coker (Wall St. Journal) confirm the phone call via two sources and state Allawi will take the post -- newly created -- of chair of the National Council On Higher Policy: "Mr. Obama, in his phone call to Mr. Allawi on Thursday, promised to throw U.S. weight behind the process and guarantee that the council would retain meaningful and legal power, according to the two officials with knowledge of the phone call." So all is well and good and . . . Ooops!!!! Lando, Dagher and Coker file an update, Iraqiya wasn't happy and walked out of the session. Prashant Rao (AFP) reports that "a dispute erupted in the Council of Representatives chamber when the mostly Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc argued that the agreement they had signed on to was not being honoured, prompting the bloc's MPs to storm out. [. . .] Specifically, Iraqiya had called for three of their lawmakers, barred for their alleged ties to Saddam Hussein's Baath party, to be reinstated before voting for a president." As The Economist noted earlier today, "An actual government is not yet in place; last-minute hiccups may yet occur." AP notes, "A parliament vote on the government could still take several weeks, as the factions work out the details of who gets what posts."

From the November 12, 2010 snapshot:

Yesterday, horse trading allowed Iraq's Parliament to elect a Speaker, , and to elect Jalal Talabani (again) to the ceremonial post of president. Despite assurances and claims to US officials that Nouri would be named prime minister-delegate November 20th, Talabani immediately named him and the US government is currently attempting to figure out whether this was due to concern over the Iraqiya walkout or was part of a deliberate effort on the part of Nouri's bloc and the Kurds to deceive their US benefactors. On the horse trading, Nussaibah Younis (Guardian) weighs in:
If Iraqi politics is to continue in this way, we can all sit back and relax -- waiting every five years for the elections that mean nothing, the backstage horse trading in which politicians nakedly vie for personal advantage, and finally the divvying up of power between groups in a way that promises to hamstring the new government before it has even begun.
The 2010 elections gave Iraq's politicians a rare opportunity to take politics in another direction. Together, Allawi and Maliki gained overwhelming support because they spoke of Iraqi unity, reconciliation, and reconstruction. But when it came to forming a government, self-interest won. Neither could bear the thought of not being prime minister, and both were content to drag the process on and on -- waiting to clinch a political advantage while ordinary Iraqis paid with their lives in the escalating violence.
Jalal Talabani named Nouri prime minister-designate. That is not prime minister. Good for Steven Lee Myers (New York Times) who captures this: "Mr. Talabani then formally nominated Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a second term in office, giving him 30 days to form a cabinet of ministers." This is explained in Article 76 of [PDF format warning] the Iraqi Constitution:
First: The President of the Republic shall charge the nominee of the largest
Council of Representatives bloc with the formation of the Council of Ministers
within fifteen days from the date of the election of the President of the Republic.
Second: The Prime Minister-designate shall undertake the naming of the members of his Council of Ministers within a period not to exceed thirty days from the date of his designation.
Third: If the Prime Minister-designate fails to form the Council of Ministers
during the period specified in clause "Second," the President of the Republic shall charge a new nominee for the post of Prime Minister within fifteen days.
Fourth: The Prime Minister-designate shall present the names of his members of the Council of Ministers and the ministerial program to the Council of
Representatives. He is deemed to have gained its confidence upon the approval,
by an absolute majority of the Council of Representatives, of the individual
Ministers and the ministerial program.
Fifth: The President of the Republic shall charge another nominee to form the Council of Ministers within fifteen days in case the Council of Ministers did not win the vote of confidence.
Steven Lee Myers explains, "The long delay in forming a government -- still at least a month away -- frustrated the administration throughout the summer". And he documents some of the efforts by US President Barack Obama himself including phone calls. We've already noted that the US government thought they had a promise regarding the nomination of prime minister-designate coming in on November 20th -- they were either lied to or the walkout changed the dynamics. Eli Lake (Washington Times) emphasizes failed efforts on the part of both Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to get Jalal Talabani to step aside and to do so in order that the (ceremonial) post could be filled by non-Kurd Ayad Allawi. The president's son, Qubad Talabani, confirms to Lake that Barack pressured his father to step aside and states that "the Kurds were disappointed with the United States" over this.Qubad Talabani states, "The Kurds have been the strongest ally and partner of the United States since before the liberation and certainly during it. And for the United States to be leaning on us, as they are now, in effect handpicking the new leaders of Iraq, is not respectful of Iraq's parliamentary system and touches on all of the insecurities of the Kurds, that the United States will once again betray us." What would the Kurds have received if Talabani had stepped aside? Lake reports that Joe Biden promised them both the post of Speaker of the Parliament and the Minister of Oil.

The power-sharing arrangement was in November. Not in December. November.

The two reporters tell us that Nouri and Allawi "have been unable to agree on who should run the Interior and Defense Ministries, the government's two most important departments."

Do they not know that Arabs read the New York Times? (Al Mada often runs reports on the paper, for example. Dar Addustour frequently mentions it.) Do they not realize how ridiculous they look to foreign readers with absurd statements like that?

Iraq security ministries are well reported on in the Arab press. They are three ministries and all remain without a Minister in charge of them: the Interior Ministry, the National Security Ministry and the Defense Ministry.

Three, not two.

And what's the nonsense of blaming Allawi?

Per the Constitution, Nouri was not supposed to have been moved from prime minister-designate to prime minister until he had put together a Cabinet that Parliament had voted in favor of (Parliament has to give thumbs up to each minister). If he was unable to do that in thirty days, that was the end of him -- per the Constitution.

Nouri didn't follow the Constitution. Unable to create a full Cabinet, he named himself 'temporary' head of those three ministries. There's nothing in the Constitution that allows that. And he should have been tossed aside for trying.

But these ministries should have heads at the end of last year. That's all on Nouri. Why the New York Times wants to haul Allawi into this is beyond me. Nouri and only Nouri was supposed to name a Cabinet. He failed. He's failed ever since. That's on him and to try to turn it into anyone else's blame is nonsense. Nouri was prime minister at the time of the March 2010 elections and fought like crazy to ensure he remained prime minister despite not being the people's choice.

He wasn't even the choice of Moqtada al-Sadr's followers, for those who've forgotten. In April 2010, Moqtada held a referendum to figure out who he would support. He said he'd go with whomever his followers picked as their number one choice. From the April 7th snapshot:

Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc won 40 seats in the Parliament. Kadhim Ajrash and Caroline Alexander (Bloomberg News) report that Ibrahim al-Jaafari "won 24 percent of the 428,000 ballots cast in the internal referendum, ahead of al-Sadr's second cousin, Jafar Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, who obtained 23 percent, Sadrist spokesman Salah al-Ubaidi said today in the southern city of Najaf." Al Jazeera notes that Nouri al-Maliki received 10% of the vote and Ayad Allawi 9%.

Tim Arango and Michael Schmidt's story today insists, "But at the first session of Parliament, the agreement unraveled when Mr. Maliki appointed himself as the minister of both interior and defense, claiming that because of the country’s tenuous security environment he needed more time to vet the candidates." The first session of Parliament? They actually had a session in June of 2010. But their first real session with actual business was in November 2010. November 11th. We noted it above. In that first session, Nouri did not appoint himself anything. Why are the incapable of getting the facts right?

The Plan for Day 101

Above is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Plan For Day 101." And while we knew Nouri would work overtime to distract, who knew a US paper would work so hard to assist him?

After it happens over and over and after it continually paints Allawi in the wrong, you start to feel it's not an honest mistake but an intentional one and that they are intentionally lying in order to trick readers. If that's not the case then the New York Times really needs to hire fact checkers because this article repeatedly makes clear that editors are not up to the job of fact checking.

It's also cute, as the reporters note the war of words between Allawi and Nouri and their camp, that they FAIL to inform readers of last week's developments. The Erbil Agreement was addressed in a Monday meeting at Jalal Talabani's house (Allawi remained in London and skipped the meeting). At that meeting, according to Jalal, it was agreed that State Of Law and Iraqiya would stop using the press to attack one another. Jalal was so very proud of that. But less than 24 hours after Talabani's announcement . . . Nouri's State Of Lawers were attacking Allawi in the press. (We caught it and pointed it out. )

I have no idea why the New York Times is unable to get their facts straight but, reading the article, it appears that facts really aren't that important to the paper and that the omissions are far more telling than anything making it into the article.

Reuters notes 1 Iraqi soldier was shot dead in Kirkuk, an attack on a Mosul military checkpoint resulted in the deaths of 2 Iraqi soliders, 1 "employee of the Electricity Ministry" was shot dead in Baghdad, a Baghdad roadside bombing injured two people, a Baiji attack resulted in 1 suspect and 3 Iraqi soldiers being killed, and, dropping back to Friday, one police officer was shot dead in Baghdad.

Cindy Sheehan has just posted the transcript to her interview with journalist Robert Fisk (to hear the 2010 interview, click here).


This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

"Did NYT get 'creative' to help Nouri?" -- most requested highlight of the week, C.I. on New York Times.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Welcome Back" -- Isaiah on Barack's effort to peer at those he tossed under the bus.

"Meatloaf in the Kitchen" and "Pizza dough in the Kitchen" -- Trina offers two easy recipes.

"A political declaration," "Cynthia McKinney" and "6 men, no women" -- Jess, Betty and Ann on the inaction of the Green Party.

"Does The NewsHour exist to amuse itself?" -- Ruth serves up some TV criticism while Ann covers radio:

"Peter Falk" -- Kat remembers Peter Falk.

"Canada in Distress" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

"Thoughts on the war lust" -- Elaine shares a few thoughts.

"Mr. Roboto goes home" and "THIS JUST IN! HE VISITS HIS RELATIVES!" -- Cedric and Wally on the robotic Barack.

"inception," "The Next Three Days" "Comic Book movies that need to be made," "The Public Eye"
and "Green Lantern" -- Rebecca, Stan and Mike weigh in on movies.

"Iraq snapshot," "That awful speech" and "The lousy speech" -- C.I., Stan and Elaine weigh in on Barack's lousy speech.

"aol" -- Rebecca weighs in on AOL's floated proposition to begin charging for content.

"Go home, Bono" and "Bono the boring and harmful" -- Ruth and Kat take on the faded glory that is Bono.

"Bad radio" -- Marcia examines a really bad podcast.

"Music" -- Betty on summer tours.

"When Tom Hanks blusters . . ." -- Ruth on the big nobody.

"WSWS always beats Socialist Worker" -- Kat on what you should be reading.

"How do you keep the music playing?" and "THIS JUST IN! HOW DO YOU KEEP THE MUSIC PLAYING?" -- Cedric and Wally on Barry O's lost loves.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }