Sunday, February 19, 2006

Blog Spotlight: Rebecca on music and prisoners

Rebecca had two entries we went back and forth on (and Rebecca said only use one). We finally picked this one. Both were strong.

cowboy junkies and guantanamo prisoners

the amazing cedric has what should be the last word on 'no-manners.' i had a heads up to it and was waiting for it to go up before blogging tonight. it's called 'You drop the Trash at the curb and let it go.' well said.

i'm listening to the cowboy junkies right now. i mention that because i had 2 e-mails from people who went out and bought hair. great, it's a wonderful musical. now make a point to check out the cowboy junkies' early 21st century blues.

this is what kat wrote about the cd in her year-in-music-review:

Early 21st Century Blues. This Cowboy Junkies CD actually got national exposure . . . via The Laura Flanders Show. If others had followed Flanders' lead, this might have been one of the more talked about albums of 2005. The album features two original songs and nine covers. Among the covers are songs by Bob Dylan, from his pre-brand days. I have to be in the mood for their version of John Lennon's "I Don't Want To Be A Solider." Wally enjoyed this but Cedric and I felt that the combination of the Junkies' understated approach and Rebel's rap were an uneasy mix. The album ends on a high note, a cover of U2's "One." Unlike on Mary J. Blige's latest album, you don't wait for Bono to shut up and get out the way so that Blige can work her magic. That's because he's not featured. Margo Timmins' voice is haunting on this song and the covers of Bruce Springsteen's "You're Missing" and "Brothers Under The Bridge" should have resulted in saturation airplay. If you missed this CD, locate a copy and listen.

the link in the title takes you to a piece we all worked on.

i think most of my readers know that elaine has to take off thursday nights because she does group on that night. she called this afternoon and asked if i could note something for her. she said, 'if you can't, don't worry, and i'll try to find time to do it myself tonight.' i told her not to be silly, i'd be happy to do it. this is from democracy now.

UN Investigators Call on U.S. to Close Guantanamo
In other news, United Nations investigators have called on the Bush administration to immediately close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba. The UN report urges the US government to "refrain from any practice amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." The report goes on to state "In the case of the Guantanamo Bay detainees, the U.S. executive operates as judge, as prosecutor, and as defense council: this constitutes serious violations of various guarantees of the right to a fair trial before an independent tribunal." About 500 men are being held at the site. Charges have never been filed against most of them. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack dismissed the report. He said the U.N. information was based on "hearsay."

elaine and c.i. have both hit on hard this issue repeatedly. they don't think 'detainees' is a term that should be used. as c.i. said once, 'detainee? that makes it sound like you got stopped in customs for not declaring a taxable item.' they are prisoners. they have been held for years and years now. when does the outrage set in? we've all addressed the topic together at the third estate sunday review.

this is something you'll have to answer for. children in a generation or 2 will ask you, 'how were you able to just stay silent and look the other way?' so if that's your plan to keep on ignoring this, you might use that looking away time to come up with a good excuse. this is a sad thing, this is a tragedy.

being scared senseless immediately after 9-11 might have been understandable for some, goodness knows the bully boy was working overtime - the only time he ever works - to scare the nation. and you may have been grieving and felt like 'who cares?'

well it's past time to care. want to make money in afghanistan? kidnap some 1 and turn him over to the authorities telling them you've captured a terrorist.

some of them were children. they've spent 4 years locked away. if they had any information, it was old long ago. in the meantime, as many of the prisoners realize that they are never getting out, they go on a hunger strike. so we brutalize them. we force feed them in spite of the fact that every patient has the right to refuse treatment.

but we can't have them dying on us, not while the world's condemning us even if our own press isn't paying attention.

this is nonsense and it should have been addressed a long time ago. your children will study in this history classes, their children will study it. the matt dillon of the future will star in a film where he falls in love with 1 of the prisoners or the family of a prisoner (like golden gate). it's a travesty and we willingly tossed aside our own principles to feel 'safe'. then we left our principles in the trash can because it was too messy to deal with.

let me skate on c.i.'s coattails and recommend that you read danny schechter's 'JACK ABRAMOFF'S WHITE MAN'S BURDEN: How the Sleazy Republican Lobbyist Boosted Apartheid:'

Last week, pictures of Abramoff and President Bush, photos whose existence was first denied by the White House, turned up on the internet. Yes, they knew each other and met several times. Ambramoff claims Karl Rove was his buddy.
Still to come are images of Abramoff on his African "liberation" safari taking up the white man’s burden in the name of discrediting Nelson Mandela. The African National Congress leader's freedom was demanded by millions at the time, with the exception of politicians like then Congressman Dick Cheney who voted against a Congressional resolution calling for Mandela's release from prison. (Cheney also opposed overturning Ronald Reagan's ban on sanctions against South Africa, a ban Jack Abramoff personally worked in Hollywood to support as a Pretoria funded agent.)
Don't you think there must be a photo somewhere of young Jack with South Africa’s apartheid-era President, P.W. "The Crocodile" Botha. Putting those two presidential trophy shots side by side, Botha on one side, Bush on the other, will complete this connection between the ongoing fight for truth and racial justice and the Bush Administration's commitment to "Abramoff Family Values" (AFW) designed to enrich "just us." (The LA Times has since
reported that Ambramoff considered Karl Rove a friend.)

this is a complicated story, jack abramoff and danny really is one of the few i've read (echoing c.i. here) who has written an easy to follow story on this that engages you as a reader.

lastly read this by wally for laughs and, remember, it is okay to laugh. humorless scolds may tell you otherwise, but it is okay to laugh. (love the martha mitchell appearance - wonder who she is based upon? i don't.)

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