Monday, July 31, 2006

An Israeli miliary expert's analysis of how Israel has failed.The war so far / No goals attained - Haaretz - Israel News

Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Lebanese commentator fears that even a multi-national effort to "rid" Lebanon of Hezbollah will lead to the collapse of his country. Remarkz: Fear and Loathing...: "I hope my hope is not misplaced ... But I now fear the worst and we are at very dangerous moment with Israeli troops massing at the border and the US preparing a multinational force ... Perhaps things will either cool down and return to the pre-crisis status quo, but the US and Israel have said this would be unacceptable ... If they truly mean that and evidence suggests that they might, I fear all hell will break loose ... Thus I feel we are truly standing on the precipice and the United States appears ready to push Israel and Lebanon into the abyss ..."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Find those TV clips online.TVEyes

Saturday, July 22, 2006

See Jon Stewart skewer George Bush's devotion to abandoned stem cells compared to the actual lives of victims of war in Iraq and Lebanon.
Here's a partial transcript:

Bush: I think it’s important to promote a culture of life. I think a hospitable society is a society where every being counts and every person matters.

[End clip]

Stewart: Every being counts. Every person matters.

[Clip of George W. Bush at a press conference]

Bush: How many Iraqi citizens have died in this war? Um, I would say thirty thousand, more or less.

[End clip]

Stewart: Each one precious. Each one… Each one sacred-ish. As it turns out there seems to be a bit of a loophole in the ‘culture of life’ promotion thing.

Truthdig - A/V Booth - Culture of Hypocrisy

Friday, July 21, 2006

Why the Mideast is spinning out of control: Both the Islamic extremists and Israel want a wider regional war.Why They Fight - Los Angeles Times

The right's wedge issues have become double-edged swords dividing the right-wing. A must-read by
Ellen Goodman of The Boston Globe, reprinted in Robert Scheer's smart online magazine, truthdig.out. Truthdig - Reports - Ellen Goodman: Putting a Wedge Between the Right and Loony Right

How to prevent an Election-Day meltdown: what you can do. In a related Huffington Post, I pointed to weaknesses in cooperation and outreach by groups working on these issues. And I reported on a little-known new Florida law that could lead to tens of thousands of voters being challenged at the polls and not having their votes counted:

Here, for instance, is a state issue that's not getting enough attention from the leading national reform and civil rights groups. A new Florida law allows anybody, including GOP partisans, to challenge any voter's right to vote -- too often a person of color -- at the polling place for any spurious reason, just as the GOP did in Ohio in 2004, and that person will be forced to vote a provisional ballot that won't be counted until after a recount, if then. As a result, tens of thousands of Florida voters face being denied the vote by organized hordes of GOP stalwarts challenging voters in precincts heavy with liberal and minority voters. So far, there hasn't been any lawsuits filed to challenge the questionable law and no pro-active legal strategy has been devised to launch a counter-attack, such as referring such dubious challengers to local prosecutors for violating misdemeanor laws against vote suppression or threatening the right-wing and GOP groups plotting these challenge tactics with counter-lawsuits.

You can read more about this critical issue at this Tompaine.com article:
TomPaine.com - Protecting The 2006 Vote

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Here's what bloggers from the Mideast are reporting -- on both sides of the unfolding Israel-Lebanese warThe Truth Laid Bear

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

GOP failures aren't an accident: it's the goal of their approach to governing.
As Alan Wolfe writes:
The collapse of the Bush presidency, in other words, is not just due to Bush's incompetence (although his administration has been incompetent beyond belief). Nor is it a response to the president's principled lack of intellectual curiosity and pitbull refusal to admit mistakes (although those character flaws are certainly real enough). And the orgy of bribery and special-interest dispensation in Congress is not the result of Tom DeLay's ruthlessness, as impressive a bully as he was. This conservative presidency and Congress imploded, not despite their conservatism, but because of it.

Contemporary conservatism is first and foremost about shrinking the size and reach of the federal government. This mission, let us be clear, is an ideological one. It does not emerge out of an attempt to solve real-world problems, such as managing increasing deficits or finding revenue to pay for entitlements built into the structure of federal legislation. It stems, rather, from the libertarian conviction, repeated endlessly by George W. Bush, that the money government collects in order to carry out its business properly belongs to the people themselves. One thought, and one thought only, guided Bush and his Republican allies since they assumed power in the wake of Bush vs. Gore: taxes must be cut, and the more they are cut--especially in ways benefiting the rich--the better.

"Why Conservatives Can't Govern" by Alan Wolfe

Saturday, July 08, 2006

If Democrats lack backbone on the war, the progressive movement needs to show more strength, too. The Blog | Art Levine: Note to Anti-War Movement: Get Your Act Together | The Huffington Post

Monday, July 03, 2006

Celebrate the 4th with American humor at its best: the prolific, relatively unsung comic genius of Jean Shepherd.
Harry Shearer recently created a two-hour tribute show, with generous helpings of Shepherd's unique brand of humor. There's Twain, Thurber, Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen and Richard Pryor in the pantheon of American comic geniuses, but perhaps the most prolific of them all was Shepherd, who created 45 minutes of new material every weekday for over 20 years, with a two-hour live show broadcast from the Limelight club on Saturday. In his early days, he would spin tales of his youth and American absurdities for nearly five hours a night. As KCRW describes him:

"Likened to a jazz musician, compared to Mark Twain and James Thurber, and hailed by Marshall McLuhan as “the first radio novelist,” radio storyteller JEAN SHEPHERD had the ability to tap into the American psyche by drawing on his own often bizarre life experiences and sharing them with an audience of devoted fans and listeners." Check out the tribute show here:
Jean Shepherd

To hear a sampling of his staggeringly inventive story-telling, check out this link to some Mp3 files [click on the music icon for streaming, the down arrow for downloading].

If you grew up in the New York area, you may remember him on WOR late-night radio. But as the audio documentary points out:

Shepherd is perhaps most widely known for the quirky film, “A Christmas Story” about Ralphie and the Red Ryder BB gun he hopes Santa will bring him which he wrote and narrated, and which is trotted out on television during the holiday season. He wrote articles for magazines as diverse as MAD, Playboy, Car and Driver and Field and Stream. Several collections of his stories were published (“In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash” and “Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories”). And he created the intellectual equivalent to Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” scare with his “I, Libertine” book hoax, in which he and his listeners created a national furor over a totally non-existent book…which nevertheless managed to get itself banned in Boston. Later in his life Shepherd appeared as a commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” as well as a series of PBS television programs.

But Shep, as fans and friends called him, began his career and established his reputation on radio. Beginning in Cincinnati on WSAI-AM in the early 1950s, he later moved to Philadelphia and then to New York, enrapturing listeners for more than two decades in his late-night slot on 50,000 watt clear-channel station WOR-AM. For a time he even broadcast live on Saturday nights from The Limelight in Greenwich Village, spinning tales for two hours at a stretch.

You now have hours of entertaining tales as near as a click of your mouse. Enjoy!

Update: For more information on Shepherd and Web resources for his material, check out the Jean Shepherd Project.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

New campaigns aim to take back the government and aid the poor. Part of the problem: looting of the federal government and U.S. treasury by Bush cronies, as detailed by Frank Rich. MoJo Blog: More than a prayer: activists take on corruption and poverty today

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