Saturday, July 12, 2008

CBS War Correspondent Asks HuffPo for Fairness

CBS news correspondent Kimberly Dozier, author of the book "Breathing the Fire" which chronicles events and her experiences after having nearly been killed on Memorial Day in 2006 by an explosive device while reporting in Iraq, asked Arianna Huffington a question on Facebook yesterday. I'll let her comment and question stand on its own. I think it shows just how complicated, indeed, is the question of where the U.S. needs to go on Iraq. It goes far beyond anyone's given ideology, political posturing, and respective choice of Presidential candidate.

It's fairly obvious that the news network's front-line correspondents do not wish to be used for anyone's political purpose in this Presidential campaign season. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have used the Iraq war as a political tool and have treated the mainstream media..sometimes with success, disappointingly... as little more than their personal stenographers. It's happened for so long now...with far less success lately on the Bush administration's part .. that I think we've become perhaps too suspicious about the reporters who lay their own lives on the line every day to report what's actually happening on the ground.

Ms. Dozier asks the owner of the Huffington Post:

"Question for you -- I've been reporting that security is improved for Iraqis thanks to the surge in Iraq, but that US military commanders themselves say the situation is still 'reversible,' and that most everything else has failed to catch up, and could turn the situation south in an instant, like the government's failure to start integrating some 100,000 Sunni awakening fighters in Iraqi majority Shi'ite forces...(they've only integrated 10%, despite heavy US pressure, and the Americans are actually only aiming to integrate up to what happens to the 70,000 other Sunni fighters?)...

If I report the success of one part, and ALL those other does that get turned into "the mainstream media buys into the propaganda that taking out Saddam was the right thing at the right time?" I never reported that!

I've frequently been misquoted on my book tour on other subjects, so I'm a little over-sensitive about this one."

I know it's not a great analogy, but have you ever been the one person in a dysfunctional family situation who's held everything and everyone together...knowing all the while that once you backed away, all hell would break loose again because you were never, in reality, able to fix what was broken on your own?

Well, it sounds like that's the military in Iraq today.

Perhaps the reason the military - and the Surge- is the only part of the Iraq war being placed in focus by the major networks is because someone sitting behind a desk at corporate headquarters has been pressed into not telling the whole story...while our best war correspondents risk, and in the case of CBS' cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan, lose their lives.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Community Organic Gardens Help Homeless

There's an interesting show on Mike Collins' Charlotte Talks/WFAE/90.7FM this morning on community-based organic gardening around the nation and bringing rainwater-harvesting systems to community gardens.

If you missed it, a link to an archived recording of the show is HERE. From the WFAE website:

A conversation about organic gardening, creative watering and local food. We'll be joined by Don Boekelheide of the Urban Ministry Center. The center has received a grant to install a cistern to help water the organic vegetable garden there. We'll talk about how that will aid in producing more local food and the many ways this garden helps the homeless, who also work the garden. Other experts join the panel to discuss general organic gardening tips.

Dan Boekelheide - Director, Urban Ministry Center Garden
Pam Ruch - Editor, Organic Gardening Magazine

What is organic gardening?

"If I were a dictator determined to control the national press, 'Organic Gardening' would be the first publication I'd squash, because it's the most subversive. I believe that organic gardeners are in the forefront of a serious effort to save the world by changing man's orientation to it, to move away from the collective, centrist, superindustrial state, toward a simpler, realer one-to-one relationship with the earth itself."

- from "The Whole Earth Catalog", 1969

Read a few pages about organic gardening from Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma"

This post is dedicated to Ithaca's Ecovillage, who got a very honorable mention in the most recent edition of "Outside" magazine.
Magazine lauds Ithaca's reinvention/Area judged on its rich culture, natural beauty By Laura Brandt, Special to The Ithaca Journal July 9, 2008

Kucinich to Raise Bush Impeachment Again

Kucinich Bringing Back Impeachment This Week - Capitol BriefingSource: blog.washingtonpost

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has written:

"This Thursday evening I will bring a privileged resolution to the House with a single Article of Impeachment of President Bush for taking our nation and our troops to war based on lies. We owe it to our troops who even at this hour stand as sentinels of America because they love this country and will give their lives for it. What are we willing to do to match their valor and the valor of their successors? Are we at least willing to defend the Constitution from the comfort and security of our Washington, DC offices?"

Raw Story has an article here.
And more here (Updated information)

The idea of impeaching President George W.Bush, as I know I don't have to tell too many of you, is a reasonable idea to which the mainstream, by design, has a nasty kind of allergy. Although many progressives see the reason behind it, most unfortunately (and always to my dismay), there are many who think they have to have the same "impeachment allergy" that pollutes the commerce-owing mainstream.....although when it was about Bill Clinton's sex life, the allergy was soothed by the medicine that ratings and dollars bring in with stories about sex. Sending troops wantonly into harm's way with lies and deliberate misleadings isn't sexy enough for the mainstream. Besides...much of the mainstream media fell for and into those lies and misleadings.

Our election-minded representatives won't act until citizens guide them..nearly force them to do so. The question is, will they? I believe that Dennis Kucinich has a truly great heart and, I'd imagine, a pretty clear conscience. There aren't enough great hearts and clear consciences in D.C. The mainstream media isn't in the business of guiding your conscience. They report the news that will fit the most profitable business model.

Think about that.
What will you do?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Bitstrip: Doing What She Can For Obama

Inspired by this post at

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Right Is Wrong

Monday, July 07, 2008





NYT: GOP Responsible for Delay on AIDS

NYT Editorial, July 7: Republican Delay on AIDS
"A tiny group of Republican senators continues to block a vote on an important bill to increase American spending on AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis around the world. Their obstructionism has deprived President Bush of a legislative achievement that could help him spur other industrialized nations to contribute substantially more money as they meet to discuss global issues in Japan this week.

But better late than never. It remains important to blast through the legislative roadblock and bring this broadly supported bill to a vote on the Senate floor, where it is sure to prevail on the merits. [..]

[..] If necessary, Senate Democratic leaders should undertake the potentially time-consuming task of forcing the bill to a vote. "


Nearly Three-quarters of World's HIV/Aids Cases are in Africa

Ofeibea Quist-Arcton/

A cemetery in Lusaka, Zambia, is running out of graves because so many are dying of Aids. Some 40 million adults and children worldwide are living with HIV/Aids and 28.1m of them are in Africa. HIV/Aids is the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa. There were 3.4m new HIV infections in the region during 2001 and 2.3m Africans died of Aids in that period.