Why Aren’t More Americans Dancing To Israel’s Tune?

January 6, 2009
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By Max Blumenthal/Senior Writer for The Daily Beast
Posted January 5, 2009 | 08:17 AM (EST)

Almost as soon as the first Israeli missile struck the Gaza Strip, a
veteran cheering squad suited up to support the home team. “Israel is
so scrupulous about civilian life,” Charles Krauthammer claimed in the
Washington Post. Echoing Krauthammer, Alan Dershowitz called the
Israeli attack on Gaza, “Perfectly ‘Proportionate.'” And in the New
York Times, Israeli historian Benny Morris described his country’s
airstrikes as “highly efficient.”

While the cheerleaders testified to the superior moral fiber of their
team, the Palestinian civilian death toll mounted. Israeli missiles
tore at least fifteen Palestinian police cadets to shreds at a
graduation ceremony, blew twelve worshipers to pieces (including six
children) while they left evening prayers at a mosque, flattened the
elite American International School, killed five sisters while they
slept in their beds, and liquidated 9 women and children in order to
kill a single Hamas leader. So far, Israeli forces have killed at
least 500 Gazans and wounded some two thousand, including hundreds of
children. Yesterday, the IDF blanketed parts of Gaza with white
phosphorus, a chemical weapon Saddam Hussein once deployed against
Kurdish rebels. (more…)


April 2, 2008
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The deja vu was almost too much for me on Thursday as I, and other anti war/anti-bush activists stood outside the gates to the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson AFB. Riverside police patrolled incessantly up and down Harshman as we stood shivering in a light rain, holding our signs, waiting for the the Decider to show up. Nothing like Sept 3, 1971.

What’s that date got to do with anything? It was the dedication of the Air Force {war} Museum and Tricky Dick, otherwise known as President Richard Nixon [war criminal] was on board and, unlike Thursday, hundreds of protesters showed up to [un]welcome him to Dayton and before the day was done 154 of them had been arrested . Scooped up indiscriminately off the streets, packed into semi trailers & buses without even a nod to formal arrest procedures, some driven off the Air Base and held without charges for hours… the whole scene was one of mass chaos, the kind of action one would expect to occur in some South American dictatorship. But it was happening right here in Fairborn, Ohio.

What, you say you never heard about this?

Not surprising at all. The sanitized version of the dedication enshrined at the Museum bears NO resemblance to what actually occurred that day. It has always really bugged me ever since that this history got re-written and super sanitized. Thirty seven years later events still stands out in my memory.

The rows upon rows of Ohio Highway Patrol and County Sheriff’s cars lined up in a field next to AFLC headquarters. The Base side of Route 444 sealed off with barbed wire fencing and concertina wire, stretching from the old Museum at gate 1-c near Fairborn all the way to AFLC hdqts and beyond. The AF Security trucks stationed all along the way, Cops standing at the ready with their M-16 unslung. The helicopters whirling overhead, and, everywhere you looked there were hundreds [thousands??] of people. Loud slogan chanting people, people with anti-war signs marching down the highway to the new Museum site. Vietnam vets carrying a symbolic coffin and engaging bystanders with guerrilla street theater.

By August of 1971 major events associated with the war had brought anti war fervor in the Miami valley to a new pitch.

  • In March Lt Wm Calley was convicted for the MY LAI massacre.
  • In April Vietnam Veterans Against the War held Operation Dewey Canyon in Washington DC, an event that culminates with the Vets symbolically returning their combat medals in a ceremony on the steps to the US Capitol.
  • A major demonstration the following week saw hundred of thousands of antiwar protesters in DC and in San Francisco as well as other cities.
  • In May it was MayDay’s in Washington, with thousands of well organized activists in running street conflict with authorities, trying to shut down the government, resulting in the arrests of thousands more.
  • In June Daniel Elsberg got the Pentagon Papers published in the NY Times and Washington Post, resulting in charges of treason by the Nixon administration.
  • And American deaths surpassed 45,000 while the Senate passed a “non-binding” resolution urging withdrawal of American forces by years end.

Same Museum, different war, very different response.

Aware that dedication of the new AF Museum was going to be a major event, a loose coalition of local anti-war groups had begun planning efforts to stage a demonstration at the Museum’s dedication early in the summer. News that Nixon was going to be the keynote speaker galvanized anti war force and raised the energy to a higher level: we were determined to spoil the party. And we did.

The anti-war demonstration at the dedication of the AF Museum involved not just Daytonian’s, but engaged people from all over the region. There were people from Cincinnati, Columbus and other parts of Ohio. There were, especially, students from Antioch College. The Yellow Springs students were also equipped with a radio station, WYSO-fm. And the campus was already awash with anti-war activities. Confronting Nixon fit right in to what was already in motion on campus.

{As I am writing this it’s impossible not to think about that role vis a vis the current crisis gripping Antioch. Without belaboring a point, it IS relevant, AND critical, to a “free” society that intellectual freedom is a cornerstone principle. Students have historically been at the forefront of social change, and when an atmosphere exist that not only encourages but nurtures intellectual freedom amazing can things happen. And did. That’s what I remember.}

An excerpt from the Yellow Springs News notes

In 1971, when President Richard Nixon appeared at the Air Force Museum’s opening, a number of people from Antioch and Yellow Springs who tried to attend were detained by authorities. A group of Yellow Springs residents and Antioch students and workers also demonstrated at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on April 20, 1972. Many local residents subsequently lent money to cover the bail of the 154 who were arrested there.

[The next installment of this post will add more details about the arrests that took place and the controversy that was created as a result. Links to a NY Time article and the YS News are given below. There is also a link to the text of Nixon’s speech. I encourage others who were at the demo to please, send me your commentary, pictures or printed material, your memories of what happened at the base that day to help memorialize a very important event in Miami Valley anti-war history. Perhaps we can even get the AF Museum to acknowledge the REAL history of the dedication!!]



Nixon’s speech: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=3135

Senator Sherrod Brown Supports Dayton Newspaper Guild

March 18, 2008
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Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown gave a rousing endorsement of the efforts of workers at the Dayton Daily News in their struggle to gain ratification of a Union contract with the Cox empire after a 21 year struggle for recognition.

Speaking to a noontime gathering of local Union representatives, including Wes Wells from the AFL-CIO, DDN employees, local elected officials Mark Owens and Nan Whaley and community activists from the Miami Valley Full Employment Council, Brown cited the union movement as a major force in creating a better life for millions of workers.
Utilizing his patented canary in a coal mine analogy, Brown talked about how miners would take one of the birds into the mine shaft and, if it got sick or died, they knew it was time to get out. “Journalists”, he said, “play that role in a democracy” alerting the citizenry to dangerous action by the governing class.

Noting that his spouse, Connie Schultz, is a member of the Newspaper Guild at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Brown spoke to that importance of journalists in protecting democracy and freedom by bringing transparency to government actions. “We need journalists to provide that check and balance between government and citizen,” he said.

Brown is a co-sponsor of the The Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800, S. 1041), supported by a bipartisan coalition in Congress, which would level the playing field for workers and employers and help rebuild America’s middle class. It would restore workers’ freedom to choose a union by:


  • Establishing stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first-contract negotiations.
  • Providing mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes.
  • Allowing employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation

The Bill has passed the House of Representatives, but sponsors were unable to beat back Republican led filibustering in the Senate.

2nd and 3rd Ohio District Democratic candidates Virginia Wolfsun and Jane Mitakides made short speeches endorsing the Guild’s efforts and promising to be part of a” larger, more Democratic majority” after respectively beating “Mean Jean” Schmidt and “No Taxes for the Rich” Mike Turner in the fall elections.

Dayton Newspaper Guild president Lou Greco spoke on behalf of the the local guild, detailing the history of the fight with the Cox empire for Union recognition. “The owners should know“, he said, “we are not going to go away. 75% of eligible workers in the bargaining unit have indicated support for the Guild, and we will prevail in the end!”

Following the speeches, the group, about 75 people strong , took to the street with hand held signs in front of the DDN headquarters on South Main for a spirited moving picket line. Calling on the Cox company to negotiate now, sign the contract, demanding health care benefits for part time workers, the picketers marched back and forth for about 20 minutes, enduring a light drizzle of rain for their efforts.

Brown is scheduled to be the keynote speaker tonight at the Montgomery County Democratic Party’s Frolic for Funds at the Dayton Convention Center.

Hillary Clinton Campaign Connection to Drudge Report Detailed by International Herald Tribune (NYT) in October of 2007

February 26, 2008
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An International Herald Tribune story of October 22, 2007, covers the irony of the Clinton campaign feeding stories to the Drudge Report as part of its strategy. (It was a repost from the New York Times, which owns the IHT.)

And the Clinton campaign wasn’t hiding their new found interest in using Drudge to get attention for stories. They had [and may still have] a designated “liaison” according to the International Herald Tribune: (more…)

Latest Anti-Pot Quack Science: ‘Marijuana Makes Your Teeth Fall Out’

February 9, 2008
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Latest Anti-Pot Quack Science: ‘Marijuana Makes Your Teeth Fall Out’

By Bruce Mirken, AlterNet
Posted on February 9, 2008, Printed on February 9, 2008

Recent weeks have seen a rash of new studies of marijuana hitting the mass media, generating scary headlines like “Smoking Pot Rots Your Gums,” “Cannabis Bigger Cancer Risk Than Cigarettes,” and “Pot Withdrawal Similar to Quitting Cigarettes. Most of this coverage can be boiled down to a fairly simple equation:

Flawed science + uncritical reporting = misinformation.

Mercifully, the U.S. mass media were so distracted by Super Tuesday, Heath Ledger’s autopsy and the latest Britney Spears trauma that reports of these studies didn’t get as much play as they might have. That’s good, because the research had significant gaps, and the reporting ranged from slapdash to flat wretched.


The lung cancer study was the scariest. Since cigarettes are a known lung cancer risk, it seems plausible that marijuana might carry similar risks. In fact, most of the scientific evidence tends in the opposite direction — though one would never know it from reading either the study or the Reuters wire story that got the heaviest circulation.

Conducted in New Zealand, this was what is called a “case-control” study, in which researchers looked at a group of patients who had lung cancer and compared them to a group without cancer — the controls — matched for age and other demographics. All were asked about various factors that might increase their lung cancer risk, including smoking cigarettes or marijuana. After running the data on 79 cancer cases and 324 controls through myriad equations and mathematical analyses, the researchers proclaimed that one joint packed a cancer risk roughly equal to 20 cigarettes — an assertion that became Reuters’ lead. (more…)

PSYCHO COPS [STARK CO., OH!!] Strip Search Woman – part 1 of 2

February 3, 2008
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And, if after watching this outrageous video, you would like to relay your reaction[s] to the people responsible you can do so direct to the Stark County Sheriff’s email


That would be a mighty responsible thing for you to do….



FEBRUARY 11 UPDATE: According to reports on WKYC TV, Akron, the Ohio Attorney General’s office has announced that it was going to investigate the strip search of Hope Steffey. More details as they become available.


An “Onion” Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

January 22, 2008
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The Onion, a favorite “fake news” site of mine, has published a new voter poll…

For a majority of likely voters, meaningless bullshit will be the most important factor in deciding who they will vote for in 2008.



December 19, 2007
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This comes from a friend of mine, a reporter at the Dayton Daily News [also known as Damn Dumb News] and concerns efforts by the Dayton Newspaper Guild to negotiate a contract with the Cox Publishing Companies Dayton newspaper. The link will take you to a YouTube video of a Newspaper Guild picket line in front of the DDN’s new headquarters on So Main Street: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdLb1npylA4

this link will take you direct to the Dayton Newspaper Guild’s informational website:


Chicken Little and the Mortgage-Housing Crisis

November 29, 2007
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Maybe Chicken Little is right, the sky IS falling! I don’t know about you but the news about the resignation of Citigroup CEO Charles Prince, [who will no doubt exit the crisis with his pockets stuffed…] coming on the heels of an announced loss over at Merrilly-Lynched of about 8 BILLION DOLLARS, is starting to sound more and more like the dam is slowly breaking apart. I’m no Paul Krugman or Thomas Friedman economist type….but the creaking I hear sure don’t sound good.

On Sunday, the chairman and chief exec of Citigroup, Inc., Charles Prince, threw in his ATM card and stepped down — this as the bank announced it would probably have to write off 11 BILLION dollars in subprime mortgage losses……now, if this sounds a bit like old news, it may be because Citicorp just wrote down 6.5 BILLION lastquarter


Thats TWO companies, and 25 Billion Dollars. And, it doesn’t even begin to add in the fallout from the really big mortgage & housing construction companies, AND Fannie & Sallie Mae…drip drip drip…

So Glad Our Outrage Hasn’t Diminished/Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

November 14, 2007
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This great column was forwarded to me this am by my friend Maddi, whose own sense of outrage continues to burn brightly. A most worthy read…


Wednesday, November 14, 2007 (SF Gate)
Outrage fatigue? Get over it/Are you sick of being sick? Suffering way too much Bush-induced nausea? Well, tough
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

I know how it is. You’ve had it up to here. There are only so many stories
about blood and death and pain you can take, only so many times you can
hear about random shootings and corporate malfeasance and how BushCo’s
squad of scabrous flying monkeys have, say, supported torture or endorsed
wiretapping or gouged the nation for another $200 billion to pay for a
failed war. Your nerves are raw and your heart is tired and the media will
just not shut the hell up already about the sadness and the war and the
mayhem and the Cheney and the doom doom doom.

It is outrage fatigue, and it is epidemic. It’s that feeling that we are
being hammered unlike any time in recent history with so many appalling
and disgusting and violently un-American incidents and scandals and
manipulations that our b.s.-detectors are smoking like an old V-8 engine
on a hot summer’s day and it’s all we can do to get up every day without

What’s more, it’s not the mere quantity of moral insults, either. It’s the
bizarre absurdity of the subject matter, the things we are being forced to
consider, or reconsider, that seem to make it all so horrific. (more…)

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