You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2011.

The article has some excerpts from the 60 Minutes transcript in which she describes her horrific ordeal.  She’ll be on television Sunday Night.

It’s really sad, and I hope that Egyptian activists are speaking up about this over there, including the gentleman she was on her way to interview.

Addendum:  This article has a few more details.

The Egyptian men were hysterical, reportedly shouting, “Jew, Jew.” Logan is not Jewish.

She told the New York Times: “For an extended period of time, they raped me with their hands…What really struck me was how merciless they were.”

“They really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence.”

What is also amazing to me is the restraint by which she is exhibiting in reference to her attackers, unlike some of the racist comments attached to many of the articles.  She’s a tough woman, with character.

The assault lasted forty minutes before a group of local women brought soldiers to her aid.

This will be her first and last interview because she doesn’t want the incident to define her.  In other words, there are people out there who will see her as a victim primarily, which is one of the many aspects of rape.

I’m too tired to respond to the article, but I thought the link was worth posting for discussion. The author, Leonard Shumard, argues that protesters and activists are “tearing apart the very fabric which binds our society.”

He gives more credit to demonstrating than I.  I’ve attended far more marches/demos than I could hope to recount, and I tend to think they suffer from a sort of inflationary effect of diminishing returns.  I’ve argued in the past that demonstration should be organized only as part of a comprehensive political strategy, with clear goals in mind, but to many activists the demonstration is the end.  If it happens, it’s effective just because it is.

But the TS op ed piece suggests that activism is bad precisely because it is effective.  There is an ultra-libertarian argument that all altruistic behavior is bad for the economy because it undermines the beneficial greed which sets the parameters for an effective supply and demand system of economics.  Everyone acts in his/her material interests and we all float to the top under a Newtonian market force utopia.  When you act contrary to your material interests you upset the oh so delicate ecology of the free market.  And certainly if you frustrate those forces with any kind of intervention or “do gooderism” you set everything out of whack and tumbling towards social chaos where life is “nasty, brutish, and short.”

Life is simple.

This guy walks by my office all the time, pretty much every morning.  I don’t even know him and I’m missing him.  Hopefully he’s just lost and turns up safe.  Thanks to Kym for the heads up.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Obama released the long form birth certificate this morning, which has a lot of people, including me, wondering about the timing.  I personally don’t believe this was intended to resolve the issue.  I think Obama actually wants the “distraction,” and he’s feeding fuel to the fire.  But I’m cynical.

The President directed his counsel to review the legal authority for seeking access to the long-form certificate and to request that the Hawaii State Department of Health make an exception to release a copy of his long form birth certificate, Pfeiffer explained.

“They granted that exception in part because of the tremendous volume of requests they had been getting,” he wrote.

During the 2008 campaign, the Obama camp released a copy of his birth certificate — the same document that the state of Hawaii would have released to any person born there. But the conspiracy theories continued.

Donald isn’t satisfied.  He wants Obama’s school records.

Newt wants to know why it took so long.

No word yet from Rose.

The last pre-release poll showed that one-half of Republicans believed that Obama was not born in the US.  Unfortunately this poll doesn’t include the numbers who believe he was born in Hawaii, but don’t believe that Hawaii is part of the US.

Fox News headline:  “White House releases what it says is the President’s birth certificate.” (italics added)

Oh, and if you want to see the forgery itself in pdf, here it is.

Someone posted this on Heraldo’s Easter thread.  Kind of cool, if only the participants all didn’t sound possessed.

Truth is funnier than fiction – A Rhode Island Republican State Rep. joked about Democrats catering to pot smoking gay Guatemalan gamblers some time back.  On Good Friday he was busted for DUI and marijuana possession.


The Republicans’ plan to privatize MediCare is getting some backlash at town hall meetings.  Not quite as much screaming and hysteria as the anti-health care reform crowds a couple of years ago, but firm enough to be rattling GOP nerves.  Rep. Sean Duffy wigs out a little here when members of the crowd don’t respond well to his charts.

Duffy already has a challenger.

Ryan himself was booed at his own meeting.


TPM has a summary of the public relations debacle for the law firm of King & Spalding leading to the resignation of partner and former Bush Solicitor General Paul Clement who had undertaken the defense of DOMA, and had forbidden firm employees from publicly advocating gay rights – even on their own time.   After some public pressure, the firm nixed their involvement in the case and Clement went on to join Bancroft, LLP — “a boutique firm made up of former Bush administration lawyers” — who will take on the case.

As someone who has faced political pressures in my own legal practice (sometimes due to something posted on this blog), I am not entirely sanguine about the precedent of a firm being politically pressured to drop a client.  On the other hand, it does really underscore the deep shift in the political climate with regard to gay rights.  Will Clements be the Lyman Norris of the 21st century?


With six Republicans now officially facing recalls, Governor Walker is complaining that he can’t get anything done.  Will Russ Feingold run against him in a recall election next year?

The recall efforts against three Democrats have failed.


In the silver lining department, will a critical number of Republicans support ending oil subsidies?

From the Redwood Progressive:

25 Years and Nearly One Million Deaths Later, North Coast Residents Remember Chernobyl Catastrophe

Rally at Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant
Tuesday April 26th  ~ 12:noon

101 off ramp at King Salmon Ave.
to the bay, south of the power plant

To Draw Concerned Residents To Nuclear Power Teach-In/Organizing
Revitalize Local Anti-Nuke Organizing

Shut Down Diablo Canyon and Indian Point Reactors Now! – R.I.P. USA Nuclear Reactors

Humboldt County, CA: In light of the corporate nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan, and the blindness of President Obama to the impossibility of running a safe nuclear power industry, local North Coast residents will gather at one of the oldest nuclear power reactor sites in the U.S.A., the Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant, from noon to 4 P.M. this Tuesday, April 26, 2011, the 25th Anniversary of the Chernobyl Catastrophe in Ukraine. Rally in support of the people of Japan and in solidarity with the current campaigns to immediately shut down reactors at Diablo Canyon, CA and Indian Point Nuclear Plant, N.Y.


Also, please sign this petition:

Tell your Representative to co-sponsor HR 1242  To ensure that nuclear power plants that are built can withstand and adequately respond to earthquakes, tsunamis, strong storms, or other events that threaten a major impact.

Addendum:  Didn’t realize until I heard Democracy Now this morning that the demo is to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl.

Did you know that Chernobyl translates as “Wormwood” and that Wormwood is mentioned in Revelations in which it is described as a star which will poison the water?

“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.”
Revelation 8:10-11

A star is kind of like a nuclear power plant, right?

At the intersection of US 101 and Highway 20 in Willits there are three gas stations, one owned by Safeway, another by AM/PM and one by Chevron.  Usually the Safeway brand is cheapest.  Today it was 382 per gallon.  If you have the Safeway card, you subtract three cents bringing the price to $3.79.  But today AM/PM actually offered up gas at $3.77.  But Chevron’s price was $4.12 per gallon.

Somewhat surprising, but most fascinating of all – people were buying gas from Chevron.

It explains a lot of election results.

Ralph Nader says not.

The truth is that the frightened executives at public TV and radio have long been more hospitable to interviews with right of center or extreme right-wing and corporatist talking heads than liberal or progressive guests.

PBS’s Charlie Rose has had war-loving William Kristol on 31 times, Henry Kissinger 55 times, Richard Perle ten times, the global corporatist cheerleader, Tom Friedman 70 times. Compare that guest list with Rose’s interviews of widely published left of center guests — Noam Chomsky two times, William Grieder two times, Jim Hightower two times, Charlie Peters two times, Lewis Lapham three times, Bob Herbert six times, Paul Krugman 21 times, Victor Navasky one time, Mark Green five times, and Sy Hersh, once a frequent guest, has not been on since January 2005.

I think that FAIR and even that famed UCLA study have backed Nader up on the argument.

But while they do tend to interview right wingers and corporate reps more often, are they really trying to appease the right (as they did when they permanently banned Tales of the City from their national programming?), or do they cater to a sophisticated audience of liberals who want to be challenged and are bored with the preaching to the choir offered by Pacifica and other outlets?

Democrats have now filed petitions for the recall of four Republicans.  The Republicans have now filed against a Democrat (of the 13 who left the state, the Republicans think that Jim Holperin is the most vulnerable).  More on both sides may be in the wings.

Where will the Wisconsin voters take this?

Addendum:  Signatures filed against a 5th Republican.


April 2011