Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Loren Parks-MIA

LMAO. Ok, I know this isn't a laughing matter. Parks and Sizemore have made a mockery of Oregon's initiative system. Even so, I had to laugh.

From Our Oregon:


Loren Parks: Wanted For Questioning
Nevada millionaire apparently evading questions about role in Sizemore contempt case

Oregon—On Thursday, October 2, a Multnomah County Court will once more hear evidence against initiative racketeer Bill Sizemore, who is facing contempt of court charges for violating a court injunction against him.

Sizemore is believed to have set up a sham charity in Nevada to collect money for political purposes, hiding the source of his funders and getting around a 2002 court injunction against engaging in such activity.

At the center of those charges is Loren Parks, the Nevada multi-millionaire who has bankrolled ballot initiative efforts from Sizemore and Kevin Mannix. Parks is believed to be involved in the funding for the American Tax Research Foundation, which appears to be sending money to Sizemore.

For weeks, attorneys have been attempting to depose Parks to determine his relationship to the case, but he's apparently gone missing. Process servers have been unable to find him at his Nevada home, and newspapers have been piling up on his porch.

Curiously, even though he's been unable to answer his front door, Parks has still been able to send large checks to ballot measure efforts, including a $500,000 check to Mannix's ballot measure committee on September 15. Parks bankrolled the efforts to qualify six of this year's ballot measures from Sizemore and Mannix.

Despite Parks' evasion of questioning in the Sizemore contempt case, the hearing will go on as scheduled—October 2-3 in the courtroom of Judge Janice Wilson.
And here is the rest of it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Trans Citizens putting their money where their Obama support is

Oregon Stonewall Democrats is one of several organizations, and major blogging sites, galvanizing financial support for Obama, from the trans community.

According to Laura Calvo:

Trans Bloggers and the trans community can see a whole lot of folks who believe in the hope of a better future for ALL Americans. We can see whole lot of folks who believe in the change we need to have in the way ALL Americans are treated equally and with respect, regardless of who they are.

We can see a whole lot of people coming together to bring the hope and change to put America back on track as a world leader and who believe we can do it!

With the partnership of National Stonewall Democrats, Transgender Americans and their allies have launched a
fundraising drive to help elect Barack Obama. People all across America are encouraged to go to the secure contribuiton page to help elect Obama. Contributions made on the secure Act Blue page go directly to the Obama campaign. But just as important your contribution helps to bring attention to the voice of trans Americans in fighting for the equal and basic rights for all Americans.

Make no mistake, there is a hell of alot riding on this election. We cannot AFFORD a McCain presidency. Obama has shown his commitment to equality and to working for everyone. The choice is simple.


And here is the rest of it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"You are about to be brought under firm control"

Fucking A. Sorry, this one deserved a good cuss word (and I've been hanging out with REALLY jazzed college students lately).


And why do they need to be controlled?

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

And here is the rest of it.

FY'09 Budget

This is a press release of the statements that Hoyer made on the floor of the House today.

WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) today spoke on the House Floor in support of the FY09 Continuing Resolution. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“The continuing resolution before us funds the federal government at its current levels through the month of March.

“Obviously, passing a CR is never an ideal step. But sometimes it’s a necessary one. A vote of 'no' today is a vote to shut down the federal government.

“The CR does contain a number of important funding provisions. An increase in the home energy assistance program to help families heat their houses during a winter of high fuel costs. Funding for Pell Grants, to ensure that college aid is not cut in the middle of the school year. And nutrition funding for women and children struggling with the economic downturn and food prices.

“Nevertheless, we are debating a CR today because we did not complete the appropriations process. Believe me, it was not for lack of effort—the hardworking members and staff of the appropriations committee could tell you that.

“Rather, today’s outcome was a direct result of White House intransigence and political grandstanding. President Bush and his budget negotiators refused to compromise, refused to negotiate, refused to rethink their budget requests. President Bush would have us eliminate 50 education programs, including student financial aid. He would have us eliminate 20 programs to improve healthcare access. He would slash funds for our crumbling infrastructure, for law enforcement, and for energy research. That, and more, is the price President Bush asks us to pay to get appropriations bills passed. Mr. Speaker: that price is far too high.

“But now, a President who has grown government enormously and created record deficits, is paying lip service to fiscal conservatism. With his veto threat hovering over the entire appropriations process, stifling debate and compromise, that process simply could not continue while he remains in office. So we carry over funding levels into a new term.

“I know how many of my colleagues agree that we can and should devote more to education, to repairing our worn-down roads and bridges, to investing in energy technologies that can break our dependence on foreign oil. Those changes now await a new term and a new president.

“Today, though, I urge my colleagues to pass this continuing resolution and keep the government open for business.”
And here is the rest of it.

Tim Wise and White Priviledge

The subject of White Privilege is one of those things that completely scares the crap out of people to talk about. Time Wise, thankfully, has never been scared to talk about it and confront alot of people's refusals to do so.


*T**HIS IS** **Y**OUR** **N**ATION ON** **W**HITE** **P**RIVILEGE*
By Tim Wise


For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are
constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this
list will help.


White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin
and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a
personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents,
because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families
with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible,
pathological and arbiters of social decay.


White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin' redneck," like
Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with
you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot
shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a
great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.


White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years
like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then
returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no
one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a
person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and
probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative
action.


White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller
than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the
same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes
you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on
themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state
Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."?


White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God"
in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding
fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from
holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s
and the "under God" part wasn't added until the 1950s--while believing that
reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the
Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires
it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.?


White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people
immediately scared of you.?


White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an
extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union,
and whose motto was "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or
that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to
come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of
school, people immediately think she's being disrespectful.?


White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the
work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to
vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child
labor--and people think you're being pithy and tough, but if you merely
question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no
foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you're somehow
being mean, or even sexist.?


White privilege is being able to convince white women who don't even agree
with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate
anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired
confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a
"second look."?


White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support your
political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a
typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely
knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you
must be corrupt.?


White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose
pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George
W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian
nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological
principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict
in the Middle East is God's punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and
everyone can still think you're just a good church-going Christian, but if
you're black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin
Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often
the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism
and its effect on black people, you're an extremist who probably hates
America.?


White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a
reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a
"trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word
answers to the queries of Bill O'Reilly means you're dodging the question,
or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.?


White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything
at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and
experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it a "light" burden.?


And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow
someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent
of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their
homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world
opinion, just because white voters aren't sure about that whole "change"
thing. Ya know, it's just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more
years of the same, which is very concrete and certain?


White privilege is, in short, the problem.
And here is the rest of it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Journalist' Charges Dropped

About time.

From
FreePress:

St. Paul City Hall announced today that they are dropping all charges against journalists arrested while covering the protests outside the Republican National Convention -- including Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!

Your action made all the difference.

You and more than 62,000 other people signed our open letter demanding that the charges be dropped. The day after the convention, we delivered your signatures in person to the mayor of St. Paul.

Today’s great news happened because together, we responded quickly and spoke out strongly. This is your victory.

There were alot of people and organizations protesting those arrests. Speaking up works, especially if it puts people in the spotlight who don't want to be there.




And here is the rest of it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The press, Merkley, and the truth

One of the questions that a reporter asked Governor Roberts yesterday at the Jeff Merkley press conference was how could we reach those people who didn't know the truth. Her answer? The press itself holds the key to that. The facts are out there and easy to find. Don't spin them, report them. One of the stations last night ran a piece on the press conference and they ended it by saying that Merkley voted against the bill that the Governor signed, without any mention of the fact that the current statute of limitations, signed into law, is the one that Merkley voted for, not against. I wrote about that yesterday, so I won't repeat myself.

It just really irks the crud out of me when the press sits there and asks how we can get the truth out there, and then refuses to do it, instead spinning for drama. Why ask the question if you don't really care? I know they don't think we are stupid enough to believe that they are doing their job by asking that question, and then nothing more.

Anyhow, Kristi Gustafson, an Oregon police officer, is speaking out against the untruths fostered by Smith's campaign, and by default, Smith himself.

She says:

Smith's lies are despicable, and the truth is the exact opposite: Jeff Merkley supports mandatory life imprisonment for serial sex offenders and he voted to double the statute of limitations for sex crimes.

Jeff Merkley is a devoted husband and the father of two young children. Protecting them and keeping Oregon's families safe has always been his first priority. To say otherwise is flat-out wrong.






And here is the rest of it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Elephant has selective memory

You are entitled to your own opinions – but
you’re not entitled to your own facts.”
- Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY)




And here is the rest of it.

Gov. Roberts tells it like it is

I haven't written much about the Merkley campaign, partly because I wasn't writing on many campaigns, in general, and partly because so many others are doing a better job than I can. However, I feel the need to post for the same reasons I feel the need to post the truth about McCain: When presented with crap, that crap needs to be named and acknowledged. In this case, that name is Smith

Jeff Merkley's campaign held a press conference about an hour ago to address the bullsh** that is the commercial most recently released by the Smith camp. I won't even honor Smith by describing the commercial here. He doesn't deserve it. Suffice to say, it is the one about the statute of limitations.

There were numerous officials there, including Governor Roberts.

Here is a sampling of what she had to say:

"I have never never in Oregon seen anything like Gordon Smith's attacks against Jeff Merkley"

"They are simply not true."

And straight and to the point:

"These ads are simply lies."

She went on to explain that the bill that the Smith camp is harping on (and using to infer that Merkley favors rapists' rights over that of victims) was a bill written by four people, behind closed doors, without public input of any kind. Merkley was among several Democrats and Republicans who voted against that bill. Smith obviously leaves out those types of facts. The fact that Merkley voted in favor of the extension on the statute of limitations (and other like-legislation) that is now IN PLACE, also escapes Smith. We won't discuss Smith's own lack of support for making sure that law enforcement and first responders have what they need, in order to do what we demand of them.

Fortunately, as Governor Roberts mentions, Oregonians are not that stupid or easily fooled. The support that has flooded Merkley's office, in response to these ads, is amazing. If Smith wants to keep giving Oregonians incentive to get behind Merkley, I'm all for it. Keep it up. Somehow I doubt Smith is all of a sudden going to grow a pair and actually begin discussing actual issues.



And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Truth is truth is truth

A statement by the Obama campign:

"We will take no lectures from John McCain who is cynically running the sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern Presidential campaign history. His discredited ads with disgusting lies are running all over the country today. He runs a campaign not worthy of the office he is seeking."


Damn skippy.And here is the rest of it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

McCain: Smokescreens and anti-choice

From NARAL:

From phony attacks about gender politics to being for the 'bridge to nowhere' before being against it, the McCain-Palin campaign and its operatives have used one smokescreen after the other since securing their party’s nomination. Why? What are they hiding? Could it be their dangerously anti-choice records? Maybe they know what we know…that when pro-choice Republican and Independent women find out the truth, they will not support John McCain and Sarah Palin.


The extreme anti-choice base is energized. From James Dobson to anti-choice groups like “Feminists for Life,” since McCain picked the extreme anti-choice Palin as his running mate, the radical right has poured $10 million into their campaign.


And here is the rest of it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

McCain the Reality

I love Brave New Films.







There are more on their website. Evidently the fun never ends with McSame.

And here is the rest of it.

“Not all chronic diseases are equal"

Society can tend to be really fickle about most any subject you can name. Society, particularly Western (and in the United States to the nth degree!) society, also puts a tremendous amount of stock in how "productive" someone is, how hard they work. Put those two things together and you come up with varying degrees of what is considered a "legitimate" enough disease or condition, to warrant acceptance, empathy, or understanding (or heaven forbid, a loss of productivity). Patricia A. Fennell, MSW, LCSW-R, the CEO of Albany Health Management Associates, Inc has this to say about how illnesses are socially categorized, greatly impacting the level of care and resources available to those who suffer from invisible illnesses:

“Not all chronic diseases are equal. Some are more accepted than others,”

There are more than 80 autoimmune diseases, and many can be considered invisible, she says. But there are substantial differences in how individuals are viewed culturally and socially, depending on their diagnoses. Diabetes, lupus, heart disease, and cancer may all be considered invisible illnesses, but “no one would ever consider questioning the limitations of an individual who says [he or she has] one of these diseases,” notes Fennell. Yet, this happens frequently for those diagnosed with FM (Fibromyalgia) and CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), she says. According to The CFIDS Association of America, the condition’s name trivializes the illness as little more than tiredness, even though the illness is associated with a “constellation of debilitating symptoms.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, "CFS can be as disabling as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and congestive heart failure," and recognizes these conditions as legitimate medical diagnoses.

While invisible illnesses (and conditions) are gaining more acceptance and respect in the medical field (although not as much as it should), social acceptance has been much slower in recognizing them. This is particularly impacting when it may take years to get a diagnosis, while the person suffering is viewed as lazy, a complainer, or just a bad "worker" because they call in sick or can't move as fast as others. I remember constantly having to battle my employer over sick time, or changing my duties, etc. because the assumption was that I was making up excuses not to work. Having always been a highly productive worker in my life to that point, I even believed about myself, that I sucked as an employee (and person). I bought into the socially constructed norms that tell us there is something wrong with US when we cannot perform to its expectations.

From the 19th century on, sociological and economic models really attempted to define and recreate people as machines. The medical model of treatment relies heavily on this. "Fix" the machine and get it productive again. If it can't be fixed, ridicule or discard it. However, there is one really important thing that these models don't take into account: We are NOT machines. We are more than the sum of our parts, and a hell of alot more than what we "produce".

And here is the rest of it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Education and social priorities

I expect to see this kind of thing in rural school districts (doesn't make it right, just more commonly seen) but in a high school in the biggest city in Oregon?

And while we’re on the topic of Madison, middle grades and libraries, 88 eighth graders start at Madison High tomorrow, and the school has no library staff. They’re holding a fundraiser to get the position back. Also, word is that the Madison eighth grade academy has a severe shortage of clerical staff to register new eighth grade students who start school tomorrow, many without schedules.

How can you have a HIGH SCHOOL with no staff (librarian?)? Hello! And we wonder why Oregon keeps falling further and further behind in all of the educational success indicators? Why our prison population booms while our graduate numbers are nothing to brag about?

I've been meeting with legislators lately around funding for post-secondary education (always pitted against k-12...sneaky) and everyone I speak to "understands" what education means to the future well-being of our state, but no one seems able or willing to find a way to prioritize education the way it should be.

Yes I know that Oregon's revenue system sucks and will always be vulnerable to economic fluctuations without change. Well, why aren't we changing it? Last year, even the business community got behind (on paper anyway) revising the corporate minimum income tax to bolster our education budget. They understand what the difference between a well-educated and not-so-well-educated workforce means for their economic futures. So, where are the roadblocks? Where is our public will for a strong state and future? I don't have the answer to that. I do know, however, that we better damn well find it before that future gets here.

And here is the rest of it.

Public Service and the GOP

There is a really interesting article in the Nation that completely exposes the GOP's ridicule of public service for the hypocrasy that it was.

For the first time in American history, a major political party devoted a substantial portion of its national convention to attacking grassroots organizing. Speaking Wednesday at the Republican National Convention, former New York Governor George Pataki sneered, "[Barack Obama] was a community organizer. What in God's name is a community organizer? I don't even know if that's a job."

Then former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani delivered his own snickering hit job. "He worked as a community organizer. What? Maybe this is the first problem on the résumé," mocked Giuliani." Then he said, "This is not a personal attack. It's a statement of fact. Barack Obama has never led anything. Nothing. Nada."

A few minutes later, in her acceptance speech for the GOP vice presidential nomination, Sarah Palin declared, "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities."

The party of Ronald Reagan was touting government experience over civic engagement.

At a convention whose theme was "service," GOP leaders ridiculed organizing, a vital kind of public service that involves leadership, tough decisions, and taking responsibility for the well-being of people often ignored by government.

Palin, Giuliani and Pataki denigrated not only the tens of thousands of community organizers who help everyday citizens to participate in shaping their society and the millions of Americans who volunteer as community activists but also a long American tradition of collective self-help that goes back to the Boston Tea Party.

Visiting the United States in the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville observed in his Democracy in America, how impressed he was by the outpouring of local voluntary organizations that brought Americans together to solve problems, provide a sense of community and public purpose and tame the hyper-individualism that Tocqueville considered a threat to democracy. In the same speech in which Palin ridiculed Obama's organizing work, she touted her own experiences as a PTA volunteer and "hockey mom"--the very kinds of activities that Tocqueville praised and that community organizers support.



The party of "government sucks, let the private sector do it" evidently doesn't have much use for the private sector actually doing the work that the GOP says it SHOULD be doing. So, community organizers and those doing public service suck...government sucks. Well, which way is it? Can't have it both ways.

And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Invisible Awareness Week

From Invisible Illness.org

Have you heard about National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week? September 8-14, 2008 will feature 20 seminars via Blog Talk Radio, (4 per day, M-F) plus tons of people are helping spread the word by blogging about invisible illness issues. Do you get tired of hearing, “But you look so good?” or weary of the stares when you park in a handicapped spot? This is our chance to educate the public as well as remember we are not alone. Nearly 1 in 2 people in the USA live with an illness and 96% of it is invisible.

Schedules and links can be found at the Invisible Illness Conference homepage.And here is the rest of it.

Boxer on McCain

In response to McCain's "fighting" acceptance speech, Barbara Boxer replies:

Last night at the Republican National Convention, John McCain used the word "fight" more than 40 times in his speech.

In the 16 years that we have served together in the Senate, I have seen John McCain fight.

I have seen him fight against raising the federal minimum wage 14 times.

I have seen him fight against making sure that women earn equal pay for equal work.

I have seen him fight against a women's right to choose so consistently that he received a zero percent vote rating from pro-choice organizations.

I have seen him fight against helping families gain access to birth control.

I have seen him fight against Social Security, even going so far as to call its current funding system "an absolute disgrace."

And I saw him fight against the new GI Bill of Rights until it became politically untenable for him to do so.

John McCain voted with President Bush 95 percent of the time in 2007 and 100 percent of the time in 2008 -- that's no maverick.

We do have two real fighters for change in this election -- their names are Barack Obama and Joe Biden
And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Journalist arrests holding

From Democracy Now!

UPDATE Action Alert: DN! Journalists Facing Charges for Reporting on the
Republican National Convention

- Charges against Amy Goodman still hold; Nicole Salazar and Sharif
Abdel Kouddous could still be charged with FELONY RIOT
- Please take immediate action to have the charges dropped

CONTACT THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE - DEMAND THAT ALL CHARGES OR POTENTIAL CHARGES BE IMMEDIATELY DROPPED:


Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner
janet.hafner@co.ramsey.mn.us and
susan.gaertner@co.ramsey.mn.us
(cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)
651-266-3079

Susan Gaertner for Governor
info at susangaertner.com (cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)
(612) 978-8625
(612)804-6156

St. Paul Mayor Christopher B. Coleman
chris.coleman@ci.stpaul.mn.us
Bob.Hume@ci.stpaul.mn.us
sara.grewing@ci.stpaul.mn.us
(cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)

Make your voice heard in the Ramsey County Attorney and St. Paul Mayor’s
offices. Demand that they drop all pending and current charges against
journalists arrested while reporting on protests outside the Republican
National Conventions.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s office is in the process of deciding
whether or not to press felony P.C. (probable cause) riot charges
against Democracy Now! Producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole
Salazar. Please contact Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner by all
means possible to demand that her office not press charges against
Kouddous and Salazar.

The St. Paul City Attorney’s office has already charged Amy Goodman with
misdemeanor obstruction of a legal process and interference with a peace
officer. Contact St. Paul Mayor Christopher Coleman by all means
possible to demand that the charges against Goodman be dropped immediately.

Goodman was arrested while questioning police about the unlawful
detention of Kouddous and Salazar who were arrested while they carried
out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the
Republican National Convention.

During the demonstration in which the Democracy Now! team was arrested,
law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion
grenades and excessive force against protesters and journalists. Several
dozen demonstrators were also arrested during this action, as was a
photographer for the Associated Press.


IMPORTANT
Be sure to cc: dropthecharges@democracynow.org on all emails so that our
team can deliver print outs of your messages to the St. Paul City
Attorney, the Mayor and Ramsey County Attorney offices.

* Read Amy Goodman's latest column *

"Why We Were Falsely Arrested"

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080903_why_we_were_falsely_arrested/


And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Freedom of the Press, Take 2 and Take Action

FreePress has a petition targeting officials in St. Paul, demanding the release of journalists arrested this week, and the cessation of them being targeted.

Reports of journalists, bloggers and videomakers being arrested keep rolling in. The St. Paul police department's targeting of journalists, including Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and the I-Witness videomakers, is having a chilling effect on free speech as the city hosts the Republican National Convention.

Many in the mainstream media are ignoring these attacks on journalism -- and some independent media makers are still in jail. But in less than 24 hours, more than 35,000 people have signed our letter demanding that press intimidation cease immediately and that all charges against journalists be dropped.

This is an incredible response. Help deliver the message that a free press will not be intimidated!

Help Us Reach 50,000 Letters:
Take Action Now

And here is the rest of it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Arianna on Cindy McCain's comments



The McCains' comments also beg the question...Does wearing your GOP hat mean you are NOT already wearing your American hat?

RNC-So much for freedom of the press

You have GOT to be kidding me. If the GOP and RNC wants to continue to fool us into believing that we are not fast approaching a police state, this is not the way to do it.

ST. PAUL, MN—Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her. Video of her arrest can be seen here:



Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfully detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman's crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman's office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which they were arrested law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this action.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism's top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists from the nation's leading independent news outlet.

Democracy Now! is a nationally syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.


And here is the rest of it.