Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
But the real show-stopper in the Riley-Blackledge story is the suggestion that Artur Davis claimed “the governor of Alabama went to Washington, met with the Justice Department, convinced them to put the resources into a conspiracy…” Davis, of course, neither said nor insinuated any such thing at any point during the hearing. So what leads Riley to say this? I have a theory. It’s because Riley knows that he did travel to Washington and pursue using the Justice Department as a cat’s paw to secure his own hold on the Montgomery statehouse. In fact, the entire play surrounding the Siegelman prosecution is unmistakably tied to Alabama electoral politics, and to Riley’s concerns about his grip on power. LINK TO FULL STORY
Sunday, October 28, 2007
excerpt: Today I want to talk a little bit about another author, a famous columnist named Walter Lippmann, especially to debunk a label that has been pinned on me of late by a local used car salesman. As you will see from this essay, I am no "elitist."
I hope the bad students down at the Big Mule Press are listening, but I do not have much hope since they are passing off another piece of manufactured GOP propaganda as news even today, with no documentary evidence and a key source who, of course, could not be reached for comment. You know who I am talking about. I refuse to link to their bullshit.
But to prove that I am a truly independent scholar ruled by no political party or ideology, I am also going to publicly quibble with a couple of liberal writers who I otherwise respect. That is still allowed under the First Amendment, I presume. LINK TO FULL TEXT
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
LINK TO "No Comment" at Harpers
Monday, October 15, 2007
CHANNEL 4 NEWS (LONDON) Nima Elbagir's graphic report from Somalia.
From Channel 4-So why isn't the international community doing more? Maybe it's because footage like this rarely makes it's way onto our screens. The journalists of Somalia have themselves become a target.On August 11, Mahed Ahmed Elmi was shot outside his office at Horn Afrik television station. As his funeral procession pulled away, a bomb exploded under a car killing his friend, the station's co-founder Ali Shamarke.The lawlessness is easily explained. The government forces, because of their Ethiopian troop support, face a coalition of both Islamist and nationalist insurgents. The Ethiopians rarely patrol the city and when they do they lose not only their lives but their boots and anything else the insurgents can use.That leaves the African Union forces as the most visible presence on the streets.
LINK TO VIDEO REPORT and BACKGROUND AT CHANNEL 4 (On Monday, 10/15-PBS NEWSHOUR ALSO RAN THIS REPORT VIA ITN)
EDGE New York City Contributor
Still, critics charge the Church was slow to respond:
Gil L. Robertson, author of "Not in My Family: AIDS in the African American Community," praised Butts and others who have shown support for their LGBT congregants with AIDS. But he delivered a scathing indictment of the black church’s overall response to the epidemic.
"African American leaders were absolutely negligent in not stepping into the frontlines in trying to solve this problem," Robertson said.
LINK TO FULL TEXT AT EDGE
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
MORE FROM BAMA PRESS- SCOTT HORTON-NO COMMENT-HARPERS
In the guise of reporting on the Simpson interview with the House Judiciary Committee, the B’ham News reporters in fact launch a major sustained assault on the credibility of Jill Simpson.
LINK TO FULL TEXT @HARPERS-NO COMMENT
(RE-above) LAWYER ADDS TO HER AFFIDAVIT ON SIEGELMAN-FROM "BIRMINGHAM NEWS"-BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE-MARY ORNDORFF and KIM CHANDLER
A Rainsville lawyer who first suggested White House influence in the prosecution of former Gov. Don Siegelman told congressional lawyers last month that Siegelman dropped his 2002 election contest after Alabama Republicans promised to end the federal investigation of him.
LINK TO FULL TEXT AT "BIRMINGHAM NEWS"
AND....THE SIMPSON TRANSCRIPT...(article by Glynn Wilson-LOCUST FORK JOURNAL)
EDITOR'S NOTE FROM WILSON-Any press reports that ignore this and focus on other parts of the testimony are at least misleading and at worst part of an orchestrated coverup to try and protect the political fortunes of Bob Riley and George Bush, and to potentially prevent the indictment of former White House Aide Karl Rove, who resigned in August as these charges first came to light. LINK TO FULL ARTICLE & TRANSCRIPT AT LFJ
Friday, October 05, 2007
The order by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came a day after Congress voted to bring all U.S. contractors in the Iraq war zone under the jurisdiction of American criminal law.
Link to NEW YORK TIMES STORY
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
OPINION- CODY LYON
Thanks to well publicized, reportedly reckless and deadly blunders, including the deaths of sixteen of its own staff, coupled with recent questioning on Capital Hill, at least some of the answers may arrive, eventually. But, as that process lumbers along, and as facts begin their slow ascent into the public forum, the people of the
That unfortunate and greater truth appears to indicate that a number of well connected private military contractors have gotten rich from our current national nightmare that is
Not that Blackwater co-founder Erik Prince ever had anything to worry about when it came time to eat at night. The private school educated, Naval Academy graduate, former navy Seal is, after all, the son of the late Edgar Prince, who founded Prince Automotive, a company that was sold in 1995 for $1.4 billion. Erik Prince’s Mother now manages the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation which has dolled out tremendous amounts of money to socially conservative causes. In 2004, she was the top individual contributor to the Citizens for the Protection of Marriage, an anti-gay marriage group that campaigned to ban same sex marriage in
Prince’s sister is the former Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Betsy DeVos. Betsy DeVos is married to Dick DeVos who is the son of the billionaire founder of Amway Corporation Richard DeVos. In 2006, Forbes Magazine estimated Richard DeVos to be the 73rd wealthiest person in the
While there may be a number of soldiers in
More curious is the question of how Erik Prince’s company came upon its latest financial windfalls that saw the company, founded in 1997, go from $1 million before 2001, to over $1 billion in awarded government contracts today, several million dollars of which arrived through what are called, single source or no bid arrangements.
In addition, the company’s vice chairman, Coffer Black was the former director of the CIA’s counterterrorism unit. In fact, Black was in charge back in 2001 when Al Queda struck on 9/11. He later worked at the State Department joining Blackwater in 2005.
Another Blackwater official, Joseph Schmitz joined Blackwater’s parent company, Prince Group, as its Chief Operating Officer and general counsel in 2005. Schmitz is a former inspector general at the Defense Department, who at the time of the “Pilot” report, faced a congressional hearing inquiry into whether or not he had quashed two investigations of senior Bush Administration officials. As a Defense Department inspector, he was in charge of looking at fraud and waste in the Pentagon.
To be sure, individuals, companies and political action groups can raise and give money to whomever they like. And, individuals can, and often do, work in the private sector after leaving government. After all, that’s part of the modern American way. But as it looks with this case, the greater question has become, who benefits, and who loses in the end. With Blackwater, it would appear there are a few losers including the members of our military who aren’t getting $1,222 a day, the taxpayers, who are paying the difference for a private firm to protect state department officials and the people of Iraq who are subject to the whims of an armed security firm that appears to be engaging in questionable, possibly poorly trained and dangerous behaviors.
Not only should congress break out the shovels and start digging for answers, it had better start defining and explaining the rules, better yet, the ethics of how money gets dolled out. Along the way, questions should be raised on who and how anyone does, and if anyone ever should, benefit from a war that is wrecking the lives of our “volunteer” military members. These are the men and women who earn a penance in financial compensation in comparison to the high paid sharpshooters at Blackwater. For America’s military, if this all adds up to the answer it appears to be heading for, is an insult to their service since it has the appearance of labeling the private mercenary services of Blackwater, as an elite alternative to the available skills offered by our nation’s official guardians of security.