Saturday, April 26, 2008

I will post Tucson Freeway Blogging signs if you send em to me.

Even though Tucson has no freeways, I think it is time to start freeway blogging again.

People are getting complacent or burned out. I know I'm burned out, but I think it is time to start a new freeway blogging campaign for war crimes prosecution, impeachment, a truth commisson (a la South Africa) .... something. And I think we have to bring it to the people directly.

Here's how.

Find cardboard.

Paint white.

Let dry.

Get overhead projector.

Project word (in typeface) from overhead transparency onto cardboard.

Trace the word in pencil on the painted cardboard.

Fill in the traced word with black paint.

Allow to dry.

Load in vehicle.

Get bungie cords or thin metal coat hangers.

Put in vehicle.

Allow extra time whenever you drive.

Look for good spots to post signs on public thoroughfares (inside the mesh or well off the road so no driver vision is blocked).

Find access road to freeway vantage.

Put on orange vest to look like road worker if you like.

Get materials.



It is all in video -- I just outlined it.


Send pics of what you have freeway blogged to me and I will post them here.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Media Savvy Workshop -- How Peace and Justice Groups Gan Get Media Coverage

This morning I attended a workshop at the UU Church on 22nd St. to help social justice groups learn how to connect with media for better coverage of their events.

I applaud the representatives of the Media Companies and the Radio Station that were on the panel.
  • Amanda Shauger, News Director of KXCI.
  • Cara Rene, Senor Editor at the Tucson Citizen.
  • Tony Paniagua, KUAT
  • Keith Bem..... (somehow I misplaced his last name) Assignment Editor KVOA Channel 4
Some very good information is disseminated in forums such as these and today was no exception.

My impressions and thoughts and the usual bitch gripe grumble moan stuff follows my notes (or Live Blogging) from the workshop.

Workshop notes:

Leila Pine introduced.

There were handouts from KXCI & Tucson Citizen.

Star not invited. For sake of peaceful information flow. (hmmm......)

Assignment editor for KVOA Channel 4
Keith B.- previously news photographer and now assignment editor.

Everyone sends him everything on the desk.
Send him email.
Don't send 4 page email
make it short and sweet.
Here's someone we want to get in front of the news camera.
Be flexible. It is all about managing resources.

nonprofit who just wants to show yourself off to the local community.
Televisions aim is to tell a story.
They need a real person.
not just mayor and fire chief. It is about your friends and my friends. It is about people.
Loosely related national organization. If someone is coming through.
Tell him everything he needs to know.
Submit an event to their community calendar.

KUAT Channel 6 public media
Tony Paniagua

Aside: Tucson Protest "March on the 5th Anniversary went well in Tucson." NPR(picked up from KUAT) aired this before the march. LOL.
from Columbia, S.A. to Phoenix
1992 came to KVOA
Houston NBC. (left due to emphasis on crime and shooting and other bad news.)
Year off in Florida.
Then KUAT.
People don't watch boring stuff.
often hears, You are part of the corporate media.
No political guidelines from above.
They do not want to honor a board of directors in their pieces. They want people whose lives have been changed by the organization.
VISUALS --- need visuals
Have people with video capabilities. Be concise and focused. Good sound bytes. you will get labeled as good or bad.
Talk to real people.
passion, timely, available.
I want to talk to ----- about x in my neighborhood. No "To whom it may concern."
aside: KUAT is governed by the University of Arizona Board of Regents.

Cara Rene- Senior Editor for Tucson Citizen.
10 yrs. there
film degree journalism u of a
oversees features, data desk marketing partnerships
1870 founded longest running (138 years) year older than star.
Tucson Citizen and Az Star owned by sep companies
TC owned by gannet*
joint operating agreement with Lee Media
sep. editorial. from star.
don't hold grudges. try again.
citizen is very very local.
changes -- in the past year. lots of hits on web site.
they are doing news 24 7
they will put up a single paragraph and add to it later in the day.
also do video, audio, slide show,
younger people are the target
know who we are.
be aware of who is with the paper
know the editors as well as the reporters.
reporters - editors - senior eds - managers.
DON'T SEND paper they want to be green. EMAIL. They don't like Faxes.
(anthrax changed everything about paper handling.)
It is IMPACT --
RPs real people
PRelease - follow up with phone call.
features will preview stuff.
news will cover events happening now.
can ask to visit with someone for larger issue
be proactive
upload your own press rel
tucson events
letters to editor
Guest opinions
governor comes in for editorial board meetings. (mark kimball) asst. ed. oversees opinion part of paper
many ways to get coverage. they are tucsonans too.
city desk 8 - 5
bullet points
date and time in subject line

Amanda Shauger, is News Director at KXCI Community Radio 91.3
part time pd. position
penn state alum
cook at catering company
dj training class a few years ago
began subbing in music programming. 91.3
most produced by volunteers
grass roots media workshop learned lots of techniques how to do features
3 years ago started doing "30 minutes"
is her own assignment editor.
can be 3 great things happening one week and more the next
does her own editing.
very limited time
new general manager is ryan bruce from wfhb (indiana)
160 pixel wide is the preferred size of jpg if you send any images to her
new effort - news with someone to direct programming
volunteer news can be difficult, sometimes a volunteer doesn't show, sometimes the equipment doesn't get returned....
democracy now at noon
no phone interviews please.
needs be gripping
not fun to be stalked
reminders are good -- in three days!
yerkes doesn't do email. he will do phone interviews.
other opportunities -- how to submit PSA (public service announcement)- 501c3
at any one time there are 7 psas in rotation
3 wks notice would be good
can't do call to action 501c3
put it on the KXCI website - upload it yourself
sponsoring / partner / benefit music are good,

Leila Pine (UU moderator) added (from her journalist experience in Madison Wisconsin:
for peace vigils --get the word out via
  • moveon
  • ufpj
  • be list specific
  • know folks on other list serves - put on 2 wks in advance then one week then couple days and last minute
KOLD aired at 10 pm when local videographer noted the protest omission on 6 p.m. when Bush spoke here in march 2005

My comment: not mentioned today, but CNN aired Raging Granny arrest video of a local videographer.

My comments:

These tips and tricks given today are all well and good for nice, pre-planned social justice events that are well planned far in advance as almost all of the entities participating today require for a chance of coverage.

The advice to get to know the journalists who cover "your" beat so that you have an ear in the specific media outlest is all well and good -- but at another level this bothers me as news should not have to have an "in" to get newsworthy events covered. But corporate media does seem to cover their friends.

Chris (the Film Snob) and I were talking about how people in corporate media do not see the frames that they use as they cover issues. Example... today when Cara Rene was asked why 10 counter-protestors (freepers) get the same coverage as 60 or 300 anti-war protesters she brought up how they have to cover both sides. What she didn't seem to realize or didn't admit in any case is that all of the corporate media covered the counter-protesters/Bush admin view with no other perspective given voice for four years or more, and only now occasionally covers anti-war news and views even though at least 70 % of the U.S. population is against the war.

My overall impression of today's panel is that it is good there are media corps that are willing to cover events by social actions groups. Your chance of getting news coverage if you happen to be a target of local or national police or feds and don't want to announce your "actions" ahead of time so these groups can plan out a technicality they can use to arrest you if they so choose. I was basically told "that's your problem."

In summary, I wasn't impressed... but I'm jaded. KXCI is the exception of course. They will cover local news that is outside the box/frame of what the powers that be dictate as world view.

* Gannet owns the Tucson Citizen as well as many other city and national newspapers. but it is worth noting that they also own most of the U.S. Military newspapers via the Army Times Publishing Company.

Domestic Surveillance Talk Looks Interesting

This announcement rom an email announcement I received -- the topic of this talk looks like one a fair number of activists and folks who want to stay informed might want to attend and it is free and open to the public:

Tucson Community Forum on Domestic Surveillance

How is the Government spying on us now?

Government-sponsored fusion centers vary widely, but generally are centers intended to improve the sharing of anti-terrorism intelligence among state, local and federal government agencies and the private sector. To date, over 40 of these centers have been established around the nation, including Arizona.

Fusion centers are raising many questions about privacy and government openness, and must be carefully bounded and monitored to ensure that they remain a legitimate and effective law enforcement tool.

Mike German, Intelligence Expert, Former FBI Agent and ACLU National Security Counsel, will be leading an engaging discussion on the privacy implications of data mining and the war on terror.

"We all want our government agencies to talk to each other and share appropriate law enforcement information," said Mike German, ACLU Policy Counsel. "What we don't want to see is the emergence of secretive, out-of-control units that collect and sift through masses of personal information on innocent people."

Domestic Surveillance in Your Backyard

What's Wrong with Fusion Centers?
A Community Education Forum on the Privacy Implications of Data Mining and the War on Terror

Monday, May 5th
6:00 PM
University of Arizona Law School
1201 E. Speedway, Room 146
(Corner of Mountain and Helen)
Tucson, Arizona

This event is free and open to the public.
Refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rice Is A War Criminal

The campaign to get the Presidential Candidates to call for Rice's resignation is one of best moves I've seen made on the public stage in quite some time. Rice chaired the meetings that explicitly designed and outlined torture procedures to be used on terrorism suspects.

I am personally outraged that individuals committed war crimes without batting an eye. They are the worst sort of monsters. Please sign the petition to have Obama, Clinton and McCain call for Rice's immediate resignation.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Are any of your views extreme? Then you are the enemy.

Robert Gates and Nancy Pelosi spout differing, but equally dangerous, falsehoods on Face the Nation this morning.

Robert Gates used a very dangerous new phrase as to who the U.S. military and mercenary troops are fighting in Iraq and elsewhere (such as in the U.S.?) this morning on Face the Nation. We apparently are no longer fighting Sadam (he's dead), nor are we fighting Al-Qaida in Iraq, and he would not say that we are fighting Shia militi or insurgents-- and most interesting of all he did not say that we were combating terrorists - what he said is that we are fighting extremists.

You know what this is don't you? This is another publicly audible click of the gears of the fascist propaganda machine pulling us toward the use of U.S. troops against the U.S. people. Language is a powerful tool and Gates use of this word "extreme" is the another shovel of dirt dug out to undermine the posse commitatas act which as of 01/19/04 in the

United States Code

Section 1385. Use of Army and Air Force as posse comitatus
      Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly
authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses
any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or
otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or
imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
Major Craig T. Trebilcock writes that "posse comitatus today is more of a procedural formality than an actual impediment to the use of U.S. military forces in homeland defense."

Please define extreme, Secretary Gates.

In my dictionary it defines it thusly:
extreme |ikˈstrēm|

1 reaching a high or the highest degree; very great : extreme cold.
2 [ attrib. ] furthest from the center or a given point; outermost

1 either of two abstract things that are as different from each other as possible
2 Logic the subject or predicate in a proposition, or the major or minor term in a syllogism (as contrasted with the middle term).
We are all shit canned if it is the second meaning he intends, when it is used as an adjective, as I believe it was used by Gates, as an attribute.
furthest from the center or a given point; outermost
So we are fighting variance, diversity of thought, and view. This fight leads to a recursive self-cannibalism that eradicates the most divergent of views. After they are eradicated, then the more moderate view becomes the extreme and it is eradicated.

This is the same sentiment behind the incremental "cleansing" used by the Nazis to which Martin Niemöller referred to when he spoke his oft quoted poem,

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . .
And by that time there was no one left to speak up."
This famous and oft quoted statement is variously quoted and if you are interested in its absolute accuracy Professor Marcuse's research is probably the most detailed and documented research that is easily accessible on the web.

And if you want to talk about keeping quiet and complicity in global level criminality, don't forget to mention Face the Nation's second guest this morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

If Nancy Pelosi is concerned about the safety of the American People or the welfare of the troops as she said she was this morning or she really believed in forwarding the mandate the American People gave in November 2006 she would act to topple the Bush regime that mocks our constitution, sabotages the structures of U.S. life that support our population, and sneers at the American People, she would PUT IMPEACHMENT BACK ON THE TABLE. This morning on Face the Nation she tried to put all the blame on Bush, and yet she is the person who took the only option the House of Representatives has for reeling in the treasonous actions of this administration off the table when she unilaterally took impeachment off the table. The House Judiciary Committee has neither the balls nor ovaries to do what is their constituional duty and put Pelosi back in her place to speak for the House and not rule the House.

As Impeach Them says,

"Keep those calls for Impeachment coming in to Congress!
We hear they are making a huge impact!
Capitol Hill Switchboard: (202) 224-2131 , (800) 828-0498"

If we don't impeach Bush and Cheney now it will be nearly impossible to hold them to any standard of justice in the future for the war crimes, treason, and lies that have characterized their entire reign. The clock is running out. We must do this NOW. If not, well, then I guess I will see you in the camps. Check out how they are currently being used to keep women and children incarcerated in a prison that idenies access to U.N. human rights workers.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mountain near Phoenix is renamed Piestewa Peak.

Mountain renamed for fallen Arizonan soldier is so much more than a name change.

Mountains change on a geological time scale that is invisible to us as short-lived humans. Changing the name of a mountain near Phoenix, Arizona seemed for a while to be moving almost that slowly, but finally after years of controversy, the mountain formerly known as Squaw Peak is finally rid of that offensive name. The new name, Piestewa Peak, honors a native Arizonan, Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa who was the first American Indian woman to die in battle as a U.S. soldier.

The American Indian peoples of the Southwest have been recognized as patriotic and proud to serve in the United States military in the last few decades. The Navajo Code talkers contributions to cryptography during WWII have become widely known and celebrated. Ira Hayes, one of the men who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima, was Akimel O’odham (once called Pima Indians) and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community.

For a mountain in Arizona to bear the name of an Arizonan armed services member who gave her life in battle should not in and of itself be remarkable. However, today's Federal recognition of the name Piestewa Peak is quite notable for many reasons.

An American Indian woman has been honored. American Indians continue to battle the consequences of what was on some fronts the attempted genocide of their ancestors and various inequities, insults and abuses that are ongoing to this day. It is good to honor the sacrifice of an individual for her country. It is even more meaningful when that woman is from a cultural group that has been mistreated by that country even though such honors do nothing to ameliorate inequities.

An American Indian woman has been honored. The old name of the mountain was insulting and derogatory to all women. While the meaning and etymology of the word squaw is disputed is has come to be associated with an insulting name for female genitalia. It is not a word in any American Indian language although it does share great similarity to a suffix some Eastern North American Indian languages use to denote feminine status of a word. The exact history of the word is not important, what is important is that is has come to be associated with a word in the English language that cannot be printed in any polite publication whether it originally had this meaning or not. Let us just say that the word in English starts with a "c."

A word that insults American Indians has been removed from the name of a mountain near the 4th largest city in the U.S. Attempts to get the word squaw removed as a place name for hundreds of place names is an ongoing battle. This renaming is a significant win in this battle. This is a very visible name change as the mountain is a visible icon for the Phoenix area, the fourth largest metropolitan area in the U.S.

A word that insults women has been removed from the name of a mountain. All women have benefited from the removal of an insult to their gender. There is a meaningful and powerful relationship between individual word usage and cultural indoctrination to and acceptance of words.

This renaming also gives us an opportunity to discuss the economic draft. Lori Piestewa died for her country. While we can discuss the legitimacy of the U.S. being in Iraq, there is no need to discuss the bravery and valor of being willing to give your all, literally, in the defense of your country. Lori was a brave and courageous woman. But who was she? Pfc. Lori Piestewa was the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and the granddaughter of a World War I veteran. Her father was a Hopi Indian and her mother was of Mexican descent. Piestewa was a single mother with two children, a boy and a girl both under age 5. This makes me wonder by a single parent was in a war zone. At one time our country imposed restrictions on where single parents could be posted in order to preserve the families. Why would a woman with two children join the military? I cannot speak for Lori, but thousands upon thousands of individuals from economically repressed areas resort to joining the military in what essentially constitutes an economic draft when other employment opportunities are not available in their home communities. Tuba City, Lori's home town, is in the Navajo Reservation is close to Hopi land. Wikipedia describes her home town Tuba City, thusly" "[Tuba City], compared to other towns and villages in Navajoland, is somewhat less impoverished than other Navajo towns, as the median household income is $38,556. The median income for a household in the CDP [census-designated place] was $38,556, and the median income for a family was $37,813. Males had a median income of $29,280 versus $26,855 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $10,479. About 23.1% of families and 28.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.0% of those under age 18 and 44.8% of those age 65 or over." (source: Wikipedia.)

This Federal acceptance of the new name validates the struggle that Arizona Govenor Janet Napolitano and thousands of other Arizonans had to wage to combat conservative resistance to renaming Squaw Peak to Piestewa Peak to honor Pfc. Lori Peistewa and all those Arizonans who have given their lives in the line of duty.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Hitchens Blasts Clinton on Tim Russert Show

Just listened to Tim Russert (that was my first mistake) this a.m. with Christopher Hitchens (Vanity Fair & Slate and Andrew Sullivan (Atlantic and Daily Dish). Hitchens as always was controversial for our society in his Atheism and rabidly secularist viewpoints, but his facts are usually right on and easily verified. If what Hitchens discussed this morning takes root in the popular psyche Clinton's goose is cooked.

Hitchen's argument:

Hillary made Bill hold back on intervening the Bosnian crisis in order to not diminish energies and focus on her health care initiative. Much of the genocide occurred due to calculated delay in intervention that Bill had passionately promised.

Hitchens, who has been described as the the thinking man's Ann Coulter, goes on to allude to the unabashed self-focus of the Clintons is extremely dangerous as there is no orientaton but money and power.

It all does make me want to dig into obscure files and find out if any insiders have talked about these reasons for the delay in intervention.

The pair up between Sullivan and Hitchens was great entertainment though. Info from MSNBC about this show isn't up yet on the website. It is still showing March 26.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Sexual Assault Awareness Month...

The SAAM Day of Action, observed this year on Thursday, April 3, 2008, is recognized nationally as a specific day to focus awarness on sexual violence prevention, and to do my part, I'm highlighting the intolerable acceptance of rape by U.S. mercenaries and the military and governmental institutions that shield them. KBR, yet again, appears to be sheltering violent rapists.

Women in the military and women in companies with a presence in Iraq -- do not volunteer to go to Iraq, do not allow yourself to be sent there.

The old CODEPINK chant, "Haliburton, Kellog, Brown and Root. Go to Iraq to loot, loot loot." needs to be updated to "Haliburton, Kellog, Brown and Root. Go to to Iraq to rape and loot." If they do this to their sister medics just imagine the brutality of attacks on Iraqi women and girls.

Write your Representatives. Include a link to the article. Tell them to get the hell out of Iraq now. Ask them to immediately have mercenaries withdrawn, followed by all National Guard, then those that have been Stop Lossed, then Reserves, then Regular Military. And while you are at it tell 'em to get Impeachment Proceedings started now (Pelosi's smoke-filled room agreements are not legal nor binding) or Bush will pardon everyone in his administration before leaving office and justice will be much more difficult to mete out to them. There are two ways to do this. Go to Wexler's site to support hearings. Or go to Kucinich's site and support HR 333 -- as we really don't need any more hearings, just House Impeachment so the Senate can then have Hearings.

Mercenaries need to be held accountable for their violent sexual assaults and the Bush administration that created this war and bears ultimate responsibility for all this death and violence must also be held accountable.

The Buzz about Hillary & Watergate

Can anyone in the DC area go to the GWU library and photocopy or transcribe the information that would corroborate Jerry Zeifman's statements in his February 6th AIM piece? In it, he stated,
During that period I kept a private diary of the behind the scenes congressional activities. My original tape recordings of the diary and other materials related to the Nixon impeachment provided the basis for my prior book Without Honor and are now available for inspection in the George Washington University Library.
The real killer statement in that piece is Zeifman's statement that:
"My own reaction was of regret that, when I terminated her (Hillary Rodham) employment on the Nixon impeachment staff, I had not reported her unethical practices to the appropriate bar associations."
This is the first published version of Zeifman's statement I can find . My question is why didn't the corporate media pick up this story on February 6th? Why do I have to hear about it from a wacko neo-con and his 83,000 wannabe pundit echo-chambers?

I initially blew off the link to the neocon article my husband sent me because the writer only referenced himself and seemed to be more interested in his own tongue and tail wagging -- see the scoop, it's my scoop, I have the interview -- than in getting the accurate story out. Zeifman's comments on Clinton are significant and could have far reaching impact and deserve accurate links and complete references.

The neo-con cult of personality has to stop. As a progressive blogger I admit my biases but I do not try to deceive or misdirect.

This is what Zeifman says about Clinton in his article on the AIM (gag, sputter) website.

Hillary assured me that she had not drafted, and would not advocate, any such rules changes. However, as documented in my personal diary, I soon learned that she had lied. She had already drafted changes, and continued to advocate them. In one written legal memorandum, she advocated denying President Nixon representation by counsel. In so doing she simply ignored the fact that in the committee's then-most-recent prior impeachment proceeding, the committee had afforded the right to counsel to Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.

I had also informed Hillary that the Douglas impeachment files were available for public inspection in the committee offices. She later removed the Douglas files without my permission and carried them to the offices of the impeachment inquiry staff-where they were no longer accessible to the public.

Hillary had also made other ethically flawed procedural recommendations, arguing that the Judiciary Committee should: not hold any hearings with-or take depositions of-any live witnesses; not conduct any original investigation of Watergate, bribery, tax evasion, or any other possible impeachable offense of President Nixon; and should rely solely on documentary evidence compiled by other committees and by the Justice Department's special Watergate prosecutor.

This first source, the February 6th one, is not to my liking, as it is a little puddle of "news" that is also teaming with conservatism but it does offer Zeifman in his own words.

All the current buzz seems to reference the wrong source. That infuriates me. If anyone knows how to link to images of or a transcript of the original source in the GWU library, please leave a comment.