Archive for the 'Injustice' Category

Life on the Rez

Heart wrenching 2007 report on life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.



Tortured Iranian Prisoner Kills Himself

Though the situation in the past month or two has been eclipsed by other events, the graphic video above (H/T:Andrew Sullivan) as an ireport for CNN, shows the bloodied father in the aftermath of his young son’s suicide who upon being released from prison leaped off a bridge to his death. Apparently the deceased had been jailed for participating in post-election protests and well in prison had endured rape and torture at the hands of his captors.


Tom Ridge Says Bush May Have Raised Terror Alert out of Politics

All those who believed that the Bush/Cheney White House at least in the two or three years following the horrendous attacks and in the wake of the carnage of 9/11, used the newly established U.S Department of Homeland Security to exploit fear for political gain, tragically may have been all too correct. That is if the first Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, is to be believed in his forthcoming book.

The Huffington Post via U.S News and World Report says that in his upcoming book, Ridge will allege amongst other matters, that despite heading the Department formed to monitor and combat terrorist threats both on and in the United States of America, he was barred from attending National Security Council meetings, was kept out of the loop on FBI activities and findings, and just before the 2004 Presidential Elections the administration had exerted pressure on Ridge to up the threat level for reasons he now ascribes to politics rather then intelligence about any attacks.

According to the article Ridge was so incensed he thought it was worth resigning over and perhaps that is why he did not serve in a second Bush/Cheney administration. Despite this when questions were raised at the time, Ridge denied politics had anything to do with raising the threat level. It is great he is making those revelations now, but if an administration was so craven to use the instruments of National Security for political gain and this is in fact true, Ridge should have resigned right away and informed the public that the administration screamed terrorist attack not based on national security but political calculation. Personally, in those days I would have thought an allegation such as that was far fetched, but an official like Ridge coming out and exposing the truth (again if its true and not just an attempt to hock books), it would have given such claims at least some credence, and maybe saved some national dignity in the process.

But what is painfully obvious now, the hype leading up to the Iraq War if not made so by the torture memos, excessive secrecy, domestic spying, or accusing political rivals of wanting to erode this nation’s strength; is that the Bush/Cheney’s would take anything whether it be profound,non-existent, even contrary to reason, against the interests of their own political party, the nation’s welfare, prosperity, and even the lives of thousands of men and women to further their agenda and consolidate power. In the wake of all these other allegations of legally questionable, immoral, and even outright illegal conduct by the now previous administration this hardly seems like a surprise. But it is just further proof that for eight years that we had a government that cast aside an notion of accountability, proof, or the old notion that “Politics stops at the water’s edge”.

Still these statements if true, would show that even a national tragedy which left in its wake debris carnage, and thousands slaughtered; the Bush/Cheney administration perceived it as an issue just as ripe for political exploitation and demagoguery as tax cuts, spending, and abortion are in a typical election year. Where most Americans saw tragedy, bloodshed, peril, and the grief of losing someone under such violent circumstances; the Bush/ Cheney white house saw little more then a political issue to bludgeon opponents, dissent, and anyone who questioned their wisdom with, and as an opportunity to radically shift the apparatus and values of our government and country in a more authoritarian direction, while keeping those charged with our safety and from true danger uninformed and possibly the United States vulnerable to such an attack.

Now you can call that mindset many things; opportunistic, gloom and doom; but you can’t call it the accountable, honest, prudent, dignified, or effective conduct of a government of liberty loving people. Too bad we didn’t have all the people yelling about threats to our freedom regarding health care reform there when liberty was really under attack in an area where the government has great power and can do the most damage.


Mexico Bound

As the health care reform debate rages on, a common refrain from conservatives is “We have the best health care in the world” and that people come around the globe seeking medical care in the United States.

This is most likely for certain procedures, due to our high quality of medical technology and doctors. However our health delivery system as crafted by the insurance companies remains low quality. And for those who come from Foreign countries to seek an operation in the United States, TPM reports that the staggering cost of medical care in the United States is forcing some to seek medical care in other countries such as Mexico.

With Washington bickering over how to reform the system and contain its spiraling costs, many Americans like Ritz simply head to Mexico to get care they can afford.

The total number making the trip is unclear. But a recent study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research estimated that nearly 1 million people from California alone seek medical, dental or prescription services in Mexico each year.

Some making the trek have little or no medical coverage. Others like Ritz are on fixed incomes and want to avoid so-called co-pays and deductibles charged by U.S. insurers on top of policies that routinely cost from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand each month.

“The very wealthy can afford whatever they want, the very poor get it through aid, but the working and the middle-class have to struggle to pay insurance,” said Ritz, who worked as a police officer in Chicago for 28 years.


Free Maziar Bahari

Last night on the Rachel Maddow Show, I heard about Newsweek Iranian correspondent Maziar Bahari , who has been held prisoner by the government in Iran, in the wake of the intensity and disputes of that country’s Presidential election.

In the past he his coverage has been praised by the Iranian government who has given him clearance to do his job. But since June 21, he has been held by the government, who has alleged he presented coverage aimed at undermining the government in a plot to remove the government there from power.

By all accounts, he sounds like a journalist who reported objectively and is now being held (and even forced to give a false confession) all because he was merely reporting the facts and doing his job.

Sign this petition that action be taken to free Maziar Bahari now.


Another Gerald Ford Assasin to be Freed?

Here is what looks to be a fairly recent interview about the assassination attempt with Lynette Squeaky Fromme, the woman about to be released from prison.

Lynette Squeaky Fromme, one of the closest and most devout members of Charles Manson’s ‘family’ and who in 1975 aimed a pistol and attempted to assassinate then President Gerald R Ford could be paroled as soon as this month. This as the fortieth anniversary of the infamous Tate-Labianca murders approaches.

(CNN) — The president she once pointed a gun at has been dead for nearly three years, and her longtime idol and leader, Charles Manson, remains in prison.

However, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme is about to get her first taste of real freedom in more than three decades.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Fromme, now 60, is set to be released on parole August 16.

Fromme is housed at Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas.

For years, she was one of Manson’s few remaining followers, as many other “Manson Family” members have shunned him. A prison spokeswoman would not say whether Fromme continues to correspond with Manson.

Fromme was convicted in 1975 of pointing a gun at then-President Gerald Ford in Sacramento, California. Secret Service agents prevented her from firing, but the gun was later found to have no bullet in the chamber, although it contained a clip of ammunition.

Personally I think this woman, even if she is now 60 years old should remain in prison. At one point during her prison tenure she supposedly assaulted a fellow prisoner with a claw hammer and in 1987 even escaped from prison when she is alleged to have heard a rumor that Manson was supposedly dying of Cancer. She has lavished praise on this monster who was her former master and was (and perhaps still is) m clearly infatuated with him. Not to mention she almost killed a U.S president, and if someone is so irrational and blinded by hate and malice they are willing to even attempt to gun down a head of state of the most powerful nation in the world, ensconced by a phalanx of secret service men, body guards, and reporters; what makes one think that anyone this ruthless would hesitate at all to kill any other person of less prestige?

Of all the former apostles of Charles Manson, she according to her statements in the past has been if not the one of the most devout and likely least remorseful. There are a host of other Manson family members in jail, who are responsible for the heinous Tate-Labianca murders. Many of them have expressed remorse, one even has Cancer; and although I am opposed to their release at least they have expressed remorse and have shown some signs they have reformed themselves.

Fromme was sentenced to life in prison and in this case with some who showcases such a dangerous history and a penchant for histrionics of a violent and erratic nature, a life sentence should be just that.

But Fromme was not the only assassin of President Ford. In 1975, another woman by the name of Sara Jane Moore actually fired upon the President, but luckily missed him. She too was recently paroled too.


Iran Wrap-up 6/26

Above is an Iranian Professor on a television show rebuking the Iranian government’s policy towards the U.S and commenting on the election of President Obama. To those neocons who think the Iranians need to be bombed into submission here is proof that their is a profound contrast between the governing regime of a nation and its people.

Much of the news coverage has been saturated in the coverage of the death of Michael Jackson and the question surrounding it, so perhaps that is why the level of news out of Iran has slowed to a trickle.

But the level of protests in Iran has diminished in the fourteenth day following the controversial Presidential election. Iran’s Guardian Council has also endorsed the results of the heated election. Despite that, each side sounds like it remains entrenched and if the demonstrators do back down they will likely continue to have a simmering resentment towards the authorities.

One cleric is now calling for the death of protesters.

At his news conference today in Washington DC with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Obama responded to yesterdays remarks by Ahmadinejad that he should apologize, by stating that the Iranian government’s unleashing of force on protesters could have an adverse affect regarding possible talks with the United States and that he may want to re-examine the way he has reacted to the protests. Obama also came the closest he has to expressing support for opposition candidate Mir Houssain Moussavi.

Also Neda Soltan’s father according to Michael Rubin at the corner is set to be forced to go on television and state that protesters and not “security forces” killed his daughter.

There has also been a vigil for the victims of the harsh crackdown.