Friday, September 30, 2005
There are now 9 million U.S. millionaires and 37 million poor people
We need to pat ourselves on the back as a nation. There are now 9 million millionaires in our midst, and boy that makes me happy!
The number of millionaires in the US has reached a record 8.9m, rising for the third consecutive year despite faltering stock and bond markets.
The rise confirms a three-year economic rebound following a decline in the number of millionaires during 2001 and 2002.
After some light research, I found that poverty levels in our country rose too:
- There were 37.0 million people in poverty (12.7 percent) in 2004, up from 35.9 million (12.5 percent) in 2003.
- There were 7.9 million families in poverty in 2004, up from 7.6 million in 2003. The poverty rate for families remained unchanged at 10.2 percent. The poverty rate and the number in poverty showed no change for the different type of families.
Hey, at least we are seeing bigger numbers in wealth and poverty. Now that’s what I call fair and balanced.
Cross posted by Bob Riven of Meat-eating leftist.
Exile_lsf Review: The Lord of War
The Lord of War is a difficult and unsettling film, the kind that makes you squirm in your seat. This is also the kind of film I admire and the kind of film they say Hollywood doesn’t make anymore. It is an imperfect film but one that should be seen, it may not make you sing when you leave the theater (far from it) but it reminded me of a triple axel at the Olympics, you judge a film like this on it’s degree of difficulty because it is attempting a much more difficult feat than 95% of all films both domestic and foreign.
Nicolas Cage stars as a two-bit arms hustler named Yuri who works his way up the hideous food chain that is arms dealing. His character Yuri turns out to be quite gifted at this hideous profession and he takes us with him as he navigates this terrain through his on-camera and voice-over narration. The character becomes quite slick but the film does a good job of showing that the glibness of the character is in direct proportion to what he is denying to himself: that he is more directly tied to the deaths caused by these weapons than he admits to himself.
The Lord of War traverses the globe as Yuri supplies most of the armed conflicts between 1983 and 2001, which is a good time period as most Americans over 20 will have some knowledge of these very real wars and conflicts. The film serves as a primer to armed conflicts over these years and the nations and players involved. It is no easy task to guide a viewer through a series of twists and turns, trying to educate the viewer while entertaining them. There are attempts at black humor and you find yourself laughing and wincing at Cage’s character as it is so unpleasant to contemplate this life, yet there are many who are presently doing what Yuri does for a living, both individuals and governments.
The second half of the film works better than the first just because the stakes are raised as he begins a family and life begins to unravel, and once you become accustomed to the environment the film can concentrate on the characters instead of feeding the viewer enough information to keep up with the plot.
The Lord of War should be of interest to all liberals because of its subject matter: wars and global conflicts and how they are operated and how they are paid for. It is not pleasant to contemplate what the governments and arms dealers are doing in our world presently but to turn away from this kind of information does no one any good. We fight the urge to know more about this unpleasant subject the same way Yuri resists all attempts at contemplating the results of what he does to make his money and in this aspect the film scores brilliantly. I recommend this film if you are interested in a film that takes you somewhere you haven’t been before and want to learn more about how the modern world works, warts and all.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
BREAKING: Judy Miller Walks Out of Jail
According to PHILLY.COM (subscription required) Judy Miller left prison today:
WASHINGTON - Judith Miller, The New York Times reporter jailed since July 6 for refusing to identify a source, was released this afternoon following a telephone conversation with the alleged source - the vice president’s chief of staff.
She is expected to testify before a grand jury in Washington, a source said, possibly as early as Friday.
Miller, whose incarceration sparked a national debate about the First Amendment and unnamed sources, spoke from jail two weeks ago with Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, according to Libby’s lawyer, Joseph Tate.
During that conversation, Libby reaffirmed that he had released Miller from a promise of confidentiality more than a year ago, Tate said. Miller had been concerned that a Libby’s blanket waiver releasing any journalist might have been coerced.
“She wanted to hear it directly from Mr. Libby,” Tate said. “And he assured her that it was voluntary.”
The special prosecutor in the case, Patrick Fitzgerald, has sought to compel Miller to reveal her source to a grand jury investigating whether Bush administration officials leaked the name of a CIA covert officer, Valerie Plame.
A 1982 federal law makes it a crime to disclose the name of American covert agents.
Miller was released at 3:55 p.m., according to officals at the Alexanderia Detention Center.
Layers of Protection
There is a haunting piece about the dead in Louisiana in the Village Voice, a piece also about the dead in another criminal war, a piece that got me thinking about who gets protected, what they get protected from, and why that protection is or isn’t there when it is needed most.
I walked down Iberville toward Hwy 30 and the railroad tracks that run along the perimeter of the morgue until I reached a spot of relative darkness, shielded by some warehouses from the massive banks of lights that illuminate St. Gabriel’s 24-hour operation. I lay down on the tracks and closed my eyes and tried to clear my mind. I got down to what I really came to St. Gabriel for: to see if I could feel the dead, if I could hear them.
Michael Swindle is visiting the temporary morgue set up in the town of San Gabriel, a place he visited shortly before the government relented, allowing the press entrance to the facility. He seeks some sense of the place by taking that walk, trying to commune with the dead within:
I have met the dead before like this, supine in a physical and mental darkness, in a very small place called Dong Ha that was nestled hard up against what was in 1968 the South Vietnam side of the DMZ, where I was sent on courier duty from Danang now and again when my Marine Corps superior officers were in a particularly eager mood for me to be killed. A trip to Dong Ha was always an overnighter, and the transient barracks (a large tent) abutted the graves registration operation for all of I Corps, the northernmost sector of combat in that war. That’s where the bodies came, and they came in a steady, 24-7 stream, to be tagged, bagged, and “sent home.” And they came year after year, far past my tour of duty, for a long, long time.
That transient tent in Dong Ha was the eeriest and most unsettling spot I have ever visited, and it had nothing to do with machine-gun and small arms fire, with grenades and mortars, with incoming rockets. The dead were there. Their bodies were there, and their spirits were there. You could feel them. All night long, if you were listening, you could hear them, and I rarely slept there.
For a short time, in the aftermath of Katrina, the press actually pulled back the gauzy veil of relentless consumerism and showed us real life, real death, real suffering and real heroism and really real consequences to human choices, government choices and the relentless, unstoppable wail and force of Gaia when she decides to cut loose.
It didn’t last long, of course. We need the fairy tales, the predigested “reality” of comfortable narratives of ONLY heroism, of faith-based charities, of an upbeat story of how the devastated South will rise again, preferably with profitable walls of condos and new second homes for rich folks, nice hotels for rich tourists, and nowhere for the poor. For the dead:
I got to my feet and dusted myself off and walked back to my van. I had not felt the dead in this place, nor had I heard them. Only their corpses are here, their casings, and they are invisible. No Press on recovery efforts, no images of corpses. Press blackout on all aspects of the morgue, no images of corpses. The symbol of “dead body” around here is a gleaming Peterbuilt pulling an insulated, odorless, refrigerated 18-wheeler trailer. This works on the same principle that holds that no images of body bags or coffins coming back from Iraq “respects the dignity” of grieving families and “softens,” I guess, the collective loss. The dead you can’t see become simply numbers, and numbers are clean unambiguous things. They are easier to work with than, you know, the other.
This isn’t, of course, done for the protection of the families, of the survivors. It’s certainly not done for the protection of the unlucky, the foolish and especially not for the abandoned. No, this view must be obscured, must be wrapped in a silken shroud of numbers, of PR spin and obfuscation and an avoidance of any responsibility, any accountability. This arithmetic caul must be pulled over our fragile innocent eyes to protect the guilty. To protect those in power. To protect the ruling corporate feudal class and the Boy CEO they elevated to rule over their little concrete fiefdoms.
After all, this is where our society expends its greatest energies, to protect those with the most from failure, from consequences ... from the aftermath of the disasters they bring upon others. While more and more Americans keep going, without the security of health coverage or insurance for job losses or even access to a living wage, layers upon layers of legal kevlar protect the assets of the wealthy.
Trusts, overseas bank accounts, holding companies within holding companies protecting the incorporated Lords in their tailored bulletproof suits. Not for them the vagaries of nature ... a quick ticket out on the platinum card, a cozy hotel waiting in another place, for the world is their playground. Feudal America has no need for keeps on hills or watery moats: these fiefdoms exist on fluid paper and international travel. They are fortresses created by the best estate and corporate lawyers money can buy. If a business plan goes bad, government is there to help to preserve it, to cover any losses. Losses for the bosses, that is: the lower level plebes will just have to fend for themselves.
While the Dauphin rides in his armored Cadillac Presidential Limousine , kept safe from the sight of those he rules by tinted bulletproof windows, soldiers fighting his illegal war for oil and American Hegemony are still underarmored in body and vehicles.
After all, what must be protected is what we value: money and power. Left to our own devices, many of us vote for the promise that if we’re good, if we get with the program, then maybe WE or our children will get access to that money, that power. No counter offer is forthcoming from an opposing party, for there is no real opposing party. The “other side” of our party-and-a-half system is itself mired in privilege and wealth and their very own armored vehicles. As they usher in a corporate counsel as the new Chief Justice of the highest court, we see that most of our leaders are just comfy with protecting a system they benefit from. No one is left to fight for the idea that there are other values beside cash and power, no one to stand for the belief that we the people had hoped to form a more perfect union. No one.
Meanwhile, the dead are ritually washed and ritually interred and ritually forgotten, as the shiny Peterbuilt trucks roll down the highway and the armored Cadillac limosines carry the comfortable from keep to safe and luxurious keep.
Senate Democrats: Last Chance to Avert Disaster
Update: Harry Reid fails to hold Dems together. Roberts confirmed 78-22.
OK Senators, today is the day we see what you are made of. Bush’s numbers are in the toilet, there is rampant dysfunction, corruption and ineptness in everything the man has touched for almost 5 long years. Here is a Supreme Court nomination that is one giant Trojan Horse, guaranteed to bedevil the very Democrats who elected you for the next 30 years. What you do now will affect all of us for ages to come and we are watching you today so we know just how to spend our political dollars as well as cast our votes next year and beyond.
Remember that this nominee has a very slim paper trail, which is why he was chosen. What little paper there is on Roberts is being withheld from you and it is being kept from you for one reason and one reason only: it defines him and is the reason Bush has nominated Roberts to sit along with the two justices he has publicly favored, Scalia and Thomas. There is a reason why the Neocons and Fundies have been quiet throughout this process and that is because they have been assured that Roberts is everything they have been longing for.
Your job as Senate Democrats is to see that they do not get this and today is your day to fight back with your vote. Your constituents will understand when you tell them that you cannot vote for a man when the relevant documents have not been handed over to you, but your constiuents will not forgive you when every month for the foreseeable future they watch the Supreme Court dismantle our freedoms and allow corporations, religious fundamentalists and the uber-wealthy to run rampant over our way of life. Act now or we will all suffer the consequences.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
An Alinsky Compendium
Many of us here have learned a lot from Dancing Larry’s Alinsky posts. I thought, since they were mentioned a couple of times in Meteor Blade’s diary, I thought I’d post a quick set of links:
Brownie accepts no blame for Katrina mess; blames Nagin, Blanco, Democrats, FDR, Stalin, his dog, et
Former FEMA director Michael Brown did a ‘heckuva’ job blaming everyone except himself for our nation’s disastrous response to Katrina victims at yesterday’s sham hearing in DC:
“My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was dysfunctional,” two days before the storm hit, Brown said.
Brown, who for many became a symbol of government failures in the natural disaster that claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people, rejected criticism that he was inexperienced.
“I’ve overseen over 150 presidentially declared disasters. I know what I’m doing, and I think I do a pretty darn good job of it,” he said.
I guess when horses need new shoes, he is our guy, but please, be a man and accept some of the blame. Please! At least pay some lip service to the fact that you had SOMETHING to do with the slow response. I mean, this fucker had no clue what was going on down there. We at home knew more about the convention center disaster on the second day of the storm than this horse trader knew!
Cross posted by Bob Riven of Meat-eating leftist.
DeLay is Indicted-- Update: He Will Step Down as Maj Leader!
BREAKING NEWS from the Austin American Statesman:
A Travis County grand jury today indicted U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on one count of criminal conspiracy, jeopardizing the Sugar Land Republican’s leadership role as the second most powerful Texan in Washington, D.C.
The charge, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years incarceration, stems from his role with his political committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, a now-defunct organization that already had been indicted on charges of illegally using corporate money during the 2002 legislative elections.
Tom Delay is Indicted on one count of Criminal Conspiracy.
Ronnie Earl is KING.
Next question, will DeLay step down?
Photo by Charles Dharapak/AP
Better Hide That Soda Can Anna Nicole
File this one under “Believe It or Not”, via ABC NEWS:
The Supreme Court shed its staid image Tuesday, giving stripper-turned Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith a new chance at a piece of the fortune of her 90-year-old late husband. The court said it would hear arguments early next year as part of Smith’s effort to collect as much as $474 million from the estate of J. Howard Marshall II. The oil tycoon married her in 1994 when he was 89 and she was 26. The case promises to be the sexiest of the nine-month term which begins next week.
“She’s very excited. She will be attending arguments, there’s no question about that,” Smith’s lawyer, Howard K. Stern, said in a telephone interview from Vermont where the television reality star is filming a movie. At issue for the court is a relatively mundane technical issue: when may federal courts hear claims that are also involved state probate proceedings. But the facts are eye-catching.
photo by Mark J. Terrill
Fucking Schmoozers (open thread)
I’ve overseen over 150 presidentially declared disasters,” Mr Brown said in testimony to a Congressional committee. “I know what I’m doing, and I think I do a pretty darn good job of it,”.
A late night thread, do with it what you will... or won’t.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
"He told me I was his angel"
This was the story told by Ashley Smith back in March about her time as a hostage of Brian Nichols. To refresh your memory:
The woman held hostage in her apartment by the suspect in Atlanta’s courthouse slayings said the two spent hours talking about the killings, their families and God and that Brian Nichols “just wanted some normalness to his life.”
Ashley Smith said the ordeal began around 2 a.m. Saturday morning with Nichols sticking a gun in her side and tying her up. But Nichols, who is accused of killing three people at the courthouse Friday and a federal agent later, eventually let Smith go to see her young daughter, she said.
More to the tale, it turns out.
As she described her ordeal on numerous television shows at the time:
Smith said Nichols, 33, took her hostage in the parking lot of her apartment when she returned from a store.
“He said, ‘I’m not going to hurt you if you just do what I say,”’ she said. “I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want to hurt anybody else.”
She said Nichols tied her up with masking tape, a curtain and extension cord and told her to sit in the bathroom while he took a shower.
But as the night wore on, she tried to win Nichols’ trust by telling him about her life.
“I knew if I made him feel comfortable then I could get things the way I wanted them and not the way he wanted them,” Smith told The Early Show.
Smith told Nichols about her daughter and bonded with him after he said that he had a son who had been born the night before.
“My husband died four years ago, and I told him if he hurt me my little girl wouldn’t have a mommy or daddy,” Smith said.
Smith’s attorney, Josh Archer, said her husband died in her arms after being stabbed.
He eventually untied her, and some of the fear lessened as they talked. Nichols told Smith he felt like “he was already dead,” but Smith urged him to consider the fact that he was still alive a “miracle.”
“You’re here in my apartment for some reason,” she told him, saying he might be destined to be caught and to spread the word of God to fellow prisoners. She also read the bible to Nichols, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Acosta.
“He told me I was his angel, sent from God, and that I was his sister and he was my brother in Christ,” said Smith.
Ms. Smith was hailed as a hero, given strenth by her faith and the lessons she’d learned from Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life”. The story is actually featured on Purpose Driven Life dot com:
How Bad Choices Turn Good For Ashley Smith and Brian Nichols
March 15, 2005 - by John Fischer
“Does my life matter?” Rick Warren said recently at a celebration of the surprising success of The Purpose Driven Life. “I don’t know anybody who doesn’t want to know the meaning of life.” That statement certainly has new implications now. Even a killer on a rampage wants to know the meaning of life, enough to stop what he was doing and think about it, and eventually turn himself in.
All of this may very well be true, as far as it goes. The US media was full of stories this year pushing the idea that evangelical strains of Christianity held the solutions to all of life’s problems, stories that happen to coincide with the Bush Administration’s increasing moves to funnel government money to religious organizations to do work that used to be provided by shared societal action, through government agencies. We can see it at work now in the ravaged Gulf region.
However, Ms. Smith now reveals in her book, which she will be flogging with a new round of media appearances, that she may have been his angel for other reasons:
Ashley Smith, the woman held hostage for hours after the March 11 Fulton County Courthouse shootings, discloses in a new book that she gave alleged gunman Brian Nichols drugs the night he held her captive.
Smith, 27, was thrust into the spotlight after talking her way out of Nichols’ captivity and then calling police. In “Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero,” Smith shares details of her seven-hour ordeal as a hostage in her apartment near Atlanta.
Nichols asked her for marijuana, she writes, but she had only a small amount of crystal methamphetamine. She thought offering him the drug might curry favor, but she says she refused to take the drug with him.
“I was not going to die tonight and stand before God, having done a bunch of ice up my nose,” she writes.
So there is more going on here. This is not to say that religion did not play a part in these two people making the choices they needed to make to stay alive. However, if we look at the whole story, it’s plain that life is much more complicated than than the Bible camp fairy tales that we’re being fed on a daily basis by the evangelical right.
The sanitized marketed version is spelled out on Warren’s website:
There they sat, two lives dealing with bad choices. One was one her way back, the other was on his way down. The one who was tied up asked if she could go get something to read - something that had recently been a great help to her encouraging turnaround. For some reason, the one with the gun untied her and let her go get the book, and like a kid sharing something newly discovered, Ashley ran and got The Purpose Driven Life and started reading right where she had left off: Chapter 33, “How Real Servants Act.” What she read pierced the man’s heart. Over a breakfast of pancakes and eggs, they talked into the morning. [...]
Across from the courthouse, at a memorial service the following day, Chaplain Warren L. Henry said, “On March 11, we arrived at the Fulton County courthouse to have our world totally rearranged. We witnessed a battle of good versus evil, right versus wrong, heaven versus hell.” And at an apartment the night before, that battle was fought in the lives of two ordinary people, both locked in a struggle, but a great victory was won by God. For as the conversation of that most unlikely of meetings came to a close, Ashley Smith went free to pick up her daughter who was waiting for her, and Brian Nichols, who knew she would call the police, hung a white handkerchief out the apartment window and waited alone for the inevitable.
I beg to differ. God didn’t make that ending happen, two human beings did. They may have used Warren’s book, and the Bible, to help them make their choices, but it could have easily been a Q’uran or some New Age tract. It could have been Sarte, for that matter. Two people made some choices, choices that led to life or to death. First she offered him drugs, then she offered him words, words that he could react to because they shared that common religious heritage.
I am pointing all of this out not to attack “Purpose Driven Life” ... for all I know Rick Warren is sincere. Frankly, I’m so tired of evangelicals that I’m not going to go chase down whether he’s Jimmy Swaggart or Jimmy Carter. What I do object to is the marketing of this simple-minded, paint-by-numbers spirituality. Finding meaning in life is a constant struggle, a tumbling series of choices. It is dangerous for our government, and our media, to constantly be pushing one particular picture of how to make that journey. Evangelical Christianity may help many people to frame their lives. For others, like myself, it is a simple-minded, anti-human ideology that precludes choice. It is important for all of us to find a mask for God that fits OUR lives, not some preconceptions of a religious minority with far too much political influence.
After all, a good high before going away forever was all that Mr. Nichols really needed. Who’s to say for sure?
Free speech [or lack of] in upstate New York
This was supposed to be a post about our little anti-war activism in Delaware County, New York, but instead, it is now a piece on ignorance in our county and right wing fascists.
Harvest time in upstate New York is a busy time of the year. We are all busy tending to our crops and animals, getting the winter supply of wood ready, and hunkering down for our long cold season. A few neighbors and I wanted to go to DC for the big protest this weekend, but being overwhelmed with goings on here at home, we really couldn’t take the time. Instead, we decided to do some local activism as a show of solidarity with our friends in Washington: We constructed and raised two 20 foot by 4 foot banners on busy Route 30, along our property lines. One side read: “How many more dead?” and the other, “Out of Iraq now!”
We spent most of Saturday afternoon building the signs and carrying them up our hills to the state road. We were careful to raise them within our property lines so no one could complain about them being on state land.
Feeling pretty good about what we had accomplished in a short period of time, we sat in front of the sign on my property and had a couple of beers, talked about the affairs of state and waved to passersby who honked in support (by the way, 99% of the cars honking were Subarus, so they didn’t count.)
So, yesterday my wife comes home with my son from school and she tells me that our signs are no longer up. I put on my raincoat and head up our hill. All that was left of the sign on my property was a broken stake. The sign was nowhere to be found. I walked over to my neighbor’s land, where we posted the second sign and that one was torn down and laid on the ground in pieces. The stakes there also were pried loose and broken in half.
They are merely doing their god’s bidding, that much I know. But to take away my right and my friends’ right to express ourselves is especially annoying. Some of the folks around here make me ashamed to say that I am from upstate New York. It’s one thing to disagree with me when we meet up at the coffee shop, it’s another to tear down my sign and prove themselves to be backwards rednecks.
Anyway, we decided to rebuild the signs and raise them again. Only this time, we will be waiting for them so that we can have an enlivened debate under the stars.
Cross posted by Bob Riven of Meat-eating leftist
How To Talk To A Dittohead...
Hi all! Long time no see! Where’ve I been? Work...blah, blah, blah....the book...blah, blah, blah...Vegas...Okay, that doesn’t get blah-blah-blah-ed, but I don’t have time for it at the moment. Like any less-than-reputable family member, I’ve suddenly appeared from out of nowhere to ask for help.
Iâ€™ve been asked by my publisher to make some revisions to the second half of my book. The first half is my own, personal story which theyâ€™ve said is fine. The second half was originally just an issue-by-issue refutation of all things dittiot, but my publisher has asked that I make it more of a dittohead conversational primmer, which I think is a fan-freaking-tastic idea. Iâ€™m calling it â€œHow to talk to a Dittohead (and you must)â€? because, letâ€™s face it guys, if we donâ€™t do it who else will? Is Brit Hume suddenly going to spontaneously spring a soul and say â€œI canâ€™t do this anymoreâ€¦this is all a bunch of crap!â€?
From the dittoheadâ€™s perspective any argument is like a big Plinko game. Remember Plinko from the Price is Right? If youâ€™ve never seen it, Plinko was basically a 10-foot tall pegboard. Contestants would drop a disk about the size of a small Frisbee somewhere along the top, and the disk would bounce its way down the board to the bottom. Along the bottom were about 10 slots with dollar amounts ranging from as little as $100 to as much as $10,000. You took home whatever dollar amount your chip landed on, but not all of the slots paid off. On either side of the $10,000 slot were a pair of $0 slots, so if you went for the big prize youâ€™d often go home with nothing.
Plinko is the perfect parallel to arguing with a dittohead, except thereâ€™s only one hopper that pays off, and the other nine are worth nothing. Whenever you start the conversation, youâ€™re picking your spot along the top of the board to drop your chip. The dittohead will then do everything in his or her power to filter that chip into one of the zero dollar hoppers. The point of the discussion from the dittoheadâ€™s perspective is to guide you into one of those slots where itâ€™s easy to ignore what youâ€™re saying.
Well, Iâ€™m trying to identify as many of those zero dollar slots as I can. Those casual dismissals that they all use to turn an otherwise complicated argument into an exchange of talking points. Here are the oneâ€™s I could come up with off the top of my head…
1) â€œYouâ€™re answer to everything is â€˜raise taxes.â€™â€?
2) â€œYouâ€™re just another big-government, tax-and-spend liberal.â€?
3) â€œAnd you believe what you hear from the liberal media?â€?
4) â€œYou just hate Bush.â€?
5) â€œYeah, but that was Clintonâ€™s fault (or, Clinton didnâ€™t do anything about it, either.)â€?
Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ll think of dozens of others, but I figured I might as well try to rack everyoneâ€™s collective brain rather than just rattling around the small change in my own. Once I have a good collection of these, Iâ€™ll be able to address ways of getting around each dead end. Thanks in advance to anyone who helps!
Cindy Sheehan arrested in DC protest
U.S. military mother Cindy Sheehan, whose vigil outside President George W. Bush’s Texas ranch focused attention on the anti-war movement, was arrested on Monday in a sit-in at the White House after refusing to obey police orders to leave.
Cross posted by Bob Riven of Meat-eating leftist
Loser of the week--Lynndie England
According to the BBC Lynndie England has been convicted.
A US military panel has found a woman soldier guilty of abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail, near the Iraqi capital Baghdad, last year. Private Lynndie England, 22, appeared in some of the graphic photos of abuse at the prison which caused outrage. The panel found her guilty on four counts of maltreating detainees, one count of conspiracy and one count of committing an indecent act. England faces up to 10 years in prison when she is sentenced.
England was the last in a group of nine army reservists charged with mistreating inmates at the prison. It took the panel of five military officers just two hours to reach their verdict.
It would be nice to see every soldier who serves with distinction be given the medal they deserve. It would also be nice if every soldier who disgraces the military by their conduct be punished according to the severity of their actions. We want to believe in our armed forces just like we want to believe in our government again, but until there is a full accounting Americans will get more disenfranchised from both. It’s time for American Glasnost 2005.