May 8, 2005

Buy Citgo gas to Fuel Democracy

Citgo is the US refining and marketing arm of Venezuela's state oil company. Revenue from this oil at the current high market price has enabled Hugo Chavez to carry out social investments and democracy-building. A success for that democratic economic experiment in Latin America is a threat to the corporate control everywhere.


Venezuela President Calls Bush 'Mr. Danger', Says He Has Reason to Worry

CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez lashed out at President George W. Bush, calling him Mr. Danger and saying wars from Iraq to Colombia show the U.S. government is a menace to the world.


Chavez, a close ally of Cuban President Fidel Castro, has accused the United States of plotting behind the scenes to overthrow him. Venezuela is a major supplier of U.S. oil but Chavez has said he would halt shipments if the Americans try to attack Venezuela. more....

May 7, 2005

How Long Can Bush Spin Big Lies into Truth on Iraq War?
by Andrew Greeley

As the criminal, sinful war in Iraq enters its third year, the president is in Europe to heal the wounds between the United States and its former allies, on his own terms, of course. The White House propaganda mill hails it as another victory for the president and ignores the fact that most Europeans still consider the war dangerous folly and the president a dangerous fool.


Would it not be much better to have a president who deliberately lied to the people because he thought a war was essential than to have one who was so dumb as to be taken in by intelligence agencies, especially those who told him what he wanted to hear? more....


Is this believable? It's happening.

In Kansas, Darwinism Goes on Trial Once More

Six years after Kansas ignited a national debate over the teaching of evolution, the state is poised to push through new science standards this summer requiring that Darwin's theory be challenged in the classroom.

In the first of three daylong hearings being referred to here as a direct descendant of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee, a parade of Ph.D.'s testified Thursday about the flaws they saw in mainstream science's explanation of the origins of life. It was one part biology lesson, one part political theater, and the biggest stage yet for the emerging movement known as intelligent design, which posits that life's complexity cannot be explained without a supernatural creator. more....

May 6, 2005

One nation, uninsured

America doesn't have the world's best health care system, just the most expensive. For those of you who worry about your health and wealth (i.e., everyone), that's mind-bogglingly bad news.

The numbers are grotesque. The United States spends 15.5 percent of its gross domestic product on health care, about $1.7 trillion a year. No other country comes close. Yet for all that money - equal to the entire economic output of France - 45 million Americans go without health insurance.

By the way, in France, which on a per-capita basis spends about half what we do on health care, everyone is insured. In fact, under France's universal health system, patients can visit doctors, even specialists, virtually any time they wish. more....

May 5, 2005

An Open Letter to Howard Dean

Dear Chairman Dean,

Speaking before an ACLU crowd last week in Minnesota, the home state of Paul Wellstone, you were quoted as saying, "Now that we're there [in Iraq], we're there and we can't get out.... I hope the President is incredibly successful with his policy now." Did these words really come from the same man who claimed to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, and who had recently campaigned on the antiwar theme? What's changed?

Perhaps you now believe that an electoral victory for Democrats in 2006 and beyond requires sweeping this war under the rug. If so, you are only the latest in a long line of recent Democratic leaders who chose a strategy of letting "no light show" between Democrats and the President on the war. Emphasize the economy, instead, they advised, in 2002 and again in 2004.

Following this advice has kept us in the minority. During the 2002 election cycle, when Democrats felt they had historical precedent on their side (the President's party always loses seats in the midterm election), the Democratic leadership in Congress cut a deal with the President to bring the war resolution to a vote, and appeared with him in a Rose Garden ceremony. The "no light" strategy yielded a historic result: For the first time since Franklin Roosevelt, a President increased his majorities in both houses of Congress during a recession. more....

May 4, 2005

Four Dead in Ohio: 35th Anniversary of Kent State Shootings

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the Kent State shooting. On May 4th, 1970, US National Guardsmen opened fire on a crowd of unarmed students on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio.

The guardsmen fired off at least 67 shots in roughly 13 seconds. Four students were killed and nine others wounded. To this day, no one has been held accountable. Today, on this 35th anniversary we remember the Kent State shootings. more....

May 3, 2005

Save PBS from partisan operatives Kenneth Tomlinson, the Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) -- the government-funded organization that was designed to shield PBS from political pressure -- is aggressively pressing PBS to correct what he considers "liberal bias." This top-down partisan meddling goes against the very nature of PBS and the local stations we trust. Let the people speak and decide the future of PBS, not secret dealings by White House operatives. Sign this petition to demand that Congress, the CPB and PBS station managers remove Tomlinson and support town meetings in your community on the future of PBS.


from Baghdad Burning

Saved by the Carrots...

These last few days have been explosive- quite literally. It started about 4 days ago and it hasn't let up since. They say there were around 14 car bombs in Baghdad alone a couple of days ago- although we only heard 6 from our area. Cars are making me very nervous lately. All cars look suspicious- small ones and large ones. Old cars and new cars. Cars with drivers and cars parked in front of restaurants and shops. They all have a sinister look to them these days. more....

May 2, 2005

The Unreported Vietnam-Iraq Parallel
by Danny Schechter

There is a word missing in most of the coverage of Iraq. It's a ghost-laden word that conjures up distressing memories that Washington and most of our media prefer to keep in that proverbial "lock box," hidden away in dusty archives and footage libraries,

The word is Vietnam.

Its absence was never more noticeable than in the coverage this past weekend of the 30th anniversary of the Vietnam war, marked in Vietnam with celebrations, but largely ignored in America where CNN led with the story of a bride who went missing when she had second thoughts. more....

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August 21, 2004 - August 27, 2004
August 28, 2004 - September 3, 2004
September 4, 2004 - September 10, 2004
September 11, 2004 - September 17, 2004
September 18, 2004 - September 24, 2004
September 24, 2004 - October 1, 2004
September 2, 2004 - October 8, 2004
October 9, 2004 - October 15, 2004
October 16, 2004 - October 22, 2004
October 23, 2004 - October 29, 2004
October 30, 2004 - November 5, 2004
November 6, 2004 - November 12, 2004
November 13, 2004 - November 19, 2004
November 20, 2004 - November 26, 2004
November 27, 2004 - December 3, 2004
December 4, 2004 - December 10, 2004
December 11, 2004 - December 17, 2004
December 18, 2004 - December 24, 2004
December 25, 2004 - December 31, 2004
January 1, 2005 - January 7, 2005
January 8, 2005 - January 14, 2005
January 15, 2005 - January 21, 2005
January 22, 2005 - January 28, 2005
January 29, 2005 - February 4, 2005
February 5, 2005 - February 11, 2005
February 12, 2005 - February 18, 2005
February 19, 2005 - February 25, 2005
February 26, 2005 - March 4, 2005
March 3, 2005 - March 11, 2005
March 12, 2005 - March 18, 2005
March 19, 2005 - March 25, 2005
April 4, 2005 - April 10, 2005
April 11, 2005 - April 17, 2005
April 18, 2005 - April 24, 2005
April 25, 2005 - May 1, 2005

No War in Iraq march.

San Francisco, Ca., January 18, 2003
San Francisco, Ca., February 16, 2003


Klezmatics concert photos. (These are uncorrected straight out out of the camera)

On April 3, 2005, Barbara and I went to see the Klezmatics, with guest Joshua Nelson, Jewish gospel singer. To quote the concert program, "Their soul-stirring Jewish roots music recreates klezmer in arrangements and compostions that combine Jewish identity and mysticism with a contemporary zeitgeist and a postmodern aesthetic. Since their founding in New York City's East Village in 1986, the Klezmatics have celebrated the ecstatic nature of Yiddish music with works by turn wild, spiritual, provocative, reflective and danceable." The concert was phenomenal.


Campus Bay

On April 28, 2005, More than 50 people representing many officials, community groups, and other concerned citizens gathered at the Campus Bay site to demand strict oversight of health and safety standards designed to protect the community during and after cleanup of these former industrial sites. Two months have gone by since the Richmond City Council asked the state to authorize the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) to take the lead on environmental cleanup for the entire Stauffer Chemical / Zeneca / Campus Bay (called Campus Bay in short) site. Meanwhile, DTSC does have oversight on a portion of the site and cleanup will continue before development plans are approved.

The main health concerns include:
That the soil is so toxic that future residents would be exposed in the long term with unknown health effects due to gases from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and direct exposure to toxic soils. They would almost certainly not be informed about the site history or any potential health threats. The developers idea of mitigation, by the way, includes fans inside the high rises to prevent buildup of VOCs where residents live (!!!!!).

Additional concerns:
Many organizations have additional concerns including the visual impact of the high rises on adjacent neighorhoods, visual impact on the coastal zone, proper clean up and restoration of the site in general and the marsh in particular which is critical habitat for many species including the endangered Clapper Rail etc.

A few additional Photos (Most of these photos are not edited or corrected in Photoshop).


This site consists of original photographs and composites by Fletcher Oakes, unless otherwise credited.

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