October 21, 2005

Bait-and-Switch Charity
The Scandalous History of the Red Cross

In recent years, the image of the Red Cross has been tarnished. The worst scandal came after the September 11 attacks, when it was revealed that a large portion of the hundreds of millions of dollars donated to the organization went not to survivors or family members of those killed, but to other Red Cross operations, in what was described by chapters across the country as a "bait-and-switch" operation.

Recently, long-simmering concerns about the Red Cross' disaster relief operations were expressed by Richard Walden, of the humanitarian group Operation USA, in the Los Angeles Times--prompting a vitriolic response by the Red Cross. But these recent scandals are nothing new for the Red Cross. In fact, the whole history of the organization is one gigantic scandal--stretching from its racist policies toward African Americans to its corporate mentality toward human beings. more...

October 20, 2005

őCheney cabal hijacked US foreign policy‚
By Edward Alden in Washington

Vice-President Dick Cheney and a handful of others had hijacked the government's foreign policy apparatus, deciding in secret to carry out policies that had left the US weaker and more isolated in the world, the top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed on Wednesday. more...


US Firms Accused of Exploiting Workers in Post-Hurricane Recovery Effort   Some contractors leading reconstruction projects in the hurricane-hit southern United States have badly exploited workers and taken away business from local firms, Senate Democrats and labor groups said.

Housing for workers often lacks running water and contractors have failed to provide food, training and wage rates as promised, James Hale, vice president with the Laborers' International Union of North America, told a policy conference of opposition Democrats in the US Senate. more...

October 19, 2005

From The Nation blog:
Case Against Cheney

Well, of course, the investigation of who leaked CIA agent Valerie Plame's name -- violating the federal law that bars the "outing" of intelligence operatives -- has come around to Vice President Dick Cheney's office. While it may be news to the Washington Post -- which headlined a breathless report on Tuesday: "Cheney's Office Is A Focus in Leak Case" -- the fact is that Cheney and his aides have been likely suspects from day one.

No prominent member of the administration had more to lose as a result of the 2003 revelation by Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, that the White House's pre-war claims regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction had been inflated than did Cheney -- who, to a far greater extent than George Bush, had a hand in shaping the arguments for going to war, plugged them in media appearances and defended them after all evidence suggested his pronouncements had been wrong. It is important to recall that, while Bush may have deliberately fuzzed the facts in his 2003 State of the Union address, it was Cheney who leapt off the cliff of speculation with the pre-war declaration that, "We know Saddam Hussein's been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." more...

October 18, 2005

from Tom Tomorrow:

This probably won't last long, but as of this writing, if you Google "failure" and hit "I'm feeling lucky," well, let's just say hilarity ensues.

...I guess this is old news.


Torture And Misery In The Name Of Freedom
By Harold Pinter
Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature

The great poet Wilfred Owen articulated the tragedy, the horror - and indeed the pity - of war in a way no other poet has. Yet we have learnt nothing. Nearly 100 years after his death the world has become more savage, more brutal, more pitiless.

But the "free world" we are told, as embodied in the United States and Great Britain, is different to the rest of the world since our actions are dictated and sanctioned by a moral authority and a moral passion condoned by someone called God. Some people may find this difficult to comprehend but Osama Bin Laden finds it easy. more...

October 17, 2005

Supporting Hillary
by Cindy Sheehan  

I would love to support Hillary for President if she would come out against the travesty in Iraq. But I don't think she can speak out against the occupation, because she supports it.  

I will not make the mistake of supporting another pro-war Democrat for president again: As I won't support a pro-war Republican.  

This country wants this occupation to end. The world wants the occupation to end. People in Iraq want this occupation to end.  

Senator Clinton: taking the peace road would not prove you are weak. Instead, it would prove that you are the strongest and wisest candidate. As a mom, as an American, as a patriot: I implore you to have the strength and courage to lead the fight for peace.  

I want to support you, I want to work for you, but like many American moms, I will resist your candidacy with every bit of my power and strength unless you show us the wisdom it takes to be a truly great leader. more...

October 16, 2005

from The Huffington Post:
2008: Will Al Gore Be the Anti-Hillary?

Update: Al Gore tells AP he isn't planning to run for president. So, like a woman saying she isn't going to sleep with you, he instantly becomes that much more desirable. And he does leave the (bedroom) door open, saying: "I don't completely rule out some future interest, but I don't expect to have that."

It's still three years away but Hollywood is already starting to choose sides for 2008. And two very distinct camps have started to form: those backing Hillary, and those desperately searching for the anti-Hillary. more...

October 15, 2005

from Baghdad Burning
... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...

The Referendum...
So the referendum is tomorrow- well, technically speaking, today.

We‚ve been having more than the usual power outages. Government officials were saying őpower problems‚, őoverload‚, etc. for the last two days and then suddenly changed their minds today and claimed it was ősabotage‚. It‚s difficult to tell. All we know is that large parts of Baghdad are literally in the dark. We‚re currently on generator electricity. Water has been cut off for the last two days with the exception of an occasional dribble that lasts for ten to fifteen minutes from a faucet in the garden. We have a nice big pot under it to catch as much water as possible.

Private cars haven‚t been allowed to drive in the streets since Thursday- this will last until Sunday. It‚s been declared a őholiday‚ of sorts. Everyone is at home. In spite of these security measures, there were several explosions today.

The referendum promises to be somewhat confusing. People are saying it should be postponed. Now is not the right time. More changes were made a few days ago to the supposed őfinal‚ draft of the constitution- the one that was submitted to the UN. It was allegedly done to appease Sunnis.

The trouble is that it didn‚t address the actual problems Iraqis have with the constitution (Sunnis and Shia alike). The focus of negotiations by őSunni representatives‚ seemed to revolve around Iraq‚s Arab identity and de-Ba‚athification. A clause has also been added which says that the constitution will be subject to change (quelle surprise! Yet again!) with the new government after the next elections. That doesn‚t make me feel better because changes can work both ways: if the next őelected‚ government is, again, non-secular, pro-Iran, the amendments made to what is supposed to be a permanent constitution will be appalling. from more...

(Click on icons to see larger images.)

art car (bus) detail
October 21, 2005

art car (camper) detail icon
October 20, 2005

art car detail icon
October 19, 2005

art car icon
October 18, 2005

art float
October 17, 2005

litterman icon
October 16, 2005

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October 15, 2005


August 21, 2004 - August 19, 2005

August 20, 2005 - August 26, 2005
August 27, 2005 - September 2, 2005
September 3, 2005 - September 9, 2005
September 10, 2005 - September 16, 2005
September 17, 2005 - September 23, 2005
September 24, 2005 - September 30, 2005
October 1, 2005 - October 7, 2005
October 8, 2005 - October 14, 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.


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

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