27 November 2005

Roberto Heras Busted!

Oh no... there's that old familiar sinking feeling, again...


Heras Facing Lengthy Suspension
Tour of Spain champion Roberto Heras faces a two-year ban from cycling after a Spanish laboratory confirmed he used the banned blood-boosting drug EPO.

Heras, 31, had insisted he was innocent after an initial sample taken at this year's Vuelta tested positive.

But EPO has also been found in the Spaniard's second 'B' sample.

"I want to reiterate that I've never taken any doping substance, not in the Vuelta or any other race," said Heras.

Heras's Liberty Seguros team issued a statement saying he would be sacked as soon as they received notice of the positive test from world cycling's governing body the UCI.

A four-time winner of his home tour, Heras will be stripped of his 2005 Tour victory, with runner-up Denis Menchov declared the winner.

After all that has occurred I'm convinced that the method is faulty - there are examples of previous mistakes
Roberto Heras

Earlier this week he argued there had been a laboratory mix-up and that the testing process was flawed.

"It would have been madness to have committed a doping offence," said Heras. "It would have been incomprehensible and absurd.

"After all that has occurred I'm convinced that the method is faulty - there are examples of previous mistakes."

The positive result of Heras further undermines the reputation of a sport that has been badly tarnished by drugs scandals in recent years.

Both Italy's Marco Pantani and France's Richard Virenque have had their careers destroyed, while Lance Armstrong has been dogged by doping allegations.

Story from BBC SPORT:

Published: 2005/11/25 16:32:21 GMT


Richard Burns (1971 - 2005)

2005 has been a well and truely dark year for British motorsport...


Former World Champion Burns Dies

Richard Burns, who won the World Rally Championship in 2001, has died at the age of 34 after a long illness, on the fourth anniversary of his title win.

Burns had not competed since he passed out at the wheel of his road car on the way to the Wales Rally GB in 2003.

He was diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent surgery in April.

Burns was championship runner-up in 1999 and 2000 before becoming the first Englishman to land the coveted world title 12 months later.

Burns' family paid tribute to him in a statement, saying: "From the outset Richard knew that the odds were heavily against him and yet he fought his illness with bravery and good humour.

"Having undergone both chemotherapy and radiotherapy he was able to leave hospital in summer 2004.

"For a while his health showed signs of improvement but then after six months it once again began to decline.

"Determined not to give up, he opted for surgery earlier this year. This alleviated some of the symptoms of his illness and enabled him to remain active.

"At Castle Combe in August he attended a parade of the rally cars that he drove throughout his career and was touched by the warmth of the reception he received.

"However there was to be no miracle and in recent days he lapsed into a coma.

"The date of a memorial service will be announced shortly."

Burns made his rallying breakthrough in 1990 when he won the national 205GTI challenge series and he then lifted the Mintex National series title.

He then joined Subaru and became the British Championship's youngest winner in 1993.

After a spell in the Asia Pacific Championship and the occasional world championship drive, he entered for his first full season in 1998, partnering world champion Tommi Makinen for Mitsubishi.

Twelve months later he moved to Subaru and he made his first title challenge as wins in Greece, Australia and Britain helped him finish second in the final standings.

In 2000 he looked on course to win the world title, having led the championship race for some time, but he was pipped to glory by Marcus Gronholm - even though he won the season-ending Rally of Great Britain.

However he was not to be denied and in 2001 he became the first Englishman to take the championship.

After a poor start to the season, he finished second behind Colin McRae in Argentina to spark his challenge. Two more runners-up spots followed before he earned his first victory of the campaign in New Zealand.

Another second spot - this time in Australia - set up a thrilling finale at the Rally of Great Britain where Burns delighted his home fans by finishing third, which was enough to clinch the title.

He switched teams in the close-season, leaving Subaru for Peugeot but did not manage to win an event all season despite claiming four second-place finishes as he came fifth in the championship standings.

Burns made a good start to his 2003 campaign and he led the field by six points after three events and held a four-point lead in the middle of the season.

He lost his lead with two events to go and was taken ill on his way to the season-ending Rally GB.

Born: 17/1/1971, Reading
Rallying debut: 1988
World Championship 1998: First win at Safari Rally, also wins Rally of Great Britain
World Championship 2001: Wins world title for Subaru, 1st Englishman to do so

Story from BBC SPORT:

Published: 2005/11/26 07:09:49 GMT


How Coyote Stole the Election...

I knew the Trickster had to have a paw in it...


Coyote Steals the 2000 Presidential Election



Coyote stared at the bubbles
rising from his martini.
He started walking on a
trail from there

until he walked into
the polling station,
thinking it was
a whorehouse.

Suddenly in need of a toilet,
he entered a voting booth,
pulled down his pants,
and did his business.

Coyote burned a stick of incense
made from a piece of old shoelace,
thinking it would hide the stink.

Many ballots became soiled
by Coyote wiping his shit
over everything.

The voting officials became furious.
Soon, angry mobs stormed
the election headquarters.

Outside, Coyote took off
his asshole & threw it down
the sewer to clean it off.

When his asshole floated away
He chased it all the way
to the sea.


Chased by party bigwigs,
cops & extremists,
Coyote seduced a woman
he'd seen on tv.

With his picture flashed
across the state of Florida
Coyote looked good in lipstick
& a tight red dress.

One fat cat politico
shoved a piece of paper
into his hand & said
read this.

Still hungover, Coyote
said, "I have deliberated
carefully & made my decision
not to certify any hand recounts."


Tired of garbage
he was eating out
of a Miami dumpster
behind the mayor's office

Coyote headed north--
a long, slim, & sorry
looking skeleton--
following the orange
groves to Tallahassee.

While the driver
of the yellow rental truck
was taking a piss at a rest area
he hijacked the uncounted votes
from the 2000 presidential election.

No helicopter tv camera
hovering overhead saw him
suck himself until he came,
until he finished with himself.

"No one will ever
make me their news,"
said Coyote.


Coyote stumbled into the
U.S. Supreme Court
thinking it was a
discount liquor store.

While the chief justice
was reading through
the next case
Coyote stole his robe.

When his right arm saw
his left arm sticking out
of the robe one turned
upon the other.

Before long his arms
were cut & bleeding from
their vicious fight.

"Why have I done this?"
asked Coyote to himself.
"Why have I made
myself suffer?"


Coyote fell asleep on the bench
as Mr. Tribe asked Justice Kennedy
"Why tell people the count
if you won't count it? . . .

that truly would be a promise
to the ear to be broken by hope."

In Coyote's dream he had
come upon the carcass of
the chief of the eagles
& was eating its guts.

He farted so loud he woke himself.
"Everything's too easy," he shouted,

thinking he was at the conference
where it is decided when the
seasons should take place.

Pretty soon Coyote felt
a cold chill go through his head.
Then he touched his head.

"Oh," said Coyote, "it's my own
brains I've been eating."


"A voter in a county where a
manual count was conducted
would benefit from having a
better chance of having his or her
vote counted than a voter in a county
where a hand count was halted."

--Judge Sanders Sauls
[rejecting a recount vote]

Coyote was feeling lucky.
He had just met a hooker &
no sooner had he made her
than she was pregnant.

He jumped on the hooker's stomach
until the child came to life.
"Now he's dead," said Coyote.
"Where shall we bury him?"

He took him to the place
where the gravestones move

This place was next to a basketball court.
It was a winter's day & rattlesnakes
lay coiled in the sun.

Putting dirt on his face,
Coyote acted like a
crazy man.


Coyote rolled his eyes down
the street & around the corner.
Sure enough, there was Rat
running off to a card game.

Where his eyes had been
he put two shiny cockroaches.
It is on account of things like this
that people call him "foolish one."

Blindly he stumbled onto a road.
Immediately, he was flattened
by a motorcade.

Lying on his back when he came to,
Coyote smelled fresh plums.
He tied his scattered bones together &
went off to find the trees they belonged to.

When he leapt for the plums
he landed in a trash can
where Rat was bragging
about his winnings.

Laughing, he gave Coyote two plums
which he devoured, never knowing
they were his eyes.

"If toward evening," said Rat to Coyote,
you see the sky red, you will know
it is the plums causing it."

After that Coyote went to a hill
that was not far off.


Coyote sat there listening to voices
inside the Supreme Court making
their decision in Bush v. Gore.

"Why are you crying?"
asked the death spirit to Coyote.
"When Mr. Klock called to the dead
justice sitting on the bench," said Coyote,

"he was seeing my wife who long ago
became like a shadow
on an overcast day."

"You were about to establish the practice
of returning the people from death,"
said the ghost.

"Now it won't happen.
You made it this way."

Coyote decided to retrace his steps
to shadowland, but he never
found his way there again.

All night he walked around the tents
pitched outside the courthouse,
but in the morning, he heard
only the sparrows.


The men called Coyote over.
"Coyote," they said,
"you are the biggest liar
we've ever known."

"You are very good at it."
"Teach us so we can be successful too."

"I had to pay a price for my power."
"What did you pay?" they asked.

"I had to remove one of my legs,
tie it to my back, then jump back
& forth across this ravine."

Right away each man removed a leg,
tied it to his back, approached the
ravine, stumbled, & then fell
to the bottom.

The fall killed the men & they
floated down the river.

After a while, Coyote took a big shit,
then turned around to speak
to his excrement--

"What's happened?"
"How did I get here?"

"Up there someone powerful killed you,"
the excrement said.

Coyote went on his way.

© 2000 Jim Cohn

Jim Cohn's books & Recordings include: Prairie Falcon; The Dance of Yellow Lightning Over the Ridge (poems); Sign Mind (Studies in American Sign Language Poetics); The Road; Unspoken Words (CDs). He is also the Director of
the Museum of American Poetics.

15 November 2005

My Life Is A Sundance...

From the Prison Writings of LEONARD PELTIER

Silence, they say, is the voice of complicity.
But silence is impossible.
Silence screams.
Silence is a message,
Just as doing nothing is an act.

Let who you are ring out and resonate
in every word and every deed.
Yes, become who you are.
There's no sidestepping your own being
or your own responsibility.

What you do is who you are.
You are your own comeuppance.
You become your own message.

You are the message.

May the Great Spirit Make Sunrise in Your Heart . . .

Hoka Hey!

Leonard Peltier, U.S.P. #89637-132

14 November 2005

Vine Deloria, Jr, (1933 -2005) Sicangu Lakota

Reading Vine Deloria's books was one of the things that lit that fire in my belly that made me want to go out into the world and fight the Good Fight on behalf of the People. His passing will leave a quite large hole in the ranks of Native leadership, let us hope and pray that some young person, who has had benefit of Vine's teachings and writings, takes that fateful step into the breech...


From the American Indian Movement of Colorado:

In Honor of Vine Deloria, Jr. (1933-2005)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The great indigenous visionary, philosopher, author and activist Vine Deloria, Jr. passed over to join his ancestors today, November 13, 2005. Our thoughts and prayers go to his wife, Barbara, to his children and his other relatives. The passing of Vine creates a huge intellectual and analytical void in the native and non-native worlds. He will be greatly missed.

It is appropriate on this website to reflect on the meaning of Vine's contibutions to indigenous peoples' resistance, and to reflect on our responsibilities to maintain and to advance the lessons that Vine gave to us. It is safe to say that without the example provided by the writing and the thinking of Vine Deloria, Jr., there likely would have been no American Indian Movement, there would be no international indigenous peoples' movement as it exists today, and there would be little hope for the future of indigenous peoples in the Americas.

Vine Deloria, Jr. was a true revolutionary when he wrote "Custer Died for Your Sins" in 1969, the first of his scores of books and scholarly articles (for a partial bibliography of Vine's important books go to:
http://www.ipl.org/div/natam/bin/browse.pl/A31). He had the courage and the vision to challenge the dominating society at its core. He was unapologetic in confronting the racism of U.S.law and policy, and he was prophetic in challenging young indigenous activists to hone their strategies.

We will write much more about Vine in the upcoming days. He was our elder statesman and mentor. For now, we will share this passage from "Custer Died For Your Sins," as a reminder of our responsibilities, and to ensure that we are more deliberate and strategic in our resistance.

"Ideological leverage is always superior to violence....The problems of Indians have always been ideological rather than social, political or economic....[I]t is vitally important that the Indian people pick the intellectual arena as the one in which to wage war. Past events have shown that the Indian people have always been fooled by the intentions of the white man. Always we have discussed irrelevant issues while he has taken our land. Never have we taken the time to examine the premises upon which he operates so that we could manipulate him as he has us."
-- "Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto," (1969) pp.251-252

and this relevent passage regarding the example of the great Oglala Lakota leader Tashunka Witko (Crazy Horse):

"Crazy Horse never drafted anyone to follow him. People recognized that what Crazy Horse did was for the best and was for the people. Crazy Horse never had his name on the stationery. He never had business cards. He never received a per diem. *** Until we can once again produce people like Crazy Horse all the money and help in the world will not save us. It is up to us to write the [next] chapter of the American Indian upon this continent." page 272

For many of us, Vine was a contemporary Crazy Horse. Perhaps we squandered his time with us. We took him for granted, and assumed that he would always be with us. Now, the question is, not only will we produce more Crazy Horses, but will we produce more Vine Deloria, Jr.s?

Vine, we will miss you, but we will continue your work toward freedom for native peoples everywhere. Mitakuye Oyasin.

(For a partial bibliography of Vine's important books go to:

posted by Colorado AIM @ 7:27 PM

R.C. Gorman (1931 - 2005) Dine, born to the Clauschii' Clan born for the Dibe Iizhini

R.C Gorman was and remains major influence upon my own development and work as an artist. Hopefully, the Generations to follow will grow to learn and love the wonderful gifts of vision he left to us. May he always walk in Beauty (Nii' Hoo' Caa' Abii' Nii' Goo)...


'Native American Picasso' Dies
The Navajo artist RC Gorman, who was sometimes called the "Native American Picasso", has died at the age of 74.

According to a message posted on his gallery's website by his agent, he had been ill for more than a month with a virulent blood infection and pneumonia.

Born in Chinle, Arizona in 1931 on the Navajo reservation, Rudolph Carl Gorman was best known for his simple paintings of outsized Native American women.

"Large women fill up the paper more," he said in a 1990 interview.

Gorman had more than 20 one-man shows and had his work exhibited at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.


He was also painted himself by Andy Warhol in 1979.

His father, Carl Nelson Gorman, was a Navajo "code talker" during the Second World War, who helped send secret messages through codes based on American Indian languages.

Their exploits were celebrated in the 2002 film Windtalkers starring Nicolas Cage.

RC Gorman lived in Taos in northern New Mexico, but was being treated at the University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque at the time of his death.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/11/04 11:59:20 GMT


12 November 2005

GOP 'Doomsday Plan' Revealed...

Didn't this one also come from the Third Reich Playbook? How very lame and quite predictable as well...


GOP Memo Touts New Terror Attack As Way To Reverse Party's Decline
Publisher, Capitol Hill Blue
Nov 10, 2005, 06:19

A confidential memo circulating among senior Republican leaders suggests that a new attack by terrorists on U.S. soil could reverse the sagging fortunes of President George W. Bush as well as the GOP and "restore his image as a leader of the American people."

The closely-guarded memo lays out a list of scenarios to bring the Republican party back from the political brink, including a devastating attack by terrorists that could “validate” the President’s war on terror and allow Bush to “unite the country” in a “time of national shock and sorrow.”

The memo says such a reversal in the President's fortunes could keep the party from losing control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections.

GOP insiders who have seen the memo admit it’s a risky strategy and point out that such scenarios are “blue sky thinking” that often occurs in political planning sessions.

“The President’s popularity was at an all-time high following the 9/11 attacks,” admits one aide. “Americans band together at a time of crisis.”

Other Republicans, however, worry that such a scenario carries high risk, pointing out that an attack might suggest the President has not done enough to protect the country.

“We also have to face the fact that many Americans no longer trust the President,” says a longtime GOP strategist. “That makes it harder for him to become a rallying point.”

The memo outlines other scenarios, including:

--Capture of Osama bin Laden (or proof that he is dead);

--A drastic turnaround in the economy;

--A "successful resolution" of the Iraq war.

GOP memos no longer talk of “victory” in Iraq but use the term “successful resolution.”

“A successful resolution would be us getting out intact and civil war not breaking out until after the midterm elections,” says one insider.

The memo circulates as Tuesday’s disastrous election defeats have left an already dysfunctional White House in chaos, West Wing insiders say, with shouting matches commonplace and the blame game escalating into open warfare.

“This place is like a high-school football locker room after the team lost the big game,” grumbles one Bush administration aide. “Everybody’s pissed and pointing the finger at blame at everybody else.”

Republican gubernatorial losses in Virginia and New Jersey deepened rifts between the Bush administration and Republicans who find the President radioactive. Arguments over whether or not the President should make a last-minute appearance in Virginia to try and help the sagging campaign fortunes of GOP candidate Jerry Kilgore raged until the minute Bush arrived at the rally in Richmond Monday night.

“Cooler heads tried to prevail,” one aide says. “Most knew an appearance by the President would hurt Kilgore rather than help him but (Karl) Rove rammed it through, convincing Bush that he had enough popularity left to make a difference.”

Bush didn’t have any popularity left. Overnight tracking polls showed Kilgore dropped three percentage points after the President’s appearance and Democrat Tim Kaine won on Tuesday.

Conservative Pennsylvania Republican Senator Rick Santorum told radio talk show host Don Imus Wednesday that he does not want the President's help and will stay away from a Bush rally in his state on Friday.

The losses in Virginia and New Jersey, coupled with a resounding defeat of ballot initiatives backed by GOP governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in California have set off alarm klaxons throughout the demoralized Republican party. Pollsters privately tell GOP leaders that unless they stop the slide they could easily lose control of the House in the 2006 midterm elections and may lose the Senate as well.

“In 30 years of sampling public opinion, I’ve never seen such a freefall in public support,” admits one GOP pollster.

Democratic pollster Geoffrey Garin says the usual tricks tried by Republicans no longer work.

"None of their old tricks worked," he says.

Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) admits the GOP is a party mired in its rural base in a country that's becoming less and less rural.

"You play to your rural base, you pay a price," he says. "Our issues blew up in our face."

As Republican political strategists scramble to find a message – any message – that will ring true with voters, GOP leaders in Congress admit privately that control of their party by right-wing extremists makes their recovery all but impossible.

“We’ve made our bed with these people,” admits an aide to House Speaker Denny Hastert. “Now it’s the morning after and the hangover hurts like hell.”

© Copyright 2005 Capitol Hill Blue

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11 November 2005

Sweetgrass Traditions

Lots of most excellently cool stuff is waiting to be found here. Check it out now...



Bush's Fowl Play - Mises Institute

Perhaps Curious George is turning into Chicken Little, what a miserable failure...


Bush's Fowl Play
Bush's Fowl Play

by Jeffrey Tucker
[Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2005]

In a classic case of News of the Weird, President Bush
gave a press conference
the other day to announce yet another central plan to
deal with yet another disaster — this time an
impending disaster, or so he claimed. It seems that
some birds are catching a flu called Avian Influenza
or, more commonly, the bird flu. It causes ruffled
feathers and a drop in egg production. It can kill a
chicken in two days flat. Scary.

The Chicken Littles at the White House got wind of
this and decided to hatch a plan for dealing with the
eventuality that it will wipe out whole cities
inhabited by people. That's people, not birds. He
wants $7.1 billion from you and me, in emergency
funding no less, to protect us from the wrath of this
disease, which, he says, could sweep the country and
kill 1.9 million people and hospitalize another 9.9
million. Part of the money will go for "pandemic
preparedness," and part will go to individual states
so they can cobble together their own plans for our
health and well being.

As part of this plan, there is a website,
pandemicflu.gov, which is also a helpful link if you
haven't so far believed a word you have read. Here you
can click around and find the Mother of All Flu
Reports: The National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza.
Be assured that "the federal government will use all
instruments of national power to address the pandemic
threat." That includes FEMA, the Department of
Homeland Security, and a hundred other concrete
palaces in DC.

In this report you will find what you must do: be
"prepared to follow public health guidance that may
include limitation of attendance at public gatherings
and non-essential travel for several days or weeks."
The government, meanwhile, will establish "contingency
systems to maintain delivery of essential goods and
services during times of significant and sustained
worker absenteeism."

Yes, we are really supposed to believe that the
government will "maintain delivery" of "essential
goods and services." Your job is to sit in your house
and wait. Let's just say that government has a
credibility problem here.

Also, the Bush administration has a role for the
military to do for the flu what it did for terrorism
in Iraq: "Determine the spectrum of public health,
medical and veterinary surge capacity activities that
the U.S. military and other government entities may be
able to support during a pandemic." Remarkable what
the military can do, from spreading democracy to
liberating the oppressed to curing the sick — that is,
when it is not making people sick or killing them for
their own good.

Just to show that this isn't merely a perfunctory
line, Bush went out of his way to defend the role of
the military in his press conference. "One option is
the use of a military that's able to plan and move,"
he said. "So that's why I put it on the table. I think
it's an important debate for Congress to have."

Now, should this mass-death come about, our future
would be rife with many uncertainties. But one thing
we can know for sure: any attempt by government to
manage the crisis will add calamity to disaster. It
will be 9-11 plus New Orleans plus a few other amazing
failures all rolled into one.

And the worst part of government failure will present
itself: rather than make a mess of its own
responsibilities, the government acts to prevent
people from doing what they should be doing to deal
with the crisis. "Stop in the name of the law" isn't
just a slogan from cop shows; it is the sum total of
everything the government does.

The Bush administration, however — which is supposedly
staffed by people learned in the wisdom of classical-
conservative thought and informed by revelation from
America's traditional religious heritage — is just
darn sure that the government is the best and only
means to handle a crisis such as this.

A dazzling display of absurdity and chutzpah — that's
what the Bush press conference on the flu was. Even if
the flu does come, and taxpayers have coughed up, the
government will surely have a ball imposing travel
restrictions, shutting down schools and businesses,
quarantining cities, and banning public gatherings.

It's a bureaucrat's dream! Whether it will make us
well again is another matter. And why should
individuals on their own have no incentive to deal
with disease? Why should the private sector have no
reason to make cures available if they exist? Why are
we to believe that the government would somehow do a
better job at this level of crisis management than the
private sector?

None of these questions have been asked much less

So I'm reading along in The New York Times, and it
casually says this: "This bird flu has infected about
120 people and killed 60. But the virus has yet to
pass easily among humans, as is necessary to create a
pandemic. Experts debate whether it ever will, but
most believe that a pandemic flu is inevitable

Well, as Roderick Long often says about such
contingencies, anything can happen. Men from Mars
could land in capsules and plant red weed all over the
world. The question we need to ask is how likely is it
and who or what should address the problem should it

The World Health Organization provides a link to data
about human infection. It says the following:
"Although avian influenza A viruses usually do not
infect humans, several instances of human infections
have been reported since 1997."

So we've gone from hundreds of infections to
"several." And when you look at the specifics, most
were not human-to-human infections but people in
closer contact with sick birds than most anyone ever
is. And even among them, most patients recovered. For
example: "A (H9N2) infection was confirmed in a child
in Hong Kong. The child was hospitalized and
recovered." In another case in Canada, infections
resulted in "eye infections." Among those who did die,
it was not a clear case of Avian, though the site
offers the following odd phrasing: "the possibility of
person-to-person transmission could not be ruled out."

For this, we get a presidential news conference? As
far as I can tell, the prospect of millions dying from
bird flu is pretty remote. If it does happen—and
anything canhappen—why must government be involved at
all? Economists might invoke a public-goods rationale:
pandemic disease protection is a service that can be
consumed by additional consumers at no additional cost
and the beneficiaries cannot be excluded from the good
once produced, and thus this service will not be
produced in sufficient quantity in the private sector.

The point is so far flung that it makes a case for
Randall Holcombe's theory of the theory of public
: "it is in the best interest of the those who
run the government to promote public goods theory" and
so the best way to understand the theory is as a
justification for the legitimacy of the programs the
government wants for itself. It is a tool the
government uses for its own benefit.

What about the private-sector alternative? It will
manage it as well as can be expected. The price of
vaccines will rise and draw more producers into the
market. Businesses will establish their own rules
about who can come and go. Private charities will deal
with sickness. It isn't a perfect solution but it is
an improvement on dispatching the Marines or having
the government provide "essential goods and services."

What's more, the problem of the bird flu isn't even
news, since the incidents of human infection are
several years old. Why does the Bush administration
choose right now to make such a big showing of its
preparations for mass death by bird?

Could it be that it is running out of other pretexts
for expanding power? Terrorism is getting boring,
floods come only rarely, communism is long gone, the
China "threat" is no longer selling, the Middle East
is dull, Global Warming is just too silly, and people
have gone back to ignoring most anything that comes
out of Washington. Meanwhile, the regime is desperate
to be liked again, and forever relive its salad days
after 9-11.

That still leaves the question of why so many public
health officials seem so hopped up about the bird flu,
even though the data doesn't come anywhere near
supporting their frenzy. The answer is buried
somewhere in those gargantuan budget numbers. Someone
somewhere is going to get that $8 billion, and it is
not going to be you or me.

What's remarkable is how little comment the bird flu
plan provoked. We seem to have reached the stage in
American public opinion where hysterical frenzies by
government and totalitarian plans to take away all
liberties are treated as just another day. We see the
president telling us to fork over billions, and we
turn the channel. Was it this way in the old Soviet
Union or East Germany when the state newscasts went on
every night about the march of socialism? Has crisis
management become the great white noise of American

It is a serious matter when the government purports to
plan to abolish all liberty and nationalize all
economic life and put every business under the control
of the military, especially in the name of a bug that
seems largely restricted to the bird population.
Perhaps we should pay more attention. Perhaps such
plans for the total state ought to even ruffle our
feathers a bit.

Jeffrey Tucker is editor of Mises.org.

Thomas Patrick John Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield (1936-2005)

Obituary: Lord Lichfield
Lord Lichfield stretched beyond his privileged upbringing to become a world-renowned photographer.

He first used a camera at the age of seven, taking pictures of his family, pets and scenes at his beloved home, the stately Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire.

He attended Harrow School, and took his first pictures of the Queen as he played cricket against Eton.

While his upbringing was aristocratic, Lichfield's great passion for photography carried him far beyond any blue-blooded barriers, and through an extremely successful 40-year career.

The son of Viscount Anson and Princess Anne of Denmark, Patrick Lichfield - the 5th Earl of Lichfield - was the Queen's first cousin once removed.

He made his break into photography in 1962, after leaving the Grenadier Guards.

Vogue contract

Starting out as a photographer's assistant on £3 a week, he made the most of his showbusiness and aristocratic connections, snapping everybody from Mick and Bianca Jagger on their wedding day to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in exile.

Lichfield's memory of the latter encounter was of deliberately falling off his chair to force smiles out of his straight-faced subjects. The result got him a contract with Vogue magazine.

He also worked for a range of other newspapers and magazines, including Life.

One of his most iconic images, which he recently recreated, was the naked pose of the singer Marsha Hunt, complete with a huge afro hairdo for the musical Hair.

Another was Swinging London, which featured Roman Polanski, David Hockney and Lady Antonia Fraser. Other famous subjects included Michael Caine, Joanna Lumley and a host of 1960s glitterati.

His long career was celebrated two years ago with an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, and he was awarded fellowships of both the British Institute of Professional Photographers and the Royal Photographic Society.

Most recently, he took a special set of pictures of Baroness Thatcher to mark her 80th birthday.

Stunning models

His position and profession came together most famously in July 1981, when he took the official wedding photographs of the Prince and Princess of Wales, before sitting down to the wedding feast with hundreds of other royals.

From his studio in north Kensington, Lichfield became renowned the world over for his skill with the lens, and personally admired for his straightforward manner.

Although he was one the official photographers of the Queen's Golden Jubilee, he liked being addressed as plain Patrick Lichfield and was at his happiest poring over shots in his studio.

A self-professed "spiv" and admirer of feminine beauty, one of Lichfield's favourite commissions was the famous Unipart calendar, shot in glamorous locations all over the world with an emphasis on stunning models.

Lichfield admitted to having relationships with many of his pretty subjects but, away from the camera, he found companionship in his own well-bred circle.

He was married for 11 years to Lady Leonora Grosvenor, sister of the Duke of Westminster, with whom he had three children.

His most recent partner was the biographer, Lady Annunziata Asquith.

Like the late Princess Margaret, he often took refuge on the Caribbean island of Mustique. It was at his holiday home there in 1992 that he suffered a very bad fall, from which he had difficulty recovering.

Despite this, he continued to work throughout his life, becoming a champion of the digital revolution, and attending to the photography that he described as his "calling".

As he got older, Lord Lichfield reflected on his legacy, wondering what he would leave behind.

Acknowledging his pedigree, he was delighted that Shugborough was smaller but better managed. But he always added: "There are the pictures."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/11/11 10:19:43 GMT


09 November 2005

1.December 2005: "Rosa Parks Day"

This needs to become a National Holiday now!


New York City Now Has 'Rosa Parks Day'
By Benjamin Youngquest
Epoch Times New York Staff
Oct 30, 2005

NEW YORK—Rosa Parks, the black woman who would not give up her seat to a white man on that average day in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. That “spark” who unwittingly ignited the fire of change within the hearts of this nation’s segregated black community, who inspired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to not only dream the dream of racial equality, but to carry it as a peaceful message to the nation’s public—street by street.

Rosa Parks has passed, but thanks to the efforts of a group of New York City Council Members led by Charles Barron, she now has her own day. December 1 of every year shall now be known throughout New York City as “Rosa Parks Day.”

“When Rosa sat down, we stood up,” said Council Member Barron. Rosa Parks Day is being promoted as a “Day of Absence,” in which businesses are encouraged to allow their employees to take at least some of the day off to attend teach-ins and rallies throughout the city. The goal is to have a day when nothing is bought or sold, work stops, all normal activity comes to a halt—and people come together to discuss issues of human and civil rights, to learn from one another.

Larry Holmes, one of the organizers of the proposed “Day of Absence,” said, “We’re planning a day long teach-in on Wall Street ... we’ll have members of the King family as well as original participants in the Montgomery Boycott.”

In an act recognizing the leading role that women have played in civil rights movements around the world, the group of city officials and organizers gathered on the steps of City Hall last Thursday ceded the podium to the women supporters of Rosa Parks Day. “We are the embodiment of Rosa Parks, her brave act is why we are able to stand here at City Hall and speak strongly our cause,” said Council Member Yvette Clark. She went on to cite a long list of troubling statistics that paint a picture of New York as a city still deeply in the midst of racial inequality.

Whether or not the city actually shuts down for a day of commemoration on December 1, is an issue for further discussion and debate among council members, local officials, and civil rights organizers.

One thing, though, is now certain: in New York City, the name of Rosa Parks will not soon be forgotten.

National Day of Mourning

National Day of Mourning

On Thanksgiving Day, many Native Americans and their supporters gather at the top of Coles Hill, overlooking Plymouth Rock, for the "National Day of Mourning."

The first National Day of Mourning was held in 1970. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts invited Wampanoag leader Frank James to deliver a speech. When the text of Mr. James’ speech, a powerful statement of anger at the history of oppression of the Native people of America, became known before the event, the Commonwealth "disinvited" him. That silencing of a strong and honest Native voice led to the convening of the National Day of Mourning.

The historical event we know today as the "First Thanksgiving" was a
harvest festival held in 1621 by the Pilgrims and their Native American
neighbors and allies. It has acquired significance beyond the bare
historical facts. Thanksgiving has become a much broader symbol of the
entirety of the American experience. Many find this a cause for
rejoicing. The dissenting view of Native Americans, who have suffered
the theft of their lands and the destruction of their traditional way of
life at the hands of the American nation, is equally valid.

To some, the "First Thanksgiving" presents a distorted picture of the
history of relations between the European colonists and their
descendants and the Native People. The total emphasis is placed on the
respect that existed between the Wampanoags led by the sachem Massasoit
and the first generation of Pilgrims in Plymouth, while the long history
of subsequent violence and discrimination suffered by Native People
across America is nowhere represented.

To others, the event shines forth as an example of the respect that was
possible once, if only for the brief span of a single generation in a
single place, between two different cultures and as a vision of what may
again be possible someday among people of goodwill.

History is not a set of "truths" to be memorized, history is an ongoing
process of interpretation and learning. The true richness and depth of
history come from multiplicity and complexity, from debate and
disagreement and dialogue. There is room for more than one history;
there is room for many voices.


Russell Peters is Wampanoag, born and raised in Mashpee, less than
twenty miles from Plymouth Rock. Mashpee was considered an Indian
community and was, in fact, an Indian District within the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts, until it was illegally dissolved in 1870.

Mr. Peters has been involved in Native American issues at a state, local
and national level. He is the President of the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian
Tribal Council, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from
1976 to 1984, a member of the Harvard Peabody Museum Native American
Repatriation Committee, a member of the White House Conference on
Federal Recognition in 1995 and 1996, a board member of the
Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, a board member of the
Pilgrim Society, and the author of Wampanoags of Mashpee (Nimrod Press),
Clambake (Lerner Publications), and Regalia (Sundance Press).

Mr. Peters’ notes that the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribal Council is
constantly working to improve the spiritual and material lives of their
people. They are not opposed to demonstrations but are opposed to
needless confrontations that serve no purpose for the Native American
people they purport to serve.

"When Frank James, known to the Wampanoag people as Wampsutta, was
invited to speak at the 1970 annual Thanksgiving feast at Plymouth, he
was not prepared to have his speech revised by the Pilgrims. He left the
dinner and the ceremonies and went to the hill near the statue of the
Massasoit, who as the leader of the Wampanoags when the Pilgrims landed
in their territory. There overlooking Plymouth Harbor, he looked at the
replica of the Mayflower. It was there that he gave his speech that was
to be given to the Pilgrims and their guests. There eight or ten Indians
and their supporters listened in indignation as Frank talked of the
takeover of the Wampanoag tradition, culture, religion, and land.

"This was a missed opportunity to begin a dialogue between the
Wampanoags and the Pilgrims. Instead the `Day of Mourning’ began, and
continues to this day. I commend Frank for taking the stand that he
took, and we and our supporters recognize the token role the Wampanoags
had played in this pageantry. It was not appropriate for the native
people to feast in thanksgiving; instead we decided to fast and show by
contrast our way of remembering our history.

"As the years went by, the numbers at the Massasoit statue increased and
the presentations, skits and demonstrations did indeed show a contrast
between feasting and fasting. Reporters arrived from local news media as
well as the New York papers, the Atlanta Constitution, the Chicago
Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times, and told the stories of the
Wampanoag to the American people.

"Some of the Wampanoag people who live in the vicinity of Plymouth began
to look at positive ways in which we could impact our lives, both past
and present. It occurred to us that the Europeans had a history of the
colonists, well documented, albeit quite Eurocentric. The history of the
Wampanoag people in southeastern Massachusetts and Martha’s Vineyard was
barely mentioned. Ironically, the Indian communities of Mashpee,
Aquinnah (Gay Head) and Herring Pond still exist just a short distance
away from the Plymouth Rock.

"The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head is a Federally Recognized Indian Tribe.
Their Tribal roll lists 1000 Wampanoags. Under the leadership of their
chief, the tribe conducts daily business, economic development, as well
as community and social activities for its tribal members. The Mashpee
Wampanoag Indian Tribal Council, of which I am President, has a tribal
roll of 1200 Wampanoags. It conducts business and other related
activities on a daily basis. Our annual Pow Wow took place in Mashpee on
July 3, 4 and 5, 1998. We own and maintain the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian
Museum with plans to expand the facilities. We are very active in
revitalization of our language which was taken from us by the colonists.
And we are doing research and writing of the Wampanoag history,
particularly concerning the relationship with the English and other
European colonists during the early seventeenth century up to the

"These are some of the positive ways in which we can balance the scale
of history and establish pride in the Wampanoag identity and heritage.
Ours is as much a part of the American story as that of the Pilgrim, in
fact more so since it was our land.

"While the `Day of Mourning’ has served to focus attention on past
injustice to the Native American cause, it has, in recent years, been
orchestrated by a group calling themselves the United American Indians
of New England
. This group has tenuous ties to any of the local tribes,
and is composed primarily of non-Indians. To date, they have refused
several invitations to meet with the Wampanoag Indian tribal councils in
Mashpee or in Gay Head. Once again, we, as Wampanoags, find our voices
and concerns cast aside in the activities surrounding the Thanksgiving
holiday in Plymouth, this time, ironically, by a group purporting to
represent our interests.

"The time is long overdue for the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags to renew a
meaningful dialogue about our past and look towards a more honest
future. Our history is a vital and dynamic part of pre-American and
American history. We must be the ones who research, write, and interpret
that history."

08 November 2005

Sungmanitu Reclaims Territorty...

Always the Trickster, that clever Coyote. This makes sense as he is one of our brothers...


The Urban Coyotes
By Paul Meincke

October 11, 2005 - Urban coyotes are being tracked to learn more about how they live and survive in Cook County, right in the middle of one of the most populated areas in the country.

Five years ago, after some incidents in which small pets vanished from backyards, Cook County decided to take a detailed look at coyotes in our urban environment. Were their numbers growing? Were they becoming more aggressive? What's their disease-spreading potential? The ongoing study is now the most exhaustive of its kind anywhere in the world, and wildlife researchers everywhere are most interested in what it shows.

If you happen to see a pick-up heading down the street with a funny looking antenna spinning about -- fear not. It's probably wildlife technician Stephanie Hauver out listening for coyotes.

"We're listening for the signal that's emitted from a radio collar. Each radio collar has a unique signal," said Stephanie Hauver, wildlife technician.

During the past five years, researchers working Cook County's Coyote Project have captured dozens and dozens of coyotes. After fitting the animals with radio collars, they are released. Coyote number 1294 was the first capture. She lives in Schaumburg -- in the heart of busy suburbia. No. 1294 is one of 150 coyotes in Cook County with radio collars around their necks sending out signals.

"The very first night I radio tracked a coyote, that coyote traveled over 20 miles over five cities. You can hear the planes and the traffic. We had no idea they had that kind of ability to cross that kind of roads and that kind of traffic, and they do that regularly," said Dr. Stan Gehrt.

Tracking their movements has provided a window into coyotes' urban mobility, packs and their territories, their social systems, and survival rates which are higher in this huge metropolitan region than they are in rural areas.

Is it unusual to see a coyote running along a breakwater on the lakefront -- as we did a couple years ago? Sure, but it didn't surprise researchers. They have evidence of a pack that frequents the Loop. One coyote had to be fished out after a downtown swim in the chilly Chicago River. The creatures are all around us.

"Coyotes have taught us that we need to broaden our idea of what habitat is for wildlife. We find coyotes using areas you would never imagine, like parking lots," said Dr. Gehrt.

What of their dining habits? Largely rodents, but using night scope cameras and time-lapse photography, researchers have found that coyotes have a real taste for goose eggs.

Mama goose is sitting on the nest. She is fiercely protective, but realizes she is no match when Mr. Coyote arrives. He checks out the area, even it seems the camera. He leaves briefly, and then comes back for the egg, and it's off to dinner. The goose population -- rapidly rising in this area -- has flattened out over the last couple years.

"That's one example of how coyotes are performing an ecological service that never makes the papers because it's a hidden function," said Dr. Gehrt.

But it is also true that coyotes have gone into yards, sometimes it seems boldly, and small dogs and cats have subsequently disappeared. That's one of the reasons the county launched this project.

"I'm amazed at how not frightened they are of people," said Dr. Dan Parmer, Cook County Dept. of Animal and Rabies Control.

Unafraid, but at the same time, as Dr Parmer says, coyotes want nothing to do with people. Attacks on humans are extraordinarily rare -- usually after some provocation. The research project is meant to help communities determine when a coyote is a real menace and needs to be removed. Most often, they just quietly co-exist all around us.

"You get such an admiration for these animals and you realize where they are in our universe -- and why they're here and why they've survived, and you realize were not all that smart. There are a lot of smart things out there besides us," said Dr. Parmer.

We increasingly take their space, so they are adapting to ours. Living side by side with humans, though, means inevitable conflict. Small pets can be vulnerable. Being aware of that is important.

But coyotes are a big part of ecological balance even in an urban area. Dr Dan Parmer, the man who launched the study, says, you come to admire the coyotes ability to survive and thrive among us and their place in the universe. We are not the only smart creatures out there.

The High Cost of Wal-Mart...

It's about time that the average American blue-collar working family stop and take a good look at what Wal-Mart is doing to their local economies, their culture and their environment. Looks like Karma is coming home to roost in Bentonville...


A New Weapon for Wal-Mart: A War Room
November 1, 2005

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct. 26 - Inside a stuffy, windowless room here, veterans of the 2004 Bush and Kerry presidential campaigns sit, stand and pace around six plastic folding tables. Open containers of pistachio nuts and tropical trail mix compete for space with laptops and BlackBerries. CNN flickers on a television in the corner.

The phone rings, and a 20-something woman answers. "Turn on Fox," she yells, running up to the TV with a notepad. "This could be important."

A scene from a campaign war room? Well, sort of. It is a war room inside the headquarters of Wal-Mart, the giant discount retailer that hopes to sell a new, improved image to reluctant consumers.

Wal-Mart is taking a page from the modern political playbook. Under fire from well-organized opponents who have hammered the retailer with criticisms of its wages, health insurance and treatment of workers, Wal-Mart has quietly recruited former presidential advisers, including Michael K. Deaver, who was Ronald Reagan's image-meister, and Leslie Dach, one of Bill Clinton's media consultants, to set up a rapid-response public relations team in Arkansas.

When small-business owners or union officials - also employing political operatives from past campaigns - criticize the company, the war room swings into action with press releases, phone calls to reporters and instant Web postings.

One target of the effort are "swing voters," or consumers who have not soured on Wal-Mart. The new approach appears to reflect a fear that Wal-Mart's critics are alienating the very consumers it needs to keep growing, especially middle-income Americans motivated not just by price, but by image.

The first big challenge of the strategy will come Nov. 1 with the premiere of an unflattering documentary. "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" was made on a shoestring budget of $1.8 million and will be released in about two dozen theaters. But its director, Robert Greenwald, hopes to show the movie in thousands of homes and churches in the next month. The possibility that it might become a cult hit like Michael Moore's 1989 unsympathetic portrait of General Motors, "Roger & Me," has Wal-Mart worried.

So, Wal-Mart has embarked on a counteroffensive that would have been unthinkable even a year ago. Relying on a preview posted online, Wal-Mart investigated the events described in the film and produced a short video contending the film has factual errors. (Mr. Greenwald denies there are errors and says that Wal-Mart has not seen the final cut.)

Wal-Mart has also begun to promote a second film, "Why Wal-Mart Works & Why That Makes Some People Crazy," which casts the company in a rosier light. Wal-Mart declined to make its executives available for the Greenwald film, but it participated with the second film's director, Ron Galloway. The war room team helped distribute a letter, written by Mr. Galloway, that challenges Mr. Greenwald to show the two movies side-by-side.

To keep up with its critics, Wal-Mart "has to run a campaign," said Robert McAdam, a former political strategist at the Tobacco Institute who now oversees Wal-Mart's corporate communications. "It's simply nonsense for us to let some of these attacks go without a response."

Wal-Mart's aggressive new posture is a departure from its tradition of relying on an internal staff to manage the company's image. The war room, which is part of a larger Wal-Mart effort to portray itself as more worker-friendly and environmentally conscious, runs counter to the philosophy of the chain's founder, Sam Walton. Believing that public relations was a waste of time and money, the penny-pinching Mr. Walton would not likely have hired a public relations firm like Edelman, Wal-Mart's choice to operate its war room.

So what has changed? For one thing, Wal-Mart's critics have become more sophisticated.

For years, unions hurled little more than insults at the chain. But over the last year, two small groups - Wal-Mart Watch and Wake Up Wal-Mart - set up shop in Washington with the goal of waging the public relations equivalent of guerilla warfare against the company. Wal-Mart Watch received start-up cash from the Service Employees International Union; Wake Up Wal-Mart is a project of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. Unions have tried, unsuccessfully, to organize Wal-Mart's employees.

At the suggestion of Wake Up Wal-Mart, members of the nation's largest teachers' unions staged a boycott of Wal-Mart for back-to-school supplies this fall. Wal-Mart Watch, meanwhile, set up an automated phone system that called 10,000 people in Arkansas in June seeking potential whistle-blowers willing to share secrets about the retailer.

Wal-Mart did not rebut such attacks, even when Wal-Mart Watch released a 24-page report blasting the company's wages and benefits. Wal-Mart Watch said the report had been downloaded from its Web site 55,000 times.

Once a darling of Wall Street, Wal-Mart's stock price has fallen 27 percent since 2000, when H. Lee Scott Jr. became chief executive, a drop that executives have said reflects, in part, investors' anxieties about the company's image. Sales growth at stores open for more than a year has slowed to an average of 3.5 percent a month this year, compared with 6.3 percent at Target. And Wal-Mart is facing growing resistance to new urban stores, with high- profile defeats in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

There is some evidence that criticism is influencing consumers. A confidential 2004 report prepared by McKinsey & Company for Wal-Mart, and made public by Wal-Mart Watch, found that 2 percent to 8 percent of Wal-Mart consumers surveyed have ceased shopping at the chain because of "negative press they have heard."

The Greenwald movie threatens to make matters worse. It features whistle-blowers who describe Wal-Mart managers cheating workers out of overtime pay and encouraging them to seek state-sponsored health care when they cannot afford the company's insurance. And it travels across small-town America to assess the effects on independent businesses and downtowns after a Wal-Mart opens.

The film is a particular concern now that Wal-Mart is trying to move upscale, a strategy it hopes will appeal to higher-income consumers. In the last year, Wal-Mart has introduced a line of urban fashions called Metro 7, hired hundreds of fashion specialists to monitor how clothing is displayed in stores, and produced more polished advertising.

But for the fashion strategy to pay off, Wal-Mart must win over a group of shoppers who are sensitive to criticism of the chain's record - consumers, in the words of Wal-Mart's chief executive, "who are not worried about their next paycheck."

Hence the war room in Bentonville. Wal-Mart executives realized they were unprepared to react to what Mr. Scott began to call the most expensive campaign ever waged against a corporation. So the company quietly mailed a letter to the country's biggest public relations firms several months ago seeking their help in developing a response.

The contract went to Edelman, which assigned its top two Washington operatives to the account. Wal-Mart would not say what it is paying Edelman, nor would it allow interviews with the war room staff. Mr. Dach, who is active in environmental and Democratic causes, was an outside adviser to President Clinton during the impeachment battle. Mr. Deaver was President Reagan's communications director and the creative force behind Mr. Reagan's so-called Teflon image.

Edelman also dispatched at least six former political operatives to Bentonville, including Jonathan Adashek, director of national delegate strategy for John Kerry, and David White, who helped manage the 1998 re-election of Representative Nancy Johnson, a Connecticut Republican. Terry Nelson, who was the national political director of the 2004 Bush campaign, advises the group.

In turn, Wakeup Wal-Mart is led by, among others, Paul Blank, former political director for the Howard Dean presidential campaign, and Chris Kofinis, who helped create the DraftWesleyClark.com campaign.

Wal-Mart Watch's media team includes Jim Jordan, former director of the Kerry campaign, and Tracy Sefl, a former Democratic National Committee aide responsible for distributing negative press reports about President Bush during the 2004 campaign.

The war room staff arrives at Wal-Mart's headquarters, a short drive from a nearby corporate apartment where they live, by 7 every morning. The group works out of an old conference room on the second floor, christened Action Alley, the same name Wal-Mart gives to the wide, circular aisle that runs around its stores.

Three display boards are covered with to-do lists. One says: "Promote Week of 10/24/05: MLK Memorial Donation. Urban/blighted community plan." Two large maps show the location of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores across the United States.

The team starts the day by scanning newspaper articles and television transcripts that mention Wal-Mart. Next come conference calls with Wal-Mart employees around the country to plan for events. Whenever possible, Mr. McAdam said, the war room will try to neutralize criticism before it is leveled.

That was the strategy behind what Action Alley considers its first coup. In late September, after several unions broke off from the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the splinter groups announced they would hold a convention in St. Louis on a Tuesday.

Action Alley members, assuming Wal-Mart would be a target of criticism during the union gathering, arranged for Wal-Mart to hold its own news conference the day before. It invited three local suppliers, a sympathetic local official and a cashier to say that Wal-Mart had a positive effect on the community.

"If you look at many of the stories that were written about that overall convention, they've got our messages in them," Mr. McAdam said. "In the past, when we've just responded to something somebody else is doing, it's sort of 'you know, by the way, Wal-Mart says ...' We got ahead of this one."

A campaign atmosphere pervades Action Alley. A small bus with the words "Clinton-Gore" on the side sits on the table. When discussing Wakeup Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart Watch and the Greenwald movie, Mr. McAdam slips into political-speak.

"The people who show up at Mr. Greenwald's film are probably not swing voters," he said. "They are probably the true believers of their point of view and I doubt there is a heck of a lot we can do to change their minds."

Mr. McAdam continued: "They've got their base. We've got ours. But there is a group in the middle that really we all need to be talking to."

01 November 2005

What Rosa Fought For...

...just in case you didn't know, here it is:

The Voting Rights Act of 1965


To enforce the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act shall be known as the "Voting Rights Act of 1965."

SEC. 2. No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.

SEC. 3.

(a) Whenever the Attorney General institutes a proceeding under any statute to enforce the guarantees of the fifteenth amendment in any State or political subdivision the court shall authorize the appointment of Federal examiners by the United States Civil Service Commission in accordance with section 6 to serve for such period of time and for such political subdivisions as the court shall determine is appropriate to enforce the guarantees of the fifteenth amendment (1) as part of any interlocutory order if the court determines that the appointment of such examiners is necessary to enforce such guarantees or (2) as part of any final judgment if the court finds that violations of the fifteenth amendment justifying equitable relief have occurred in such State or subdivision: Provided, That the court need not authorize the appointment of examiners if any incidents of denial or abridgement of the right to vote on account of race or color (1) have been few in number and have been promptly and effectively corrected by State or local action, (2) the continuing effect of such incidents has been eliminated, and (3) there is no reasonable probability of their recurrence in the future.
(b) If in a proceeding instituted by the Attorney General under any statute to enforce the guarantees of the fifteenth amendment in any State or political subdivision the court finds that a test or device has been used for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color, it shall suspend the use of tests and devices in such State or political subdivisions as the court shall determine is appropriate and for such period as it deems necessary.
(c) If in any proceeding instituted by the Attorney General under any statute to enforce the guarantees of the fifteenth amendment in any State or political subdivision the court finds that violations of the fifteenth amendment justifying equitable relief have occurred within the territory of such State or political subdivision, the court, in addition to such relief as it may grant, shall retain jurisdiction for such period as it may deem appropriate and during such period no voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect at the time the proceeding was commenced shall be enforced unless and until the court finds that such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure does not have the purpose and will not have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color: Provided, That such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure may be enforced if the qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure has been submitted by the chief legal officer or other appropriate official of such State or subdivision to the Attorney General and the Attorney General has not interposed an objection within sixty days after such submission, except that neither the court's finding nor the Attorney General's failure to object shall bar a subsequent action to enjoin enforcement of such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure.

SEC. 4.

(a) To assure that the right of citizens of the United States to vote is not denied or abridged on account of race or color, no citizen shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election because of his failure to comply with any test or device in any State with respect to which the determinations have been made under subsection (b) or in any political subdivision with respect to which such determinations have been made as a separate unit, unless the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in an action for a declaratory judgment brought by such State or subdivision against the United States has determined that no such test or device has been used during the five years preceding the filing of the action for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color: Provided, That no such declaratory judgment shall issue with respect to any plaintiff for a period of five years after the entry of a final judgment of any court of the United States, other than the denial of a declaratory judgment under this section, whether entered prior to or after the enactment of this Act, determining that denials or abridgments of the right to vote on account of race or color through the use of such tests or devices have occurred anywhere in the territory of such plaintiff. An action pursuant to this subsection shall be heard and determined by a court of three judges in accordance with the provisions of section 2284 of title 28 of the United States Code and any appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court. The court shall retain jurisdiction of any action pursuant to this subsection for five years after judgment and shall reopen the action upon motion of the Attorney General alleging that a test or device has been used for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color.
If the Attorney General determines that he has no reason to believe that any such test or device has been used during the five years preceding the filing of the action for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, he shall consent to the entry of such judgment
(b) The provisions of subsection (a) shall apply in any State or in any political subdivision of a state which (1) the Attorney General determines maintained on November 1, 1964, any test or device, and with respect to which (2) the Director of the Census determines that less than 50 percentum of the persons of voting age residing therein were registered on November 1, 1964, or that less than 50 percentum of such persons voted in the presidential election of November 1964.
A determination or certification of the Attorney General or of the Director of the Census under this section or under section 6 or section 13 shall not be reviewable in any court and shall be effective upon publication in the Federal Register.
(c) The phrase "test or device" shall mean any requirement that a person as a prerequisite for voting or registration for voting (1) demonstrate the ability to read, write, understand, or interpret any matter, (2) demonstrate any educational achievement or his knowledge of any particular subject, (3) possess good moral character, or (4) prove his qualifications by the voucher of registered voters or members of any other class.
(d) For purposes of this section no State or political subdivision shall be determined to have engaged in the use of tests or devices for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color if (1) incidents of such use have been few in number and have been promptly and effectively corrected by State or local action, (2) the continuing effect of such incidents has been eliminated, and (3) there is no reasonable probability of their recurrence in the future.
(1) Congress hereby declares that to secure the rights under the fourteenth amendment of persons educated in American-flag schools in which the predominant classroom language was other than English, it is necessary to prohibit the States from conditioning the right to vote of such persons on ability to read, write, understand, or interpret any matter in the English language.
(2) No person who demonstrates that he has successfully completed the sixth primary grade in a public school in, or a private school accredited by, any State or territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in which the predominant classroom language was other than English, shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election because of his inability to read, write, understand, or interpret any matter in the English language, except that, in States in which State law provides that a different level of education is presumptive of literacy, he shall demonstrate that he has successfully completed an equivalent level of education in a public school in, or a private school accredited by, any State or territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in which the predominant classroom language was other than English.

SEC. 5. Whenever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 4(a) are in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1964, such State or subdivision may institute an action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for a declaratory judgment that such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure does not have the purpose and will not have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, and unless and until the court enters such judgment no person shall be denied the right to vote for failure to comply with such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure: Provided, That such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure may be enforced without such proceeding if the qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure has been submitted by the chief legal officer or other appropriate official of such State or subdivision to the Attorney General and the Attorney General has not interposed an objection within sixty days after such submission, except that neither the Attorney General's failure to object nor a declaratory judgment entered under this section shall bar a subsequent action to enjoin enforcement of such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure. Any action under this section shall be heard and determined by a court of three judges in accordance with the provisions of section 2284 of title 28 of the United States Code and any appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court.

SEC. 6. Whenever (a) a court has authorized the appointment of examiners pursuant to the provisions of section 3(a), or (b) unless a declaratory judgment has been rendered under section 4(a), the Attorney General certifies with respect to any political subdivision named in, or included within the scope of, determinations made under section 4(b) that (1) he has received complaints in writing from twenty or more residents of such political subdivision alleging that they have been denied the right to vote under color of law on account of race or color, and that he believes such complaints to be meritorious, or (2) that, in his judgment (considering, among other factors, whether the ratio of nonwhite persons to white persons registered to vote within such subdivision appears to him to be reasonably attributable to violations of the fifteenth amendment or whether substantial evidence exists that bona fide efforts are being made within such subdivision to comply with the fifteenth amendment), the appointment of examiners is otherwise necessary to enforce the guarantees of the fifteenth amendment, the Civil Service Commission shall appoint as many examiners for such subdivision as it may deem appropriate to prepare and maintain lists of persons eligible to vote in Federal, State, and local elections. Such examiners, hearing officers provided for in section 9(a), and other persons deemed necessary by the Commission to carry out the provisions and purposes of this Act shall be appointed, compensated, and separated without regard to the provisions of any statute administered by the Civil Service Commission, and service under this Act shall not be considered employment for the purposes of any statute administered by the Civil Service Commission, except the provisions of section 9 of the Act of August 2, 1939, as amended (5 U.S.C. 118i), prohibiting partisan political activity: Provided, That the Commission is authorized, after consulting the head of the appropriate department or agency, to designate suitable persons in the official service of the United States, with their consent, to serve in these positions. Examiners and hearing officers shall have the power to administer oaths.

SEC. 7.

(a) The examiners for each political subdivision shall, at such places as the Civil Service Commission shall by regulation designate, examine applicants concerning their qualifications for voting. An application to an examiner shall be in such form as the Commission may require and shall contain allegations that the applicant is not otherwise registered to vote.
(b) Any person whom the examiner finds, in accordance with instructions received under section 9(b), to have the qualifications prescribed by State law not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States shall promptly be placed on a list of eligible voters. A challenge to such listing may be made in accordance with section 9(a) and shall not be the basis for a prosecution under section 12 of this Act. The examiner shall certify and transmit such list, and any supplements as appropriate, at least once a month, to the offices of the appropriate election officials, with copies to the Attorney General and the attorney general of the State, and any such lists and supplements thereto transmitted during the month shall be available for public inspection on the last business day of the month and, in any event, not later than the forty-fifth day prior to any election. The appropriate State or local election official shall place such names on the official voting list. Any person whose name appears on the examiner's list shall be entitled and allowed to vote in the election district of his residence unless and until the appropriate election officials shall have been notified that such person has been removed from such list in accordance with subsection (d): Provided, That no person shall be entitled to vote in any election by virtue of this Act unless his name shall have been certified and transmitted on such a list to the offices of the appropriate election officials at least forty-five days prior to such election.
(c) The examiner shall issue to each person whose name appears on such a list a certificate evidencing his eligibility to vote.
(d) A person whose name appears on such a list shall be removed therefrom by an examiner if (1) such person has been successfully challenged in accordance with the procedure prescribed in section 9, or (2) he has been determined by an examiner to have lost his eligibility to vote under State law not inconsistent with the Constitution and the laws of the United States.

SEC. 8. Whenever an examiner is serving under this Act in any political subdivision, the Civil Service Commission may assign, at the request of the Attorney General, one or more persons, who may be officers of the United States, (1) to enter and attend at any place for holding an election in such subdivision for the purpose of observing whether persons who are entitled to vote are being permitted to vote, and (2) to enter and attend at any place for tabulating the votes cast at any election held in such subdivision for the purpose of observing whether votes cast by persons entitled to vote are being properly tabulated. Such persons so assigned shall report to an examiner appointed for such political subdivision, to the Attorney General, and if the appointment of examiners has been authorized pursuant to section 3(a), to the court.

SEC. 9.
(a) Any challenge to a listing on an eligibility list prepared by an examiner shall be heard and determined by a hearing officer appointed by and responsible to the Civil Service Commission and under such rules as the Commission shall by regulation prescribe. Such challenge shall be entertained only if filed at such office within the State as the Civil Service Commission shall by regulation designate, and within ten days after the listing of the challenged person is made available for public inspection, and if supported by (1) the affidavits of at least two persons having personal knowledge of the facts constituting grounds for the challenge, and (2) a certification that a copy of the challenge and affidavits have been served by mail or in person upon the person challenged at his place of residence set out in the application. Such challenge shall be determined within fifteen days after it has been filed. A petition for review of the decision of the hearing officer may be filed in the United States court of appeals for the circuit in which the person challenged resides within fifteen days after service of such decision by mail on the person petitioning for review but no decision of a hearing officer shall be reversed unless clearly erroneous. Any person listed shall be entitled and allowed to vote pending final determination by the hearing officer and by the court.
(b) The times, places, procedures, and form for application and listing pursuant to this Act and removals from the eligibility lists shall be prescribed by regulations promulgated by the Civil Service Commission and the Commission shall, after consultation with the Attorney General, instruct examiners concerning applicable State law not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States with respect to (1) the qualifications required for listing, and (2) loss of eligibility to vote.
(c) Upon the request of the applicant or the challenger or on its own motion the Civil Service Commission shall have the power to require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence relating to any matter pending before it under the authority of this section. In case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena, any district court of the United States or the United States court of any territory or possession, or the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia, within the jurisdiction of which said person guilty of contumacy or refusal to obey is found or resides or is domiciled or transacts business, or has appointed an agent for receipt of service of process, upon application by the Attorney General of the United States shall have jurisdiction to issue to such person an order requiring such person to appear before the Commission or a hearing officer, there to produce pertinent, relevant, and nonprivileged documentary evidence if so ordered, or there to give testimony touching the matter under investigation, and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by said court as a contempt thereof.

SEC. 10.

(a) The Congress finds that the requirement of the payment of a poll tax as a precondition to voting (i) precludes persons of limited means from voting or imposes unreasonable financial hardship upon such persons as a precondition to their exercise of the franchise, (ii) does not bear a reasonable relationship to any legitimate State interest in the conduct of elections, and (iii) in some areas has the purpose or effect of denying persons the right to vote because of race or color. Upon the basis of these findings, Congress declares that the constitutional right of citizens to vote is denied or abridged in some areas by the requirement of the payment of a poll tax as a precondition to voting.
(b) In the exercise of the powers of Congress under section 5 of the fourteenth amendment and section 2 of the fifteenth amendment, the Attorney General is authorized and directed to institute forthwith in the name of the United States such actions, including actions against States or political subdivisions, for declaratory judgment or injunctive relief against the enforcement of any requirement of the payment of a poll tax as a precondition to voting, or substitute therefor enacted after November 1, 1964, as will be necessary to implement the declaration of subsection (a) and the purposes of this section.
(c) The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction of such actions which shall be heard and determined by a court of three judges in accordance with the provisions of section 2284 of title 28 of the United States Code and any appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court. It shall be the duty of the judges designated to hear the case to assign the case for hearing at the earliest practicable date, to participate in the hearing and determination thereof, and to cause the case to be in every way expedited.
(d) During the pendency of such actions, and thereafter if the courts, notwithstanding this action by the Congress, should declare the requirement of the payment of a poll tax to be constitutional, no citizen of the United States who is a resident of a State or political subdivision with respect to which determinations have been made under subsection 4(b) and a declaratory judgment has not been entered under subsection 4(a), during the first year he becomes otherwise entitled to vote by reason of registration by State or local officials or listing by an examiner, shall be denied the right to vote for failure to pay a poll tax if he tenders payment of such tax for the current year to an examiner or to the appropriate State or local official at least forty-five days prior to election, whether or not such tender would be timely or adequate under State law. An examiner shall have authority to accept such payment from any person authorized by this Act to make an application for listing, and shall issue a receipt for such payment. The examiner shall transmit promptly any such poll tax payment to the office of the State or local official authorized to receive such payment under State law, together with the name and address of the applicant.

SEC. 11.

(a) No person acting under color of law shall fail or refuse to permit any person to vote who is entitled to vote under any provision of this Act or is otherwise qualified to vote, or willfully fail or refuse to tabulate, count, and report such person's vote.
(b) No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote, or intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for urging or aiding any person to vote or attempt to vote, or intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for exercising any powers or duties under section 3(a), 6, 8, 9, 10, or 12(e).
(c) Whoever knowingly or willfully gives false information as to his name, address, or period of residence in the voting district for the purpose of establishing his eligibility to register or vote, or conspires with another individual for the purpose of encouraging his false registration to vote or illegal voting, or pays or offers to pay or accepts payment either for registration to vote or for voting shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both: Provided, however, That this provision shall be applicable only to general, special, or primary elections held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting or electing any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the United States Senate, Member of the United States House of Representatives, or Delegates or Commissioners from the territories or possessions, or Resident Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
(d) Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of an examiner or hearing officer knowingly and willfully falsifies or conceals a material fact, or makes any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

SEC. 12.

(a) Whoever shall deprive or attempt to deprive any person of any right secured by section 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, or 10 or shall violate section 11(a) or (b), shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(b) Whoever, within a year following an election in a political subdivision in which an examiner has been appointed (1) destroys, defaces, mutilates, or otherwise alters the marking of a paper ballot which has been cast in such election, or (2) alters any official record of voting in such election tabulated from a voting machine or otherwise, shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both
(c) Whoever conspires to violate the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section, or interferes with any right secured by section 2, 3 4, 5, 7, 10, or 11(a) or (b) shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(d) Whenever any person has engaged or there are reasonable grounds to believe that any person is about to engage in any act or practice prohibited by section 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, or subsection (b) of this section, the Attorney General may institute for the United States, or in the name of the United States, an action for preventive relief, including an application for a temporary or permanent injunction, restraining order, or other order, and including an order directed to the State and State or local election officials to require them (1) to permit persons listed under this Act to vote and (2) to count such votes.
(e) Whenever in any political subdivision in which there are examiners appointed pursuant to this Act any persons allege to such an examiner within forty-eight hours after the closing of the polls that notwithstanding (1) their listing under this Act or registration by an appropriate election official and (2) their eligibility to vote, they have not been permitted to vote in such election, the examiner shall forthwith notify the Attorney General if such allegations in his opinion appear to be well founded. Upon receipt of such notification, the Attorney General may forthwith file with the district court an application for an order providing for the marking, casting, and counting of the ballots of such persons and requiring the inclusion of their votes in the total vote before the results of such election shall be deemed final and any force or effect given thereto. The district court shall hear and determine such matters immediately after the filing of such application. The remedy provided in this subsection shall not preclude any remedy available under State or Federal law.
(f) The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction of proceedings instituted pursuant to this section and shall exercise the same without regard to whether a person asserting rights under the provisions of this Act shall have exhausted any administrative or other remedies that may be provided by law

SEC. 13. Listing procedures shall be terminated in any political subdivision of any State (a) with respect to examiners appointed pursuant to clause (b) of section 6 whenever the Attorney General notifies the Civil Service Commission, or whenever the District Court for the District of Columbia determines in an action for declaratory judgment brought by any political subdivision with respect to which the Director of the Census has determined that more than 50 percentum of the nonwhite persons of voting age residing therein are registered to vote, (1) that all persons listed by an examiner for such subdivision have been placed on the appropriate voting registration roll, and (2) that there is no longer reasonable cause to believe that persons will be deprived of or denied the right to vote on account of race or color in such subdivision, and (b), with respect to examiners appointed pursuant to section 3(a), upon order of the authorizing court. A political subdivision may petition the Attorney General for the termination of listing procedures under clause (a) of this section, and may petition the Attorney General to request the Director of the Census to take such survey or census as may be appropriate for the making of the determination provided for in this section. The District Court for the District of Columbia shall have jurisdiction to require such survey or census to be made by the Director of the Census and it shall require him to do so if it deems the Attorney General's refusal to request such survey or census to be arbitrary or unreasonable.

SEC. 14.
(a) All cases of criminal contempt arising under the provisions of this Act shall be governed by section 151 of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 (42 U.S.C.1995).
(b) No court other than the District Court for the District of Columbia or a court of appeals in any proceeding under section 9 shall have jurisdiction to issue any declaratory judgment pursuant to section 4 or section 5 or any restraining order or temporary or permanent injunction against the execution or enforcement of any provision of this Act or any action of any Federal officer or employee pursuant hereto.
(1) The terms "vote" or "voting" shall include all action necessary to make a vote effective in any primary, special, or general election, including, but not limited to, registration, listing pursuant to this Act, or other action required by law prerequisite to voting, casting a ballot, and having such ballot counted properly and included in the appropriate totals of votes cast with respect to candidates for public or party office and propositions for which votes are received in an election.
(2) The term "political subdivision" shall mean any county or parish, except that, where registration for voting is not conducted under the supervision of a county or parish, the term shall include any other subdivision of a State which conducts registration for voting.
(d) In any action for a declaratory judgment brought pursuant to section 4 or section 5 of this Act, subpoenas for witnesses who are required to attend the District Court for the District of Columbia may be served in any judicial district of the United States: Provided, That no writ of subpoena shall issue for witnesses without the District of Columbia at a greater distance than one hundred miles from the place of holding court without the permission of the District Court for the District of Columbia being first had upon proper application and cause shown.

SEC. 15. Section 2004 of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C.1971), as amended by section 131 of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 (71 Stat. 637), and amended by section 601 of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 (74 Stat. 90), and as further amended by section 101 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (78 Stat. 241), is further amended as follows:
(a) Delete the word "Federal" wherever it appears in subsections (a) and (c);
(b) Repeal subsection (f) and designate the present subsections (g) and (h) as (f) and (g), respectively.

SEC. 16. The Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense, jointly, shall make a full and complete study to determine whether, under the laws or practices of any State or States, there are preconditions to voting, which might tend to result in discrimination against citizens serving in the Armed Forces of the United States seeking to vote. Such officials shall, jointly, make a report to the Congress not later than June 30, 1966, containing the results of such study, together with a list of any States in which such preconditions exist, and shall include in such report such recommendations for legislation as they deem advisable to prevent discrimination in voting against citizens serving in the Armed Forces of the United States.

SEC. 17. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to deny, impair, or otherwise adversely affect the right to vote of any person registered to vote under the law of any State or political subdivision.

SEC. 18. There are hereby authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act

SEC 19. If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of the Act and the application of the provision to other persons not similarly situated or to other circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

Approved August 6, 1965.