31 August 2006

Quote of the Day...

"Physics is to math what sex is to masturbation..."

--Richard Feynman (1918 – 1988), physicist, Nobel Laureate

29 August 2006

David on KXLU Los Angeles...

Here's my brother's latest interview...


Please visit JohnnaRyry's Broomwagon!

Mediaeval Baebes: "In Dulce Jubilo"

One of our favourites, enjoy...


Please visit JohnnaRyry's Broomwagon!

26 August 2006

Boycott Bud!

The staff of Johnnaryry's Soapbox will refrain from purchasing or using Anheuser-Busch products until this offensive campaign is removed...


Schmidt: Racist ads feature ignorant Indian

Posted: August 24, 2006
by: Robert Schmidt / Pechanga.net

Steve and his new roommate, Zagar, share an apartment. But the half-naked
Zagar, a Native tribesman, is tough to live with. He eats Steve's canary,
tries to light a fire under the bathtub and shoots arrows at the cat,
hitting Steve instead. This wacky "odd couple" can't seem to connect ...
except over a refreshing beer.

So begins the latest ad campaign for Bud Light. Titled "Zagar and Steve,"
it consists of several television commercials and flash videos. The
commercials have aired since July on programs such as "Saturday Night

In an ad about playing basketball, Zagar attacks his opponents with a
blowgun, club, and bow and arrow. A spot set in a bowling alley has Zagar
smashing his hand through glass and chucking a ball into a rival's head.

Another bit takes place in a restaurant, where he shoots one patron in the
back and hurls a knife into a waiter's chest.

The campaign has its own Web site, www.zagarandsteve.com. Here you can find
Zagar's phony history, Steve's faux blog entries about his roommate and
fawning comments from fans (probably invented). Presumably it's an example
of "viral" marketing, with visitors downloading videos and spreading the
word themselves.

Like the ads, Zagar's made-up background spoofs indigenous peoples.
According to this narrative, Zagar once strapped a starving wolverine onto
someone's back. He made a stereo out of coconuts and barbed wire. His folk
spout such gobbledygook as "jhiojuior khjjik oiuj," which looks like
something a chimp typed.

The Web site tries to obscure Zagar's origin by saying he comes from "parts
unknown." This may be an attempt to locate him in a remote, fantasy-like
setting and thus immunize him from criticism. But with his bowl-cut black
hair and coppery skin, Zagar is clearly an Amazon Indian.

Why exactly is this ad campaign so problematic? After all, some would
argue, aren't some Amazonians still "primitive"? Well, yes and no - mostly
no. Anyway, just who gets to define "primitive"?

First, the choice of settings is unfair because it undermines the Indian.
If Steve were dropped into a jungle, he'd seem just as foolish as Zagar
does in the city. But the campaign doesn't try this switch because it would
subvert the message: that urban life is best and Bud Light is its

Second, Zagar supposedly left his village to see the world. To get from
there to here, he would've had to learn the basics of human customs and
communications. He would've mastered such rudimentary rules as not firing
weapons or destroying property indiscriminately.

Today few if any tribes exist beyond the pale of civilization. Almost
everyone on the planet knows about cars, television and Coca-Cola. Yet
Zagar might as well have come from Neverland. He's apparently ignorant of
everything that's happened since Columbus.

Third, the ad shows no awareness that Indians have their own complex
cultural heritages. For instance, does Anheuser-Busch think Indians don't
understand pets? They domesticated such animals as the llama, dog and
turkey. Does Anheuser-Busch think they don't play sports? They invented
lacrosse and the precursor to basketball, using raised hoops and rubber
balls. Does Anheuser-Busch think Indians can't act nonviolently? Many are
pacifists and all have moral relationships, like every other race of

This campaign is a throwback to the days when Americans portrayed Indians
as pure savages: unable to speak English, uninterested in peace and
harmony, intent only on killing and ravaging. It's no better than a 19th
century minstrel show that depicted Negro behavior as stupid and
stereotypical. George Washington once labeled Indians "beasts of prey" and
this endeavor does the same.

It's not hard to imagine how an advertising agency might defend its use of
Zagar. It's what people always say when accused of stereotyping. "We didn't
mean to offend anyone. It's just harmless fun."

How many times have media experts refuted such self-serving statements?
"The usual task of these representations is to cast us as part of a distant
past, rather than a dynamic present," said Loretta Todd, a Metis/Cree
filmmaker, to an interviewer. "Media image is especially crucial because it
is that image that looms large as non-Indians decide the fate of Indian
people," said Rennard Strickland, a retired Osage/Cherokee professor of
law, in the Native Times.

Finally, consider the closing shots of Steve and Zagar communing over beer.
Should the advertisers really show an Indian endorsing alcohol despite the
pain it's caused Native people? Would they also show diabetics eating
chocolate or children playing with dynamite? For Indian people, alcohol is
just as explosive in its destructiveness.

Anheuser-Busch should halt this offensive ad campaign before the next arrow
hurts someone. If it doesn't, Natives and others concerned with minority
stereotyping should make their voices heard.

Rob Schmidt is a freelance writer who specializes in Native and
multicultural subjects. He maintains a Stereotype of the Month contest at

25 August 2006

Quote of the Day...

"After all is said and done, more is said than done..."


24 August 2006

Quote of the Day...

“It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success...”

--George Washington Carver (1864 - 1943) botantist, educator, humanitarian


It's a shame when people throw away a perfectly good planet!

As of yet, our staff has been unable to reach an obviously frustrated and disappointed Pluto for comment on this decision...


Pluto Loses Status As a Planet
Astronomers meeting in the Czech capital have voted to strip Pluto of its status as a planet.

About 2,500 experts were in Prague for the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) general assembly.

Astronomers rejected a proposal that would have retained Pluto as a planet and brought three other objects into the cosmic club.

Pluto has been considered a planet since its discovery in 1930 by the American Clyde Tombaugh.

The vote effectively means the ninth planet will now be airbrushed out of school and university textbooks.

The decision was made at a meeting of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in the Czech capital Prague.

"The eight planets are Mercury, Earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune," said the IAU resolution, which was passed following a week of stormy debate.

Named after underworld god
Average of 5.9bn km to Sun
Orbits Sun every 248 years
Diameter of 2,360km
Has at least three moons
Rotates every 6.8 days
Gravity about 6% of Earth's
Surface temperature -233C
Nasa probe visits in 2015


The IAU's proposal to raise the number of planets in the Solar System to 12, adding the asteroid Ceres, Pluto's "moon" Charon and the distant object known as 2003 UB313, met with opposition.

Pluto's status has been contested for many years as it is further away and considerably smaller than the eight other planets in our Solar System.

Since the early 1990s, astronomers have found several other objects of comparable size to Pluto in an outer region of the Solar System called the Kuiper Belt.

Some astronomers believe Pluto belongs with this population of small, icy "Trans-Neptunians", not with the objects we call planets.

Allowances were once made for Pluto on account of its size. At just 2,360km (1,467 miles) across, Pluto is significantly smaller than the other planets. But until recently, it was still the biggest known object in the Kuiper Belt.

That changed with the discovery of 2003 UB313 by Professor Mike Brown and colleagues at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). After being measured with the Hubble Space Telescope, it was shown to be some 3,000km (1,864 miles) in diameter, making it larger than the ninth planet.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/08/24 13:34:45 GMT


21 August 2006

Te Arikinui Tuheitia Paki, Maori Monarch

E te Arikinui, Te Atairangikaahu
Queen, Te Atairangkaahu

Te mokopuna o te motu, te whaea o te whenua
The grandchild of the region, the mother of the land

Moe mai i te poho o te tupuna whare, Mahinaarangi,
Rest in peace in the bosom of the ancestral home, Mahinaarangi

I te whakaharahara o tou marae rongonui, Turangawaewae.
In the magnificence of your well known marae, Turangawaewae

Moe mai i raro i te mauri o te maungatapu o Taupiri
Rest in peace in the spirit of your sacred mountain, Taupiri

E hoe tou waka tapu i runga i tou awa, Waikato
Guide your sacred waka gracefully over the waters of Waikato

E ki a nei te kōrero
As the saying goes

Waikato taniwharau, he piko he taniwha, he piko he taniwha
Waikato of a hundred bends and on every bend a chief

Haere atu ra e te ariki i ngā kapua e rere ki tua
Farewell te Arikinui, on the clouds that speed you beyond

Mai ngā tohu-a-Māori hei piata mai
Bypassing the many symbols of Māoridom that shine upon your journey

Te whakamōhio te huarahi tika, huarahi pai
To ensure your journey is straight and true

Hei kawe nei tou tira ki tēra wāhi o tatou
Carrying you to that everlasting place

Ki hawaiki nui, hawaiki roa, hawaiki pāmamao
To the big hawaiki, the long hawaiki, the hawaiki far away

Te hono I wairua
Where the spirits meet

Rire rire ... paimarire.

New Zealand Maori Choose New King

Elders from New Zealand's indigenous Maori population have named 51-year-old Tuheitia Paki as their new king.

King Tuheitia, a university manager and cultural adviser, was chosen at a secret meeting in Ngaruawahia village.

He is the eldest son of the previous monarch, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, who died last week.

Dame Te Ata held the throne for 40 years, making her the longest-serving monarch in the 150 years since the Maori began choosing their leaders.

Public approval

King Tuheitia has a wife, Te Atawhai, and three children.

He is the seventh Maori monarch - all are from the same family line and were each chosen by Maori leaders from other tribes.

His naming and enthronement happened shortly before the funeral of his mother Dame Te Ata, who died at 75.

Thousands of Maori had gathered at the traditional meeting place in Ngaruawahia for both events and before King Tuheitia was crowned, the crowd was asked if he should become monarch.

Having been given the people's approval he was then crowned in a simple ceremony which involved him being tapped on the head with a Bible - the same Bible was used to crown the six previous Maori monarchs.

Then, wearing his late mother's feather cloak, King Tuheitia joined her funeral service.

The service was attended by New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and two former prime ministers.

During the ceremony messages from Queen Elizabeth II, who is New Zealand's head of state, Pope Benedict XVI and several Pacific leaders were read out.

Her coffin was then taken several kilometres along the Waikato river by Maori canoe to Taupiri Mountain, the sacred burial place of the Tainui tribe, where Dame Te Ata will be interred alongside her predecessors.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/08/21 04:01:33 GMT


19 August 2006

David on MSNBC's "Countdown"

Last night my brother David Waldon was on
'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' on MSNBC. He was promoting his new book 'Snakes on a Plane: The Guide to the Internet Ssssssensation.' If you missed it, or just want to relive the moment, you can view his clip here.

Dave, if you're reading this: you rocked last night!


18 August 2006

Protect Paha Sapa: "Don't Ride 39"

Hoka Hey!

Salt Lake Tribune - Native Land Should Not Be A Biker Bar
Article Last Updated: 8/16/2006 04:24 PM
By Mary Annette Pember

Salt Lake Tribune

Bikers and developers need to take a hard look at the damage wrought by their merrymaking near sacred places. Last week, the 66th annual Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota drew thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts. But it is also drew attention to the rights of Indians.

Sturgis is near Bear Butte, or Mato Paha, in the Black Hills, or Paha Sapa, which in Lakota means "everything that is." Central to the spiritual practices of several Great Plains tribes, Bear Butte is a sacred place of pilgrimage, prayer and reflection.

Now, however, an entrepreneur from Arizona is building an enormous biker bar, music venue and campground at the base of Bear Butte. In line with the carousing that goes on at bike rallies, he plans on offering 600 acres of police-free partying, with daily "orgasm" and "Popsicle licking" contests. In the spirit of sharing Indian culture with his patrons, he said he was also planning on erecting an 80-foot statue of an Indian at the entrance.

His original plan was to name the facility "Sacred Grounds." He seemed genuinely surprised that local tribes were not supportive, so he changed the name to "Sturgis County Line."

But that's hardly sufficient.

Hundreds of Indians and supporters camped at the base of Bear Butte to protest excess development near the area. They would like to maintain a two-mile buffer zone around the site.

Located within the Bear Butte National Park, Bear Butte is a historic landmark. The protesters are educating tourists about the significance of this place for Indians. And they are drawing support from some bikers who waged a "Don't Ride 39" campaign, referring to the highway that winds from Sturgis to Bear Butte.

The fight for Bear Butte is just the latest battle over Indian sacred places.

Despite treaty guarantees, Indian holy land continues to be sold, mined, developed and destroyed in the name of cash. Arizona's Mount Graham, the peaks in San Francisco, Black Mesa in Arizona, the Devils Tower in Wyoming and Mount Shasta in California are but a few examples of continuing battles.

These places represent more than acres of real estate for American Indians. They are living, breathing connections to our spirituality, our cultures and our very identity as tribal peoples.

Our presence in these places often dates back thousands of years. Surely our ceremonies should prevail over the mere 66-year tradition of a gathering of fun-loving bikers.


Mary Annette Pember, Red Cliff Ojibwe, is past president of the Native American Journalists Association.

17 August 2006

Understatement of the Year...

Duh! Bloody Hell! At this point I really think that Beavis and Butthead could do a better job of running the country! What a miserable failure...


White House sees "huge challenges" in Iraq - : "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Amid a largely bleak picture in
President Bush received an update on the security situation from top commanders on Thursday and the White House said 'huge challenges' remain..."

Executive Excrement...

Hmmm, well, if it smells like it, and sticks to the bottom of your shoe, it might really be crap indeed. One thing is for certain, crap and the Bu$h Administration's policies both have the same basic origin in common: the inside of an asshole...


US Brushes Off 'Crap' Accusation
The White House has made light of reports alleging that John Prescott said George Bush had been "crap" on the Middle East peace process.

Tony Snow, a White House spokesman, said: "The president has been called a lot worse and I suspect will be."

Mr Snow added that President Bush would have to face "piquant names" being hurled at him from time to time.

The deputy prime minister said the reports of his comments in a private meeting with MPs were inaccurate.

However, Mr Snow added pointedly: "The president talks regularly with Prime Minister Blair, who is the prime minister.

"Prime Minister Blair has made it clear: he is going to remain a firm ally to the United States in the war on terror."

He said both men "have taken some hits" in the polls but saw their primary obligation as protecting national security.

Labour MP Harry Cohen said the remark came during a private, "robust" meeting on Tuesday with fellow Labour MPs.

The Labour MP said he believed Mr Prescott's comment had been "an honest and good point, well made".

Mr Cohen said Mr Prescott's "crap" comment had been specific to the US efforts on the road map.

Road map

It was not a view of President Bush generally, the Bush administration as a whole, or the Bush administration's general Middle East policy, he added.

He said Mr Prescott claimed he had only supported the Iraq war "because they were promised the road map".

The comments were said to have been made at talks with Muslim MPs and other Labour MPs with constituencies representing large Muslim communities.

Mr Cohen said Mr Prescott's other reported comment - calling Mr Bush a "cowboy" - was a joke related to his own recent difficulties over a cowboy outfit gift he was given last year.

'Cheering him on'

Colin Brown, who is the deputy prime minister's biographer, said that this was "the type of language" used by Mr Prescott.

"It's a shorthand, it's very pithy, it's not diplomatic, and I hope that he doesn't get into any diplomatic hot water about it," he told BBC News 24.

"But the fact is, a lot of people are cheering him on."

For the Lib Dems, Norman Lamb, said: "John Prescott does not always use the most appropriate language, but if these reports are to be believed then his instincts on the Middle East are certainly preferable to Tony Blair's."

Mr Prescott has been Tony Blair's deputy since he came to power in 1997. Mr Blair is on holiday at the moment, leaving Mr Prescott in charge of the government.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/08/17 21:45:16 GMT


Cease and Desist...

Curious George meets a Federal Judge and learns a new, scary, big word 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL'...


US Judge Rules Wiretaps Illegal
A US programme to tap some phones without warrants is unconstitutional, and must be halted at once, a federal judge in Detroit has ruled.

The scheme, approved by President George W Bush in 2001, involves tapping conversations between some callers in the US and people in other countries.

Civil liberties campaigners brought the case against the programme, which was uncovered by the US media.

The White House said the scheme was legal and it would seek an appeal.

Spokesman Tony Snow said the programme was "firmly grounded in law and regularly reviewed to make sure steps are taken to protect civil liberties."

"We couldn't disagree more with this ruling, and the justice department will seek an immediate stay of the opinion and appeal," he said in a statement.

Mr Bush authorised the Terrorist Surveillance Programme, as the secret interception scheme is known, after the 11 September 2001 attacks on Washington and New York and insists that it is a vital tool in the US war on terror.

Bush setback

But after the programme was uncovered by the media a year ago, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit arguing that the secret interception of US phone calls was unconstitutional.

In her 43-page ruling on the case, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor said that the surveillance programme violated protections on free speech and privacy.

"Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our constitution," Judge Taylor wrote.

Ann Beeson, the ACLU's associate legal director and the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said that "by holding that even the president is not above the law, the court has done its duty".

Correspondents say the ruling is another setback for the president's self-proclaimed wartime powers.

He has already been rebuked by the US Supreme Court over his plans to try suspects being held in Guantanamo Bay. The Supreme Court stated that the president did not have a blank cheque.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/08/17 21:43:00 GMT


Der Amerikaner Reich..?

Achtung! The book burnings will commence shortly...


Constraining History/Controlling Knowledge
By Robert Jensen

August 14, 2006

One way to measure the fears of people in power is by the intensity of their
quest for certainty and control over knowledge.

By that standard, the members of the Florida Legislature marked themselves
as the folks most terrified of history in the United States when last month
they took bold action to become the first state to outlaw historical
interpretation in public schools. In other words, Florida has officially
replaced the study of history with the imposition of dogma and effectively
outlawed critical thinking.

Although U.S. students are typically taught a sanitized version of history
in which the inherent superiority and benevolence of the United States is
rarely challenged, the social and political changes unleashed in the 1960s
have opened up some space for a more honest accounting of our past. But even
these few small steps taken by some teachers toward collective critical
self-reflection are too much for many Americans to bear.

So, as part of an education bill signed into law by Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida
has declared that "American history shall be viewed as factual, not as
constructed." That factual history, the law states, shall be viewed as
"knowable, teachable and testable."

Florida's lawmakers are not only prescribing a specific view of U.S. history
that must be taught (my favorite among the specific commands in the law is
the one about instructing students on "the nature and importance of free
enterprise to the United States economy"), but are trying to legislate out
of existence any ideas to the contrary. They are not just saying that their
history is the best history, but that it is beyond interpretation. In fact,
the law attempts to suppress discussion of the very idea that history is

The fundamental fallacy of the law is in the underlying assumption that
"factual" and "constructed" are mutually exclusive in the study of history.
There certainly are many facts about history that are widely, and sometimes
even unanimously, agreed upon. But how we arrange those facts into a
narrative to describe and explain history is clearly a construction, an
interpretation. That's the task of historians -- to assess factual
assertions about the past, weave them together in a coherent narrative, and
construct an explanation of how and why things happened.

For example, it's a fact that Europeans began coming in significant numbers
to North America in the 17th century. Were they peaceful settlers or
aggressive invaders? That's interpretation, a construction of the facts into
a narrative with an argument for one particular way to understand those

It's also a fact that once those Europeans came, the indigenous people died
in large numbers. Was that an act of genocide? Whatever one's answer, it
will be an interpretation, a construction of the facts to support or reject
that conclusion.

In contemporary history, has U.S. intervention in the Middle East been aimed
at supporting democracy or controlling the region's crucial energy
resources? Would anyone in a free society want students to be taught that
there is only one way to construct an answer to that question?

Speaking of contemporary history, what about the fact that before the 2000
presidential election, Florida's Republican secretary of state removed
57,700 names from the voter rolls, supposedly because they were convicted
felons and not eligible to vote. It's a fact that at least 90 percent were
not criminals -- but were African American. It's a fact that black people
vote overwhelmingly Democratic. What conclusion will historians construct
from those facts about how and why that

In other words, history is always constructed, no matter how much Florida's
elected representatives might resist the notion. The real question is: How
effectively can one defend one's construction? If Florida legislators felt
the need to write a law to eliminate the possibility of that question even
being asked, perhaps it says something about their faith in their own view
and ability to defend it.

One of the bedrock claims of the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment
-- two movements that, to date, have not been repealed by the Florida
Legislature -- is that no interpretation or theory is beyond challenge. The
evidence and logic on which all knowledge claims are based must be
transparent, open to examination. We must be able to understand and critique
the basis for any particular construction of knowledge, which requires that
we understand how knowledge is constructed.

Except in Florida.

But as tempting as it is to ridicule, we should not spend too much time
poking fun at this one state, because the law represents a yearning one can
find across the United States. Americans look out at a wider world in which
more and more people reject the idea of the United States as always right,
always better, always moral. As the gap between how Americans see themselves
and how the world sees us grows, the instinct for many is to eliminate
intellectual challenges at home: "We can't control what the rest of the
world thinks, but we can make sure our kids aren't exposed to such

The irony is that such a law is precisely what one would expect in a
totalitarian society, where governments claim the right to declare certain
things to be true, no matter what the debates over evidence and
interpretation. The preferred adjective in the United States for this is
"Stalinist," a system to which U.S. policymakers were opposed during the
Cold War. At least, that's what I learned in history class.

People assume that these kinds of buffoonish actions are rooted in the
arrogance and ignorance of Americans, and there certainly are excesses of
both in the United States.

But the Florida law -- and the more widespread political mindset it reflects
-- also has its roots in fear. A track record of relatively successful
domination around the world seems to have produced in Americans a fear of
any lessening of that dominance. Although U.S. military power is
unparalleled in world history, we can't completely dictate the shape of the
world or the course of events. Rather than examining the complexity of the
world and expanding the scope of one's inquiry, the instinct of some is to
narrow the inquiry and assert as much control as possible to avoid difficult
and potentially painful challenges to orthodoxy.

Is history "knowable, teachable and testable"? Certainly people can work
hard to know -- to develop interpretations of processes and events in
history and to understand competing interpretations. We can teach about
those views. And students can be tested on their understanding of
conflicting constructions of history.

But the real test is whether Americans can come to terms with not only the
grand triumphs but also the profound failures of our history. At stake in
that test is not just a grade in a class, but our collective future.

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin
and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center
http://thirdcoastactivist.org/. He is the author of The Heart of Whiteness:
Race, Racism, and White Privilege and Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle
to Claim Our Humanity (both from City Lights Books). He can be reached at
rjensen@uts.cc.utexas.edu .

Please visit JohnnaRyry's Broomwagon!

13 August 2006

45 Years Ago Today...

Berlin Wall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer), an iconic symbol of the Cold War, was initially constructed starting on August 13, 1961 and dismantled in the weeks following November 9, 1989. Part of the Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall was the most prominent part of the GDR border system.

Conceived by the East German administration of Walter Ulbricht and approved by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, the wall was a long separation barrier between West Berlin and East Germany (the German Democratic Republic), which closed the border between East and West Berlin for a period of 28 years. It was built during the post-World War II period of divided Germany, in an effort to stop the drain of labour and economic output associated with the daily migration of huge numbers of professionals and skilled workers between East and West Berlin, and the attendant defections, which had political and economic consequences for the Communist bloc. It effectively decreased emigration (escapes - "Republikflucht" in German) from 2.5 million between 1949 and 1962 to 5,000 between 1962 and 1989.[1]

However, the creation of the Wall was a propaganda disaster for East Germany and for the communist bloc as a whole. It became a key symbol of what Western powers regarded as Communist tyranny, particularly after the high-profile shootings of would-be defectors. Political liberalization in the late 1980s, associated with the decline of the Soviet Union, led to relaxed border restrictions in East Germany, culminating in mass demonstrations and the fall of the East German government. When a government statement that crossing of the border would be permitted was broadcast on November 9, 1989, masses of East Germans approached and then crossed the wall, and were joined by crowds of West Germans in a celebratory atmosphere. The Wall was subsequently destroyed by a euphoric public over a period of several weeks, and its fall was the first step toward German reunification, which was formally concluded on October 3, 1990.

Quote of the Day...

--Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973), Artist

Please visit JohnnaRyry's Broomwagon!

12 August 2006

F@?k Bu$h!!!

Word! Nuff Said...


Get yours HERE!

Please visit JohnnaRyry's Broomwagon!

Bu$h Blames Hezbollah for 'UK Plot'

WTF? Where in the bloody hell does he get this shit from? Someone need to tell Curious George to stop drinking his bong-water! Repeat three times:

Hezbollah does NOT equal Al-Qaeda!
Hezbollah does NOT equal Al-Qaeda!
Hezbollah does NOT equal Al-Qaeda!

And while were at it:

Saddam Hussein does NOT equal Al-Qaeda!
Saddam Hussein does NOT equal Al-Qaeda!
Saddam Hussein does NOT equal Al-Qaeda!

Please, Georgie-Boy, study your geopolitics (and not those moldy old notes of Condoleezza's) before you open you mouth in public...


Bush Links Hezbollah And 'Plot'

US President George W Bush says Hezbollah and alleged UK air plot suspects share a "totalitarian ideology" they are seeking to spread.

Linking their actions with insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said they all wanted to "establish safe havens from which to attack free nations".

Mr Bush said the UK terror plot was a "reminder that terrorists are still plotting attacks to kill our people".

He made the comments in his weekly radio address to the American people.

'Worst attacks yet'

"The terrorists attempt to bring down airplanes full of innocent men, women, and children," Mr Bush said.

"They kill civilians and American servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they deliberately hide behind civilians in Lebanon. They are seeking to spread their totalitarian ideology."

Mr Bush said that the alleged terror plot, which UK intelligence services claim involved a plan to destroy US-bound passenger planes using liquid explosives smuggled in drinks bottles, was "further evidence that the terrorists we face are sophisticated, and constantly changing their tactics".

US officials say that if the plan had not been foiled, the subsequent attacks would have been the worst since those on Washington and New York on 11 September 2001.

Since the 2001 attacks, Mr Bush has said that the US is engaged in a global war on terror.

He says that as well as intelligence efforts to foil terror plots against US civilians, the ongoing military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq are part of that same battle, as is Israel's conflict with Lebanon.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/08/12 17:08:02 GMT


Hezbollah Will Comply...

Now, let us see how the Israelis choose to behave. What will they do...?


Hezbollah 'Will Observe UN Truce'

Hezbollah's leader has said his group will abide by a ceasefire plan agreed at the UN to end fighting with Israel.

However, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said on TV that Hezbollah would continue fighting as long as Israeli soldiers remained in Lebanon.

The UN resolution called for a "full cessation of hostilities".

But Israel has since tripled its troops in south Lebanon and Israeli radio says some have reached the key strategic target of the Litani River.

Israel's Cabinet will discuss the UN resolution on Sunday and says it will only halt military action after taking a vote.

'War not ended'

On Hezbollah's al-Manar TV channel on Saturday, Sheikh Nasrallah said the UN resolution was "unfair" in holding his group responsible for the fighting.

The Security Council emphasises the need for an end of violence, but at the same time emphasises the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis
UN resolution text

But he added: "We will not be an obstacle to any decision taken by the Lebanese government."

And referring to Israel's insistence it has the right to continue military operations in Lebanon in self-defence, Sheikh Nasrallah said: "As long as there is Israeli aggression, it is our right to fight them and defend our land."

He added: "The war has not ended. There have been continued strikes and continued casualties. Today nothing has changed and it appears tomorrow nothing will change."

Sheikh Nasrallah said Hezbollah would co-operate with the deployment of UN and Lebanese troops in the south.

The BBC's Nick Childs in Beirut says this appears a very conditional acceptance, aimed at maintaining Lebanese political unity.

The Lebanese Cabinet is meeting to discuss the UN truce but ahead of the talks, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora indicated he would back it, saying: "This resolution shows that the whole world stood by Lebanon."

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is also asking his Cabinet to endorse the resolution, describing it as positive and acceptable.

More than 1,000 Lebanese and more than 120 Israelis have been killed in the conflict since Hezbollah militants captured two Israeli soldiers on 12 July in a cross-border raid.

Hilltop Village

Israel's army chief, Lt Gen Dan Halutz, said on Saturday Israeli troops would remain in Lebanon until the arrival of a UN peacekeeping force - expected to be 15,000-strong.

Gen Halutz did not give a figure for the new number of Israeli troops currently in Lebanon, but Israeli sources put it at about 30,000.

Israeli radio on Saturday quoted the head of the northern command, Maj-Gen Udi Adam, as saying "some of the forces have reached the line of the Litani" - up to 30km (18 miles) from the Israeli border.

Israel confirmed seven of its soldiers were killed and more than 50 wounded in the fighting on Saturday.

The Israeli army said it had airlifted hundreds of troops by helicopter into positions in south Lebanon.

Several sources confirm heavy clashes between Israeli troops and Hezbollah fighters at the village of Ghandouriyeh, 11km inside Lebanon.

Israeli jets also raided the city of Sidon - north of the Litani - destroying facilities at a power station. It is only the second time Sidon has been hit in the conflict, which began more than four weeks ago.

According to Lebanese security sources, up to 15 people were killed in an Israeli air strike on the village of Rshaf in south Lebanon.

Israel has said it has killed more than 40 Hezbollah fighters in the past 24 hours.

Hezbollah has also fired more rockets into northern Israel, but Israeli sources say the number is far fewer than in recent days.

The UN special envoy to the Middle East, Alvaro de Soto, said he expected Israel to wind down its operations in the next couple of days. No timetable has been agreed on the truce.

UN Security Council resolution 1701 says Hezbollah must end attacks on Israel while Israel must end "offensive military operations" in Lebanese territory.

On Saturday, US President George W Bush praised the UN move, adding: "I now urge the international community to turn words into action and make every effort to bring lasting peace to the region."

Mr Bush also added more condemnation of Hezbollah, saying it shared the same "totalitarian ideology" as those arrested in a suspected plot to blow up US-bound jets from Britain.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/08/12 16:41:30 GMT


10 August 2006

Beware the No-Drive Zone?

Why can't the Israeli leadership seem to understand that every day they continue with this, only serves to create even more hardened extremists? Ever child they orphan, every widow and widower, every displaced refugee...


Walking in Fear in Lebanon's No-Drive Zone

By Jim Muir
BBC News, Tyre

Moving anywhere in Lebanon south of the Litani River today is an eerie and unnerving experience.

Since Monday, when Israeli jets dropped leaflets warning unequivocally that any vehicles daring to travel would be hit, there has been virtually no traffic on the roads. Not that there was much before.

So in Tyre, the only way to move without that dire threat hanging over you, is to walk. And even that is hardly comfortable.

Often the only sound is the buzz of the drones, small pilotless reconnaissance aircraft that are rarely seen but always heard as they scan every inch, transmitting laser-sharp images to someone, somewhere, who you hope is in a good mood.

Above that, the howl of aircraft cruising the skies which Israel masters unchallenged.

Based on the drone images, strikes can be ordered up instantly and with devastating accuracy from often unseen helicopters, jets or gunboats.

And, every so often, massive explosions echo through the streets. Sometimes you cannot tell whether it is bombs coming in or Hezbollah rockets being fired out from the nearby hills.

Every so often, massive explosions echo through the streets. You feel exposed and vulnerable
In either case you feel very exposed and vulnerable. When things go out, worse things come back in.

The results are on display everywhere. Vast craters smack in the middle of the main roads. Burned-out cars. The mangled wreckage of motorcycles - for Hezbollah operatives are known to travel on bikes, and several have paid with their lives for being spotted.

Such sights and sounds are not reassuring as you plod through the sun, wishing that boy on a motor-scooter would pass more quickly in case whoever is watching is not in a good mood.

The streets look deserted, but some people are still around. On the edge of town, a man appears from behind a small house.

"I just came out to get some air and have a cigarette, we've been so cooped up," he says, and speaks in slogans.

"My family's still here. We're steadfast in the Lebanese homeland. May God mend the situation and bring us peace. War isn't good for anybody. Peace is better. War doesn't give you anything. We're not afraid. What is written comes from God, but may he bring peace."

Ambulances in danger

Around the corner is the Lebanese Red Cross. Lots of ambulances outside, immobile. Then the sound of an engine, and one moves.

"Don't worry, I'm just parking!" shouts the driver. He is Kassem Shaalan. He knows what it is like to be hit by a rocket.

On the evening of 23 July, he and two other medics answered a call to rendezvous with an ambulance from Tibnin, in the hills to the east, to relay three civilian patients down to Tyre.

Both ambulances were struck precisely by separate rockets as they were stopped at the roadside near Qana for the transfer.

It was 2230 at night. There was nothing else on the road. They were clearly marked, and lit up with flashing blue lights and illuminated Red Cross flags.

Kassem, his two colleagues, the three medics in the other ambulance, and the three Lebanese patients, were all injured.

One of the patients, 38-year-old Ahmad Fawwaz, lost his leg in the ambulance. His mother Jamileh, 58, and son Ahmad, 8, were both seriously injured.

"Until now, we don't understand why they did it," he says now. "It has confused us. But it will not stop us. I'm still wearing the Red Cross uniform, and if they tell me to go, I'll go and help.

"Because of the Israeli warning, every movement we do goes through the International Red Cross," he says.

"They ask Israel for permission. If we have it, we go. If we don't, we can't. We get many calls from villages saying they have injured people, but there is no permission to go. Yes, people could be dying because we can't get to them in time. If you don't get treated within one hour, you are much more likely to die."

'Please don't hit us'

In the centre of town, Tyre's souk, usually vibrant and crowded, is deserted. Usually you cannot walk here without being jostled in the crowd.

Around the corner by the harbour, dainty colourful fishing boats bob up and down in the sunshine.

But the fishermen are sitting idle in the dockside cafe, where they cannot afford to buy themselves a coffee.

"There's no work, no money, just hunger," grumbles one. "The boats are forbidden to go out from the port. We can't fish at all. We're just living off what they give us to eat and drink, that's all.

"If we had any money, we'd have run away. Of course we're afraid, but they haven't hit this area yet. This is a safe area, there's no resistance here. There's only the sea and us fishermen."

He hopes the message is received and understood: please don't hit us.

A little up the empty road, one of the few shops that are still open. The shopkeeper is a woman with startling blue eyes. She speaks in slogans too.

"No, we're not frightened. We're not leaving. This is our land, our home. So what if they've decided to come further in. We're staying. It is God's will."
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/08/10 19:04:07 GMT



Yes! I do carry a 'man-purse'!


ABC News: Man-Purses: Hot or Not?

09 August 2006

Quote of the Day...

"It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it..."

--Aung San Suu Kyi, Human Rights Activist

Censorship: An American Tradition...?

With each passing day, our country seems to travel further back in time. I have no doubt that shit like this is going on today under the Bu$h Administration...


Buffy Sainte-Marie's Censored Sounds

Posted: August 09, 2006
by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today

PHOENIX - Nearly two decades after Cree singer and songwriter Buffy
song ''Universal Soldier'' was released and shipments
of her records mysteriously disappeared, the truth of the censorship
and suppression by the U.S. government became public.

Now, in federal court, Charles August Schlund III stated he is a
covert operative and supports Sainte-Marie's assertions that the
United States took action to suppress rock music because of its role
in rallying opposition to the Vietnam War.

Sainte-Marie says she was blacklisted and, along with other American
Indians in the Red Power movements, was put out of business in the

''I found out 10 years later, in the 1980s, that [President] Lyndon
Johnson had been writing letters on White House stationary praising
radio stations for suppressing my music,'' Sainte-Marie said in a
1999 interview with Indian Country Today at Dine' College.

''In the 1970s, not only was the protest movement put out of
business, but the Native American movement was attacked,'' Sainte-
Marie said.

In an affidavit to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act lawsuit against President
George W. Bush and others, Schlund alleged he has been tortured in
his attempts to reveal the truth about the Bush family's
manipulation of U.S. voting results and the Drug Enforcement
Agency's covert drug supplies to black communities.

Detailing the assassinations of the Kennedys and exposing the ''Don
Bolles'' papers, named after the murdered Phoenix news reporter,
Schlund said he remains alive today because of FBI protection.

Schlund, who said he previously worked in the covert drug operations
in Phoenix, said rock music posed a threat to the United States and
played a role in opposition to the Vietnam War.

In his federal court affidavit, Schlund said he has knowledge
of ''the detailed plans for the break-up and destruction of rock n'
roll music including the assassinations of many people to achieve
their goals. The detailed plans to replace rock n' roll music with
all-American music called country western.''

''This massive CIA and DEA covert operation was being conducted to
stop political overtones in the rock n' roll music and to stop
foreign influences on Americans caused by the exposure to foreign
music. This operation was conducted because the Rockefellers had
lost the Vietnam War because of the protest that was in part
directly linked with rock n' roll music. In these files, the
Rockefellers had needed the natural resources of Vietnam for the
expansion of their corporate empire and they blamed the loss of the
war in part on rock n' roll music.

''The assassinations started long before Vietnam but the plans to
replace rock n' roll with country western music started during the
Vietnam War and have continued to the present,'' Schlund stated to
the court.

In his federal court affidavits filed in Maricopa County in Arizona,
Schlund also stated that singer Buddy Holly, killed in an airplane
crash in 1959, was considered a threat to the U.S. government.

Meanwhile, Sainte-Marie said she cut a singular path as she was
being censored in the '60s and '70s.

''I usually didn't do what other people did. You didn't find me at
peace marches. I was out in Indian country.''

Earlier, a young Bob Dylan heard Sainte-Marie sing in Greenwich
Village and recommended she perform at the Gaslight, another hangout
of the avant garde. Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley and Tracy Chapman
were among those soon recording her lyrics. On the road, she
traveled the world and received a medal from Queen Elizabeth II.

During this time, Sainte-Marie was selling more records than ever in
Canada and Asia. But in the United States, her records were
disappearing. Thousands of people at concerts wanted records.
Although the distributor said the records had been shipped, no one
seemed to know where they were. One thing was for sure: They were
not on record store shelves.

''I was put out of business in the United States.''

Later, Sainte-Marie discovered the censorship and pressure applied
to radio stations by Johnson during the Vietnam era, particularly
toward ''Universal Soldier'' during the anti-war movement.

Sainte-Marie said Native people were put out of business, not just
because they were succeeding in Indian country, but because they
were succeeding in the broader community. She and others were a
threat to the moneymakers of concert halls, uranium and oil, she

Then, fellow activist and Santee poet John Trudell's wife, mother-in-
law and children were burned to death in a mysterious house fire
shortly after Trudell burned an American flag in Washington, D.C.,
Feb. 11, 1979.

''I was just one person put out of business. John Trudell is just
another person whose life was put out of business. Anna Mae Aquash
and Leonard Peltier were put out of the living business - we were
made ineffective,'' Sainte-Marie said of slain American Indian
Movement activist Aquash and imprisoned Peltier.

But Sainte-Marie continued with her music and efforts with children
after becoming a familiar face on ''Sesame Street.'' In the 1990s,
from her home in Hawaii, she created the Cradleboard Teaching
to link American Indian students with other students online
around the world.

Remembering the 1970s and Trudell, Sainte-Marie said, ''We just kept
chugging on. We kept coming to Indian country. We didn't worry about
the fortune and fame because we went with our sincerity, our hearts
and with our friends.''

Those years, however, were filled with pain.

''It was hard - seeing people hurt,'' she said

06 August 2006

A Message From Leonard Peltier...

Greeting my relatives,

And again I must say "my relatives" because we are all related in one
way or another by natural design of the Creator or our common concerns for the Earth and freedom. I want to again thank all of you supporters for your continued efforts to right the wrongs that have befallen both my people and me.

I was looking through some of my stuff the other day and I came across a card that I had not finished writing in and had misplaced. It was a card to a friend in which I had written "always remember the Creator is with
you even though you may not have noticed".
And I would like to impart that to you my relatives. I truly believe the Creator loves us and continues to provide for us but, we must also take responsibility upon ourselves to be part of that providing for ourselves, our children, our children's children, and all future generations.

One of the things I would like to address, that I've read a lot about
recently, is the high incidence of drugs on the reservation these days. Alcohol itself is a drug even though it is legal. But some of the new drugs combined with the alcohol, which is already bad, are becoming a major threat to the future of our people. I want to speak to the young men out there, or any of the men, reminding them that in order to be a warrior, or to have the connotation of a warrior, is not just about being a male, but being willing to take action against whatever enemy threatens our people. That action may be ceremonial, it may be fasting on some level, praying on some level, it may be a physical endeavor on some level. But it is our responsibility on every level.

In the 70's, when I was free of this prison, there were in reality,
only about 20-30 dedicated warriors throughout the United States who were full time and committed. Our principle statement to our people was sovereignty, unity, and brotherhood. Those were the seeds of concern that were sown. And today you see all across the world, native people standing up in some way for smoke shops, casinos, programs, and so forth as a result of a few dedicated people. So I have no doubt that the progress that was made by those people in the 70's can be made again by the young people of today. Our personal reference points in life aren't necessarily the same but our cultural, historical, and spiritual reference is.

I want to say again, we are of this part of Mother Earth. We are the
First People. Let us not let them put us last.

That brings me to a statement that I once heard Buffy Saint Marie make. She said, "if you go to a restaurant and what you want isn't on the menu, go to another restaurant. And if what you want isn't on that menu, mix up a batch of your own and prepare to serve". In quoting her, I would like to say,that as Warriors, if we assess the situation correctly, and with a good heart, using the values the Great Spirit has given us, chose a path, others will follow.

Aho Mitakuye oyasin.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier

02 August 2006

"Silent Thunder" starring Chandano Fuller

Here is a very cool indie-short "Silent Thunder: A Silent Musical" The lead guitarist is played by my good friend (and he's my boss too) Chandano Fuller. In addition to being an actor, Chandano is also a musician and filmmaker. Check it out and enjoy!

Please visit JohnnaRyry's Broomwagon!