Monday, October 31, 2011

Palestinian-Israeli truce agreed

Relatives of a Palestinian killed in an Israeli air strike on Oct 30 cry at the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City (AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED)
Relatives of a Palestinian killed in an Israeli air strike on Oct 30 cry at the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City (AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED)

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Egypt helped broker a fresh ceasefire by militants in Gaza Sunday, after violence left nine Palestinians and one Israeli dead, sources close to the groups said.

The truce with Israel was due to come into effect at 6:00 am (0400 GMT, 12pm Singapore time), said sources close to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two main Islamist groups in the Gaza Strip.

The agreement between all the Palestinian factions in Gaza came after the intervention of Egypt, the sources said.

“The efforts and intensive contacts led by senior Egyptian intelligence service officials led to a national consensus to restore calm” with Israel, a leader of one Palestinian group, who asked to remain anonymous, told AFP.

Israeli warplanes raided the Gaza Strip Saturday and early Sunday, killing nine Islamic Jihad militants, while retaliatory rocket fire from Gaza killed one Israeli.

The exchanges were the bloodiest since a tacit ceasefire was agreed between Gaza Palestinian militants and Israel in late August.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What the Heck is Going on in Amish Country? FBI Investigating

By Allan Lengel
From an outsider’s viewpoint, the Amish are known for their food products and beards and cultural simplicity.
Now comes the FBI.
Station WKYC reports that the FBI is investigating crimes in eastern Ohio involving Amish-on-Amish incidents, including beard cutting. WKYC reported that the FBI is looking into whether hate crimes are involved with Amish members of a breakaway sect, who have disagreed with the way some Amish carry out their beliefs.
“We’re looking at any potential federal violations, specifically any civil rights violations, because we take civil rights violations as a very serious matter,” FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson told WKYC.
“We met with local law enforcement about a week ago and made the decision to enter the case,” she said, according to the station. A number of Northeast and Eastern Ohio sheriffs were involved in that meeting.
CNN reports five men have been arrested and charged with kidnapping and burglary stemming from an October incident. Authorities allege that the group  pulled an Amish man out of his home by the beard and cut off portions of it.
CNN reports that Jefferson County Sheriff Fred J. Abdalla said that was among a handful of incidents in several counties carried out by as many as 30 men and woman.
CNN reported that the perpetrators are suspected of being followers of a breakaway Amish group led by Sam Mullet.  Three of the five men arrested are sons of Mullet.
CNN reported that “local law enforcement officials and members of the Amish community believe Mullet has created a cult and is single-handedly behind the beard cutting incidents and other crimes in recent years.”

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Olbermann: Oakland mayor must fire police chief or resign

The Raw Story article Olbermann: Oakland mayor must fire police chief or resign provides a little background for the included video below and the transcript I quote below that..
“But if one night a group of peaceable protesters exercising the rights given to them in the Constitution — and not rights made up by the cops, for the cops, like lawful command and imminent threat — if they are attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets, and the mayor’s only comments are to commend the police chief for a ‘generally peaceful resolution to the situation’ and after that claim ‘democracy is messy’ after the unprovoked actions of those police horrify a nation, she is endorsing and assuming for herself the responsibility for whatever havoc the out of control police officers have wrought.”

The Raw Story article Olbermann interviews roommate of Iraq veteran injured in Oakland provided the video below. 

 Notice in the video some description of the “violence” that “provoked” the police. 

Iran's Power Struggles Play Out In Public

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran holds an office that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said could easily be eliminated. Reuters

Iran’s Power Struggle Goes Beyond Personalities to Future of Presidency Itself -- New York Times

WASHINGTON — An unusual proposal by Iran’s supreme leader to eliminate the position of president has highlighted an increasingly bitter struggle within the country’s political elite, as the leader and his allies continue to try to undercut the powers of Iran’s ambitious president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told an academic gathering last week that “changing Iran into a parliamentary system” in which voters no longer elected a president would not be a problem. His words were widely seen as the latest blow in a battle that began in April when Mr. Ahmadinejad crossed a line by openly feuding with Ayatollah Khamenei — who has the final word in affairs of state — over cabinet appointments.

Read more

My Comment: Iran's government is essentially an institution that operates within a theocratic structure. Secularists, reformers, even opponents like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are bucking up against an institution that now pervades every aspect of Iranian life ... and the best of luck to them if they think they can change it.

Report: Crime Is A Far Greater Source Of Armed Violence Than War

Crime Is “Main Source” Of Armed Violence -- Swiss Info

A Swiss-funded international study has found that, contrary to what is commonly thought, crime is a far greater source of armed violence than war.

According to the 2011 Global Burden of Armed Violence report, around 526,000 people die violently every year – more than 1,400 people a day. By comparison, 55,000 die a year as a result of war or terrorism.

The study, which was released in Geneva on Thursday, also found that 396,000 people were murdered outside of armed conflict annually and that another 54,000 people died from unintentional violence, or manslaughter. Police operations were said to account for 21,000 deaths a year.

Read more ....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: Public Policy or Just A Public Spectacle?

By Richard A. Lee

More than a month has passed since an assortment of people of different ages and different backgrounds first gathered in a park in New York City’s Wall Street financial district because a common concern about America’s disparity in wealth and its impact on their quality of life.

Since then, Occupy Wall Street has become a much-discussed and debated topic -- first on social media pages and eventually by mainstream news outlets. The movement also has grown with increasing numbers of participants not only in New York, but all across the nation and even beyond its borders. It also has become campaign fodder for America’s most powerful politicians.

What Occupy Wall Street has yet to accomplish, however, is to have a concrete impact on public policy.

No political leaders – Democrats or Republicans – have been so moved by the demonstrations that they have taken bold actions to address the protesters’ concerns. Meanwhile, Wall Street continues to go about its business unaffected by the constant presence of the Occupy Wall Street crowds. For the financial executives who earn their livings in lower Manhattan – and for many other Americans – Occupy Wall Street is just a spectacle; it is not a political force. Likewise, for the media, much of the coverage has focused on arrests, violence and poor health conditions at the demonstration sites instead of the factors that spawned the movement and its growth.

Media outlets also have drawn comparisons between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party movement, which added a stronger conservative voice to the American political scene in 2009. But unless Occupy Wall Street impacts public policy, the protests cannot be equated with the Tea Party.

In fairness, when the Tea Party was as young as Occupy Wall Street, its influence on public policy was minimal at best. But that changed over the past two years.

The Tea Party fielded candidates for Congress and other elective offices in 2010. In some GOP primaries, its members defeated established candidates who ran with the party’s official backing. Tea Party candidates experienced less success in the general election in November, but the base they built moved the Republican Party further to the right – and those who did win election to Congress have become a force that cannot be ignored whenever important legislation is in need of votes.

For example, Tea Party candidate Anna Little won a hotly contested GOP primary in New Jersey’s sixth congressional district last year and then waged an aggressive campaign in the general election against Frank Pallone, a Democrat with more than 20 years of experience in Congress. When the votes were counted, Pallone had won by a comfortable margin, but the strong challenge from Little – coming in a year in which the GOP regained control of the House – most likely forced him to ramp up his campaign a notch or two.

Tea Party candidates also made their presence known in New Jersey’s seventh congressional district, where incumbent Republican Leonard Lance faced challengers from the right during the GOP primary. Lance emerged victorious in the primary – in part because his challengers split the vote – and went on to win re-election in November.

In addition, the Tea Party figured as an oddity of sorts in the state’s third district congressional race, where Democratic operatives reportedly backed a Tea Party candidate in an attempt to draw votes away from the Jon Runyan, the Republican on the ballot. The strategy failed to work as Runyon defeated incumbent Democrat John Adler.

A year from now, will Occupy Wall Street be fielding candidates for Congress and U.S. Senate as the Tea Party did in 2010? My guess is that such a scenario is unlikely, but anything can happen in year’s time in politics.

An Occupy Wall Street presence on the ballot could produce several benefits. It would give the movement greater credibility and influence, much like the Tea Party benefited from its involvement in the 2010 campaign. It also would give the Democratic Party a much-needed wakeup call – just as the Tea Party did for the GOP.

In turn, American voters would benefit too. With Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party candidates on the ballot, voters no longer would have their options limited to political parties and candidates who largely have become out-of-touch. Instead, they would have an opportunity to cast votes for people – both on the left and the right -- who share their issues and concerns, as well as their anger and frustration.

And isn’t that the way democracy should work?

# # #

Richard A. Lee spent more than 30 years as a journalist and government communications professional in New Jersey. He now is an assistant professor in the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication at St. Bonaventure University near Olean, N.Y. Read more of Rich's columns at richleeonline and follow him on Twitter.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Truth behind Gaddafi's murder

Libya was not a "dictatorship" in the traditional sense, and Momar Gaddafi was not the evil rogue portrayed by Western propaganda.

If fact, he was a hero. Gaddafi’s Gold Dinar Plan and Libya’s Public Central Bank would have changed the monetary system and freed all of Africa from the Private Central Bank System. Ultimately, it might possibly have freed the NATO host nations from their own parasites – Vampire Private Central Banks.
Gaddafi’s courage and pioneering efforts in trying to restore national sovereignty and making the government responsible to the people instead of to the Global Banking Elites is the reason why he was targeted and killed.

NATO terrorist attacks will not get the Western nations out of debt – only an honest Public Central Bank – like the attempted Bank of Libya – would.

But guess what? With Gaddafi now out-of-the-way, the IMF and The World Bank have moved in to Libya, and have reestablished their control and dominance there. And (black man) Obama was the ringleader in the effort to reassert the impoverishment of Africa.

There will be no independence, and there will be no freedom.

The only way for a Country to be Sovereign is to have sovereign control of its money.
The Bankers (and their corruption) won again!

The Truth About Libya and Gaddafi and The Illuminati

The mind blowing truth and cover up by the government to paint Gaddafi as some sort of bad guy. Gaddafi wanted to switch to a gold standard and like a pack of wolves they went after Gaddafi.

The Mystery Of The Fiat-Gaddafi Connection

Back in 1976, the Italian automaker Fiat had been badly battered by a global energy crisis and the resulting malaise infecting the global auto industry. In what Time Magazine described at the time as “a devastatingly ironic example of petropower,” Col. Muammar Gaddafi instructed his Libyan Arab Foreign Bank to invest some $415m into the Italian automaker, giving it a stake that would eventually grow to some 14 percent of the firm’s equity.

By 1986, Fiat’s Libyan stakeholders were becoming more trouble than they were worth. In the wake of the Lockerbie bombings, the US introduced sanctions on Libya, and Fiat’s Libyan connection left its attempts to bid for US military contracts (particularly those related to Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative) dead on arrival. As a result, Fiat and its shareholders bought back the entire 14 percent Libyan stake in the firm, presenting the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank-controlled Banca UBAE with a $3.1b check. And, according to what a Fiat spokesperson told us yesterday, that is where the story ends. But thanks to the now-ubiquitous Wikileaks, we have found that this story may in fact go farther than that. In fact, as the evidence stands right now, either the US State Department is working with bad information (which major news sources have yet to correct), or Fiat is lying about its ties to the embattled Gaddafi regime.

As with so many of the best stories in recent months, the major point of factual conflict in this tale comes from a Wikileaks-sourced US State Department memo. The memo, which does not appear at, was provided to Reuters by an unnamed third party and was cited in a Reuters piece that focused on Gaddafi’s ownership of Wyndham Hotels. The Fiat connection isn’t made clear until well towards the bottom of the story, when Reuters reports
A 2006 U.S. State Department cable obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to Reuters by a third party describes LFICO/LAFICO [the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company]as Libya’s largest government-owned investment company, operating under the auspices of something called the “General People’s Committee” which has served as the Gaddafi government’s Ministry of Trade and Economy…
The State Department cable said that, as of 2006, LFICO’s holdings in Italy included 2 percent of Fiat, 15 percent of the Tamoil energy company, and 7.5 percent of Juventus, where a soccer-playing Gaddafi son, Saadi, once sat on the board. The cable said LFICO also had over $500 million worth of investments in Britain.
If the Gaddafi-controled LAFICO/LFICO held two percent of Fiat as recently as 2006, then the public narrative that had Fiat completely buying out its Libyan backers in 1986 is not completely accurate. In hopes of reconciling the discrepancy between the leaked memo (which presumably reflects the conclusions of the US intelligence community) and the public rejection of Libya’s equity stake in Fiat, we reached out to Fiat’s international media relations staff requesting clarification. The response, from Fiat’s Richard Gadeselli, came as follows:
Dear Mr Niedermeyer,
Further to your email, I would mention that the Reuters report you refer to is incorrect. As too are other similar mentions that have appeared recently in the media concerning the LIA’s holdings in Fiat.
The LIA sold all of its 14% shareholding in Fiat SpA in 1986 – ten years after its initial stake was bought.  It no longer has a stake in Fiat SpA.
I trust that this clarifies the matter.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t clarify the matter at all. Either Mr Gadeselli isn’t telling us the whole story (which could be the case for any number of reasons, not all of the nefarious), or the Wikileaks memo cited by Reuters is incorrect, a possibility that is equally likely for a number of reasons. For one thing, we haven’t seen the leaked memo itself, and so we can not verify the exact source of the intelligence reported by Reuters. And even if we could verify that the US State Department and intelligence community had reason to believe that Gaddafi-backed investment funds continued to hold a stake in  Fiat as recently as 2006, it’s conceivable that the US government had experienced a failure of intelligence. As a 2001 piece by reports, Gaddafi’s own money manager Ali El Huwej has admitted that Libya uses a number of techniques to invest in Europe despite US sanctions.
Banca di Roma didn’t violate economic sanctions, because the stake was sold through Libyan companies rather than the Libyan government, Mr Brambilla said.
Though they were sporadically enforced, the sanctions nevertheless limited Libya’s room for manoeuvring in some countries. For example, Libya’s UK bank accounts were frozen and funds such as dividends from the Metropole stake could not be transferred to Libya.
That is why Lafico works to avoid detection when it makes investments, Mr Huwej says, adding that in everything it does, Lafico is aware the US is watching.
As such Mr Huwej sometimes avoids doing business under Lafico’s name. A farming company in Egypt owned by Lafico is registered there as simply Agriculture Investment Co., he says. 
Another strategy employed by Libya is to keep stakes small or indirect, particularly in banking companies. Though bank investments are a small slice of Libya’s holdings, they’re among the most scrutinised by the authorities, as access to banks means access to money and the ability to move it around the world.
In any case, either Fiat isn’t telling the truth or the US Government was misinformed about Libyan ownership of a firm that is poised to take over the bailed-out US automaker Chrysler. In the interests of truth, we call on Fiat and Reuters to help resolve this factual discrepancy. If anyone knows where to find the Wikileaks memo in question or has any information regarding this story, we encourage them to send it to our contact form.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beaking News: Colonel Muammar al Qaddafi has been captured and killed

The head of the Libyan military council said Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was killed Thursday as fighters battling the vestiges of his fallen regime took control of his hometown of Surt after a prolonged struggle.

Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the former Libyan strongman who fled into hiding after rebels toppled his regime two months ago in the Arab Spring’s most violent uprising, was killed Thursday as fighters battling the vestiges of his loyalist forces wrested control of his hometown of Surt, the interim government announced.

Al-Jazeera television showed what it said was Colonel Qaddafi’s corpse as jubilant fighters in Surt fired automatic weapons in the air, punctuating what appeared to be an emphatic and violent ending to his four decades as the self-proclaimed king of kings of Africa.

Libyans rejoiced as news of his death spread. Car horns blared in Tripoli as residents poured into the streets to celebrate.

Mahmoud Shammam, the chief spokesman of the Transitional National Council, the interim government that replaced Colonel Qaddafi’s regime after he fled Tripoli in late August, confirmed that Colonel Qaddafi was killed, though he did not provide other details.

“A new Libya is born today,” he said.  “This is the day of real liberation. We were serious about giving him a fair trial.  It seems God has some other wish.”

Abdul Hakim Belhaj, the leader of the Tripoli military council, said on Al Jazeera that anti-Qaddafi forces had Colonel Qaddafi’s body.

It was not clear precisely how he died. Some reports, which could not be verified, recounted that Colonel Qaddafi was arrested, wounded by gunshots and died in custody.

Libya’s interim leaders had said they believed that some Qaddafi family members including the colonel himself and some of his sons had been hiding in Surt or in Bani Walid, another loyalist bastion that the anti-Qaddafi forces captured earlier this week.

(Via The New York Times)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Great Discussion – Can The Tea Party And #OccupyWallStreet Find Common Ground?

                Tea Party And Libertarian Party representatives To Join Occupy Wall Street Protestors to discuss the common issues between their movements.
Members of the NJ Tea Party, The Libertaritan Party and Occupy Wall Street protestors have announced they will hold a joint discussion between from 1:00pm to 3:00pm on Friday, October 21, 2011 in the Trenton NJ Legislative Building located in the Annex Building at 125 West State Street, in Trenton NJ.
The purpose of the discussion is to engage in an open dialogque between the commanalities between the Tea Party movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement to discover the common issues that all participants can agree on.

The Panelist: Daryl Mikell Brooks of the Greater Trenton Tea Party
                      Mark Falzon of the Jersey Shore Tea Party
                      Joe Siano of the New Jersey Libertarian Party                     
Alexander Higgins Blogger and Occupy Wall Street NJ

Place: New Jersey State ANNEX Bld.  Committee Room 6
125 West State Street in Trenton, NJ

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cornel West Behind Bars (VIDEO)

Author, professor and social activist Cornel West was arrested on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. while taking part in a group protest against corporate influence in politics.

A Supreme Court spokeswoman said that 19 demonstrators were arrested Sunday afternoon when they refused to leave the grounds of the court. Ann Wilcox, an attorney and legal adviser to the protesters, said West was among those arrested, according to The Associated Press.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Original 7ven: The Band Formally Known As The Time- Back Together Again? C’mon

This one is for all the ‘old heads’…
The Original 7ven, more widely known as The Time, have gotten back together and have a brand new song!  Go inside to watch Morris  Day, Jimmy  Jam, Terry  Lewis, Jerome and the entire crew!

If that’s not enough, on October 18, 2011 The GRAMMY Museum will debut the intriguing new documentary The Original 7ven in the Clive Davis Theater.  Chronicling the adventures of seven young musicians; Morris Day, Jesse Johnson, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Jellybean Johnson, Monte Moir, and Jerome Benton, the 80-minute film illustrates how the group came together in the early 80′s and eventually rewrote music history.  Definately required viewing for any fan of the Minneapolis Sound, the documentary is an up-close-and-personal portrait of life as told by the band members themselves. To purchase tickets to this event CLICK HERE.

Their new album, Condensate, will be released the same day.

Interesting: Herman Cain Goes Head-to-Head with Bill Clinton

watch herman cain and bill clinton go at it in a debate

Watch this interesting debate between Herman Cain and Bill Clinton.  It looks like Cain has been trying to be a political player for a long time.  It’s also clear in this video that he is a super-duper Republican.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Old and New A “Progressive” Failure

The capitalists and entrepreneurs who built the United States into one of the world's leading economies took full advantage of America's free enterprise culture to launch an industrial revolution of unprecedented scope. With few state or federal laws to hinder them, many used questionable tactics to drive out competitors and establish monopolies or near-monopolies in their respective industries. Along the way they cajoled, bribed, or blackmailed political leaders to facilitate their efforts.
To address such excesses, a diverse group of reformers set about trying to gain political power and public support. Progressivism, as historians have come to label this movement, found its support primarily in urban areas among the middle and upper-middle classes—business executives, professionals, teachers, and government workers. They promoted greater efficiency in the workplace and in government. Their fervent hope was to restore democratic control of the economic and political sectors.
There was no all-encompassing progressive organization, agenda, or motive. The movement cut across both political parties, appeared in every geographic region, and contained many conflicting elements. Some activists were spurred by strong religious convictions while others were animated by secular ideals. Some were earnest humanitarians and others were more concerned with issues of efficiency and productivity. Prominent men such as Robert La Follette, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson are most often associated with the Progressive movement, yet women were disproportionately involved in the array of "progressive" causes and issues.
While incredibly diverse in motivation and mission, Progressives tended to believe that government should take a more active role in promoting the general welfare. More specifically, this meant the passage of laws breaking up the huge trusts, regulating child and female labor, promoting better working conditions, and conserving the environment. In addition, Progressives supported voluntary associations such as settlement houses and other charitable organizations intended to help immigrants, the poor, and the disabled.
Progressivism changed the social and political landscape of American life by enlarging the sphere of government action. New laws, regulations, and attitudes resulted from the efforts of self-styled progressives to deal with many persistent social ills. The glaring failure of the Progressive movement was its unwillingness to address racial injustice. For the most part, progressivism was for whites only. African Americans in the South were increasingly victims of disfranchisement, Jim Crow laws, vigilante assaults, and poverty.

The Progresives that faild America and the Progressvies that keep failing Trenton!!!!

Glenn Beck talks about The Progressives

Reuters Speculates George Soros May Have Ties to Occupy Wall Street

 Many questions still exist surrounding who, exactly, is behind the Occupy Wall Street protests. Sure, we know the basics.

But beyond the few organizational structures we’ve heard about and the public figures who have come out to express their solidarity with the frustrated bunch, who is actually funding this monumental movement?
While a new report from Reuters doesn’t definitively tie billionaire George Soros to the protesters, the news agency speculates that the Occupiers may have benefited indirectly from his generosity. Reuters reports:
There has been much speculation over who is financing the disparate protest, which has spread to cities across America and lasted nearly four weeks. One name that keeps coming up is investor George Soros, who in September debuted in the top 10 list of wealthiest Americans. Conservative critics contend the movement is a Trojan horse for a secret Soros agenda…
…Reuters did find indirect financial links between Soros and Adbusters, an anti-capitalist group in Canada which started the protests with an inventive marketing campaign aimed at sparking an Arab Spring type uprising against Wall Street. Moreover, Soros and the protesters share some ideological ground.
While Soros has denied any connection, he has said that he can “understand [the protesters'] sentiment.” Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, though, doesn’t buy into this denial. Limbaugh recently said, “George Soros money is behind this.” Here’s more on the potential ties:
According to disclosure documents from 2007-2009, Soros’ Open Society gave grants of $3.5 million to the Tides Center, a San Francisco-based group that acts almost like a clearing house for other donors, directing their contributions to liberal non-profit groups. Among others the Tides Center has partnered with are the Ford Foundation and the Gates Foundation.
Disclosure documents also show Tides, which declined comment, gave Adbusters grants of $185,000 from 2001-2010, including nearly $26,000 between 2007-2009.

Activist Daryl Mikell Brooks Pens New Audio Book

TRENTON-- Political activist Daryl Mikell Brooks releases new audio-book, Why Me?, chronicling his life experiences as a Trenton resident, activist, and former candidate for US Senate. In the audio-book, the political firebrand recalls his days growing up in the city's Donnelly Homes along with his four year stint in prison for a crime he claims he did not commit.

Brooks was convicted in 1998 on counts of child endangerment, lewdness, and sexual assault. From day one, he insists he did nothing wrong and that he was railroaded for his unapologetic, no hold's barred, political speech exposing corruption in high places.

George Hathaway
Anwar's Reflections-- a Trentonian affiliate-- interviewed individuals that listened to the audio-book to see what they had to say.

George Hathaway, said the audio-book is a "good and courageous attempt to present Daryl to the political community. He came out of the closet, there was a lot of uncertainty regarding his background. he needed to make it clear to the larger community and many of the Tea Party. Its a sad story of corruption and victimization, what goes wrong in the inner city. It shows how a individual can get victimized and have their lives ruined for a long time.

He went on to say that Why Me? "starts a conversation about what can happen when you stand up for what you believe in". He went on to say that Brooks' story illustrates how those who are wielding the power can come down on an individual, what can happen to an individual that goes against established power. The story shows that one takes a lot of risks in their hands when they challenge entrenched power".

Hathaway goes on to say that the audio-book underscores issues that often go overlooked in the mainstream. Issues like "prisoner rights, its just a shame, its ruined a large part of his life. The book opens up a dialogue about these larger issues".

Joe Siano
Joe Siano, said, "I hope it [the audio-book] vindicates his name, I think that's why he's putting it out there, its a good effort to head this issue off and to explain it once and for all. Ultimately, its up to the audience to make their own judgment, listen to it, I think its up to the court of public opinion whether he will be able to vindicate himself, I think its a great way to have his story heard". Siano also thinks Brooks' story highlights issues of abuse of authority on the part of police department, the prosecutor, and the mayor's office.

Founder of the blog, Restoring Freedoms, Lou Jacikoff, said that, "Why Me? raises questions about the criminal justice system, the judicial system, it shows the reader that the system needs a good looking at, it needs repair, it can no longer be about the good ol' boy system".

Lou Jacikoff
"Our system is based on who can you hire as an attorney, it shouldn't be that way. There are two systems of justice: those that have and those that don't have, I think Daryl's story is a microcosm of what's happening in our judicial system where people are railroaded because they have a hard time defending themselves. Its disturbing, but there have been a lot of people out there that have been imprisoned but turned out to be innocent because they did not have proper representation. Daryl's story reveals that".  BY ANWAR'S REFLECTIONS?

To get a copy of the audio-book, click the link below:

Other Articles:

Daryl Mikell Brooks: The Convicted Activist Part 1

Linn Washington: Black leadership ignores racist mass incarceration

Breaking News: Out Now The Audio Book "Why Me"?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More Black Men In Prison Today Than Were Enslaved in 1850

It’s a heartbreaking, but often understated, reality that America’s criminal justice system imprisons black folks at astonishingly high rates. The U.S. Bureau of Justice estimated that as of 2008, there were over 846,000 black men in prison, making up 40.2 percent of all inmates in the system. But in a recent talk, noted author Michelle Alexander put those numbers in grave historical perspective.

“Courageous” Calls Men Of Honor To Stand Up In New Movie

“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Alexander, an Ohio State law professor, recently told listeners at the Pasadena Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. Alexander’s seminal book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” argues that prisons have become the latest form of economic and social disenfranchisement for young folks of color, particularly black men. In it, she grapples with a central question: If crime rates have fluctuated over the years and are now at historical lows, then why have rates of incarcerated men of color skyrocketed over the past 30 years? The answer to that question doesn’t require a lot of digging. “Most of that increase is due to the War on Drugs, a war waged almost exclusively in poor communities of color,” she said. LA Progressive reported that even though studies have proven that whites use and sell illegal drugs at rates equal to or higher than black, four of five black youth in some inner-city communities can expect to be incarcerated in their lifetimes.
Now, what? what do you think?

Read the rest here.

Mitt Romney solidifies his front-runner status in Republican debate

By Philip Rucker and Amy Gardner

HANOVER, N.H. — A comfortable and confident Mitt Romney solidified his front-runner status on Tuesday night in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination, navigating 90 minutes of tough questions on the economy from his rivals and debate moderators.All eight Republican hopefuls who shared an intimate round table on the debate stage at Dartmouth College clamored to blame Washington for the country’s economic ills. In turn, they pointed fingers at President Obama, the Federal Reserve and the government in general, although they sparred over the details of their plans to grow the economy.
The participants uniformly criticized Obama and official Washington for, in their view, not reviving the economy and for stunting its growth with too many regulations, overreach by the Federal Reserve and inadequate tax relief.

This time, the candidate with whom Romney had to share the spotlight was Herman Cain.
Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who was looking to revive his struggling campaign, seized few moments. He stayed silent for long stretches in the debate. When asked how he would fix the nation’s sputtering economy, he said only that he would develop new energy resources.

In one exchange, Cain, a former Godfather’s Pizza executive, challenged Romney to name all 59 points in his 160-page economic plan, suggesting that it failed Cain’s test to be “simple, transparent, efficient, fair and neutral” in contrast to Cain’s proposal.

But the former Massachusetts governor did not hesitate to make the case that the complexity of his plan reflects the complexity of the nation’s problems, and that he has the depth of experience, business know-how and ability to deal with those problems.

read the rest of this at The Washington Post

Analysis and reaction to Tuesday’s presidential debate

Mitt Romney had another good debate performance and none of his rivals really laid a glove on him. His experience really shows. He plays the game on an entirely different level. In fact, his biggest rival might be himself. When he rambles answers to questions, he comes off looking slick and untrustworthy.

Herman Cain proved he’ll be in the top tier for at least a few more weeks. Much of the debate focused on his 9-9-9 tax plan which was only good for his profile. He took some heat from his rivals — particularly from Ron Paul on the Federal Reserve — but handled it well enough. He doesn’t get rattled easily.

Rick Perry did almost nothing to distinguish himself. Once again, he seemed tired and incoherent. Perry needed a good performance to turn around the narrative that his campaign is flailing but didn’t have one.

Of the remaining candidates, only Newt Gingrich seemed to shine. He frequently put himself into the discussion and made good points. But at the end of the day, he’s more of a pundit than a presidential candidate.
One other note: Karen Tumulty did a wonderful job asking questions. She was the best prepared on the entire stage tonight.

In one line, here is why Rick Perry is not only done, but why he was never a serious candidate to begin with: ”We don’t need to be focused on passing this policy or that policy.”
In a different world, he would not have had to go through the gauntlet of these past two months of nationally televised debates and might still be the front runner, writes James Fallows. He is really not good in “debate format,” and has not gotten better enough fast enough.

At a certain level, you can’t blame Newt. His schtick has worked for so long, why change it now? So you get things like this:
There’s a stream of American thought that really wishes we would decay and fall apart and that the future would be bleak so that the government can share the misery. It was captured by Jimmy Carter in his malaise speech. It’s captured every week by Barack Obama in his apologias disguised as press conferences.

Jim Antle III:
Mitt Romney won by not losing. He has regained his frontrunner status and nobody really emerged from the pack to challenge it. But can he do what he failed to do last time: run the table in the early states? It’s to his advantage to secure the nomination before the field winnows to just him and a popular candidate to his right.
Associated Press: Presidential candidate Mitt Romney took some less staunchly conservative stands than his rivals in their debate Tuesday night, declaring he can work with “good” Democrats and positioning himself closer to the center in line with his claim that he can draw crucial independent voters in next year’s general election.

He even defended portions of the Wall Street bailout, a particular sore point with many conservative voters who will play an important role in choosing the Republican nominee next winter and spring. But the former Massachusetts governor joined the others in sharply criticizing numerous aspects of President Barack Obama’s economic policies in a debate focused on the nation’s frail economy.
The economy is Romney’s bailiwick and he delivered. It is becoming increasingly clear that he operates at a higher level than the other candidates. Perry is toast. If he’s not actually dumb as a stump, he doesn’t know how to show it. Herman Cain continues to come on strong as the non-Mormon conservative alternative. Bachmann and Huntsman both sounded smooth, assured, and smart, but they no longer matter. Ron Paul continues to dominate the Ron Paul vote.
Erick Erickson:
Mitt Romney won the debate. No one knocked him off his game. He really is that good of a debater. Herman Cain proved himself a bit of an unstable number two. He is starting to get the tough questions on his 999 plan and his responses sound like they were crafted in the land of unicorns and rainbows …
Is Romney so much better than everyone else because he has made a serious run before? (On the other hand, so have Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, etc). I don’t know, but it’s a huge gap.

John Hinderaker:
Rick Perry, during the half of the debate that I saw, bordered on invisible. I don’t know whether the pundits who say this was make or break for Perry are right, but it certainly was not a strong night for him. One thing that strikes me as odd is how little mileage Perry gets out of his job creation record in Texas. He mentioned it a time or two, but, as in prior debates, he didn’t use it effectively as the foundation of his claim to be the strongest candidate.
Kathy Kiely:
Perry says blame Obama for income disparities but non partisan analysis says the gap between the haves and have-nots has been widening since 1979, when Barack Obama was 18 years old.
David Kurtz:
The average low-information voter isn’t going to be exposed to any account of this debate that includes this necessary corrective: The prescription for economic recovery offered by the Republican presidential field is completely divorced from reality.
Nate Silver of Five Thirty Eight offers the following grades: Romney B+, Cain B, Huntsman B-, Gingrich B-, Bachmann C+, Paul C+, Santorum C, Perry C

Washington Post: The government is the problem. That was the message Tuesday night as the eight Republican presidential hopefuls clamored to blame Washington for the nation’s economic ills. In turn, they pointed fingers at President Obama, the Federal Reserve and the government generally as the cause of the nation’s economic collapse.

Together, they were strident in their belief that Obama-era regulations are stunting growth. Yet although the White House aspirants largely agreed on their overall visions, the two candidates whose positions at the top of the field were expected to rise or fall in Tuesday’s Washington Post-Bloomberg News debate at Dartmouth College — Texas Gov. Rick Perry and businessman Herman Cain — were short on policy specifics, even when pressed by the moderators.
Why did Romney use his question on Bachmann? Well, there are ominous signs that she may not last until the Iowa caucuses. If she drops out, it’s easier for someone like Cain to actually win the state; she stays in, and Romney can eke something.

The mouse that roared?


By Bill Wilson
It might not be an overstatement to say that the fate of representative government hangs in the balance as Slovakia has rejected the €440 billion European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF). It fell 21 votes short of a majority.

Was it the day the mouse roared? When a free people stood up — as did the people of Iceland recently — and said not just no, but hell no to more bailouts of banks?

To be certain, the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, which is a coalition member of the ruling majority there, refuses to support bailing out European creditors that bet poorly on the debt of socialist governments like Greece. But the left-wing Smer-Social Democracy party? It only refuses to offer its support to help out the majority — unless the majority agrees to new elections.

Prime Minister Iveta Radicova has already lost a vote of confidence, as she staked her political career on the success of the vote. Left open is whether her coalition government will agree to early elections — which could cost them the majority — in return for the Social Democrats approving the bailout.
Ultimately, a re-do vote is eventually expected to pass, but at the cost of the current government in Slovakia completely collapsing. In other words, once the Social Democrats get their piece of the pie.
Get full story here.

The Media’s Guide to Protestors

Get permalink here.

2012: The Common Sense Election

By David Bozeman

Want to annoy a liberal? Tell one that America needs a business-person as president to put our economic house in order. Most libs will, however subtly, react defensively, given that their experiment in "transforming" America has turned out — how to put it mildly? — disastrous, with even Democratic campaign officials using Titanic metaphors.

The standard reply (and we're hearing it more and more) is that running the country and running a business are two different things. The responsibilities and consequences of leading a nation can be, and usually are, far graver than those of, say, running a fast-food empire.

There is some truth to that. As we are reminded, the president doesn't enjoy the luxury of firing members of the opposing party. But the significant advantage of electing a business leader — or, at the very least, one who appreciates the dynamics of a free economy — is having someone who has been held accountable. Accountability, providing goods and services that people want, satisfying stockholders are the defining traits of a free economy. It isn't complicated nor is it just one of many competing economic theories out there. It's common sense.

That, in part, explains the appeal of Herman Cain. And the GOP's flirtation with Donald Trump a few months back. And why Mitt Romney, a mere one-term governor, remains a front-runner. It's his life-long devotion to business where common sense can mean the difference between solvency and shutting the doors for good.
Get full story here.

Gaddafi ‘hiding in southern desert’

An official on Libya’s governing council says he believes Muammar Gaddafi is hiding in the south-western desert near the borders with Niger and Algeria, but denied allegations that the Tuareg minority ethnic group is protecting the fugitive leader.
Moussa al-Kouni, who is a Tuareg representative on the revolution’s leadership body, claimed on Monday that Gaddafi had sent his son Khamis to the area to set up a radio station and make preparations for a possible escape route two months before Tripoli fell to revolutionary forces in late August.
Al-Kouni provided no evidence, saying he based his assertion on the fact that the Gaddafi regime had used the area before because it has rough terrain and porous borders that would make detection difficult. He also pointed out that Gaddafi had cultivated close ties with the Niger government and could even be going back and forth across the border.

“As far as I am aware, Gaddafi is in that region … on the border with Niger,” he told reporters in Tripoli, adding that Gaddafi could get safe passage through Niger to Mali, where he allegedly has a house in Timbuktu. Niger has put Gaddafi’s son al-Saadi under house arrest.

There has been much speculation about Gaddafi’s whereabouts since the erratic leader and two of his sons went underground as revolutionary forces swept into the capital.
Libya’s new rulers have vowed Gaddafi will face justice for crimes committed during more than four decades of brutal rule. But more than seven weeks after Tripoli’s fall, authorities appear no closer to capturing him and the fugitive former leader continues to try to rally supporters with audio messages from hiding, most recently on Thursday.

Gaddafi’s supporters

The head of the National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, told reporters Sunday the governing authority had no confirmed information about Gaddafi’s location and he didn’t know whether the fugitive leader was inside or outside Libya.

Some military officials have alleged Tuaregs are helping Gaddafi survive and remain hidden in the vast southern desert. The nomadic community, which spans the desert border of Niger, Mali, Libya, Algeria and Chad, has long been among Gaddafi’s strongest supporters and many fought for him during the civil war.

Al-Kouni acknowledged that some of Gaddafi’s Tuareg recruits may still be helping him but insisted the community as a whole was not. He expressed concern that the allegations were causing harmful divisions between Tuaregs and other Libyans.

Revolutionary forces still battling Gaddafi loyalists have made gains in recent days on two major fronts, his coastal hometown of Sirte and the inland enclave of Bani Walid, but still face fierce resistance.
The transitional leadership, eager to move forward with efforts to hold elections and establish a democracy, has said it will declare Libya liberated after Sirte falls.

Anti-Gaddafi fighters raised their tricolour flag on Monday over Sirte’s Ouagadougou Convention Centre, which had been used by loyalists as a base, but fighting surged elsewhere in the fugitive leader’s hometown. Tank, rocket and machine-gun fire echoed through the surrounding streets.

Col Younis al-Abdally, a commander in Sirte, said his troops have surrounded pro-Gaddafi fighters in a small area along the upscale Dollar Street. He conceded a fierce fight still lies ahead, adding that information indicates one of Gaddafi’s sons and a number of top officials of the former regime are holed up in villas there.


Artillery commander Mahmoud Mustafa said Gaddafi’s son Moatassim was believed to be hiding in Dollar Street or one of two other areas where fighting still raged, so revolutionary forces were trying to capture pro-Gaddafi fighters alive.

“We believe there are some important figures, including Moatassim, and that is the reason we have faced such strong resistance for weeks,” he said.

A team from the International Committee of the Red Cross entered Sirte’s Ibn Sina Hospital on Monday to evacuate wounded people left behind after three weeks of fighting.

More than 100 patients, including several wounded children and their families, were trapped in the hospital, Dr Abdallah Etbiga said.

In Bani Walid, the other remaining bastion of Gaddafi loyalists, revolutionary fighters retreated from the town center after facing heavy sniper fire and booby-traps but still held the airport and two villages to the south, said Abdullah Kenshil, who led failed talks for the town’s peaceful surrender.

Gaddafi forces also attacked revolutionaries at the town’s northern gate on Monday but were repelled, he said, adding four fighters were killed and six wounded in that battle.
Source: AP