Archive for category Media Corrections By The People

’60 Minutes’ Reports Nonexistent ‘Cleantech Crash’

Recently the CBS so-called “news” show “60 Minutes” has presented stories about a nonexistent epidemic of Social Security disability fraud, a nonexistent conspiracy regarding the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and offered a one-sided infomercial for the National Security Agency’s widespread warrantless surveillance of Americans.

Last night on “60 Minutes,” Leslie Stahl offered us a straight-up hit job on clean energy, touting an imaginary “Cleantech Crash.”

“60 Minutes” is apparently unaware that the DOE Loan Guarantee Program has a whopping 97 percent success rate, while the companies CBS focuses on such as Solyndra and Abound Solar were just three percent of the portfolio.

Stahl claimed that domestic natural gas production was a form of clean energy, but never mentioned the adverse environmental and health effects of gas well fracking, and she never mentioned climate change at all.

This is the kind of fact-free “journalism” that we’ve come to expect from the Faux News Channel. In reality, renewable energy has become our the largest source of new electric capacity, led by wind power.

More info:
What’s The Matter With 60 Minutes?: Cleantech Edition
13 Major Clean Energy Breakthroughs Of 2013
60 Minutes Report Denounced For Disability Misinformation
NSA Report Means More Trouble For 60 Minutes
60 Minutes Benghazi Witness Even Less Credible Than Previously Imagined

UPDATE: Anatomy Of A Hit Job: Expert Featured On 60 Minutes Exposes How Show Knowingly Ignored Facts On Clean Energy


Black President Pulls Rope a Dope on Rich White Guy “Please Proceed Governor” or …Obama Punks Romney

Next time someone says to you, “Please proceed Governor,” check yourself. If you are Romney and that someone is a Black man, STFU.

Someone on Team Liar needs to be fired….after Romney.

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The full transcript of the remarks is online, but of particular interest was the president’s vow of “justice” in Libya.

“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” Obama said. “Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”

The president made no reference to the campaign, politics, or his domestic opponents.



You are also the 99%

“If it were necessary to give the briefest possible definition of imperialism, we should have to say that imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism.”

Vladimir Lenin

Today I reassured a man in the bar that he is not alone in loosing his house.  He said to me “I worked all this time.”  He’s always had a job, but you have to agree that there is something happening to America today.

People are stealing from you. You let it slide because you cant see their face, but I assure you, they are there. They are there when you pay your interest rate. They are there when you pay your health insurance bill, and what are you going to do about it.


It is no accident when people are kicked out of their home. The good news is you can do something about it. The bad news is, it will be very hard, and shake you out of your cultural norm.  Your system is failing you. You could humbly stand aside and watch it happen, but what about your neighbors or your friends?


I encourage you, to stand with occupy SLC and get pissed!! There is a person who’s single goal in life is to end the way of yours. It’s time to grab him by the fucking tie and say  ” I want my money back, bitch”

Thank you and Semper Fidelis,

Martin Bammes


Fox Anchor Tells Science Guy Bill Nye ‘You Are Confusing Our Viewers’ Over Climate Change

Fox Business host Charles Payne interviewed Bill Nye “The Science Guy” yesterday about climate change, and told Nye he was “confusing some of the viewers.” Which, you know, is the job of Faux News. The conversation got derailed when Payne insisted on an explanation of something Al Gore said about politics, not science.


The 6-plus minute debate seems to based on whether or not the recent hurricane is reflective of a larger trending in global warming or not, but really ends up being about the value of scientific evidence. After host expresses his skepticism, Nye shoots back by saying “there’s a lot more science behind” the idea of global warming creating extreme weather than simply saying “it’s not.”


CIA Man Retracts Lie About Waterboarding Abu Zubaydah

Remember John Kiriakou, the former CIA man who told ABC News that torture works? A claim that was repeatedly endlessly by right-wingers like Rush Limbaugh? He now admits that he was full of shit.

Well, it’s official now: John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative who affirmed claims that waterboarding quickly unloosed the tongues of hard-core terrorists, says he didn’t know what he was talking about.

Kiriakou, a 15-year veteran of the agency’s intelligence analysis and operations directorates, electrified the hand-wringing national debate over torture in December 2007 when he told ABC’s Brian Ross and Richard Esposito in a much ballyhooed, exclusive interview that senior al Qaeda commando Abu Zubaydah cracked after only one application of the face cloth and water.

“From that day on, he answered every question,” Kiriakou said. “The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks.”

Kiriakou now says he had no direct knowledge of torture, and was lied to by CIA colleagues. Of course, we know that Abu Zubaydah was not even a member of al-Qaeda, just a low-level guy who operated a safe house in Pakistan. He knew nothing about al-Qaeda’s plans.

It was Marcy Wheeler on FDL who first exposed Kiriakou’s lie last April, citing the May 30, 2005 Bradbury memo which recorded that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003 and Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002.


Bush/Cheney Republican Loyalists Confirmed Nazi Appeasers

As much as even the least cynical among us can accept that other great democracies may have committed war crimes in modern times, Churchill did not.

And yet, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Republican Nazi appeasers  torture sympathizers led by Faux News and Bill O’Reilly continue to deliberately deceive the American public and like little children believe that “he did it first” somehow excuses their own war crimes.

In this most excellent historical review of those darn facts, Olbermann also parallels for us the same tensions between the would be Nazi appeasers in the British government and our own.

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Do not miss this piece. It is not only an excellent review of history but, and perhaps more importantly, solid proof that Fox News is absolutely and unequivocally, a propaganda arm of its benefactors.

Most troubling of course is that the twenty-percenters whose tribal convictions are informed and validated by Fox News as their primary source of information will continue to shame and embarrass our country in their bleating bluster and ignorance.

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The Growth of Human Rights: The Skunk at the Garden Party

The debacle of the clash of civilizations in the Texas raids upon the Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints continues past the point of severe justice. Whatever Samuel Huntington thinks, no one wins such wars.

Savagery exists now, played out with the goading of the news media, in 24/7 mode, driven to make news of the most lurid kind, pouring blood into the water. CNN outdoes Fox in idiocy and sheer fabrication. Their local authority here, the most savage of all, did not learn his facts nor his law in my class in constitutional law, nor from the table of his loving mother and father, my dear friends. Watch out, national talking heads, Look over your shoulder. He has a lean and hungry look.

I’ve lived through seven decades of this drama, and written about the story of polygamy since its Mormon expression. I say “Mormon” expression, because hundreds of millions of people in almost every country and culture on earth practice polygamy, just as huge numbers practice, or at least preach, monogamy. I know and have lived through almost half of the Mormon story. Realizing that Mormons didn’t invent polygamy seems to be an understanding that none of the electronic media, and those who unfortunately rely upon such media for their information, find beyond their reach. My conclusions, for what they’re worth, from two hundred years of the Mormon experience, and my work in most countries of the world, from Tibet and India, China, almost all of Europe and the United Nations, in New York and Geneva and the White House:

First, “family” is an ever-defining fluid thing. Blood? Adoption? Choice? In-law or outlaw? I remember two months in Rome with a Franciscan sister, Rosemary Lynch, Franciscan to the core, still alive in her ninety-second year and, with the Death of my dear friend, Sister Mary Luke Tobin, at ninety-eight years, of the Sisters of Loretto, the only American order of women Religous without European antecedents, for most of a century headed by Luke, and the only woman with speaking rights at Vatican Two (four women there, to balance off 1800 men), arguably the most famous revered and profoundly loved living woman in Christianity. Luke and Rose and I had met as we all battled the existence and the basing of the MX Missile in the Great Basin of the American West. I was giving a series of lectures, several a week, to all the Congregations of Women and Men Religious, headquartered in Rome. I was a year or two away from a divorce that would shatter me after thirty-three years and eight children. Blessedly ignorant of what was just around the corner, I asked Rosie if she ever missed having a family, a husband, children. She treated my naive Mormon question with all the thoughtfulness that is so lacking in today’s national dialogue on the same question. She said, “dear Ed, I have children. Thousands of them. I have biological brothers and sisters, and hundreds of brothers and sisters of the faith, and of scores of other faiths, particularly in the Muslim world, as my father Francis Assisi was especially concerned about his Muslim sisters and brothers, and echoes of Francis still resonate within the Muslim community.”

Rosie’s sister Franciscan for decades, Klaryta, was born of Polish parents, one tortured and murdered by the Germans and one by the Russians as World War Two reached its savage end, after 50,000,000 people had be slaughtered in another clash of civilizations, stretching that word past civilized meaning. Klaryta works mainly with German and Russian immigrants in her ministry, along with many thousands, now, of immigrants here, with or without papers.

As the present drama of FLDS polygamists plays itself out to its bitter end, probably decades from now, if measured by the damage already done to these women, children, men, of all ages, and after growing in my own experience of “family” these past three decades, I see violence as evil and the law, for all but the most limited and heinous of crimes, the least worst alternative. The American culture is reaching out, now, to immigrants of all sorts. This is not without pain and loss. But the gains are enormously greater. These Mormon Fundamentalists should be seen as immigrants, really. ( More on this later in this piece.)

In this country right now, if we were facing abuses in Muslim polygamy, even after 9/11, we would be giving far far greater care to the human rights, the constitutional rights, the international legal human rights, of our Muslim brothers and sisters. Can’t we see these Mormon Christian people in Texas, Utah, and Arizona as similarly situated and protected? Mormons didn’t invent this polygamous system. Think about it, talking heads of CNN. Place this wherever in the world. Hugely more compassion and, just perhaps, a bit more factual reporting would be done. Not just never-ending vitriol. Have we no shame?

When my grandmother, Zina Diantha Huntington Smith Young, and her Husband, Brigham Young, came to this valley of the Great Basin, Brigham claimed an area slightly larger than the rest of the United States. Native Americans were here, as were many of Spanish and Mexican descent. When Zina crossed the Mississippi, frozen but not quite, wagons fell into the freezing water. Zina wrote in her diary of seeing their Nauvoo Temple desecrated and burned by the mobs. Brigham had gone ahead with a few of the men, toward their Zion, the Great Basin of the West. Babies were born and died. They had been forced by murder and rapine into the wilds. When they left Nauvoo, slightly larger than Chicago at the time, they were headed for Mexico and Texas. A war of unmitigated aggression by the United States began against Mexico, as the Mormons were on the march. Brigham was asked to enlist Mormon young men to go to war. The Mormon Legion completed the longest forced march of the American infantry, in response, ending in California, whether owned by Mexico, the United States, Britain, Russia, or Native America. It was all fluid for many decades. Thus the United States seized over one-third of Mexico. And now we are enraged when thousands of Mexicans remained in what was their land, and millions return to a land by all justice they still own.

Zina married Joseph Smith when she was twenty. She loved him very much. She shared his bed in this “spiritual marriage.” So did Emma, but not at the same time. When Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob, Zina, then twenty-three, married my great-great grandfather, Brigham Young. From that union I came to be. I remember going with another Zina, my grandmother and the wife of Hugh B. Brown, First Counselor of the Mormon Church in an earlier time, to see “aunt” so and so, many such, all surviving wives of polygamist men long dead.

In every century before the twentieth, in every land in the world, marriage in the teens existed. John Adams had to threaten his son, John Quincy Adams, with a caning and worse if he did not stop seeing the woman, or girl, his loved, then fifteen.

The Fundamentalist Mormons of four or five clans have been frozen in time, to some extent, by being marginalized, like gays, or at an earlier time, marriage between different racial or ethnic groups, sent into the badlands: geographically, intellectually, socially, politically, and by the hardness of our hearts and the vacuity, the stupidity of our brains. I have known the leadership of all of these groups and I have enjoyed their company in my home and at their table, for seventy years. I have taught many polygamous young women in my forty years teaching constitutional and international law. Many have visited my home and told me why they, as women, favored the polygamous life. Most wanted children, and obviously, and all wanted a career outside the home. Their sister wives, by tending the children, made this possible. I have not met one woman in sixty years of more or less adult life who wanted divorce, or a monogamous life. Obviously some did, but I never met them, and I’ve met hundreds of polygamous women. For whatever reason, in the study of law, in my own experience, my students have almost all been women. So much for stereotypes.

From all that I’ve seen, written, and read of polygamy in the nineteenth century, the system was at least as much matriarchal as patriarchal. Zina ran the home, the farm, raised the children, and presided in most of the healing, today what we would call “priesthood,” since Mormon women then, and now, believe they hold the same through Temple endowment. ( Yes, just like the one raided and pillaged in the name of Texas law. If Texas can do that to Fundamentalist Mormons, when will it be your turn? In your sacred house? church, temple, mosque, or the temple of your home and your body?) Brigham was left to decide upon the foreign policy between Zion, in his Great Basin Kingdom, and Spain, Mexico, Canada, Native America, and yes, the United States, smaller but more heavily populated. So much for polygamy as a device for geometric Mormon catch-up. Even when Mormon evangelical preachers recieved tens of thousands of converts, with tens of thousands of Mormons in Great Britain and Canada; and all would come to Zion at Brigham’s call, more Mormons lived in Canada and England by far than resided in the United States, and though many thousands of emigrant saints marched on foot, in wagons, on oxen and horseback, pulling handcarts whose ruts still remain in the Momon story dug deep into the land of the West Brigham lost, by a nose.

I beieve, strongly believe, that all the leadership of the few Mormon fundamentalist groups now understand that underage marriage is out. Their own precepts forbid abuse, torture, and fraud. Of course all this occurs. But their own legislation forbids all such. The law, with its complete lack of the capacity for subtlety, for fine-tuning, is no place for massive sweeps of thousands of people, hugely most having committed no crime. If this were any of the other candidates for the honor of being skunks at the garden party, there would be national outrage over this criminal misuse of the criminal law. Now, Mormon men and women: lead. Really lead, and in the right direction. Your concept of Zion is flawed. Preserve the parts most holy. This, of course, was the chief givt of St. Paul to the Saints of his time. How could he hold onto the central holiness of the Lord, and still preach a gospel that spoke also to the gentile world?

Leaders in every century face this awful delimma. For the Christian, the model is always taught by St. Paul. It would surely seem to me that such centrality of belief is certainly not found in marriage to underage women or girls. Or young men. Eighteen is still too young, in my book. Consent demands enough years to have real meaning. Mature leaders, men and women, suck it up and follow the myth of Arthur, in Camelot, his Zion. When Arthur learned of Gwenievere and Lancelot, he could have had them killed, but at the cost of Camelot. He said: “This is a time when violence is not strength. And compassion is not weakness. And we shall live through this, together. May God have mercy on us all.” Thus the myth survived. As St. Paul told the faithful in Jerusalem, just before its destruction by the Roman General, Titus, in 70 A.D.: “Here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.'”(Heb. 13-14) All people of the Book, in fact every religious group of which I am aware, including the Tibetan Buddhists with whom I work frequently with His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, in exile in Dharamsala, India, must balance his desire to return to Tibet, over against his exile in India. His heart has broken .Hence his compassion. The story of exile and return, the holy city and the diaspora, plays out in every age and in every community. Brigham, like many thousands of millenarians through time, thought their diaspora would end early in his lifetime. With St. Paul in First Thessalonians, he had to revise and provide for the next generation.

I don’t doubt the Texas ‘judge’s kindly intent. Nor the sadness and the professional care of the police, the Texas Rangers, and surely not the loving kindness of Baptist mothers and fathers who have stepped in to help, as saviors. But kindly intended but ill-informed people can produce havoc and death. Hence, the Buddhist admonition that “if you see the Buddha on he way, kill him.” (Please, my Fundamentalist friends, continue to maintain the moral high ground of non-violence. This buddhist koan is not meant to be taken with fundamtalist literality.) I have very little hope that the sterility of the capacity of the state to match the loving kindness of these children’s real mothers and fathers, sister-wives and all. I’ve lived in this culture. I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of diaries of polygamous women and men. They were no more perfect than am I, or anyone else in the human story. But blood and loving care from sister wives and husands will continue to nurture children far better than Family Service for all but a tiny few. And foster homes are even more seductive in that they may in fact be better than state offices, but that is dying from faint praise.

The Jeffs group’s few thousands are, of course, the last to get it. The last to understand, fully, the change in national acceptance of teen-age marriage, as girls and boys become, unevenly, women and men. This is so because they have been the most persecuted and, by choice or force, those who have found themselves in the badlands of the American West, or for that matter, in Mexico and Canada, where my mother Mary, was birthed by a Zina with another Zina as mid-wife. This was in Cardston, a polygamous community in Alberta Province, though my grandparents, and of course my parents, were monogamous.

Whether or not polygamy was “inspired below a man’s belt,” as my grandfather Brown said to me, as I recorded his lfe, or god-or-satan-sent, really doesn’t matter, now. If indeed polygamy, the Mormon version, was such a mistake, then the Latter-day Saints don’t need another mistake for the next millenia, at least, to render them forever a sect in the eyes of others, really doesn’t matter, either. For here it is. The real question is what do we do about it in this time and this place.

The Texas disaster was the perfect storm. It would have happened, tragically, some place, some time soon. I have no doubt, now, that every fundamentalist polygamous sect of Mormon descent now understands the rules and the consequences of violating them. From this point on, as long as this matter runs its course in the criminal legal system, the only thing that will be accomplished is to punish, likely forever, every person touched by this tragedy. And believing in Karma as I do, I believe savage hurt will come to all who touch this issue with hatred. We batter each other by metaphors. We go to war for metaphors. We launch crusades with metaphors and myth. We have a Mormon Mountain Meadows Massacre, of over one hundred and twenty people. Or on the grand scale, we launch holy wars of five hundred years of Christian slaughter of each other, Roman v. Greek, and huge numbers of Moslems, slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands in the name of metaphor.

And now the Texas judge tells me that “Sarah” is a metaphor? What a ghastly admission of the absolute failure of the Texas system of justice. Is “Texas Justice” to justice, what “military music” is to music? Or for that matter, what “military justice” in this time of a Texan in the White House, is to lady justice? Blind she may be. But she isn’t heartless or brain-dead.

Now is the time for education. By the best the media, as our bully-pulpit for educating us all; by people, our citizens who don’t need lawyers or judges to tell them what their hearts already know. This is not justice. It is the current skunk at the garden party providing us with the test, the very creation of our human rights, the role skunks at the garden party always play. Mormons, Catholics, people of color, immigrants, Muslims. We all get our turn. That is the meaning of karma. Thank God for the skunks at the garden party. How we respond to such people at once creates and defines human rights.

Rulon Jeffs, the father of Warren Jeffs, was my uncle by marriage, and came to be the prophet leader of his people, the largest polygamous sect to separate from the Mormons when they abandoned the practice. Uncle Rulon married my favorite aunt, aunt Zola, my mother Mary’s sister and daughter of Hugh B. and Zina Card (Cardston…back to polygamy)Young Brown. When Rulon decided to follow his father into polygamy, grandfather Hugh Brown took aunt Zola by the hand, just as did John Adams to his son John Quincy when he wanted the hand of a fifteen year-old girl, and accomplished their divorce. But I grew up loving and admiring Uncle Rulon. I asked him to review my chapters on polygamy, in my book, Zion in the Courts: a Legal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which he kindly did. We met in Chuck-a-Rama, not for the food, but as a way of hiding in plain sight. Of course, many scholars, in and out of Mormon culture, also vetted this volume, including my orthodox Mormon former student and now law professor, with an endowed chair, the only endowed chair, in that Roman Catholic university, Collin Mangrum. I spoke with many people of all of the polygamous groups in the American West. Rulon, a tall patriarch of the old school, lived in body and in office too long. He became senile at the end time, and huge mistakes occurred. Now, those chickens have come home to roost. Truly I pray that such energy can run its course with as little damage as possible. That prayer is doomed to fail, I believe.

Texas, Utah, polygamy, and gay rights, are entertwined inexorably. We return to my question to Sister Rosemary Lynch, in Rome. What is family? A group of men and women Religious? Gays? Polygamists, Mormon or by the millions, otherwise? Serial monogamists? ” Spiritual”polygamists who don’t polyg? Or monogamists, perhaps in the Senate or the White House, who don’t monog? God only knows, and she seems silent at this moment.

Four cases, four of several hundred, come to mind. In Loving v. Virginia, so aptly named, people loved and married, in violation of miscegination laws forbidding inter-racial or inter-ethnic marriage. The Supreme Court struck down Virginia’s laws and similar laws in every state in this nation. Before that, as a young man, before Brown v., the Board, I remember well when Ralph Bunche, of the United Nations, and Nobel Laureate, was denied a room at the Hotel Utah, which stately old Hotel now houses the overflow of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ bureaucracy, then and now the owner of Hotel Utah . Lawrence v. Texas is a harbinger, I hope and believe, in the movement toward marriage or civil union between gays and lesbians. Lawrence v. Texas is for gays, and for us all, what Brown v. the Board was to people of color, the flagship of all the human rights flotilla in the United States from the twentieth century, to now: after race, ethnicity; after ethnicity, gender; after gender, sexuality, alienage, and so on. Now, citizens, Loving meets Lawrence meets the U.S. v. Reynolds, the case forbidding Mormon polygamy. These strange bedfellows, not to put too fine a point on it, are all in bed together. Mixing our dangerous metaphors, untangling this rope of many colors and strands is not ethically or intellectually possible, no matter the parsing of the law or the facts.

And don’t forget Dantean greed. There are millions of dollars in land, held by some of the last Christian Socialists, though Mormons, Fundamentalist or mainstream, would wince at the term. Brigham hated capitalism. He thought that was a nice word for greed. In a sense,” Sarah” v. Texas is a case, like those in Utah and Arizona, where millions of dollars in land are at issue. In a very limited sense, and different by an order of magnitude, this is similar to the Japanese Relocation cases of early World War Two. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese Americans lost their land to greedy folk in California and elsewhere. Never mind that no Japanese American, anywhere, anytime, was disloyal. But perhaps in Texas, “disloyal Japanese” is merely a metaphor. And perhaps such stretched hermeneutics is why “lawyers and hypocrites” is hypnenated in the New Testament. And why, for Robert Frost, America’s greatest poet, “the hearse horse snickered as it drew the lawyer away.”

Finally, a suggestion. I said earlier that polygamists, residing in the badlands of the American West, and beyond, are in fact, immigrants. Let’s do the one good thing George Bush the Less suggested in his eight years of horror. He, along with John McCain, briefly, proposed an amnesty for the millions of people who are here without papers. I wonder if Native Americans considered the fact that all those Europeans lacked papers? Or the Mexicans and the Spanish and the Native Americans that were forced off their land by another war of aggression, in the last century? Perhaps we might just extend amnesty to polygamists who just happen to be our neighbors? Surely DNA testing would find, in the polygamist community exactly what it would find in the monogamist community, that is, a lot of in-breeding. Something like Clarence Darrow, in the Scopes Trial, said to his hero, earlier. Like Rulon Jeffs, William Jenning Bryan died too late. His brain and much of his soul had departed before his body gave way. Darrow said to Bryan: when Adam and Eve begat Cain and Abel, just who did those boys marry? A damned good question. Let our sisters and brothers come home, with total amnesty regarding the age of anyone’s marriage. This needn’t and shouldn’t include cases of forcible rape or torture. Of course these people fear forcible DNA samples. Just as hundreds of millions of other people would. In this and in any community.

In the life story of St. Thomas More, an underling of great pretension and little capacity approaches Sir Thomas and prays for employment. He is rejected by the Saint, due to the supplicant’s obvious venality and the lack of a shred of character. Roper, a hot-blooded intimate of St. Thomas More, senses the threat to the Saint from this viper. He proposes that Thomas do him in, regardless of the means. In the jurisprudential world, the ethic of means, not so much ends, occupies our interest. The right to counsel. To keep your home and hearth free of the state. To keep the police from placement under the marital bed. Like the polygamists, we don’t like the state to trespass into our homes, at will and by the entire community being judged, as a metaphor. Thomas says to Roper:”Our island is dotted, and preserved, by a whole forest of mighty trees. Trees that protect the potential malefactor until the actual commission of a crime. Would you have me violate such laws?” To which Roper responds, more or less: “I would cut down every tree, every old oak, every law in England to get this man before he gets you!” Thomas says:”And what would you do then, Roper, when the winds howl? What would you have to protect us all, with all the trees down?”

The palpable violation of many rights guaranteed by the American Constitution: our Bill of Rights, our Fourteenth Amendment, in “Sarah” v. Texas is obvious and huge. Similar restraints on the state exist in International Law. Thank God for the skunk at the garden party. Changing metaphors in this savage game of metaphors, what will we all do when the winds howl, and our own time to be the one left out, the marginalized and stereotyped. wilthout the great oaks protecting our homes and churches from the secular and savage state: For those not allowed within the civilizing city? The town square?

Let us let in our sisters and brothers, without reproach. Religious leaders, grant amnesty and forget the savagry of excommunication. Political and civic leaders, open our businesses and government offices without discriinataionl Never force a polygamist to lie to preserve his job securityl Ditto the military in revision of its “don’t ask, don’t tell” form of slippery ethics and law.

NOw is the time for mercy and justice to kiss.

Ed Firmage
Samuel Thurman Professor of Law, Emeritus
University of Utah College of Law.
Salt Lake City, Utah

Website: ed


How Thinking People Feel, But Few Will Say…In Public

Randi Rhodes of Air America, speech to the 50th Anniversary party of “PEACE ACTION of Michigan” on November 11, 2007.

DO not miss this. It is the most honest REAL discussion of what is really happened over the past seven long years.


From The Anals of History – Janeane Garofalo Hands Brian Kilmeade (Fox) His Ass

This “blast from the past” stands as a stark reminder of the chorus corporate controlled media, coordinated talking points and hyperbolic name-calling that manged to shout down anyone who presented reason and fact in the face of the drumbeat to attack Iraq.

This little piece contains all the now classic tactics so shamefully employed against the smartest and bravest among us. They are as delivered by Fox bully Brian Kilmeade…

“Saddam must love you.”
“If it weren’t for the defectors we’d have nothing. We’re still missing a hundred tons of anthrax”
“You don’t think its a good idea for Saddam Hussein to be out of power?”
“So you just distrust this government (Bush) inherently. You distrust Colin Powell when sat there and said here is intercepts, Iraq is trying to cover up nerve gas.”

At this point Janeane and Brian (the dick face) are shouting at each other…

Janeane: “The British dossier was bogus and you know it.”
Brian: “What was bogus about it?”
Janeane: “It was a British grad students paper that was cut and pasted so cavalierly, that they even left the grammatical errors in it.”

Now, due to the fact that this was a thoroughly established fact that until now had been well hidden from the innocently stupid but eveil Fox News audience, the the Fox stooge acting as mediator, cuts in and saves Brian’s ass declaring, “I think it would be safe to say Brian and Janeane don’t agree on this.”

I guess an honest media person would have said, “Brian, is that true the British Dossier Colin Powell referred to was in fact cut and pasted from a student’s paper?”

Brian: “You don’t think those people (the Iraqis) deserve a shot at freedom?”

It gets better. Listen right up to the end, and pass this on to everyone you know.

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h/t to Norm at OneGoodMove for one again, coming up with the gem of the week. Norm described this piece as, “A month before the war began Janeane Garofalo hands Brian Kilmeade his ass.” This of course would be true only

You can contact Brian Kilmeade and ask him why he is such an asshole and if he thinks little Bryan will respect him when he grows up and studies the History of American Media and his Father’s place in it, and sees this clip. God save little Bryan. BREAK THE CHAIN!

By Mail:
Fox & Friends
ATTN: Brian Kilmeade
1211 Ave of the Americas
17th floor
New York, NY 10036

By Email:

Media contact:
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Warning: State Sponsored Propaganda Alert


I have ceased to wonder who our National media are actually working for anymore folks. Newsweek has long appeared to me as a premier apologist for the Iraq War and Bush Administration policies. Someone bought me a subscription to the News magazine about 3 years ago. I could have just as well done without it. I once burned an issue in disgust.

Newsweek continues to exceed all of reader’s disillusioned expectations about Iraq in their April 2, 2007 issue. The timing of the article alone is enough to make the general disgust for this war seem more than justified. Unfortunately they (mis) use military families in this self righteous rationalizing editorial more than report about the lives lost in
Iraq and how Gold Star families feel about it.G.W.B.

The cover story, “The War in the Words of the Dead” features letters from Army First Lt. Kenneth Ballard wrote his mother from Najaf in May 2004. “My tank took another RPG this a.m. for a grand total of 8. It has turned into almost a game of sorts. They shoot, we get hit, we shoot back, killing them most of the time, only to repeat it all over again somewhere else in the city.”
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These Utah Congressmen Can’t Handle the Truth

Having been a journalist for more than thirty years, I’m used to politicians lying to me: either to make themselves sound better or denegrate their opponent. But Rep. Chris Cannon and Sen. Orrin Hatch have taken falsehood and inaccuracy to a new, pathological level.

Hatch, seen here claiming he discovered Great Salt Lake, either fibbed or falsely portrayed one of the fired U.S. attorneys on “Meet the Press” Sunday- so badly he wrote a letter of apology. On the same subject, the future of doomed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Hatch, on a separate occasion, not only said the Democrats’ demand for Gonzales’ head was racially motivated, he pulled another toad out of his bag of tricks: “Here’s the highest ranking minority ever to serve in government and to not give some leeway to make some mistakes that [Democrats] would give to their liberal friends, I think that’s just wrong,” Hatch said. Speaking of just wrong, Hatch either forgot or didn’t care that Colin Powell was the highest ranking minority ever as Secretary of State.
Then there’s Cannon, the Republican attack dog du jour for Fox News. His inflammatory falsehoods/dangerous lies about the Trolley Square attack being an Islamic fundamentalist revenge killing were either rumors he picked up off some right-winger’s blog or he just made up. Whether it’s immigration, the Mark Foley scandal and sexual predators or global warming and the First Amendment, Cannon plays fast and loose with the truth when it serves his purposes and is equally quick and bald-faced to accuse his adversaries of distortion.

Deliberate or not, Cannon and Hatch are practicing the most insidious propaganda of all: not only are their lies and deceptions based on political motivations but also astouding stupidity and disregard for opposing views and the legitimacy of ACTUAL FACTS. Bottom line: like Bush, Cheney, Rice, et al, is there any reason to believe anything Hatch and Cannon say- ever?


Utah Jury’s Huge Proctor & Gamble Judgment Another Wake-Up Call to Bloggers

Ask the average citizen or child if they know that lying to ruin someone’s reputation is wrong and could get you in big trouble and they’ll probably say yes. However, a jury of their peers says that didn’t stop some ostensibly intelligent and honorable adults, including several from Utah, from doing exactly that. Now, after twelve years, a federal court jury in Salt Lake City has awarded Proctor and Gamble $19.25 million from the former Amway distributors accused of spreading a rumor via voice mail that P&G was funding satanic cults.

P&G’s relationship to satanism is an urban myth that’s been around as long as those alligators living in New York City’s sewers. To believe the world’s largest manufacturer of cleansers, detergents and other household products is a rapacious clan of devil-worshippers is as credible as the “east-coast liberal media conspiracy” theory that right-wingers have perpetuated for decades (which we should have sued somebody for). The defendants claimed, among other things, that the rumors did not hurt P&G, that P&G is a corporation, not an individual and therefore cannot be defamed, and that P&G has plenty of money and is using their unlimited resources to beat down the little guy. All that may be true. But all sides being equal under the law, it comes down to one thing: malice.

Bloggers should read this case closely because it won’t be long before more of us get sued for doing the same thing. If you deliberately or “maliciously” lie about someone, even a company, with the goal of hurting their reputation or business, which is what this jury decided, it’s called defamation or, in this case, false advertising. Even an apology or retraction, as the distributors made later (even though their attorney still says there’s no proof his clients spread the rumor), may not get you off the hook. The distributors’ Utah attorneys succeeded in knocking P&G’s suit down to a single claim of unfair competition and false advertising. That the distributors were in business competition with P&G was key to this judgment. But it’s clear the jury reacted emotionally and punitively to the larger issues of fairness and malice.

Malicious and unsubstantiated attacks made on-line and elsewhere by individuals are also subject to laws like misappropriation of copyrighted and intellectual property, as Google and YouTube found out after Viacom sued them for posting clips of Viacom properties’ programs, like Comedy Central and MTV, gleaned by YouTube’s members. As blogging evolves and our audience and power grows, bloggers need to be careful not only what they say but how they say it. It’s Journalism 101 but most people never take that course.

After thirty years as a professional reporter and executive in the news business, and having avoided any lawsuit, I know. No matter who you are or if your post is seen by one or one million people, you could get sued if what you say is deliberately or recklessly false or appropriated without attribution. The only sure defense is the truth. But even that won’t prevent you from getting sued. This is a public service announcement from your friendly, neighborhood former journalist. Now, repeat what you said about environmentalists being proof that Democrats had sex with woodchucks…


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