Saturday, September 19, 2009

Reigning in the Patriot Act and FISA revisited

Russ Feingold , Bernie Sanders and a group of other senators introduced new legislation on Thursday , constitution day ,to deal with three provisions set to expire this year in the Patriot Act , the so called roving wiretap , lone wolf and library provisions .

The justice act or "Judicious Use of Surveillance Tools in Counterterrorism Effort" Act would also amend several other provisions , not set to expire ,which many critics believe violate civil rights of Americans guaranteed under the constitution .

National Security Letters, which were struck down by a lower court and later upheld in Federal appeals court because the gag provision was deemed a violation of first amendment rights and the FISA amendments act ( FAA ) which granted telecommunications companies immunity from prosecution for helping the NSA listen in the the international phone calls of innocent Americans ,a clear violation of the fourth amendment .

Hearings will be held next week in both the house judiciary sub commitee and the senate judiciary committee on the patriot act . Contact your representatives and tell them to support these efforts !

If not you, who ? If not now, when ?

When will the greed to do good over take greed for wealth and power ? Our earth , the polar ice caps melting , the primeval forests that once covered it's surface cut down and indeed our very survival as a species hangs in the balance .

Will there be anyone to write our history , that we perished while all the while holding the solutions in our hands because we lacked the ability to evolve beyond groteque self interest and nationalism toward a greater awareness of our own divinity ,and never managed to see the profit in kindness and compassion ?

Hairless heart

music by Steve Hackett

mistakes by freeman

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This Day Keeps Getting Better

Okay somebody pinch me .

The Baucus Bill is dead , or at least appears to be without major changes . Killed not once but twice in the Senate . First by Rockefeller in the finance committee , then by Rolland Burris ,who promised to vote against it on the Senate floor without a public option , leaving only 59 votes for it's passage ,60 votes being necessary for cloture . Progressives in the house had already pledged to kill any bill without a strong public option .

According to Howard Dean at least 218 House and 51 Senate Democrats have said they would vote for the final health care bill if it included the choice of a public option . Now, of course, it remains to be seen what kind of public option they'll be voting for , but still a very welcome about face for a plan that was said to have withered on the vine only yesterday .

Then the news that Obama will not go through with the construction the planned missile shield in Eastern Europe with which the Bush administration had been surrounding Russia . Later the news that a group of US Senators has unveiled legislation aiming to strip telecommunications companies of immunity from lawsuits on domestic spying , Fisa revisited .

If this wasn't enough Bill O'Reilly tells his viewers that while the public option is dead , he actually supports it .Okay I do believe in unicorns .Happy Constitution Day !

The Lady and the Unicorn
arr / John Renbourne
mistakes by freeman

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

. Thinking outside the box .

Sense of Urgency

Original music by freeman

Video and graphs NASA

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eonverye that can raed this carp rsaie your hnad.

If you can raed this, you have a sgtrane mnid too Can you raed this? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh?

Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
If you followd this so far , a song atonal for your reward .

Music by Dodson , mistakes by Freeman

The Super Hero

Self be your guide . Self be your leader . Do not look for any other leader .
Gautama Buddha ... Dharmapada
There is a Zen saying . " If you meet the Buddha on the road kill the Buddha ". I wonder where that leaves politicians ?
Rock stars are so yesterday .

Monday, September 14, 2009

Where the public option stands today

A day after the President's speech on Health care reform the democratic leadership signalled their willingness to walk away from the public option . This is , of course a serious disappointment to progressives who after helping to get Mr. Obama elected have seen little of their agenda addressed and watched as the new administration embraced or sought to expand many of the worst policies of the previous administration . Having hoped to see an honest debate on single payer health insurance , which the American Public has overwhelmingly supported in polls for decades ,but was never even on the table , the public option was seen as a compromise . The progressive caucus has promised to kill any bill that lacks a strong public option in the House . Perhaps it is a coincidence that within hours of Nancy Pelosi's walking away from the public option , Steve Elmendorf , chief lobbyist for United Health invited the well connected to a $ 2,400 dollar a plate fund raiser for Nancy at his Washington DC home or perhaps it is what it appears to be , a little quid pro quo for a job well done , I don't know . It does however illustrate the situation of what real reform faces in the trenches in Washington . Rep Raul Grijalva , co chair of the progressive caucus plans a head count early next week .Here is a petitionfor the public option .

The Ancient by Steve Howe
mistakes by freeman

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The more things change ...

In Chile the CIA helped Pinochet to power on 9 11 1973 .
While at a joint press conference with Chile's current president Obama took 1 question from the S.American press .
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Actually, Ben, I’m going to make an exception. We’ll get one question from the Chilean press. How’s that?
Q Mr. President, yes, I’d like to ask you, I realize that your agenda is moving forward. But I’d like to ask you, President Bachelet in a previous trip to the United States made echo of an old joke: "There’s never been a coup d’├ętat in the United States, because there’s no American embassy." The point being that almost --
PRESIDENT BACHELET: That was a joke from an American guy. (Laughter.) I just said it was a good joke.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yes, it is. (Laughter.)
Q The point being that almost no Latin American nation has been free from CIA -- bloody CIA intervention, Chile being a prime example, President Bachelet being one of its victims. Is it time for a historical apology?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, look, I think you answered your own question right at the beginning, which is I’m interested in going forward, not looking backward. I think that the United States has been an enormous force for good in the world. I think there have been times where we’ve made mistakes. But I think that what is important is looking at what our policies are today, and what my administration intends to do in cooperating with the region."
Allow me to point out that Michelle Bachelets father was tortured to death and both she and her mother were tortured !
Presently in S. America the US gives a free pass to the Honduran coup leaders trained at the school of the America's , the secretary of states former campaign manager Lannie Davis represents the wealthy business community there and the US military stations itself in Colombian bases having seemingly been directly involved in a coup attempt in Venezuela !
In Mexico city recently the president said this : "the same critics who say that the US has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say we are always intervening and the yankees need to get out of latin America .You can't have it both ways ".
Disingenuous at best !

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The graffiti of Valparaiso

The writing on the wall is off the wall .....

Valparaiso is very left wing and built on steep hillsides with incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and the harbor . Once extremely prosperous...

An original ...
Valparaiso was said to be the San Fransisco of South America before the entire continent became" America's back yard " with the building of the Panama Canal .
It and all of South America fell into economic ruin afterwards .
Okay .........this Mural,painted by a friend and rival of Diego Rivera's at the mexican school is actually in Chillan .

Inti Illimani ... Alturas

Love this tune !The band who performed it ,Inti Illimani, from Chile , was out of the country touring in Europe when the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende was overthrown in a military coup supported by the U.S. on .....and get this ...9 11 1973 . Their friend and fellow performer Victor Jara was arrested and tortured along with over 2000 of his countrymen in the national Stadium .
Victor ,hands broken , a guitar thrown at him and mockingly told to try playing now , actually began to sing with many of the other victims before he was shot through with machine gun fire and his body thrown in the street in Santiago . Over 200o people were tortured to death over the next few days .
911 1973 .