Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bono, he makes even Sonny look cool

I'm doing two things tonight, I'm noting C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" so let me do that first:

Chaos and violence continue.
Today in Iraq,
CBS and AP report that a car bomb "near Ana town" wounded two. While the AFP notes car bombs in Baghdad that resulted in at least three dead and at least eight wounded. And the bombing of buses in Kufa has killed at least twelve and wounded over forty. Khaled Farhan (Reuters) reports that: "The bomber drove his car between the two Iranian coaches as they arrived at the Maithem al-Tamar shrine".
KUNA reports that six corpses were discovered in Kirkuk, Reuters notes "a beheaded" corpse was discovered in al-Zab, AFP reports "the discovery of 35 corpses of the last 24 hours, despite a three-week old security crackdown in the capital". The "crackdown" we're not supposed to notice the failure of.
Among the many of victims of violence has been Alaa Hassan. Hassan, 35-years-old, was an unembedded journalist who died in Iraq Wednesday June 28th: "
When Alaa crossed the bridge Jun. 28, gunmen sprayed his car with machine-gun fire, killing him with six bullets." Aaron Glantz remembers his sometimes co-writer in "A Story IPS Never Wanted to Tell" (IPS). Hassan and Glantz co-authored: "Basra Begins to Fall Apart" (IPS) and "U.S. Military Hides Many More Hadithas" (IPS). (That's not a complete list.)
Meanwhile Nouri al-Maliki, puppet of the illegal occupation and the current prime minister, turns chatty.
KUNA reports that he says Iraq is "determined to hound the 41 outlaws" (including Saddam Hussein's daughter) and again bragged about how tight he was these days with the so-called insurgents. He then began recounting his whirlwhind trip in recent days (when he might have better served Iraq by addressing the issue of the alleged rape and murders in as they were happening as opposed to waiting over five days later to even make a public comment) but somehow left out the assurances he gave everyone about how 'stable' Iraq is now and how they should start investing. Though one might expect such statements to be greeted with loud laughter, greed knows no reality. IRIN reports: "Kurds approve foreigner-friendly investment law" and Reuters reports "[a] top United Nations envoy" was in Baghdad today to extoll the IMF and World Bank, and to promise international aid and support provided "Baghdad will commit itself to a series of yet unedfined political, economic and security steps."
Bloomberg notes this on al-Maliki and others' attempts at a peace 'scam': attempts at Happy Talk: "Harith al-Dari, who heads the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars, told AFP on June 30 that the amnesty offer was meaningless because it excluded those who had targeted foreign soldiers. He also said most insurgent groups had rejected the plan because it offers no timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, AFP reported.
As noted during
WBAI's Pacifica news break at noon anchored by Mitch Jeserich*, Ehren Watada was charged by the Army yesterday for his refusal to serve in the illegal war. Hal Bernton (Seattle Times) notes that "Watada said he was morally obligated to obey the Constitution, not what he claimed were unlawful orders to join in an illegal war." Courage to Resist notes: "Supporters in Washington State's Puget Sound area will gather . . . July 6, at 5pm over Interstate 5 on the Exit 119 overpass (adjacent to the entrance to Ft. Lewis)."
In other news, Mitch Jeserich also noted: "Anti-war activists are at the White House" protesting with
CODEPINK and, as Medea Benjamin stated, hope to encourage the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to do as was done during Vietnam, give harbor to the war resistors.* The fasting is to put pressure on the administration and Congress to withdraw US troops from Iraq; to say no to permanent bases; to create "a massive reconstruction effort but with funds going to Iraqi, not U.S. contractors." For more information, click here.
And in trash news, does editing the Independent for a publicity stunt mean London's Independent goes easy on you? Apparently so as
Andrew Buscombe works over time to defend the piggish 'rock star' Bono.
Fat and happy, if not exactly peaceful, Bono has long decided to play his own version of corporate raider (picking off the bones of others) but Buscombe appears unaware of that as he rushes to provide cover for Bono's part in releasing a videogame that brings the "joy" of declaring war on Venezuela to your own home. Unlike an earlier game Bono was involved with ("unwittingly" Buscombe would no doubt rush in to say), Mercenaries 2 World In Flames does not appear to have been financed with either US Defense Department money or CIA money. While Buscombe provides Bono with so much cover he's practically spooning him, Wednesday's
KPFA Evening News provided a more in depth look at the "rock star" and his business. Though quite happy to put out videogames where one gets to attack Iraq or, now, Venezuela, Bono infamously told Jann Wenner, for the November 3, 2005 issue of Rolling Stone, that he didn't feel he could "campaign" against the illegal war in Iraq. Though he may suffer from "War Got Your Tongue?" that doesn't prevent him from profitting.
*Note: Thanks to
Ruth for passing on both Mitch Jeserich items.

Why am I blogging? Most will know already! Bono.


He's Scott Stapes with less depth. (Yes, that was intended as an insult.)

When the Wall St. Journal is praising your business instinct (which is basically preying upon the misfortunes of others musicians, as Bono himself admitted), you're really not about the music and Bono hasn't been about the music for some time.

Now he's in bed with a company that's not just on the verge of releasing a video "game" about war on Venezuela, he's also in bed with a company that took money from the Defense Dept and the CIA to manufacture a training video game for . . . Iraq.

Does it get any more disgusting?

If you missed The KPFA Evening News segment Wednesday, here's my synopsis of it.

Mark set up the segment with this: "Pro-Venezuelan groups have come out against a new US video game of mercanaries waging war in Venezuela for its oils resources. Activists say the video game fuels the anti- Hugo Chavez sentiment and may influence young men to join the military. Activists are also calling on a major investor, U2's Bono, to block the game's release on the market."

The reporter then explained, "The video game, Mercenaries 2 World In Flames, depicts mercanaries waging a coup d'etat on the Venezuelan government and taking over its oil resources. The game shows a White mercenary waging warfare in the black and brown cities of Venezuela."

Gunnar Gundersen (of the Venezuelan Solidarity Network) said of the game, "It's a piece of propaganda first of all trying to use a lot of stereotypical images to undermine the image of Venezuela in general and in particular to sort of demonize the current government of Venezuela and the president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez through this game and a sense to desentistize a segment of the public . . . that it's okay to go and invade . . .

He's talking about the video "game" -- Bono's Elevation ponied up 300 million to go into business with Pandemic Studios. I've thought Bono was an idiot doing long term damage (getting behind Bully Boy's AIDS 'education' which never delivers the promised monies but, in the meantime makes sure to do long term damage by confusing the issues of transmission and prevention).

But this even surprised me.

Not only is our prig of peace supporting war on Venezuela, he's also gone into business with someone who has contracted with the CIA and the Defense Dept. That's just disgusting.

As Gunnersen said, "To create a videogame where we go invade yet another country to take over its oil at this time is just reprehensible. . . . And for somebody who associates themselves with humanitarian efforts . . . and peace . . .. . . for Bono to be associated with it is even more reprehensible."

I'd add that it's reprehensible that three years into an illegal war he wants to give 'hints' that he is opposed to it but refuses to say that directly because of his lame ass charity. He's been hobknobbing with Republicans so long that he's forgotten who his audience was. No one's fault but his own. I love it when he foolishly 'explains' the United States (which he always seems to call "America" -- rather strange for someone who should be aware of the various Americas). From his tour bus, he's diagnosed or ills. It's no surprise that his snap-diagnosis would lead to a treatment requiring him to get in bed with Republicans.

He's just disgusting and embarrassing now. Hopefully, there will be enough shaming of him to stop the release of what's likely more CIA and Defense Dept "games." But I fear he's so far gone that he lacks shame these days.

My thoughts for tonight. Check out Sunny's ""Substituting for Elaine."
Bono's publicist did not return KPFA's calls by airtime.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ani DiFranco, Carly Simon, Guns & Butter

First things first. Ani DiFranco has a new studio album, Reprieve, ready and it will be released on August 8th. You can listen to "Hypnotized" here and you can see video for "Half-Assed" here.

If this were in a review at The Common Ills or in a discussion at The Third Estate Sunday Review, I would feel that's all I needed to say but I'm not sure how much I've covered Ani here.
If you're not familiar with the name, here are some of the lyrics to a song that you hear and think: "Great song!"; then a year or so later, you think: "Amazing song." It's called "Both Hands:"

i am writing
graffiti on your body
i am drawing the story
of how hard we tried
i am watching your chest rise and fall
like the tides of my life
and the rest of it all
your bones have been my bed frame
and your flesh has been my pillow
i've been waiting for sleep
to offer up the deep with both hands

On KPFA, today at one p.m., the latest Guns and Butter aired their latest program. Bonnie interviewed Percy Schmeiser (this was part one, part two airs next Wednesday) about his battles with Monsanto, the copyright abuses (my term) of big corporations and more. Schmeiser is the former mayor of Bruno (a town in Canada) where he has a farm. He grew crops there. You'd think no problem, right? Along comes Monsanto.

They say that his plants/seeds contain their copyrighted genetics. Big, long court case.

Percy didn't purchase Monsanto seeds. He also didn't go looking for them. (Something Monsanto can't claim since it apparently regularly trolls around private property in hopes of discovering some.) Blown in by the wind or falling off a truck, it ended up in a ditch on Percy's property. You should listen to the interview and if you missed it today and don't have time to visit the archives at , what I've told you should be enough to get you ready for part II next week.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:

Violence and chaos continue. Monday on KPFA's Flashpoints, Dahr Jamail told Nora Barrows-Friedman, "It really is horrible to try to keep in context the level of violence . . . Here we are doing it again with no end in sight and I wonder just how long we'll continue doing it? . . . Things are not just staying the same in Iraq, it's getting exponentially worse."
How long before the mainstream press admits that?
In kidnapping news, Raad al-Harith and his body guards have been released. al-Harith is the deputy electricity minister in Iraq who
was kidnapped Tuesday. The AFP reports that, "after being held for 10 hour," the bodyguards and al-Hareth were released but that is not the case with regards to Taiseer Najeh Awad al-Mashhadni who was kidnapped Saturday. al-Mashhadani's kidnappers, the AFP reports, "issued demands including special protection for Shiite places" and "called for the release of detainees in US custody and a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops".
Both al-Harith and al-Mashhadni were kidnapped in Baghdad. Remember Baghdad? The "crackdown"? The press seems to have largely forgotten it. As the
AFP notes regarding the continued bombings in Baghdad: "The series of blasts come despite an ongoing security plan that has put some 50,000 Iraqi soldiers and police, backed by US forces on the streets."
Basra, which was also placed under a state of emergency also appears largely forgotten.
Nancy A. Youssef (McClatchy Newspapers) reports: "The state of emergency ended Saturday, but residents said that little had changed: Shiite militias and tribes still control the city's streets, political factions still fight for control of the city, and Shiite Muslim militias still threaten Sunni Muslims with death. Morgue officials report that the number of people killed in sectarian violence remains unchanged."
Baghdad? The
BBC reports that a car bomb near a mosque resulted in at least six dead and at least 17 wounded. AFP notes a bomb "outside a restaurant . . . noteworthy for the massive banners praising Shiite martyrs it displayed" that killed at least one and wounded at least seven as well as another bomb that went off in a market and wounded at least ten peopole. Reuters notes a car bomb in Kirkuk that left three wounded and a roadside bomb that left two wounded. In Mosul, AFP reports, a police officer and a civilian lost their lives when a car bomb exploded (at least four other people were wounded).
Near Kirkuk,
AFP reports, "a headless male corpse" was discovered. Reuters reports the discovery of two corpses in Kerbala. AP notes the discovery of a corpse ("shot in the head) in Baghdad.
Shooting deaths?
AFP reports a Kurd was killed while driving his car in Kirkuk. In Mosul, Reuters counts four dead from gun shots. In Baghdad, AP reports that a drive by targeted a Shi-ite family, "killing a 12-year-old boy and wounding his brother and two other relatives."
Reuters reports that the central morgue in Baghdad places the body count for June at 1,595. Abdul Razzaq al-Obaidi states: "June is the highest month in terms of receiving cases of violence since" the Februrary 22nd bombing of the Golden Mosque.
To underscore, the waves of Operation Happy Talk that the peace plan/scam was a 'turning point,' that the death of Zarqawi/"Zarqawi" was a 'turning point,' go down the list -- there has been no 'turning point.'
On Tuesday, Iraq's justice minister Hashim Abdul-Rahman al-Shebli made a call for an independent investigation into the alleged rape of an under-age Iraqi female as well as her alleged murder and that of three of her family members. Today, the Associated Press reports, Nouri al-Maliki (Iraq prime minister and puppet of the illegal occupation) is following al-Shebi's call for an independent investigation. Canada's CBC notes that today was the first time he spoke publicly on the matter . This despite the fact that Green was arrested Friday (news broke on Monday) and the US announced the investigation on Friday. Though various reports mention the alleged involvement of others, thus far only Steven D. Green has been charged. Today on KPFA's The Morning Show, Sandra Lupien noted that the military has gone from referring to Green having an alleged "personality disorder" to his having an "anti-social personality disorder." Lebanon's The Daily Star reports that Safiyya al-Suhail and Ayda al-Sharif (both serve in Iraq's parliament, both are women) are asserting that al-Maliki needs to appear before parliament "to give assurances the US troops would be punished."

Saw this on Yahoo:

Press Release
Source: Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings
Carly Simon Sings Modern Classics - From Cat Stevens to Antonio Carlos Jobim - On New Album, 'Into White'
Wednesday July 5, 5:00 am ET
Grammy & Oscar Winning Performer Releases New Collection of Best-Loved Songs & Lullabies for All Ages
'Into White' In Stores Tuesday, October 24
NEW YORK, July 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Records announces the release of Into White, a new collection of beloved pop standards and touching traditional lullabies performed by the Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy winning singer and composer Carly Simon.
The quintessential performer follows up Moonlight Serenade, her 2005 best-selling collection of pop music standards, with Into White, a soothing return to her primary musical roots, a pure and evocative showcase of best-loved songs, old and new, performed in the trademark dusky vocal style that's unmistakably Carly.
Taking its title from a wistful Cat Stevens song from the legendary 70's singer/songwriter's Tea For The Tillerman album, Into White conjures a series of dreamy gentle moods in a collection of unforgettable tunes drawn from a variety of sources including Cat Stevens ("Into White"), Judy Garland ("Over The Rainbow"), the Everly Brothers ("All I Have To Do Is Dream"/"Devoted To You"), The Beatles ("Blackbird"), Harry Belafonte ("Jamaica Farewell"), James Taylor ("You Can Close Your Eyes"), Stephen Foster, the 19th century father of American song ("Oh! Susanna"), and Gaelic traditional folk airs ("Hush Little Baby"/"My Bonnie," "I Gave My Love a Cherry [The Riddle Song]," "Scarborough Fair").
Carly rounds out the album with a pair of new self-penned compositions: "Love of My Life," and "Quiet Evening."
Produced by Carly Simon & Jimmy Parr (who worked on Carly's seasonal collection, Christmas Is Almost Here), the songs on Into White are performed by a small intimate ensemble including Teese Gohl (who also arranged strings on the album) on keyboards, synths, kalimba and flute; Peter Calo on guitar and dobro; Jan Hyer on cello; David Saw on guitar; and Jimmy Parr on percussion, kalimba and heartbeat.
Sally Taylor and Ben Taylor (each an accomplished songwriter and performer in her/his own right) join their mother on a familial rendition of James Taylor's "You Can Close Your Eyes," from 1971's Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. Ben Taylor contributes vocals to several other songs on Into White including an enchanting new version of "Devoted To You," the Everly Brothers classic Carly first covered in 1978 with then-husband and frequent singing partner James Taylor on her best-selling Boys In The Trees album.
In addition to her legendary status as one of America's definitive female singer/songwriters -- having penned such classic pop songs as "You're So Vain," "Anticipation," and "Let The River Run" -- Carly has also authored several award-winning children's books beginning with the best-seller "Amy The Dancing Bear" in 1989 and including "The Boy of the Bells" (1990), "The Fisherman's Song" (1990), "Nighttime Chauffeur" (1993), and "Midnight Farm" (1997).
From her sly version of "Itsy Bitsy Spider" in the soundtrack to Nora Ephron's "Heartburn" (1987) to her songs in the Disney Winnie the Pooh films, "Piglet's Big Movie" (2003) and "Pooh's Heffalump Movie" (2005), Carly Simon has shown an uncanny ability to connect with audiences of all ages.
Into White is executive produced by Jay Landers, who first worked with Carly on "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry"/"In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning," her duet with Frank Sinatra on Ol' Blue Eyes' 1993 Grammy winning Duets album. Landers -- who has supervised records with Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Celine Dion and many others -- provided musical supervision for numerous original cast recordings and soundtracks including "Miss Saigon," "Carousel," "A League of Our Own," "Remember the Titans" and others. He has also worked on a number of children's recordings including Disney's Lullaby Album and the Grammy winning "Woody's Roundup" from Disney/Pixar's "Toy Story 2."
Carly Simon - "Into White" - track listing
Oh! Susanna (written by Stephen Foster)
All I Have To Do Is Dream/Devoted To You (written by Felice & Boudleaux Bryant)
Into White (written by Cat Stevens)
Over The Rainbow (written by Harold Arlen & E.Y. Harburg)
Hush Little Baby/My Bonnie (traditional, arranged by Carly Simon)
I Gave My Love a Cherry (The Riddle Song) (traditional, arranged by Carly Simon)
Blackbird (written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney)
You Can Close Your Eyes (written by James Taylor)
Jamaica Farewell/You Are My Sunshine (written by Lord Burgess/written by Jimmie Davis & Charles Mitchell)
Manha de Carnaval (from Black Orpheus) (written by Luiz Bonfa & Antonio Maria)
Scarborough Fair (traditional, arranged by Carly Simon)
Love of My Life (written by Carly Simon)
Quiet Evening (written by Carly Simon & David Saw)
Source: Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I read the news today, oh boy

Iraq snapshot

Chaos and violence continue. As Dahr Jamail said on Monday's Flashpoints, "It really is horrible to try to keep in context the level of violence . . . Here we are doing it again with no end in sight and I wonder just how long we'll continue doing it? . . . Things are not just staying the same in Iraq, it's getting exponentially worse."

As Sandra Lupien noted on yesterday's KPFA's The Morning Show, former US soldier Steven D. Green was arrested and charged Friday with raping an Iraqi female while he was serving in Iraq and then killing her and three members of her family. The twenty-one-year-old Green was a member of the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army before being discharged with what The New York Times termed a "personality disorder." The BBC notes that Green's next appearance in court will be July 10th. Various press reports note that four others are suspected of involvement but Green has been the only one charged. The Associated Press reports that Minister Hashim Abdul-Rahman al-Shebli, Iraq's justice minister, has "demanded" that the United Nations provide oversight to ensure that those guilty be brought to justice.

Though the United States military has maintained that the rape victime was at least twenty-years-old, reports beginning with Ellen Knickmeyer's (Washington Post) on Monday have placed the female's age much lower. Yesterday, Reuters reported that the mayor of Mahmudiya declared today that the woman "was no more than 16 years old when she was killed along with her parents and young sister".

In the United States, members of CODEPINK, Granny Peace Brigade, Gold Star Families for Peace, United for Peace & Justice and Women for Peace have gathered in DC and are fasting: "While many Americans will be expressing their patriotism via barbeques and fireworks, we'll be fasting in memory of the dead and wounded, and calling for the troops to come home from Iraq."

Yesterday, they gathered in front of the Ghandi statue at 3:00 PM where Cindy Sheehan spoke: "This war is a crime. We represent millions of Americans who withdraw their support from this government." Others participating include Daniel Ellsberg, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn and Dick Gregory. On yesterday's WBAI's Cat Radio Cafe, Janet Coleman spoke with several members of Granny Peace Brigade about the fast and other actions. Among the women Coleman spoke with was former WBAI programmer Vinnie Burrows who sang a portion of one her songs: "The kids are dying far away in a foreign land/ I must keep on trying, their lives are in our hands."

In Scotland last weekend, members of Military Always Delivers (an activist group like the Billionaires for Bush in the United States) participated in a pro-war march and rally on Saturday. Scotland Independent Media Center reports (text and photos) that many pro-war marches were not in on the prank as members of MAD shouted slogans such as "Cut Welfare, Buy More Bombs!"; "War is the Health of the State"; and "Power Grows out of the Barrel of a Gun" while passing out "deception dollars."

Today, in Iraq, Reuters reports that Raad al-Harith, Iraq's deputy electricity minister, and 19 of his bodyguards were kidnapped in Baghdad. In other violence thus far today, a roadside bomb in Baghdad claimed the lives of at least two police officers and wounded at least four; in Hawija, a mortar attack claimed the lives of at least one and wounded at least two others; and, in Falluja, "[g]unmen wounded a member of the Association of Muslim Scholars."

An upcoming event: Brava Theater, 2789 24th Street, San Francisco, Friday, July 7th, 7:00 pm. (415-647-2822) Mark Manning will be screening his film Caught in the Crossfire for those interested in knowing the realities on Falluja that Dexy and the other Green Zoners never got around to telling you. Nadia McCaffrey, who lost her son in the Iraq war, will bespeaking as will Dahr Jamail.

To date 2538 American troops have lost their lives in Iraq (official count). And 150 members ofAlpha Company of the 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry are headed for Fort Dix and then Iraq.

Around the globe. The AFP reports that confronted with a direct threat of nuclear strikes, from North Korea, the White House shrugs and White House spokesmodel Tony Snow declares, "It is still deeply hypothetical." However, the Bully Boy demonstrates no reluctance to play Wallflower with Iran. The Associated Press reports "Western powers" are demanding a July 12th dealine for beginning talks and ceasing nuclear enrichment -- after that, it's a nuclear dance off! This despite Seymour Hersh's reporting that "Pentagon planners and other experts" are not in support of Bully Boy's plan to nuke Iran. Korea? Iran? Iran? Korea? Michael R. Gordon's head spins as he attempts to figure out which war is a "go" in order to start marketing his own brand of home-made (war) porn. (Seymour and Shane -- what have you wrought!) And in the occupied terroritories? The 'jokesters' at the Associated Press, reporting on continued armed agression, dub their story "Israel keeps up pressure on Gaza." In the real world, Nora Barrows-Friedman, on KPFA's Flashpoints, noted that over 130,000 Palestinians have been left without water; that sonic booms are being used to terrorize the population throughout the night; that Israeli forces, in the last week, have abducted " one-third of the Palestinian government. No one in the international community has yet expressed any outrage at this or the Palestinian political prisoner's conditions."

In election news in the United States, Robert Parry writes on the campaign "tool" that benefitted the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004: Osama bin Laden's rush-released video timed to debut four days prior to the election. Though it didn't fly off the shelves at Blockbuster, CIA analysts studying the release came to the judgement that "that bin-Laden was trying to help Bush gain a second term." Meanwhile, professional politician Joe Lieberman, who never met a baby or an ass he couldn't kiss, has thrown down his Zell-Miller-like marker announcing that if he doesn't win his party's nomination (Democratic), he will run as an independent to hold on to his Senate seat. Particularly surprising to Lieberman may be no cries of: "Say it ain't so, Joe!" This as fellow Democratic War Hawk Maria Cantwell appears to hope she can just wish the war away from constituents' minds. In contrast to Cantwell's fiddle-dee-dee approach, newly declared Democrat Jim Webb stated in Saturday's Democratic radio address: ""I have believed strongly that when things aren't working well, it is the responsibility of our leaders to admit it, and to fix the problem. Some say that speaking out against a war is disloyal to the troops. Whoever says that should consider what it's like to be a troop, wishing someone would speak the truth."

In other election news: Que una sorpresa -- another election in Mexico is rife with accusations of fraud and rigging. Possibly, next time an election approaches, US media outlets could spend less time shoring up the lite candidate as "left" and more time exploring the system that continues to fail the people? (We mean the system itself, but if it's easier to focus on the voting mechanics, even that would be preferred.) The BBC reports that conservative Felipe Calderon is the winner and the less conservative Manuel Lopez Obrador is waiting for a recount while the people of Mexico wait for a real leader to emerge. (The actual count of the votes will not begin until Wednesday, as noted by the KPFA Evening News Monday.)

In science & techonology news, the London Free Press is reporting that: "A huge asteroid whizzed by Earth early yesterday, passing about 433,000 kilometres from the planet's surface -- slightly farther away than the moon." Meanwhile, Jane Kay (San Franciso Chronicle) reports on a new study published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Science which has found the world's bird population to be disappearing at an alarming rate: "The study, the most thorough analysis of global bird species, says 12 percent of existing species -- about 1,250 -- are threatened with extinction by 2100." La loco bird flies on the op-ed pages of the Washington Post where the always laughable Eugene Robinson shows up days late, without a tardy slip, and rushes to shore up the justifiably (long) tarnished image of Star Jones (a modern-day Joan of Arc burned at the TVQ pyre, to hear Robinson tell it) in a column that will provide laughter for years (print it up, it's doubtful the 'collected works' will ever be published). The always late for the train Robison trots out a seventies spoof of Barbara Walters but seems (not surprisingly) unaware that Star Jones has been spoofed repeatedly in more recent years on both Saturday Night Live and Mad TV. For the record, roaches weren't used in any spoof revolving around Walters. Alleged homophobe, peace-activist hater, and attorney Jones will apparently next argue the case that her firing from The View just because the audiences hated her was a case of wrongful termination at I-Hops and truck stops across the country. Chances are that she won't draw a crowd there either. Meanwhile Robinson is prepping his next hard hitting column: an exploration of Shannen Doherty's public firings. [Note: C.I. participated in the writing of the previous six sentences only after consulting with friends at the Washington Post.] In a better use of space, investigative journalist and internet sleuth Ron Byrnaert discovers that a certain Free Republic poster is apparently better known to many as a voice of the left or 'left.' Ron (Why Are We Back In Iraq?) searches for the answer to the question of "Who is Vis Numar?"

Monday's Democracy Now! offered "We Shall Overcome: An Hour With Legendary Folk Singer & Activist Pete Seeger" while today's broadcast will feature:

StoryCorps: A national social history project records the voices of ordinary people -- citizen and non-citizen, old and young -- telling their stories to each other.

Musical question of the day from Carly Simon's "Playing Possum" (written by Simon, title track to the CD of the same name):

We lived up in Cambridge
And browsed in the hippest newstands
Then we started our own newspaper
Gave the truth about Uncle Sam
We loved to be so radical
But like a rugged love affair
Some became disenchanted
And some of us just got scared
Now are you playing possum
Keeping a low profile
Are you playing possum for a while?

This joint entry written by The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz; Wally of The Daily Jot; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; and Ruth of Ruth's Public Radio Report. [With additional help from Dallas and Tracey.]