OK




Good Morning!




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Canterbury Bells. Campanula medium (pink form)
Longwood Gardens. May, 2013.  Photo by: joanneleon

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Canterbury Bells. Campanula medium (pink form)
Longwood Gardens. May, 2013.  Photo by: joanneleon



Tunes



Elton John - Poscards From Richard Nixon (Basel 2006)

David Bowie Young Americans Live Dick Cavett Show 1974



News & Opinion


Last night's book signing and talk by Jeremy Scahill for his book, Dirty Wars, at the Philadelphia Free Library.  It was a packed house and an excellent talk.  I've already started reading the book on Kindle but I'm glad to have a signed hard copy by the person who I think is the best investigative journalist war correspondent of our times.   Scahill is one of a rare breed nowadays, and I think we should all go out of our way to give him as much support as humanly possible.  He had a ton of support last night in an audience that appeared to be diverse in many ways, certainly in age.  And the audience definitely "gets it". This was very encouraging.  

I'd say that there were at least several hundred people there.  The auditorium was packed and as the start time grew closer, even the single seats were filling up and there were people standing all across the back of the room.  There seemed to be more men than women, but not by a lot, and based on the haircuts, I think there were a lot of veterans there.  I saw a lot of younger people.  A member of Grannies for Peace was there handing out small flyers about the drone testing that is planned for a nearby air base in Horsham, PA.  There were many older couples too, like us.  But the audience was so varied that it was impossible to categorize it.  the talk was excellent and he was interrupted many times with applause and received a standing ovation at the end.  

Audience participation was high during the Q&A time at the end, with many hands in the air each time there was an opportunity.  One young man complimented Scahill and then said he'd like to correct him on one thing.  I'm paraphrasing: "On one thing you're wrong.  I didn't do those drone strikes and I'm not killing civilians in the Middle East." Scahill had earlier argued that we are all complicit because it's our elected government doing this, it's our tax money paying for it, etc.  Scahill argued back asking the man if he was a tax resister.  The audience agreed with Scahill but sympathized with the young man, since none of us wants to be a participant in these killings.  The young man turned around and showed the audience the white letters on the front of his black t-shirt and it said "I'm not a terrorist".  Given that he said "Hi Dustin" (presumably referring to @DustinSlaughter) at the beginning of his question, I suspect he was from Occupy Philly.  Scahill wrapped up the friendly exchange by saying that until we persuade Americans that they are indeed complicit in these dirty wars, we won't get anywhere.  

That was one of my big takeaways from the talk.  If we want to effect change, we need tto inform and persuade people about what is going on.  The other takeaway was that we need to tell the stories of the victims. We know that many many Americans have empathy and as Scahill said, we're at our best when trying to help others deal with their disasters and tragedies.  If more Americans knew the stories of the people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc., and if they got to know them as people, not just vague "collateral damage", things would change.

Another takeaway was that Scahill said he has dedicated the book to journalists who have been imprisoned or have lost their lives for telling the truth.  While our fourth estate media, corporate media, has failed us in a major way, there are still a lot of great journalists out there in alternative media outlets, or as individual citizen journalists, and we have to seek them out and give them our support and also, join them.  Join them.  Scahill emphasized several times that calling out monsters like Bush and Cheney was easy but calling out a popular Democratic, constitutional lawyer, Nobel Peace Prize winning president is not, and dissent will never be easy, and that's what we need to be doing.

Many thanks to KBO for taking me there even though neither of us was in particularly good shape last night and it was a bit of a hardship.  Okay, now that I've spent a lot of time writing all of that and posting the photos, I don't have much time to add news and opinion excerpts and I have to make lunches!  Hope you don't mind.

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Glenn Greenwald on Sam Seder's show yesterday.
5/21 Glenn Greenwald: The Obama Administration’s War On Press Freedom



Action


Kevin Gosztola soliciting funds to help continue his excellent and tireless reporting on the Manning trial.  Remember, he was virtually the only one reporting on it at times.  I hope he is well funded for the court martial trial.  He deserves a Pulitzer for his journalism on this.  It will be interesting to see if the media does a turnaround on Manning and Assange now that they have had their epiphany and a taste of the whistleblower witch hunt.  But unlike the MSM, Kevin needs the funding from his readers to keep going.  Without Kevin and some others like Alexa O'Brien, the government would have succeeded in keeping most of the Manning situation in the dark.

To Those Who Have Supported My Coverage of Bradley Manning’s Court Martial (So Far)

Every dollar donated to help fund coverage of Bradley Manning has helped transform me into a foremost journalist on one of the biggest cases in military justice history.

Every post of mine shared on Facebook or Twitter has helped amplify critical coverage that is keeping the world informed of how the government is prosecuting Manning as if he is a traitor that aided terrorists.
[...]
I hope you will keep sharing my reporting with family, friends or those in your social network, and, when possible, make donations so I can remain a fixture in the press pool at Meade and keep up my coverage of the Manning case.

With gratitude,

Kevin Gosztola
Firedoglake.com Journalist



Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest


Evening Blues
Cement domes - Shelter from the storm by BOHICA
Developing a voice by rserven
The Carbon Bomb & Industry Doublespeak by Agathena
Stuff That Really Matters™☮ ♥ ☺ by Words in Action
The Daily Show/The Colbert Report (2 of 4) by ek hornbeck




More Tunes



Lamont Dozier - Fish Ain't Bitin'

Nixon's The One (1968) - Classic Campaign Ad

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