Friday, June 23, 2006

Miami Heat

Got caught up in CNN's coverage of last night's raid on a poor section of Miami and the arrest of seven would-be "terrorists". For three hours I watched (and listened closely) as various reporters on the ground, pundits, experts and politicians tried to fill hours of air time with little or no information.

After years of being a news junkie, my first prayer was: "Oh God, please don't let them be Muslim or Arab or Black." Don't think He heard me. But as the evening unfolded on CNN, I watched the case unfold as well.

A reporter on the ground was asked to describe the neighborhood and he obliged with: "Well, it's lower cla... I mean, lower income." That was a brilliant start!

Another pundit was asked to speculate about the seven men arrested and he obliged with: "They may be Nation of Islam or Black Muslims or Black Separatists or Black Panthers or Five Percenters." (My God, does he even understand what a Five Percenter is?)

And within an hour it was pretty clear from the coverage (and lack of information) that this would be a case of "conspiracy" trussed up by an "undercover informant/agent" and that the whole thing smacked of entrapment.

My instincts aren't bad. Today's four separate news conferences outlining the four "conspiracy charges" against the seven alleged terror suspects reinforced my initial reaction that this would probably fall apart on grounds of entrapment.

Unfortunately, the damage has been done to both American Muslims and Blacks, immigrants and Haitians. Tonight's press release from CAIR (the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations) requesting that " professionals not to refer to the seven terror suspects arrested in Miami as 'Muslims'" came 24 hours too late. As the story continues to unfold and more is learned of "The Seas of David", CNN (and every other major news outlet) had carried the water for the Bush Regime, once again.

The more important story of today's revelation about a secret government program to track global bank transfers was buried. And the image of "Home-Grown" Muslim Terrorists "conspiring with Al-Qaeda" in the Miami Heat is what everyone will remember.

V-Day and Iraq: an Analogy

As part of Granny Franny's Unified Theory of Everything, I've been pondering V-Day, Wednesday's call for awareness of and action to prevent violence against women.

I've come up with a rather strange analogy and, please bear with me, it may or may not make sense. But I feel compelled to post it anyway.

Iraq is a woman abused

Iraq is a woman raped, plundered and battered, then impregnated by her abuser (a cop) with a myriad of unruly children which she can not control. Her only option is to marry her abuser and now, three and a half years on, she sees no way out of a bad, very bad situation.

Like most abused women, she has been divested of any funds or resources, her attempts to rid herself of her abuser have gone awry, and with each passing day, the situation grows more dire. The children (read various militias) are totally out of control. She looks to her abuser for everything from shelter to food to keeping the lights on. And it's simply not working. Yet she sees no way out of the situation as she continues to give birth to even more unruly children, some of whom she doesn't even recognize.

The rescue options available to most abused women -- family, friends, cousins, siblings (read Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran and Turkey) -- have been demonized and/or frightened by both the situation and the abuser into ignoring her plight. Her only other option (without actually sticking a knife into her abuser in his sleep and setting the bed on fire) is to appeal to the authorities (read UN), but they, too, are powerless to help her as her abuser is part of that authority, i.e., he is a cop.

Cut and Run

We've heard all these stories before about abused women and why they stay with their abusers. And, lately, we've heard a hell of a lot against what is being called "cut and run". In this case, the abuser has no desire to cut and run. Why should he? He's got it made. But perhaps Iraq can do it for herself, with some help from the progressive left and the worldwide antiwar movement.

Here the analogy starts to fall apart; Iraq can't really leave Iraq, although her best and brightest have been doing so for the last three years.

But if enough people, through various NGOs, pledge their support, perhaps it makes sense for the woman to demand a divorce, push the abuser out the door and then call in the therapists, the professionals, and the neighbors to help heal the unruly children, clean the place up, bring in a few groceries and help her get a fresh start.

Somehow we're going to have to act or the abuser will simply move next door (Syria or Iran) and repeat the same pattern with his next victim. And we'll have even more broken households, battered women and unruly children to deal with. We need to stop this abuser in his tracks, now.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." (Janis Joplin)

Can there be freedom under occupation? All I'm seeing is more civil war, more atrocities, more 'collateral damage' and more Press, Pentagon and Washington spin while Congress debates the "important" issues like preventing those dangerous gays from marrying, keeping angry protesters from burning the red-white-and blue and making sure that the wealthiest 2% get yet another tax break (the so-called Death Tax -- Orwellian-speak for the estate tax that the 2% didn't pay before they were taken up by the Rapture). Somehow, this is supposed to create more jobs for white Americans, help small businesses, keep our borders safe from small brown people and help pay for the War on Terror.

While wasting time and treasure on the above, there's little chance Congress will get around to the growing debt, rising oil prices, falling stock market, fixing the levies, discovering who (or rather how many) leaked the identity of Joe Wilson's wife to Robert Novak, or any of the other issues which are not quite so "sexy" but are matters of life and death to folks like you and me and the folks on both sides in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And, by the way, am I the only one who heard what Bush said during the Bush/Blair (Eng/Cheng) prime time joint news conference just before he disclosed the one or two "mistakes" he had made in the last five years? Didn't I hear him use the phrase "Islamic Fascists"? Like nails on a blackboard, if Bush gets off script he's likely to say what he really thinks as opposed to what his minders have coached him to say. Ooops ...

Angry? Who me? I'm just exercising one of my constitutional rights while I still have any and there still is one (constitution).