Wednesday, January 24, 2007

When it rains it pours

When it rains, it pours
And there's no one at the door

That's from Stevie Nicks' "One More Rock And Roll Star" which was the flipside of "Talk To Me" (single) and is on Enchanted (boxed set). I couldn't remember the title but it's been in my head all evening. C.I. told me the title a second ago on the phone and also told me, "Go check into a hotel."

Besides computer issues, which I'll get to in a moment, I'm also without power except in the kitchen. I guess a fuse blew. I flipped the breakers over and over and finally, the power in the kitchen came on. That's it. So it will be fun putting on make up tomorrow morning.

I could get a hotel room but I'm just not in the mood to put on my high heels or even a pair of flats. I've got candles and will use those. I've set the alarm on my cell phone so I should wake up on time. But applying make up will be interesting tomorrow morning. I've got . . . I don't know what I've got. When I bought my place, I didn't have time to decorate and I hired a decorator. I've got thick glass in the bathroom that's green. I wasn't "in love" with it but it is nice. But I'm thinking now that I won't even have sunlight tomorrow when I'm putting on my make up. I will have a dim green light.

Rebecca (Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude -- use links on my blogroll) lives for decorating. I just wanted it done and done by someone else. I thought I was agreeing to a stained glass window in the bathroom, and maybe that's what it is, but I was picturing little bits of different colors when I agreed to it.

C.I. said it's probably a fuse and wondered if someone would come out if I was willing to pay big? I am willing to pay anything but tomorrow. I don't want to see anyone, I don't want to put on any shoes. I'm in my sweat pants, wearing a CODEPINK t-shirt and have my hair pulled back in a pony tail. I'm just not in the mood to see anyone tonight.

It was a busy day because I'm trying to take care of several things at once at work (because I'll be taking Friday off to be in DC this weekend).

My plan was to come home, eat some wild rice while blogging and read a few chapters of Frances Moore Lappe's Democracy's Edge which Trina (see Trina's Kitchen) and C.I. (The Common Ills, but I'm guessing you knew that) can't stop singing the praises of. By the way, no italics. Mike said they don't work. I'll get to that.

I don't believe it. There was someone at the front door. It was an electrician. C.I. made some calls. I can't believe that. I'm not complaining. I just can't believe C.I., who doesn't live on the east coast, could find an electrician who would come out tonight in my area. He greeted me with, "You don't look bad."

I asked, "Who are you?" He said C.I. called and he asked where the fuse box is and went off with a flashlight. (Thank you, C.I. if you read this before I speak to you on the phone.) Ten more minutes and my rice is done. The electricity's being fixed (fingers crossed), the day's finally looking up.

So, the other thing on my "things to do list" was install the new version of Windows Explorer. I had a message pop up about that on Monday. I asked Mike and Rebecca if they were using it and they weren't so we all agreed we'd install on Wednesday and talk each other through while using it if it was hugely different from the previous version.

We weren't able to. We did install it. And it does nothing. I use Explorer as my browser. They use something else, or at least Mike does. What happened to all three of us is that the page tries to connect and tries to connect and . . . It nevver does. You can't do anything with it.

This is so hilarious: "Updates are ready for your computer." That just popped up. Like I would install more after the problems with Explorer.

So we tried playing with it and nothing. If it ever pulls up, I hope there's a thing for bookmarks. It doesn't look like there will be and, if not, I just lost all my sites I check. Whine on, Elaine, whine on.

So I'm blogging thanks to Mike who e-mailed my outlook account with a link to a Browser he never uses and I can see why. If you hit return (really "Enter" but I learned to type on a typewriter -- I am that old), you get kicked out of the posting screen. You also can't do italics. You can bold. I have one screen and one screen only which is why I'm writing things like "Trina (see Trina's Kitchen on my blogroll)" -- I can't do links with only one screen.

So it's just been a tiring night and then some. I had told C.I. on the phone that I was just going to sleep on the couch tonight. There's a huge window in the living room and I could open the drapes and it wouldn't be pitch black. I'm not big on sleeping with candles burning and I don't get as much light (sun or moon) in my bedroom. I said, "All I want to do is see if I can blog and just curl up on the couch." I'm sure I sounded both tired and pathetic. (If I'm lucky, I just sounded tired.)

C.I. said, "It is too cold for you to sleep in a room without heat." I said I'd just use extra blankets. I would have too but (fingers crossed) it will be nice to have heat instead. (In the kitchen, I've had the front burners on low, while cooking the rice on a back burner, to warm the kitchen up.) I remember in college when we all smoked -- Rebecca, C.I. and I. If we were out matches or the lighters were dead, we'd light off one of the stove's burners. Rebecca ended up with bangs one semester after she wasn't paying attention and caught some of her hair on fire. The message is don't smoke! I am joking. I quite smoking years and years ago, about four or five after college. But I don't have any problem with smokers. I'm not one of those people who does a fake cough when someone smokes. Dona smokes and it would be better if she didn't but she's an adult and she knows that. I'm never bothered when she smokes around me except during the editions of The Third Estate Sunday Review when we're all togehter because if it goes over thirty minutes, I need to open a window. That's not griping about Dona. I know she stresses out and cares about the time more than anyone (in terms of "Readers are going to be looking for content! We've got to post!") and I remember my stressful days in college. But by those last hours if it runs long, you need the windows open.

(For anyone who's missed it, Rebecca's pregnant. Until she found out she was pregnant, she was smoking. She's the only person I know who can start and stop in the snap of a finger. She really can turn it off like that. She has repeatedly.)

I had thought I would talk about the new issue of Ms. that came out this week (Winter 2007 edition). But it's not in my briefcase. I may have had it in my hands when I walked in. If so, it's somewhere in the dark. Two articles that stood out were on Afghanistan and Iran. In Iran, there's a woman who does a feminist publication in Iran. I'll try to talk about both articles either Friday or next week (unless we grab it at The Third Estate Sunday Review). I don't feel up to discussing it if I can't even get names to put it. (I have one screen and one screen only. Tab browsing is not an option in the browser Mike sent.)

Rebecca sent me an article (without a link, thanks Rebecca!) from the New York Times entitled "Libby Defense Portrays Client As a Scapegoat" by Neil A. Lewis. If I don't have Rory O'Connor on my blogroll, Mike does. Rory O'Conner (part of is blogging on the Scooter Libby trial. The Lewis article (from today's paper) addresses the claim made in court by Scooter's lawyer (Theodore V. Wells Jr.) that Libby was scapegoated.

The claim is that, to protect Karl Rove, Libby was made the scapegoat. Do you buy that? I don't know if I buy it or not myself. But I think this trial could get interesting. Sunny and I were discussing it today. (I believe it's a headline on today's Democracy Now!) Sunny thinks Scooter's attorney is going to make a claim each day and she believes it will be at least partly true. She thinks the legal strategy (for Scooter's defense) is to float out things bit by bit in the hopes that Bully Boy will think, "We must shut him up!" -- in which case, Bully Boy will immediately issue a pardon.

I could see that happening. Not with a smart person, but with Bully Boy, I could see that happening. Pardoning in the middle of a case would be an admission of involvement and guilt to many people. Bully Boy's dumb enough to do that.

If you've forgotten why Scooter is on trial . . .

Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA agent. Joe Wilson is her husband. Joe Wilson was revealing that Bully Boy's claim of "evidence that Saddam Hussein recently sought yellow cake from Niger" (that's from memory and may not be exact, State of the Union speech in 2003, look it up) had already been disowned. Joe Wilson had traveled to Niger to investigate the claim and turned in a report on it. When Bully Boy continued to repeat that claim, Joe Wilson went public.

Someone decided the way to get to him was to out his wife as a CIA agent.

Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed special counsel to investigate. In the end, only Scooter was indicted. Scooter had been Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff (after being indicted, he stepped down from that post). Scooter told journalists Valerie Plame was CIA. (So the administration outed a CIA agent.) When he was questioned, under oath, by Fitzgerald, Scooter maintained journalists had told him. (He even said Tim Russert had told him which Tim Russert denies.) Judith Miller fingered Scooter as well. So, due to lying in the grand jury investigation, Scooter now faces "five felony counts of lying to investigators" (that's from Lewis' article). Lewis points out that previously Scooter's camp had argued that he had a faulty memory. They appear to have dropped that as a defense.

Again, that was in Wednesday's New York Times. No link because Rebecca just copied and pasted it an e-mail. I'm checking my e-mails to find something I can add to this weak post. C.I. forwarded me something from Feminist Majority:

In commemorating Roe v. Wade, Ms. magazine is delivering thousands of names from our "We Had Abortions" petition to President Bush, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and other U.S. Representatives and Senators. These brave women lent their names to the continuing struggle to protect our reproductive freedom. Top decision makers will see that thousands of women can personally attest to the necessity and importance of safe, legal, and accessible abortions.
Join these brave women. Send a letter to your Representative and Senators now
We recognized that today, during a time in which local, state, and national attacks on abortion rights are not uncommon and social stigmas surrounding abortion persist, women and men still need to speak out in support of reproductive freedom.The response to the new Ms. petition has been overwhelming. Women have expressed gratitude for the opportunity to share their stories and to hear that they are not alone. Women of all ages from every state in the nation signed, showing their desire to preserve the legal right to abortion for future generations.
Our voices are making a difference.
Join us by sending a letter to your Representative and Senators
For Women's Health and Lives,
Eleanor Smeal
Ms. Magazine, Publisher
Feminist Majority Foundation, President

There is an article about this topic in the new issue of Ms. Actually, two if you count Martha Burke's article on money spent in the 2006 election (she notes that anti-choice zealots in Michigan outspent pro-choice supporters to ban late-term abortions and the anti-choicers still lost). The other article, which may be by Eleanor Smeal, addresses the makeup of today's Surpeme Court and ponders whether Justice Kennedy could fill Sandra Day O'Connor's spot as a supporter of abortion rights? That is easily possible, my opinion, because O'Connor wasn't that strong of a supporter. (She provided the many of the loopholes for undermining Roe in various decisions including Planned Parenthood v. Casey.) Alito and Roberts, the newest judges added to the Supreme Court are both anti-choice to the extreme. (Roberts' wife belongs to the pseudo feminist group "Feminists for Life.")

Neither Alito nor Roberts should have been confirmed but the Democrats refused to fight. (Are we seeing a pattern?) Use the links to light a fire under your representatives in Congress. (If Casey Junior is one of your reps, don't even bother. In another sign of cowardice, the Democrats ran Casey Junior, over a pro-choice woman. He's anti-choice. He's DLC and he's the son of the Casey of Planned Parenthood v. Casey.)

The electricity is on. Let me copy and paste the snapshot and go speak to the electrician.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Wednesday, January 24, 2007. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq, Dahr Jamail explains the importance of war resisters, Bully Boy bombs (or, as Mike called him, "Bully Boy Butt Wipe") with his State of the Union address, the slaughter on Haifa Street continues, a Senate committee feels really proud of themselves but Russ Feingold pops their hot air, US Rep Maxine Waters speaks with Amy Goodman about this weekends demonstrations to end the war, US Rep Dennis Kucinich explains what puts him ahead of other Democratic candidates attempting to win their party's nomination for the 2008 presidential election, and Tony Blair's whimper is the whine heard round the world.

In the US, Ehren Watada is the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq and faces a court-martial on February 5th at Fort Lewis. Last week, the 'judge' (John Head) ruled on the parameters of the case. As Matt Hutaff (The Simon) reports the ruling amounts to "stripping the defendant of his constitutional rights. When Watada faces prosecution on February 5, he will be unable to assert free speech in questioning the legality of the war and is forbidden from using Nurember laws as defense. Watada's entire argument rests on the fact that troops are bound to serve honorably and follow lawful orders, and that the Iraq war is a hodepodge of neither." Paul Rockwell (San Francisco Bay Guardian) observes, "It is a sad day in American jurisprudence when a soldier of conscience is court-martialed -- not for lying, but for telling the truth; not for breaking a covenant with the military, but for upholding the rule of law in wartime." Eric Ruder (Socialist Worker) notes, "Activists in the Northwest and around the country are planning a February 5 day of action to show support for Watada, timed to coincide with the beginning of the Army's court-martial against him. Defending war resisters is a critical part of ending the war, because it gives confidence to other soldiers considering their options as Bush plans a 'surge' of 21,500 more troops to Iraq." Jim Warren (Lexington Herald-Leader) notes that among those people showing support for Watada on February 5th at Fort Lewis will be war resister Darrell Anderson who "set off on a cross-country bus tour with the Iraq Veterans Against the War organization, making stops in several cities to support war resisters."

Meanwhile, war resister Agustin Aguayo was due to be arraigned on Monday but Stars & Stripes reports that the arraingment has now been postponed until Thursday. Aguayo served in Iraq and applied for Conscientious Objector status afterwards. The military denied that and Aguayo has been appealing that. On November 21, 2006, the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC heard Aguayo's appeal. They have not yet ruled on it. As Aaron Glantz reported on the November 20, 2006 broadcast of The KPFA Evening News, Aguayo's case was the first of it's kind hear in "a federal court since 1971". Despite the fact that the case was on appeal, the military had told Aguayo he had to redeploy to Iraq. In September, Aguayo self-checked out and turned himself in the same month. He was gone less than 30 days (September 2nd through September 26th.). However, last week, the military announced that they would be charging him with desertion. As Kevin Dougherty (Stars & Stripes) noted in November, 30 days, though not a rule, is "the standard benchmark." That charge and missing movement could, if convicted on both counts, result in Aguayo serving seven years in prison.

Interviewed by Alan Maass (Socialist Worker), Dahr Jamail noted the importance of war resisters and observed: "There are between 8,000 and 10,000 people AWOL from the military, and I imagine that number has increased dramatically over just the last week. I know it was starting to increase dramatically even before Bush made his speech. More people than ever are heading off to Canada or going underground, so that they don't have to go to Iraq and be targets. If anyone is seriously interested in ending this occupation and wants to do something to make it happen, people should follow the instruction of Lt. Ehren Watada. In his speech at the Veterans for Peace national convention in August of last year, he said that the best thing people could do is adopt the family of someone who wants to become a resister, and do what they need to do to support those families, economically and morally, so that their people don't have to go to Iraq."

Agustin Aguayo, Ehren Watada and Darrell Anderson are part of a movement of resistance within the military that also includes Kyle Snyder, Ivan Brobeck, Ricky Clousing, Aidan Delgado, Mark Wilkerson, Joshua Key, Camilo Meija, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass, Patrick Hart, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.

Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters.

In Iraq today, the Independent of London's Patrick Cockburn, speaking with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, noted the Bully Boy's laughable speech from Tuesday evening, "He talked about chaos coming to Iraq. Well, I mean, I'm in the center of Baghdad, and it's difficult to imagine anything more chaotic. There's heavy fighting going on in an area called Haifa Street just near the Green Zone. I can hear mortars occasionally going off. It's said that there is an attempt to assassinate one of the vice presidents a few streets away from here. So we have almost total chaos in Baghad at the moment."


KUNA reports a bombing in Mosul that left a police officer and a civilian wounded. Reuters reports a bombing that killed four police officers and left three civilians wounded in Baghdad, a mortar attack in Baghdad that left one man wounded, and a mortar attack on City Hospital in Baghdad that killed two and left 20 wounded. Shootings?

Reuters reports that two people wounded in an attack "on a minibus carrying Shi'ite pilgrims" in Baghdad. The BBC reports that another educator has been killed in Iraq and describe Diya al-Meqoter as "a well-known professor and econcomist who presented a programme on Sharquiya television. . . He was known for supporting poor people needing loans to set up business, and he also headed Iraq's consumer association, a non-government agency which campaigned for fair pricing." RTE reports an attack on the country's minister of higher education, Abd Dhiab al-Ajili, that left one of his body guard dead "and another was shot in the head and seriously wounded."

KUNA reports 52 corpses discovered in Mosul (all with"scars of torture") which comes after Borzou Daragahi (Los Angeles Times) reported that the number of corpses discovered in Baghdad was decreasing.

Meanwhile the slaughter on Haifa Street in Baghdad continues. Ross Colvin and Ahmed Rasheed (Reuters) repeat the US military's version of events ('insurgents, insurgents, insurgents') to explain the US military's air raid on high rises on the largely residential street; however, they also note: "A local journalist said he helped transport 37 wounded people to hospital, including women and children, in three ambulances that managed to get through the security cordon." KUNA reports: "An Iraqi security source and eyewitnesses said US helicopters had been bombing the street compound since early morning today, noting the clashes were most intense near Al-Sheikh Cemetery, which witnessed similar clashes last week. Eyewitnesses told KUNA over the phone that ambulances were rushed to the scene of the clashes." This attack is what Patrick Cockburn was describing to Amy Goodman on today's Democracy Now!

Today the US military announced today: "One Marine assigned to 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group and one Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died Tuesday from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province" and they announced: "Insurgent small arms fire targeting a Multi-National Division – Baghdad patrol killed one Soldier near the city’s center Jan. 24."

The US military also announced that Adam L. Huryta was court-martialed on January 22nd "for assaulting a fellow soldier with a survival knife." Huryta, as the release goes, disagreed with a position he was ordered to take while an Iraqi was being questioned so he repeatedly stabbed another US soldier and, having been found guilty in the court-martial held at LSA Anaconda, Huryta has received: "eight months in jail, reduction to E-1, and a bad conduct discharge." Ponder that. Ponder that as Ehren Watada faces six years in prison if convicted and Agustin Aguayo faces seven -- neither of whom went after another US service member with a hunting knife.

On Tuesday, Bully Boy yammered on for a little less than fity-minutes as he delivered a Constitutionally mandated State of the Union speech. At one point he spoke of the need to find resolve -- possibly he lost it on one of his many vacations? (If he ever had it.) On KPFA's The Morning Show today, Andrea Lewis and Philip Maldari addressed the speech with Elizabeth de la Vega (author of United States versus George W. Bush) and US Rep Dennis Kucinich. de la Veage noted that "we heard almost the same exact statements about Iraq that we've heard since before 9-11 on the Middle East" and characterized it as "more of the same" talk about Iraq while noting her alarm over Bully Boy's words regarding Iran.

Kucinich noted his plan for ending the war which includes: "First that the US announced it will end the occupation, closes the bases and withdraws" -- using the existing funds to bring US troops back to the US, allow reconstruction contracts to be turned over to Iraqis, build and international peace keeping force, etc. On the subject of impeachment, which de la Vega has written of, Kucinich stated his "focus right now is to end the war and bring the troops home" but "I don't take issue with anything that anybody's doing to hold this administration accountable." He did note that if Bully Boy attacked Iran without Congressional authorization, he did expect there would be an impeachment.

On the issue of 'bipartisanship,' Kucinich declared, "If we have a bipartisan effort to keep the troops in Iraq, that's not the kind of bipartisanship I'm lookng for." Andrea Lewis pointed out that Kucinich is running to become the Democratic Party's 2008 presidential nominee and asked him to explain how he stands apart from other declared candidates. Kucinich responded that "the single most important decision anyone in the Oval Office will make is whether or not to commit America's young men and women to war" and, unlike other declared nominees, the American people know that Kucinich has opposed the illegal war from the start, from before it began while the others "all offered to vote for the war or they voted to fund the war" and, unlike the others, he never "bought George Bush's line."

Some did. Less and less are buying it today which explains the underwhelming response to the State of the Union speech. Al Jazeera reports that the reaction to Bully Boy's speech was 'indifference' -- Hoda Abdel Hamid: "Iraqis told me 'we don't believe in all his promises -- he's goin gto ask us to be patient, but he's not the one living under the bombs. All Iraqis can hear this morning is explosions -- there are mortars going off and there is a heavy gun battle going on just a couple of hundred metres away. This is what Iraqis are listening to."

In England the on-his-way-out-the-door Tony Blair continues to face strong calls to take British troops out of Iraq. (On Tuesday, the British consulate in Basra was attacked -- as it often is -- and two British soldiers were wounded.) The Guardian of London reports that Menzies Campbell, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, "called for the first time for a pull-out of all British forces from the country by the end of October" which Blair rejected and Campbell then went on to challenge Blair to stay for the debate. Tony Blair whimpered, left a puddle on the floor, and scurried off quickly.

In what Andrew North (BBC) has called the "first sign of disagreement" regarding Iraq, Tony Blair's cabinet and Bully Boy's appear to be odds regarding southern Iraq. The BBC reports that Zalmay Khalilzad, in an interview with them, voiced his belief that "UK forces . . . remain at their current levels in southern Iraq" despite the fact that at least "a partial withdrawal of British foces from Basra this year" has long been discussed publicly by Blair as well England's Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett.

Turning to the US Senate where a toothless, symbolic measure has passed through committee, Frederic J. Frommer (AP) reports that Senator Russ Feingold has declared, "My far, Mr. Chairman, is this is slow walking. This is not a time for legislative nuancing. This is not a time for trying to forge a compromise that everybody can be a part of. This is a time to stop the needless deaths of American troops in Iraq. We have a moral responsibility, as well as a responsibility to the lives of the American people, to start doing it now." The toothless, feckless, symbolic measure, the BBC reports, passed on a 12-9 vote.

A measure so meaningless, it took three men to devise it: Carl Levin, Joe Biden, and Chuck Hagel. The lunchtime poll reads: "It's really, really, really, really-really, really not in the best interests of the United States for Bully Boy to send more troops to Iraq and if he does so they will be really, really, really, really-really, really ticked off -- so ticked off, in fact, they might just decide to take another lunchtime poll! Watch your step, Bully Boy! Blah, blah, blah." The poll was a vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and, CNN reports, the non-binding, toothless measure should go before the full Senate for a vote next week.

Joe Biden is of course interested in flaunting his useless nature with something far more than meaningless legislation, he also wants to run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. John Kerry has announced what we noted here weeks ago -- stick the fork in, he's done. One candidate who is still in the race is US Senator Hillary Clinton. Weighing in at Truthout, Cindy Sheehan recalls, "I, my sister Dede and another Gold Star Mother, Lynn Braddach, whose son, Travis Nall was killed in Iraq in 2003, met with Senator Clinton in DC in September of 2005. We poured our hearts and souls out to her. We cried as we told her of our sons and our fear for the people of Iraq and the escalating body count of our brave young people. She sat there stone-faced and walked out and told Sarah Ferguson of the Village Voice, 'My bottom line is that I don't want their sons to die in vain. . . . I don't believe it's smart to set a date for withdrawal. . . I don't think it's the right time to withdraw.' She may as well have slapped us in the face using Bloody George's line and using our sons' sacrifice to justify her war mongering. On Thursday, January 18th, Senator Clinton introduced a meaningless bill to put a cap on the number of soldiers that can be in Iraq, set at January 1st levels. It is as weak and meaningless as a nonbinding resolution -- and a politically safe move, since almost three fourts of the country oppose Bloody George. By the time she introduced her Senate bill last Thursday, over 1000 of our young people had come home in body bags and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis had died, while she was waiting for the best political time to be semi-against the war. How many of our troops are lying in Walter Reed with devastating injuries that could have been prevented if a Senate leader like Clinton had taken a moral stance instead of a political one?"

Which is a good time to offer the contrast: US Representative Maxine Waters. Appearing on Democracy Now! today, Waters discussed the proposal she and US Reps. Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey have on the table: "No more troops going to Iraq. Number two, to start to wind out of Iraq. Make sure that you work with the Iraqis for a security plan that they come up with that would include the international community and those in the region and no American soldiers in that kind of security plan. We also talk about reconstruction. We have bombed Baghdad and other parts of Iraq to smithereens. We owe it to them to be involved in a reconstruction plan that's real. Thirdly, we would leave some troops over the horizon in neighboring communities, in the event the coalition forces that are put together by the Iraqis would ask for a bit of assistance at any given time." Waters and Goodman also discussed the Saturday protest in DC and that the representative has "sent a letter to all members of Congress" encouraging them to also take part.

Information on the demonstrations can be found at CODEPINK's Bring the Peace Mandate to D.C. on J27! activities will also be taking place in communities around the country. Saturday, Laura Flanders will be broadcasting live from DC to cover the demonstrations on RadioNation with Laura Flanders. Aaron Glantz (IPS) reports on the upcoming demonstrations and notes United for Peace & Justice's Leslie Cagan stating, "The voters of this country figured out that they could use the November elections as a vehicle to voice their opposition to the war. What happened there was that the voters gave Congress a mandate to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home." Glanz notes that in addition to events in DC, there are "large mobilisations planned for Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco. In addition smaller actions are planned for more than 50 cities." In DC, Saturday the rally will be held at the National Mall from eleven in the morning to one p.m. at which point a march will begin. Larry Margasak (AP) notes of the DC rally and march: "Scheduled speakers include members of Congress sponsoring anti-war measures; civili rights activist Jesse Jackson; veterans against the war; actors such as Danny Glover, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon; and a voice from the . . . [pro-peace] past, Jane Fonda."

Those in DC Saturday may want to check out Anthony Arnove, author most recently of IRAQ: The Logic of Withdrawal, who will be speaking at Busboys and Poets at 5:00 pm while those in the NYC area on Sunday should check out Joan Mellen speech at 7:30 p.m. at the 92nd Street Y (92nd Street and Lesington Avenue). Mellan, a professor at Temple University and the author of seventeen books, will be presenting a lecture on the JFK assasination . . . and beyond. Tickets are $25. Mellen's latest book is A Farewell to Justice which probes the assasination of JFK. She was a guest on Law and Disorder November 7, 2005. And the March 15, 2006 broadcast of KPFA's Guns and Butter featured her speech "How the Failure to Identify, Prosecute and Convict President Kennedy's Assassins Has Led to Today's Crisis of Democracy." You can also read a transcript of that speech here.Again, that's Sunday, January 28th, 7:30 p.m. the 92nd Street Y in NYC.

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