Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Here's a communique from subcomandante Marcos, of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, whose goals of a free and empowered indigenous population in Mexico highwayscribery wholeheartedly supports. It was provided us by the Direct Action Anti-Authoritarian Network.


To the people of Mexico: To the people of the world: To the Other Campaign in Mexico and the other side of the Rio Bravo: To the entire Sixth International: Comrades: Brothers and sisters: It is now known publicly that yesterday, 29th of October 2006, Vicente Fox´s federal forces attacked the people of Oaxaca and its most legitimate representative, the Peoples´ Popular Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO).Today, the Federal Troops have assassinated atleast 3 people, among them a minor, leaving dozens of wounded including many women from Oaxaca and dozens of detainees were illegaly transported to military prisons. All this, in addition to the total of deaths, detainees and missing persons since the beginning of the mobilization demanding that Ulises Ruiz steps down as Oaxaca´s governor. The sole objective of the Federal attack is to maintain Ulises Ruiz in power and to destroy the popular grassroots organization of the people of Oaxaca. Oaxaca´s people are resiting. Not one single honest person can remain quiet and unmoved while the entire society, of which the majority are indigenous, is assassinated, beaten and jailed. We, the Zapatistas, will not be silent, we will mobilize to support our brothers, sisters and comrades in Oaxaca. The EZLN´s Comision Sexta has already consulted the Zapatista Direction and the following has been decided: First- During whole day of the 1st of November 2006, the major and minor roads that cross Zapatistas territories in the Southwest of the state of Chiapas. Consequently, we ask that everyone avoids travelling by these roads in Chiapas on this day and that one makes the necesarry arrangements in order to do so.Secondly- through the Comision Sexta, the EZLN has begun making contact and consulting other political and social organizacions, groups, collectives and individuals in the Other Campaign, in order to coordinate joint solidarity actions across Mexico, leading to a nationwide shut-down on the 20th of November, 2006. Thirdly- the EZLN calls out to the Other Campaign in Mexico and north of the Rio Bravo, so that this November 1st mobilizations happen where possible, completely, partially, at intervals or symbolically shutting down the major artery roads, streets, toll booths, stations, airports and commercial medias. Fourthly- The central message that the Zapatistas send and will continue sending is that the people of Oaxaca are not alone: They are not alone!Ulises Ruiz out of Oaxaca! Immediate withdrawal of the occupying Federal Forces from Oaxaca!Immediate and unconditional freedom for all detainees! Cancel all arrest warrants!Punish the murderers! Justice! Freedom! Democracy! From the north of Mexico.

For the Comité Clandestino Revolucionario Indígena- Comandancia General of the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional.For the EZLN´s Comisión Sexta.Subcomandante Insurgente MarcosMexico, October, 2006.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Mexico: Reporter Down

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We have, in the past, covered the murderous situation for journalists in Mexico, a subject close to the scribe’s heart both because he loves that marvelous country and must go there and report on occasion ("Power and Impunity, "April, 13, 2005).

Needless to say, things are not improving.

An American reporter was killed on Friday down in Oaxaca; the last state before Guatemala.

Things have been tense there for a while. Local progressives, largely Indians belonging to something called the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO), have been running a general strike in an effort to oust the governor there and doing a pretty good job of it.

The governor's name is Ulises Ruiz and he’s a member of the old and decrepit Partido Revolucionario Institucional. The conflict dates back to the summer and often fed off the electoral crisis in Mexico that highwayscribery wrote so much about over the past few months.

Now, 36-year old Brad Will has been slain, caught in the crossfire, or maybe not.

Will worked for Indymedia and we are sorry to hear of his passing, because he was out there covering these things, these narratives, these marginal stories that need to be heard for desperate situations to ever have a chance of changing.

The lame duck president Vicente Fox has sent troops down to
restore order.

The reporter’s murder has not, to date, merited much attention, but Mexico’s far-ish and lefty-ish “La Jornada” ran an
article about his life and death.

Here’s his death, as written by Luis Hernandez Navarro:

“He was covering the attack of pistoleros in the pay of Ulises Ruiz against barricades erected in the neighborhood of Calicanto. A sheriff, a security chief and two policemen fired shots at those opposed to the governor of the state. They also fired upon Brad who was filming the aggression from behind a group of youths. He did not expose himself, but they had him in their sites and he fell, struck by two 9mm bullets.”

Will worked on the fringe. That’s what Indymedia is; a network of independent journalists (pooled misfits) trying to get stories out there that the mainstream press ignores, much the way they’re ignoring Brad’s story now.

What might the response have been if the Will killed had been George instead of Brad?

Hernandez wrote of how Brad Will was,
“an example of a new generation of transnational information advocates incubated in the battle of Seattle during World Trade Organization meetings there in 1999. We’re talking about journalists who labor outside the large media consortiums, using the most modern information techniques for tools.

“His journalistic work was impeccable. So much so that he became an irritant to power. The images he captured of aggression against a popular movement recorded the faces of the assassins. His last work, ‘Death in Oaxaca,’ is a dramatic testimony to the murder of Alejandro Garcia Hernandez, an APPO activist.”

So, Will was what you’d call a troublemaker; a guy who thought the way things are done, could be done better, and who then used the art of news coverage to make his universal points about violence, oppression, and fraud.

He was not just a film maker. He was involved in the launching of New York’s “Steal this Radio” pirate outlet, composed music, and permitted his democratic urge to move him about the world. A volunteer.

“On Sunday, Oct. 29,” Hernandez concluded, “in the middle of a police offensive against the popular movement, in between teargas and gendarmes beating citizens resisting the repression of their bodies, hundreds of humble Oaxacans visited his casket to pay their last respects. Crying women blessed and kissed his coffin in thanks for his commitment and his honesty. Brad will live on in the memory of one the largest revolts in contemporary Mexican history.”


On a lighter note, but in the spirit of Oaxaca, the highway scribe and Omar Torrez recorded new musical passages from "Vedette" that can be heard simply by visiting Gloriella's My Space Page. It takes about 10 seconds to load. It's called "Chairwoman of the Animal Welfare Committee" and recounts Vedette's important political moment in the uprising at Cueva del Rio. The prose are a pastiche of animal liberation fantasy and Spanish Civil War symbolism (say that five times fast). The musical piece is Omar's lively "Ode to Paco" [as in "de Lucia"].

Peace (please).

Friday, October 27, 2006

"The Liquid Life" (installment two)

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Reporters looking for the "Reporters" Blues" piece should scroll down to the prior post. This is weekend literary fare.

The chambermaids, dishwashers, busboys, waiters, and toilet cleaners of the city’s plushest staying places wanted another dollar-an-hour pay out of the sultans who owned them and ran their lives. And so members of the Waiters and Dishwashers International Union had hit the streets to trumpet their gripe.

The local president, a big cigar smoking Irishman named Whitey McEntee, was a good contact of mine and he invited me to come down and stand on the platform behind the speakers and get an in-close view of the demonstration and speeches. The union wanted to improve its relations with the press and the community.

Whitey had been doing the long downslide. They were saying he was out-of-touch with the membership, to say nothing of reality. In the old days, he told me on the ride out to the rally, all the working class were white ethnics like himself. “Your Irish, your Eyetalians, Polish and what have you,” he explained.

“Things are different now. Everybody speaks Spanish. They’re all idea radicals. They don’t even want to learn he English,” he expounded.

“Whitey,” I rammed him, “you’re the son of immigrants. This country has been built on successive waves of people from other countries.”

“Yeah, well the difference is that now it’s built and they’re just coming to tear it down.

“Anyway, I’m gonna give the speech,” he told me, “and we’re gonna have this new organizer we found translate. That way we can connect with the membership and take some of the heat off me about not caring about their problems and what have you.

“You know Dominique,” he saddened me, “they’re saying I’m an old bureaucrat who’s only interested in feathering his retirement nest.”

I liked Whitey, yet what they were saying was true. It was time for him to step down, but I was entering a phase in my life when no truth seemed absolute any longer. A time when suddenly there was another side to every story. I reveled in such confusions, and I reveled in this one, too.

He had been a legendary union man in his day. Stomping the back alleys of restaurants and hotels with a stick, a leg from a giant table he yanked away in a dispute with some boss or other, in his hand, patrolling in the name of the weak and exploited. His own armed, one-man workers party. If time had passed him by did that mean nothing was owed? Were there no years of glory and repose in it for the gray centurion?

At the rally 4,000 brown-skinned union people gathered from all over town. They were fashioned badly, toothless, disease-ful, and hunched. Age had already scrounged in certain places on their still young faces.

They were unhappy people and their simmering made everything seem like they’d no voice and knew only how to whisper.

They were walking in a thousand half-circles, lackadaisical, and the site of Whitey lit no fires. To them he was the white guy who got $30 in dues a month they would rather have for beer or for all the babies they held so dear. The old union leader started slow and finished slower with a speech about, “the need to feed our kids,” and “the right to a decent life.” About how “they” had taken from the working man the fruits of his labor, and so on.

His truths were still truths. They just weren’t very new ones.

Still, the crowd flamed at the slow burn of the translator’s words. I strained to see her over the heads in front of me. She came into focus. The abundant swirls of curls were familiar. It was Elendele. She was doing the worst translation job ever in the long history of language. Whitey’s “fair wages for good work” became “work for all, overwork for none!” from that mouth, which even from a distance exuded chiclets and mint. His “hard as nails negotiations” became “wild cat strike at the dinner hour!” as the wily sloganness weaved her web through the unwashed ones.

All the scrubber-uppers were heaving and seething and she moved them with a magic wand that was invisible in her hand.

Whitey, with Elendele’s help, had given the finest radical summation of local unionism in all his later years, closing unwittingly with a violent rhetorical flourish – a command to shut downtown down (towndown).

The crowd clenched a fist of 4,000 fingers and he turned and smiled at me with his big cigar in mouth. The white shoe of his right foot tapping a satisfaction dance. I felt sorry for the old guy. Just beyond his rounding frame were the wild arms and bouncy hair of frightening new times. Times that knew no order. Times fired not on fossil fuel, but on a hot cold-bloodedness, diluted with chemicals and half-potions, mostly unsavory. I felt sorry for us all. Then I trembled. A man of my times, just a few moments before, I now wondered if the effortless future had already cleared a space on its shelf of relics for me?

Whitey turned back to the crowd and the smile went icy and the warm eyes cooled in a confusion soup, and then concern, as the workers began to rip up a bus stop and gash the tires of motorists stopped at red lights, yanking a Porsche driver through the window by his beard – dashing a blood-bucket across the sundrunk and prickly tar.

Whitey tried to subdue the suddenly class-conscious rabble in a language that could no serve him. Truncheon police were dispatched to traumatize and smother the hope that was spreading. I headed away from the scene and saw Whitey being cuffed and thrown on his face into a paddy wagon.

I followed Elendele to a cool and lightless café where she ordered cappuccino and vanilla sticks and spread some pot on a table for seed-cleaning. I was sure she did not remember me. Her face was tense and she smoked the drug thing in wild fever, furrowed her brow and shook her leg. She was thinking deeply, ontologically, and I hesitated in interrupting the forceful mental machinations because I was, quite frankly, terrified of the lawless trade union girl.

“Miss,” I misnamed her, “the kind of stuff I just saw doesn’t do much for reputations.”

She must have been biting at the bit. “I’m not interested in being respected so much as I am in being remembered.”

I stayed within the confines of my profession: “I was wondering if I could have a word with you about the rally.”

She looked up at me and noted who I was. “Yeah, yeah,” she said, “I know who you are. You’re the Communist who was at that Cuban hypocrite’s house months and months ago.”

“You’re part right. I’m no Communist. I’ve been finally convinced that any country with just one party can’t be much fun to write about.”

“Then what are you doing here?” was her cynical styling.

“I have some questions about what happened back there.”

“Too bad,” she said.

“Too bad what?”

“It’s too bad you’re not a Communist. In a capitalist society, journalists, as muckrakers, are best suited for the job if they’re Communists – oppositionists…Do you smoke Maria?” she asked, shoving the little white stick she’d fashioned in my direction.

“No, it makes me insecure.”

She got up to leave.

“Except,” I amended, “in a case where it can help me get a story.”

She smiled a smile that was a sharp-edged thing. A sliced crescent moon smile that revealed a yearning for distant places and a filling placed in the back of her mouth that forever shimmered and made her glamorous.

I accused her of double-crossing Whitey with a lousy translation. She said then what everybody had been saying about Whitey being a stale loaf, and I told her so. Her face grew pinched with the implication her thoughts were not somehow novel.

I told her he’d been arrested and she ruptured a little laugh. Then she began laughing harder, then choking. There were tears coming from her eyes and she was getting carried away.

“You’re getting carried away,” I informed.

“It will be the best thing to happen to his career in twenty years,” she lurched for higher ground. “The hotel workers make five dollars less in this town than they do in New York and San Francisco. Hey! We’re world class aren’t we? This buggering is through. This incest between lion and lamb must cease. I mean, we’re world class here, right? The blowjobbing of the boss has reached its orgasmic apex, the…”

“I’d like to take you out to see a movie or something,” I interrupted out of
courage. Out of boredom. Out of the need to impress myself.

“I know you would,” she said, impressed, too. “Let me settle this union thing, curdle in its blood for a while, get my translation fee squared away and then I’ll call you.”

Exchanges occurred, which she kept discreet, as if the trading of numbers and addresses was something to be whispered about, to be kept from a world full of suspicion of romance. As if she wanted her whole story to come up a conspiracy.

I turned away dizzy under the second-hand spell of her Maria. I bore down on the door and all the silver on the other side of it and opened it on my nose.
I did not see it. I could not hear it. But she laughed at me.

She laughed because she had bloodied my nose.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Reporters' Blues

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The photo at left is of "New York Times" photographer Barton Silverman being arrested in riots around the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Aug. 28, 1968.

We reprint the photo by Fred McDarrah in concert with Reporters Without Borders' release of their "Worldwide Press Freedom Index”, which ranks individual countries’ free press bonafides worldwide.

The United States of America under George w. Bush got a demotion in this year's edition.

Here’s an article from the “Washington Post” on that.

The worst countries are North Korea, Cuba, Burma, and China. No surprise there and shame on all of them. And especially shame on Fidel, giving communism a bad name until the very end.

The index tracks actions against news media through the end of September,” according to the article by Nora Boustany. “The group noted its concern over the declining rankings of some Western democracies as well as the persistence of other countries in imposing harsh punishments on media that criticize political leaders.”

The survey is not exclusive to government repression, but also gauges the threat to writers and artists through the public’s intimidation and violence. It noted Denmark’s monumental drop from top ranked in the world to 19; thanks to the threats made by Islamic fundamentalists following all that hullabaloo about the cartoon.

Yemen, Algeria, Jordan, Indonesia and India all got spanked for the same reason; sectarian pressure against media. We mention them because that is what you do in these situations. You talk about it and try to embarrass these democratic backsliders into some kind of compliance with universally recognized standards of civic behavior.

The scribe addressed the phenomenon in a Washington Post “GlobalChat” thread.

The U.S. dropped nine places to 53. And that’s what we mean by embarrassing.

highwayscribery has addressed the difficult business of journalism in the United States with a piece on the administration’s threat to drag reporters before grand juries for leaking (ie; doing their job) stuff government wants kept secret.

Here’s a piece prompted by a press release from the American Society of Journalists and Authors (of which the scribe is a member) on funny stuff at Katrina trailer camps in Louisiana.

The Reporters Without Borders index said crappy press relations in the U.S. stem from the administration’s suspension of press niceties thanks to THE WAR ON TERROR, as well as the federal judiciary’s unwillingness to provide reporters with a shield from identifying their sources.

the highway scribe doesn’t mind losing a basketball world championship, but at this we should be number one.

From the Governor's Office

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Blythe Soldier

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Sgt. Norman R. Taylor III of Blythe:

"Sgt. Taylor was a proud and dedicated member of the United States Army. Norman gave his life defending our great nation. Maria and I send our condolences to Norman's loved ones. Our hearts go out to his family as they suffer this extraordinary loss."

Taylor, 21, died Oct. 17 of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Baqubah, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, CO.

In honor of Sgt. Taylor, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Ontario Soldier

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Spc. Jose R. Perez of Ontario:

"Answering the highest call of duty, Spc. Perez gave his life serving California and our country. Maria and I extend our heartfelt sympathies to Jose's family and friends. The sacrifice he made for our country will not be forgotten."

Perez, 21, died Oct. 18 as a result of injuries sustained from small arms fire in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany.

In honor of Spc. Perez, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Rancho Cucamonga Soldier

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Capt. Mark C. Paine of Rancho Cucamonga:

"Capt. Paine will be remembered for his courageous service protecting the freedoms we hold dear. Maria and I express our deepest condolences to Mark's family and friends as they mourn the loss of a valiant soldier and loved one. We will keep them in our prayers."

Paine, 32, died Oct. 15 as a result of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Taji, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, TX.

In honor of Capt. Paine, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of San Francisco Soldier

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Pfc. Keith J. Moore of San Francisco:

"No amount of words can adequately describe the personal sacrifice that members of our armed forces make in defending our country. California is eternally grateful to Pfc. Moore for his service to this nation. During this difficult time, Maria and I offer our sincerest condolences to Keith's loved ones."

Moore, 28, died Oct. 14 as a result of non-combat related injuries in Baghdad, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY.

In honor of Pfc. Moore, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Palestine = Democracy - Food (or something)

Here is what the scribe got from the "Washington Post" GlobalChat moderator today:

Dear Bloggers,

Below is our next question. It will go live publically tomorrow. If
you would like to post a response, put it in the comment thread and
email me here and we'll feature your reply, of any length.

LEDE: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has said bread is more
important than democracy, and he may be preparing to dissolve the
Hamas-led Palestinian parliment.

QUESTION: Does a leader have a right to bypass democratic institutions
to ensure his people are fed and secure?

- posed by panelist Daoud Kuttab

Here is the scribe's answer:

What does Abbas have in mind? New elections? That’s perfectly kosher (oops) because it’s consistent with parliamentary democracy. If he wants to do away with popular representation, well, then you have a situation 43 would call “unacceptable.” You have to figure it out; how to feed people and have your democracy. Otherwise what are you good for? Democracy is suppose to provide the best situation for feeding your people. Invoking the extremity of circumstances should not dissolve democratic safeguards and processes. That’s when they are most needed. Abbas is taking a page from the Bush administration’s rollback of civil rights to fight THE WAR ON TERROR. The conceit here is that democracy and rights and environmental safeguards are touchy-feely things anomalous to the hard core job of KEEPING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SAFE. In reality, they are our best offering to ourselves and the world, the pretext under which we wage our war of ideas with fundamentalist hordes

You can follow the discussion by clicking the banner with the talking heads.


It's "Oba-mania" folks, as people look around the country for someone with a brain in his head and some manners to lead, the senator from The Land of Lincoln looks so good. highwayscribery thinks it's too soon, but that's a discussion for some screamers on MNBC. Instead, we wanted to join Oba-mania by re-running a "book report" of his earlier tome done back in June by, who else? the highwayscribe. Enjoy.

highwayscribery wanted to spend this day on a book report of Illinois Democratic Senator Barack Obama’s autobiography, “Dreams from My Father.”

The book was a Christmas gift from the scribe’s sister Rosemary and was received with the usual mild surprise that accompanies the reception of a book you don’t really want to read.

highwayscribery enjoyed Obama’s colorful and deftly delivered speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (included in the book put out by Three Rivers Press). But in ensuing months it seemed the newly elected senator’s name popped up too often in association with positions a little beyond his experience, like vice president or president.

There’s a Democratic Party discussion in there somewhere: Is the glass half full because Obama’s rise among what former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Georgia) used to call “the great mentioners” reflects his amazing talent? Or is it half empty because a guy starts jumping ranks thanks to his world beat name and a decent speech two years ago?

The highwayscribery creed encourages the acceptance of given books as a kind of natural instruction from the world itself, from forces beyond our own (book) consuming impulses.

And the book is quite good as it goes about detailing Obama’s unique, yet quintessentially American pedigree and journey. A kind of Tiger Woods to the progressive political world, Obama is African-American, without the tragedy of slavery separating him from old country forebears.

He knows his lineage, his father, his grandfather. He returns to his native Kenya where a grandmother explains how, “First there was Miwiri. It’s not known who came before. Miwiru sired Sigoma, Sigoma sired Owiny, Owiny sired Kisodhi, Kisodhi sired Ogelo, Ogelo sired Otondi, Otonidi sired Obongo, Obongo sired Okoth, and Okoth sired Opiyo. The women who bore them, their names are forgotten, for that was the way of our people.”

His father, a scholarship student from Kenya to the University of Hawaii, met his mother in that distant American outpost. She came from Kansas stock, her father a soldier of fortune and westward drifter on the trail of the big break.

His place in time as a man educated in the west at the height of the African liberation from its European colonizers forces the senior Barack Obama home, abandoning the young boy in Hawaii for good.

That is the DNA, much explained and dissected for it is the point of the book, and somewhat the point of the politician – race and its subtleties.

The greatest surprise was the book’s prose. Obama was, at one time, editor of the “Harvard Law Review.” highwayscribery has never had occasion to read that particular publication, but must admit to a sense that brand name conjures up ponderous articles short on good and engaging narrative content.

But it may be a place where good writing is encouraged because he possesses a comfortable mastery of the written word. We’re not talking the heights of prosodic beauty, but a facile ability to render crucial insights his unique path and intelligence have provided, into the written word. One thing is to have led an interesting life, it is another to successfully convey why.

The highpoint of the book may be the following passage. The set up is that Obama Sr. has come to meet his son, who is ten years old, and it really doesn’t go too well. As the father is leaving, he decides to play a recording of music from the families tribe, the Luo:

“‘Come Barry,’ my father said, ‘You will learn from the master.’ And suddenly his slender body was swaying back and forth, the lush sound was rising, his arms were swinging as they cast an invisible net, his feet wove over the floor in off-beats, his bad leg stiff but his rump high, his head back, his hips moving in a tight circle. The rhythm quickened, the horns sounded, and his eyes closed to follow his pleasure, and then one eye opened to peek down at me and his solemn face spread into a silly grin, and my mother smiled, and my grandparents walked in to see what all the commotion was about. I took my first tentative steps with my eyes and closed, down, up, my arms swinging, the voices lifting. And I hear him still: As I follow my father into the sound, he lets out a quick shout, bright and high, a shout that leaves much behind and reaches out for more, a shout that cries for laughter.”

So you get an idea that it’s not some kind of policy book or rhetorical disquisition. It’s a young man’s story and takes the reader through Obama’s developing sense of the black reality in America, his clumsy first steps as an organizer on Chicago’s South Side, a rare portrait of the legendary Mayor Harold Robinson, and over to Africa in discovery of family lore and luggage.

Obama’s rise to prominence represents something of a bellwether in less than obvious ways. Sure, he’s one of only a handful of blacks ever to serve in the U.S. Senate, but in this story he weaves the consumption of marijuana, alcohol and even cocaine into the fabric without using overly bright colors and without trying to sugar-coat it either.

He plays basketball, he “adopts” in his own parlance an identity from those being offered-up by the pop culture of the 1980s - the years of his flaming youth. And now he’s a senator and all of that without having had to live like a Mormon.

And that’s good, as there is much else good about Obama, a writer to rank with those who make a permanent vocation of writing, an intelligent fellow with the honesty to talk about black-on-black gripes, to wrestle with the loss of blackness success in the white world represents, to convey the suffocating sense that the white world is the only game in town.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Andy Rooney

That crazy sans culotte of the American anarcho-syndical left issued a stunning rebuke of President Bush on "60 Minutes" last night. Here it is

Andy Rooney

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Liquid Life (first installment)

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The highway scribe will run installations from his novela, "The Liquid Life" every weekend until it runs out.


Trevor, a frivolous child of wealth, the artistically sympathetic one, took me to the home of Cortez, a Cuban craftsman experimenting in the elegant science of flinging paint from a tube over long distances.

The unruly painter served rice and black beans and expounded on his theories on top of theories, when midway through the meal a curly-haired girl, with a brow bearing more adventures than her otherwise softness suggested, walked in, accompanied by a rough talking tough.

By the look of a tattoo on his bicep, he was a member of the notorious Li’l Criminals gang from over by Pico-Union.

Cortez was distressed at the interruption in his polemic and bypassed the formality of introductions, motioning the new two to sit and become listeners.

She shrugged him understandingly. She seemed the kind stocked with manners used only when most to her advantage: with parents or lovers, amongst the patrons of modern art galleries or at night with her many, many sugar daddies.

When Cortez had to come up for air she shimmied her way in edgewise. “I brought some Maria.”

Lush romantics were draped over the final word, fluttered, seasoned with just the right rolling Spanish “rrrr.” There were eight at the table. She rolled six joints and lit them all at once, unschooled in the crucial field of patience.

Cortez went on again about plans for a giant penis exhibition in Pershing Square, plans to blowup the statue of that pathetic instrument of gunboat diplomacy in a fabulous art demonstration, plans for flinging paints from tubes over still greater distances.

The stony girl handled the joints with ritual and generosity. Cortez forged, she steamed lightly and rolled her mind, dancing still with the temptations of the forward lunge, distasteful at the Cuban’s ownself ramblings.

A small essay of his on the exquisite pain available through the mistreatment of one’s own child, netted her briefly, but then it was just more of the same Cortez in elocution.

When he asked if I was getting bored, she looked at me without saying, “Now’s our chance!” but meaning it. So I assured him that I respected the fact his was a house of ideas, and that as such, I should hear what those ideas were. And with a simple teaspoon of malice I unveiled my lesser side to her. Now she’d want to know who I was. Who the one smiling over the multifarious forms of power was.

She locked me in with a chill on her tongue. “Be careful. They just killed a
journalist in Chile. Thirteen bullets to the back of the head. Said he was a communist.”

“Hey, how could you tell I was a journalist?”

“You’re all plagued with the same fears and mental shortcomings,” she delivered.

Cortez was never overturned at the conversations of others. They were a chance for him to get his breath. As soon as a pause of little span opened itself up, he would jump right in where he left off.

And on he went. On and on, mostly trying to impress a woman that was there with us. “In no way can the written world be considered, superior to the painted image,” he verbally trundled. “Wars are not fought over ideas, they are fought over a flag – the official painting of a nation.”

She shot him back, finally. “The sublime nature, the strength of an idea is measured by its ability to motivate masses of people to act. Marx moved millions to death with the power of his pen,” she closed him ambiguously. "What painter can say the same of his brush?”

“The value of art,” counterproclaimed the la habana man, “is not measured by way of the body count.”

“Oh yes it is.”

“No it’s not.”

“Yes it is.”

“No it’s not.”

She slapped the table with her hand firmly like a junior justice looking for her lollipop. She sighed the deep sigh and arose, finger in the air, to apprise Cortez of the deep spiritual slumber into which he had led her. Yelling over the shoulder, as she left, gang-man in tow, that he was failing miserably with his art because he was trying to scandalize in an age when that was no longer possible.

“Breton said that forty years ago,” she scalded. “You’d know it if you read more and talked less, but alas dear Cortez, you’re just another unemployable product of the Ivy League,” and shut the door behind her.

Cortez shrugged her door-slamming off; well-adjusted to that girl’s world of spectacle. He’d tried hard and succeeded in understanding.

“By the way,” he gently stroked, “that’s my friend Elendele. A hopeful girl, a sadful girl who is full of herself and her dreams.”

Bad Day

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Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Camp Pendleton Marine

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Sgt. Jonathan J. Simpson of Rockport, TX.

"Sgt. Simpson deserves our utmost gratitude for the service and ultimate sacrifice he made for this nation. Maria and I send our deepest sympathies to Jonathan's family, friends and fellow Marines. We must never forget the vigilance required to defend our freedom."

Simpson, 25, died Oct. 14 while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, CA.

In honor of Sgt. Simpson, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Huntington Park Soldier

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Cpl. Luis E. Tejeda of Huntington Park:

"Today, we add Cpl. Tejeda to the honor roll of fallen soldiers who valiantly served our country. Maria and I join with Californians in mourning the loss of this courageous individual. Our prayers are with Luis' family during this painful time."

Tejeda, 20, died Sept. 30 as a result of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations in Hit, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany.

In honor of Cpl. Tejeda, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Poetry by Garcia Lorca

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Here is a poem by Federico Garcia Lorca from "Poeta en Nueva York." It is translated by Luis Valadez, a My Space Friend of La Vedette, Gloriella.


New York Dawn has
four mire columns
and a black pigeon hurricane
that splashes putrid waters.
New York Dawn wails
on immense staircases
looking between the edges for
drawn anguish spikenards.
Dawn arrives and no one receives it in their mouth
because neither hope nor tomorrow are possible.
Sometimes furious swarms of coins
drill and devour abandoned children.
The first to go out know in their bones
that there will be no paradise or defoliating lovers.
They know they go to mire of laws and numbers,
to artless games, to fruitless toils.
The light is buried in chains and noise,
in the shameless challenge of rootless science.
The neighborhoods have people that vacillating insomnious
like they’ve recently discharged from a bloody shipwreck.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pfc. Stanton

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Hemet Soldier

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Pfc. Kenny F. Stanton of Hemet.

"Each time we lose a member of our armed forces we are reminded of the sacrifices made for our freedom. Pfc. Stanton bravely assumed the risks that go along with serving our country. Maria and I want to send our heartfelt sympathies to Kenny's family. He will be fondly remembered by all who knew him."

Stanton, 20, died Oct. 13 as a result of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq. He was assigned to the 57th Military Police Company, Waegwan, Korea.

In honor of Pfc. Stanton, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Monday, October 16, 2006

"Excess Death" and Politics

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the scribe is a little late in commenting on this particular item – the estimated ‘excess’ death toll in Iraq – but that’s the beauty of blogging.

Blogger is boss.

We couldn’t recuperate a link to Dan Brown’s article in the “Washington Post,” published October 11, so we’ll serve up ample samplings of the actual text.

For those of you who missed it, a team of doctors overseen by epidemilogists at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health and funded by the Massachusets Institute of Technology, estimated that 655,000 more people have died in Iraq than would have had the United States not gone in and liberated them.

If Dick Cheney had meant liberation through death, he should have been more specific when talking to Tim Russert all that time (and all those dead people) ago.

“[The estimate] is more than 20 times the estimate of 30,000 civilian deaths that President Bush gave in a speech in December. It is more than 10 times the estimate of roughly 5,000 civilian deaths made by the British-based Iraq Body Count research group.

“The surveyors said they found a steady increase in mortality since the invasion, with a steeper rise in the last year that appears to reflect a worsening of violence as reported by the U.S. military, the news media and civilian groups. In the year ending in June, the team calculated Iraq’s mortality rate to be roughly four times what it was the year before the war.”

Tony Blair, whom the war cost his job, popularity, and legacy, denied the figure last week.

Not that many dead he says.

Here we debate, Civil war, not civil war."

Back when only 700 soldiers had died in Iraq, it took Ted Koppel a full hour just get their names and photos up on the screen for a second. And that’s just the toll on our side. Those who we invaded to ostensibly help are lying, increasingly, under mounds of dirt.

The exposure of an innocent population to the worst elements in an already violent society should have been anticipated by an administration that spends its days trying to scare the bejeezus out of Americans for electoral gain.

But they always talk a good game.

The intentional murder of civilians is mortifying, horrible, and not the doing of our soldiers.

The soldiers do their own damage, and it’s not them we condemn at highwayscribery, but those who sell war as something in which innocents don’t die, because they should know better (and do).

The current and sorry excuse for a world leader unleashed hellfire on these poor people now living through an endless nightmare of explosions in civil settings, dead children, dead old people, dead young men, dead young women, dead entire families at dinner, dead uncles and nieces on their way to the bank, dead cousins volunteering for a new Iraqi police force.

To liberate and save them might have been noble, but that’s not what happened.

What did happen is criminal.

Here’s a speech by John Kerry up in New Hampshire a few nights ago.

“This war in Iraq is a disgrace.”

It’s a stemwinder, half an hour long and part of a larger e-mail in which Kerry asks for money and and stepped-up activism during the closing chapters of the campaign.

There’s a lot to look forward to on November 7, but none of it can be taken for granted. The (r)epublicans always operate from a base of power and they always have more money.

This time it’s $55 million more.

So Kerry, still keeping his post-2004 election promise to lead the party in opposition, is running around the country helping candidates who need it.

“In the last week,” his missive to the John Kerry online community read, “I’ve traveled hundreds of miles, spoken to thousands of voters, campaigned for dozens of candidates. And let me tell you this: There is something big taking hold out there.

“It’s something that the Rove Republicans can’t stop – no matter how shameless they are, how much fear-mongering they do, or how many vicious attack ads they launch.

“None of it will work. Not if we hold our ground. I’m telling you what I told a packed house of committed Democrats in New Hampshire just a few days ago:

We know what the Republicans will do. They’ll wrap our strategy in slogans. They’ll try to debate straw men because they’re afraid of real men – or women. And this time it won’t work because we’re going to stay in their faces with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their lies.”

If you want to make a contribution. Trust Kerry to spend it properly and donate here.

Click on the talking heads up and to the left. The “Washington Post” GlobalChat wanted to know (from its foreign bloggers one supposes) whether people in other countries are awaiting a taking of some power by the Democrats.

It makes for interesting reading.


This week the highway scribe reads "The Seduction of Father Olivares" to the guitar work of Omar Torrez at La Vedette, Gloriella's My Space Page. Give the song a few seconds to connect and load.

And remember, it's politics, POETRY, and prose (from an anarcho-syndicalist perspective.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Death of Anna Politkovskaya

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“If we could only find the courage to leave our destiny to chance, to accept the fundamental mystery of our lives, then we might be closer to the sort of happiness that comes with innocence.” Luis Buñel, “My Last Sigh.”

It was heartening to see that the “most e-mailed story” in the “Los Angeles Times” (for a few hours anyway) was about the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

A critic of Vladimir Putin, of the war in Chechnya, and lots of other ills usually associated with Putin, somebody shot her in the face at home.

She was buried yesterday and hundreds showed up to mourn this women whose name sounded like "political reporter" - Politkovskaya.

"The Times” article suggests an air of desperation regarding the future of Russia’s democracy blanketed the proceedings.

Gracious in battle, gracious in remembrance, Putin told the St. Petersburg Dialogue Forum, that her murder was a bad thing...a bad thing for Russia, “almost as damaging as her writings were to Russia.”

And just in case anybody was looking at him as some kind of responsible party, Putin had a few suspects ready to discuss.

“We have information, and it is reliable, that many people hiding from Russian justice have long been nurturing the idea of sacrificing somebody in order to create a wave of anti-Russia feeling in the world,” Putin said.

He left out the, “because they hate freedom” part.

highwayscribery does not want to get into the relative virtues of press freedom in the U.S., Russia, or Mexico, or blame Putin or somebody pretending to be Putin.

The point’s the same and they should all rot someplace hot.

highwayscribery merely wants to lament the death of a comrade in calling. It is a terrible thing that civic work like journalism must be done under the threat of death, but such is the reality everywhere, and the scribe emphasizes everywhere, in the world.

And take it from highwayscribery, it makes one consider the virtue of shutting up, closing down, and watching reruns of “That ’70s Show” with everyone else.

There is not an endless supply of people willing to throw things over, for the good of others, at great risk to themselves, in the name of truth and other such expensive items. Each generation gets a few, if it’s lucky. When these people are gone they are gone and Russia, the article would suggest, is clearly the poorer after Politkovskaya’s unjust exist.

Will we never know a time of civility, a stepping back from each, a giving of space, a faint pledge of simple cooperation?

Specialist Robinson, 21

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Hawthorne Soldier

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Spc. Fernando D. Robinson of Hawthorne, CA.

"California is saddened by the terrible loss of Spc. Robinson. We are so grateful to Fernando for his courageous service and for the sacrifice he made for our country. Maria and I will keep his family in our thoughts and prayers."

Robinson, 21, died Oct. 2 of injuries sustained when his patrol came under attack by enemy forces in Korengal, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, NY.

In honor of Spc. Robinson, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Chatting with Bill Moyers

Today the scribe participated in a wild and wacky Internet forum related to Bill Moyers’ program on public television, “Moyers on America.”

He’s got a big show on Internet freedom next week some time, and got it into his head to get together with bloggers for input prior to locking the final cut.

highwayscribery was contacted because it had signed-on earlier in the year with the “Save the Internet” coalition. We put a button up linking to their page and did a few posts in the name of net neutrality (as we understood it).

A couple of weeks ago highwayscribery explained the reason for having taken down the “Save the Internet” button at left and replaced it with the “Washington Post Global Chat" in a post called "Changes."

Fending off charges of glory seeking, the scribe said that the big telecommunications bill was dead for the legislative season and that we were all safe for another year, which was, to put it mildly, a misreporting of the situation.

And that is why you have to be careful when you read blogs and continue to respect the scribes at places who get paid to dig stuff up.

Turns out, big telecom companies including Verizon and AT&T have already been unleashed from government requirements keeping the Internet free. The only thing stopping them from asking a blogger or retail web page to pay up for prompt connection is a “scrutiny” period soon to end.

Then things are going to happen, according to Moyers' Team.

highwayscribery had a great time simultaneously following the audio proceedings while chatting with the panel itself, the other bloggers, never mind, it's hard to explain. Something like "Washington Post" GlobalChat, but much faster, on two channels at once.

the scribe punctuated the rather techie and rolling discussion with, "When do we get to meet Bill Moyers?" and later with, "I still don't know what I'm doing, but it's fun!"

The Moyers’ forum panel took up the scribe’s question as to whether a Congress controlled by Democrats would help the cause of “net neutrality” rules that would bind the telecom giants from to equal treatment across the World Wide Web.

The guy who answered said it would make up a big difference. He said that net neutrality is an issue that animates hot conservatives and cool communists alike, a bipartisan issue, but that “the Dems have been much better on it.”

It’s really a question of monopoly, which the good anarcho-syndicalists at highwayscribery wholeheartedly oppose.

(No, we will not be putting the button back up for the time being.)

Also, the PostChat question today is, “Should North Korea be punished?”

highwayscribery’s entry was:

Living in Los Angeles, looking at the map, and adding the very little I know about nuclear delivery systems into the mix, I think we should not punish them.

“Punish.” What’s that? Starving millions of people living under tyranny in the hopes their hungry bellies will lead them to revolution? And is punishment supposed to force N.K. to ditch its program, or increase its paranoia?

When the administration has cared so little for non-proliferation (see recent deal with India and other stuff) why should anybody else?

The buck stops with Bush on this one. When you don’t talk to people and label them as part of an “axis of evil” in a speech about something else completely, you get a nuclear test - the diplomatic equivalent of the middle finger.

Join in by clicking on the two talking heads at left.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Book Report: "Our Endangered Values" by Jimmy Carter

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At highwayscribery we like to say Carter’s the best mistake America ever made.

His book "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis" is something of a radical tract done in a civil way. The treatise, a searing indictment of the Bush administration, provides left-wing viewpoint with the "cover" of Carter's being a good Christian. He prays, but he still thinks things stink (stunk); much the way the guy with dreadlocks and drum in the street has been saying for, oh, ever now.

Not everybody loves Carter, and this literary, frontal assault made him no friends among the screeching heads.

Which is why people in other countries do things like invite him to monitor the fairness of their elections and give him Nobel Peace prizes. Because then we'll have to pay at least a little attention to him.

The book provides a nice (Christian) insider's view of how fundamentalists slowly assumed leadership of Christian movements in the U.S. and committed them to political action. Very similar, Carter points out, to what we are grappling with in the Muslim world (and everywhere else).

Rather than go back over the book we'll discuss how the Bush crowd bungled the whole business with North Korea by way of example.

According to the book, Carter had then-President Clinton's blessing to work out a deal with Kim Il Sung, dad of the current leader, Kim Jong Il. What he got was a commitment by North Korea to cease its nuclear program at Yongbyon and permit International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to ensure that spent fuel stayed spent fuel.

Sung died and Jong kept the old man's word. In South Korea, Kim Dae Jung held out a whole bouquet of olive branches to the northern nemesis and gained the Nobel Peace Prize for 2000.

Peace, compromises and olive branches.

Then came W.

"North Korea," Carter writes, "was publicly branded as part of an `axis of evil,' with direct and implied threats of military action against the isolated and paranoid nation, and an official policy was established that prohibited any direct discussions with the North Koreans to resolve differences."

Things fell apart, of course. IAEA inspectors got booted from the Korean peninsula and N.K. dropped out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a document Bush has never cared much for either, according to Carter.

Everybody hated everybody and nuclear testing ensued; the diplomatic equivalent of the middle finger, but more dangerous than a mere symbol. Now this nut has the bomb.

What happened? Here's the former prez: "The primary obstacles to progress are a peremptory United States demand that North Koreans renounce all nuclear activity and a decision that communication between our two countries will be accepted only within six-nation forum, while Pyongyang leaders have insisted on resumption of bilateral discussions and a clear statement from Washington that American leaders have `no hostile intent' against them."

Bush wouldn't give them that and so we got nothing.

You can't just talk to people you like around the world. You have to talk to those you don't like. That is the essence of diplomacy. The news out of Pyonyang was the essence of its failure.

Anyway, Carter's book is blessed with things you didn't know, but should. He's been there when a lot of stuff has gone down, sat in the meeting as it were, and the eyewitness expertise lends weight to the argument and a degree of fascination to the account.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Sex and Obsession

The question at "Washington Post" GlobalChat today is: "Are Americans obsessed with Sex?

Here is the scribe's answer:

One would certainly hope so. They’re certainly obsessed with talking about it and watching it.

The question of whether that is a good or a bad thing is best left to the psychologists and evangelicals.

Are they having more sex? Only they and the National Security Agency know for certain.

Back in the seventies Dr. David Ruben wrote, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex *But Were Afraid to Ask,” and it was very popular. The title says it all. There were a lot of questions.

The answers are everywhere now and sex or some conception of love sell more than most things.

The questions are no longer about sex; it’s production value and sharing. A nation of exhibitionists with the technology to project at our fingerprints, sex is good attention. And boy do we need it.

You can read the whole discussion by clicking on the two talks heads at left.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Crazy Anarcho-Syndical Nurses

While everybody’s worrying about page boys, the National Labor Relations Board announced in favor of a broad “supervisors” industrial classification that would deny many in the ranks of labor the right to a union.

It’s the kind of thing that makes the world go ‘round, but garners very little attention.

Here’s the lede paragraph and a link to the piece, which ran in the “Contra Costa Times.”
“Leaders of unionized nurses in the Bay Area and elsewhere in California vowed Wednesday to strike rather than capitulate if hospitals seek to enforce a federal ruling that nurses who have minor duties as supervisors could be designated managers and no longer be able to participate in a union.”

The goal here, rather transparent, is no other than to further weaken the labor movement. The California Nurses Association has said they are having none of it and recorded a strike vote it will apply to any company, “exploiting this ruling.”

That’s pretty radical stuff for the American labor movement. The nurses would essentially be challenging the government to fire them all if they struck over the issue. There’s the dare because there is a shortage of nurses in health care. So they’re really holding a gun to the head of the powers-that-be, as it were.

But the union is no normal union. Here’s a piece from something called
“Capitol Hill” that goes into the nurses’ “deep ties to the social-justice and consumer-advocacy movement and a long-standing relationship with Ralph Nader...”

The union is betting big on the California voter initiative Proposition 89, which is a clean campaign money initiative and has 70,000 members to bless its efforts.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Iraq Pie

Today we set ourselves up again as satellite to the "Washington Post" GlobalChat forum. It's true the last post was also from that forum. the scribe has been sidetracked with making of his character Vedette's My Space page, which has turned out to be a wonderful way to get the story to people a natural audience. But he's back now, because that's set up.

This week Vedette is featuring the guitar work of Aydin de Istanbul.

the scribe has also been busy making a new recording of "Vedette Does La Danza" with guitarist Omar Torrez. There are seven pieces adding up to a CD of some 40 minutes (Those on the site are old ones). The recording session was energetic and we are both excited about the result.

Onto the Washington Post question:

Despite U.S. efforts to forge a "unity" government in Iraq, sectarian violence there continues at a frightening level. Iraqis are already separating into different ethnic cantons as neighborhoods are "cleansed" by Shiite death squads and Sunni insurgents.

Given the mess in Iraq, should the U.S. move toward "federalism plus" a plan that devolves power into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish regions? What would the consequences of such a de-facto partition for the rest of the Middle East?

What the scribe said:

Maybe it’s a moot point. This is the prompt legacy for Bush’s policy in the region: instability. The administration likes to glibly point out there was nothing stable about the Middle East prior to its invasion of Iraq, but that’s not an exhaustive analysis, as Winston Churchill liked to say. Nor is it very funny. Either way, the break-up of a country drawn along wacky lines by an imperial power different than that occupying it now, is probably long overdue and, probably, irreversible. The sectarian division might have been achieved without violence, but the administration closed that door a long time ago. The ramifications, of course, involve more blood, shards of glass, and hellfire for the liberated; ethnic cleansing, displacement, refugees stumbling from one new sharia governed state to another. The president says the pain is necessary, but he’s not feeling it quite as much as a lot of other people both here and over there.

There's a button at left with the faces of two top journalistic dogs. Click there to catch the whole debate at GlobalChat.


Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Garden Grove Sailor

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor of Garden Grove:

"Petty Officer 2nd Class Monsoor lost his life while courageously serving our country. Maria and I join all Californians in extending our sympathies to Michael's family and friends. We will keep his family in our prayers as they mourn the loss of a brave individual."

Monsoor, 25, died Sept. 29 of injuries sustained while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Ramadi, Iraq. Monsoor was a SEAL assigned to the West-Coast based command.

In honor of Petty Officer 2nd Class Monsoor, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Twentynine Palms Marine

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Capt. Justin D. Peterson of Davisburg, MI:

"Capt. Peterson was committed to the safety and protection of his fellow Americans. Maria and I wish to express our sympathies to Justin's family, friends and fellow Marines whom he served alongside. He joins a proud legacy of servicemen and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country."

Peterson, 32, died Oct. 1 of injuries sustained from a non-hostile vehicle accident in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, CA.

In honor of Capt. Peterson, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Alpine Soldier

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Sgt. Joseph W. Perry of Alpine.

"Sgt. Perry risked his life to protect the freedoms of his fellow Americans. Maria and I offer our condolences to Joseph's family during this painful time. The sacrifice he made through service is an inspiration to all Californians."

Perry, 23, died Oct. 2 of injuries sustained when his mounted patrol came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire during combat operations in Muhallah, Iraq. He was assigned to the 21st Military Police Company, 16th Military Police Brigade, XVIIIth Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, NC.

In honor of Sgt. Perry, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Alta Loma Soldier

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Staff Sgt. Daniel Isshak of Alta Loma.

"Staff Sgt. Isshak's courage and profound allegiance to a higher calling warrants the highest appreciation of all Californians. Maria and I send our sympathies to Daniel's family as they mourn the loss of a loved one. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and fellow soldiers."

Isshak, 25, died Oct. 3 of injuries sustained during combat operations when his vehicle came under enemy small arms fire in Hawija, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

In honor of Staff Sgt. Isshak, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.