Saturday, December 09, 2006

James Baker & Jimmy Carter Admit Israel is the Problem

- PHOTO: Iraeli & Palestinian Couple Fight to Love Eachother -
For Palestinian ID holders married to Israeli citizens or permanent residents of Jerusalem, they must either build their family outside of the country or choose to live “illegally” inside Israel, which means they cannot legally work, drive etc.

Two unprecedented statements have been expressed that have historically been wholly off the table for discussion. The statements regard the oppression of the Palestinians as being a reality, and one which is a cause of Middle East tyranies.

The commission (Iraq Study Group) that issued a harsh analysis of President George W. Bush's Iraq policy said "To put it simply, all key issues in the Middle East - the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iraq, Iran, the need for political and economic reforms and extremism and terrorism - are inextricably linked."

"The United States will not be able to achieve its goals in the Middle East unless the United States deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict," the report said.

One possible scenario for ending that would include return of the strategic Golan Heights to Syria after four decades of Israeli occupation. That would come only after Damascus had met politically and diplomatically difficult, possibly even incriminating, conditions.

Meanwhile, speaking about his new book Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid, Jimmy Carter told CNN, "However, in the West Bank, in the occupied territories, a horrible example of apartheid is being perpetrated against the Palestinians who live there. Israel has penetrated and occupied, confiscated and colonized major portions of the territory belonging to the Palestinians."

Sources: ;

Friday, December 08, 2006

How Canada Treats Their "Illegals"

Police have carried out a series of raids on 18 Vancouver-area massage parlours, making 108 arrests. According to the RCMP, police targeted parlours suspected of having connections to the sex trade, organized crime and human trafficking operations.

But no charges have been laid and most of the parlour workers appear to be Canadian citizens, according to CTV Vancouver's Lisa Rossington. A police investigation is currently underway.

"As both Canadians and law enforcement personnel, we are very concerned about people being deceived or coerced into coming to Canada, with the hope of a better life, only to be held in virtual slavery," said RCMP Superintendent Bill Ard. "It is situations such as these, where there are suspicions of people being victimized, that clearly demonstrate the importance of the RCMP and outside agencies working together, to help protect those who are vulnerable and who do not have an opportunity to help themselves.

According to Rob Johnston of the Canada Border Services Agency, officials do not deport victims of human trafficking from the country.

"Under the new guidelines and laws these victims can be issued temporary residence permits by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and if in our work we do locate victims we are in immediate contact with the RCMP and with Citizenship and Immigration Canada," said Johnston.

Victims of human trafficking are also provided with temporary health coverage until they are considered eligible for provincial health coverage. Other available services can include housing, health care, emergency income, trauma counseling and legal assistance, according to Susanne Dahlin of the B.C. Public Safety Ministry.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Death Squads Target Iraqi Gays

Following a death-to-gays fatwa issued last October by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, death squads of the Badr Corps have been systematically targeting gay Iraqis for persecution and execution, gay Iraqis say. But when they ask for help and protection from U.S. occupying authorities in the “Green Zone,” gay Iraqis are met with indifference and derision.

“The Badr Corps is committed to the ‘sexual cleansing’ of Iraq,“ says Ali Hili, a 33-year-old gay Iraqi exile in London who, with some 30 other gay Iraqis who have fled to the United Kingdom, five months ago founded the Abu Nawas Group there to support persecuted gay Iraqis.

Said Hili, “We believe that the Badr Corps is receiving advice from Iran on how to target gay people.” In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been carrying out a lethal anti-gay pogrom against Iranian gays, notably through entrapment by Internet -- and this tactic has recently begun to be used by the Badr Corps in Iraq to identify and hunt down Iraqi gays.

The well-armed Badr Corps is the military arm of the Iranian-backed Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the powerful Shia group that is the largest political formation in Iraq’s Shia community, which was headquartered in Tehran until Saddam Hussein‘s fall. The SCIRI’s Badr Corps is trained and commanded by former Iraqi army officers.

The Ayatollah Sistani, the 77-year-old Iranian-born cleric who is the supreme Shia authority in Iraq, is revered by SCIRI as its spiritual leader. His anti-gay fatwa (available on Sistani’s official website) says that “people involved” in homosexuality “should be killed in the worst, most severe way of killing.”

Speaking by telephone from London, the Abu Nawas Group's Hili said that “there is a very, very serious threat to life for gay people in Iraq today. We are receiving regular reports from our extensive network of contacts with underground gay activists and gay people in Iraq -- intimidation, beatings, kidnappings and murders of gays have become an almost daily occurrence. The Badr Corps was killing gay people even before the Ayatollah’s fatwah, but Sistani’s murderous homophobic incitement has given a green light to all Shia Muslims to hunt and kill lesbians and gay men.”

Hili says,”Badr Corps agents have a network of informers who, among other things, target alleged 'immoral behavior'. They kill gays, unveiled women, prostitutes, people who sell or drink alcohol, and those who listen to western music and wear western fashions.

"Badr militants are entrapping gay men via internet chat rooms. They arrange a date, and then beat and kill the victim. Males who are unmarried by the age of 30 or 35 are placed under surveillance on suspicion of being gay, as are effeminate men. They will be investigated and warned to get married. Badr will typically give them a month to change their ways. If they don't change their behavior, or if they fail to show evidence that they plan to get married, they will be arrested, disappear and eventually be found dead. The bodies are usually discovered with their hands bound behind their back, blindfolds over their eyes, and bullet wounds to the back of the head.”

Tahseen is an underground gay activist in Iraq, and a correspondent there for the British Abu Nawas Group. A 31-year-old photography lab technician, Tahseen told me by telephone from Baghdad this weekend that, “Just last week, four gay people we know of were found dead. I am afraid to leave my room and go out in the street because I will be killed. We all live in fear.“ Tahseen said that men who seem obviously gay “cannot walk in the street. My best friend was recently killed for being gay.”

Tahseen confirmed the murderous efficiency of the Badr Corps’ Internet entrapment program. “Within one hour after they meet a gay person in an Internet chat room, that person will disappear and be found dead,” he said, adding that “since Sistani’s fatwa, the life of a gay person is worth nothing here, and the violence and killings have gotten much, much worse.”

Tahseen lives in a Baghdad apartment with his two brothers. “Right now, I have five gay men hiding in my room in fear of their lives, because they cannot go outside without risking being killed,” he said, with anguish audible in his voice. “They are all listening to me as I speak with you.” All those hiding with Tahseen are in their late twenties or early thirties, and by their mannerisms would be easily identified as gay by most Iraqis. I spoke briefly with one of them, who expressed his fear in a soft, shy voice.

One of those being given refuge by Tahseen is Bashar, a 34-year-old stage actor, who was forced to go into hiding after receiving death threats against him and his family. Before he went underground, his house was raided several times by the Badr Corps. Fortunately, he was not at home, otherwise he fears he would have been kidnapped and killed.

“We desperately need protection!” pleaded Tahseen. “But, when we go to the Americans, they laugh at us and don’t do anything. The Americans are the problem!” The Abu Nawas Group’s Hili confirmed from London that representations to officials of the U.S. occupation in Baghdad’s famous “Green Zone” had been made by underground gay activists, only to be met with disdain and indifference.

Hili, who has a bachelor’s degree in English literature, and who used to work for Iraqi radio and television, fled to the U.K. in 2002 after having been persecuted for being gay under Saddam Hussein. “In the late ‘80s and early 90s there were a couple of gay clubs in Baghdad, but they were all shut down in 1993 after sanctions were imposed against Saddam’s regime and Iraq. We had a weekly gay nightclub in the Palestine Hotel (right) that became the gathering place for gay people, especially for actors and others in the entertainment world, but it, too, was shut down. I was arrested three times for being gay, and tortured. After several attempts, I finally was able to escape the country, going first to Dubai, then Jordan, then Syria, and finally reaching England.” Now, Hili says, he is heartbroken to see that, three years after Saddam’s fall, life for gay people in Iraq is even more unbearable than before.

“Just last night I spoke via Internet with a young gay man in his mid-20s who was caught by SCIRI agents. He had no identification with him -- gay people are afraid to carry their I.D.s when they go in the street in case they are caught,” because both the police and the Badr Corps agents would inform their families and add them to a list of known homosexuals, which would be used later to target them for killing.. “This young man had his left arm broken by the SCIRI thugs -- I saw this with my own eyes via Internet camera,” Hili said.

Hili said the Abu Nawas Group is accumulating evidence that Iranian agents are advising SCIRI and the Iraqi police on how to implement anti-gay persecution. Not only has Iran’s Internet entrapment campaign targeting gays been adopted in Iraq, he says, but there are reports that Iranian agents have been involved in interrogations, questioning those arrested in Persian through translators. “This is particularly true in Basra in the south,” Hili says.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

International Centre Develops Software to Access Blocked Websites

Citizens of countries such as China and Iran are about to be handed a powerful Canadian-made tool designed to undermine authoritarian efforts at stifling the free flow of information.

Called Psiphon, it's a small computer program that allows people in non-democratic places to beat the local thought police and access forbidden websites at minimal personal risk.

People in uncensored locations such as Canada install Psiphon on their home computers. The program is free, easy to set up, and small at about 1.5 megabytes.

They then send connection information by e-mail or phone, along with a user name and password, to people they trust in the countries subject to censorship.

The person in the foreign country connects through a secure, encrypted connection to the uncensored computer and surfs the web without hindrance.

Security depends on trusting the people involved in setting up the connection.

"You really have to break the social networks to discover Psiphon, (because) it's very difficult for authorities to technically discover Psiphon traffic, if not impossible," Deibert said.

More than 40 countries are now engaged in Internet censorship, where only a few did just a few years ago.

Countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Myanmar, China, Thailand and Sudan routinely block Internet content.

Until now, so-called censorship busters such as the Voice of America have resorted to broadcasting information on how to access uncensored computers. Authorities are usually quick to block those.

In addition, people often don't trust the sites because they can be set up by their own government as a sting.

The program was the brainchild of Nart Villeneuve and Michelle Levesque from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies.

  • CITIZEN LAB: A research lab that brings together social scientists, filmmakers, computer scientists, activists, and artists. It sponsors projects that explore the cutting-edge of hypermedia technologies and grassroots social movements, civic activism, and democratic change within an emerging planetary polity.

They developed a prototype three years ago, but it essentially languished until January, when funding from the Open Source Institute allowed its development. Eight people worked on the project full-time since then.

Many people in internet-censored countries, have been testing the software. One of them will be participating in a live demonstration at psiphon's launch and the researchers will also show recorded video of psiphonites in Iran using the system.

It can be downloaded at


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ancient Cyrus - The Inspiration for the U.S. Constitution

ABOVE VIDEO (Preview of "In Search of Cyrus the Great"): Cyrus (580-529 BC) founded Persia and is best remembered for his unprecedented tolerance and magnanimous attitude towards those he defeated.

When he conquered Babylon, he did so to cheers from the Jewish Community, who welcomed him as a liberator- he allowed the Jews to return to the promised Land. He showed great forbearance and respect towards the religious beliefs and cultural traditions of other races. These qualities earned him the respect and homage of all the people over whom he ruled.

Cyrus was praised by the Bible, the Cyropaedia, and John Locke. America's founding fathers broke with tradition and adopted Cyrus's model of 'benevolent government' for the United States' modern Constitution. Thomas Jefferson's personal copy of Xenophon's 'Cyropaedia' is on display in D.C.

Source: Producer of the Cyrus Film

ABOVE PHOTO: Gender equality, religious freedom, and equal justice, considered "Western values" today, were protected mainstays of Persian culture. The writing on this baked, clay cylinder gives us a rare snapshot of Cyrus bestowing these very rights on the people of Babylonia after conquering it in October, 539 BCE. Today this cylinder is considered the world's first universal declaration of human rights and is considered by many as the precursor to the Magna Carta and the U.S. Bill of Rights. A replica is displayed at the United Nations in D.C.

More Info: San Diego & the Cyrus Connection

Monday, November 27, 2006

Transexuals in Iran

ABOVE VIDEO: Trailer/preview of documentary "I Know that I Am" by Peyman Khosravi (Iranian-Canadian director). Much of the footage—shot in secret and smuggled out of Iran—was captured and presumed destroyed by local authorities. Sexual deviancy in Iran is punishable by hanging, and very few people in the country accept such a lifestyle. Through interviews with government officials, human rights advocates and trans people themselves, the film constructs a telling portrait of queer struggles amidst profound cultural restrictions.

More Info: Vancouver Queer Film Festival

1 min video:

ABOVE VIDEO: Trailer/preview of documentary "My Birthday" (Netherlands) by Negin Kianfar. The film follows a young man before and after a sex change in Iran. Doctors and clergymen also comment on transsexuality and its consequences on an Islamic society.

Film Description in English:

Watch the full movie (1:03): Link to video

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Blood Diamonds

HOLLYWOOD: The issue of "bood diamonds" or "conflict diamonds" is now reaching more of a wider audience thanks to the release of a Hollywood movie, which in my opinion simply makes money off the glorification of death without discussing the real political and social issues. Actor Mr. DiCaprio talks about conflict diamonds, child soldiers, rap's role, and his time in Africa (click here for video).

RAP, AFRICA & DIAMONDS: The United Nations grouped up with MTV & VH1 to make a documentary where they send diamond-crazy rappers to Africa to see what they are contributing to. The 5 min trailer/preview is very fascinating and ends with Kanye West saying this about blacks: "We've had for so many years, chains around our necks, but this time we have diamonds in them." An African rappers sings: "You can take our diamonds, but never take our spirit."

ABOVE VIDEO: 7 mins, excellent abbreviated political history of why African diamonds cause war and how DeBeers Co. & consumers contribute to unimaginable crimes.

PBS Documentary - Spokane Mayor & His Teenage Male Lovers

PBS Frontline has completed a documentary about the most recent Spokane, Washington mayor, Jim West. The local newspaper, the Spokesman-Review, setup a sting operation catching Mayor West courting teenage boys online and offering some of them internships. In the past he actually supported legislation that was anti-gay (ie: banning gays from working in schools & day-cares). Despite his own City Council voting to make him step down, he refused among much protest. The FBI got involved. After a long legal battle to recall the Mayor, voters finally succeeded in December of 2005 with 65% in favor of ousting him. Tragically, West died in July of 2006 at age 55.

Watch Here:

Length: 60 mins

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tupac (2Pac) Poetry & His Politics

Pictures taken from the Tupac Peace Garden at the "Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts" located just outside Atlanta, Georgia.

Tupac was very politically conscious at a very young age, which was evident in his lyrics. Did you know he was born in East Harlem, NY & lived in the North East for 17 years before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. There he initially lived with a non-black woman Leila Steinberg (1/4 Turkish, 1/4 Mexican, 2/4 German-Polish) who instigated Tupac's mind by having him read deep books, such as feminist writings, by age 20. According to a Harvard study, Tupac was more well-read, and intellectually well-rounded at that age than the average student in the first year class of most Ivy League institutions. I can attest to this after watching underground home video of a young Tupac (see documentary "Thug Angel").
Leila Steinberg: "From the very first day, he defiantly wanted to use his art for social change. He wanted to be a voice, not a star. So we stayed up probably until three in the morning that very first day that we met, talking about what we found in terms of our visions, for the planet, for people, for healing prejudice, for understanding black struggle, native American struggle, Latin struggle, women struggle, and just our commitment to fight for oppressed people."
Just read the lyrics for a song "Words of Wisdom" released in 1991 on his very first album: "No Malcolm X in my history text. Why is that? Cause he tried to educate and liberate all blacks. Why is Martin Luther King in my book each week? He told blacks, if they get smacked, turn the other cheek."

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Latino Farm Workers in the US & Their Road from Literal Slavery

-- Immokalee is home to the largest farmworker community in Florida, the majority of whom are from Mexico, Guatemala, and Haiti. --

*Coalition of Immokalle Workers (CIW): community-based worker organization whose members are largely Latino, Haitian, and Mayan Indian immigrants working in low-wage agricultural jobs throughout the state of Florida.

Modern Day Slavery Revealed in Florida

** In 2002, three Florida-based agricultural employers convicted in federal court on slavery, extortion, and weapons charges were sentenced to a total of nearly 35 years in prison and the forfeiture of $3 million in assets. The men, who employed over 700 farmworkers, threatened workers with death if they were to try to leave, and pistol-whipped and assaulted -- at gunpoint -- passenger van service drivers who gave rides to farmworkers leaving the area. The case was brought to trial by federal authorities from the Department of Justice (Civil Rights Division) after two years of investigation by the CIW.

** In 1997, two agricultural employers were prosecuted by the DOJ on slavery, extortion, and firearms charges and sentenced to 15 years each in federal prison. The slavers held over 400 men and women in debt bondage in Florida and South Carolina. The workers, mostly indigenous Mexicans and Guatemalans, were forced to work 10-12 hour days, 6 days per week, for as little as $20 per week, under the constant watch of armed guards. Those who attempted escape were assaulted, pistol-whipped, and even shot. The case was brought to federal authorities after five years of investigation by escaped workers and CIW members.

Taco Bell Boycott by Farmworkers Shuts Down 22 Stores

The four-year boycott has grown in recent years largely due to support from college students. Twenty-two colleges had successfully removed or blocked Taco Bell from operating on their campuses.

In 2005 Taco Bell agreed to increase the amount it pays for tomatoes by a ONE CENT per pound, with the increase to go directly to workers' wages. Taco Bell also said it will help the farmworkers' efforts to improve working and living conditions. Today, workers earn the same as 30 years ago, about $50 a day for picking two tons of tomatoes from 6:00am - 6:00pm.

CIW was awarded the 2003 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and have been comended by former US President Jimmy Carter. If these voiceless people can do it, anyone can do it!!

Their new targets . . . . McDonalds!!

ABOVE VIDEO: Ronaldo McDonaldo went out to the fields himself to see if farmwork was really as hard as everyone complained it was (5 mins).

25 min documentary --> Immokalee: From Slavery to Freedom

Read About CIW & Their Dream to Build a Farmworker Community Center (to include, among other things: Computer lab, independent radio station, and anti-slavery office)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Immigrants to Netherlands Must Watch Gay & Sexual Video for Entry Exam

--ABOVE PHOTO: The yearly gay parade in Denmark goes through immigrant neighborhoods. Denmark ranks as the freest country in the world for homosexuals. --
The camera focuses on two gay men kissing in a park. Later, a topless woman emerges from the sea and walks onto a crowded beach. For would-be immigrants to the Netherlands this film is a test of their readiness to participate in the liberal Dutch culture.

If they can't stomach it, no need to apply.

Despite whether they find the film offensive, applicants must buy a copy and watch it if they hope to pass the Netherlands' new entrance examination.

The test — the first of its kind in the world — became compulsory Wednesday, and was made available at 138 Dutch embassies.

The test is part of a broader crackdown on immigration that has been gathering momentum in the Netherlands since 2001.

Anti-immigration sentiment peaked with filmmaker Theo van Gogh's murder by a Dutch national of Moroccan descent in November 2004.

Both praise and scorn have been poured on Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk, the architect of the new test and other policies that have reduced immigration by at least a third.

A censored version with no homosexual and nude material had been prepared because it is illegal to show such images in Iran and some other countries, filmmaker Walter Goverde said.
"With all the respect I have for all religions, I think people need to understand that Holland has its own liberal side as well," he said.



A Back-Lash Against Immigrants in Europe (Especially Norther Africans & Middle Easterners)

Unlike other western nations like the U.S. and Canada, many European nations only recently have implemented written immigration exams to gain entry. This is indicative of the growing tension between many cultural communities settling into Europe, which has originally been very welcoming. There are many reasons for this strife: the rise of conservative governments in Europe, immigrants are isolated in psuedo-ghettos, many refuse to assimilate, many bring their radical religions, many abuse their freedoms and entitlements, while others simply face blatant discrimination and their new countries refuse to communicate with them as equals.

"European Union politicians are struggling to assimilate overseas-born residents while toughening entry requirements for outsiders. The Paris suburbs were rocked last year by rioting among Muslim youths that resulted in about 3,000 arrests. Italian and Spanish authorities are trying to stem the tide of Africans who arrive in makeshift boats. The U.K. government is debating ways to reduce the isolation of its own Muslim community after alleged terror plots that police say were planned by British citizens."

Turkey bans Muslim headscarves in public places; some German states has such a law for teachers; and France bans headscarves and other "conspicuous" religious symbols at all state schools (not universities).

An immigration exam in the Hesse province of Germany asks: “In your eyes, were the perpetrators of 9/11 and the 2004 Madrid attacks terrorists or freedom fighters?" A test in Baden Wurteermberg province asks: "How would you feel were your son to become homosexual, or whether you would allow your daughter to participate in swim classes."

Sources:,,2089-2157935,00.html ;,1518,415207,00.html ; ;

Thursday, November 16, 2006

UCLA Police Use Stun Gun on Student (Horrific Video)

--Anyone want to aid Mostafa with his law suit?--

University of California Police Department officers shot Mostafa Tabatabainejad (a UCLA student residing in L.A.) several times with a Taser inside the Powell Library CLICC computer lab Tuesday night before taking him into custody. At around 11:30 p.m., CSOs asked a male student using a computer in the back of the room to leave when he was unable to produce a BruinCard during a random check. The student did not exit the building immediately.

The CSOs left, returning minutes later, and police officers arrived to escort the student out. By this time the student had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack when an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, at which point the student told the officer to let him go. A second officer then approached the student as well. The student began to yell "get off me," repeating himself several times.

It was at this point that the officers shot the student with a Taser for the first time, causing him to fall to the floor and cry out in pain. The student also told the officers he had a medical condition. UCPD officers confirmed that the man involved in the incident was a student, but did not give a name or any additional information about his identity. Video shot from a student's camera phone captured the student yelling, "Here's your Patriot Act, here's your fucking abuse of power," while he struggled with the officers. As the student was screaming, UCPD officers repeatedly told him to stand up and said "stop fighting us." The student did not stand up as the officers requested and they shot him with the Taser at least once more.

"It was the most disgusting and vile act I had ever seen in my life," said David Remesnitsky, a 2006 UCLA alumnus who witnessed the incident. As the student and the officers were struggling, bystanders repeatedly asked the police officers to stop, and at one point officers told the gathered crowd to stand back and threatened to use a Taser on anyone who got too close.

Laila Gordy, a fourth-year economics student who was present in the library during the incident, said police officers threatened to shoot her with a Taser when she asked an officer for his name and his badge number. Gordy was visibly upset by the incident and said other students were also disturbed. "It's a shock that something like this can happen at UCLA," she said. "It was unnecessary what they did."

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Nancy Greenstein of the University of California Police Department said: "All use of force incidents require an administrative review, which is currently under way. The entire incident is under investigation, and a case will be presented to the City Attorney."

There is no phone listing for Tabatabainejad and neither he nor his attorney could be located for comment, accordingt to one news source.

Immediately after the incident, several students began to contact local news outlets, informing them of the incident, and Remesnitsky wrote an e-mail to Interim Chancellor Norman Abrams.

Statement from UCLA Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams About Incident at Powell Library:

University police are investigating an incident late last night in which police took a student into custody at Powell Library. Investigators are reviewing the incident and the officers' actions, and I can assure you that these reviews will be thorough, vigorous and fair.

The safety of our campus community is of paramount importance to me. Routinely checking student identification after 11 p.m. at the campus library, which is open 24 hours, is a policy posted in the library that was enacted for the protection of our students. Compliance is critical for the safety and well-being of everyone

Sources: ; ;

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Al Jazeera English Launches

INTRO: Al Jazeera International (aka: Al Jazeera English) launches Nov. 15, 2006. Al Jazeera is bankrolled from the Emir of Qatar's vast fortune and will remain free from commercial sponsorship or advertiser concerns. Therefore, expect more graphic and controversial content than what Western audiences are accustom to.

BIG NAME REPORTERS: Senior British journalist Sir David Frost (BBC), the only person to have interviewed the last seven US presidents and the last six British prime ministers. Frost will interview UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on the first day the channel launches. Frost says he investigated al-Jazeera with his own high-level contacts in Whitehall and Washington to make sure it had no terrorist connection before signing to work for them.

The other big name reporter will be Josh Rushing, a former United States Marine Captain who was a press officer for United States Central Command during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. He became famous for his appearance in the documentary Control Room, which documented his conversations with Al Jazeera correspondent Hassan Ibrahim. After the Pentagon ordered him not to comment on the movie he left the Marine Corps and signed up with Al Jazeera.

HOW TO WATCH IN THE USA: The best way to watch the channel will be through a live broadband stream from it's website. The website will also offer RSS feeds, e-mail newsletters and interactive discussion boards. No major US cable company is brave enough to broadcast the channel just yet. It was revealed that the US cable network Comcast had pulled out of talks to carry the channel, citing lack of capacity.

In the US it will be available to customers of GlobeCast, the subsidiary of a French company that offers satellite TV service costing around $300 (€230) to install. Other companies include Fision, a digital service that will be available shortly in Houston; Jump TV, which describes itself as "the world's leading broadcaster of ethnic TV over the Internet; and, a service that offers TV on the Internet to about 10,000 customers in the U.S.

You may view a list of all channels within every country that will carry Al Jazeera English (aka: platforms). The channel claims it will be the first global high-definition television network.

BROADCAST BUREAUS: The entire news company's headquarters are in Doha, Qatar but the English channel will have 4 broadcast centers (Doha, Kuala Lumpur, D.C., London) and 20 supporting bureaus.

Sources: ;,,1948048,00.html ; ;,,2-10-1462_2030002,00.html ; ;

Sunday, November 12, 2006 video prompts probe of LAPD

ABOVE VIDE: On August 11th, 2006, William Cardenas, 24 from Hollywood, California was arrested by the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. A neighbor video-taped the beating on her cell phone camera.

"The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that a Superior Court commissioner viewed the video nearly two months ago, heard the officers' testimony, and concluded that their conduct was 'more than reasonable' because Cardenas was resisting."

Full Story:

ABOVE VIDEO: Los Angeles police. From the counter-protest called by to protest a Minutemen march in Hollywood on July 8, 2006.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Horrific Video of Slain American Journalist in Mexico

"Journalism seems like a precarious profession to practise in Mexico. It’s ranked by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) as one of the most dangerous places to be a journalist."

"The latest tragic example of this came on Friday 27th October, in the southern state of Oaxaca (in Mexico) with the shooting of Brad Will. Brad was in Oaxaca as a journalist for New York City Indymedia, trying to get stories out about the protests in Oaxaca (see Seattle journalist latest post). While filming skirmishes between paramilitaries and protestors in Santa Lucia on Friday afternoon, Brad was shot in the abdomen and neck, and died from his injuries."
ABOVE VIDEO: Now Indymedia (his employer) has released the tape that was in Brad’s video camera & in his hands when he was shot. The above video is 16mins w/ English subtitles, and beware, the last minute (from 15:30) is very difficult to watch, as it shows him getting shot in first person point of view.

Video in Original Spanish:

ABOVE VIDEO: Unidentified news footage (in Spanish) of Brad Will shortly after he was shot. This is very graphic and not for everyone. You can see him starting at 1:30. (Footage revealed by a Mexican opposition blog Hoy PG)

Source of above news story:

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Execution of Rape Victims in Iran

Execution Of A Teenage Girl (BBC2 Documentary)

On August 15th 2004, a 16-year-old girl was hanged in a public square in Neka, Iran, a small industrial town by the Caspian Sea. Her death sentence was for crimes against chastity. Her name was Atefah Sahaaleh. The only evidence against Atefah was her own forced confession. Atefah railed against her judge in court for its unfairness, but this was her undoing. Judge Haji Rezai, who was also the local mullah, prosecutor and head of the city administration, personally obtained permission from Iran's Supreme Court to execute her, and put the noose around her neck himself before she was hoisted on a crane jib arm to her death. Using undercover footage, eyewitness accounts and drama recontruction, this film tells an unforgettable story of the life and tragic death of an ordinary teenage girl under Iran's mullahs.

The producer of the documentary explains how she risked her life to secretly make the film in Iran:,,1830833,00.html?gusrc=rss

Length: 48 mins.



The Case of Nazanin Fatehi

Please help save Nazanin. On January 3, 2006, 18-year-old Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi was sentenced to death for murder by court in Iran after she stabbed one of three men who attempted to rape her and her 16-year-old niece in a park in Karaj (a suburb of Tehran) in March 2005. She was seventeen at the time. The court sentenced her to death by hanging. Her sentence was later overturned and a re-trial was held. However, there has been no verdict and she remains in prison indefinitely. She may still be sentenced to death by hanging (lofted by crane).

ABOVE VIDEO: A spokesperson for the Save Nazanin Campaign.

UK-RAP GROUP MAKES SONG: The group named Persian Princes has a very moving song called "Nazanin" which can be heard on their myspace website or downloaded here (3.83 Meg MP3). Their radio interview (in Farsi) regarding the plight of those suffering in Iran can be heard on their website under the link "The Music." It's an emotional interview.

Nazanin Afshin-Jam is Miss Canada 2003 and an accomplished singer, and is notably responsible to bringing world attention to the campaign to save Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi (on death row in Iran). Her music and pictures can be viewed at:

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Control Iran Petrol

Entitled "Hands Off Iran"


The Art of Flight - Documentary on Sudan & Darfur Refugees

This guerrilla documentary was shot illegally in Egypt, and the filmmaker was nearly arrested three times during the course of shooting. The film traces the personal tales of refugees fleeing Sudan’s civil war for Egypt. It tells the story of three people – a refugee from southern Sudan, a human rights activist from northern Sudan and an American journalist in self-imposed exile – all living in Cairo. The film delves deep into questions about the nature of charity, the consequences of American empire and the price of transience.

Length: 1:09

Watch Video Here:

Sex Traffickers Target Women in War-Torn Iraq

This news from IRIN. IRIN is part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, but its news service is editorially independent. It is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Mariam, 16, relives the day her father in Baghdad sold her off as a domestic worker in one of the prosperous Gulf nations. Instead, she was forced into the sex trade.

“I was a virgin and didn’t understand what sex was. I was told that they [the traffickers] were going to get good money for my first night with an old local man who paid for my virginity. He was aggressive and hit me all the time,” Mariam, who refused to reveal her real name, told IRIN.

Thousands of Iraqi women are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous sex worker traffickers seeking to exploit young girls’ desperate socio-economic situation for profit, United Nations agencies have reported.

In Mariam’s case, she was taken to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and kept in a house with 20 young girls, all of them sex workers, she said.

Before she left Iraq, she and her three sisters were being cared for by her father. Their mother was killed during the US-led invasion of the country in 2003. Mariam said her father couldn’t cope with looking after the children on his own and wanted her to go abroad, particularly given the increasing insecurity and daily violence in Iraq.

In November 2005, a member of a trafficking ring offered Mariam’s father an advance payment of US $6,000 for her, saying she would work for a family in Dubai. He was promised that his daughter would be returned to Iraq after finishing a one-year contract.

Mariam said she faced daily threats in Dubai from the traffickers, warning her not to try to leave. However, she managed to escape and is now back in Baghdad being looked after by a local NGO, the Organisation for Women's Freedom.

More on the story from the source:

Monday, October 30, 2006

U.S. Army Monitors Soldiers' Blogs

AP News - A Virginia-based operation, the Army Web Risk Assessment Cell, monitors official and unofficial blogs and other Web sites for anything that may compromise security. The team scans for official documents, personal contact information and pictures of weapons or entrances to camps.

In one incident, a blogger was describing his duties as a guard, providing pictures of his post and discussing how to exploit its vulnerabilities. Other Soldiers posted photos of an Army weapons system that was damaged by enemy attack, and another showed personal information that could have endangered his family.

The oversight mission, made up of active-duty Soldiers and contractors, as well as Guard and Reserve members from Maryland, Texas and Washington state, began in 2002 and was expanded in August 2005 to include sites in the public domain, including blogs.

Warnock said the Web risk assessment team has reviewed hundreds of thousands of sites every month, sometimes e-mailing or calling Soldiers asking them to take material down. If the blogger doesn't comply with the request, the team can work with the Soldier's commanders to fix the problem - that is, if the blogger doesn't post anonymously.

According to Hartley, the Army had forced him to stop the blog even before the oversight operation existed, citing pictures he had posted of Iraqi detainees and discussions of how he loaded a weapon and the route his unit took to get to Iraq.


Blogs and websites maintained by U.S. military personnel stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan can give you a raw and unfilltered look at un-edited pictures from the front. You can also be a voyeur in the world of discussion forums (link) where personnel divulge about the latest headlines or happenings.

Largest Index of Military Blogs

Veiled Iranian Female Karate Team to Boycott Doha Games

This news is out of a Tehran based news company (ie: regime-friendly). I only have one comment, and that is . . . . . . LOL!!!!!!!!!! Don't worry, they can still play taekwondo.

Iran's female karate team are to boycott the Asian Gamses in Doha (Dec. 1, 2006) after the Asian Karate Federation refused to approve the wearing of Islamic head scarves during bouts.

"The ban on headscarves for the karate team had been imposed due to a technical matter related to what to do if the garment slips during a bout." Iranian Karate Federation.

Iranian female athletes in taekwondo, another martial art in which Iran traditionally excels, will not be affected as in that sport fighters wear head guards that fully secure the headscarf in a fight.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Health Care Reformers

"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking
and inhumane." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Did you know there actually exists groups of doctors and laymen who are highly organized in their goal to reform the health care delivery system of both the U.S. and WA State (where I currently reside).

1) Physicians for a National Health Program
"Health Care is a Human Right" - A single issue organization since 1987 advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. PNHP has more than 14,000 members across the U.S. NOTE: Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private.

Their website has a great FAQ section, ie: Is national health insurance “socialized medicine”? Won’t this raise my taxes? Won’t this result in rationing like in Canada?

2) Health Care for All - Washington
Advocate for secure, affordable, and comprehensive health care coverage for all WA residents implemented through a unified financing system. They meet regularly and you can download their presentations online. Start a chapter in your county!

3) Washington Fair Share Health Care Coalition
A group of labor, business, religious and health provider interests, working together to expand access to health care coverage in Washington state. They have some really heavy hitters on their Endoresee List.

(Gov. Gregoire at SeaMar Clinic in Seattle)

4) WA State Governor's Office - Blue Ribbon Commissionon on Health Care Costs and Access
One page summary of: The Problem and the Goals (PDF)

Governor's Priorities: Health Care


Extra thumbs up to WA State's program (Basic Health) for low-income families, mothers of young children, and individuals. Most states do NOT even have such a program. Don't believe me, do a search for your state. It is also very very affordable, as little as $17/month for a single person with a part time minimum wage job.

"Basic Health contracts with health plans all over Washington State to provide reduced-cost health care coverage to qualified Washington State residents."

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Problem with Big Media (& Listing of NW Community Radio Stations)

In 2003, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) attempted to loosen media ownership rules that would have unleashed a massive wave of corporate consolidation of radio, television and newspapers entities across the country. The courts sent these rules back to the FCC for a rewrite. Now, the FCC embarks upon writing new rules.


COA News (compiles independent news stories and presents them daily):

Chart that maps out the 8 most concentrated companies & their control over all forms of news, entertainment and information:


(Click Left Picture) Website listing of all independent community based radio stations in WA, OR, AK, ID, BC, and HI w/ a direct link to their website & live audio stream.

Documentary about the Palestinian-Arab Conflict & the Media

Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in the U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the conflict. This pivotal documentary exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites--oil, and the need to have a secure military base in the region, among others--work in combination with Israeli public relations strategies to exercise a powerful influence over how news from the region is reported.

Length - 1:19

Watch Now -

Spy on Thy Neighbor, Demands NY Transit

A group of artists have used their skills to subvert the MTA (New York’s public transportation system) by poking fun at its acquiescence in the Patriot-era spy society. Apparently, the poster instigated a confrontation at the NY Public Library.

Mickey Z. (author of "50 American Revolutions You're Not Supposed to Know") has written a hilarious article on spotting the MTA posters in the NY subway:
"IF I see suspicious activity on the platform or train? What do they mean “if”? This is the goddamned New York City subway: The subterranean tunnels of transportation voted most likely to host a felony. As Lou Reed droned, “You got a black .38 and a gravity knife; you still have to ride the train.”

However, being that the world has changed forever after 9/11, I knew I had to change my attitude, buckle down, and do my part. After all, if I saw something without saying something, the terrorists would win, wouldn’t they?

Eyes darting around like a seasoned securer of the homeland, I settled upon my first “something”: a run-of-the-mill straphanger “looking” for the train. This is chronic suspicious activity. Time and time again, commuters lean way over to see if the train is coming. What purpose could this possibly serve? Whether one looks or not, the train will arrive when it arrives. Leaning over to watch does nothing at all except increase the risk that some frustrated individual will choose you to blame for their plight and unceremoniously shove you onto the tracks, earning you the dubious honor of appearing on the front page of tomorrow’s New York Post.

One minute, you’re a sweaty commuter looking for a train, the next you’re: BLOOD ON THE TRACKS.

I decided not to “say something.” With terror lurking behind every subway column, the authorities shouldn’t be bothered with such foolishness.

Thump...thump...thump. The ominous sound caused my heart to leap and my mind to race: What devious act of evil was afoot and how could I be of service? What would Ashcroft do?
The source of the thumping was two black girls, maybe 13 years old, bouncing a basketball off the subway wall.

Thankfully, a strapping white cop came along and admonished them to stop throwing the ball around. The girls frowned and watched him walk away.
One of the girls took the ball and gave it one more toss against the wall...her intransigence undoubtedly inspiring evildoers everywhere.

Channeling Jagger, “when the train came in the station,” I most certainly “looked her in the eye.” I needed to make sure she knew she was being watched as I whispered to myself: 1-888-NYC-Safe...1-888-NYC-Safe...1-888-NYC-Safe.

"The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls.” -"The Sound of Silence,” Paul Simon Huddled in a corner seat was a woman of at least 60. She was filthy, wearing tattered clothes, and emaciated. In her hand was a coffee cup...adorned with images of ancient Greek architecture. The woman shook the cup so the few coins inside might rattle a bit. In a tiny voice, she asked: “Spare a quarter?”

No one seemed to notice this woman. Hundreds of fellow humans were looking past her as if she did not exist. Surely this qualified as “suspicious activity.” I was seconds away from alerting a Transit cop when I heard a drone-like female voice booming over the subway loudspeaker: “Ladies and Gentlemen, pan-handling is against the law. Please do not give to law-breakers. Please give instead to charities that support those in need. Thank you.”

That’s when I understood that the only thing suspicious about this activity was the frail woman’s brazen illegality. Doesn’t she know we’re at war?"

Friday, October 20, 2006

Man Not Allowed on Plane Unless A Translator Could Come Read the Arabic on his T-Shirt

Synopsis: Mr. Jarrar is a resident of California and of Iraqi ethnicity. He is a peace activist. He explains his dramatic and illegal ordeal when taking a domestic flight from JFK, in which he was told by airport security and JetBlue that he was not permitted to get on the plane unless he removed his t-shirt with Arabic script. One week later, in an experimental protest, four anglo-women wore the same shirts en masse and had no trouble at all.

Source (where you can purchase above depicted T-Shirts as well):

"I went to JFK in the morning to catch my Jet Blue plane to California. I reached Terminal 6 at around 7:15 am, issued a boarding pass, and checked all my bags in, and then walked to the security checkpoint. For the first time in my life, I was taken to a secondary search . My shoes were searched, and I was asked for my boarding pass and ID. After passing the security, I walked to check where gate 16 was, then I went to get something to eat. I got some cheese and grapes with some orange juice and I went back to Gate 16 and sat down in the boarding area enjoying my breakfast and some sunshine.

At around 8:30, two men approached me while I was checking my phone. One of them asked me if I had a minute and he showed me his badge, I said: "sure". We walked some few steps and stood in front of the boarding counter where I found out that they were accompanied by another person, a woman from Jet Blue.

One of the two men who approached me first, Inspector Harris, asked for my id card and boarding pass. I gave him my boarding pass and driver's license. He said "people are feeling offended because of your t-shirt". I looked at my t-shirt: I was wearing my shirt which states in both Arabic and English "we will not be silent". You can take a look at it in this picture taken during our Jordan meetings with Iraqi MPs. I said "I am very sorry if I offended anyone, I didnt know that this t-shirt will be offensive". He asked me if I had any other T-shirts to put on, and I told him that I had checked in all of my bags and I asked him "why do you want me to take off my t-shirt? Isn't it my constitutional right to express myself in this way?" The second man in a greenish suit interfered and said "people here in the US don't understand these things about constitutional rights". So I answered him "I live in the US, and I understand it is my right to wear this t-shirt".

Then I once again asked the three of them : "How come you are asking me to change my t-shirt? Isn't this my constitutional right to wear it? I am ready to change it if you tell me why I should. Do you have an order against Arabic t-shirts? Is there such a law against Arabic script?" so inspector Harris answered "you can't wear a t-shirt with Arabic script and come to an airport. It is like wearing a t-shirt that reads "I am a robber" and going to a bank". I said "but the message on my t-shirt is not offensive, it just says "we will not be silent". I got this t-shirt from Washington DC. There are more than a 1000 t-shirts printed with the same slogan, you can google them or email them at . It is printed in many other languages: Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, English, etc." Inspector Harris said: "We cant make sure that your t-shirt means we will not be silent, we don't have a translator. Maybe it means something else". I said: "But as you can see, the statement is in both Arabic and English". He said "maybe it is not the same message". So based on the fact that Jet Blue doesn't have a translator, anything in Arabic is suspicious because maybe it'll mean something bad!

Meanwhile, a third man walked in our direction. He stood with us without introducing himself, and he looked at inspector Harris's notes and asks him: "is that his information?", inspector Harris answered "yes". The third man, Mr. Harmon, asks inspector Harris : "can I copy this information?", and inspector Harris says "yes, sure". Inspector Harris said: "You don't have to take of your t-shirt, just put it on inside-out". I refused to put on my shirt inside-out. So the woman interfered and said "let's reach a compromise. I will buy you a new t-shirt and you can put it on on top of this one". I said "I want to keep this t-shirt on". Both inspector Harris and Mr. Harmon said "No, we can't let you get on that airplane with your t-shirt". I said "I am ready to put on another t-shirt if you tell me what is the law that requires such a thing. I want to talk to your supervisor". Inspector Harris said "You don't have to talk to anyone. Many people called and complained about your t-shirt. Jetblue customers were calling before you reached the checkpoint, and costumers called when you were waiting here in the boarding area". It was then that I realized that my t-shirt was the reason why I had been taken to the secondary checking. I asked the four people again to let me talk to any supervisor, and they refused.

The Jet Blue woman was asking me again to end this problem by just putting on a new t-shirt, and I felt threatened by Mr. Harmon's remarks as in "Let's end this the nice way". Taking in consideration what happens to other Arabs and Muslims in US airports, and realizing that I will miss my flight unless I covered the Arabic script on my t-shirt as I was told by the four agents, I asked the Jet Blue woman to buy me a t-shirt and I said "I don't want to miss my flight."
She asked, what kind of t-shirts do you like. Should I get you an "I heart new york t-shirt?". So Mr. Harmon said "No, we shouldn't ask him to go from one extreme to another". I asked mr. harmon why does he assume I hate new york if I had some Arabic script on my t-shirt, but he didn't answer.

The woman went away for 3 minutes, and she came back with a gray t-shirt reading "new york". I put the t-shirt on and removed the price tag. I told the four people who were involved in the conversation: "I feel very sad that my personal freedom was taken away like this. I grew up under authoritarian governments in the Middle East, and one of the reasons I chose to move to the US was that I don't want an officer to make me change my t-shirt. I will pursue this incident today through a Constitutional rights organization, and I am sure we will meet soon". Everyone said okay and left, and I went back to my seat. At 8:50 I was called again by a fourth young man, standing with the same jetblue woman. He asked for my boarding pass, so I gave it to him, and stood in front of the boarding counter. I asked the woman: "is everything okay?", she responded: "Yes, sure. We just have to change your seat". I said: "but I want this seat, that's why I chose it online 4 weeks ago", the fourth man said " there is a lady with a toddler sitting there. We need the seat."

Then they re-issued me a small boarding pass for seat 24a, instead of seat 3a. They said that I can go to the airplane now. I was the first person who entered the airplane, and I was really annoyed about being assigned this seat in the back of the airplane too. It smelled like the bathrooms, which is why I had originally chosen a seat which would be far from that area.

It sucks to be an Arab/Muslim living in the US these days. When you go to the middle east, you are a US tax-payer destroying people's houses with your money, and when you come back to the US, you are a suspected terrorist and plane hijacker."