Tag Archives: Ani Difranco Indiana Evans

The disappointing Ani DiFranco

First, be sure to check out all the year-in-review pieces:

  Kat‘s “Kat’s Korner: 2012 In Music“ Ruth‘s “Ruth’s Radio Report 2012,”  ”2012 in Books (Martha & Shirley)” and Ann‘s  ”2012 Best in Film (Ann and Stan)” and Stan‘s ”2012 Best in Film (Ann and Stan)” which we reposted “2012 Best in Film (Ann and Stan),”  Third’s “TV: The New Conformity,” “2012 Killer of the Year,” “2012 TV Person of the Year,” “2012 Movie of the Year,” “2012 Person of the Year,” “Kennedy Trait of 2012: Racism,” “2012 Book of the Year,” and “2012 Trend: Bad attempts at make overs,” and “2012: The Year of Avoidance.”

Second, a reader e-mailed that Ani DiFranco used to matter to her but she’s “so over Ani now.”

Ani released an awful album this year.

Ani DiFranco

As I read the e-mail, I understood what the guy was talking about.

Ani’s last album was awful.

It was awful musically and I think most Ani films could shake that off and move on.

But it was awful in terms of what it said about Ani and that’s what people remember.

This is the woman who, in “Fuel,” was mocking both parties.

But there was Ani this year, endorsing Barack and ignoring all the children killed in his Drone War in Pakistan, all the parents killed in that Drone War.

Right now, if you visit this Bureau of Investigative Journalism page, you’ll see that Barack’s launched 303 drone attacks on Pakistan and killed.  The Drone War has killed between 473 and 889 people, 176 children and left 1259 people to 1417 people injured.

That’s disgusting but apparently not to Ani DiFranco who must love the idea of people being burned to death, especially children.

She used to stand for something.  Now she’s just a whore.

Closing with C.I.’s “Iraq snapshot:”

Wednesday,
January 3, 2013.  Chaos and violence continue, revisionary tactics
never go away, Nouri kind of says 700 women will be released from Iraqi
prisons — kind of says that but not really, protests continue,  Iraq
Body Count finds more people died from violence in Iraq in 2012 than the
year before, and more.
 
At the right-wing National Review, Victor Davis Hanson notes
that Bully Boy Bush left office at the start of 2009 with an approval
rating of 34% but it’s now up to 46%.  He calls out the way Bush was
demonized and notes how Barack Obama can do the same thing or more and
get away with it.  That is correct.  But he wants to ‘explain’ how
people were wrong about Bush on the Iraq War.  He backs up his opinions
with facts and makes a solid argument from the right.  That’s what he’s
supposed to do.  He hasn’t done anything ‘wrong.’  And this is how the
right hopes to win the argument and has had some success in the past.
 
There
are a ton of reasons to continue focusing on Iraq here in the US.  But
if people only care about themselves then maybe now some on the left
who’ve argued it doesn’t matter (including two friends with The Nation
magazine) will wake up?  We’ve gone over what could happen repeatedly
in the last years.  We did so at length August 20, 2010 in “The war continues (and watch for the revisionary tactics.”
 
If
you’re old enough, you saw it with Vietnam.  That illegal war ended
with the government called out for its actions.  And some people — a
lot in fact — just moved on.  The weakest of the left moved on because
it wasn’t ‘polite’ to talk about it or it wasn’t ‘nice’ or ‘can’t we all
just get along’ and other nonsense.  Others talked about things because
they didn’t care about Vietnam, the Vietnamese or the US service
members.  And, after all, they had a peanut farmer from Georgia to
elect, right?  And bit by bit, year by year, all these lies about
Vietnam took root.  The press turned the people against it!  The US
could have won if the military’s hands hadn’t been tied!  All this
nonsense that, back when the public was paying attention in the early to
mid-seventies, would have been rejected outright by the majority of
Americans.
 
 
Jane Fonda explains in the amazing documentary Sir! No Sir!,
“You know, people say, ‘Well you keep going back, why are you going
back to Vietnam?’ We keep going back to Vietnam because, I’ll tell you
what, the other side does. They’re always going back. And they have to
go back — the Hawks, you know, the patriarchs. They have to go back
because, and they have to revise the going back, because they can’t
allow us to know what the back there really was.”
 
And
if you silence yourself while your opponent digs in on the topic, a
large number of Americans — including people too young to remember what
actually happened — here nothing but the revisionary arguments. 
Jane’s correct, the right-wing always went back to Vietnam. They’re at
fork in the road probably because, do they continue to emphasize Vietnam
as much as they have, or do they move on to Iraq.  Victor Davis
Hanson’s ready to move on to Iraq.  He’s not the only one on the right.
 
And on the left we have silence. 
 
And
that is why revisionary tactics work.  It’s not because revisions are
stronger than facts.  It’s because one side gives up.  And the left —
check The ProgressiveThe Nation, etc.* — has long
ago given up on even pretending to care about Iraq — about the Iraq
War, about the Iraqis, about the US service members.  [*But not In These Times -- they've continued to feature Iraq about every six months.  Give them credit for that.]
 
I’m
sure they’ll work really hard at electing some center-right Democrats
to Congress in the 2014 elections.  I’m sure that will be the focus of
their efforts.  But if they’d focus on things that really matter, it
would force the candidates to be stronger.  We’d have a better informed
and educated electorate and the candidates would have to rise to that to
get votes.  These periodicals (and toss in the Pacifica Radio shows as
well) love to whine about how Democrats used to stand for something and
how they’ve been watered down and watered down.  Yet these same outlets
do an awful job of informing about real issues because they instead
focus on electing Democrats and the occassional cause celebre.   When
that’s what you do, you automatically cede ground to the other side. 
 
Another
reason to pay attention is because Iraq was a defining moment.  And a
number of people have exposed themselves as utter frauds.  For example,
many years ago a number of us who are feminists applauded Jill Abramson
and Jane Mayer for their work that culminated with the book Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas
But maybe we were too kind in our praise.  In America, we are likely to
treat someone simply doing the job they’re supposed to be doing as if
they’re a hero.  Time has proven that Jane Mayer is an attack dog for
the Democratic Party and not actually a journalist.  (A journalist
doesn’t stop doing expose pieces because a Democrat is in the White
House.)  And Jill?   The current Executive Editor of the New York Times appeared at the Commonwealth Club December 6th and, wouldn’t you know it, she wanted to talk Iraq.
 
 
Jill Abramson
If there’s any one thing I could change it would be, as Washington
bureau chief, not all of the reporters who were covering the WMD issues
and Iraq were part of the Washington bureau.  And I just wish — You
know — I  — many of those stories didn’t come through me but certainly
I was aware of them.  And, you know, I wish that I had been paying more
attention because the Times really did brandish on the front
page some very questionable stories that were based on, you know, Iraqi
defectors who had an interest in promoting the toppling of Saddam
Hussein, who were going around to various reporters including reporters
at the Times, peddling the story of this ramped up WMD program
which, of course, didn’t exist.  That is number one.  I wish I had
paid more attention.  And journalism isn’t a game that you play with
20/20 hindsight vision unfortunately. I’m sure that many people at the
BBC wish — you know — ‘Gee I wish, you know, I had been paying more
attention to the documentary and what not.’  So, number one, I wish I
was paying more attention to the totality of the coverage and some of
the stories that were faulty including the one about the tubes that
suggested — When the Times published that story on the front
page and was kind of a welcome sign for Dick Cheney and Condi Rice to go
on the Sunday show — shows — to talk about mushroom clouds that, of
course, were a fantasy.  And there, I think — and I’ve done a lot of
thinking about this — I wish that I had been more tuned in to the
reporters in Washington, a few in the Times bureau, but
especially Knight-Ridder which had — at the time — a very, very good
Washington bureau and their major sources on this were skeptics within
the CIA — CIA analysts who were like, ‘Be careful with this WMD
evidence.’ They were very skeptical about it.
 
What
a load of crap.  Let me start first by saying, Jill, I don’t think you
can be a witness in a perjury trial and then perjure yourself.  Jill was
Scooter Libby’s witness against Judith Miller, for those who don’t
know.  Judith Miller wrote some very bad articles for the New York Times
(and co-wrote some as well) in the lead up to the war.  We’ve called
her out repeatedly.  We’ve also noted it was bad reporting and not lying
as evidenced by her actions after the start of the war when she
basically took over a US military squad and had them looking for WMD
that she desparately wanted to find.  She based her career on that WMD. 
There was none. 
 
Judith Miller stayed in
jail until her source on Valerie Plame (she never wrote about Plame)
gave her permission to name him.  Plame-Gate was when the Bush
administration outed a CIA agent to get back at former Ambassdor Joe
Wilson for his column in the New York Times about how there was no
yellow cake in Niger (in response to Bully Boy Bush’s claim that Saddam
Hussein had recently sought uranium there).  Valerie Plame was an
undercover CIA agent and she was married to Joe Wilson.  She was outed
by Scooter Libby (Dick Cheney’s chief of staff) as the administration
sought to get back at Joe Wilson.
 
Once Judith
Miller came forward about her source, that’s when Jill enters the
picture and Jill presented herself on the witness stand as completely
involved and an expert on ‘bad’ Judith Miller.  Because of Miller’s
lousy reporting on Iraq, some will cheer that.  But let’s grasp that
what Jill was doing was providing cover for Scooter Libby.   That’s what
she did in her testimony.
 
Yet after the
courtroom performance on Scooter Libby’s behalf, where Jill was an
expert on what was taking place and who was writing what and who was
talking to whom, Jill now wants to play like she wasn’t involved?
 
She
also wants to ignore that James Risen took stories, skeptical stories,
to her and she shot them down repeatedly.  Risen’s even spoken publicly
about some of this.  Jill knows he has and she wants to lie to everyone
all these years later?  For example, from Joe Hagan’s “The United States of America vs. Bill Keller” (New York magazine, September 10, 2006):
 
In
addition, Risen harbored lingering resentment of Abramson over the
paper’s WMD coverage.  When she was Washington bureau chief under
[Howell] Raines, Risen has claimed to at least two people, he offered
her reporting that cast doubt on the Bush administration’s evidence
about Iraq’s WMD program.  At the time, Miller’s reporting was how the
Times, as an extension of Raines, saw the subject.  And Abramson felt
powerless to fight Raines over this and other things.  When Risen press
his case, she finally told him to “get with the program,” these people
say.
 
It only gets worse.
 
She
wishes she had followed the other coverage, she says, because if she’d
followed Knight-Ridder, she might have been skeptical too.  First, it’s
rather pissy of her not to have named the reporters or noted that it’s
now McClatchy.  The three primary reporters on Iraq in the lead up to
the war were Warren P. Strobel, Jonathan S. Landay and Margaret Talev.  
Second, she needed to see other people being skeptical of government
officials?  Journalists are supposed to be skeptical.  It’s a basic of
journalism. 
 
And when you have a source with
an aim (let alone grudge), you are supposed to be very skeptical of
their claims.  That’s why, for example, when a whistleblower comes
forward, an employer will always try to make it seem like a case of sour
grapes because if they can make the employee look like they’ve got an
axe to grind, it will make the press take the employee less seriously. 
 
What
I’m talking about here, Jill Abramson knows all that.  She’s not
stupid.  She gave a for-show performance.  She never mentioned the
Iraqis that died or the Americans that died.  She gave a little
performance taking as little accountability as she thought she could get
away with.
 
She makes a lot of excuses for
herself but she doesn’t appear to have learned a damn thing.  In
September 2008, she got praise for ‘taking responsibility’ on Iraq.  She
didn’t.  It was an aside in a book review.  She’s still not taking
accountability.  People are dead, people are wounded and her, “I wish I
had been more skeptical”?  It just doesn’t cut it.
 
You
should pay attention if only to see who, like Jill, changes their
story.  Again, it’s not just her fault.  It’s the fault of people like
me, my fault absolutely, for treating her work in the 90s as something
wonderful.  She did her job.  Nothing more, nothing less.  She didn’t
earn the praise.  And then people rushed to praise her in 2008 for her
aside in the book review (I didn’t praise her for that — at least I had
enough sense then to know better).  So now she thinks she can offer
this simplistic revisionary nonsense and get more praise.  And she’s
probably right because most people don’t pay attention.
 
 
 
 
ICYMI – Attacks are down, but #Iraq is still in a ‘low-level war’: http://bit.ly/Z6QE6U  @AFP
 
That’s Prashant Rao with AFP.  “Low-level war” is another reason you’d think the world would be paying attention to what’s going on in Iraq.
 
 
Iraq Body Count
reports 272 people were killed from violence in Iraq for the month of
December and they count 4,557 deaths from violence in Iraq for 2012.  In
a report entitled “Iraqi  deaths from violence in 2012,” Iraq Body Count explains:

2012 marks the first year since 2009 where the death toll for the year has increased (up from 4,136
in 2011), but 2012 itself has been marked by contrasts. While it seems
December will be the least violent month in the last two years, June was
the most violent in three years, so the improvements in the second half
of the year are from that higher level of violence. It is premature to
predict whether the record low levels of violence in the last quarter of
the year will be sustained. Overall, 2012 has been more consistent with
an entrenched conflict than with any transformation in the security
situation for Iraqis in the first year since the formal withdrawal of US
troops.

In sum the latest evidence suggests that the country
remains in a state of low-level war little changed since early 2009,
with a “background” level of everyday armed violence punctuated by
occasional larger-scale attacks designed to kill many people at once.

Iraq
Body Count also notes that March 2013 will mark ten years since the
start of the Iraq War and that they “will provide an overview of the
known death toll covering the invasion and the first full decade of its
aftermath.”

 
Violence continued today.  Mu Xuequan (Xinhua) reports
3 people were shot dead in a Tarmiyah orchard (police officer, “his
brother and a third person”), an al-Tahriyah car bombing claimed the
lives of 2 Shi’ite pilgrims and left eight more injured, a Falluja car
bombing injured three bodyguards of a police officer and four
by-standers, and the son of Abdul-Rahman Khalid al-Nujaifi was shot
repeatedly while driving in Mosul.  The father is a colonel in the Iraqi
military and he is the cousin of Speaker of Parliament Osama
al-Nujaifi.  Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) adds that a Karbala car bombing claimed 2 lives.   Alsumaria reports a a Tikrit roadside bombing injured one person and a Babil car bombing that has left a number of people injuredLindsay Brown (ITN — link is video) reports,
“One person has been killed and ten others wounded after three bombs
exploded in Tuz Khormato town south of Kirkuk.  The blast caused
serious damage to nearby houses and a fuel station.”  A male resident
states, “The officials of government are busy with disputes while the
people are the victims.  There are poor people who are living in this
neighborhood.  Not one of them is a member of a political party and
there’s no headquarters of a political party here.  Does God accept
such  a work?  The people were in their houses at night when the four
explosions took place.  Why has it happened because we are a simple
neighborhood?”
 
 
Turning to the topic of the ongoing protests, Alsumaria reports
that residents of Kirkuk took to the streets yesterday to show their
solidarity with protesters in Anbar Province, Nineveh Province and
Salahuddin Province and to echo the demands of the need for an amnesty
law and for the Justice and Accountability Commission and law to be
abolished along with Article IV.  One of the things fueling this round
of protests has been the issue of what’s happening to Iraqi women and
girls in prisons and detention centers.  From Monday’s snapshot:
 
 
In
October, allegations of torture and rape of women held in Iraqi prisons
and detention centers began to make the rounds.  In November, the
allegations became a bit more and
a fistfight broke out in Parliament
with an angry State of Law storming out.  By December, Members of
Parliament on certain security committees were speaking publicly about
the abuses.  Then Nouri declared that anyone talking about this topic
was breaking the law. He continued on this tangent for weeks claiming
this past week that he would strip MPs of their immunity.  (The
Constitution doesn’t allow for that.)  Also this past week, it was
learned that at least four females were raped in a Baghdad prison.
The outrage here is part of what has fueled the protests. 
Alsumaria notes
the Ministry of Justice’s latest spin Saturday: Only women guards are
at these prisons!  Whether that’s true or not (most likely it is not)
world history demonstrates that when women are imprisoned it’s very
common for someone to get the ‘bright idea’ to sell access to these
women.  Greed is a strong motivator.  Again, the very claim is doubtful
but if there are no men on staff, that doesn’t mean men have not been
present in the prisons.  It wasn’t enough to silence objections or stop
the protests.  Sunday,  
Al Arabiya noted,
“Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered on Sunday the release of
female prisoners, who were arrested for terrorism charges without
judicial warrants or because of terror crimes committed by their
relatives, to appease to protesters who want to see the scrapping of
anti-terrorism measures in the country, a local website reported.”
 
Raheem Salman, Ahmed Rasheed, Isabel Coles and Kevin Liffey (Reuters) report
that Sunni cleric Khaled al-Mullah is representing the protesters in
talks with Nouri and that Nouri states he will declare a special pardon
which would allow approximately 700 female prisoners to be released out
of 920.  That may or may not address one of the issues.  May or may
not?  Nouri’s not real good about following up on verbal promises or
written ones. And if that doesn’t sound fair, you’re not only missing
his past record, you’re missing the rest of the story.  Ammar Karim (AFP) reports
the women aren’t going anywhere just yet.  What’s being reported isn’t
what Nouri’s promised.  What Nouri promised?  That he would “write to
the president to issue a special amnesty to release them.” That would be
President Jalal Talabani.  Nouri’s not releasing anyone.  And he’s
writing to Jalal who left Iraq for Germany in a medical transport from
an illness/condition that no one with his office or his family has
identified.  (Nouri’s office stated Jalal had a stroke.)  What is
Jalal’s condition?
 
No one officially knows.  But here’s Abdulghani Ali Yahya (Asharq-e) offering an opinion:
 
When
Jalal Talabani fell into a coma as a result of a blood clot in his
brain and returned to Germany for treatment, rumours spread about his
health and even his death, before it was reported that his condition had
stabilized. There were also rumours of certain Arab figures being
nominated for his position if he were to die or become unable to perform
his duties. As a result, the Kurds sought to reserve Talabani’s
presidential post for themselves, and began naming candidates such as
Dr. Ibrahim Saleh, an experienced politician, and Iraq’s first lady Hiro
Ibrahim Ahmed, a prominent Kurdish activist. On the international
scene, two prominent American researchers urged Washington to push for
the nomination of another Kurdish president for Iraq. Amidst all this it
was if Iran is absent from what was happening, even though it is the
key player in the Iraqi arena.
 
 
Does
it sound like Jalal’s in a position to issue an amnesty?  Maybe he is. 
Maybe he’s much better off than the above portrayal.  But he still is
in Germany.  He’s been in Germany for weeks now.  If he was doing well,
they’d probably be transitioning home or to the home he stays in when
he’s in Germany.  But he remains at the hospital.  As a general rule,
when someone’s in the hospital for weeks, they’re not really up for
official duties.
 
 
Another issue in this round of protests besides female prisoners?  Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) explains,
“The protests began after the mass arrest of office workers and
security for Finance Minister Rafie Issawi, who officials have since
insisted are all ‘terrorists.’ Sunni protesters see Iraq’s loose
‘terrorism’ laws as being exploited to keep Sunni politicians
marginalized, even though the Iraqiya Party has the largest plurality in
the government they have only a handful of government posts, including
Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who is sentenced to death in exile as a
‘terrorist’.”  As he attempted to spin last month after anger mounted,
Nouri offered (among other excuses) that it wasn’t him ordering the
arrest and that the Americans had been suspicious of al-Issawi (yes, he
said both things in December 2011 about Tareq al-Hashemi as well). 
However, Max Boot (Commentary) reported
Monday evening that he has a letter Gen Ray Odierno wrote in 2010 (when
Odierno was the top US commander in Iraq) and it “says that U.S.
intelligence agencies have thorougly investigated the charges against
Issawi and found them to be uncorroborated.” 
 
The
mass arrests of 150 bodyguards and staff of the Minister of Finance
took place late on the evening of December 20th (see the December 21st Iraqi snapshot).  There were actually protests in Iraq — massive — beginning on December 11th (click here for screen snaps of those protests), a day after Nouri had publicly insulted cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr.  In Baghdad and Basra people took to the street to protests Nouri’s attack on Moqtada.
 
 Alsumaria reports
that yesterday, in Najaf, cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr
voiced support for the protesters at a press conference and noted that
Nouri is responsible for what is taking place.  He called on Nouri to
respond to the calls of the protesters.  He also warned that the Iraqi
spring is coming.  He may be remembering (if so, he’s the only leader so
far that does) that Iraqi youth had called weeks ago for protests to
start up in January.  Elhanan Miller (Times of Israel) adds,
“[. . .] Sadr accused Maliki of turning Iraq into a laughingstock and
called on him to resign rather than call for early elections, as he
recently considered doing.”  Last month, Nouri floated the threat of
early elections.   Yasir Ghazi and Christine Hauser (New York Times) refer
to him as “a populist Shiite leader” (noted because the western press
usually just calls him “radical cleric” or “anti-American cleric”) and
notes:

Several times during the gathering, Mr. Sadr directed
his remarks at Mr. Maliki, who has taken recent steps that suggested he
was asserting greater control over many aspects of the government and
that prompted fears he was cracking down on his political opponents. 
Mr. Sadr’s remarks could indicate that he is trying to test the
political waters or possible support from the street before Iraq’s
provincial elections, which are scheduled for the spring.

Provincial elections are supposed to take place this April.  Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) observes,
“Sadr’s support is key because he is not only a political rival of
Maliki, but also a very influential Shi’ite cleric, and his support will
make a crackdown against the protesters more difficult.”  All Iraq News notes
that Iraqiya (the political slate led by Ayad Allawi which came in
first in the 2010 parliamentary elections) issued a statement praising
Moqtada’s remarks and position and calling for all to follow the
example and show solidarity with the demonstrators.  All Iraq News also notes
that Parliament’s Human Rights Commission is calling for support of the
demonstrators in a statement issued by the Chair of the Committee Salim
al-Jubouri.  Alsumaria notes
that Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi and Deputy Prime Minister
Saleh al-Mutlaq are calling for a response to the legitimate demands
of the protesters.  Both men are members of Iraqiya and Sunni but the
main reason al-Mutlaq is side-by-side with Osama is because Sunday’s
incident demonstrated to him how far from other Sunnis he seemed.  In
past years, he’d rush to Tareq al-Hashemi.  But the Vice President now
resides in Turkey because Nouri and Nouri’s kangaroo court declared
Tareq a ‘terrorist.’  And interesting point is being made in Iraqi
social media today.  A lot of the anger at Nouri is fueled by what’s
happened to women and girls in Iraq prisons and detention centers
(torture and rape).  And it’s being pointed out that Nouri and his thugs
might have felt like they could get away with it more this year because
they ran Tareq out of the country.  For those who’ve forgotten, the
treatment and conditions in Iraqi prisons was something Tareq repeatedly
highlighted, often taking the press into a particularly bad prison so
that conditions could be exposed.  With Tareq out of the country, no
one’s been able to.  Parliament has objected all year long to the fact
that Nouri has suspended their visitation rightts.

 
MP Sami al-Askari is with Nouri’s State of Law and he tells All Iraq News
that “we” (State of Law) do not believe that this is a serious crisis. 
That tells you how out of touch State of Law remains.    Mary Elizabeth King (In These Times) points out:
 
Prime
Minister Maliki has denied all of the protesters’ allegations. Just as
many other politicians have in the face of the Arab Awakening, he
charges that the protests have a hidden agenda, that foreign countries
are involved. He also condemns any demands to end the regime.
Maliki,
however, might be wise to take the protests seriously. Thousands of
Iraqi Sunnis who feel wronged appear to be turning to nonviolent
resistance, fighting with nonviolent methods rather than the IEDs and
suicide bombings that have prevailed in the recent past – especially in
media representations. Anbar province was the hub of the deadly Sunni
insurgency that broke out after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. After
Saddam Hussein came down, internecine violence in Iraq resulted in more
than 100,000 deaths in what nearly became civil war.
 
If he decides to send in his thugs to attack the protesters (as he did in 2011), they’re well trained and well armed.  Robert Tollast (National Interest) notes of the Iraqi Speical Operations Forces:
 
Today
there are almost 30 U.S. Special Forces troops advising the Iraqis on
counterterrorism, and if recent rumours are correct, more have visited
Iraq in a similar capacity since the withdrawal.
As
Maliki continues to attack Iraq’s state institutions and trample human
rights, Washington should ask what helping the ISOF is going to achieve.
Tactical success for Iraqi soldiers can stop terrorists, but what if
those same soldiers also arrest the innocent? As Iraq investigates
apparent corruption in the recent $4.2 billion arms deal with Russia,
Maliki will want to keep his options open regarding arms suppliers.
Should the United States let him know that further arms deals could be
tied to his human rights record?
 
 
Year end pieces went up over the last few days.  In this community, that includes  Kat‘s “Kat’s Korner: 2012 In Music“ Ruth‘s “Ruth’s Radio Report 2012,”  ”2012 in Books (Martha & Shirley)” and Ann‘s  ”2012 Best in Film (Ann and Stan)” and Stan‘s ”2012 Best in Film (Ann and Stan)” which we reposted “2012 Best in Film (Ann and Stan),”  Third’s “TV: The New Conformity,” “2012 Killer of the Year,” “2012 TV Person of the Year,” “2012 Movie of the Year,” “2012 Person of the Year,” “Kennedy Trait of 2012: Racism,” “2012 Book of the Year,” and “2012 Trend: Bad attempts at make overs,” and “2012: The Year of Avoidance.”  Outside the community, Jody Watley’s “2013. New Years Thought of The Day.” and OutFM’s “The 2012 Queer Year in Review” went up.

Finally, David Bacon‘s latest book is Illegal People — How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award.  In his latest article “The Only Job I Can Do A Young Mother’s Farm Work Story” (New American Media) he lets Lorena Hernandez tell her story:
 
 
To
go pick blueberries I have to get up at four in the morning. First I
make my lunch to take with me, and then I get dressed for work. For
lunch I eat whatever there is in the house, mostly bean tacos. Then the
ritero, the person who gives me a ride to work, picks me up at 20
minutes to five.
I work as long as my body can take it, usually
until 2:30 in the afternoon. Then the ritero gives me a ride home, and I
get there by 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon. By then I’m really tired.
I
pay $8 each way to get to work and back home. Right now they’re paying
$6 for each bucket of blueberries you pick, so I have to fill almost
three buckets just to cover my daily ride. The contractor I work for,
Elias Hernandez, hooks us up with the riteros. He’s the contractor for
50 of us farm workers picking blueberries, and I met him when a friend
of my aunt gave me his number.
 
 
 
afp