Hartsongs <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Thursday, July 31, 2003

They don't have stars pinned to their lapels. Instead, the Israeli Army is etching them on the arms of Palestinians with broken shards of glass. What are defended as 'security fences', are in fact blatant violations of human rights. Taller than the Berlin Wall, armed with gun towers, they cut through the countryside, deep into the West Bank, controlling the wealthiest agricultural land, water resources, and stifling the Palestinian people.

Those unfortunate enough to live in the 'Occupied Territories' have no freedom of movement, cannot work or afford an adequate standard of living, have no right to property, mental or physical health, education, and are forced into a division and separation of their communities, while the Israeli's enjoy full mobility utilizing 'Jewish Only' bypass roads that avoid the many checkpoints that riddle the land.

Imagine that you have had a heart attack and are trying to get to the hospital, which is a five minute walk away; because of the rubble in the road, you have to go miles out of your way, only to be detained at a checkpoint where the ambulance is torn apart and you have to wait for hours in the hot sun while a guard decides whether or not he/she is 'in the mood' to let you through. Even then, the ambulance may not be able to cross the rubble piled in the road, so you have to be carried over on a stretcher to reach the other side.

In the past three years, 76 people have died because they have not had access to medical care, and were stuck at checkpoints.

26 were children
13 were newborns
56 Palestinian women in labor were delayed and denied permission
to reach medical care.
39 gave birth at checkpoints.
25 Palestinian Medical Red Cross ambulances destroyed in direct
violation of International Law
50 schools temporarily closed; 8 turned into military barracks
11 completely destroyed
185 shelled or fired upon

Over 500,000 are imprisioned in their homes, unable to move or live normally. They cannot go to work or school. They are under 'house arrest', sometimes for days at a time, and are shot if they go outside. (At least the Jews could go to work when they were under curfew in Germany.)

The Israeli's have uprooted 83,000 aging Roman Olive trees, shaved to build their fence, and selling them on the Black Market.

Imagine you would like to go visit your mother. You live in Ann Arbor, and she lives in Ypsilanti. A trip that would under normal circumstances take about 17 minutes, becomes a full day of stopping for hours at each checkpoint along the way. If you're lucky, you get through, and are able to visit. If not, you must turn back and go home; again stopping at every barrier, where you are again harassed by the guards.

How many 'red blooded' Americans would handle this kind of treatment without reacting?

This from Webster:

Racism: Any program or practice of racial discrimination,
segregation, etc. based on racialism.

It just isn't kosher.

(Most of this information was garnered at the talk given by Steve Niva.)

I picked up the paper yesterday, and was met with this headline. Another student from Evergreen targeted by the Israeli Army. Sam Tsohonis was assisting other protesters in trying to dismantle a 'security' fence. I have seen some say that doing so is a 'violent' act. Hmmm. Where's Reagan when we need him? (not that I was ever a great fan...)

Israel, tear down that wall!

Suffer the children.

Oops! They did it again! How long will we allow the Israeli's to 'explain away' the atrocities they are committing in exercising the genocide of the Palestinian People?

No due process in Israel.

"I beg your pardon, I never promised you a Rose Garden..."

"We're on the hunt and we'll stay on the hunt."

George Bush in the Rose Garden 7/30/03

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Salam points to an article in the Guardian. Isam al-Khafaji has resigned from the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council.

Monday, July 28, 2003

The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

It’s all Arbitrary

I beg to differ with Danny Rubinstein when he says, "there is no violence, no terrorism, no physical abuse." when he writes in reference to yet another Palestinian town being bulldozed and isolated from the rest of the world. When people die because they cannot get medical care, that is terrorism, violence and physical abuse.

In his article for the "Jewish Bulliten News", Eetta Prince Gibson points out: "In a report issued last month, the human rights group B'tselem documented eight cases in which Palestinians in need of medical treatment were denied passage through checkpoints. Two of the Palestinians died."

For those who don't think treatment of the Palestinians is reason enough to call the Israeli's to task, take a look here.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Christopher Allbritton points out that Bush has done it again. "The larger point is, and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region. I firmly believe the decisions we made will make America more secure and the world more peaceful."

Jules Witcover has a good take on this matter in his Op/Ed for SunSpot.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Sadly, Gary Locke has decided to step down as governor of the state of Washington, though I can fully understand his reasons for it. Family is very important. Still, we will miss him. From his early appearances on 'Almost Live', to the tradition of greeting children dressed in costumes at Halloween, or casually strolling the Farmer's Market with his family, he brought a very human side to his tenure as governor.

This is an article written by Steven Niva, a professor of international politics and Middle East studies at Evergreen. It has quite a few links to information regarding the Palestinian/Israeli situation. He's going to be giving a talk about a recent trip to Israel & Palestine, and I hope to attend.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Cats 'talking'? What won't they think of next?

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Council for a Livable World has further insight on finding the WMD's. (Thanks, Max.)

This is great! A view into the methods the CIA is utilizing to locate those WMD's...

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

"Just possibly... the world's finest carnival", reads the catch phrase on the side of the trucks. Just possibly...a misnomer. Went down to work, figuring it would be some quick money, and ended up in one of the food booths...talk about grotesque! It was filthy, with food stuck to the fryer baskets, a bin of straws steeping in oil; since the water wasn't hooked up we sprayed the counters down with '409'; the clincher was being asked to put out moldy dishes for serving food...I left. Did speak to one of the women that had hired me, and she said, 'Oh, I know. it believe me, I know how it is." Then why not do something about it? When I went back to the booth for my time card, they were cleaning out the deep fryers with '409'.

Would you like fries with that?

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

If you'd like to keep tabs on how your representatives are voting on important issues, here is a scorecard, courtesy of PIRG.

New this week, Bush wants to dismantle the Head Start program. Please send a fax to your representatives urging them to oppose this plan. I have also learned that the Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to the Head Start Association, "warning all local Head Start staff and parent/volunteers of possible civil and criminal penalties if they speak out against an extremely controversial Bush Administration proposal to gut the Head Start program."

How low can you go?

Saturday, July 05, 2003

While the flags are waving and many are celebrating the supposed victory of our war in Iraq, the Bush administration is busy pushing through policies that few even notice. Certainly, these items aren’t ‘important’ enough to rate mention on the conglomerate of news stations.

Take the Roadless Rule, for instance. Bush proposes to end protection for 58.5 million acres of national forests.

According to WASHPIRG, “One proposed change to the Roadless Rule would allow governors to seek exemptions from the rule for their state. Washington's Governor Gary Locke has stated his support for the Roadless Rule as originally written and has said that Washington state doesn't need the proposed exemption.”

Thank you, Gary.

Another area of concern has been brought to me by Biogems. “Yellowstone needs world protection now more than ever, and the Bush administration is the main reason why. At the bidding of oil giants, cattle barons and other special interests, the administration is unleashing a series of devastating attacks on Greater Yellowstone and its greatest living symbols.”

Did you know that last winter more than 200 head of wild bison were rounded up and slaughtered? To what purpose was that done? Was it to make room for the snowmobiles?

And from the True Majority, “Now Pres. Bush the younger and Congress are working to create a whole new generation of "usable" nukes. They are trying to repeal the Spratt-Furse provision so they can build a bunch of mini-nukes. They also want to spend millions to create a new high yield nuclear weapon to put on top of our conventional bunker busters, a weapon that already works fine.”

Unemployment is at an all time high and rising, funds are being cut from education and social services, tax cuts given to the rich; corporate interests being catered to; and at what cost?

There’s a lot going on behind that curtain, and I fear it’s no wizard that will be giving us a heart or courage. He may be giving us a ride, but it’s certainly not home.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

I read this article today by Ellen Goodman. It's from last Thursday's Tacoma Tribune--just got around to reading it...She raises some very good points. Worth the read.

Happy Canada Day! If you'd like a look at Parliment Hill, you can see it here.

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