Prison issues

Punk'd?

Hmm. So after a resounding electoral victory, an inauguration the likes of which we've never seen, and an odd new empathic burst of shared purpose, President Obama did what now?

He followed Bush's lead on civil liberties.

 

Obama Administration Maintains Bush Position on 'Extraordinary Rendition' Lawsuit

The Obama Administration today announced that it would keep the same position as the Bush Administration in the lawsuit Mohamed et al v Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc.

A source inside of the Ninth U.S. District Court tells ABC News that a representative of the Justice Department stood up to say that its position hasn't changed, that new administration stands behind arguments that previous administration made, with no ambiguity at all. The DOJ lawyer said the entire subject matter remains a state secret.

It's because of that last item I listed above -- that sense of shared purpose, of belief that all of us are going to get pointed in the right direction -- that this stings so much. "Extraordinary rendition" was one of the most galling of the Bush junta's excesses. Ashcroft, Gonzales & Co. had relied upon "state secrets" privilege to prevent courts from ruling on cases like Mohamed, in which five plaintiffs had been forcibly deported to other countries (we still don't know where) and tortured.

On one of its first chances to turn away from the dark side, the Obama administration has stepped right in the footprints set down by Bush. "State secrets" still prevent the tortured from having their day in court. It's a disgrace.

The only hope I hold out -- and it's a thin one -- is that the situation around rendition is as convoluted as that surrounding the prosecutorial cases for the Guantanamo detainees. Perhaps on this issue, too, the Bushies left such a scorched landscape in their wake that the Obama Justice Dept. is having trouble making head or tail of what went on in the course of "extraordinary rendition." Perhaps they will do the right thing and revisit Mohamed again down the road.

I hope so. I hope Obama is not the Manchurian candidate I feared he might be.

H/T Glenn Greenwald

Strugglebration for Mumia

program: 
Prison Pipeline
program date: 
Sun, 02/08/2009

Friday, Feb. 13, is a very special event! The Portland Friends for the Freedom of MOVE & Mumia Abu-Jamal present: Strugglebration for Mumia Abu-Jamal.
    Portland State University – Smith Memorial Student Union Bldg. (SMU 238)
    6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
    For more information: 503/515-9540


To get us in the mood we heard Mumia speak, a cheer by Jenka, a song by David Strechert and comments by Ruth and Rebecca about the entertainers and speakers who will take part in the night of celebration and struggle.

See you there!
 

27:32 minutes (25.21 MB)

Circle A Radio on 02/04/09

Air date: 
Wed, 02/04/2009 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Short Description: 
An interview with the Dicentra Collective

The Dicentra Collective is based in Portland, OR. They are 7 individuals who are collectively committed to create radical communities of care, networks of support, and movements based on relationship building. Tonight on Circle A Radio we talk with the members of Dicentra Collective about their beginnings, their workshops, their ideas for radical caregiving, and more. Stay Tuned.

Budget Cuts on Prisoners

program: 
Prison Pipeline
program date: 
Sun, 02/01/2009

Ruth Kovacs was joined by Patty Katz, from Partnerships for Safety and Justice and Tony Perkins, former World Council Chair for Oxford House. They discussed the cuts in Washington State Prison funds for drug and alcohol treatment for prisoners before and after release. Folks are asked to send stories about their addiction to drugs and alcohol and how treatment programs affected their lives. Send the one-page stories to Partnerships for Safety and Justice.

27:09 minutes (24.87 MB)

More Talk Radio on 02/09/09

Program: 
More Talk Radio
Air date: 
Mon, 02/09/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am

Cecil and Celeste speak with Dr. Donna Beegle, national public speaker, discussion leader, trainer, and the author of “See Poverty, Be The Difference,” a resource book for professionals who work with people in poverty. Donna has worked and written articles providing insights and strategies for communicating more effectively across race, class, gender and generational barriers for 17 years.

Working for Reform

program: 
Prison Pipeline
program date: 
Sun, 01/25/2009

Ruth Kovacs and Rebecca Nay talked about the work of advocates for prison reform. Rebecca, co-host of Gender Blender (usually the third Tuesday of the month from 6:00 to 7:00 pm) asked Ruth to define her mission and to tell what meeting with the prisoners has taught her this year. They shared examples that show people CAN change and the re-entry programs DO make a difference for those who want to come out of incarceration as better folks than they were during their criminal days.

28:58 minutes (26.52 MB)

Flashpoints

Program: 
Flashpoints
Air date: 
Fri, 01/23/2009 - 11:15am - 12:00pm

Continuing reports from Palestine and a discussion about the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Cruel and Unusual

program: 
Prison Pipeline
program date: 
Sun, 01/11/2009

One of the producer/directors of the award winning film, “Cruel and Unusual”, Janet Baus gave Prison Pipeline a telephone interview. We discussed the problems that transgender prisoners must face. The conversation between Janet, Rebecca (our KBOO engineer) and Ruth (PP Host) as they shared information and insights about this issue was candid and informative.

CONTACT  INFORMATION:
Outcast Films
www.cruelandunusualfilm.com

28:45 minutes (26.32 MB)

Books to Prisoners

program: 
Prison Pipeline
program date: 
Sun, 01/04/2009

Jonathan Farbowitz and Alex Fish from Books for Prisoners gave us an update about the program.

Books to Prisoners

P.O. Box 11222

Portland, OR 97211

pdxbookstoprisoners@riseup.net

pdxbookstoprisoners.org

Volunteer Nights are Mondays & Tuesdays 5:30-8pm. at 1112 NE Morton St.


Prisoners should sent request books from:

Seattle Books to Prisoners

c/o Left Bank Books

92 Pike St. Box A

Seattle, WA 98101

Book Donation Drop Boxes are located:

In Other Words Books

Roccos Pizza

Hollywood Theatre

Laughing Horse Books

Red & Black Cafe

Blackrose Bookstore

28:17 minutes (25.89 MB)

Index of leading asshattery indicators

 I love Harper's Index.

For those of you not familiar with it, Harper's Index appears near the front of every edition of Harper's magazine. It presents a sort of snapshot of current affairs by way of assembling a bunch of seemingly obscure, but ultimately telling, statistics. The index can really help break an issue down to irrefutable numbers in a way that cuts through ideological trappings.

Take the current iteration of Harper's Index, for example. It's all about the legacy of the Bush years, the whole fucking war-ridden, corrupt, incompetent, greedy, murderous, filthy lot of them. Here's just a few choice nuggets:

 

Percentage of Bush’s first 189 appointees who also served in his father’s administration: 42

Minimum number of Bush appointees who have regulated industries they used to represent as lobbyists: 98

Date on which the GAO sued Dick Cheney to force the release of documents related to current U.S. energy policy: 2/22/02

Number of other officials the GAO has sued over access to federal records: 0

Number of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and North African men detained in the U.S. in the eight weeks after 9/11: 1,182

Number charged with an immigration violation: 762

Days since the federal government first placed the nation under an “elevated terror alert” that the level has been relaxed: 0

Percentage of the amendments in the Bill of Rights that are violated by the USA PATRIOT Act, according to the ACLU: 50

Minimum number of laws that Bush signing statements have exempted his administration from following: 1,069

 

... and on and on. It's an itemized chronicle of catastrophic mis-government. Read the whole thing, and then print it off and give it to your Republican co-workers.

-A

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