Friday, December 21, 2007

Raymond Jackson '08 

Have other people also been getting the sense that the GOP field this season is missing that "perfect candidate"? I even had the sense that there was some specific person, who ought to be running, but isn't...yet I couldn't seem to put my finger on it, until, glancing through the AmCop archives, I came across this post from a little over three years ago:

Couple Accused of Starving Sons Speak Out

NEW YORK (AP) -- A couple charged with starving their four adopted sons contends the boys starved themselves, telling a magazine the oldest boy lied to authorities about conditions in the family's home.

Raymond and Vanessa Jackson broke their 13-month silence to talk with a reporter from New York magazine about the case. They are awaiting trial on charges of aggravated assault and child endangerment.

Raymond Jackson, 51, said the teen misled investigators.

``I know Bruce loves us,'' Raymond Jackson, 51, told the magazine for this week's issue. ``I know he does. But sometimes I think about how my life is completely turned around. And it's because he told a lie. He told a lie on me. He told a lie on us.''

The rest of the post covers young Bruce's singing, pageantry, and unprovoked habit of gnawing on wallboard.

Important information 

From the heroic reporter Amira Hass. The conclusions to be drawn from the situation in Palestine seem clear: most Palestinians are not consumed by violent hatred; and Israel is not going to last as a Jewish state because the Palestinians are Palestinians and are not going to go away.

By Amira Hass
December 2007
Translated from Hebrew by George Malent

In the middle of November a new method of “smuggling” Palestinians into Israel was exposed: in the northern Jordan Valley, two cars from East Jerusalem disguised to look “police-like” were used in an attempt to transport Palestinians without permits through the Bezek crossing. The same week a private smuggling attempt from the West Bank to Israel came to light: a woman was transporting someone concealed in her car, and by her behaviour she aroused the suspicions of soldiers at a checkpoint. This was reported in passing on the radio, as a curiosity. Neither of the two incidents represented a security danger; they were merely additional attempts by unemployed people to work in Israel. There are probably hundreds like them every month, who have not yet been discovered en route to “infiltration” into Israel in a desperate search for livelihood and food for their children. It could even be added: while heroically endangering themselves.

The discovery of a breach in the “separation wall” immediately sets off security alarms in Israeli ears. If those routes are known to workers, then they are probably also known to organizations that espouse suicide bombing. Can the fact that those routes have not been used lately to send suicide bombers be attributed only to the activities of Shabak [Israel’s internal intelligence agency and security police – trans.], or is it due in part – or perhaps mainly – to the fact that the various organizations have changed their approach? Or maybe there is something more: there are organizations and splinters of organizations that are probably looking for candidates for suicide attacks. But today, unlike in the past, the atmosphere of support for suicide attacks – which was motivated mainly by the desire to avenge the many civilians that the IDF killed immediately after September 2000 – is not prevalent.

It is an accepted clichי among some so-called radicals that army attacks in which Palestinian civilians are harmed – which are routine occurrences that pass below the Israeli radar – always create “the next suicide bomber”. The truth is that nearly every Palestinian has many reasons to be fed up with life to the point of suicide and thoughts of revenge, and those thoughts are not linked only to military attacks. Even without killing, the Israeli occupation regime kills – hope, plans, relationships, ways of life. Living among Palestinians brings daily examples of the thousands of shades that despair has, just as the regime of occupation and colonization brings with it thousands of variants of material and mental abuse. Every moment, people mourn for the lives they could have had and which they are not experiencing. How explosive is the daily insult which people experience, under a foreign rule that decides who will live in their own houses and who will not, who will have access to their lands and who will not, when the bulldozer will tear up your grandparents’ land in order to attach it to a highway and a green settlement, who will waste several hours every day at a checkpoint, who will send their children to university and who will send them to beg, who will lose their source of livelihood, who will see their family and when, and who will not. Massive is the insult felt by the many who depend on charity. Added to all this, of course, is the constant opprobrium of a disappointing and failed Palestinian leadership and the absence of hope in its ability to effect change.

The inescapable conclusion is not that every Israeli attack is likely to create the next suicide bomber. Something is inverted here: how is it that in spite of everything, more youths have not chosen the path of suicide in the past? How is it that people are not choosing to commit suicide today? True, there is another escape: many people, public-opinion polls tell us, are hoping to leave. But appearances are always bigger than reality.

The attachment people have to their harsh lives is more than just the instinct for survival or a default option. In it is a constant lesson to those Israelis who are planning for “transfer” overtly or covertly: the large majority of Palestinians knows that oppressive regimes come and go, but they will stay on their land. Consciously.

Please do this too 

Please sign an important petition about the murder of Gaza.

Below is a letter from Gaza:

Appeal - Appeal - Appeal

We have a very series shortage of diesel in the ministry of Health the majority of the 11 hospitals of MOH do suffer from a shortage of fuel, the same is for the 52 primary health care clinics and vehicles.

I am not speaking now about the consequences but they are catastrophic and include the transportation defect which will not enable the employees of the Ministry to go to their hospitals.

Please. We urge you to help us by applying any sort of pressure that could let the Israelis change their mind about this fatal action that would threaten the lives of thousands of civilians in the already under siege Gaza.

Dr Medhat Abbas
General Director of
Crisis Management Unit
Ministry of Health, Gaza.
Contact: mabbas[at]gov.ps

Here is information on a petition:


Since Israeli government declared Gaza as "hostile entity" on 19th September 2007,Israel blocks delivery of essential medicines to Gaza Strip and doesn't allow Palestinian patients to go outside of Gaza for urgent treatment.

The United Nations, The World Health Organisation and Physicians for Human Rights have condemned Israel for this situation, but Israeli government is still continue to its policy and Palestinian patients are slowly dying in front of the world.

All the victims of this humanitarian crisis are innocent civilians, and many of them are children. For example in 14th November 2007, 6 months old Palestinian baby Sina al-Hajj died because Israeli government didn't allow her to cross Gaza border for geting treatment. Palestinian MP Jamal Al Khudari said now there are more than a thousand Palestinian patients in urgent need of treatment who are not allowed to leave Gaza.

Please sign this petition to call the United Nations and the Israeli government to allow the Palestinian patients having treatment outside of Gaza: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-gaza

Here is what I said on the petition:

I am a Jew. I have tried to believe in the state of Israel and its founding ideals. But this murderous denial of basic health supplies to the Palestinians of Gaza makes it impossible for me to believe that Israel can rightly exist as it is currently constituted. Israel needs to be a state for ALL the people under its laws--Jews and Palestinians TOGETHER under ONE law, with no privileges for EITHER group. A state for some, but not ALL, of its residents is a state that will soon start murdering its residents wholesale. That is what is being done to Gaza: collective murder.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Creche, Brooklyn, 2007 

Monday, December 17, 2007

Please do this 

Visit this site and sign Rep. Robert Wexler's petition in support of hearings on the impeachment of Richard "Dick" Cheney.

They've got 56,000 signatures in two days. Hopefully this will catch on.

Maybe it will make a "difference." Anyway--since we can't do what we really want to do to Cheney, we can at least sign this thing.


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