united states v. george bush et al

November 28, 2006

A posting to the Rhetoricians for Peace list just informed us of Elizabeth de la Vega’s new book, United States V. George Bush et al, which is a mock grand jury indictment of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Powell for defrauding the American public. De la Vega is a retired federal prosecutor, and the snippet from her book at TomDispatch.com is well worth reading. In “A Fraud Worse than Enron,” de la Vega says the following:

So, consider this my 911 call. I’m calling on Democrats and Republicans to do the right thing. And I’m calling on everyone else to do whatever you can to convince Congress to do the right thing. I am not talking about bringing people to justice in the vengeful sense that President Bush employs. I am talking about effecting justice. I am talking, finally, about holding our highest government officials accountable for a complex and calculated program of false pretense, misleading statements, and material omissions — a criminal betrayal of trust that is strikingly similar to, yet far worse than, the fraud committed by Enron’s top officials.


defeating the bill of rights

November 26, 2006

Defeating the Bill of Rights: Bush’s Lone Victory, by Paul Craig Roberts (CounterPunch, 22 Nov. 2006), who was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan and is a former Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page,  denounces this administration’s disregard for law and civil liberties. Roberts starts out with a reference to George Orwell and ends with this:

Americans should be roused to fury that attorney general Alberto Gonzales and vice president Cheney have condemned the defense of American civil liberty as “a grave threat to US security.” This blatant use of an orchestrated and propagandistic fear to create a “national security” wedge against the Bill of Rights is an impeachable offense.

Mark my words, the future of civil liberty in the US depends on the impeachment and conviction of Bush, Cheney, and Gonzales.

Blogged with Flock


Helsinki Complaints Choir

November 26, 2006

Just got this link to a YouTube video of the Helsinki Complaints Choir, and I loved watching it! A little googling tells me the Complaints Choir is a project by Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen and gathers people in different locales — the complaints and the music are locally produced. The Helsinki Complaints Choir premiered 25 March 2006; music composed, directed, and accompanied by Esko Grunström. The music is great. Simple piano accompaniment. Great mix of several venues where the piece is performed. It’s worth watching all the way through.


Taylor Mali’s “What Teachers Make”

November 25, 2006

So I’m doing a leisurely cleanup of my laptop, tossing files, and I come across “The Impotence of Proofreading” by Taylor Mali. Pretty hysterical poem. I notice there’s a url and go find the site and …wow…read about “What Teachers Make” and the poem’s permutations in cyberspace and popular culture. And Mali’s quest, begun in 2000, to recruit 1,000 teachers by 2006. I like reading the blurbs by the people (total of 155 as of 16 Oct. 2006) who have been convinced to take up teaching as a profession. By Mali’s count, he’s helped to persuade almost 25 people a year for the past 6 years to take up teaching — all through poetry. Now if that ain’t the power of the spoken word, I don’t know what is.

In “What Teachers Make,” Mali quotes the old saw: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” I can’t remember if the following is my revision, or a lifted revision, or a cobbled-together revision of lifted and original words: “Those who can, teach; those who can’t, try harder.”


super mom aids wii worship

November 21, 2006

We are not Wii-less cuz super mom strikes again! It’s Sunday, 19 Nov., and I’ve just heard from Josh that he failed his mission to obtain a Wii. He left the house at 6am for the 3-mile walk and at 7am, 42 tickets for 42 Wii had already been given out. I was in Nashville for a conference, not yet fully awake, only one cup of coffee in my system. I jumped out of bed, threw on yesterday’s clothes and drove the 5 miles to Target in Nashville. I did not have much hope. But I received ticket # 34 out of 39. I was 20 minutes late for my 9am meeting.


Wii – Revolution

November 19, 2006

My son walked to Target to get a Wii this morning but didn’t make it for one  of the 42 tickets. We may be Wii-less for a bit.


open mic at Calhoun

November 16, 2006

Wow. Poetry lives! At least in ENG 102 at Calhoun. To finish up our poetry section, we had open mic night and a couple poets treated us to original works: Kevin, Derrick, Jennifer D., Tonya…am I missing anybody? Kim, where were you? We missed hearing your work. I really enjoyed listening to all the readings and kept thinking, ‘I wish I could do this more often.’ I like listening to poetry. NPR had a report this morning on the National Book Awards and they had a snippet from Adrienne Rich’s acceptance speech, in which she discusses the efficacy of poetry to keep body and soul together. You’ll need to listen to the audio to get to Rich’s comments. A cool companion piece on the web is National Book Award Finalists Explain Their Craft. Poets and all you writers and visual artists out there at Calhoun: SEND IN YOUR stuff to Muse, Calhoun’s art magazine. Deadline is 8 Dec.