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Commentary :: Miscellaneous

Protest One Person Short Of Success

counter-inauguration protests held in Washington Wednesday were one person short of success, analysts reported Thursday.

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News :: Protest Activity


A summary of my day spent at the counter-inaugural protest, accompanied by pictures.

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Commentary :: Peace & War

TruthTalkzIraq: lest we forget

Lest we forget. The following is a compilation of
statements made by Bush Administration officials
concerning Iraqi WMD's in the leadup to the invasion of March 2003:


The Bush Administration on Iraq's Weapons of Mass
Destruction Capabilities
August 2002-November 2003

Prepared by Christina Andersson

We have compiled statements from the Bush
Administration primarily on Iraq's previous and
current ability to manufacture and hide chemical,
biological, and nuclear weapons as well as delivery systems. We have also included statements on the relationship between intelligence and post-war evidence of such capabilities. Statements in bold are our emphases...

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Commentary :: Protest Activity

Seattle Central Community College Students Force Army Recruiters off Campus

Among countless counter-inaugural actions held nationwide on January 20, 2005, the feistiest one took place in Seattle. Look at the photograph of Seattle Central Community College students forcing Army recruiters off campus. Naturally, no national media carried this news except Yahoo! News. What makes this action especially promising? The class and race of the students who organized it. According to Andrew Goldstein's profile of Seattle Central students, "everyone at Seattle Central lives off campus, and 80% hold full-time or part-time jobs."

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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights

New racial profiling bill merits serious look

New racial profiling bill merits serious look

by Wil LaVeist

January 19 2005

Del. Jeion Ward is the latest legislator to take up the baton on racial
profiling in Virginia. Can she deliver when others haven't?

Ward has introduced a bill that would make police departments across the
state record the race of every driver they stop. The Virginia State
Police would track and analyze the hard data to determine once and for
all whether Virginia has a problem with racial profiling. Other
sophomore legislators from the area, Del. Mayme BaCote and Sen. Mamie
Lock, are behind the bill.

Also called "driving while black," "racial profiling" refers to
incidents in which an officer stops a person because of his or her skin
color. It's illegal. If you've been racially profiled (it's happened to
me in other states), you likely felt degraded and frustrated by the
ordeal. As a black person, it's one of those burdens in life that you,
unfortunately, expect to endure. After 9-11, many Arab-Americans began
to understand this.

The perception and reality of racial profiling in Virginia has been
debated in and around the General Assembly since at least 1997, when a
federal civil rights advisory committee was studying the issue. In 2000,
that 15-member Virginia Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on
Civil Rights submitted a report saying police used racial- profiling
techniques, which contributed to the "overwhelmingly disproportionate"
numbers of African-Americans under criminal supervision.

Years later, we're still asking whether racial profiling happens. Why?

"You hear it all the time," Ward said at a news conference that she
conduct to push her bill. "We can't just keep going on like this.
Either, yes, we have a problem, let's do something about it, or no, it
really is just random."

Right. Sounds logical, but it's also the reasoning that state Sen. Henry
Maxwell, D-Newport News, had in 2000 when he introduced a similar bill,
which didn't pass.

Foes of Maxwell's bill said it would be too costly to have officers
record the race, gender, ethnicity and age of motorists they stopped. A
survey done by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the
Virginia Sheriff's Association bolstered that mind-set. The
questionnaire, which not all police departments answered, found no
pattern of racial profiling.

But what else would you expect the findings to be from an internal
police survey based on inconsistent data? It would be like expecting
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to issue a thorough, unbiased,
critical report of his department's handling of the war in Iraq.

Nonetheless, the report gave enough legilsators, who would rather not
know the truth on racial profiling, enough ammunition to dump Maxwell's

Without data on race, it's impossible to get to the bottom of the issue.
In light of 9-11 and concerns about lost civil liberties, knowing the
motorists' race would help track injustices, as well as prove and
protect the majority of honest police officers and troopers out there.
California collects the information. So does Maryland.

But the response by the majority of Virginia's legislators has been
typical of those who haven't endured racial profiling and can't
reprogram their minds to care to realize that it's possible. Their
solution: Form another committee. Call for more diversity training.

Ward and BaCote were asked in December by the Virginia Organizing
Project to meet with the group and to support the measure. Del. Tom
Gear, R-Hampton, was also invited but was a no-show. I attended the
meeting. Members talked about their experiences. Some talked about
having to teach their children how to behave when pulled over. Racial
profiling is real.

Visiting with Ward and BaCote during the opening session of the General
Assembly, I got the sense from them that the second-term legislators
want to deliver on some truly meaningful legislation.

Ward said she felt more comfortable the second time around.

BaCote was like a worker bee in her office, organizing bills.

In an earlier conversation in Hampton, Locke revealed a plan to
introduce legislation to study the effect that Virginia's method of
financing public education had on children of poorer districts.

This is all great, but what they all must do is deliver something
meaningful for their constituents, particularly the black community.

Because of the history of racism and disenfranchisement, this is a
mission that all black politicians must embrace, even if it means
speaking out and introducing unpopular legislation. Racial profiling
would be a great one to deliver on.

Wil LaVeist can be reached at 247-7840 or by e-mail at

Copyright © 2005, Daily Press

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Commentary :: Gender and Sexuality

Students get lesson in hate

January 18, 2005:

Letourneau response to letter is revealing

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Commentary :: Elections & Legislation

Red, White and Purple: The Toothless Democratic Party

Alas, the Democratic Party is lost. The reason it's lost is because it sucks at being the minority party.

I went to high school and college with the author of this piece. Enjoy. -JG

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Commentary :: Elections & Legislation



My husband has a long record of money problems. He
runs up huge credit card bills. At the end of the
month, if I try to pay them off, he shouts at me,
saying I am stealing his money. He says pay the
minimum, and let our kids worry about the rest, but
already we can hardly keep up with the interest.

Also he has been so arrogant and abusive toward our
neighbors that most of them no longer speak to us. The
few that do are an odd bunch, to whom he has been
giving a lot of expensive gifts, running up our bills
even more.

Also, he has gotten religious in a big way, although I
don't quite understand it. One week he hangs out with
Catholics and the next with people who say the Pope is
the Anti-Christ. And now he has been going
to the gym an awful lot and is into wearing uniforms
and cowboy outfits, and I hate to think what that

Finally, the last straw. He's demanding that before
anyone can be in the same room with him, they must
sign a loyalty oath. It's just so horribly creepy!

Can you help?

Signed, Lost in DC


Stop whining, Laura. You can divorce the jerk any time
you want. The rest of us are stuck with the ___hole
for four more years!

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