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Cooley Hurd

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 23,433

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James D. Watkins, who led Reagan’s commission on AIDS in the 1980s, dies at 85

Source: WaPo

Retired Navy Adm. James D. Watkins, who displayed independence in politically charged waters as energy secretary under President George H.W. Bush and as chairman of an influential commission on the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s, died July 26 at his home in Alexandria. He was 85. He had congestive heart failure, said his wife, Janet Watkins.

Adm. Watkins was an imposing figure in his Navy dress blues — a nuclear submarine officer who stood 6-foot-4 and was known as “Radio-Free Watkins” for his blunt outspokenness. As chief of naval operations from 1982 to 1986, Adm. Watkins served as the Navy’s top-ranking officer and representative on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was considered an architect of the Reagan-era Strategic Defense Initiative, the proposed missile shield and planned response to a Soviet nuclear attack.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan named him to lead the President’s Commission on the HIV Epidemic. A Catholic and Republican, Adm. Watkins was an unlikely candidate for the panel. In addition, he said his experience dealing with HIV/AIDS was limited.

“He told the president, ‘I’m a sailor and a submariner, and I know nothing about medicine,’ ” his wife, Janet, said in an interview. “But Reagan told him, ‘You’re exactly who we’re looking for.’ ”

<snip>

Under Adm. Watkins, the panel advocated the passage of anti-discrimination laws for AIDS patients and the need for laws to protect the rights and privacy of those with AIDS. He was most eloquent in describing the loneliness afflicting those with the disease.

“All you have to do is walk in to the pediatric ward of Harlem Hospital and see those children,” Adm. Watkins once said. “Nobody wants them. They have no place to go. That gets you.”

He added that he was profoundly affected by testimony about a 12-year-old boy infected with HIV and ostracized by classmates. The child was ridiculed, his parents received death threats and the family’s car was pelted with stones.

Anthony S. Fauci, who oversees AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health, said in an interview that Adm. Watkins was an early and crucial advocate for AIDS patients

</snip>

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/james-d-watkins-who-led-reagans-commission-on-aids-in-the-1980s-dies-at-85/2012/07/27/gJQA4LSpEX_story.html?Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost



He tried, but his boss was tone-deaf to the plight.

Cross gently Admiral.

93 years ago tonight: the start of the Chicago Race Riots...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Race_Riot_of_1919

Chicago Race Riot of 1919

Starting with a white man throwing rocks at blacks in the water at a beach on the South Side which resulted in an African American's death, conflict escalated when police did not arrest the white man but arrested a black man instead. Objections by blacks were met with violence by whites. Attacks between whites and blacks erupted swiftly. At one point a mob of white men threatened Provident Hospital, many of whose patients were African American. The police held them off. The riot lasted for nearly a week, ending only after the government deployed nearly 6,000 National Guard troops. They stationed them around the Black Belt to prevent further white attacks. By the night of July 30, most violence had ended. Most of the rioting, murder, and arson was the result of ethnic whites attacking the African-American population in the city's Black Belt on the South Side. Most of the casualties and property damage were suffered by blacks. Newspaper accounts noted numerous attempts at arson; for instance, on July 31, more than 30 fires were started in the Black Belt before noon and were believed to be due to arson. Steel cables had been put across the streets to prevent fire trucks from entering the areas. The Mayor's office was told of a plan to burn down the black area and run its residents out of town. There were also sporadic violent attacks in other areas of the city, including the Chicago Loop. In the rioting, 38 people died (23 African Americans and 15 whites), and 537 were injured (two-thirds were African Americans). Patrolman John W. Simpson was the only policeman who was killed in the riot. Approximately 1000 residents, mostly African Americans, were left homeless after fires destroyed their homes. Numerous African-American families left the city by train before the rioting had ended, returning to families in the South.

Chief of Police John J. Garrity closed "all places where men congregate for other than religious purposes" to help restore order. Governor Frank Lowden authorized the deployment of the 11th Illinois Infantry and its machine gun company, as well as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd reserve militia. These four units totaled 3,500 men. The Cook County Sheriff deputized between 1000 and 2000 former soldiers to help keep the peace. With the reserves and militia guarding the Black Belt, the city arranged for emergency provisions to supply its residents with fresh food. Whites delivered food and supplies to the line established by the military; from there, deliveries were distributed within the Black Belt by African Americans. In addition, while industry was closed, the packing plants arranged to deliver pay to certain areas so African-American men could pick up their money.

After order was restored, Illinois Governor Frank Lowden was urged to create a state committee to study the cause of the riots. He proposed forming a committee to write a racial code of ethics and to draw up racial boundaries for activities within the city.



Newest trending Twitter tag: #AmericanBorat - guess who they mean?

http://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/AmericanBorat

Top story on Soledad's CNN show this morning: Anglo-Saxon-Gate

Talking about how the comment is completely overshadowing his overseas trip.

I flew on a B-17 last Sunday - I won the ride in a raffle!

...it was a dream come true!! I took videos, put them together and set them to a recent composition of mine and... well, here it is:


An absolutely awesome experience!!!

Alexander Cockburn, 1941-2012 - Farewell, Alex, My Friend

Source: Coutnerpunch

by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR


Our friend and comrade Alexander Cockburn died last night in Germany, after a fierce two-year long battle against cancer. His daughter Daisy was at his bedside.

Alex kept his illness a tightly guarded secret. Only a handful of us knew how terribly sick he truly was. He didn’t want the disease to define him. He didn’t want his friends and readers to shower him with sympathy. He didn’t want to blog his own death as Christopher Hitchens had done. Alex wanted to keep living his life right to the end. He wanted to live on his terms. And he wanted to continue writing through it all, just as his brilliant father, the novelist and journalist Claud Cockburn had done. And so he did. His body was deteriorating, but his prose remained as sharp, lucid and deadly as ever.

In one of Alex’s last emails to me, he patted himself on the back (and deservedly so) for having only missed one column through his incredibly debilitating and painful last few months. Amid the chemo and blood transfusions and painkillers, Alex turned out not only columns for CounterPunch and The Nation and First Post, but he also wrote a small book called Guillotine and finished his memoirs, A Colossal Wreck, both of which CounterPunch plans to publish over the course of the next year.

Alex lived a huge life and he lived it his way. He hated compromise in politics and he didn’t tolerate it in his own life. Alex was my pal, my mentor, my comrade. We joked, gossiped, argued and worked together nearly every day for the last twenty years. He leaves a huge void in our lives. But he taught at least two generations how to think, how to look at the world, how to live a life of resistance. So, the struggle continues and we’re going to remain engaged. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
</snip>




Read more: http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/07/21/farewell-alex-my-friend/



Note to mods, I know Counterpunch isn't "mainstream" but Cockburn & St Clair were important voices during the last decade.

Cross gently Alex, and thank you so much for bringing truth to light.

Are images of Batman appropriate in Colorado shooting tribute graphics?

Apparently, the gunman was quite taken with the Batman story - to the point of emulating The Joker by dying his hair bright red before the shooting. Also, what if the victims were viewing a movie like Ernest Goes to Camp? Would there be a graphic of a sad Ernest? Not to mention; would the Ernest story entice someone to shoot up a theater? (Well, maybe after the movie... )

I'm not necessarily bothered by the graphics, but I wonder what others think about it...

Romney/Rmoney 2012?

Music by Eli's Femur Bone (that's me )

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