Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

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Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Iraqi Points of View

It is quite rare that U.S. media exposes the view of Iraqis. Charlie Rose had Ali Fadhil and Sinan Antoon, Iraqis, on his show to “celebrate” the 5th year of the U. S. Occupation of Iraq. I don’t think that what he heard was what he expected. That said, it is important that we who care about the Iraq Occupation know what the occupation is from the occupied point of view. I have been unable to find the whole video, to imbed it, from the Charlie Rose show. So here is a snippet. And then there is the whole Glenn Greenwald post which has the entire video and comments. Watch it all and keep in mind that this represents the U.S. and all of us.

It isn’t a pretty picture!

The Eleventh Circuit Does the Right Thing!

It is so good to know that someone is paying attention. The really great thing is that it appears to be the 11th Circuit. Who would have thunk it?

March 27, 2008

Ex - Ala. Governor to Be Freed on Bond


Filed at 8:59 p.m. ET

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- A federal appeals court approved the release of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on bond Thursday while he appeals his convictions in a corruption case.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the former governor had raised ''substantial questions of fact and law'' in challenging his conviction, which Siegelman claims was politically motivated.

The once-popular Democrat began serving a sentence of more than seven years in June on his conviction on six bribery-related counts and one obstruction count. He has been serving the sentence at a federal prison in Oakdale, La.

The former governor's release was approved the same day the House Judiciary Committee announced it wanted Siegelman to testify before Congress about possible political influence over his prosecution.

''It's a sweet day. He's an innocent man and he's been in prison for nine months,'' said Siegelman's attorney, Vince Kilborn.

Kilborn said Siegelman would be released from the Louisiana prison Friday morning after prison officials verify the court order with the 11th Circuit.

Federal prosecutors accused Siegelman, 62, of appointing Richard Scrushy, HealthSouth CEO at the time, to a hospital regulatory board in exchange for Scrushy arranging $500,000 in contributions to Siegelman's campaign for a statewide lottery.

Scrushy, who was tried along with Siegelman, also was convicted on bribery counts and is serving a sentence of nearly seven years. The 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, has ruled that the multimillionaire Birmingham businessman is a potential flight risk, but that Siegelman is not.

Siegelman was also convicted of a separate obstruction of justice charge concerning $9,200 he received from a lobbyist to help with the purchase of a motorcycle. His attorneys have said it was a legitimate transaction.

U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of Montgomery had refused to allow Siegelman to remain free on appeal while challenging his conviction. But the 11th Circuit said Thursday he met the legal standard to be freed in the ''complex and protracted'' case.

The appeals process had been delayed for months after the court reporter during the trial died and the transcript was not completed as it normally would have.

Appellate court Judges Susan Black and Stanley Marcus said Siegelman could be released under the same conditions that he was allowed to remain free for about a year after his June 2006 conviction.

The amount of bond then was not disclosed. Restrictions were placed on his travel, but while awaiting sentencing he had been approved for out-of-state trips.

Chief prosecutor Louis Franklin said he was ''very disappointed'' by the ruling but still expects the appellate court to rule against Siegelman's appeal.

''I don't view this as a setback. The order is very short and concise and only deals with whether he is entitled to bond pending appeal,'' Franklin said.

Scrushy attorney Art Leach said the order releasing Siegelman makes him optimistic about Scrushy's chances for release on bond.

''My belief is that there are substantial issues and in my opinion it requires reversal of the conviction,'' Leach said.

Siegelman has maintained that certain Republicans targeted him after he was elected governor in 1998 in an attempt to derail his political career.

Kilborn said the former governor has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating allegations of political meddling in Justice Department affairs by the Bush administration. The committee hopes to hear from Siegelman in May.

The department and the federal prosecutors who handled Siegelman's prosecution have denied any political influence, emphasizing that he was convicted by a jury. But critics, including a group of former state attorneys general, have called for an independent review and said the case raises questions.

It will be very interesting to see if this takes us to even close of the 7th Circuit’s shocking decision in the Thompson case. Time will tell.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Stroke!

In 1990 I had what my doctors, who induced it, called a neurological incident: a stroke. This video was sent to me (as usual thank you Janis) and it is very telling in so many ways. It is for me very emotional and yet uplifting. Watch the whole thing you won’t be disappointed.

Jill Bolte Taylor and her stroke of insight are awesome.

So what did you learn?

Update: I was lucky, in some ways, in that during my brain meltdown I was under anesthesia so that I didn’t know what was going on. It did however make figuring out what went wrong very difficult to understand. The first indications were physical and then the mental which where thought to be from the intense and lengthy general anesthesia. This made the whole process of dealing with it far more difficult and harrowing. And it also made the process of working through the problem far more complicated. The process of dealing with it was, as my situation revealed, left to my resources. And I must say that luckily I had a lot of resources to draw on.

Video Alert: Click on the the link at Stoke of Insight. When the script message comes up select continue. Asa and I are trying to figure out the loading problem. And you know he will figure it out.

It’s Spring!

Believe it or not, in New York the Vernal Equinox hit at 5:48 on March 20th. Hard to believe isn’t it? Time sure flies.

And Tulips are everywhere! And Lord knows I love me some Tulips!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Howard M. Metzenbaum


1917 – 2008

Why Did they Drop the Dime?

I have been thinking about this for a while and I have mixed feelings. It seems that everything we heard about this “Scandal” initially wasn’t exactly accurate. Initially we were told through numerous “anonymous” leaks that the Governor was caught due to an investigation of a prostitution ring by the Public Integrity Unit of the DOJ. Well what, I thought, is the Public Integrity Unit doing investigating a prostitution ring? And why are the Fed’s investigating a state crime?

So, it came as no surprise that the story was exactly backwards. The prostitution ring was discovered because the Public Integrity Unit was actually investigating the Democratic Governor of New York State and that is how the Fed’s fell across the prostitution ring.

I think that Spitzer, who had done quite a lot of good in fighting financial crime, was taken down by both his own hubris and a little help from his enemies. And Lord knows he had plenty. Rumor has it that the bank, Norfolk, which is owned by Capital One, dropped the initial dime. You know I would think that if you indict a bank for sub-prime lending fraud you might take your personal money elsewhere. I am just saying. And not only that, but I would be very careful because I know how financial crimes are investigated. I would likewise be very careful as a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) who is subject to “strict scrutiny” in any transactions I had in any bank anywhere. Again, I am just saying.

So, it seems that my initial reaction which was “what a moron” was accurate but based on different reasons than initially reported. Whether he was targeted or not is actually relevant in part and irrelevant in part. Eliot Spitzer, “The Sheriff of Wall Street” and “Mr. Clean” should have known better.

This is not like electing someone you know is a moron, like say, George W. Bush. We thought we were electing one really smart, and good, guy. He was a bit of a zealot though and that should have been our clue.

Voters: Caveat Emptor!

PS Good Luck Governor Paterson and take a lesson Mr. Cuomo!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Misogyny v. Racism II!

I have been saying for years (about 40 years) that we would have a Black Male President before we had a Female President. Now recently I had thought it would be Colin Powell but we all know how that turned out. But none-the-less, it never occurred to me that in this racist and misogynistic culture we could have a woman as President in my life time. So, I have to wonder, what was Hillary thinking? I think that Hillary Clinton is a very smart and capable person. Certainly she is smarter than most of her competition. But how could she think that the U.S. would elect a woman to the Presidency? This I don’t get.

Now I am not saying that women haven’t made enormous strides in the last 30 years, they have, but compared to others it is surprisingly negligible. Who is the female Prince (no pun intended) who as a black male was the head of Citibank, N.A., the largest bank in this country and who was the female Parsons who was the head of Time, Inc.? And though they were both sent to the woodshed with large golden parachutes which female CEO failure got the same treatment. Certainly Fiorina, as the Girl CEO from HP, suffered relentless bad press from the MSM from her term as the head of Hewlett-Packard.

And now that we are experiencing a Financial Meltdown we are not experiencing the trash talking about our financial leaders, such as Mr. Prince, though I think that Sandy Weill is culpable. The MSM is talking about the write-downs and who is leaving the leadership of these malefactors of financial leadership. And, all of this is without personal attacks and accusations.

So it was with great affection that I welcomed this controversial Op-Ed by Gloria Steinem in the NYT’s:

Read up:

January 8, 2008

Op-Ed Contributor

Women Are Never Front-Runners


Correction appended.

THE woman in question became a lawyer after some years as a community organizer, married a corporate lawyer and is the mother of two little girls, ages 9 and 6. Herself the daughter of a white American mother and a black African father — in this race-conscious country, she is considered black — she served as a state legislator for eight years, and became an inspirational voice for national unity.

Be honest: Do you think this is the biography of someone who could be elected to the United States Senate? After less than one term there, do you believe she could be a viable candidate to head the most powerful nation on earth?

If you answered no to either question, you’re not alone. Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House. This country is way down the list of countries electing women and, according to one study, it polarizes gender roles more than the average democracy.

That’s why the Iowa primary was following our historical pattern of making change. Black men were given the vote a half-century before women of any race were allowed to mark a ballot, and generally have ascended to positions of power, from the military to the boardroom, before any women (with the possible exception of obedient family members in the latter).

If the lawyer described above had been just as charismatic but named, say, Achola Obama instead of Barack Obama, her goose would have been cooked long ago. Indeed, neither she nor Hillary Clinton could have used Mr. Obama’s public style — or Bill Clinton’s either — without being considered too emotional by Washington pundits.

So why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one? The reasons are as pervasive as the air we breathe: because sexism is still confused with nature as racism once was; because anything that affects males is seen as more serious than anything that affects “only” the female half of the human race; because children are still raised mostly by women (to put it mildly) so men especially tend to feel they are regressing to childhood when dealing with a powerful woman; because racism stereotyped black men as more “masculine” for so long that some white men find their presence to be masculinity-affirming (as long as there aren’t too many of them); and because there is still no “right” way to be a woman in public power without being considered a you-know-what.

I’m not advocating a competition for who has it toughest. The caste systems of sex and race are interdependent and can only be uprooted together. That’s why Senators Clinton and Obama have to be careful not to let a healthy debate turn into the kind of hostility that the news media love. Both will need a coalition of outsiders to win a general election. The abolition and suffrage movements progressed when united and were damaged by division; we should remember that.

I’m supporting Senator Clinton because like Senator Obama she has community organizing experience, but she also has more years in the Senate, an unprecedented eight years of on-the-job training in the White House, no masculinity to prove, the potential to tap a huge reservoir of this country’s talent by her example, and now even the courage to break the no-tears rule. I’m not opposing Mr. Obama; if he’s the nominee, I’ll volunteer. Indeed, if you look at votes during their two-year overlap in the Senate, they were the same more than 90 percent of the time. Besides, to clean up the mess left by President Bush, we may need two terms of President Clinton and two of President Obama.

But what worries me is that he is seen as unifying by his race while she is seen as divisive by her sex.

What worries me is that she is accused of “playing the gender card” when citing the old boys’ club, while he is seen as unifying by citing civil rights confrontations.

What worries me is that male Iowa voters were seen as gender-free when supporting their own, while female voters were seen as biased if they did and disloyal if they didn’t.

What worries me is that reporters ignore Mr. Obama’s dependence on the old — for instance, the frequent campaign comparisons to John F. Kennedy — while not challenging the slander that her progressive policies are part of the Washington status quo.

What worries me is that some women, perhaps especially younger ones, hope to deny or escape the sexual caste system; thus Iowa women over 50 and 60, who disproportionately supported Senator Clinton, proved once again that women are the one group that grows more radical with age.

This country can no longer afford to choose our leaders from a talent pool limited by sex, race, money, powerful fathers and paper degrees. It’s time to take equal pride in breaking all the barriers. We have to be able to say: “I’m supporting her because she’ll be a great president and because she’s a woman.”

Gloria Steinem is a co-founder of the Women’s Media Center.

Gloria makes some really good points here. Sexism is so deep and entrenched in our Culture that the idea that women are treated equally with men in the Public Square is laughable.

What can I say?

Update: I am afraid that what with the racism and misogyny cards inherent in this campaign the next President of the U.S.A will be the old white man.

JMHO and I hope that I am wrong!

Update II: See Kevin and Katha,

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Barbara Seaman


1935 – 2008