Bus Driver Fired for Finger

DailyKos Diary post (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/11/2/ 19651/6969), and a poll at MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15532553/

SEATTLE - A school bus driver fired after she reportedly made an obscene gesture at President Bush has filed a union grievance in an attempt to get her job back.

The 43-year-old driver, whose name was not released, was driving middle school children back to school after a zoo visit on June 16 when the president and Republican Rep. Dave Reichert drove slowly by in a motorcade.

From the bus, the children waved; with the windows down in their car, Bush and Reichert waved back.hat's when the driver gave the president the finger, according to Reichert and Issaquah superintendent Janet Barry.

"The congressman hadn't seen it, but the president turned to him and said, `That one's not a fan,"' said Reichert spokeswoman Kimberly Cadena.

Reichert later called Barry to tell her about the incident, but the bus driver had already been fired. District officials learned about the incident after the driver boasted to colleagues about it, Cadena said.

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Dixie Chicks Documentary Shows Real Patriotism

Back in 2003 Natalie Maines, the lead singer for the Dixie Chicks made an off the cuff remark during a London concert on the eve of the Iraq War --  "Just so you know, we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas." That remark was then picked up by web sites and then the news media and led to a national press frenzy, boycotts of their music on country radio stations, protests, and in one instance a death threat.

Now Barbara Kopple, famed documentary film-maker, has used behind the scenes footage from the Chicks tour in 2003 and from film she took while the chicks were working on their latest album in 2005 and 2006.  The Center for American Progress held a screening of the film, Shut Up and Sing, Wednesday night in Washington and the film is more powerful as you see these musicians grow from thinking the issue at hand is merely a PR problem, to defiant patriots uncompromising in their views.

The film goes back and forth between the events of 2003 and the 2005 recording sessions for their recent release.  When you first see the Chicks learning about the outrage by certain right-wing groups and country stations, they react as though they just need to put out the proper publicity statement, but as the outcry continues and country radio stations stop playing their songs, the Chicks become more strident and defiant, determining that they would rather stand by their principles than compromise just to sell more CDs and concert tickets.

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On the Silencing of Right-Wing Speakers

(Cross posted at "For Our Futre.")

A group of student activists recently disrupted an anti-immigration speech at Columbia University. Progressives should immediately distance ourselves from this kind of behavior. It is both anti-democratic and hurtful to the progressive cause.

Free speech is a basic freedom cherished by the vast majority of Americans. It is the basic foundation of a democratic society. We cannot have important debates about the future of the country without a broad sharing of views. No one should be prevented from speaking, no matter how despicable we may find their views. Progressives can win on the power of our ideas--we don't need to shut down our opponents.

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The Muzzle Awards

Here's some highlights of the Muzzle awards, ie. the Jefferson Muzzle award handed out each year to the person or party that does the most to destroy free speech in America -

* To George Bush and the DOJ under Bush's appointee (remember, that guy Gonzalez - who thought the prison camps at Gitmo were a GOOD thing) , for illegal wiretapping, demanding Google turn over their search results. Congratulations on making anyone in America paranoid, whether they're talking to their mom or searching for landscape supplies online... this muzzle is for you!

* To the Dept. of Homeland Security, that new and bloated bureaucracy that couldn't save people from 3 feet of floodwater - for their attack on an Air Marshall who was expressing concerns, publicly about Air Safety. In keeping your tradition of battling our right to speak about air safety, you've done a great job in perpetuating your bloated and semi-functional bureaucracy. Here's hoping your employees that are surfing for porno and picking up young 13 year old girls will find a new use for that muzzle over there at DHS. You deserve it!

* To the State of Washington City of Yelm - for helping citizens everyone understand that during city council meetings, you can't say the word "Wal Mart" - what a great way to help with discussion. Good work Yelm City Council.  Hold that Muzzle high.

* And finally, Let's leave it to people like you, O members of the University of Connecticut, to make sure America's debate about free speech goes PARTISAN. We all know how partisanship helps get things done, right guys! Good work,  you deserve it!  Yes sir, mindless attack is a great way to get the right man elected. You've "saved us from the wolves" University of Connecticut students.  They could be coming at any time! Great job!

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/04/11/muzzle. awards.ap/index.html

Did we leave anyone out?

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Funny Stuff

Funny stuff is happening. For the last two months, I have not been able to access one of my favorite sites, Think Progress. I have tried gaining access directly from both Google and Yahoo. I have attempted this with both Earthlink dial-up and Verizon DSL. No joy. I have tried various different Browser programs, only to obtain the results below:

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