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Archive for September 11th, 2009

14 Things You Need to Know About Obama Heckler, Rep. Joe Wilson

By Adele M. Stan, AlterNet. Posted September 11, 2009.

He was mentored by notorious racist Strom Thurmond, he’s taken hundreds of thousands from the health industry, and “Joe” isn’t even his real name.

South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson was pretty much a nobody until his outburst Wednesday during President Barack Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress and the American people on the subject of health care. Here are some things worth knowing about Mr. Wilson, including his most recent video appeal, at the end of this list, where he continues to characterize the Democrats’ health-care plans as “government-run,” saying he will not “be muzzled.”

1. Like his ideological counterpart known as Mr. The Plumber, his real name is not Joe. It’s Addison. His middle name is Graves. That makes him Addison Graves Wilson.

2. Wilson is a member of the organization, Sons of Confederate Veterans, reports Dave Niewert of Crooks and Liars, which “as the Southern Poverty Law Center has detailed assiduously, has been taken over in the past decade by radical neo-Confederates who favor secession and defend slavery as a benign institution.” (Not that Wilson’s affiliation has anything to do with his unprecedented heckling, during a presidential address before a joint session of Congress, of our first African-American president.)

3. Wilson served as an aide to the late segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond, who is credited with conducting the longest filibuster in Senate history — against the 1957 civil rights bill.

4. When Thurmond’s bi-racial daughter, fathered out of wedlock with an African-American teenage girl, came forward in 2003 — after Thurmond’s death — Wilson castigated Thurmond’s daughter, saying he did not believe her story. Essie Mae Washington-Williams was conceived of a union Thurmond had with his family’s 16-year-old maid. Thurmond was 22 at the time. “It’s a smear on the image that [Thurmond] has as a person of high integrity who has been so loyal to the people of South Carolina,” Wilson said, according to TPM. Wilson later apologized to Washington-Williams.

5. A large percentage of Wilson’s campaign contributions come from the health sector, according to OpenSecrets.org. Over the course of his eight-year congressional career, Wilson has collected $414,000 from the health sector, topped only by contribution from what OpenSecrets calls the “finance, insurance & real estate” sector, from which he has gleaned $455,000.

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Isaac Hayes – Shaft – (Live 1973)

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Amnesty International, September 11, 2009

A Saudi special forces soldier stands guard at a check point, 5 February 2005, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

A Saudi special forces soldier stands guard at a check point, 5 February 2005, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

© AP/PA Photo/Amr Nabil

Since the September 11 attacks in the USA eight years ago, the Saudi Arabian authorities have launched a sustained assault on human rights in the name of countering terrorism. The attacks were carried out by a group that included Saudi Arabian nationals.

“The anti-terrorism measures introduced since 2001 have set back the process of limited human rights reform in Saudi Arabia,” said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

“Combined with severe repression of all forms of dissent and a weak human rights framework, there is now an almost complete lack of protection of freedoms and rights.”

An Amnesty International briefing paper, launched on Friday, describes the shocking scale of abuses. Thousands of people have had their lives devastated by violations of their basic rights. Some have been arrested and detained in virtual secrecy, while others have been killed in uncertain circumstances.

Continues >>

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