November 17, 2006
News & views ...
Posted by b on November 17, 2006 at 12:18 AM | Permalink
The 2,095 attacks by American aircraft since June is many times greater than the number of airstrikes in Iraq, where the terrain and nature of the conflict are less susceptible to bombing campaigns. There have been only 88 attacks by American aircraft in Iraq since June, according to Air Force figures. Unlike in Afghanistan, insurgents in Iraq are largely in urban areas and do not often mass in groups large enough to warrant the use of airstrikes, Air Force commanders said.
U.S. Airstrikes Climb Sharply in Afghanistan
The increase in total munitions dropped has also been substantial. This year in Afghanistan, American aircraft have dropped 987 bombs and fired more than 146,000 cannon rounds and bullets in strafing runs, more than was expended in both categories from the beginning of the American-led invasion in 2001 through 2004, the Air Force said. During those years, a total of 848 bombs and just over 119,000 bullets were used by aircraft, according to Air Force figures.
Posted by: b | Nov 17, 2006 12:21:39 AM | 1
From your NYTimes article.
On a recent 11-hour mission that included a reporter for The New York Times, a B-1 bomber orbited at 20,000 feet, responding to radio calls from American and Canadian troops who asked the plane to use its radar to watch for insurgent forces and to be prepared to drop bombs.
On a separate mission last week, a bomber dropped its entire payload of eight 2,000-pound bombs and six 500-pound bombs after ground units called for help, Air Force officials said.
In Afghanistan the increased use of air power has also come at a cost in casualties among allied forces and civilians. In September, an American A-10 attack jet mistakenly opened fire on Canadian troops southwest of Kandahar, killing one and wounding dozens more.
Later that month, a nighttime NATO air attack involving an AC-130 gunship killed 31 civilians, most of whom were shepherds, a joint NATO and Afghan investigation concluded recently. The civilians were killed as they fled their tents with their wives and children after a NATO bomb struck a nearby compound, killing 20 Taliban fighters. There have also been increased reports of damage or destruction to mosques and other civilian buildings and property.
On the recent 11-hour mission, the B-1 crew had to inform ground troops several times that the plane’s radar could not deliver the detailed picture of ground activity they wanted and that many fighter jets and other aircraft equipped with more modern surveillance equipment could provide.
During the mission, one American soldier called up to say that his unit was holding a memorial ceremony for a soldier who had been killed several days earlier in combat. Trying to detect any possible ambushes of the service, he asked whether the plane could see whether there were any “military-age males” with weapons nearby — a request beyond the capabilities of the B-1’s electronics, the crew told him.
They use 2000 pound bombs because they don't know who or where their tragets are, so they err on the side of killing everyone and everything anywhere near the position of military aged males with waepons.
The USAF is a an organization constructed to commit war crimes. They couldn't help it if they tried. And they don't seem to wasting too much time trying.
And this report didn't even mention cluster bombs. I imagine they sow them like dragon's teeth in the rocky mountains of Afghanistan.
It'll be just fine with the Demoplican lineup of Pelosi, Hoyer, Clyburn, and Rahm. They'll caucus and whip the Demoplicans into shape, appropriating all the money (debt) the War Criminals ask for.
And James Webb will be AWOL when the time comes to speak up for the victims of the US Wehrmacht in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine.
He's dug in to his foxhole fighting the class war.
Posted by: John Francis Lee | Nov 17, 2006 1:28:44 AM | 2
A project of dispossession can never be a noble cause
Before Donald Rumsfeld departed from the Pentagon, the "Transformation Group" he headed worked with an Israeli army team to develop ideas for controlling the Palestinians after Israel withdraws from the occupied territories. Eyal Weizman, an Israeli academic who has written about this cooperation, tells us that they decided to do this through an invisible occupation: Israel would "seal the hard envelopes" around Palestinian towns and generate "effects" directed against the "human elements of resistance". We saw this concept being implemented in Beit Hanoun last week when the Israeli army killed 19 sleeping people with a missile attack.
The secret rotting at the core of the state of Israel is its refusal to admit that the Zionist project in Palestine - to create a state based on the dispossession of the non-Jewish inhabitants of the land - was never noble: the land it coveted was the home of another people, and the fathers of the Israeli nation killed, terrorised and displaced them to turn the project into actuality. But the Palestinian nation lives on - visibly and noisily and everywhere. To make its own denial stick, Israel has to deny and suppress Palestinian history. To impose its design on Palestine, it has to somehow make the Palestinians disappear. "Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill"; and so the ethnicide continues. The new deputy prime minister, Avigdor Lieberman, plots against the Palestinians within Israel. The Israeli army kills and terrorises the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Zionists and their friends are desperate to silence the voices of and for Palestine. Meanwhile, Israel insists it is civilised, decent, peaceable - a light unto nations. How can a society caught in such delusion thrive? And how can people living within the Zionist project as privileged Jewish citizens bewail their embattled lot or be puzzled by it? Liberal Israelis of the left should heed another couple of lines from the bard: "Glamis hath murder'd sleep, and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more."
Posted by: b | Nov 17, 2006 3:06:28 AM | 3
Military may ask $127B for wars
The Pentagon is considering $127 billion to $160 billion in requests from the armed services for the 2007 fiscal year, which began last month, several lawmakers and congressional staff members said. That's on top of $70 billion already approved for 2007.
Since 2001, Congress has approved $502 billion for the war on terror, roughly two-thirds for Iraq.
Posted by: b | Nov 17, 2006 3:43:41 AM | 4
@b #3 - Thanks for this link.
It's not easy being Palestinian here either...
WSU law professor candidate protested
DETROIT -- A pro-Israel group says the son of a prominent Palestinian intellectual should not be considered for a law professor post at Wayne State University, and local leaders of Palestinian and Arab descent say the effort is part of an attempt to marginalize their community in Metro Detroit.
Wadie Said, the son of Edward Said, an internationally recognized scholar and an outspoken Palestinian activist until his death in 2003, is a candidate for one of several jobs on the law school faculty, according to officials at Wayne State. Said is a lawyer and professor in California.
Stand With Us, a group of Jewish activists that seeks to protect the interests of the state of Israel on campuses, in libraries and in other settings, asserts that Wadie Said, like his father, supports militant Palestinian causes. The group has outlined its objections in a paper addressed to Wayne State President Irvin Reid and Dean Frank Wu of the Wayne State Law School.
"Said's appointment would dilute academic standards, be detrimental in the classroom and exacerbate problems on campus," Stand With Us says in a posting on its Web site.
"The son has an ideology that is a radical ideology," said Roz Rothstein, national director of Stand With Us. "The Saids are not moderate, they are apologists for terrorists."
Local leaders of Arab and Palestinian descent say those assertions are slander, and that Edward Said long stood for a moderate approach to affairs in the Middle East, while asserting the Palestinians' right to self-determination. Wadie Said, who could not be contacted Thursday, has said in published statements that resistance is the internationally recognized right of all people under occupation.
The reaction among local residents of Arab and Palestinian descent was quick and outraged Thursday.
"Edward Said was one of the great academics of all time and he collaborated with and was well-respected by several Jewish scholars in his lifetime, and the fact that they would target his son is offensive and disingenuous," said Ismael Ahmad, executive director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services.
Some leaders of Palestinian and Arab descent said the effort by Stand With Us is part of a pattern of attempts to portray the local Arab community as radical.
"To us, what Mr. Said is facing is no shock or surprise," said Imad Hamad, Michigan director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, a national civil rights organization. "Many community leaders and organizations, including the ADC, have been subjected to this political labeling, this political profiling and political blackmail."
Robert Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Community Council in Metro Detroit, said he is confident the university will fill the Law School post based on qualifications, in the spirit of academic freedom.
Posted by: Bea | Nov 17, 2006 3:48:48 AM | 5
Posted by: Dismal Science | Nov 17, 2006 6:08:33 AM | 6
It takes a Billmon to comment on this:
Bush compares U.S. wars in Vietnam, Iraq
The president said there was much to be learned from the divisive Vietnam War — the longest conflict in U.S. history — as his administration contemplates new strategies for the increasingly difficult war in Iraq, now in its fourth year. But his critics see parallels with Vietnam — a determined insurgency and a death toll that has drained public support — that spell danger for dragging out U.S. involvement in Iraq.
"It's just going to take a long period of time for the ideology that is hopeful — and that is an ideology of freedom — to overcome an ideology of hate," Bush said after having lunch at his lakeside hotel with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, whose country has been one of America's strongest allies in Iraq, Vietnam and other conflicts.
"We'll succeed," Bush added, "unless we quit."
Posted by: | Nov 17, 2006 8:54:14 AM | 7
Israel dismisses new peace plan
"We cannot remain impassive in the face of the horror that continues to unfold before our eyes," Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said.
"Violence has reached a level of deterioration that requires determined, urgent action by the international community."
"Peace between Israel and the Palestinians means to a large extent peace on the international scene," Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said on Thursday as he presented the initiative.
I hope we can somehow magnify Spain's realization of the enormity of the situation in Palestine.
I have, frankly, no hope now for any change in the United States' policies toward the Middle East. The best we Americans can hope to do at this point is to preserve the kernel of our democracy, our voting rights and voting mechanism, so that they may yet come into play when the present regime has truly flown our ship into the ground.
Preserve what we can of our democratic mechanism and raise our voices in support of Spain and whomever else her call awakens.
Posted by: John Francis Lee | Nov 17, 2006 9:07:39 AM | 8
Jihadis have infiltrated the US government.
A leading voice of the pro-Israel lobby is pushing for an old-style “witchhunt”—under the guise of “homeland security”—to identify (and expel) individuals in the U.S. government and our military who are suspected of being hostile to Israel.
The call for a witch-hunt is based on the outlandish thesis that “Islamo-fascists” and Muslim “jihadist” operatives and, perhaps more particularly, their “sympathizers”—however loosely defined—have infested America’s defense, national security and federal law enforcement community.
What first appears as commentary in JINSA’s Journal often leads to very real policies carried out by the Bush administration alone and sometimes in concert with Capitol Hill...
The JINSA call for a witch-hunt came in the context of a series of commentaries on “21st Century Allies . . . and Adversaries” for the United States and Israel, which two nations, of course, are seen in the JINSA world view as virtual extensions of one another.
Since there are few Muslim Americans or even Arab Americans in any substantial numbers in the FBI, Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, etc, the suggestion that “jihadist” elements have “infiltrated” our government might seem silly to the average American.
But in the fevered minds of JINSA and hard-line Zionist elements, the real concern is that there are growing numbers of people high up in the FBI and the CIA and in the military who are getting “fed up” with Zionist power in America. Top military leaders openly dismissed the need for war against Iraq and Iran, both wars of which have been long-time policy plans of the Zionist lobby. And all of this, in the view of the JINSA sphere, constitutes effective collaboration with and sympathy for the dreaded “jihadists.”
Posted by: lonesomeG | Nov 17, 2006 10:46:42 AM | 9
Senate Backs White House Plan for India Nuclear Deal
The Bush administration won overwhelming Senate support yesterday for its plan to create a broad strategic partnership with India that reverses decades of U.S. nonproliferation policies and requires changes in laws aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons.
The Senate voted 85 to 12 in favor of legislation that would carve out an India-specific exception to laws that forbid transfers of nuclear technology to countries such as India that have not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Senate passage brings the administration a step closer to completing its deal with India....
Although the effort has garnered little attention outside Washington, it has the potential to radically alter U.S. foreign policy for decades. Bush administration officials say they believe it will accelerate India's rise as a regional counterweight to China and provide the United States with a new foothold in Asia.
....Observing that the Bill has many objectionable points, especially on supply of uranium which is not in favour of India, Prasad said President George W Bush had reportedly committed to India to provide a fail-safe methodology for uninterrupted fuel supply.
Will some of you more savvy about the ins and outs of nuclear energy comment on this? It just seems like the height of hyposcrisy to me, for the US to be screaming about Iran and North Korea on the one hand and breaking laws to make exceptions for India, on the other. Gawd. Or am I missing something?
Posted by: Bea | Nov 17, 2006 10:58:08 AM | 10
Oops -sorry. That last paragraph above was mine, not the paper's -- forgot to close my blockquote tag after the first one. Moving too fast...
Posted by: Bea | Nov 17, 2006 11:00:10 AM | 11
Another correction -- I should have written "changing" laws, not "breaking" them... Freudian slip I suppose.
Posted by: Bea | Nov 17, 2006 11:02:23 AM | 12
@bea - India nuke deal - best source on this stuff is the ArmsContolWonk (search for India).
The US is underwriting a deal, where India, which does not have much natural Uranium, can run some 30 reactors under IAEA control with US uranium, while keeping some 20 uncontrolled reactors to bread its own uranium into nuke-bomb stuff. India is not a NPT member while Iran is, India also has a bad track record on nonproliferation of some technolgy.
It's hyposcrisy up in the 8th dimension.
See this cartoon
Posted by: b | Nov 17, 2006 11:13:16 AM | 13
Two words will explain it all- General Electric.
Posted by: biklett | Nov 17, 2006 11:55:50 AM | 14
U.S. Searching for Americans Abducted in Southern Iraq
The highly organized ambush was the largest and most brazen kidnapping of Americans in recent memory, and it highlighted the rapid disintegration of security in southern Iraq, once thought to be under the control of British-led forces.
The gunmen made off with a total of 14 kidnap victims, 19 trucks and one security vehicle, said a spokesman for the American embassy in Baghdad. Nine of the abductees were later released, Iraqi officials said.
The really interesting questions are:
- what has been in those 19 trucks
- why were these 19 out of some 40 selected
- where will the stuff from those trucks (and those trucks) be used
- did the robbers had intel about the convoy and what it was carrying?
Posted by: b | Nov 17, 2006 12:42:13 PM | 15
Chief among lessons for the war in Iraq, President Bush said, was that “we’ll succeed unless we quit”. Pathetic propaganda, but it is worse to believe it. If US troops were still in Vietnam, the war of liberation from the foreign colonizers would still be ongoing. The valley on the Central Coast where I spent a year was retaken by the communists two years later in 1972 once US troops were gone. Pacification, Vietnamization, Death and Maiming were all for nothing.
The White House can't grasp that Americans are foreign devils to the Iraqis. The only way to colonize Iraq is with mass force supplied by the Draft and paid with exorbitant taxes with torture and death for generations to come.
Posted by: Jim S | Nov 17, 2006 1:21:00 PM | 16
@Jim - nobody wants to colonize Iraq - controlling the oil would be just enough.
Unfortunatly it turns out that No.2 requires No.1.
Posted by: b | Nov 17, 2006 1:30:58 PM | 17
The trucks were likely not carrying anything of military significance, and may not even have been destined for coalition forces. One of the reasons this convoy would have been selected was that there was no coalition military escort with the firepower to run interference or call for priority support.
The most likely cargo would have been fuel, which is well worth knicking given current street rates. Taking control of 19 trucks out of 40 at a bogus checkpoint is what's known as a result - adding in three US contractors as hostages is a big bonus if they can play their cards right; they let the low-value detainees go free.
Posted by: dan | Nov 17, 2006 1:44:44 PM | 18
The effects on employment will be the real mess:
Housing Construction Plunges in October
Construction of new homes slowed last month to the lowest level in six years, as builders faced the reality that home buyers have turned wary and prices are in decline.
The Commerce Department reported this morning that the number of new homes started by builders October was 14.6 percent from September, at seasonally adjusted annual rates.
The report signaled that the months ahead could be equally bleak: The number of building permits that were issued fell for the ninth straight month, reaching its lowest level since 1997. Those figures, too, are seasonally adjusted.
Posted by: b | Nov 17, 2006 1:56:47 PM | 19
greg grandin on da chicgo boy in chile: Milton Friedman and the Economics of Empire
CHOA analysis on u.s. base(s) in the perennial center of most central american battles, honduras: Washington Looks to Cement its Military Presence in Central America by Emphasizing its Ties to Honduras
The continuous strengthening of the Honduran military is being viewed as a significant security threat by Managua. More U.S. military aid, akin to that provided during the 1980s, would only create more insecurity along a border which repeatedly has witnessed armed conflict in recent decades. Ortega’s electoral victory, as well as the potential U.S military presence to be located in the Mosquitia can be counted on to heighten Tegucigalpa-Managua tensions in the near future.
Posted by: b real | Nov 17, 2006 2:12:47 PM | 20
Student stunned by taser gun at UCLA has retained a high profile civil rights lawyer and plans to file a brutality law suit.
Tasered student to sue
Posted by: Bea | Nov 17, 2006 2:13:32 PM | 21
lysdexic today -- COHA
Posted by: b real | Nov 17, 2006 2:15:11 PM | 22
So now another mercenary gets his ticket punched in the pacified Shia south.
does anyone suspect that the Shia are now starting their offensive to cut supply lines?
The timing is suspect I suppose, it would seem to me that these actions would force the democrats into supporting more forces in Iraq as opposed to fewer.
Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 17, 2006 2:40:13 PM | 23
i suppose if there is a positive in gates getting rumsfailed's old job, it may be pink slips for both camobone & boykin. wayne madsen writes:
Informed sources on Capitol Hill report that among the first acts of Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense will be the elimination of Donald Rumsfeld's favorite entity -- the post of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, a post currently held by Stephen Cambone, a longtime Rumsfeld friend and arch-neocon.
The creation of the Pentagon intelligence post was strongly opposed by the CIA, which was forced to contend with a parallel intelligence agency with its own operational covert forces.
Lt. Gen. William Boykin ("My God is better than the Muslim God"), who is currently the Deputy Undersecretary of Intelligence, will also lose his job with the elimination of the ASD for Intelligence office.
of course, the living dead do continue to keep coming back to kill again
Posted by: b real | Nov 17, 2006 2:40:58 PM | 25
More covert war on the nets...
Is the web fuelling a crisis in politics?
Matthew Taylor, Blair's chief strategy advisor has commented "as a citizen" that the "net-head" culture of political criticism is fuelling a crisis in politics where the populace is "increasingly unwilling to be governed but not yet capable of self-government." One of his chief targets is the blogosphere, because he says bloggers are like teenagers - demanding, but "conflicted" about what they actually want.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 17, 2006 2:48:09 PM | 26
in these times: Stunning Revelations: The untold story of Taser-related deaths
FPIF: The Perils of Globeerization
The world's cup runneth over with living beer traditions. But this vast repository of cultural brewing capital is under attack by global corporations. The top five brewing companies, all of which are American- or European-owned, control 41% of the world market. Perversely, economists and politicians calculate the conquest by industrial breweries as economic growth while the value of small-scale traditional brewing goes uncounted. Much will be lost if this global “beerodiversity” is lost to the forces of corporate-led homogenization.
The globalization of beer not only destroys the social, spiritual, and health-related benefits of small-scale home beer production. It also undercuts the vital role that home brewing plays in sustainable development throughout the world. For 10,000 years, brewing has been conducted at home, primarily by women, who were entrusted with safeguarding traditions that strengthen social bonds and build community identity. As an important component of diet, beer was distributed by female household heads according to the values of the community, which moderated consumption to socially acceptable levels. As an inherently small-scale and local endeavor, brewing also has had a low impact on environmental resources, relying on renewable energy sources and requiring little or no packaging or shipping.
Bolivia: Land reform or clash?
Bolivia risks a new popular uprising, like protests over energy that toppled two governments in recent years, if Congress does not approve the administration’s land reform bill, President Evo Morales said yesterday.
The opposition, which has a slight majority in the Senate, and business leaders oppose Morales’ land reform bill, which would make it easier for the state to take over lands acquired illegally or not being used, and redistribute them among poor peasants.
The lower house of Congress, where Morales’ Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party has a majority, passed the legislation late on Wednesday. The Senate will debate and vote on the bill next week.
“If some members of Congress don’t want to modify the (agrarian) law like they didn’t want to modify the hydrocarbons law in 2003, the people will rise up to modify those norms by force, in benefit of the majority,” Morales said in a news conference.
Posted by: b real | Nov 17, 2006 3:02:19 PM | 27
bloggers are like teenagers - demanding, but "conflicted" about what they actually want
As far as I am concerned, a blog is just another corner bar hang-out except without the free peanuts and passive smoke.
But we seem to have begun to undermine governments' ability to manipulate and control the flow of information, which must lead them to wonder, as the old song goes, "How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Paree?"
If it is bugging governments, we must be doing something right. And yes, we might be "unwilling to be governed", but it is probably because these bastards are not capable of governing.
Posted by: ralphieboy | Nov 17, 2006 3:53:39 PM | 28
"We'll succeed," Bush added, "unless we quit."
Posted by: | Nov 17, 2006 8:54:14 AM | 7
"We'll succeed". New words for "Stay the course"
"Unless we quit"
*We*, meaning the Democrats in Congress who cut....and...r..like they did in Vietnam when poor old Dick was president.....oops!
Posted by: pb | Nov 17, 2006 6:19:26 PM | 29
CIA confirms Ron Suskind's quote (that I posted here earlier in the week) that Bush signed secret torture directive.
The CIA has acknowledged for the first time the existence of two classified documents, including a directive signed by President George W. Bush, that have guided the agency's interrogation and detention of terror suspects.
The CIA referred to the documents in a letter sent last Friday from the agency's associate general counsel, John McPherson, to lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union.
The contents of the documents were not revealed, but one of them is "a directive signed by President Bush granting the CIA the authority to set up detention facilities outside the United States and outlining interrogation methods that may be used against detainees," the civil liberties union said, based on its review of published accounts.
In other words, there is a paper trail of evidence to convict Bush of war crimes. It's really ironic to hear talking heads mention that Germany is the location of the charges against Rumsfeld...as tho Americans because they are Americans cannot do any wrong. As tho the treatment of blacks in this country has not been as horrible (tho not as quick) as Hitler's treatment of the Jews.
Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 17, 2006 6:35:33 PM | 30
Posted by: beq | Nov 17, 2006 7:51:58 PM | 32
what a great TGIF guffaw. thanks, U$, that'll keep me laughing all weekend.
Posted by: catlady | Nov 17, 2006 7:57:23 PM | 33
Comment on Palestinian Loss of Land
Now, as then, (and despite whatever they may claim) the "Great Powers" (seem to) want conflict in Palestine and they in particular do not want to pay for peace (or admit responsibility), which is what is called for, in part. It serves the "Great Game" to pit Jew against Arab now, just as it did when they created the problem. Once this overarching fact is understood it becomes clear that neither Palestinian Arab nor Jewish Israeli is going to (be allowed to) prevail. Absent hard and genuine justice traceable to historic fact the conflict, (and the propaganda), will continue. The failure of duty, or perhaps deliberate malfeasance, that created the present conflict reminds us that the classical "Quis custodet ipsos custodes?" reamins an essential question for humanity.
The reduction of Palestine to the Concentration Camps scattered in the West Bank and the Gaza in black and white.
Posted by: John Francis Lee | Nov 17, 2006 9:46:43 PM | 34
It's Leahy, starting now to solicit refusals to be followed by subpoenas in January?
Dem judiciary leader seeks torture documents
I ask that you promptly respond to the following questions and document requests.
1. Please produce any and all directives, memoranda, and/or orders, including any and all attachments to such documents, regarding CIA interrogation methods or policies for the treatment of detainees, including but not limited to the directive signed by President Bush governing CIA interrogation methods, or allowing the CIA to set up detention centers located outside of the United States.
2. Please produce any and all Department of Justice directives, memoranda, and/or guidance, including any and all attachments to such documents, regarding CIA detention and/or interrogation methods, including but not limited to the August 2002 Memorandum from the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel to the CIA General Counsel regarding CIA interrogation methods (the “2nd Bybee memo”).
3. Please produce any and all documents in the custody of the Department of Justice regarding the legality of specific interrogation tactics and/or federal criminal prohibitions on torture and abuse that were used in the preparation of the 2nd Bybee memo referenced above.
4. Please state whether the 2nd Bybee memo was withdrawn, replaced, or modified after the Administration withdrew the Office of Legal Counsel’s memorandum regarding U.S. obligations under anti-torture law, dated August 2002 (the “1st Bybee Memo”) in December 2004. If so, please produce any and all revisions, or modifications of the 2nd Bybee memo.
5. Please produce any and all Department of Justice documents that interpret, or advise on, the scope of interrogation practices permitted and prohibited by the Detainee Treatment Act or the Military Commissions Act.
6. Please produce an index of any and all documents relating to investigations and/or reviews conducted by the Department of Justice into detainee abuse by U.S. military or civilian personnel in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib prison, or elsewhere.
Posted by: John Francis Lee | Nov 17, 2006 9:53:08 PM | 35
WooHoo! Let's have that constitutional crisis...Bush's numbers are so low, the country will not back him.
From your link:
f the request is not met, the Democratically-controlled Judiciary Committee will have the option to subpoena when the new Congress begins in January.
YooTwo Too...that's a definite sound bite catch phrase.
The companion document, [to the directive] the so-called “Yoo Two” document (named after legal counsel John Yoo) is believed to contain a list of actual techniques that have been approved by the Department of Justice—and which are therefore legally protected interrogation methods used by intelligence operatives against suspected terrorists.
Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 17, 2006 10:25:44 PM | 36
Cuba Wins Legal Battle against US Firm
Cuba won this Thursday in London the legal battle it had been fighting for the past six years regarding two of its music labels. The labels were involved in a dispute over the rights of some old Cuban songs that circled the planted thanks to the success of the Buena Vista Social Club album, local media reported.
The London High Court, where the legal duel took place, delivered a decision against claims presented by the Peer International Corporation, a US company that wanted the court to declare it as sole owner of 13 songs, several of which were part of the Buena Vista Social Club.
In its petition to the London Court, Peer stated that the Cuban government had illegally appropriated the rights of some 600 titles from the catalog of the US company.
It claimed that, since the 1930s, it had ownership over these songs including themes interpreted by legendary Cuban figures such as Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Ruben Gonzalez (all passed away) and Omara Portuondo and Eliades Ochoa.
On the other side, the Editora Musical de Cuba (EMC) argued that the composers never got a single cent for those songs, danced by several generations of Latin Americans and now recognized around the world.
The EMC lawyers together with those from Termidor Music Publishers -a British-German company that grants the rights to songs- sustained that the composers, under contract by Peer during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, were paid practically nothing. Attorney Peter Prescott said that "They were paid nothing, or at most a few pesos and maybe a drink of rum."
and, in news that is sure to light up some type of allegorical synapse in anti-communists paranoics everywhere, cuba beats venezuela in the world dominoes championship
Cuba Recovers World Dominoes Crown
Cuba got the crown at the 3rd Domino World Championship after winning the team competition, celebrated for two days with the presence of teams of four countries.
The triumph of the Cuban team let them recover the World Champion title won at the first edition, which was lost in the second, at the hands of Venezuela.
Both nations have a great rivalry, and some experts are already regarding these matches as a classic.
Precisely, Venezuela took second and third place in this edition with two of its teams.
Besides these countries, there were other teams from Spain and Mexico, in a competition that will have its next edition in Havana in 2007.
The International Federation, with the Swiss system, and playing matches with 28 pieces, developed this tournament under regulations.
world championship b/t only four countries? hey, if the u.s. can call the mlb finale "the world series", which features only one country, i say why the hell not!
Bolivia Bashes US Ban on Venez, Cuba
President Evo Morales said on Friday that Bolivia is free to decide its relations with any other nations, after US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, suggested distancing from Venezuela and Cuba.
Burns said the Andean state should have a more integrated approach, which is difficult to maintain with links to president Fidel Castro of Cuba and Hugo Chavez, Venezuela.
But Morales said he could also request from Washington the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq, where it keeps a huge military deployment despite growing international rejection.
He stressed that in Latin America there are few servile or subordinate democracies and respect among all countries is essential.
Concerning ties with Caracas, the Bolivian leader highlighted the unconditional nature of the Venezuelan cooperation in hydrocarbons, education and health.
Bolivia wants to keep good relations with the US but demands that everyone respects its sovereign right to have bonds with any state in the world.
The dignitary underscored he admired the Cuban and the Venezuelan peoples and their leaders for giving unconditional cooperation in health and education.
and wrt the article i posted yesterday on the chavez opposition openly calling for public unrest & a military golpe after the december election,
Chavez Warns on New Subversive Plans
[Chavez] told opposition communication media not to provoke or promote images of violence, interviews or opinions that might help to create or spread violence during the process.
He also called officials to defend the Venezuelan democracy and criticized the fact that opposition groups have stated there will be fraud in the December 3 elections.
He said any TV network or channel publishing or transmitting any messages of terrorism, hatred, war or incitation to rebellion, or incitation to ignore the authorities, would be closed.
the nation (via venezuelaanalysis): Letter From Venezuela: The Land of Chavismo
As Venezuelans prepare to go to the polls December 3, expectations are that President Hugo Chávez will easily win re-election, thanks to his wide base of support among the country's poor and marginalized majority. In this election, however, people will be voting not just on hopes and expectations but rather on the proven track record of Chávez's "Bolivarian Revolution" and its gains in alleviating poverty.
An innovative series of social programs known as misiones, or missions -- set up to parallel ineffective and often exclusionary government agencies or services, and largely funded through oil sales, which account for 47 percent of government revenue and 80 percent of exports -- has delivered concrete benefits to Venezuela's poor. As one example, roughly 3 million Venezuelans have enrolled in one of the four free educational missions -- basic adult literacy, primary school, high school equivalency and university -- since the programs began in 2003. Recently, in one adult literacy class, the pride of the students was palpable as one after another went to the chalkboard to transcribe -- albeit with a few errors -- short sentences that their facilitator read aloud. One woman in her late 60s told me after class, "This is the first time in my life when Venezuela has had a government dedicated to inclusion, not exclusion."
A mission that brings doctors to live in poor neighborhoods, towns and villages to provide free, easily accessible healthcare is so popular that in 2004 alone it logged more visits than the entire public and private healthcare systems combined over the previous five years. There is a job-training mission, and a mission that provides food subsidies and soup kitchens. These and the other missions offer much-needed services and dramatically increase the quality of life for millions of Venezuelans, often in ways that are not easily quantifiable in commonly reported poverty indicators.
Even in the statistics, however, changes are evident. According to Venezuela's most recent census, the number of households living in poverty has dropped from 42.8 percent in 1999, when Chávez took office, to 33.9 percent in early 2006. Households living in extreme poverty dropped from 17.1 percent to 10.6 percent during the same period. The poorest quintile of the population has seen its consumption power more than double. Official unemployment has been cut by more than half, to around 10 percent, although most jobs are either in the public sector or in the "informal" sector.
Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, says that while poverty statistics tend to follow overall economic growth (and Venezuela's economy has been growing at record rates as global energy prices have soared), the improvements are nonetheless remarkable. "The Chávez government has only had three years of stability and control over the oil industry," he says. "In that time they have dramatically increased access to healthcare and education.... I don't know of anywhere else in the hemisphere that has made these kinds of gains."
Posted by: b real | Nov 18, 2006 12:24:41 AM | 37
@Uncle - 31
Posted by: b | Nov 18, 2006 1:34:59 AM | 39
Always nice to start the day with a guffaw. Thanks uncle$ :-)
Posted by: markfromireland | Nov 18, 2006 1:44:06 AM | 40
For West Bank, It’s a Highway to Frustration
The internal checkpoints and barriers on roads have increasingly limited movement, something Palestinians say they find especially grating, because they are not trying to enter Israel, only to go from one Palestinian area to another.
In one of the more sweeping restrictions, men under 35 from the northern West Bank are generally not allowed to leave the area. The rules often change, but this one has been enforced most days for the last four months, Palestinians say.
“My main job now is waiting in line,” Hakim Abu Shamli, 40, said during a two-hour delay at a teeming checkpoint. Mr. Abu Shamli, an electrical engineer, lives in Tubas near the city of Nablus, and for years his commute to work was a 20-minute taxi ride. Now he leaves home at 5:30 a.m. to reach his job by 8, and he is often late. There are always two checkpoints, and one recent day there were seven, he said.
Posted by: b | Nov 18, 2006 2:18:32 AM | 41
Well, Afghanistan it is obvious ... and on Iraq even Blair may get some grip ...
UN chief: Nato cannot defeat Taliban by force
Nato "cannot win" the fight against the Taliban alone and will have to train Afghan forces to do the job, the UN's top official in the country warned yesterday.
"At the moment Nato has a very optimistic assessment. They think they can win the war," warned Tom Koenigs, the diplomat heading the UN mission in Afghanistan. "But there is no quick fix."
In forthright comments which highlight divisions between international partners as Nato battles to quell insurgency, Mr Koenigs said that training the fledgling Afghan national army to defeat the Taliban was crucial. "They [the ANA] can win. But against an insurgency like that, international troops cannot win."
When Sir David Frost, interviewing the prime minister for al-Jazeera TV, suggested that western intervention in Iraq had "so far been pretty much of a disaster", Mr Blair responded: "It has. But, you see, what I say to people is, 'why is it difficult in Iraq?' It's not difficult because of some accident in planning, it's difficult because there's a deliberate strategy - al Qaida with Sunni insurgents on one hand, Iranian-backed elements with Shia militias on the other - to create a situation in which the will of the majority for peace is displaced by the will of the minority for war."
Posted by: b | Nov 18, 2006 2:58:47 AM | 42
The Homeland Security Discount Vacation
The shift is sparking some broader concerns about the Caribbean's reliance on the U.S. for its tourism economy. Reaction to the new passport rules has included some fiery rhetoric -- one resort head likened it to a nuclear attack on the region -- while others have speculated the U.S. was retaliating against the Caribbean for its support of Venezuela, whose leader Hugo Chávez is an outspoken critic of the U.S. ...
The changes in passport regulations are putting into sharp relief the Caribbean's dependence on the U.S., which is the main driver of its biggest industry: tourism. Some 74% of the visitors to Aruba are American, while in the Bahamas, it's 85%, according to the latest figures from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. The region could lose $2.6 billion in tourism spending and 188,300 jobs after the changes go into effect, according to one study by the World Travel and Tourism Council, a trade group. This comes as dozens of new luxury resorts are opening, from tiny Canouan Island to the Turks & Caicos. The Ritz-Carlton, alone, has three new resorts under construction in the Caribbean, while the Atlantis in the Bahamas is undergoing a $1 billion expansion, including a 63-acre waterpark.
Reminder: This is NOT a sanction for being Venezuela-friendly. Nor is this a neo-feudal attempt to bind the poor to the land. Get back to work.
Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 18, 2006 4:03:53 AM | 43
Don't know about this story... I've not heard of thisislondon.co.uk before. I kept having to check to make sure I wasn't reading "The Onion's" take on the concept of the "nanny state".
Probably nothing. Of course, there's been a lot in the past six years I simply refused to believe the first time I heard about it.
Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 18, 2006 4:17:57 AM | 44
Not so hard to believe from the "black sphere" infested U.K.
Posted by: anna missed | Nov 18, 2006 4:28:56 AM | 45
Ah, so any contribution that has my name attached to it in any thread will get singled out for irrelevant harassment? I thought it was just a single poster's undisclosed personal issues with me, but apparently there's a number of regulars here who enjoy hissy fits and non sequiturs in lieu of communication. I don't.
Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 18, 2006 4:40:36 AM | 46
@ b real Thanks for the link to the taser article which I have just sent to a local parliamentarian whose reasonably onto it. The NZ police are currently about 3 months into a 12 month 'Taser Trial" They don't carry guns and were looking for something better than the pepper spray they have had for the last few years. Even though the trial has been confined to three predominantly polynesian police districts - in the hope that no whitefellas will be tasered unjustly or with unfortunate results before the government pronounces the trial a success they have got themselves into a considerable amount of strife already as this article reveals:
Constable zaps himself and innocent teen with Taser
A constable who took a Taser to a central Auckland domestic dispute wound up shocking himself and a 16-year-old and later pepper-spraying an innocent 21-year-old woman.
The constable accidentally blasted himself with the Taser's 50,000 volts as he reloaded the weapon while trying to stun a man at the centre of the domestic incident on October 1. One shot accidentally struck the man's teenage son.
After five attempts to hit the man, the officer eventually used pepper spray. This hit the man's 21-year-old daughter, also an unintended target.
The man eventually gave himself up. The constable, who had had Taser training, was not injured.
The weapon is the police's much-vaunted alternative to firearms and is being tested by 170 frontline police in Auckland and Wellington.
Police revealed details of the incident after Weekend Herald inquiries.
Detective Inspector Bernie Hollewand of Auckland City police confirmed that the constable fired the Taser five times - three times loaded with cartridges and twice in "contact" mode, where it is used like a cattle prod. The first shot hit the son.
Mr Hollewand said the officer claimed that just as the red laser sight was on the man's chest, he pulled his son across him.
It is believed that at one point the officer received a jolt after putting his hand in the Taser.
"The constable did remove one of the cartridges before a five-second discharge cycle was complete and he did feel in his hand that the device was arcing 50,000 volts."
But an official police update of the Taser trial, published on October 17, makes no mention of the constable firing five times, or missing his target, zapping himself or hitting the boy. It simply says a man was contained after the Taser was fired.
Police Commissioner Howard Broad also did not mention the incident when he appeared before a parliamentary committee, saying frontline officers supported the introduction of the weapon, and yesterday National Party police spokesman Simon Power wanted to know why.
Police media officer Jon Neilson said the fact a Taser had been fired more than once in a single incident was not "relevant".
Just as well our woodentops aren't allowed guns LOL
Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 18, 2006 4:45:23 AM | 47
aw c'mon Mono, anna missed agrees with you. everyone knows that there is more video surveillance in the UK than any other place in the world. and they want even more. it is no accident that "1984" is set in England.
please don't let this thread turn into another pissing contest.
Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 18, 2006 5:00:42 AM | 48
I do'nt think so Monolycus, the U.K. is indeed the most watched culture on the face of the earth. Slothrops chauvinism, and thats what it is in this case (in that other thread), belies in many ways the modes of resistance that s(he) would in an other context promote. Would Guy Debord as Sam Curtis pointed out, not see the value (in exchange) of "boycott", at least as a sign? I would think so. All the rest is thin skinned rancor that any student of philosophy should come to expect as part of the process. There is no warm fuzzy in the world of ideas.
Posted by: anna missed | Nov 18, 2006 5:08:29 AM | 49
There have been a few posts touching on the current "worse than anyone could possibly imagined the Israelis would get", situation in Palestine in this thread and even a link to a Counterpunch article but since I haven't seen any mention of this horrifying story from the latest Counterpunch here is a link to the scariest nasty of the month.
THe article by Joseph Massad, associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University is entitled:
" Fateh's Unholy Alliance "
Pinochet in Palestine
The author draws attention to recent events in Palestine especially regarding the activities of the no longer in power Fateh 'heavies' or gangsters and similar actions undertaken by elements of the losing side in Chile following the election victory of Salvador Allende.
At first it seems like a very long bow to draw but Massad does a good job of laying out the evidence for his contention that Israel, the US and those Quisling elements of Fateh who stick close to Abu Mazin as the zionist press likes to call Mahmoud Abbas. They call Abbas that in order to pretend he is a real threat to Isral's genocidal regime while reminding any 'liberals' who may be passing that no Arab can be trusted not even a turncoat and stool-pigeon such as Abbas.
Back to the coup, although I don't have any more time for 'right arabists' as Baker and Co are referred to, the traditional pragmatic approach toward the zionist occupation of Palestine which the old-school rethugs followed was a lot less murderous. They basically stayed as far away from the conflict as they could on the grounds that getting involved on the Israeli side would piss of their mates in the oil-rich US puppet government as their citizens would be provoked; yet aiding the Palestinians would upset the domestic pro-Israel lobby.
Can't rely on that to happen this time however. This is partly because right Arabists are very pro sunni and they don't like the shia getting uppity as it reminds them of similar events during class struggles back in the old days in Amerika and Europe but chiefly because the Bliar deliberately cranked up the pro-Israel lobby to get them to force the Dems into line with his remarks that true peace in Iraq was dependant on a just settlement between the Palestinians and the zionists. Olmert spent most of last week in Washington re-re-programming Shrub and calling in all Dem markers, of which there will be more than a few.
If Dr Rice's recent visits to Jerusalem were for the primary purpose of ensuring that the coup was preceding nicely, one can only hope that the right Arabists won't dismiss the whole Palestinian issue as irrelevant in comparison to the Iraq mess and let the neo-cons keep on with this madness.
That would leave the avoidance of a coup dependant on there being sufficient Palestinian exiles whjo still have some sort of ethos, in positions of power within Fateh.
Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 18, 2006 5:50:28 AM | 50
@Monolycus - here is the "nanny" story on BBC
Beverley Hughes, the minister, is nuts.
Posted by: b | Nov 18, 2006 6:07:02 AM | 51
The last thing I want is another attention-starved pissing contest to spring up, dan. I'm rapidly becoming accustomed to receiving cheap shots that are not germane to anything I have actually said when I'm trying to make benign contributions, so I interpreted your reference to the other thread as an unprovoked swipe at me, anna missed. If I was wrong, I sincerely apologise. There might not be any "warm fuzzies" in the world of ideas, but I am seeing fewer and fewer legitimate ideas and more and more hypocritical personal projections. Offense is most definitely taken in those cases where offense is most definitely intended. I've never been amused by schoolyard psychology, and have absolutely lost my patience for it in this place, which I had previously presumed to be above that.
I was not aware that the U.K. is the most video surveilled nation, and the story I linked to seemed incredibly "over-the-top", in my opinion. I would not be surprised to discover a disturbed individual or small groups of fascist individuals would propose such a thing, but I am completely nonplussed by the notion that these proposals are given the weight they have been recently. However, I linked to the story here not because I happen to believe anything will come of it, but because it falls very neatly into a larger pattern of other developments that I find equally alarming and distateful.
I have stated a position previously in which I believe that in the absence of civil freedoms and liberties (which I called "the right to be wrong"), human beings remain at arrested at an infantile state of emotional and psychological development. I recognised that as becoming explicit in that story I linked to several threads back regarding a Missouri sheriff's decision to create a blatantly "nursery school" atmosphere in the local jail. I see this current story as another disturbingly explicit move in that direction. The phenomenon itself does not bother me as profoundly as the willingness of people to accept it for precisely what it is without bothering to even go through the an ostensible rationalising process. Many people, it seems to me, yearn for an ersatz parent rather than a process of growth and maturation, and wish to foist their ersatz parent onto everyone else rather than allowing others to mature... and they are not even troubling themselves much these days to pretty that fact up. That might also be a large part of why I am so viscerally revolted by people acting like spoiled children in these pissing contests here.
Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 18, 2006 6:09:29 AM | 52
I can't find it in myself to disagree with your appraisal of Beverly Hughes. Thanks for the confirmation on the story... I actually wanted to be wrong about that one.
Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 18, 2006 6:12:31 AM | 53
I can't remember who found this study on different family types titled blue family, red family but it helps me to understand why some people act the way they do.
It is very hard for me to control my anger when dealing with "red family" types and I rarely can have a good discussion with them. I regret that greatly. I would very much like to have the calmness (at least it seems so on the internets) of remembereringgiap.
as for your tormenter of days past, he is a hard nut to crack. he intimidates me with large unfamiliar words and complex sentences yet even after studying them closely I fail to see the point. almost certainly he is much more intelligent than I but he is a crappy teacher.
a little humility goes a long way.
Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 18, 2006 6:39:28 AM | 54
"crappy teacher" - bingo
I did learn one thing about marxism - never vote for it again.
Posted by: gmac | Nov 18, 2006 7:39:37 AM | 55
I'm not sure who originally posted the "Red Family, Blue Family" link, either (I would guess it was Uncle $cam who is great for that sort of thing), but it's actually saved in my bookmarks. I thought it was thought-provoking, but it is still limited to appealing to those who actually have or had families that had their best interests at heart. The word leaves me a little cold.
I don't want to waste a lot of bandwidth going into my interpretation of the "hard nut to crack's" use of inaccessible language and complex sentences which have the effect of obfuscating rather than clarifying. Any observation I might have on that subject would be as much a projection on my part as she routinely projects on to me, and since I am placed in a defensive position, my projections would no more charitable than hers are. I will only say that just because something is obtuse doesn't necessarily mean it's profound. You might be assuming there's a meaning when there is none.
As far as humility goes, that's a double edged sword. I have noticed that we displace a lot of our own personalities and intentions into the written word. If I have written something that has ever come across as arrogant, I can only assure you that I'm not engaging in any conscious self-aggrandisement when I write, and if my posts come across that way, it might not be coming from my end. And there are those who use "humility" as a weapon; Benjamin Franklin once quipped that "(he) would be very proud if (he) ever managed to cultivate some humility." Rather than trying to use false-humility in a calculated way, I have always tried simply to write what was on my mind and leave any questions of intent or value to the reader. So far, that's not been working out very well.
Okay, enough with the meta-discussion. Back to news-dumping.
Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 18, 2006 11:51:28 AM | 56
Oops. I should add, in the interest of redressing what someone "on that other thread" said about my "naivete"; I'll admit most of my ideas are a patchwork of things I've learned from the piles of graphic novels in my apartment, anachronistic roleplaying, and Buffy: Vampire Slayer. Rather than compile all my views into a tidy weltanschauung, I've searched for an expression of my belief(s) accommodating the endless transformation of my experiences and accumulated knowledge. I've previously offered "social movementarianism" as an awkward description of such an adequate expression of life in all its richnes, fullness, completeness, uniqueness, and totality. And my strategy was dismissed by our resident "uncracked nut" for reasons I cannot totally understand, but it had something to do with my so-called "bourgeois" mystification of reality blah blah--that I possess the comfort (based on my class privilege, I guess) to be anything I want to be, whenever I want and that it is harmful to believe this is true for everyone else.
Well, your guess is as good as mine what all that profound, stilted jingoism means.
Posted by: MonoLycus | Nov 18, 2006 12:53:59 PM | 57
just one question. what are black spheres? i have to admit i don't spend much time in bars these days so new york may be rife with them, but i haven't seen one yet in limited exposure. are they like the black lights of the 60s/70s?
Posted by: conchita | Nov 18, 2006 1:03:12 PM | 58
Don't want these jewels of wisdom to get lost in the "am not/are too/I know you are but what am I?" PeeWee Hermanesque hunt for the bicycle of structration theory nirvana among the MoA bourgeoisie who are not allowed to talk about politics (but what about the lumpen proles who couldn't give a shit? ohwell) unless they do so by using obfuscating jargon for ideas that are easily communicated (and what about those lumpen proles again?) in simple language that is not meant to exclude, but that's the purpose of jargon anyway, at least that's what I thought when my advisor wanted me to study at Duke or Yale and yuck stanley fish because unions well understand the distribution of power as do women or blacks or others who are not the norm by which all others are judged and today's theory is tomorrow's lamarckism but that's okay but not okay to use as a bludgeon against those who do not agree which leads me to-
Jargon by other means reposted from last night via the big dick cheney and
The Big Lebowski
You're entering a world of pain, Larry.
and isn't popular culture the language of the lumpen proles ohwell.
Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 18, 2006 1:08:41 PM | 59
Uncle Scam’s video at 31.
I did -hum- grin a bit and watch..
What does such a cynical parody accomplish? People laugh, too funny...what they see are sex games, thrilling, porno culture; she gasps, he sweats and thrusts -- whooo!
A parody of the ‘people’ being f*cked...it is true enough... but then what?
When there were slaves in the US, were the black slaves looking at printed cartoons that showed Black Mama or Young Worker being f*cked by the Overlord or Gvmt officials, complete with whip and fancy upper class suit and proper accent? And laughing at it amongst themselves? Buying the paper that printed it? Showing it to their friends? Saying how cool it was?
I think not.
Why do US workers or US ordinary people consider this funny? Could it be that they don’t care about being f*cked over as they know they are not really? Or because their cynicism and despair has reached the bottom? Or because they accept their slave, including sexual slave, status? Or because spoofs to do with domination are welcome, that is what counts, the real targets are towel heads and such? Or because sexual analogies of domination are just part of the culture? Abu Ghraib, at home? All in fun? Frat boy humor?
Heh, I guess I just don't get it!
Posted by: Noirette | Nov 18, 2006 1:10:15 PM | 60
Some interesting things by The Next Hurra on how the Femocratic party is organized.
I didn't know much of it before reading that piece. It does explain to a big extend how their recent election victory was achieved.
Posted by: b | Nov 18, 2006 1:29:08 PM | 61
re: conchita's black sphere question- me too.
re: Uncle$cam's link- The definition of porn as "I know it when I see it" based upon "community standards" seems to indicate that this, as any other community, is not a "hive mind" concerning those definitions or responses to one thing or another -- in that one person's porn is another's acute political metaphor/ propaganda that is as powerful as Bush's photo op of the Presidential Seal as a halo.
...and when bush's junta is on its way out, liberty can be on top with Bush in handcuffs, which, again, would not be porn to me but others' may disagree...just as they may not find my jargon post funny, and that's okay too, but that does not mean I will not post it.
I'm glad Unkka posted that link because I never would have seen it otherwise. but maybe he (and I and others) should "warn" when something may be conceived as pornographic or vulgar so that those who do not want to "go there" do not have to.
Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 18, 2006 1:29:08 PM | 62
THE NURSERY RHYME POLICE - PARENTS TO TAKE LESSONS IN READING AND SINGING!!
‘Social deviance’ of young people in the UK is desperately high - a far far worse prob. for the Gvmt. than any ‘foreign community.’
Drug taking, drinking, sex (aids, other transmissible diseases, death, teen pregnancy which is paid for by the state), crime of many different kinds (ditto), incivility all over which destroys social harmony, a giving up, a checking out, a lack of willingness to work (understandable), the slow creation of pockets of ‘terrorism’ - white supremacy, nutty causes, female as in girrl power beyond fingernail polish stuff, underground economic circuits, based on drugs, theft, graft, blackmail, mafia violence, the grey economy, cash hand to hand, no tax, etc.
In brief, the institution of a new, uncaring, violent underclass composed of young people is a reality.
Iraq in Blackpool!
As social issues - education, jobs, housing, food, respect, status, and so on - have not been handled properly since 20 years, as the older generation is ripping off the younger generation with seeming impunity, no state response except repression and tongue-in-the- cheek nanny responses are possible.
A cheap out is to blame parents and to pretend to control and/or indoctrinate them. The measures advised are simply borrowed from the habits of the upper class in 1900 onwards - singing nursery rhymes - or book reading, personal tutoring, parents taking their children on chummy botanical outings, and so on- always a cosy emblem of the loving parent, guaranteed to turn the child into a rich broker in the city, or at worst, a poor but diligent nurse, humble and quiet; or a controversial artist who might be a credit to Britannia one day!
Heh. These measures fool nobody.
Posted by: Noirette | Nov 18, 2006 1:57:28 PM | 63
Two paragraphs from a NYT portrait of an MP captain show the essence of the US "problems" with the war on Iraq
As part of the American military’s push to wrest control of the capital’s streets from insurgents and militias, she was ordered to move some of her soldiers out of the police stations and into the streets of Dora to conduct daily patrols. Following an effort by American and Iraqi troops to seal off and clear that neighborhood, violence there has risen sharply, and attacks on her joint patrols have become frequent.
On Oct. 2, her soldiers were accompanying Iraqi police officers on a patrol through the Dora marketplace when a sniper shot and killed Sgt. Joseph Walter Perry, a 23-year-old turret gunner from San Diego. He was one of at least eight American soldiers killed in Iraq that day. Numerous soldiers from Captain Bagley’s company had been wounded over the year; in April, a bomb destroyed a Humvee and tore off the driver’s left leg. But Sergeant Perry’s death was the company’s first here and it devastated Captain Bagley.
1. graph - US intervention with the civil society (seal and clear is inevitably brutal to the civilians in that area) does lead to more violence
2. graph - the US is unable to fight because it is "devastated" by very few losses.
This may sound cynic, but a company commander devastated by the loss of one soldier should not be a company commander. One should be sorry for that, but it doesn't change the mission. Losing like 30 to 70% is about the historic level a CO should be prepared to take.
The real issue I think is that the Captain here (and the US people) is smart enough to know that the mission is hopeless bullshit and you do not want to lose anybody for such a warm heap of that.
Posted by: b | Nov 18, 2006 2:04:01 PM | 64
noirette in 60, about uncle's video in 31, thank you for giving words to what i was feeling. another barfly mentioned it in an email last night and i responded that i found it amusing but not so much as something else written yesterday. i thought it was due to connection issues last night - things were running slowly and except for the final frames i only got the audio on the link. your comment gave voice to my skepticism.
i know i am not the only one here familiar with spiked.com, but for those who do not know it, spiked is edited by contrarian brit columnists mick hume and brendan o'neill and offers alternative commentary on current directions in english and world social and political developments. there is nothing this week about hughes, but i am sure it will turn up in the site's regular examination of the state control in the uk. i don't agree with all i read there, but it is thought-provoking and soundly researched, and i do recommmend it.
Posted by: conchita | Nov 18, 2006 2:23:11 PM | 65
Can someone explain to me why the nursery rhyme classes are wrong, exactly? I'm feeling a little slow today.
Before you try to explain, though, please keep in mind:
--> It is accepted neuroscience -- substantiated by examples -- that certain types of learning are only possible in the early parts of your life (for example, children who do not learn any language at all before roughly the age of six will usually never really learn how to speak) (The human brain undergoes two substantial physical changes, one at age six when the high-speed growth in size stops, and one at puberty when the hormones wash over everything. If you're looking for a physical difference between humans and other animals, the post-birth brain enlargement is a biggie.)
--> The current belief -- don't know if it's substantiated to the same degree or not -- is that rhythm and music are vastly important to humanity's ability to reason; not having read much of the research beyond the synopsis, I can't say whether it has to occur in the first six years (or some other period) but it would not surprise me.
So the research at least superficially supports the idea that exposing small children to music and language will make them smarter adults. The BBC article -- the other one wouldn't load for me -- says these classes are not compulsory. What's the problem, please? (I'm not being sarcastic, I just don't see the problem.)
Posted by: The Truth Gets Vicious When You Corner It | Nov 18, 2006 2:29:13 PM | 66
I read an odd little bit about Rumsfeld in this week's New Yorker, Jeffrey Goldberg writing about "Cakewalk" Adelman:
Within the confines of the policy board, Adelman became blunt about his disenchantment with the Pentagon’s management of the war. At the board’s meeting this summer, Adelman said, he argued that the American military needed a new strategy.
“I suggested that we were losing the war,” Adelman said. “What was astonishing to me was the number of Iraqi professional people who were leaving the country. People were voting with their feet, and I said that it looked like we needed a Plan B. I said, ‘What’s the alternative? Because what we’re doing now is just losing.’ ”
Adelman said that Rumsfeld didn’t take to the message well. “He was in deep denial—deep, deep denial. And then he did a strange thing. He did fifteen or twenty minutes of posing questions to himself, and then answering them. He made the statement that we can only lose the war in America, that we can’t lose it in Iraq. And I tried to interrupt this interrogatory soliloquy to say, ‘Yes, we are actually losing the war in Iraq.’ He got upset and cut me off. He said, ‘Excuse me,’ and went right on with it.”
What a weird image--Rummy's litany to solidify his "program"?
Posted by: catlady | Nov 18, 2006 3:25:11 PM | 67
noirette and conchita:
I found the "domination" video extremely funny--because it takes the pain and guilt I feel for being a fucked middle class american tax-payer and allows me to laugh and come back at 'em with a renewed sense of energy. The couple in the viddy are playing a silly consensual game--there's no real domination going on between them. It may be vulgar, but it's not pornographic--the sex is fake enough to be shown on Saturday Night Live.
What's that Hindu word, about human existance as god's game with hirself?
Bush's facade has cracked, largely because more and more people are refusing to take Bush seriously.
Posted by: | Nov 18, 2006 3:41:38 PM | 68
Black Spheres that I know first proliferated during the corporatisation of the gambling culture when every casino room had at least a couple of 'black spheres' in the ceiling. Their purpose was to conceal a vid camera so that it was impossible to tell which way it was pointed ie who was being surveilled. Is that the black spheres which have distracted the bar flies from their various ego-centricities?
Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 18, 2006 3:42:05 PM | 69
c'est moi, #68
Posted by: catlady | Nov 18, 2006 3:42:48 PM | 70
Why even worry about the fuckers in the middle east particularly the Palestinians who are being bombed, starved, beaten and genearlly fucked into submission by the culture to which we all belong when there are far more imporatnt issues at hand. . .like one's status in a virtual group? shit. . . .!
Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 18, 2006 3:46:26 PM | 71
this thread is about dead but in case anyone is still around, I just read an interesting post over at Booman Tribune which speaks of how the netroots movement intends to deal with the democrats and the fissures that have already opened in that party.
I know there are a great many cynics here who think nothing can be done to stop and/or reverse our slide into fascism but I think Booman has something and it is going to be hard to put the genie back in the bottle.
Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 18, 2006 6:53:36 PM | 72
Thanks for your your link The Next Hurrah. I had no idea either.
And I hit your link, dan of steele, when I scrolled down to post here. I hope... because hope dies last.
Posted by: John Francis Lee | Nov 18, 2006 7:25:41 PM | 73
jfl, i second your appreciation of b's next hurrah link - learned a lot there - and dos the booman diary has me looking for the full matt bai article on the netroots. my little contribution is the diary by renarf at dkos about richard dreyfus talking about the importance of impeachment on bill maher last night. stealing from her transcription of their conversation:
MAHER: And you think he [the President] should be impeached? I mean, what would that get you? Cheney as President?
DREYFUS: The two reasons that one would argue against impeachment are the Vice President and the Democratic Congress. But I'm not in favor of impeachment. I am in favor of the process. And I believe that unless the society stands against certain things, they will have endorsed certain things. Like torture, leaving the Geneva Convention...
MAHER: Right. That is well said.
DREYFUS: ...and lying to the Congress about the reasons for war. And once the Republicans are placed in the position of having to endorse torture, you've got a bad problem on your hands. And we do not realize that this is not about impeachment - it's about the other branches of the government doing their duty so that you don't hand off to a liberal or a conservative - the President - swollen powers when no one ever turns power away. No one ever says "oh no thank you - we're not going to use that".
And so whoever gets to be President will use the power handed to this President. And we will rue that day unless we stand in some way against that, even in a minority report. Even if we... if you lose an impeachment hearing - whoever "we" are - then at least you have a body that says we stand against these things. And unless you do that, then you're for them.
dreyfus also makes a strong case for teaching and studying civics and the diary includes links to the show and a speech dreyfus gave at the press club. his emphasis on taking action in order to preserve a democratic form of government resonated strongly with me.
Posted by: conchita | Nov 18, 2006 8:08:09 PM | 74
I could support impeachment as the slowly grinding wheels of justice operating in the background... to their inevitable conclusion.
But that's not how it would be. It would be center stage, sound and fury changing nothing. It would be an excuse not to do the things that must be done. As though the Demoplicans needed an excuse...
We need to STOP funding the wars in the Middle East, in Iraq and Afghanistan and Palestine. Not "in the spring" a la what's his name... former mayor of Cleveland.
We need to abrogate the PATRIOT Act and the MSA.
We need to close hundreds of military bases around the world so that we may stop adding to the national debt the funds needed for their continued operation.
Yes we need to proceed with the War Crimes Tribual. In fact we ought to skip impeachment and cut to the chase.
But just as logic is what we do instead of thinking so too is prosecuting criminals for their past crimes what we do instead of acting to stop those same, ongoing criminal activities.
Posted by: John Francis Lee | Nov 18, 2006 8:48:05 PM | 75
After I pressed send on my silly #71 post I realised that a/ putting out the fire with gasoline wasn't a go and b/ it was goin to come across as a cheap shot at Monolycus which it wasn't intended to be. So I apologise hopefully in a way which won't prolong or resurrect the bullshit. Sorry Monolycus I wasn't having a go at you.
Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 18, 2006 9:09:15 PM | 76
jfl, i do not disagree. as b has been saying and as the election of steny hoyer confirms, just removing bush and cheney from office does not de facto translate into getting the u.s. out of iraq or israel out of palestine. it could very well be a media circus that only serves to distract from the other critical issues. there is a part of me though that cannot resist the concept of dethroning bushco.
Posted by: | Nov 18, 2006 9:32:30 PM | 77
that last was i. not sure why typepad decided not to remember my info today.
Posted by: conchita | Nov 18, 2006 9:35:53 PM | 78
For those who can't figure it out, #57 was not me. It was my stalker, who has discovered yet another unacceptable boundary to cross by signing my name to posts I didn't write.
Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 18, 2006 11:51:11 PM | 79
slothrop, this is way over the line. will you please stop this?
you know, sometimes when I'm stressed (and I have big serious reasons to be stressed, like a developmentally disabled son), I get upset over other things (sometimes here) and say things I regret in moments of anger. this is not good for me or anyone else. online it is too easy to post something in haste.
I am seriously concerned about you.
I realize we are all too hopelessly bourgeois for your tastes, but you are not going to change anyone's opinion by your recent actions.
It saddens me to see this from you. When I am aggravated about something I take a break. Maybe you should do that too. Just a suggestion.
Posted by: fauxreal | Nov 19, 2006 12:06:34 AM | 80
you figured that out?
Posted by: slothrop | Nov 19, 2006 12:11:40 AM | 81
slothrop, i am probably the only idiot here who thought that monolycus was parodying you. i wondered why he couldn't just let it go. so now i ask you - why can't you just let it go? honestly, i don't believe you are a troll, but this is what a troll does in a virtual community - derail discussions and cause infighting. i don't want you to leave nor do i want monolycus to leave. do you have any thoughts about a solution here?
Posted by: conchita | Nov 19, 2006 12:35:44 AM | 82
jj- did you catch this announcement last week?
Ross Perot's company is now hiring, in Mexico
MEXICO CITY: Ross Perot, the Texas billionaire and one-time U.S. presidential candidate, railed against the North American Free Trade Agreement in the early 1990s, arguing that it would create a "giant sucking sound" of good American jobs pulled to low-wage Mexico.
Last week, Perot Systems, based in Plano, Texas, announced that it was hiring - in Mexico.
Perot Systems, which manages information technology for companies, is setting up a technology center in Guadalajara, where it expects to employ 270 engineers by the middle of next year.
Neither Perot, who is now chairman emeritus of the company, which he founded in 1988, nor his son, Ross Perot Jr., the company's chairman, was on hand for the announcement in Guadalajara on Thursday. But a company spokesman, Joe McNamara, said that lower pay for engineers was only one of several reasons Perot Systems had decided to set up in Mexico.
Posted by: b real | Nov 19, 2006 2:26:55 AM | 83
@Debs is Dead (#76)
I didn't take your #71 post to be directed at me. The Gaza situation is obscene, and you are expressing your frustration that more attention is not being paid to it. Thanks for providing the links you have; they are being read even if they are not being commented upon.
And now, newsdump:
As a supplement to annie's link from another thread about deliberate manipulation of "news" to produce narrow public sentiment, we have Keith Olbermann.
What this means is that we should be seeing more "Chewbacca Defense" (Thanks to Jassalasca Jape for introducing me to that term) from Fox and CNN as things become more patently indefensible. Patrick Leahy's attempts to make public the contents of the Bush Torture Documents will be overshadowed by a flood of distracting non-statements by Alberto Gonzalez and Orwellian newspeak from Chief Justice Roberts (who is stating, if I read this correctly, that dissenting or contrary opinions are "bold", and mindless rubberstamping is "cautious").
In a followup to the story about China's bustling organ trade, they have recently admitted, after many denials, that such the practice of selling the organs of condemned criminals does take place, but the scope and details of these operations are still something of a mystery.
Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 19, 2006 3:23:37 AM | 84
A sane view on Dafur - somone is finally mentioning the real victims, i.e. the nomads:
The Arabs Are Victims, Too
The Abbala, the camel nomads of North Darfur, have always been the most vulnerable, the most neglected, of the region's many communities. So it is no coincidence that the hard core of today's Janjaweed militias -- the Sudanese government's predominantly Arab proxies in the war against rebel troops -- come from their ranks. The abhorrent crimes of the Janjaweed -- rape, pillage, murder -- have made it easy to forget that Darfur's indigenous nomads are themselves victims, driven into the embrace of a government of serial war criminals by drought, desertification and brute poverty.
Arabs constitute about a third of the population of Darfur. The Abbala, however, are a small minority in the areas in which they are present -- North and West Darfur. They have only two members in the 450-member National Assembly and have never formed a political force powerful enough to put their needs on anyone's agenda, even though the discrimination against them dates back more than a century. The British who ruled Darfur until independence in 1956 assigned almost all of the settled groups in the region a dar -- or tribal homeland -- of their own, but left the nomadic groups without. In peace, the camel herders enjoyed customary rights of passage and pasture in the dars of others. But this war has shattered that symbiotic relationship, snuffing out a way of life that environmental change had already been squeezing relentlessly for the past 20 years.
Posted by: b | Nov 19, 2006 4:07:22 AM | 85
Allawi is pimping himself/being pimped as "strongman to lead Iraq" by the neocon London Times: Allawi shapes up as Iraq's iron man
“Iraq was not and is not ready for elections,” Allawi said in an interview last week.
With sectarian violence spiralling out of control and the government of Nouri al-Maliki unable to stop it, Allawi said that various political groupings were discussing alternatives.
These included the possibility that Iraq’s parliament might now be forced to override the results of last January’s elections and appoint a new administration of technocrats with free rein to confront the militias head on if necessary.
Asked whether he would be willing to lead a new government, Allawi said he had found his premiership “so lonely” — but hinted that he could be ready to “give it a final try”.
Posted by: b | Nov 19, 2006 6:20:00 AM | 86
Also in the London Times war criminal Kissinger is preparing the ground for more pressure on Iran: Iran despises weakness
Tehran sees no compelling national interest to give up its claim to being a nuclear power and strong domestic political reasons to persist. Pursuing the nuclear weapons programme is a way of appealing to national pride and shores up an otherwise shaky domestic support.
There are only two incentives for Iran to negotiate: the emergence of a regional structure that makes imperialist policies unattractive, or the concern that, if matters are pushed too far, America might yet strike.
So long as Iran views itself as a crusade rather than a nation, a common interest will not emerge from negotiations. To evoke a more balanced view should be an important goal for US diplomacy. Iran may come to understand that it is still a poor country not in a position to challenge the entire world order.
Posted by: b | Nov 19, 2006 6:26:15 AM | 87
Olmert seems a wee peeved at Lieberman (no, not that one) for letting the cat out of the bag... Israel should kill Hamas leaders, walk away from road map peace plan: deputy PM
“They ... have to disappear, to go to paradise, all of them, and there can’t be any compromise,” [Lieberman] said.
Wonder where they came up with that idea for a "Final Solution"? Can't see how that might end badly.
Elswehere, the Brits are also feeling peevish... Fury at American contempt for British war dead
The President's envoy in the UK has been summoned to a humiliating dressing down in Whitehall tomorrow because of a White House refusal to make American troops answer in British courts for their mistakes on the battlefield...
The inquests row could strain Mr Blair's close relations with Mr Bush - and it comes at a critical time for the PM.
He was forced to admit yesterday that the Iraq war has been a 'disaster'.
It also emerged that loyal Labour Minister Margaret Hodge had privately disowned the war and condemned Mr Blair's 'moral imperialism'.
Turns out IEDs are low on the list of things you need to watch out for when your partner is scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with new recruits.
[link corrected b.]
Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 19, 2006 8:43:36 AM | 88
Hmm. Try cutting and pasting the URL for the "Fury at American contempt for British war dead" story. Typepad doesn't seem to like it.
Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 19, 2006 8:46:49 AM | 89
Human Shield.............. hopefully others will follow this example and shame the Israelis.
Israel called off airstrikes on the homes of two militants today after hundreds of Palestinians crowded around the buildings forming human shields, a new tactic that forced the Israelis to re-evaluate their aerial campaign in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinians began to gather around the homes shortly after the Israeli army ordered occupants out of them. Israel routinely issues such warnings before attacking buildings that it says are used to store weapons, saying it wants to avoid casualties.
Instead of leaving the buildings, the homeowners remained inside and were quickly joined by crowds of supporters who gathered on balconies, rooftops and in the streets outside.
Posted by: Cloned Poster | Nov 19, 2006 8:59:54 AM | 90
I think the subject of your link is an abstraction limned by nostalgia and shoddy analysis but I'm going to participate anyway, just in case... :-] to all.
Posted by: Juannie | Nov 19, 2006 6:02:28 PM | 94
Hey! December 22nd is on my calendar. Thanks gmac.
Posted by: beq | Nov 19, 2006 6:17:38 PM | 95
thanks, Juannie. Apparently it is my forte as is watching phlyes phuque (curling) and drinking a yucky chemical soup bearing C2H5OH (Molson's).
You're welcome beq.
"Too bad the writ of habeas corpus wasn't written in 1990! Because then it would be 16 years old and people would be scandalized when politicians started fucking with it."
Posted by: gmac | Nov 19, 2006 6:53:55 PM | 96
Used to be Labatt's IPA but now it's Wollover's organic IPA. Never curled growing up but could skate and stickhandle by about the time I could walk.
Posted by: Juannie | Nov 19, 2006 7:04:12 PM | 97
north korean human rights perspective - the musical
Posted by: b real | Nov 19, 2006 7:23:12 PM | 98
s-s-s-shudder-r-r, Labatt's. They make a Guinness that is downright heretical although I didn't mind JL Classic.
I usually drink one of these cool beers.
Posted by: gmac | Nov 19, 2006 7:36:58 PM | 99