April 29, 2008
Fresh Open Thread
We welcome your comments on news & views ...
Posted by b on April 29, 2008 at 04:37 AM | Permalink
A realistic view on Darfur: Fix Chad to save Darfur
Chad, one of Sudan's neighbors, is an integral part of the Darfur problem, and it must be part of the solution. Chad's eastern border with Sudan's Darfur province is porous, and many rebel groups -- Sudanese and Chadian -- are operating in this area where several hundred thousand Sudanese refugees are stranded. Chadian President Idriss Deby came to power through a military coup launched from Darfur in 1990. He and many Darfur rebels belong to the Zhaghawa tribe, and he is now repaying his debts to his tribesmen by supporting one of Darfur's rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement, with arms financed by oil money.
At the same time, Deby himself is fighting armed rebel movements operating from this region, some of which are supported by Sudan. One of these movements is led by former members of Deby's inner circle, including his nephew, Timan Erdimi. Erdimi decided to take up arms after his uncle abolished presidential term limits in Chad's Constitution in 2005, setting himself up to become president for life. The control over oil revenues looms large in this internal power struggle -- and in Darfur.
Not unlike Sudan, Chad's government is largely dependent on the sale of oil, not to China but to an Exxon Mobil-led international consortium.
Posted by: b | Apr 29, 2008 4:52:20 AM | 1
Anybody ever get the feeling that we are supersaturated in petroleum products? poisoned as it were.
It's in damn near everything even in out food...
Toxic Baby Bottles?
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 29, 2008 5:25:57 AM | 2
And most of it ends up in the ocean.
TOXIC - Garbage Island - Part 1 of 12 - VBS.TV
Part and parcel with this was my attitude toward the Pacific Garbage Patch, or as we willfully misidentified it for the duration of our journey, the elusive Garbage Island. All the journalism I’d read about the patch had carefully danced around physical descriptions of the trash, leading myself and the rest of the shooting crew to fanciful visions of a solid, Texas-size barge of discarded Coke bottles and sporting goods. The idea that people had managed to fuck up a part of the world that nobody even visits, much less inhabits, and on such a monumental scale struck me as interesting and, to be honest, slightly awesome-sounding, but at the end of the day the impact of the mess on the rest of the world failed to register.
Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Apr 29, 2008 6:42:16 AM | 3
National “DNA warehouse” bill passes
Passing the House of Representatives on a voice vote, S. 1858 has been sent to President Bush for signature. The Newborn Genetic Screening bill was passed by the Senate last December. The bill violates the U.S. Constitution and the Nuremberg Code, writes Twila Brase, president of the Citizen's Council on Health Care (CCHC). "The DNA taken at birth from every citizen is essentially owned by the government, and every citizen becomes a potential subject of government-sponsored genetic research," she states.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 29, 2008 7:09:44 AM | 4
Cheney lawyer claims Congress has no authority over vice-president
The lawyer for US vice-president Dick Cheney claimed today that the Congress lacks any authority to examine his behaviour on the job.
The exception claimed by Cheney's counsel came in response to requests from congressional Democrats that David Addington, the vice-president's chief of staff, testify about his involvement in the approval of interrogation tactics used at Guantanamo Bay.
"Our job is to push them into more progressiveness, not to destroy them" -Thom Hartman, talking about the so called opposition party.
hahahaha... herein, lies the goddamn problem. Anybody seen White House counsel Harriet Miers, or Bush Chief of Staff Josh Bolton? Hell, Rice out and out told em' to fuck off... hahaha...
Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 29, 2008 12:31:00 PM | 5
uncle 4, they have been after this for a long time. 10 years ago when i filed thru the state to get child support from my son's father, they (gov) wanted my son to take a dna test (instead of a blood test) prior to facilitation. both my son's father and I had to sign off on this dna test not taking place (or blood test) for religious purposes. we simply did not want any government database having access to his dna. every child who is part of any divorce proceeding, child custody dispute, or child support proceedings in wa state has their dna registered w/the state for i don't know how many years now.
Posted by: annie | Apr 29, 2008 4:55:13 PM | 6
The other day my daughter said that she was seeing more and more people planting gardens in their back yards. I told her that we would all know when things got REALLY tough when there were gardens in front yards too.
Posted by: R.L. | Apr 29, 2008 6:57:55 PM | 7
Once again we are regaled with BushCon's deliberately misleading $168B "tax rebate".
First, again, this is not a rebate! A rebate is when unspent tax revenues are
returned to the taxpayers. In our case, federal deficits are rapidly growing!
As the fed is "rebating" US a mortgage against our future tax debt, states and local
governments are rapidly raising taxes to cover their shortfalls.
It's not a tax rebate! It's a fully-secured mortgage loan against our SSTF. Terms?
Well, there's where the SEC should step in and require an audit. BushCon claims a
payment to 170M "working Americans". The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a
total civilian labor force of 153.8M in their last Employment Situation Summary, and
146.3M who are currently employed. Pentagon SAID estimates 1,379,551 servicepersons
are active duty, and apparently that includes active reserves, and differentiates
from active civilian employees and contractors, already tabulated by BLS.
So round number, there are 148M working Americans right now. Wait, it gets better!
Americans under $3,000 a year do not qualify. Americans earning over $85,000 a year
do not qualify. Unregistered immigrants do not qualify. Let's parse those numbers.
Under $3,000 I can imagine, but there must be that frugal 1%. Wikipedia cites 2006
personal income numbers, showing 4.5% of Americans make less than $2,500 and 7.75%
of Americans make over $85,000. Immigrants don't count in BLS employment statistics,
so we don't have to estimate that offset.
Let's recast. There are 148M working Americans, of which 87.75% qualify for rebate,
or a total number of rebate checks amounting to 129.9M, nearly a 30% lower figure
than IRS and Treasury is claiming. There must be a lot of dead workers in Chicago!
Now we get to what my kids describe as either sick or sweet, I'm not sure which.
The Census estimates there were 72,321,000 children in the US in 2002. Growing that
number by 2.4% for six years, let's round that to 83M. 13M of those are wards of the
state, so 70M living in families today. The BLS states the ratio of working people
at 56% of the total population. Given that elderly and retired don't generally have
children in their households, Census estimates there were 35.6M retired in 2002,
bumping our ratio to about 70%. So there are 49M children of working Americans, but
as we noted before, about 1/8th of those parents don't qualify for rebate. So there
are 42.9M qualifying children, and 129.9M adults, a total of 172.8M checks, if the
checks are sent individually to each adult and child.
Ahh, but there's the rub, and why we went to all the trouble to confirm the number.
The individual benefit amount is $300. The total rebate actually paid is only 51.8B!
These BushCon's wrote up our mortage contract to show the principal due of $168B,
but we are only receiving an amount 30% of that! A 70% origination fee off
the top, then 4.25% prime plus US$ devaluation, forever. Such a deal I have for you!
Imagine being forced to take a loan against your forever debt, and refused an audit!
We will have to pay this mortgage back in future taxes, in higher prices at the pump,
in higher housing prices, in higher food prices, and the inability to safely retire.
At LEAST the Treasury, (which we own last time I checked), could grant us the audit. BushCon is skimming off 70% off our forced mortage loan!! We're all Katrina'd now.
What if they like skimmed profits so much, they force a $336B rebate on US?!
Then we get to pay taxes on that "income" next year! What a resource recovery plan!!
GTG! American Idle!
Posted by: Homen C. Asualty | Apr 29, 2008 11:01:25 PM | 8
since there's little chance of victory in Iraq, how about calling them "duration of occupation gardens"?
Posted by: | Apr 30, 2008 1:30:33 AM | 9
Gates: Lull in Iraq has ended, but withdrawal will go on
[Gates] also confirmed that a second U.S. aircraft carrier had arrived in the Persian Gulf, but denied that the presence of two aircraft carriers in the region was a precursor to military action against Iran. Gates would not discuss details of the deployment; other reports said the two carriers might overlap in the area for only a few days.
"I don't think we'll have two carriers there for a protracted period of time, so I don't see it as an escalation," he said. "I think it could be seen, though, as a reminder."
Posted by: b | Apr 30, 2008 4:35:25 AM | 10
Thanks for crunching the numbers for us. I'm so maths-challenged that I could probably land a tasty job with the national audit, so it was nice to see things laid out nice'n'easy. Don't know how to verify your figures, but they have the satisfying stench of necrotizing flesh - that of the body politic, of course - and that's probably good enough for me.
Posted by: Tantalus | Apr 30, 2008 9:59:49 AM | 11
Our friend DeAnander has a post on a subject near and dear to me over at Feral Scolar on Humanure Composting.
Making life style changes is an important ingredient for survival into the post imperial stage. This has been an important change for me over the last 9 years and anyone with a gardening proclivities should be aware of this as an opportunity. A brief summary of my involvement is in the comment section to De’s article.
Posted by: Juannie | Apr 30, 2008 12:33:16 PM | 13
Good point, Juannie, and great article, DeA. The more our various systems begin to overwork and break down, and the more the indifference of those that guard them becomes obvious, we'll all have to do something with our own shit if it's something in which we don't want to wallow. Although a Lincoln Navigator, buried deep enough, would make an excellent septic tank.
Given much thought to a tree bog? The simplicity is almost mind-boggling, and it actually produces things of value. Useless in the Northeast for half the year, though...
Posted by: Tantalus | Apr 30, 2008 12:58:41 PM | 14
Okay. What's a tree bog?
Posted by: beq | Apr 30, 2008 1:11:33 PM | 15
Sadr City bloodshed kills 925 Iraqis
Clashes between Shiite militiamen and security forces have killed more than 900 people in Baghdad's Sadr City, an Iraqi official said on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki vowed to keep up the offensive.
Posted by: beq | Apr 30, 2008 1:59:13 PM | 16
A Treebog is a form of compost toilet which has willows, nettles and other nutrient-hungry plants planted around it. The faeces are held in a chamber open to the air which allows it to decompose rapidly, feeding the trees around it. Unlike a conventional compost toilet, a tree bog should never need emptying. Effectively, it is a system for converting human faeces to biomass.
Posted by: annie | Apr 30, 2008 2:00:29 PM | 17
A Treebog is a form of compost toilet which has willows, nettles and other nutrient-hungry plants planted around it. The faeces are held in a chamber open to the air which allows it to decompose rapidly, feeding the trees around it. Unlike a conventional compost toilet, a tree bog should never need emptying. Effectively, it is a system for converting human faeces to biomass. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_bog
Well maybe if the trees surronding it were fruit or nut trees, otherwise the gardens mulched with humanure will benefit growers more. The nettles probably, as they are delicious and nutritious greens and their stings are healing, believe it or not. My sore joints are always relieved after a few stinging nettle stings but they tend to grow well without added nutrients.
Posted by: | Apr 30, 2008 2:08:41 PM | 18
#18 was me but you beat me to the bog annie.
Posted by: Juannie | Apr 30, 2008 2:10:31 PM | 19
Growing comfrey around your treebog would convert the unlovely - or at least unloved - pee and shit into one of the most powerful green manures available. I wonder if filberts and/or elderberry bushes would work as well as willow: then you'd get two fruit crops as well. I'll try it and report back (not for a while, though).
Ah! A meditation on human feces brings us magically to toasted hazelnuts and elderflower champagne...
Posted by: Tantalus | Apr 30, 2008 2:56:47 PM | 21
Finally found something that doesn't recede that you can reach, eh Tantalus.
Posted by: Juannie | Apr 30, 2008 3:08:03 PM | 22
Finally found something that doesn't recede that you can reach, eh Tantalus.
Bliss, pure bliss.
Posted by: Tantalus | Apr 30, 2008 3:21:40 PM | 23
there is an old north american indian dictum which says that pain is just another opinion & here in france this week & i suppose there will be an endless 'meditation' on 1968 - unbearable encyclicals on a history that never happened. the only history that happened - happened in the east. it happened in the tet offensive. it happened with the viet cong in saigon. it happened when the empire was revealed for what it was - empty & violent
if there is a lesson form that year it was that they di!d not go far enough. that remembering ought to have become rigorous. strong & gentle like walter benjamin.
i was too young in that year but i know that we failed the comrades in latin america. that we failed the comrades in the middle east. that we failed our african comrades. & we forgot about our comrades in asia
for forty years violence was done to those comrades until we were faced with the brutal tyranny of the cheney bush junta & all their acolytes everywhere blair, howard berlusconi etc etc etc & we were faced with irreconcilable contradictions & complicities
i am as guilty as anyone
these last 8 years have been a testimony to what the left has not done - what we allowed capital to get way with.. from the anullument of civil liberties to the assault on the labor movement in all its forms - from reagan & thatchers to all the cretin who hold 'power' today - we have had 'leaders' that we have merited in the west - their moral corruption - mirrors the darker angels of our nature
today when i witness the peoples of latin america i feel a hope i have not felt for some time - it is a hope - well aware of the menace they are under - the state dept today accusing venezuela of terrorism - morelos in bolivia under risks of the elites, the gains made by the people of brazil & argentina are still to be fought for
& we in the west have been blinded by a few technological crumbs that were in any case invented in their laboratories of military & inter elite war & it is to this that i am thankful that like the ancient makars - people like b & the people that come here are able to carft from their despair some small measure of light
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 30, 2008 6:36:35 PM | 24
five-minute focus on wednesday's reuters' propaganda tricks
example one -- keep the real story out of the headline
Sierra Leone heads Africa most unsolved journalists' murders
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iraq has the worst record for failing to solve murders of journalists but some countries at peace such as the Philippines, Mexico and India also scored poorly, a journalism watchdog said on Wednesday.
There are 79 cases of unsolved murders of journalists in Iraq and most of them had been targeted because of their work, not caught in crossfire, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a report released at the United Nations.
The CPJ worked out its "Impunity Index" by compiling the number of unsolved journalist murder cases between 1998 and 2007 and dividing it by the size of a country's population.
Iraq became the world's most dangerous country for the press after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that overthrew dictator Saddam Hussein and sparked insurgency and sectarian strife, the CPJ said. Most of the victims have been Iraqis.
Second on the index is the West African state of Sierra Leone ... Nine journalist murders remain unsolved.
and the CPJ rpt itself states that of those 9 unsolved murders in sierra leone, "Many of these cases stem from a particularly brutal period in January 1999" during the civil war.
and somehow that merits more headline attention than the first place country which beats sierra leone by a factor of nearly 9.
a search for any other reuters stories wednesday containing the string "impunity index" yield zero matches.
and, from another CPJ database on the total numbers of journalists killed per country from january 1, 1992—april 4, 2008, sierra leone is not even close, at only 1/8th of you-know-where:
Top 20 Countries
1. Iraq: 127
2. Algeria: 60
3. Russia: 47
4. Colombia: 40
5. Philippines: 32
6. India: 22
8. Bosnia: 19
11. Afghnistan: 17
12. Rwanda: 16
Sierra Leone: 16
example two -- make up a sensational headline out of an unsourced claim
Zimbabwe opposition leader wins vote: govt. sources
HARARE, April 30 (Reuters) - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe's presidential election, winning 47 percent of the vote against the president's 43 percent, senior government sources said on Wednesday.
One source, declining to be named like the others, told Reuters a run-off would be needed because Tsvangirai did not win enough votes for an outright victory.
example three -- shaping a narrative around stmts by anonymous sources
Somali insurgents target seat of parliament
BAIDOA, Somalia, April 30 (Reuters) - Ethiopian troops backing Somalia's government opened fire killing nine civilians on Wednesday, after being targeted by insurgents in the central town of Baidoa where parliament sits, residents said.
The shots were fired after Islamist-led insurgents detonated a landmine targeting an Ethiopian foot patrol. It was the second attack targeting the allied forces in a week, and exposed the interim government's inability to secure law and order in even its biggest stronghold.
Lawmakers said the security risk posed by the al-Shabaab military wing of a sharia courts movement ousted at the end of 2006 had forced several of them to flee the trading outpost where parliament meets in a former grain storehouse.
"We cannot work under such circumstances. Our own safety is in jeopardy," said one legislator, who was too afraid to give his name. "Most of the neighbouring districts surrounding Baidoa have been taken over by al-Shabaab. Some lawmakers have fled."
The insurgents attacked hours before Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein flew in from Mogadishu for a meeting with legislators that was held under tight security.
"It's getting worse, the whole country is under siege," said another lawmaker who fled to neighbouring Kenya.
Analysts say such attacks are aimed at instilling fear among lawmakers to stop them from carrying out their duties. They said the strategy is also to weaken government troops and their Ethiopian allies before a major attack anytime soon.
"The al-Shabaab is testing the Ethiopians," an analyst who did not want to be named told Reuters.
"They want to know how prepared the government and Ethiopian troops are before they launch a massive attack and seize the town for hours, kill those they want and take what they can."
"an analyst who did not want to be named"? c'mon. that person wasn't even really an "analyst," assuming it's a real quote, were they...
the article is correct in reporting that ethiopian forces shot & killed civilians in baidoa on wednesday after being the target of a mine explosion (though garowe online is reporting "at least 12" civilian deaths by ethiopian bullets) but not the legislator's claims that condense the entire resistance and insurgency to that of al-shabaab. somalia is indeed under seige - by ethiopian forces and the unpopular warlord-infested transitional federal govt - though not "the whole country", as the northern republics of somaliland & puntland are not occupied.
it's a bunch of fear-mongering to manipulate the reader's perceptions of what is going down in somalia, as is the anon 'analysis' that the guerillas are looking to "seize the town for hours, kill those they want and take what they can."
leaving out the true context, reuters' is free to craft daily propaganda that gets disseminated globally, contributing to erroneous comprehension & conclusions.
Posted by: b real | Apr 30, 2008 11:43:05 PM | 26
From Juan Coles:
Sadr spokesman Salah al-Obeidi (al-Ubaydi) in Najaf bitterly attacked Iran, accusing it of seeking to share with the US in influence over Iraq. He pointed to the Iranian's regime's failure to condemn the long-term mutual security agreement being crafted by the Bush administration and the al-Maliki government. Al-Obeidi's angry denunciation suggests that Iran is backing PM Nuri al-Maliki and his current chief ally, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq led by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim against the Sadr Movement of Muqtada al-Sadr.
Its about time they got around to this - collusion against the interests of nationalism.
Posted by: anna missedanna missed | May 1, 2008 3:12:01 AM | 27
weird, make that
Posted by: rosanna danna missed | May 1, 2008 3:14:32 AM | 28
seattle PILongshore union strikes against war
By PETER COLE
On Thursday, May Day, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union will declare an eight-hour strike to protest the war in Iraq. Since the ILWU controls every port along the U.S. Pacific Coast, including Seattle and Tacoma, this strike demonstrates the collective power of workers willing to use it.
The ILWU is demanding "an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Middle East." Although the majority of Americans repeatedly have expressed their desire to end the war, President Bush has not obliged us, so it drags on. Because our leaders refuse to listen, ILWU members are taking the next logical step for workers: Strike.
For those unfamiliar, the ILWU is perhaps the most militant and politicized worker organization in the nation. It operates in one of the most important sectors of the world economy -- marine transport -- and, thus, is in a strategic location to put peace above profits.
this was heavily covered tonight in the msm news here in the SF bay area for they are striking tomorrow in @ the port of oakland also joined by numerous peace groups. many schools are expecting low turn out and immigration groups are joining in the protest. city officials said it will impact the economy as we have the 5th largest port in the nation and the truckers union is also joining the strike virtually blocking trade transport from the bay area.
i am wondering if they were covering it tonight so they could ignore it tomorrow. we'll see. i am going.
Posted by: annie | May 1, 2008 3:22:41 AM | 29
#28, don't you mean nevermind
fyi, i keep checking google and that seattle PI link is the ONLY msm news source on google bews covering the strike!
wtf?? as if the entire west coast ports of the entire friggin country isn't like a ..big deal? at least the TV carried it.
Posted by: | May 1, 2008 3:35:45 AM | 30
ONLY msm news source on google bews covering the strike!
of course i meant google boozes!
or google boos.
Posted by: annie | May 1, 2008 3:41:22 AM | 31
shit, i can't even make my corrections correct.
blame it on the booze
Posted by: annie | May 1, 2008 3:43:12 AM | 32
Just to reiterate my suspicion. With the Sunni resistance temporarily co-opted, the Sadrists branded as "special groups" beholden to Iran, and being the last remaining large group resistance to occupation (& likely to win a major victory in elections), along with the inexplicable abandonment (by Iran) of Sadr - there is reason to believe Iran and the U.S. may have reached some kind of back channel endgame collusion. This of course - because of the non-stop anti-Iranian propaganda currently being employed - is the last thing anybody would expect. Which is a near perfect context, should it actually be true.
Posted by: roseanna anna danna missed | May 1, 2008 3:48:49 AM | 33
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports:
Two Republican congressmen introduced legislation that would deny the Carter Center federal dollars.
U.S. Reps. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.) and Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) introduced the Coordinated American Response to Extreme Radicals Act , or CARTER Act, last week in the wake of former President Jimmy Carter’s recent outreach to Hamas.
“America must speak with one voice against our terrorist enemies,” Knollenberg said in a statement. “It sends a fundamentally troubling message when an American dignitary is engaged in dialogue with terrorists. My legislation will make sure that taxpayer dollars are not being used to support discussions or negotiations with terrorist groups.”
The Zionist Organization of American praised the legislation.
Carter’s Atlanta-based center focuses mostly on international development. The former president met with Hamas officials against the advice of the Bush administration. He defended his meetings as his attempt to help bring an end to the violence on the Israel-Gaza Strip border.
Posted by: annie | May 1, 2008 3:51:24 AM | 34
Interesting about this strike. Is it related to this?
Seems they are bringing Doha contaminated sand to Idaho via Longview Port, where it is shifted from ship to rail.
Posted by: ww | May 1, 2008 5:48:46 AM | 36
ww, this? could be...
Contaminated sand from Gulf War to pass through Longview
April 15, 2008
A ship carrying 6,700 tons of sand contaminated with low levels of hazardous waste at a U.S. Army base in Kuwait during the first Gulf War will be unloaded at the Port of Longview on April 22.
The vessel BBC Alabama is delivering 306 containers of the sand, which contains low levels of uranium, to the port, which will then be loaded onto trains bound for a disposal site in Grand View, Idaho, said Doug Averett, the port’s director of operations.
A cleanup contractor packaged the contaminated sand in bags designed to hold hazardous waste and then placed them in a container, said Chad Hyslop, project manager for Idaho-based American Ecology, the company responsible for disposing of the material.
Longshoremen will not directly handle contaminated material — only the containers holding it, according to the port.
The shipment is safe, Hyslop said, because the concentration of uranium in the sand is so low — about 10 parts per trillion. That concentration — about 0.00000000001 percent — is about five to 10 times higher than the concentration of uranium found in concrete or wall board, he said.
"We’re talking about levels that you see in nature," Hyslop said.
American Ecology was required to get permission to dispose of the sand from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The sand contains "unimportant quantities of source material," according to a Sept. 13 letter from the agency to the U.S. Army that The Daily News obtained from the port.
Mike Wilcox, vice president of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union local 21, said he initially was concerned about the safety of longshoremen and the entire community when he heard a shipment of depleted uranium was coming into Longview.
"You hear ‘depleted uranium,’ and I don’t know what it is, but it’s dangerous," Wilcox said.
His fears were allayed after meeting with port officials Monday and learning the radiation levels are so low, Wilcox said. In his 12 years as a longshoremen, Wilcox said he’s never seen a shipment of hazardous materials.
And he hopes it’s a one-time thing.
"We don’t really want it again," Wilcox said.
Posted by: | May 1, 2008 6:08:33 AM | 37
"We’re talking about levels that you see in nature," Hyslop said.
Seems strange they would ship it all that way when we are only talking about "natural levels". Yup
And thanks for clarifying the link.
Posted by: ww | May 1, 2008 6:24:35 AM | 38
The celebrations are quite muted on Vietnam today Giap. My daughter rang from Ho Chi Minh City a couple of hours ago where it is of course a holiday to celebrate the anniversary of that city's liberation and she said that even after all this time the victory celebrations are quite reflective. It's school holidays here so she has been in Vietnam mostly in the north around Hanoi as well as the hill country where the Hmong people live, with her high school history class who have been studying the Vietnamese war of independence this year.
It will be interesting to hear what she has to say about it when she gets back this weekend as although they did mollify some of the class with 'retail therapy' a few days ago, in the main they have been in small villages talking to Vietnamese schoolchildren as well as visiting many museums and old battlegrounds.
Posted by: Debs is dead | May 1, 2008 7:48:09 AM | 39
a photographer and headline writer team up to make a very sick joke wrt the freak Austrian who held his daughter captive
Posted by: dan of steele | May 1, 2008 9:17:56 AM | 40
Hey kids! Just got back from my 63rd orbit of the sun. Wild ride. Celebrations with bun included a take-away, a decent Rioja and the dvd Rendition.">http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0804522/">Rendition.
Roger has a good line in his review:
... after I saw this film at the Toronto Film Festival, I was struck by a comment by James Rocchi on Cinematical.com: "Anytime someone tells you that you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs, immediately demand to see the omelet."
Posted by: Hamburger | May 1, 2008 9:57:22 AM | 41
Posted by: Hamburger | May 1, 2008 10:00:50 AM | 42
Happy birthday Hamburger!
Posted by: dan of steele | May 1, 2008 10:07:44 AM | 43
Cheers Hamburger!!! (I'll have one for you at wine o'clock) =) Get bun to give you a hug for me.
Posted by: beq | May 1, 2008 10:14:45 AM | 44
Oh, my 59th circuit was StickytoGoGo (Japanese takeaway), a gimlet, and the abc "debate". Feh.
Posted by: beq | May 1, 2008 10:18:16 AM | 45
my own orbit last week - but i - just another - collection of debris
Posted by: remembereringgiap | May 1, 2008 10:23:26 AM | 46
garowe online: Al Shabaab chief killed in U.S. airstike in Somalia: sources
DHUSAMAREB, Somalia May 1 (Garowe Online) - The leader of Somalia's al Shabaab insurgent group was the target of a U.S. airstrike early Thursday morning in the central Somali town of Dhusamareb, reliable sources said.
Adan Hashi Ayro, a fighter said to be in his 30s and spearheading the Somali insurgency, was confirmed to be inside a house in Dhusamareb, which was hit by at least three missiles.
Residents reported witnessing four military aircraft hovering above the town, followed subsequently by the sound of explosions at around 3am local time.
It could not be independently confirmed that Ayro was killed in the attack, but the BBC Somali Service cited witnesses saying they saw four dead bodies and that the recovery effort is still underway.
shabelle media: The death toll of US warplanes air strike in Somalia increases
At least 15 people were reported dead in US planes air strike in Dhuso mareb town central Somalia that was killed the commander of Alshabab Islamic fighters Aden Hashi Eyrow on Wednesday night-residents said.
“ I saw human pieces in the hit missile homes and nearby houses” resident Fatima Said told Shabelle English service by phone.
Three US AC-130 type aircrafts slowly flying were reported to have bombarded on the house of Adan Eyrow and near enough abodes.
Some residents told that the hydroplanes have headed to the north of the town after the bombardment.
Some residents have started to unearth the missiles swathe houses where hum pieces were slowly unearthed.
It’s the first time that US warplanes have raided in Galgadud region.
The spokesman for the Islamic al-Shabab militia, Sheik Muqtar Robow, said the strike killed Aden Hashi Ayro, his brother and seven others at his house in the central Somali town of Dusamareeb, about 300 miles north of Mogadishu. Six more people were wounded.
just heard a radio rpt that put the number at 30 dead
the western press will play this up as a successful attack on "AQ" -- though that's bullshit -- and spin the concept of terrorism on its head
Posted by: b real | May 1, 2008 11:07:29 AM | 48
How is this attack legal? Can the US bomb anywhere on the planet by playing the terrorist card?
I don't understand how this does not violate international law. Who will denounce this?
Posted by: Hamburger | May 1, 2008 11:14:18 AM | 49
A comment at the RAW story about the now breaking DC madame...
She wrote in August 1991 following an attempt to bring her to trial,"If taken into custody, my physical safety and most probably my very life would be jeopardized, rape, beating, maiming, disfigurement and more than likely murder disguised in the form of just another jailhouse accident or suicide would await me," said Palfrey in a handwritten letter to the judge accusing the San Diego police vice squad of having a vendetta against her.
"No I'm not planning to commit suicide," Palfrey told The Alex Jones Show on her last appearance, "I'm planning on going into court and defending myself vigorously and exposing the government," she said.
On May 1, 2008 Palfrey allegedly committed suicide in Tarpon Springs, Florida. She was staying with her mother at the time. Palfrey's body was found in a small storage shed attached to her mother's mobile home. Tarpon Springs police reported finding handwritten suicide notes near the body.
Cops think 'D.C. madam' committed suicide
Police say a woman they believe to be convicted Washington escort service operator Deborah Jeane Palfrey has committed suicide, The Associated Press reports. Police in Tarpon Springs, Florida say the body was found in a shed near Palfrey's mother's home this morning. There was a suicide note, but police did not disclose its contents. Full story soon.
Reminds me, I haven't heard an update about Bill Bennett's alleged dominatrix, Leola Jean McConnell, who was said to have gone missing last year. Anyone know more?
Nonetheless, it's stories like this prove the deplorable state of our media. It is automatically "suicide" because local authorities say so. No questioning, no suspicions, no blaring headlines: "Did the DC Madam REALLY Commit Suicide?"
Also see, DC Madam Predicted She Would Be Suicided
Finally, here's the interview:
palfrey.mp3 suggesting she would be taken out and as others have said, She'd been convicted, and was awaiting sentencing, so there's plausible deniability now..
Finally, there was and still is much rumor to the The Palfrey-Cheney Connection.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 1, 2008 7:20:23 PM | 52
The Palfrey-Cheney Connection
Palfrey faced up to 55 years in prison for money-laundering, sentencing scheduled for July 24. Her defense attorney, Preston Burton, said she planned to appeal. Why would she kill herself with an appeal pending? She has an aged mother with a heart condition; why would she she choose to hang herself with the likelihood her ailing mom would find her like that? Palfrey was a fighter- again, why would she give up with her appeal pending?
Palfrey believed her life could be in danger, and stated that it would not be suicide if she were found dead; she said so on a radio program along with implicating that the VP himself, and other extremely powerful, high-profile men in Washington were clients. LISTEN:
yet another interview, different from the AJ one I posted above...
Is it possible that facing of a 55-year sentence, Ms. Palfrey was going to do some talking, in hopes of a reduced sentence? Were some persons concerned that an angry or vindictive Palfrey might write tell-all?
*The investigative reporter is not supposed to be posted at DU (considered dubious source) so name "redacted" (***). Mods, please allow; the only way for any of this to get a hearing and Ms. Palfrey to get justice is not to bury it Something is seriously fishy here.
D.C. Madame Predicted Being Suicided
"If taken into custody, my physical safety and most probably my very life would be jeopardized," she wrote. "Rape, beating, maiming, disfigurement and more than likely murder disguised in the form of just another jailhouse accident or suicide would await me."
Cheney on DC Madam's list. Yesterday, *** reported on the DC Madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey's list: "*** has been informed that the CEO of a major corporation is a former CEO but, nonetheless, the aforementioned extremely high-level official of the Bush administration. The individual, who is definitely "newsworthy," reportedly engaged the services of Palfrey's escort firm while he was the CEO and maintained a residence off Chain Bridge Road in the Ballantrae neighborhood in McLean, Virginia, a few blocks from the headquarters of the CIA."
Cheney "X'd" off the DC Madam's list by ABC/Disney.
*** has confirmed with extremely knowledgeable CIA and Pentagon sources that the former CEO who is on Deborah Jeane Palfrey's list is Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton during the time of his liaisons with the Pamela Martin & Associates escort firm. Palfrey's phone invoices extend back to 1996 and include calls to and from Cheney. Ironically, in 2000 Cheney was appointed by Bush to head his Vice President selection committee, a task that enabled Cheney to gather detailed personal files on a number of potential candidates, including Bill Frist, George Pataki, John Danforth, Fred Thompson, Chuck Hagel, John Kasich, Chris Cox, Frank Keating, Tom Ridge, Colin Powell, and Jim Gilmore, before he selected himself as the vice presidential candidate.
The White House saw to it that ABC/Disney killed the DC Madam's story before yet another scandal swamped the Bush administration. Cheney is departing Washington today for a trip to the Middle East, where he will visit the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the USS John C. Stennis in the Gulf.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 1, 2008 7:28:57 PM | 53
Posted by: Cloud | May 1, 2008 9:29:30 PM | 54
Dammit, Unca... I was coming here to post the Palfrey story. Looks as though you've got it covered.
Posted by: Monolycus | May 1, 2008 10:44:25 PM | 55
Why would she kill herself with an appeal pending? She has an aged mother with a heart condition; why would she she choose to hang herself with the likelihood her ailing mom would find her like that? Palfrey was a fighter- again, why would she give up with her appeal pending?
Posted by: | May 1, 2008 11:06:16 PM | 56
i've read alot of articles today on the u.s. bombing in somalia and, sure enough, AQ is on the tip of most reporters fingers. (note - no time for the idiot box, but it's probably rolling off lotsa tongues tonite too)
just to make some comments on a couple of the last attempts at journalism i looked at, neither of which are recommended by me
from the NYT coverage
An American military official in Washington, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the operation, said at least four Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from a Navy ship or submarine off the Somali coast had slammed into a small compound of single-story buildings in Dusa Marreb, a well-known hide-out for Mr. Ayro and his associates.
that's really weird, b/c the somali media i pointed out in #48 above rpt warplanes dropping bombs, and the anon military official is saying basically the same thing an anon military official said of the bombing/strikes back in march. shabelle media said witnesses saw 3 ac-130's. witnesses in an islam online account claim "a US helicopter fired two missiles." which version is correct?
The military official and two American intelligence officials said all indications were that Mr. Ayro was killed, along with several top lieutenants, but the attack was still being assessed.
“This was in the works for some time,” said the official. He said American intelligence agents had been tracking Mr. Ayro for weeks through a combination of communications intercepts, satellite imagery and other intelligence.
Around 3 a.m. Thursday, residents of Dusa Marreb were jolted out of bed by several large explosions. According to witnesses and a spokesman for the Shabab, more than 10 people were killed, including Mr. Ayro, Mr. Ayro’s brother and several other high-ranking Shabab commanders.
Some witnesses said that as many as 30 people were dead and that residents were counting skulls to determine the number.
"more than 10" according to witnesses in one paragraph & "as many as 30" according to witnesses in the next paragraph. what kind of reporting is that?
..while many Somalis disagreed with Mr. Ayro’s tactics, he was also perceived as a freedom fighter resisting an unpopular government backed by outsiders, including Ethiopia and the United States. Several Somalia scholars said Mr. Ayro’s killing could lead to a dangerous blowback for Americans in East Africa, a region that had already been hit by several Qaeda attacks.
“This will become a major recruiting tool,” said one American official not authorized to speak publicly. “These guys will now feel the Americans are their enemy and you’re going to see more attacks against Americans in the region and more foreign fighters flooding in.”
i'm thinking that was the whole purpose - generating a permanent menace to guarantee the efficacy of the original GWOT mandate & ensure that the u.s. military & intel personnel stay there for a long
from a reuters article
The U.S. Defense Department has in the past said no U.S. troops operate inside Somalia. But [Pentagon spokesperson Bryan] Whitman on Thursday appeared to acknowledge the possibility that there are some.
Asked how many U.S. troops are in Somalia, Whitman said: "I honestly don't know and I don't know if I could answer that question or not."
on the AQ allegations which most press coverage treats as fact -- since the govt says so -- the article continues,
"This is a significant blow to the extremists, including al Qaeda, in East Africa," said a U.S. intelligence official. He said Ayro had at least 15 years of jihadist experience in Africa and the Middle East and may have been in touch with senior al Qaeda figures in Afghanistan and Pakistan: "He may have met years ago with bin Laden and Zawahri."
The intelligence official said Ayro had been behind suicide bombings in Somalia, and "there is good reason to believe that he was tied to terrorist plots elsewhere in the region ... he may have played some kind of role in the 2002 Mombassa attacks."
instead, the u.s. military plays judge, jury & executioner and, according to witness accounts, may have killed 29 others while delivering the punishment
"Bits of human flesh are scattered on the ruins of the building," witness Farah Hussein told Reuters. "People are counting the skulls to know the exact figure."
read one rpt that stated that ayro's wife & children died in the bombing. another stated that 25 homes had their roofs blown off from the blasts. 30 dead is alot of lives snuffed out for pursuing one individual, guilty of said charges or not.
don't hold your breath waiting for any meaningful international condemnation of this act of terrorism.
Posted by: b real | May 2, 2008 2:02:11 AM | 57
As for ABC news quoted above, and this dink Dan Moldea, well, we know ABC news 9 times out of 10 is a thought steering committee for the ptb and according to Joe Cannon, Dan Moldea is not to be trusted, or at worst is a complete liar.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 2, 2008 3:39:48 AM | 59
Break-ins plague targets of US Attorneys
Larisa Alexandrovna, Muriel Kane and Lindsay Beyerstein
Published: Thursday May 1, 2008
The Permanent Republican Majority Part VI
MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA – In two states where US attorneys are already under fire for serious allegations of political prosecutions, seven people associated with three federal cases have experienced 10 suspicious incidents including break-ins and arson.
These crimes raise serious questions about possible use of deliberate intimidation tactics not only because of who the victims are and the already wide criticism of the prosecutions to begin with, but also because of the suspicious nature of each incident individually as well as the pattern collectively. Typically burglars do not break-into an office or private residence only to rummage through documents, for example, as is the case with most of the burglaries in these two federal cases.
In Alabama, for instance, the home of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman was burglarized twice during the period of his first indictment. Nothing of value was taken, however, and according to the Siegelman family, the only items of interest to the burglars were the files in Siegelman's home office.
Siegelman's attorney experienced the same type of break-in at her office.
In neighboring Mississippi, a case brought against a trial lawyer and three judges raises even more disturbing questions. Of the four individuals in the same case, three of the US Attorney’s targets were the victims of crimes during their indictment or trial. This case, like that of Governor Siegelman, has been widely criticized as a politically motivated prosecution by a Bush US Attorney.
More @ link
Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 2, 2008 4:31:46 AM | 60
The Last Roundup
For decades the federal government has been developing a highly classified plan that would override the Constitution in the event of a terrorist attack. Is it also compiling a secret enemies list of citizens who could face detention under martial law?
Might many MOA's be on that list?
While Comey, who left the Department of Justice in 2005, has steadfastly refused to comment further on the matter, a number of former government employees and intelligence sources with independent knowledge of domestic surveillance operations claim the program that caused the flap between Comey and the White House was related to a database of Americans who might be considered potential threats in the event of a national emergency. Sources familiar with the program say that the government’s data gathering has been overzealous and probably conducted in violation of federal law and the protection from unreasonable search and seizure guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.
According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, “There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 2, 2008 4:41:43 AM | 61
from a reuters story on the u.s. strikes on somalia wednesday
"This is not a personal cause but a national one. It will go on whether people die or not. Somalis should continue the struggle against the Ethiopian colonisation," senior Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, a former mentor to the slain militant, told Reuters.
"Dying is an honour at the moment. He (Ayro) played his role and died honourably," Aweys added in a telephone interview from Eritrea, where he lives in exile.
note that point, u.s. officials, the resistance is a "national" struggle against colonization. not some kind of "international" jihad or threat the u.s. national security.
Aweys said Ayro's death and the recent killing of civilians by Ethiopian force had cast doubt over U.N.-sponsored peace talks hoped to start on May 10 in Djibouti between the Somalia government and opposition leaders.
"Talks need a conducive environment to go ahead," he said. "It's like the Ethiopians and the Americans are against talks. We must talk among ourselves but I don't think it's possible."
reminds one of israeli tactics when threatened w/ such opportunities.
that recent study released last month by the senlis council (pdf), an intl security thinktank, concluded that the u.s. is deliberately thwarting any attempts at a peace process in somalia.
In addition to its militarised intervention in Somalia, the US Administration has frustrated efforts to promote a genuine and all-inclusive reconciliation process in the country.
In February 2008, the US government disrupted negotiation talks with all opposition parties - including hardline Islamists - by exerting pressure on the prime minister to exclude certain groups and individuals from a reconciliation process, particularly those included in the US list of designated terror suspects.
Effectively sabotaging the prime minister's efforts to reach out to r adical elements, on 29 February 2008 - shortly before a US air strike near the Somali-Kenyan border - the US
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice designated Al-Shabab as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224. Even though Al-Shabab enjoys little public support in southern Somalia, the untimely announcement of the designation was criticised by Somali opposition groups and the wider public.
as one somali quoted in the rpt put it
"The designation of Al-Shabab as terrorists completely undermined what the Prime Minister is trying to do: it really makes you doubt the US commitment to the reconciliation process."
and, from another,
"Al-Qaeda and others' extreme ideologies should have met substantial resistance in Somalia as Somalis are moderate Muslims and have historically separated their religion from political or governance matters. But now that the US has created this sense of being under siege and we have unified against that threat: this is creating a great political opportunity for Al-Qaeda."
as i've pointed out previously here & elsewhere, one of those "al qaeda" leaders in al shabaab just so happens to be a mysterious american going by the name abu mansoor al amriki who's been pushing for divisions between al shabaab & the ICU
Though not much is publicly known about Amriki, an American intelligence source tells me that he was one of the former U.S. military personnel who fought in Bosnia during the 1990s, is a high-ranking member of al-Qaida's East Africa leadership, and is one of the Somali insurgents' lead trainers. When he once appeared on al-Jazeera wearing a face mask, it was clear that Amriki was Caucasian.
some context from the cooperative research timeline - Context of 'February 2008: Ex-US Soldier from Bosnia War Emerges as Al-Qaeda Leader in Somalia'
December 1992-June 1993: Ali Mohamed and Other Former US Soldiers Train Al-Qaeda Fighters in Bosnia
Double agent Ali Mohamed spends much of 1992 training al-Qaeda recruits in Afghanistan. But he also gives specialized training in Sudan, Bosnia, and other conflict zones. Using the alias Abu ‘Abdallah, he is part of a 14-man al-Qaeda team made up of retired US military personnel that enters Bosnia through Croatia to train and arm mujaheddin fighters there.
The 14-man team are smuggled into Bosnia one by one in December 1992. The team is said to be sponsored by a “mosque in Newark, New Jersey.” (Associated Press, 12/3/1995) Mohamed regularly trained militants at the Al-Kifah Refugee Center, an al-Qaeda front in the US, and there was a mosque associated to it in Newark. This effort takes place at a time when Al-Kifah is sending many US-based militants to fight in Bosnia. It will later be alleged that a US Army official met with people at Al-Kifah in December 1992 and offered to help with a covert operation to support Muslims in Bosnia. Twelve of the Americans leave within two months after training a group of 25 mujaheddin in insurgency warfare. But Mohamed and another American only known by the code name Abu Musa remain at Meskovic until June 1993, occasionally accompanying the mujaheddin on attacks behind Serb lines.
still looking for more connections b/w abu mansoor al amriki & ali mohamed, who was refered to as abu mohamed al amriki in AQ camps. [al amriki simply means "the american", as reportedly everyone in AQ camps were/are usually labeled according to the place where they're from]
Posted by: b real | May 2, 2008 11:18:44 AM | 62
Something must have happened we didn't hear about (yet):
World's central banks boost liquidity to tackle credit crisis
The Fed raised the amount of monthly lending available to banks by 50 billion dollars to 150 billion under the so-called Term Auction Facility, beginning next Monday.
The central bank also increased the size of its swap agreements with the ECB and the SNB and expanded the type of collateral that investment banks can use to obtain its loans.
I can't believe they would do this if there were not some immediated possible crunch underway? So who is short of bankcrupt now? Who needed this immediate fix?
Posted by: b | May 2, 2008 12:55:37 PM | 63
sami al haaj - the released al jazeera cameraman has not taken a vow of silence about his time under the empire's torture & imprisonment in afghanistan & guantanamo
on the contrary he is calling the nightmare by its real name. tyranny. he describes what the americans have done as beyond any normal form of human morality, human decency. he has described the endless & infinite cruelty of his captors. he speaks of rats as having more worth than the prisoners under the empire's control
al haaj - looks deathly & i would not be in the least surprised if he has some terminal disease - therefore his release
but even as a sick man his fercoty against the u s forces is extremely intense - the on ly parallels that seem appropriate are the gulags under stalin & the work camps under the nazis
what little has been revealed of his interrogation(s) in afghanistan & guantanamo is how clueless the misnamed intelligence services were with him - their lack of understanding of very simple geopolitics, about the arab media is astounding
i doubt there will be little commentary about al haaj - because his fury has such truth & resonance
Posted by: remembereringgiap | May 2, 2008 1:29:04 PM | 64
Alex Cockburn(!): Secret Bush "Finding" Widens War on Iran
Six weeks ago, President Bush signed a secret finding authorizing a covert offensive against the Iranian regime that, according to those familiar with its contents, "unprecedented in its scope."
Bush’s secret directive covers actions across a huge geographic area – from Lebanon to Afghanistan – but is also far more sweeping in the type of actions permitted under its guidelines – up to and including the assassination of targeted officials. This widened scope clears the way, for example, for full support for the military arm of Mujahedin-e Khalq, the cultish Iranian opposition group, despite its enduring position on the State Department's list of terrorist groups.
Similarly, covert funds can now flow without restriction to Jundullah, or "army of god," the militant Sunni group in Iranian Baluchistan – just across the Afghan border -- whose leader was featured not long ago on Dan Rather Reports cutting his brother in law's throat.
Posted by: b | May 2, 2008 2:03:51 PM | 65
it is astonishing these fools would want to widen the war into iran
'their' iraq is completely falling apart in whatever 'metrics' they want to measure it with
in afghanistan - this week showed that they do not even control kabul - with the taliban making clear they have a presence in the capital
as you & b real show us - they are extending the war in different ways all over africa
what kind of world is this
walter benjamin that great 'see-er' could not contemplate the monstrosities that constitute life under the empire
Posted by: remembereringgiap | May 2, 2008 6:47:10 PM | 66
I guess the Arab countries don't like Bush's new ME peace plan:
Without citing any by name, Rice exhorted donors that have pledged money to the Palestinian Authority to pay up.
World powers urge Arabs to honor Palestinian pledges
Always demanding but never delivering. Perhaps if Miss Rice directed the pledges to Hamas, the funds would start flowing quickly.
Posted by: Sam | May 2, 2008 7:03:17 PM | 67
the fed is now accepting student loans, car loans, and credit card debt as collateral on loans of "real" Federal Reserve Notes. what a scam. When they default, the Fed will stay solvent by not remitting interest to the government as it is supposed to, making it a taxpayer bailout of the big banks. I know it goes without saying, but you can add this to the file of proof that "the discipline of the market" is for the little people.
Posted by: boxcar mike | May 2, 2008 8:25:29 PM | 68
"Can the US bomb anywhere on the planet by playing the terrorist card?"
sure they can, and will. who's gonna stop them? international law is for countries we don't like. never does it apply to us our little apartheid ally in state terror Israel.
8 million unfriendlies eh U$? you better believe we're among them. might as well go ahead and work out a secret handshake so we all can hook up in the Halliburton gulag. where's our Siberia gonna be?
Posted by: ran | May 2, 2008 9:14:04 PM | 69
Since this is OT, have you noticed, or rather, not noticed since there aren't any,
*bees*? We have flower beds and vegetable garden already blooming. I've seen one
honey bee, one "drunk" disoriented bumblebee, half our carpenter bees hatched out,
hung around awhile, but were killed by two large hornets who have since left, and
today with the maples in bloom, in an entire hour outside, I say only one lonely
bee-fly, if you know what that looks like, and a paper wasp, but a bird got that.
To be honest, there aren't a hell of a lot of birds either. Basically Noah's ark.
Two junkoes, two chickadees, two canadian jays, two crows and two canadian geese,
who should be on their way up in Canada, but are probably the oversummering kind.
When I was a kid, we used to have whole trees full of cedar waxwings, cardinals,
blue jays, redwing blackbirds, towhees, now even the robins are just oneseys and
twoseys, so lonely I can call them to me. During the spring worm mate, hardly any
came out of the ground, although there seems to be a decent raucous of tree frogs.
Silent Spring alright. Monsanto won. Go Team!
Posted by: Remo Veyour | May 3, 2008 2:32:00 AM | 70
At #70, Remo.
LOTS of bees here in Tucson. I have a leaky hummingbird feeder and it attracts 50 to a hundred every day. It is scary because 95% of the honey bees in Arizona are now of the Africanized persuasion, which attack people easily. Think I'll retire that feeder.
Oh, about robins? We have 'em. A mother robin and her baby were basking on the front lawn the other day. I hear the baby say to mom, "I'm hungry, Mom. Where are we going to eat?" Mom looked around, thought about it, then said, "How about some Baskin Robbin?"
Posted by: Jake | May 3, 2008 11:55:58 AM | 73
Laura Rosen sees signs of something shaking on the Syrian front.
http://www.warandpiece.com/blogdirs/007349.html>Deputy something-or-other of State for the Near East,Feltman, meets for 2 hrs in D.C. with the Syrian ambassador, then flies to Damascus. Rosen says a meeting is rare, and 2 hrs indicates significant substance.
And she picks up a report from Forward that the US no longer opposes talks between Israel and Syria.
At the same time, Israeli police require an urgent meeting with Olmert in a fraud investigation. Olmert may well be implicated in fraud, but in the US such things only come to light when someone plays the card in a power struggle.
Posted by: small coke | May 3, 2008 8:26:06 PM | 75
I was sacrificing at the temple of Apollo and pondering which pony I should pick for the 2008 race when I came across this portentious omen. Not to beat a dead horse here, but I don't think you need to be the Oracle of Delphi to read that one.
Posted by: Monolycus | May 3, 2008 11:51:05 PM | 76
RV@70: that's a chilling and very sad post; a lonely strand in a heavy thread tracking the movement of puppets. i guess importing bees from other continents and driving them around in trucks to do their thing wasn't such a good idea.
Posted by: Lizard | May 4, 2008 1:09:07 AM | 77
China Hand: Tsewang Rigzin Gets Some Ink
Tsewang Rigzin, the head of the Tibetan Youth Congress, is getting some unwelcome attention from the Chinese press.
No wonder - he is threatening suicide attacks to "free Tibet" in an interview with an Italian paper. The guy has been living most of his life in the U.S. - his organization is financed partly by the NED ...
Posted by: b | May 4, 2008 1:21:27 AM | 78
IOZ denounces life long associate IOZ.
Posted by: ran | May 4, 2008 12:28:36 PM | 81
Maybe this will be a stick on the wheel oh the neocon chickenwahk machine? Hope so, whit a big bunch of others.
Posted by: Colombianonymous | May 4, 2008 2:12:15 PM | 82
This is funny.
An Evangelical Manifesto criticizes politics of faith
The real problem for the Winger Religious is that "love thy neighbor" Christians, or lefty Christians (apparently left-handed people are lovers), are starting to organize and forcing communal action that supports people, not overlords.
I'm pretty pleased to see evidence that the anti-Christs are getting worried.
Posted by: citizen | May 4, 2008 4:59:50 PM | 83
Looks pretty clear who's calling the shots, when it comes to the Maliki government, doesn't it.
Posted by: anna missed | May 4, 2008 9:06:46 PM | 84
Hezbollah training the Shiite resistance in Iraq, per unnamed American officials whispering in the ear of reliable court stenographer Michael Gordon.
and the drumbeat for yet another illegal war of aggression started on a pack of lies goes on.
Posted by: ran | May 4, 2008 10:42:34 PM | 86
Mystery of a killer elite fuels unrest in Turkey
In the coming days the Ergenekon investigation will reach its climax. According to newspaper reports, a long-awaited indictment will be issued by the state prosecutor. After successive waves of arrests, 47 people are in custody. They include senior figures in the ultra-right-wing Workers' Party, a dozen retired senior army officers, journalists and a lawyer accused of launching legal attacks that drove Nobel award-winning writer Orhan Pamuk from his homeland.
But for Mehmet Demirlek, a lawyer defending a colleague accused of being a key member of Ergenekon, the allegations are 'imaginary'. 'There is not a shred of truth in them,' he said. 'This is 100 per cent political. It has all been cooked up by the government and by the imperialist powers, the CIA, Mossad and the Jewish lobby and the European Union to eliminate Turkish nationalism. There is no such thing as Ergenekon.' His imprisoned client, Kemal Kerincsiz, told The Observer in an interview prior to his arrest he was a 'patriot fighting the disintegration of the nation'.
er, uh, wtf???
Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 5, 2008 1:55:18 AM | 87
"Immigration detention is the fastest growing form of incarceration in the US."
The Death of Boubacar Bah
Watch it and weep.
Posted by: Hamburger | May 5, 2008 4:14:50 AM | 89
more on my #87post...
The Ergenekon Affair:- The Killer Elite that fuels unrest in Turkey. On 22 January, Turkish police arrested 33 individuals, some connected with the military, in the largest concerted action against the "deep state" , which is heavily involved in Corporate Crime. This might resonate with some US observers.
Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 5, 2008 7:20:00 AM | 90
The Myanmar govt has announced that the cyclone which hit that nation over the weekend has caused a death toll of at least 10,000 people.
YANGON - Myanmar's military junta believes at least 10,000 people died in a cyclone that ripped through the Irrawaddy delta, triggering a massive international aid response for the pariah state in southeast Asia.
"The basic message was that they believe the provisional death toll was about 10,000 with 3,000 missing," a Yangon-based diplomat told Reuters in Bangkok, summarising a briefing from Foreign Minister Nyan Win. "It's a very serious toll."
Since this is Myanmar we are talking about, the tragedy is being used by the media to advance the aim of the re-colonisation of the country's hydrocarbon and mineral resources.
In fact the reason I linked to my local fishwrap is that most other stories (EG this BBC one)are written with a sub-text to advance the re-conquest rather than any attempt to rouse aid to this country which has been battered by the west's sanctions and now faces one of the worst natural disasters to hit anywhere this year.
The bbc persists in using Mynamar's slave name Burma as well as running allied articles such as Disaster tests Junta a blatant attempt to reduce empathy and therefore any assistance to this country, in order to favor england's recolonisation by ensuring the population suffer as much as possible.
The Herald story also repeats the assertion that the Myanmar govt doesn't want aid:
"At this moment as I understand it the Burmese government has not given them permission to go into the country," State Department spokesman Tom Casey told reporters.
This is kinda weird because I have just heard a Myanmar Govt official on the radio saying they have been asking for assistance and haven't blocked any of the few relief agencies which have come so far from entering Myanmar. You'll notice this Casey bloke hasn't actually said anyone had been blocked but that 'permission hadn't been given" Presumably he means that Myanmar hasn't assigned a mob of bureaucrats to ring every aid agency in the world and tell them they can come if they want. An unusual way of doing things since at other times when these NGO's are less worried about offending USuk, they behave more pro-actively and ask
if they can help before waiting for an invite.
This disaster has devastated much of the nation's infrastructure and in all likelihood the niceties of diplomatic protocol have had to be foregone while peeps get assisted. However it would be foolish to expect any such appreciation of that fact from our media.
Posted by: Debs is dead | May 5, 2008 4:41:10 PM | 91
@b the ironic thing about the story on Gitmo souvenirs is that it appeared in the Daily Mail, who on any other day would be screaming for people to rip the islamofascists hearts out.
As for the rest of it, sick as it is anything which keeps Guantanamo Bay in the minds of ordinary peeps is a good thing I guess.
"Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay" is another example of these mostly innocent inmates being exploited in the worst possible way; yet, the fact that anyone in amerika is thinking about Gitmo, about a subject the elites want 'forgotten' this election year must be considered to be a plus. And Harold and Kumar also shine a light on the day to day, petty but soul-sapping racism and denigration anyone of un-white complexion is forced to endure.
There is a great scene in the movie where Kumar is asked to step out of the line at LAX for 'further questioning' and when he accuses the uniform of being racist by racially profiling him (Kumar) the bloke replies with a straight face "You calling me a racist? I'm african-american, how can I be racist? Everyone nods their heads and says "Yeah How can you call an african american a racist. Like it was the fucking universal field theory, an absolute and immutable truth that afrikan-amerikans by virtue of their race, cannot ever be racist.
I'm sure that skit goes over the head of many an audience member but it does reinforce the subtext of the movie which strives to highlight an issue (the de humanisation of anyone who could be islamic (ie unwhite) by a sizeable sector of the community).
Maybe the "Camp Gitmo" beer coolers and T-shirts will jog a few consciences. Nothing else seems to. The global media are currently pretending that Iraq and most of the ME are invisible, no matter how many humans are killed there that day.
Last night on the BBC the newsreader was starting into the 4th or 5th story of the bulletin and he reads out. "2 Iraqi gunmen. . ." Then he stops for a minute, plainly listening to his earpiece then he says "Sorry I've read you that already".. pauses while he paws through what he has left in his stack of papers, discarding a couple more, before telling us yet another piece of 'gos' about the current tabloid distraction, "The animal of Amstetten." Needless to say he hadn't read anything about Iraq much less 'gunmen' at any time during that bulletin, or any others that night.
So since the media have decided that Iraq is off the agenda for whatever reason (ie the punters are tired of it or the bosses don't want such 'negativity' undermining the credibility of the choice between the three stooges in amerika) maybe promoting issues like Guantanamo Bay in other ways is the best technique.
Posted by: Debs is dead | May 6, 2008 3:55:15 AM | 94
adding on to #92
roger burbach: United States maneuvers to carve up Bolivia with autonomy vote
The US ambassador, Philip Goldberg, who was appointed by the Bush administration in September 2006, has maneuvered behind the scenes to support the political forces opposed to Morales and his governing party, the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS). It is notable that Goldberg came to Bolivia from Pristina, Kosovo, where as the US Chief of Mission, he played a central role in orchestrating Kosovo's independence from Serbia, which it had been a province of for centuries.
Last year Goldberg was photographed in Santa Cruz with a leading right-wing business magnate and a well-known Colombian narco-trafficker who had been detained by the local police. Then in late January of this year, the Embassy was caught giving aid to a special intelligence unit of the Bolivian police force. The embassy rationalized its aid by saying "the US government has a long history of helping the National Police of Bolivia in diverse programs." US-Bolivian relations were next roiled in February when it was revealed that Peace Corps volunteers and a Fulbright scholar had been pressured by an Embassy official to keep tabs on "Venezuelans and Cubans" in the country. Since Morales took office over two years ago, more than $4 million has been provided by the US Agency for International Development to the political opposition.
nikolas kozloff: U.S. is Promoting Secession in Bolivia
In an effort to rollback social and political change in Bolivia, the U.S has funneled millions of dollars to opposition groups through USAID and The National Endowment for Democracy. What’s more, USAID explicitly supports demands of the right wing for greater regional autonomy in the east.
It’s not the first time, however, that the U.S. has sought to encourage secessionist sentiment within South American regions possessing rich natural resources.
In 1908, the US helped to support a military coup d'etat in Venezuela launched by Juan Vicente Gómez. Gómez's primary goal was to establish a strong, centralized state. To achieve this, he would have to head off secessionist sentiment in the westernmost state of Zulia.
Gómez, a brutal dictator, could ill afford political problems in the west. Measuring 63,100 square kilometers, with 178,388 inhabitants in 1908, Zulia was not only large in terms of sheer land mass, but also economically important. When Gómez took power, Zulia had the most substantial budget of any Venezuelan state. The largest city, Maracaibo, had a population of about 39,000 at the turn of the century.
The discovery of vast oil deposits in Lake Maracaibo complicated matters somewhat for Gómez. U.S. President Warren Harding attached singular importance to promoting the expansion of U.S. oil interests abroad, and the State Department was riddled with officials compromised by conflicts of interest.
fpif: Chomsky on the Rise of the South
..what’s happening in Bolivia is a striking example. The mostly white, Europeanized elite, which is a minority, happens to be sitting on most of the hydrocarbon reserves. And for the first time Bolivia is becoming democratic. So it’s therefore bitterly hated by the West, which despises democracy, because it’s much too dangerous. But when the indigenous majority actually took political power for the first time, in a very democratic election of the kind we can’t imagine here, the reaction in the West was quite hostile. I recall, for example, an article - I think it was the Financial Times - condemning Morales as moving towards dictatorship because he was calling for nationalization of oil. They omitted to mention, with the support of about 90% of the population. But that’s tyranny. Tyranny means you don’t do what the United States says. Just like moderation means that you’re like Saudi Arabia and you do do what we say.
There are now moves toward autonomy in the elite-dominated sectors in Bolivia, maybe secession, which will probably be backed by the United States to try and undercut the development of a democratic system in which the majority, which happens to be indigenous, will play their proper role, namely, cultural rights, control over resources, political and economic policy, and so on. That’s happening elsewhere but strikingly in Bolivia.
upside down world: Santa Cruz Divided: Report from the Streets on Referendum Day in Bolivia
While the success and significance of the election remain under debate, our experience during Sunday’s Referendum exposed interesting themes as well as deep tensions in Santa Cruz.
In most of the neighborhoods we stopped in, people expressed a strong connection to Santa Cruz in different ways. In the Plan, supporters of MAS chanted "¡Viva Santa Cruz!" [Long Live Santa Cruz!] as they walked from the Rotunda to find ballot boxes to burn. For Magdalena, an apolitical migrant from Tarija, living and raising her children in Santa Cruz were two strong reasons she felt obliged to vote "Yes." For the middle-class residents of Alto San Pedro, their Santa Cruz is threatened by the influx of indigenous migrants from the highlands.
Feelings of exclusion ran throughout almost all of our testimonies. Many people told us that they voiced their opposition to the Autonomy Statutes because they felt that hta statuates were written behind closed doors and only served the rich. Supporters of the statutes overwhelmingly thought that Evo Morales neglected them, left them out, or even hated them.
Interestingly, only vocal supporters of the "Yes" vote made race the central focus of their discourse. Many of the youths who defended their neighborhood polling station in the Plan 3000 and the voters in Alto San Pedro told us that President Morales’ actions were only to benefit those of his race. They frequently declared – often in a starkly contradictory and defensive terms – that they were not racist, but rather that Morales was racist against people from Santa Cruz, or non-Indians. Although some of the Guaraníes we interviewed highlighted race as well, not a single resident of the Plan 3000 – most of whom were migrants of Quechua or Aymara descent – mentioned race or racism in their critiques of the Autonomy Statutes. Rather, they framed their responses in terms of class.
Finally, our discussions left us with a strong impression that Bolivia’s "process of change" has brought to the surface deep divisions in Santa Cruz. These rifts not only divide the rich and the poor, but as demonstrated on May 4, divide poor migrant barrios themselves.
Posted by: b real | May 7, 2008 11:05:39 AM | 96
transcript of the kevin phillips interview on democracy now tuesday
Kevin Phillips’s latest book is Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism. It’s the fourteenth volume in his series of reflections on US political culture, following his bestseller American Theocracy. Kevin Phillips joins us now from Houston, Texas.
good, concise survey of the stuff b & others have covered here
Posted by: b real | May 7, 2008 12:55:13 PM | 97
Speaking of Latin America: the "Merida Initiative," also known as Plan Mexico, a scarey funding of Mexican police and military in the name of the war on drugs, has been tacked onto the Iraq appropriations bill. Narco News, as usual, covers what others ignore:
Link to NarcoNews
Posted by: Red Rover | May 15, 2008 12:49:06 PM | 98
Sorry, y'all. Don't seem to have the knack of the link thing. Now I understand the various grumblings about TypePad. Mebbe you'll go there anyway.
Posted by: Red Rover | May 15, 2008 12:51:02 PM | 99