September 20, 2007 archive

Indian Boarding Schools: Cultural Assimilation and Destruction



As we have taken into our national family seven millions of Negroes, and as we receive foreigners at the rate of more than five hundred thousand a year, and assimilate them, it would seem that the time may have arrived when we can very properly make at least the attempt to assimilate our two hundred and fifty thousand Indians, using this proven potent line, and see if that will not end this vexed question and remove them from public attention, where they occupy so much more space than they are entitled to either by numbers or worth.

Calling Armando, Patriot Daily, VigKat, and other lawyers

Whadda y’all think of this email from John Conyers?  Is he following protocol and hoping to catch them up or wait for the WH/DOJ to refuse to prosecute?  Or is he blowing more smoke up our akoles? 

Four at Four

This is an OPEN THREAD. Here are four stories in the news at 4 o’clock to get you started. He who speaks the truth better have one foot in the stirrup.

  1. You want to know how special Blackwater is to the Bush administration? Then read ‘Where Military Rules Don’t Apply‘ by Steve Fainaru of the Washington Post:

    Blackwater USA, the private security company involved in a Baghdad shootout last weekend, operated under State Department authority that exempted the company from U.S. military regulations governing other security firms, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials and industry representatives.

    In recent months, the State Department’s oversight of Blackwater became a central issue as Iraqi authorities repeatedly clashed with the company over its aggressive street tactics. Many U.S. and Iraqi officials and industry representatives said they came to see Blackwater as untouchable, protected by State Department officials who defended the company at every turn. Blackwater employees protect the U.S. ambassador and other diplomats in Iraq.

    Blackwater “has a client who will support them no matter what they do,” said H.C. Lawrence Smith, deputy director of the Private Security Company Association of Iraq, an advocacy organization in Baghdad that is funded by security firms, including Blackwater.

    The State Department allowed Blackwater’s heavily armed teams to operate without an Interior Ministry license, even after the requirement became standard language in Defense Department security contracts. The company was not subject to the military’s restrictions on the use of offensive weapons, its procedures for reporting shooting incidents or a central tracking system that allows commanders to monitor the movements of security companies on the battlefield.

    “The Iraqis despised them, because they were untouchable,” said Matthew Degn, who recently returned from Baghdad after serving as senior American adviser to the Interior Ministry. “They were above the law.” Degn said Blackwater’s armed Little Bird helicopters often buzzed the Interior Ministry’s roof, “almost like they were saying, ‘Look, we can fly anywhere we want.’ “

    Please take the time to read this whole piece. There is a lot of information contained in it, including:

    • “We will not allow Iraqis to be killed in cold blood… There is a sense of tension and anger among all Iraqis, including the government, over this crime.” — Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

    • “They are part of the reason for all the hatred that is directed at Americans, because people don’t know them as Blackwater, they know them only as Americans… They are planting hatred, because of these irresponsible acts.” — an Iraqi Interior Ministry official BEFORE the shootout.

    • Coalition Provisional Authority administrator Paul Bremer issued the ‘above the law order’ on June 27, 2004, the day before he left Iraq.

    • Blackwater’s tactics are “obviously condoned by State and it’s what State expects”. — Jack Holly, a retired Marine colonel who oversees several private security firms as director of logistics for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    • “Blackwater has no respect for the Iraqi people… They consider Iraqis like animals, although actually I think they may have more respect for animals. We have seen what they do in the streets. When they’re not shooting, they’re throwing water bottles at people and calling them names. If you are terrifying a child or an elderly woman, or you are killing an innocent civilian who is riding in his car, isn’t that terrorism?” — Iraqi Interior Ministry official.

  2. In other Blackwater massacre news — Ned Parker of the Los Angeles Times reports Maliki insists U.S. find new guard firm. “‘This crime has inflamed contempt, hatred and anger both from the government and the Iraqi public,’ Maliki said. ‘Hence, it is important that this company’s activities be frozen and the American Embassy invest in the services of another one.’ ¶ Maliki reiterated that a preliminary investigation by the Iraqi government found that a Blackwater security detail had fired without provocation Sunday at a traffic circle in Baghdad’s Mansour district. As of Wednesday, 11 Iraqi citizens had died as a result of the shooting, Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf said.” The Washington Post confirms that Maliki is calling the Blackwater massacre a crime. According to the House Oversight Committee’s website, Chairman Henry Waxman has “invited” Erik Prince, Blackwater USA Chairman to testify before the committee on October 2, 2007. While Reuters reports that the U.S. says Blackwater still under contract in Iraq. “Embassy spokeswoman Mirembe Nantongo said the personnel involved in the incident would not leave Iraq before the investigation yielded results. ‘(Blackwater) are still here and still under contract from the State Department,’ she said. ‘Since they support chief personnel movement and we are not moving, there is no activity from Blackwater at the moment’ ¶ Nantongo said the joint Iraqi-U.S. commission would consist of eight members on each side. The U.S. mission’s charge d’affairs would head the U.S. side whilst Iraq’s defense minister would head the Iraqi side.” Oh, and adding to Secretary Condoleezza Rice’s apology on Blackwater’s behalf, BBC News reports that George W. Bush saddened by Baghdad shootout. “Obviously to the extent innocent life was lost, I’m saddened. Our objective is to protect innocent life… I want to find out the facts about exactly what took place there,” he said. AFP reports more of Bush’s remarks, “The folks like Blackwater who provide security for the State Department are under rules of engagement. In other words, they have certain rules. And this commission will determine whether or not they violated those rules.” (The White House has Bush’s press conference transcript available. On a semi-related note, Bush thinks the MoveOn Petraeus ad was “disgusting”.)

  3. Reuters reports that oil hits high over $82. “Oil hit a fresh record for the seventh session in a row on Thursday as companies shut Gulf of Mexico production on forecasts a tropical depression blowing through the region would become a storm. ¶ U.S. crude gained 11 cents to $82.04 a barrel at 1649 GMT after hitting an all-time high of $82.55 earlier.” While The New York Times reports the Euro has reached an all-time high against dollar. “The world dumped the dollar today, pushing it to an all-time low of $1.40 against the euro and to parity with the Canadian dollar for the first time in three decades as currency traders around the world digested the full implications of the Federal Reserve’s new course for interest rates.” And The Telegraph reports that Saudi Arabia might end its dollar peg. “Saudi Arabia has refused to cut interest rates in lockstep with the US Federal Reserve for the first time, signalling that the oil-rich Gulf kingdom is preparing to break the dollar currency peg in a move that risks setting off a stampede out of the dollar across the Middle East… ¶ The Saudi central bank said today that it would take “appropriate measures” to halt huge capital inflows into the country, but analysts say this policy is unsustainable and will inevitably lead to the collapse of the dollar peg. ¶ As a close ally of the US, Riyadh has so far tried to stick to the peg, but the link is now destabilising its own economy.” And, if Americans weren’t already screwed — the world is as well. The Independent reports that it is ‘Too late to avoid global warming‘ and AFP adds climate change is worse than feared.

  4. Al Gore pointing at you!Finally, for all you Al Gore fans, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that Gore is said It’s all up to you on Kyoto. “The former US vice-president Al Gore says a change of policy by Australia to support the Kyoto Protocol would be the final nail in the coffin of the Bush Administration’s opposition to the climate change treaty. ¶ Addressing a $1000-a-head business lunch at Darling Harbour, Mr Gore used one of his favourite lines – describing Australia and the US as ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ environmental outlaws – as he launched a passionate attack on the climate policies of John Howard and George Bush. He called on Australia to change course, saying if it did, ‘it would be impossible for the United States to withstand the pressure‘ to join the rest of the world in ratifying Kyoto. ¶ Mr Gore made his highly charged remarks, given the lead-up to the federal election, after reporters were asked to leave the room where the luncheon was being held… ¶ In the closed section of the lunch, Mr Gore partially endorsed remarks by the former head of the US Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, that the Iraq war was about oil. ¶ Mr Hawke asked Mr Gore about Dr Greenspan’s remarks, which caused political ructions in the US and forced a partial retraction by the former bank chief. ‘Was oil a big part of? Of course,’ Mr Gore said, but there were other reasons, including Saddam Hussein’s past as ‘a brutal dictator’.””

One more story below the fold…

Thank you buhdy

My heartfelt appreciation for providing a forum to discuss the events surrounding 9/11.  For too long, too many have been afraid to confront the glaring holes in the official account, and I for one am happy that in a place with so many thoughtful and intelligent people, we might begin to have an honest and open discussion about this vitally important topic.

“Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage. But if we don’t practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us — and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan who comes along.” ~ Carl Sagan

I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think about me.

Meditations on the cause of suffering.

Is Harry Reid Ready to Fight?

Is Harry Reid ready to fight for those who fight for us? Is Harry Reid ready to fight for the Iraqi people? Is Harry Reid ready to fight for what’s best for the United States and the world? The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein seems to think so:

For the past few weeks, a cadre of close consultants advising Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, was split over how to approach the looming legislative battles on Iraq.

Those in favor of giving Republicans an opening for compromise outnumbered those who believed such a deal would fail politically. The former argued that “progress” on Iraq – in this case passing drawdown legislation even without a firm exit date – was preferable to passing nothing at all.

And we’ve all been expressing our feelings about that, just a bit.

Those in favor of giving Republicans an opening for compromise outnumbered those who believed such a deal would fail politically. The former argued that “progress” on Iraq – in this case passing drawdown legislation even without a firm exit date – was preferable to passing nothing at all.

Reid’s been holding regular meetings with:

-former advisers to President Clinton, Paul Begala and Stan Greenberg
-adviser to Senator Dodd, Doug Sosnick
-adviser to Senator Obama, Jim Margolis
-his own pollster, Mark Mellman
-his own advisers, Stephanie Cutter and Susan McCue

Their advice?

According to several sources, the majority of these consultants were touting the efficacy of a compromise with Republicans on Iraq legislation as recently as last week.

And Reid made a serious effort to recruit Republicans. We know how that worked out. How many times do Democratic leaders need to be told to ignore the advisers and follow their instincts?

This past Monday, Reid’s tactics changed.

Let me repeat that:

This past Monday, Reid’s tactics changed.

We’ve all been desperately waiting for that. And this:

According to party insiders who spoke to the Huffington Post, there is now almost complete unanimity among Reid’s circle that this is the best way forward.

Crashing and Burning In Wingnut Land

They have the White House, they have the Supreme Court, they have Congress locked up in a Filibuster Cell and have thrown away the key.  They have the DOJ and FBI and DHS and CIA and NSA.  They have 24/7 control over the corporate media, they have an endless supply of K-Street cash, they have police with itchy taser trigger fingers and Blackwater thugs with licenses to kill.  They have all the political and economic power that deceit, subversion, coercion, blackmail, and blood money can buy.

But they’re crashing and burning anyway.

Republicans are crashing and burning nationwide.  They’re crashing and burning in places they’ve never crashed and burned before, even when Herbert W. Hoover was The Decider. They’re crashing and burning in Kentucky, they’re crashing and burning in Missouri, they’re even crashing and burning in Utah.

I love the smell of Karma in the morning.  It smells like . . . victory.

No, The World Is ROUND, You Idiot

One of my big time pet peeves is how we as a society have completely bought into the idea that ‘Globalization is Inevitable and Good’. You see it everywhere, even on the so-called economic left. Most pundits, economic advisors, and hell even many of our trusted left-leaning fiscal bloggers all treat the issue as an unquestioned net plus for society.


My 9/11 Theory Vol. 1

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Of course we all know that 9/11 was a huge and tragic event for this country. All conversation about it should be handled in a very respectful manner and with immense sensitivity.

But it has become obvious over the years that we cannot just accept that the official story of 9/11 is one hundred per cent true. So it is not just a subject where we need to show sensitivity, but it is a controversial subject as well. This also must be handled delicately and with taste and decorum. Over the next several years I shall present my theories and views on 9/11 and what REALLY happened every week here on Docudharma.

With a subject as controversial as this, it is necessary to be able to go into great and exacting detail. But also to look at in the Big Picture. I intend to cover the subject COMPLETELY AND EXHAUSTIVELY so at the end, when I present my conclusions, there will be no possibility of doubt. But this is the beginning, an important place to start, so let us go there now and begin. Tonight in this comprehensive series, I bring you Vol 1 of what will be a shocking expose of our government and our nation….if not the world. Click now and follow me below for 9/11: The Beginning of the Story!

Pony Party…Wicked Edition

What would life be, without pony parties?  What would a pony party be, without music?  Indeed, life itself would quickly become a dull gray platter on which we are the overcooked vegetables, the intermittent rattle in life’s dashboard, the irregular hum of the midnight refrigerator to the dreaming joy of our existence.  And what better music for an existential soundtrack, of course, than show tunes?

Revisiting the Founders and Finding Myself

The recent essays about freedom, the use of police force (tasering) a student at a public speaking event, the failure of the Senate to restore habeas corpus, the continued use and sanction of torture, etc. led me to this morning’s thought process.

We have not only lost our way, but we’ve forgotten our common history.

Do you ever wonder? The Series

Do you ever wonder? Well, yes and so another foray into life’s conundrums big and small. 

You are invited to follow me below the fold.

Load more