October 13, 2007 archive

(Update) H.R. 3585: Native American Heritage Day

Well, I must say I’m pleasantly surprised.


To honor of the achievements and contributions of Native Americans to the United States, and for other purposes.

Let’s find a way to make it happen and in a good way, please.

This bill is in the first stage of the legislative process where the bill is considered in committee and may undergo significant changes in markup sessions. The bill has been referred to the following committees:

Let Atlanta Die of Thirst

(Crossposted at the Orange Vortex of All Futility and Despair)

I’m not sure we need to help Atlanta with their water problem. They’ve had more than enough time over the last 7 years of our Glorious Decider’s reign to purge their local government of the anti-American elements that have no doubt worked successfully to deprive Atlanta of access to water at free-market prices. See, this is what happens when you have bloated and corrupt liberal government approach to providing services like water. If people would pay for water, they would have it, it is just that simple. Where are the entrepreneurs towing icebergs from the North and South polar regions? Note to Al Gore: those icebergs are going to melt anyway, why not use them for drinking water? This problem is Atlanta’s to solve. No bleeding-heart liberal water bail-outs for those lazy freeloaders, I say. If they want water, they can pay $1.75 a liter like everybody else from the convenience store. Its these water utilities providing 1000 liters of tap water for 2 cents that are causing these shortages, you know. Things aren’t priced right, there are shortages. Maybe they’ll figure out that dying of thirst is more painful than shelling out a fair market price to Aquafina or Costco.

Four at Four

This is an OPEN THREAD. Here are four stories in the news at 4 o’clock to get you started. Hearts are the depositories of secrets. Lips are their locks, and tounges are their keys.

  1. Kevin Doyle, reporting for The Guardian from Rangoon, writes After the riots, Burma returns to an unspoken terror. “With only 30 minutes to curfew, no one takes chances with the Burmese military these days…”

    With the killing of an unknowable number of peaceful protesters and the imprisonment of thousands more during the pro-democracy demonstrations last month, many people fear reprisals by the military. At the Shwedagon pagoda, the nucleus of the protests, the military is still in force. Wearing steel helmets, flak jackets and carrying extra ammunition, the number of troops far exceeds the few old monks who potter among the golden spires of what is the spiritual centre of Burmese life…

    Sources said that around 1,000 monks had lived and studied at these small monasteries, but where they have gone is not a question that anyone ponders aloud. One man simply put his wrists together in the sign of locked handcuffs when asked where they are.

    “We cannot speak. We cannot defend. We have no weapons. They have all the weapons,” said another 30-year-old man, who cannot be identified for his own safety.

  2. Ian Black of The Guardian reports, The honeymoon for is ending on ‘mission impossible’. Reality has begun to sink in for Tony Blair, former British prime minister, about his work as peace envoy.

    “Mr Blair was appalled by what we told him,” said Mats Lignell, spokesman for the international observers stationed here “temporarily” in 1994 after a Jewish extremist from the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba massacred 29 Palestinians praying in the Ibrahimi Mosque…

    “Blair was really astonished and angry,” says the UN official who gave him a presentation on the devastating effects of Israel’s “security barrier”, settlements, checkpoints, and closures on the lives of Palestinians in the occupied territories. “He asked very smart questions, though I did think that someone who was prime minister for so long should already have known these facts.” …

    Crucially, Mr Blair is keeping away from the Gaza Strip, which is under international boycott and cut off from the West Bank since Hamas took over.

    He has said privately that Israel and the Palestinian Authority will eventually have to talk to the Islamists. The hope is that success in the West Bank will demonstrate the achievements of the moderates and weaken Hamas – ignoring evidence, from Iraq and elsewhere, that sanctions and collective punishment do not work.

  3. Okay, this is coming from The New York Times, which has a history of manipulating the news to fit the Bush administration’s agenda, but the newspaper is reporting — ‘Analysts Find Israel Struck a Nuclear Project Inside Syria‘.

    Israel’s air attack on Syria last month was directed against a site that Israeli and American intelligence analysts judged was a partly constructed nuclear reactor, apparently modeled on one North Korea has used to create its stockpile of nuclear weapons fuel, according to American and foreign officials with access to the intelligence reports…

    Many details remain unclear, most notably how much progress the Syrians had made in construction before the Israelis struck, the role of any assistance provided by North Korea, and whether the Syrians could make a plausible case that the reactor was intended to produce electricity…

    There wasn’t a lot of debate about the evidence,” said one American official familiar with the intense discussions over the summer between Washington and the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel. “There was a lot of debate about how to respond to it.”

    Okay, once again the legitimacy of the “evidence” isn’t being questioned. Just like they “knew” where the WMDs were hidden in Iraq. Plus, Bush has advocated increased use of nuclear energy, which a Syrian (or Iranian) reactor could be used for, to counter climate change, but then they go an bomb any nation they don’t like that is building a reactor. Plus, these are the same people that claim the scientific evidence of global warming isn’t conclusive, but don’t even bat an eye at evidence of a nuclear weapons program in Syria? And still there are some people that believe Republicans are strong on security? Oy vey!

    Also, remember this partially contradicts what Night Owl relayed that Laura Rozen wrote about the attacks and a recent scud missiles shipment coming from North Korea; however, the North Korean angle is the same. But this whole Syria nuclear bit, to quote Yogi Berra, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

But that’s not all, Four at Four continues with today’s episode of “Guns of Greed” and an article about the “doomsday” seed vault in Norway. It’s a great story, so please make the voyage to the frozen land below the fold…

What is Science: and what has Bush done to it?

(A rehash of a dKos diary from 8/27/2007 in honor of President Al Gore).

Science was the boring class you had to take in school where the teacher droned on and on about stuff you already knew, or didn’t care about.  No, not really, although that is the only thing a lot of people know about science. 

Let’s try a different definition.  Science is the systematic gathering of data and the forming of theories to explain this data.  This is a better definition, but kind of dry.  Science is really all about model building.  (No, not model cars).  The models I’m talking about are mathematical, or systematic models (called theories).

Note :  Don’t use Wikipedia for reference material,  I’ve learned since I wrote this that information from Wikipedia is alway suspect because Anyone can edit it. It can be a useful tool when doing research, but realize that it is not a source you want to reference.

(I was brand new at the time)

More below the fold.

Mining Sovereignty in the Black Hills

Kevin Woster:

Many years ago, the federal courts ruled that the Black Hills of western South Dakota had been taken illegally from the American Indian tribes –

As governor, would you consider transferring Bear Butte State Park land and management to a consortium of American Indian Tribes as a gesture of  reconciliation from the state?

Mike Rounds, Republican candidate in 2006:

“I do not believe that Bear Butte State Park, and it is a state park,
should be transferred to a Native American tribe.

I’m not sure which Native American tribe you might suggest (that) you hold
that they are all sovereign.

SD Governors Discuss Bear Butte

What a convenient point of view.


From Teacher’s Lounge.


I look around at a whirlwind of disaster, even having happened already or imminent.  But in crisis lies opportunity, I am told.  I’ve more often found that in crisis lies stress.

Yesterday I had to empty almost ever box of papers I possess (at least any such box which has been open in the past three years) looking for my divorce decree.  Then in the afternoon Debbie and I went and filed for our New Jersey Civil Union license.

The upshot is that the house is a disaster area.  Check that.  It’s more of a disaster area than it was.  It’s midterm week, so housework has not been done for quite some time.

It’s hard work fighting an army of strawmen

You have to feel for our conservative, neoconservative, right wing and keyboard kommando brethren.  I mean, there is just so much that they are up against.  With total control of Congress for over a decade, the White House and the Judicial Branch for at least the past 6 years (longer if you count how many Supreme Court Justices have been appointed by republicans) and near total control of the political, economic and foreign policy agenda – it is tough to find others to blame when shit meets fan and it all blows up in their face.

Dispatches From The Abyss

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This morning (here) I am just going to start writing and see what comes out! I think I will write about writing….and see where that goes as the words come out!

Ok, I know this is a good thing….but not all good things feel good at the time they are happening. Like Shots. But the current good thing is a change in how I write. Or when I write, or perhaps why I write. But certainly when I write. And now…..what I write as well.

Pony Party

Due to scattered, random questions pondering just what a ‘Pony Party’ is, I’m re-posting an edited portion of a previous Pony Party

Pony Parties should appear in the ‘Recent Essays’ section of your DocuDharma Front Page 3 times a day, 9 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. Eastern.  They serve as open fora, so feel free to ‘pimp’ an essay, say hello, vent, or throw up a plethora of ponies and pooties.  Basically, the floor is yours. 

They appear in the essay column, and due to their frequency and the additional open fora that will appear on the Front Page (more on that later), are meant to scroll away.  So please, don’t recommend the Pony Party essay.  I know it’s tough.  You’re nice people, and you like to give acknowledgment.  Trust me, we won’t take it personally.  But you know who might?  The person who gets bumped off of the Recommended Essays list by a Pony Party.  Put yourself in his/her shoes.

Doing it for Ourselves 1.4: Global AlGorhythm [UPDATED!]




I just returned from the AZ Democratic Progressive Caucus meeting, one hour of which consisted of a presentation by Scotty Johnson who works for the Arizona chapter of  Defenders of Wildlife. Mr. Johnson recently trained with Al Gore in Tennessee and now gives presentations around the region to spread the message. The presentation he gave today was called, The Climate Crisis: Awakening to Our Greatness. See the bottom of the essay for my summary of his presentation.




The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don’t say, ‘Well, I read a science fiction novel that told me it’s not a problem.’ If the crib’s on fire, you don’t speculate that the baby is flame retardant. You take action.  ~ Al Gore




Good morning dharmapseudical dharma bums and misc dhrarmestids. I decided to put together a quicky for the series this morning in honor of Al Gore’s and the IPCC’s achievement of co-winning the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday. Below you’ll find some relevant links with lots of action information contained within.

Pony Party, Now Playing

Opening this weekend:

Elizabeth, the Golden Age (link)

Starring Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush, to mixed reviews.

From Entertainment Weekly

“A production of exquisitely complicated wigs and expensively grand wide shots, it pauses often to admire its own beauty, leery of messing with previous success.”

How to move the Democrats to the left

How do we move the Democratic party, and the nation, to the left? 
How do we become a more progressive nation?

I think that our approach must take two forms.  We must change our leaders in tow ways.  First, by replacing bad politicians with better ones, and second, by changing the politicians while they stay in office.  Nice as it would be to replace a few hundred representatives and a few dozen senators with clones of Dick Durbin and Diane Watson (the most liberal senator and representative, per National Journal) it isn’t likely to happen.  In the meantime…

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