October 13, 2007 archive

Saturday Morning News For Oct. 13

Its an Open Thread. Yea!

Brothers and sisters of the soul unite
We are one, indivisible and strong
They may try to break us
But they dare not underestimate us
They know our memories are long

Building Blackwater
Founder Seeks ‘Better, Smarter, Faster’ Security As History, Iraq Shape the Firm’s Fortunes

By Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, October 13, 2007; Page A01

MOYOCK, N.C. Erik Prince bounded up the stairs of a sand-colored building and paused on the flat roof, a high point of the 7,000-acre facility in North Carolina known as Blackwater Lodge and Training Center.

As owner of Blackwater, he has been the focus of intense scrutiny recently by Congress and critics because the company’s private security forces have at times operated with impunity in Iraq, including allegations that they murdered innocent civilians. But on a steamy afternoon this week, just days after testifying on Capitol Hill, Prince seemed like a king surveying his domain.

Key activists arrested in Burma
Burma’s military rulers have arrested three of the last remaining leaders of the recent pro-democracy protests which were violently suppressed.

Among those detained was Htay Kywe, who led some of the first marches and was a prominent activist in a 1988 uprising.

Pony Party, Busiest_Day_Ever_

Today was supposed to be a fun Saturday….

All I had to do was get Thing 1 up, dressed, medicated, fed, and wheeled over to my mother’s house in time to get myself and Thing 2 ready for our friend’s Bat Mitzvah….attend the Bat Mitzvah, swing by Thing 2’s cross-country meet (which we were missing) to pick up the flyers for the benefit run for Thing 1, get Thing 1 packed up to go to dad’s, swing back by the Bat Mitzvah luncheon to pick up Thing 2 to take her home to get ready for the party tonight, swing by the ex’s house to get Thing 1 changed, pick up a card for Thing 2’s friend on the way back, pick up Thing 2’s friend who lives 20 miles in the opposite direction and deliver her and Thing 2 to the Bat Mitzvah party…

Gen. Joe Ralston: Lies and Lockheed Behind the Bush PKK Turkey Crisis

Turkey is ready to invade and not over any US resolution .

If you don’t know who Joseph Ralston is, then George Bush is likely very happy. Because Joseph Ralston is the former NATO Supreme Commander George Bush appointed to prevent America’s exploding crisis with Turkey from happening. 

Except the general was gone. Just yesterday I wrote that Ralston quit suddenly on October 5th. Yet, there were inconsistencies in the few accounts I could find.

I was stunned to discover that Ralston actually quit in frustration months ago. Bush didn’t tell anyone and didn’t replace Ralston. Bush just pretended Ralston was working to end PKK attacks against Turkey all along. In part, no doubt, to avoid questions about Ralston’s other job.

Details below…

Blackwater: “Replicas of guns used to assassinate presidents” showcased by Erik Prince

Cross-posted on Daily Kos.

I’m going about my nightly survey of Blackwater news for today’s Four at Four and I’m reading a background story by Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Dana Hedgpeth in the Washington Post, ‘Building Blackwater‘ about how the company became so large and lucrative, and at the end of the piece there is this passage. Erik Prince, Blackwater CEO and owner, is showing the WaPo reporters, around his “7,000-acre facility in North Carolina known as Blackwater Lodge and Training Center.”

At the center’s original lodge, he proudly pointed out a stuffed bobcat, a wild turkey and a beaver that he recalled killing. The lobby of the Blackwater headquarters resembles a ski lodge with a twist: The front doors feature barrels from .50-caliber machine guns. Inside, a glass showcase displays replicas of guns used to assassinate presidents.

Holy Zarquon’s Singing Fish!

Questions Questions Questions

Howdy, I seem to be full of questions tonight so I figured I’s pose them to the group and see if anyone has practical knowledge or experience they’d like to share with the group.

1. How often should you change the oil in a farm tractor? 
1a. How do you test the hydraulics to know whether you need to add more fluid?
1b. How often should commercial sized mower blades be sharpened?

2. When establishing a driveway how far down should you dig before compacting and adding crusher run?

3. Besides pruning how does one revive old apple trees in a small orchard?

4. Any tips on growing grapes?  The vines are established but I don’t want to kill them by doing the wrong thing.

5. If you have added a sun room to your home recently did it involve pouring a pad, small foundation, or set posts?  How long did it take you?

Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes gay marriage. Again.

Not much to say about this. Except that assholes will be assholes.

San Francisco Chronicle:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday carried out his promise to continue to veto gay marriage bills.

The Republican governor turned down a measure by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, that would have lifted the state’s ban on same-sex marriages by defining marriage as a union between two persons, not just a man and a woman.

Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar Leno bill in 2005.

Can You Persuade Me to Support S-CHIP?

I pose this as a direct challenge to the community: can you persuade me to support the recently vetoed bill to expand S-CHIP?  Support for this bill, and for an attempt to override the President’s veto, is nearly universal here.  Despite that, I intend to challenge the community to justify this to me. 

It is not truly important for you to bother to do this.  I am only one person, and few people share my opinion.  Further, whether or not you agree with me, this is very advantageous political theater, and undermining it by seriously questioning its foundations has disadvantages.  That being said, I’ll make my case, and I’ll even give you reason to believe you can succeed in converting me.

Al Gore & Sri Chimnoy

I’ve been buzzing all day about Al Gore winning the Nobel prize!
I went to Google news and found he’s been the Dominator today, but at the bottom I found Sri Chinmoy!

Al Gore / Nobel Prize  3,499 news articles
Obama v Clinton  344 news articles
Astronauts  1148
HIV drug  276
Armenia/Turkey Vote  2118
Putin v US / Nuclear treaty  1,350
Bhutto/Musharraf Powersharing  615
Latin American Free Trade  298
Sri Chinmoy Died  175

I have a tin box that I keep special things in and one of them is a little red heart pillow from Sri Chinmoy.
I got it from a Persian Sufi named Hossein Foruzani who got up to go for a 5 AM run along Lake Washington with Sri Chimnoy.  I went to see Sri Chimnoy at Kane Hall, University of Washington.  He was carried in on a pillow by his entourage, and played God-inspired flute and painted spontaneously. 

Mahavishnu(inspired by Sri Chinmoy)

My blue-red heart shall face ignorance-base,
My blue-red heart shall face.
My green-white life shall fly
in oneness-sky,
My green-white life shall fly.
Sri Chinmoy (divinely inspired poem)

I read about Sri Chimnoy in the New York Post, which if I’m not wrong is a tabloid, and also the New York Times.

More about the wierd Sri Chimnoy, from the New York Times:
. born in India
. used strenuous exercise and art to spread message of world harmony and inner piece
. died at a concert
. was able to power lift pickup trucks
. lifted Muhammad Ali and Sting
. said he drew 16 million “peace birds”
. slept only 90 minutes a day
. wrote 1500 books, 115,000 poems, 20,000 songs, 200,000 paintings, gave 800 peace concerts
. advocated seemingly impossible physical challenges
. was an inspiration for Olympic sprinter Carl Lewis
. was guru to John McLaughlin and Mahavishnu Orchestra (a name he came up with) as well as Roberta Flack!
. had more than 7000 disciples when he died
. came from Bangladesh to NYC and worked as a clerk at the Indian consulate
. swam the English channel
. ran a 3100 mile race every year
. began lifting weights after a knee injury and lifted schoolhouses, airplanes and pickup trucks
. He also lifted Jesse Jackson, Eddie Murphy, Susan Sarandon, Yoko Ono, Desmond Tutu and Richard Gere as well as 20 Nobel Laureates and a team of sumo wrestlers, not to mention Sid Caesar and a (reformed) headhunter from Bornea.
. He lifted a Democrat (Representative Gary Ackerman) and a Republican (Representative Benjamin Gilman) at the same time, possibly his most amazing feat.
. Condolence letters were sent by both Mikhail Gorbachev and Al Gore.

The Dark Side of Sri Chimnoy, from The New York Post:

. He was just a “creepy Queens guru”
. he ran a “cult”
. he cased “disturbing personality changes” in members
. he ordered dreamy-eyed female followers to engage in exploitive sexcapades
. he summoned them for extended sex romps
. he ordered them to have sex with other women while he watched
. he paid for one’s abortion after he got her pregnant
. he was called “vindictive” by Carlos Santana, who jumped ship in 2000, and said, “He told all my friends not to call me ever again, because I was to drown in a dark sea of ignorance for leaving him.”
. he brainwashed people, according to cult deprogrammer Rick Ross
. he had a disciple who drowned in his own bathtub trying to perfect a stunt to impress him for a circus
. he had followers who tried to get attention by breaking records such as for underwater juggling, piggyback riding and balancing a pool cue on one finger
. he airbrushed pictures to exaggerate his weight-lifting prowess, according to his former photographer
. He died while waiting to hear if he’d won the Nobel Peace Prize for his “ceaseless efforts” with the United Nations (Chinmoy led a meditation group at the U.N. building). He didn’t.

Dsc01141 (photo by D. Grieser)

jay may be a troll, but pinche has been replicated

I hate to break it to you guys, but pinche tejano has been breached… and it’s hysterical…

here’s his front page piece at pff


and the repartee is great! enjoy…

Reading the Al Gore Tea Leaves

I love tracking stories online. 
But this one extends all over the place. 

I’m thinking my October 15th guess was dead on.

Fox News: “Al Gore Has Debased the Nobel Peace Prize”

crossposted at Daily Kos and Truth & Progress

Earlier this evening, I watched Fox News’ “All Star Panel” of talking heads.  It included Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke, and Nina Easton.  The moderator, Brett Baier, highlighted some Fox poll which showed non-candidate Al Gore with about 10% support among Democratic voters, third behind Hillary and Obama.  What’s noteworthy is that the poll was taken on October 10, 2007 BNPP (Before the Nobel Peace Prize).  But what really caught my attention was this insightful statement from Fred Barnes, who some of you may remember was once a liberal reporter for the Washington Star newspaper which went out of business in the early 1980’s

“Al Gore has really debased the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Which got me thinking.  Are there other such examples of people really debasing their chosen professions and dishonoring respected institutions in recent history?

The answer below the fold. 

Asian News For The Week of Oct. 8th

Here are the stories not reported by the mainstream press in America about Asia.

Monday October 8
Japan, Korea

Suicide issue heats up in Okinawa

Incensed by the government’s decision to expunge descriptions in school textbooks of the army’s involvement in wartime mass civilian suicides in Okinawa, survivors are coming forward with tales of Japanese soldiers encouraging islanders to take their lives.

In the meantime, the Okinawa prefectural assembly plans to compile an updated version of the prefecture’s history comprising witnesses’ accounts that local governments have gathered in recent years.

Supporters Foil Raid on UNDP Frontrunner’s Office
Police attempted a raid on the campaign office of United New Democratic Party presidential contender Chung Dong-young on Sunday, part of their investigation of whether a district councilor loyal to Chung hired college students to register electoral college members for the party primary stealing identities including that of President Roh Moo-hyun. But violent resistance from 20 members of Chung’s camp, who denounced the raid as a politically motivated scheme by pro- Roh forces to “suffocate the presidential contender,” foiled the raid.

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