November 16, 2007 archive

This is a test of the self-hypocritical network. Repeat, this is only a test.

Well I have seen some people comment that we are not allowed to critique Markos’s current Newsweek article, I wonder if this is not the same blind worship much derided on progressive blogs when it comes to Republicans unwaivering faith in George Bush. The second Markos decided to leave the safe confines of Daily Kos for a gig Newsweek, he became a public figure independent of Big Orange.

If some users feel it is out of bounds to culturally critique the massive of Markos, least we offend Daily Kos, are not unlike the purple-fingered Republicans who say you can’t disagree with the President because he is also Commander-in-Chief. How dare people purpose we practice self-censorship least we offend that user’s political meme leader. How dare people flirt with subjectigating free speech in the name of one blog’s sense of purity.

How dare people suggest we cannot disagree with Markos just because he started a liberal blog. If he had written this piece on Daily Kos, that’s private commentary, since he will tell you its his blog, his rules. But when he stepped out into the public domain of Newsweek, he stepped right into the line of fire for critique.

And here is mine. This is not against Daily Kos, which I am sure some users will try to hanger me with, it is about the Markos and his piece at Newsweek:

Four at Four

Some Friday afternoon news and open thread.

  1. The Guardian reports Cyclone Sidr kills more than 600 in Bangladesh. “Relief workers today struggled to reach devastated parts of Bangladesh after a powerful cyclone ripped through the country, leaving a trail of destruction that claimed more than 600 lives. Cyclone Sidr hit the country’s south-west coast yesterday after racing up the Bay of Bengal at a speed of 150mph. The winds triggered a five metre (15ft) high tidal wave that washed away three coastal towns. The government’s disaster agency put the confirmed number of dead at 606, but there were fears the death toll would rise considerably.”

  2. BBC News reports IPCC to warn of ‘abrupt’ warming. “Climate change may bring “abrupt and irreversible” impacts, the UN’s climate advisory panel is set to announce. Delegates to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agreed a summary of its landmark report during overnight negotiations here. Discussions were said to have been robust, with the US and other delegations keen to moderate language.” Typical and unacceptable.

    Among its top-line conclusions are that climate change is “unequivocal”, that humankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases are more than 90% likely to be the main cause, and that impacts can be reduced at reasonable cost.

    Reuters adds that “running to over 3,000 pages, the reports on the causes, consequences and possible remedies for climate change are being turned into a summary for policy-makers to make progress on the issue at the Bali meeting which is expected to lay down the climate change agenda after Kyoto’s first period ends in 2012.”

    AFP reports “The report will be officially adopted on Saturday, followed by a press conference attended by United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon… After Saturday, attention shifts to a key meeting in Bali, Indonesia, where governments must set down a “roadmap” for negotiations culminating in a deal to slash carbon emissions and help developing nations cope with climate change.”

  3. The Independent reports US power company linked to Bush is named in database as a top polluter.

    An American power company with close financial links to President George Bush has been named as one of the world’s top producers of global warming pollution.

    The first-ever worldwide database of such pollution also reveals the rapid growth in global-warming emissions by power plants in China, South Africa and India. Power plants already produce 40 per cent of US greenhouse gas and 25 per cent of the world’s.

    But it is the enormous carbon footprint of Southern Company – among the largest financiers of Republican Party politicians – which has raised eyebrows. Southern’s employees handed George Bush $217,047 to help him get elected twice, and they and the company have contributed an extraordinary $6.2m to Republican campaigns since 1990 according to the Centre for Responsive Politics.

    A single Southern Company plant in Juliette, Georgia already emits more carbon dioxide annually that Brazil’s entire power sector. The company is in the top two of America’s dirtiest utility polluters and sixth worst in the world.

  4. The New York Times reports a Federal appeals court rejects fuel standards on trucks. “A federal appeals court here rejected the Bush administration’s year-old fuel-economy standards for light trucks and sport utility vehicles on Thursday, saying that they were not tough enough because regulators had failed to thoroughly assess the economic impact of tailpipe emissions that contribute to climate change. A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco, voided the new regulations for 2008-2011 model year vehicles and told the Transportation Department to produce new rules taking into account the value of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The court, siding with 4 environmental groups and 13 states and cities, also asked the government to explain why it still treated light trucks – which include pickups, sport utility vehicles and minivans – more mildly than passenger cars.”

So, what else is happening?

As Bush destroys our military, Army desertion rates skyrocket

According to the Associated Press:

Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.


As DWG diaried, on Wednesday, a new study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reports that:

The prevalence of reporting a mental health problem was 19.1% among service members returning from Iraq compared with 11.3% after returning from Afghanistan and 8.5% after returning from other locations (P<.001). Mental health problems reported on the postdeployment assessment were significantly associated with combat experiences, mental health care referral and utilization, and attrition from military service. Thirty-five percent of Iraq war veterans accessed mental health services in the year after returning home; 12% per year were diagnosed with a mental health problem. More than 50% of those referred for a mental health reason were documented to receive follow-up care although less than 10% of all service members who received mental health treatment were referred through the screening program.

Now, let’s be clear about something: anyone who makes it through basic training is pretty damn tough. Tougher than most of us can imagine. It is not easy to break a soldier. It is not easy to drive a soldier to desert. It takes a special breed of irresponsibility and failure to drive up desertion rates. A special breed of irresponsibility and failure from above. Like from the very top of above. Like from the ostensible Commander-in-Chief.

As CBS News reported, in July:

About 38 percent of soldiers and 31 percent of Marines report psychological conditions such as brain injury and PTSD after returning from deployment. Among members of the National Guard, the figure is much higher – 49 percent – with numbers expected to grow because of repeated and extended deployments.

And this list of links explains why:

How Big A Loser Is Freddie Prinze, Jr.?

This big:

As a fifth anniversary gift to her husband, Freddie Prince, Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar has changed her name to Sarah Michelle Prinze.

“On their anniversary, she showed [Freddie] her new driver’s license,” the source tells Us. “It was so sweet.”

. . . I’m always shocked when a famous woman changes her name to that of her less-famous husband. I mean, isn’t name recognition incredibly important? If I saw “Sarah Michelle Prinze” on a movie poster, I would just assume it was a newbie actress I’d never heard of. . . .

Prinze is, of course, a no talent loser who has done all he can to destroy Sarah Michelle Gellar’s career out of jealousy and spite.

NOTE: This is part of my continuing jihad against Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Bruce Lee on the Iraq Moratorium!

(Before I start using water as a metaphor, I would like to ask all of you to turn your attention to Bangladesh for a moment….thank you)


It goes without saying that the louder we yell to stop the Iraq War the better. The more people marching the better. The more blogging against it the better. The more we can CRASH against the reality of Bushco’s occupation of Iraq the better. That is what we would all like to see happen. And that is what did happen before the War. Millions of people all over the world crashed into the streets to protest the lunacy and immorality of these illegal actions. Brave souls continue to hit the streets to this day.

But as we all know, that didn’t work out as well as we had hoped. Eventually the flood of protest broke up into smaller streams, that were easier for the politicians and press to ignore.

Setting the narrative on the Iraq spending bills

No doubt there will be much whining, hand-wringing and finger pointing by the republicans, the talking meatsticks and whoever else in the right wing noise machine with respect to the two votes on the Senate floor regarding the Iraq spending bills.  For those who didn’t follow what has happened over the past couple of days, the short answer is this:

  • The House passed a bill that would give $50 billion, largely tied to bringing the troops home.  While it is far from perfect, it did get support from some of the Out of Iraq Caucus;
  • The Senate had two bills introduced today, both of which did not have 60 votes.
  • Reid introduced a bill that basically mirrored the House bill – it “failed”, 53-45
  • McConnell introduced a bill (without consulting Reid) that would give $70 billion with no strings attached.  That bill failed, 45-53.

I Apologize – An Explanation Of Sorts

Just dropping in for a few minutes to thank essayists, commenters and participants.  And to apologize for not engaging by reccing, commenting, etc. on the blog.

‘Net access is sporadic at best, and I don’t have any ability to predict when I can read. Chaos is my norm.

I have many days and nights where words don’t come easily – and many more when they don’t come at all. When they do, I try to do “remedial” work here and catch up with recs, a few comments and the occasional email to thank people for efforts and accomplishments.

I appreciate what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.


Feeling guilty? Buy an M-Day indulgence

Happy Moratorium Day, Bucko.

What’s that?  You say you’re not planning to do anything today for the Moratorium; too stressed out, overbooked, busy, sick, exhausted and who knows what all?

And if you weren’t in sad enough shape, you’re feeling just a teensy bit guilty about not doing something, anything to stop the war today?

Well, Bucko, we’ve got just the solution for you:  Buy yourself an indulgence.

Simply go to the Iraq Moratorium website and make a contribution.  A one-time donation of any amount counts as doing something.  And the Moratorium desperately needs the dough.

Of course, if you don’t intend on doing anything on the third Friday of coming months, either, you might want to consider a monthly pledge — sort of a plenary indulgence that will keep you in the state of grace right on through.

Pony Party, home for the holidays?

According to this Yahoo!News article, the Pentagon has opened up ‘military only’ air lanes to accomodate increased holiday travel…

Bush called holiday travel “a season of dread for too many Americans.” He said the problems with delayed flights are “clear to anybody who’s been traveling. Airports are very crowded. Travelers are being stranded and flights are delayed, sometimes with a full load of passengers sitting on the runway for hours.

“These failures carry some real costs for the country, not just in the inconvenience they cause but in the business they obstruct and the family gatherings they cause people to miss,’ the president said. “We can do better.”

There will also be changes in staffing and allocation of resources that will focus the FAA on getting planes to run on time, planned for both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  [no surprise that no other ‘holidays’ were mentioned by name, is it?]

….ALMOST makes it seem like they care…..

as always, the floor is yours.  just please don’t recommend the pony party…


Docudharma Times Friday Nov. 16

This is an Open Thread: The debate starts now

Headlines, Calif. Court Rejects SUV Mileage Rules, Scientists Fault Climate Exhibit Changes, Poor Are Lagging in Hurricane Aid From Mississippi, Two Koreas agree rail timetable, U.S. to urge compromise in Pakistan, Balibo Five deliberately killed: coroner, A ‘battlefield of the mind’ in Iraq, Jordan’s Islamists Seek Offices Their Allies Scorn, Cypriot seeks to unravel curse with pants and egg, Powerful quake on Peru-Ecuador border, UN criticises Rio police killings, Hundreds of Nigerian robbers shot

Officials: Bangladesh cyclone kills at least 242 and some 650,000 others displaced by the storm, which is packing 150 mph winds and expected to cause severe flooding.

DHAKA, Bangladesh – A cyclone that slammed into Bangladesh’s coast with 140 mph winds killed at least 242 people, leveled homes and forced the evacuation of 650,000 villagers before heading inland and losing power Friday, officials said.

Tropical Cyclone Sidr roared across the country’s southwestern coast late Thursday with driving rain and high waves. The storm left about 242 villagers dead from falling debris, said Nahid Sultana, an official at a cyclone control room in Dhaka.

What are you reading?

Just the usual list this week.  Suggestions for topics are welcome.

If you like to trade books, try BookMooch.

What are you reading?  is crossposted to daily Kos

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

The muses are ancient.  The inspirations for our stories were said to be born from them.  Muses of song and dance, or poetry and prose, of comedy and tragedy, of the inward and the outward.  In one version they are Calliope, Euterpe and Terpsichore, Erato and Clio, Thalia and Melpomene, Polyhymnia and Urania.

It has also been traditional to name a tenth muse.  Plato declared Sappho to be the tenth muse, the muse of women poets.  Others have been suggested throughout the centuries.  I don’t have a name for one, but I do think there should be a muse for the graphical arts.  And maybe there should be many more.

Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…

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