January 2, 2008 archive

Important If True

“Important If True” is an irregularly-scheduled Mojo Swap Meet wherein the diarist cobbles together a collection of seemingly random thoughts, no single one of which, taken by itself, may be worthy of attention, but which, when presented en masse in a veritable mélange, a pastiche, as it were, of cerebral offal, might thus put to rest any niggling doubts that you may have had about whether the effort would be worth it. Or, to paraphrase someone, you should waste no time in reading this . . .

- but definitely spread the mojo around in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Four at Four


  1. Awesome news oil users! According to the Canadian Press, Iraq increases oil exports in 2007, expects higher production in 2008. “Iraq’s oil exports shot up in the last quarter of 2007… the exports, about 1.6 million barrels a day… had grossed a total of US$4.94 billion in November, which made up more than 90 per cent of Iraq’s revenues.” The New York Times notes Oil hits $100 a barrel for the first time. “Oil prices reached the symbolic level of $100 a barrel for the first time… Oil prices… have quadrupled since 2003.” Mission Accomplished!

    Meanwhile, the NY Times also reports that 30 people are dead in Baghdad’s worst attack in months. “A suicide bomber strode into a gathering of mourners at a home in eastern Baghdad and detonated an explosives-packed vest… The force of the blast scattered severed arms and legs about the site of the attack, a house where scores of friends and relatives had gathered to pay tribute to a man killed three days earlier by a car bomb in Tayaran Square in central Baghdad.” And another attack is reported on by the NY Times, Female bomber attacks pro-American Iraqis. “For the second time in three days, a woman detonated an explosive vest on Wednesday amid a group of armed Sunni tribesmen… killing at least seven people, including a tribal chief known as Abu Sajad, a leader of the local Awakening Council, and injuring 22 others.”

  2. Well at least there’s Iowa. According to the Los Angeles Times, Republican base scatters to rival camps. “The long-standing coalition of social, economic and national security conservatives that elevated the Republican Party to political dominance has become so splintered by the presidential primary campaign that some party leaders fear a protracted nomination fight that could hobble the eventual nominee… That instability has fueled fears that if a winner does not quickly emerge in a primary calendar loaded with contests in January and early February, a prolonged primary fight could delay the GOP’s focus on election day in a campaign in which Democratic voters already have contributed more money and, according to several polls, expressed greater satisfaction with their choice of presidential contenders.” And what could help the Republicans? “Republicans argue that in the end, Clinton may prove the great unifier of the GOP. If she wins the Democratic nomination, they say, Republicans of all stripes will rally in their shared loathing of her.”

  3. The good people of St. Paul and Minneapolis are already taking to the streets to protest the Republican National Convention, according to the Associated Press. “A few dozen anti-war protesters marched Wednesday from the state Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center, hoping it will guarantee them to chance to hold a demonstration along the same route during the Republican National Convention in September… They contend a St. Paul ordinance allows permits for recurring events to be considered and granted outside the six-month permit window used to assess single demonstrations. But the lead St. Paul police official warned that it’s not so clear cut… St. Paul police authorized the January event, but only conditionally approved the marches through July.”

  4. Lastly, a big hello to the NSA and all the other government agencies that could be sniffing this post. The Associated Press reports United States near bottom of global privacy index.

    Individual privacy is under threat around the world as governments continue introducing surveillance and information-gathering measures, according to an international rights group.

    “The general trend is that privacy is being extinguished in country after country,” said Simon Davies, director of London-based Privacy International, which released a study on the issue Saturday. “Even those countries where we expected ongoing strong privacy protection, like Germany and Canada, are sinking into the mire.” …

    Malaysia, Russia and China ranked worst, but Great Britain and the United States also fell into the lowest-performing group of “endemic surveillance societies.” …

    U.S. President George W. Bush’s administration has come under fire for monitoring – without warrants – international phone calls and e-mails involving people suspected of having terrorist links. Davies said little had changed since Democrats took control of Congress a year ago.

    Here is the 2007 International Privacy Ranking. Hat tip Turkana @ The Left Coast… I hope you post that essay more widely.

Stonewalled by the CIA — the 9/11 Commission

No, this isn’t a conspiracy theory diatribe.  This is from an editorial in the NY Times by the two lead investigators of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton.

I’m sure this won’t get much press because it’s SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING to sit around and speculate about who’s going to win the Iowa Caucuses tomorrow.

But here’s the deal:  Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton have written an op-ed in the New York Times accusing the CIA of nothing less than obstruction of justice in their 9/11 investigation.

Why?  Because the CIA lied to them, and they know the CIA lied to them.  Maybe I should let them explain it:

Jon Bon Jovi: NOLA Needs You

I understand per a cable news report I heard New Year’s Day that you have been completed renovating several homes for the poor in ….North Philadelphia. Which suggests to me that the need for affordable housing is a cause near and dear to your heart.

This is not to take away from the need there, but right now there’s another American city, struggling for her survival, where people are suffering, which needs your help….

Why Obama has to be a Moderate

African American athletes now openly speak their minds and express themselves somewhat freely on collegiate and professional athletic fields. We all know that this was not always the case. It took a special person who could smile graciously as white people spit at, threatened and abused him for participating in what they considered to be their sport being played in their country to open up athletics to people of color. That person was Jackie Robinson. There were many great black baseball players in Jackie Robinson’s day, and many great black athletes, but Jackie was special. He was neither hateful nor vindictive. He did not give his ‘haters’ anything to feed on. Jackie was a uniter.

My diaries and essays at dkos and Docudharma are generally about spirituality, homesteading and the in’s and out’s of abuse. I do not believe there is a political solution to the enormous challenges that humanity faces. My small hope from politics is that we get someone to stop the bleeding. I do not view the current candidates as saviors and, to some extent, I believe that most of them have to be corporate puppets to some extent or they wouldn’t even get a second look.  

Cross posted at dkos

It’s accountability, stupid!

With the comment, “We were stonewalled by the CIA”, the co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission once again highlight what is a major problem for the people of this country. We have allowed the current caretakers of our government to do as they wish, say what they want and to do so with no accountability repercussions. They are, literally, getting away with crime. Today, The Huffington Post reports and Glen Greenwald blogizes on the CIA matter.


Pony Party: Left vs. Right Brain w/poll

Cue music—

Here is an illusion that is supposed to indicate whether you are Left-brained or Right-brained.

via videosift.com

If you see her twirling Counter-clockwise you are left-brain dominant.  If you see her twirling Clockwise you are right-brain.

uses logic uses feeling
detail oriented “big picture” oriented
facts rule imagination rules
words and language symbols and images
present and past present and future
math and science philosophy & religion
can comprehend can “get it” (i.e. meaning)
knowing believes
acknowledges appreciates
order/pattern perception spatial perception
knows object name knows object function
reality based fantasy based
forms strategies presents possibilities
practical impetuous
safe risk taking

I am left-brain all the way. I can’t even conceive of how she could be rotating the opposite direction.  It’s not logical!

Don’t rec the Pony Party.  This is an Open Thread.   Keep dancing!

A Twist of Fake

Unlike many immigrants to the United States, I had no dreams to drive me. I came on a TN Visa, married an American, and ended up staying. Nothing interesting. Nothing dramatic.

But a curious metamorphosis has engaged me…. I am neither. My attachment to concepts of nationalism and national identity has dwindled. I was always highly suspicious about the darker implications of nationalism. When I go home to visit friends and family in southern Ontario, they often irk me with their knee jerk nationalism that is composed almost entirely of smug anti-Americanism. It has no substance, no real history or meaning just a sense of relief that they are not American. It isn’t even an anti-Americanism that can be salvaged and made into something more promising, no roots in international brotherhood peace and good will. Never mind that southern Ontario stretching from the Niagara region to the GTA is full of suburbs that are indistinguishable from American suburbs, never mind that the malls are full of chain stores from the United States, never mind that Canadians watch American TV and movies. Never mind that the United States is Canada’s largest trading partner and vice versa. Without Toronto, southern Ontario would be a suburb of the United States, although it now looks vastly different from the area I grew up in.


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2008 Year of the Mouse

Anytime the aspirations of Andrew Sullivan, George Will and Markos all congeal around the same Ivy league lawyer the rest of us have cause to pay attention.  Is a new day truly about to dawn in America?

Let’s hope not.

Pony Party, It’s a Philly thing….

The Mummer’s Parade is a New Year’s Day, Philadelphia tradition….and maybe it’s an acquired taste.  Somehow, all of that pageantry looks ‘normal’ if you’re from around here…  

Docudharma Times Wednesday Jan 2

This is an Open Thread: Please Relax

There’s More To Come


Caucuses Bring Power Only to Some in Iowa

DES MOINES – Jason Huffman has lived in Iowa his whole life. Lately he has been watching presidential debates on the Internet, discussing what he sees with friends and relatives. But when fellow Iowans choose among presidential candidates on Thursday night, he will not be able to vote, because he is serving with the National Guard in western Afghanistan.

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