February 10, 2008 archive

Dear Barack,

I hope you don’t mind me using your first name, but you have come to first name basis with America these days.

I’ll state right off, I am really on the fence about you.  But I am full of ideas and needed to share them with you.

You have a rare opportunity here, have you any idea how rare? People are looking to you with Messianic hope, thinking you will lead the Ghost Dance and put things back as they belong.

Hope, Faith, Unity and “Yes We Can!”

Just words, but when you lead people to believe them, you have a responsibility.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Gates in Iraq amid an explosion of violence

by Daphne Benoit, AFP

50 minutes ago

BAGHDAD (AFP) – US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Baghdad on Sunday on a surprise visit amid an explosion of violence across Iraq which officials said killed at least 35 Iraqis and 10 insurgents.

Gates, on his seventh trip to Iraq, was to meet the head of the US armed forces in the country, General David Petraeus, to discuss a possible drawdown of American troops, and top Iraqi leaders.

“I will obviously be interested in hearing General Petraeus about his evaluation, where he stands and what more work he feels he needs to do before he is ready to come back with his recommendations,” he told reporters travelling with him on the plane from Germany to Iraq.

A Tale of Two Letters, or On Moral Courage and Moral Cowardice

Kenneth S. Pope, Ph.D., a distinguished psychological researcher, and former Ethics chair for the American Psychological Association, as well as a recipient of the APA Distinguished Contribution to Psychology Award, has resigned from APA. He argues that in the post-9/11 environment, APA has changed its ethical stance in a way that distorts the principles of ethical psychological practice. In particular, he singles out APA’s stance toward the treatment of detainees in Bush’s “war on terror” prisons.

The letter is published at Counterpunch and at his own website, and is reproduced below, followed by another letter, from APA’s President and Chief Executive Officer to Attorney General Mukasey. Both are printed in juxtaposition here, as they offer an interesting contrast in emphases. First, Dr. Pope: Why I Resigned from the American Psychological Association.

How Obama can win a brokered convention: “Obama-Gore 2008”

x-posted to BooMan Tribune

I stand by my pessimism that Hillary Clinton can be driven out of the race prior to substantial losses in the likes of North Carolina, Indiana, and Kentucky in May.  I stand by my pessimism that the Clintons would be better positioned to twist arms in a brokered convention, and that Hillary would win in part by offering Obama the poisoned apple of the Vice-Presidency, which he will turn down.  But it has occurred to me that there is one way that Obama would be able to win over a brokered convention, and it would coincidentally lead to the best ticket and the best government we could rightfully expect.

He can convince Al Gore to become his Vice-President.

OAC Archive: The Job Guarantee and Poverty

From the One American Committee supporters blog, “Argument and Analysis” OpenMic post,

2/16.2006, posted here for archival purposes

When I was studying Economics in grad school, I had a crusty old professor who would say, “War on Poverty? If they really wanted to fight a war on poverty, they’d give the poor money, declare victory, and move on.”

Now, solving the problems of poverty is more complicated than that, but according to the Centre of Full Employment and Equity, here in Newcastle, Australia, solving the problem of unemployment is just about that simple.

Who are you?

I have often thought that most political disagreements break down along the lines of two slogans:

If you’re conservative you believe that everyone lifts themselves up by their own bootstraps.

If you’re liberal you believe that a rising tide lifts all boats.

We who are liberal tend to look at our collective responsibility to one another and cannot separate our sorrows, successes, failures and joys from those of others. I’d like to take a deeper look at this notion, something that was prompted by an essay written by Edger this week titled This Is Me in which he quoted Alan Watts:

This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin.

Afghanistan as Pretext for NATO Change: 2003 and Now

Today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke at the annual Munich Conference on Security Policy.  He reiterated Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s recent comments in London that NATO is at risk of collapse if member nations fail to meet their military obligations in Afghanistan.

In this diary we look back at the NATO takeover of leadership of (International Security Assistance Force) ISAF-Afghanistan in 2003, to see what US officials were saying at the time.  What we’re going to find is a continuing insistance from the US that the very viability of NATO depends on commitments to security in that non-NATO country.  Again and again, we see evidence that the real point of this near-hysterical rhetoric is to solidify a US-urged change in NATO’s mandate, from Eurpoean defense to world-wide interventionism.

Starting with Gates’ remarks today in Munich, we see a strange-seeming doomsdayism about the importance of NATO participation in Afghanistan.

American Legion Scamming Veterans?

They want you Vets to believe they’re not, it’s All a Mistake!

Or so they , quickly? backtracked, only after one Retired Air Force Major, Robert Hanafin, sent the letter to ABC News, you’ll find that link, in PDF, below as well as they’re apology in PDF.

Bobby, is not one you want to piss off.

Oh and it seems the Veterans Charities, those given extremely low grades on actually helping Veterans, while doing more to help themselves, are still playing their game, more about that below.

Could this be why, the right leaning American Legion, has been virtually Quiet, along with the VFW, on all the reports coming to light about treatment, and shortchanging Again, of the returning Iraq and Afgan Veterans, to busy figuring ways, Illegally, to enhance their dwindling membership and coffers!

We have a problem that every American should be FULLY aware of. Part One

Series of two to be posted from Sancho Press on Docudharma, Turn Maine Blue, DailyKos and sent to the Communications Director (per her request) for Congressman Michael Michaud, Maine 2nd district, member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  


If you REALLY want to know what problems our troops and veterans are battling, then you might want to take that one hour to read and watch these. It took me about 90 minutes to read every word and watch every video. I have TBI and am not the sharpest tack in the box. It took me MUCH longer to compile excerpts from 27 articles, videos and photos.  

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Big Brother and the Holding Company:  Cheap Thrills

Combination of the Two

Docudharma Times Sunday February 10

This is an Open Thread: Well lay on the grass And let the hours pass

Sunday’s Headlines: Obama Gets Convincing Wins in 3 States: Proposal in Texas for a Public-Private Toll Road System Raises an Outcry: Diary of an Insurgent In Retreat: KGB defector fears he will be next Alexander Litvinenko: Residents protest Peru tourism expansion: Barbados begins to revisit its past: Indian Discontent Fuels Malaysia’s Rising Tensions

Gates: NATO survival at stake in Afghanistan

U.S. defense chief warns disputes could split NATO into ‘two-tier’ alliance

MUNICH, Germany – Survival of the NATO alliance, a cornerstone of American security policy for decades, is at stake in the debate over how the United States and Europe should share the burden of fighting Islamic extremism in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday.

“We must not – we cannot – become a two-tiered alliance of those willing to fight and those who are not,” Gates told the Munich Conference on Security Policy, where Afghanistan was a central topic.

A dose of fun and humor (minimum daily requirement)

cross posted from Sancho Press http://sanchopress.com/frontPa…

Trivia question of the day. (answer below the fold) — What is the European Union’s equivalent to the U.S. and Canada’s 911 emergency telphone number?

Word of the day. (definition below the fold) —  Lief

Quote of the day. — “Do you think that when they asked George Washington for ID that he just whipped out a quarter?” Steven Wright

Common misconception. — Buttons were invented as fasteners for clothing — Buttons were originally nothing more than ornamentation sewn onto clothing. The first may be traced back to 2,000 BC. and even in antiquity. Otherwise plain togas and tunics were ornamented with sewn in buttons. It was only about AD 1300 that the idea arose of using buttons as fasteners. The immediate result was “button mania”. Many pieces of clothing were inundated with hundreds and even thousands of buttons, and they all needed to be buttoned.  

Useless information. — The busiest stretch of highway in the country is New York’s George Washington bridge.

Bad President/Bushisms. — “It’s in our country’s interests to find those who would do harm to us and get them out of harm’s way”. 4/28/2005


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