February 22, 2008 archive

Pony Party: Dali


Ladies and gentlemen, step right up. Yes. Come, come, come. Come a little closer. I can see, yes. You. And you. Don’t you want to see what wonders await you under the big tent… there is magic there.

           Carousel from Jacques Brel


Send in the Iraqi Clowns

In Baghdad, this troupe of five clowns called themselves the “Happy Family Group.” Their purpose was to bring some entertainment and relief to children whose lives had been scarred by violence and fear. They called their show, “A Child Is Just As Sacred As A Country.” By every account, the show was popular among children, an oasis of laughter in the desert of violence.  Their story over the past six months is tragic and inspiring.  It also highlights the plight of Iraqi refugees.


Picture source

Turkey Surges into Iraq?

The US may not be the only country which thinks it can cow native, ethnic insurgencies into submission with temporary displays of force:

Turkish ground forces have crossed the border into northern Iraq to target Kurdish rebels said to be sheltering there, Ankara has said.

It said the raid began late on Thursday after an air and artillery bombardment.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has said the offensive is limited in scale and troops will return as soon as possible.

Although reports on Turkish troop strength vary, Turkish TV says that between 3,000 and 10,000 troops are involved in the operation:

The General Staff did not specify the size of the operation, but released photographs of armed troops in white fatigues walking through snowy, mountainous Iraqi terrain.

A senior military source in southeast Turkey told Reuters: “Thousands of troops have crossed the border and thousands more are waiting at the border to join them if necessary.”

NATO member Turkey says it has the right under international law to hit PKK rebels who shelter in northern Iraq and have mounted attacks inside Turkey that have killed scores of troops. Turkey says some 3,000 PKK rebels are based in Iraq.

The Turks, hoping to hit the PKK rebels in their Winter redoubts before warmer weather allows the insurgents to cross back into Turkey, claim they have advanced 25 km (16 miles) into Iraqi territory.

Four at Four

  1. The Washington Post reports FEC warns McCain on campaign spending.

    McCain’s attempts to build up his campaign coffers before a general election contest appeared to be threatened by the stern warning yesterday from Federal Election Commission Chairman David M. Mason, a Republican. Mason notified McCain that the commission had not granted his Feb. 6 request to withdraw from the presidential public financing system. The implications of that could be dramatic…

    Mason’s letter raises two issues as the basis for his position. One is that the six-member commission lacks a quorum, with four vacancies because of a Senate deadlock over President Bush’s nominees for the seats. Mason said the FEC would need to vote on McCain’s request to leave the system, which is not possible without a quorum. Until that can happen, the candidate will have to remain within the system, he said.

    The second issue is more complicated. It involves a $1 million loan McCain obtained from a Bethesda bank in January. The bank was worried about his ability to repay the loan if he exited the federal financing program and started to lose in the primary race. McCain promised the bank that, if that happened, he would reapply for matching money and offer those as collateral for the loan. While McCain’s aides have argued that the campaign was careful to make sure that they technically complied with the rules, Mason indicated that the question needs further FEC review.

    If the FEC refuses McCain’s request to leave the system, his campaign could be bound by a potentially debilitating spending limit until he formally accepts his party’s nomination. His campaign has already spent $49 million, federal reports show. Knowingly violating the spending limit is a criminal offense that could put McCain at risk of stiff fines and up to five years in prison.

  2. The Guardian reports Turkish forces enter northern Iraq. “The Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, today told Turkey not to ‘violate’ the country after Turkish troops entered northern Iraq to attack Kurdish rebels. Several hundred troops – some reports claimed thousands – crossed the border after fighter jets and heavy artillery bombed Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) forces. The PKK said two Turkish soldiers were killed and eight wounded in clashes following the incursion, but Turkey refused to comment on the claim… NTV television reported that 10,000 troops were taking part in the offensive and had penetrated 10km (six miles) into Iraq, although one US officer said the offensive involved only several hundred troops.”

  3. Meanwhile in southern Iran, the Los Angeles Times reports Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites work together, distrustfully. “Both the Sunni and Shiite guards are helping the U.S. military defend Muqdadiya’s Matar district from Sunni extremists who forced the city into a self-styled Islamic caliphate for more than a year. But though the two groups run checkpoints around the corner from each other, each takes every opportunity to convince the Americans that the other is not to be trusted… As the militant organizations have retreated, rival bands of Sunni and Shiite guards have raced to stake claims to the vacated areas, raising the specter of sectarian bloodshed.”

  4. The Los Angeles Times reports another Dolphin dies near sonar site. “A deep-diving dolphin died on the beach of the Navy’s San Nicolas Island late last month during the final days of naval exercises using a type of sonar that has been linked to fatal injuries of whales and dolphins. Although researchers have yet to determine a cause of death, a dissection of the northern right whale dolphin’s head revealed blood and other fluid in its ears and ear canals. The same symptoms were found in deep-diving whales that washed ashore in the Canary Islands and the Bahamas after military sonar exercises.”

As tears roll down my cheeks

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

We spend our time on Sancho Press highlighting problems faced by our troops and veterans. We write articles about the injustices suffered by many who have bravely served our nation.

We point out problems with the VA and DOD policies. We work at joining citizens with the troops and veterans all together on Sancho Press. We want all to unite to get changes made to the many problems faced by those with PTSD, TBI, other mental health issues and the 800,000+ with backed up disability claims.

I stumbled across a few videos on you tube today. I realized that with all the focus I put on the above items I occasionally lose sight of those who didn’t come back and the families they left behind.  

Women of Afghanistan

I have no understanding of what it is to live like this:::

The belt made a thump when Rasheed dropped it to the ground and came for her. Some jobs, that thump said, were meant to be done with bare hands.

Magnifico asked why Afghanistan as an issue has sunk away faster than an essay on the dKos diary list… he asks this, as I have been thinking about this country and its people, after reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

Hosseini is, for me, pretty straightforward in his writing. Nothing grand or blazing. Yet, it is shatteringly honest writing. It gathers as you read it. Slow. Until there is this little thing vibrating inside you.  Not anger. fear. hate. It’s that wide-awake connection with one’s own free will.

I wonder. If the fight isn’t just as elemental as safeguarding our free will and therein our innate desire for freedom.

The women of Afghanistan are all of us. The atrocities they suffer belong to all of us. They tell us, scream at us that these things have mutilated earthlings through the ages. None of us are exempt from such horrors.

I don’t know how to help Afghan women wholesale. I humbly take the lesson they give, despite the horrors they endure. Their freedom of will, of thought. The dignity of these women, as captured so well in A Thousand Splendid Suns, is loud, vibrant, inspirational.

The women of Afghanistan fight for all of us. In every act of defiance in deed or thought, they taunt brutes and bullies with dignity and will. One more sentinel is revealed… these beautiful souls, guardians of freedoms unseen.

So here you go, Magnifico. Captain America was sent to save this country, but something funny happened on the way to Kabul. These nameless victims, who are called mother, wife, sister, friend… these women … may very well show us the way to salvation…

Continuing “The Genocide of Matriarchal Societies”

I wrote The Genocide of Matriarchal Societies in April of last year (2007), and there is some additional information I want to share along those general lines now. We’ll pick up where we left off and the answer to “Where Are All Your Women” will be made chillingly clear as to why they are “Missing In Action” after we recognize that a woman is set to be beheaded for “practicing witchcraft.” First however, we will reread the words of Archie Fire Lame Deer and relish in the scholarship of Barbara Alice Mann.


John McLobbyist and the company he keeps

As the right wing extremists continue to try and paint this McCain lobbyist story as about sex when it is clear that even the Washington Post realizes that it is about the “anti-lobbyist’s” surrounding himself with lobbyists.

Meaning his trustworthyness, his double talk, his lack of character, his lack of, well, credibility.

This is the story.  This what John McLobbyist is all about.  As Red Wind says, he has the “straightest talk that money can buy.  But it is more than just lobbyists.  

Golden Age or Catastrophe: Obama & the Millennials

Generational scholars Strauss and Howe dedicated their lives to analyzing the four dominant generations of the twentieth century: the GIs, the Silent, the Boomers and the X-ers.  Then, near the end of their collaborations they published Millennials Rising. The thesis of their whole canon of work is that each generation fulfills overall needs or niches from prior ones, and creates problems that future generations must solve.

The concept behind the Millennial Generation is that a national or global crisis will arise unlike anything since the GI’s Depression and WWII, and the millenials will rise to meet it. Or else society itself will falter.  (Can you take a guess at how this thesis is already playing out?)

In Our Time

I never thought this would happen, not in our time. Not only is Obama starting to pull away in Texas (Even Now), he is slowly becoming a folk hero. Mythos is very important in Texas, it is what we use to counteract the reality of our insane and chaotic ways. But every once in awhile, Texas will drag itself out of the gutter, dust itself off, and do something great.

Long know as “that bastard ass-backwards redneck fucktard state”, the long lumber giant of Texas progressism and populism is finally awakening. While usually the Lone Star goes for some white hooded off the land hick populist, it appears as if the Big Tex is finally shooting straight again like we did with men like Sam Rayburn.

It appears as if the darkness of East Pine woods is in regression, and the glory of the Hill Country is on the wax. It appears as if the spirit of the Lone Star Republic, who has sent such citizens as Barbara Jordon, Ann Richards and to a lesser extent LBJ, has gone hog wild in the hearts of Texans, turning away from the pity and embracing the hope.

It’s been a long time coming.

As the go to political friend, I have been getting emails from people I had long ago written off as closet nazis, raza nationicalists and jusst your basic garden variety Texas idiot, all telling me about this man, who has done captured their heart and mind.

If Texas is Hillary’s last stand, it will not be the Alamo. It will be the Battle of Gonzales. And when the fighting is done, Obama will lead us to Jacinto, where we will steal McCain’s leg and send him stumbling all the way back to Arizona.

Sometimes, a hero does come dressed in black. Let’s ride cowboy. Let’s ride.

From the Top Down…..Let Slip the Dogs of War


Humans are funny animals. A very odd collection of consciousnesses, that together form a very odd Collective Consciousness. It may just be that there are cycles to these things, and that they will play out no matter what ….

Or it may be that we…on a level that we don’t fully perceive and certainly don’t understand, are all linked together. It may be that, at a deep primal, level we still contain much of our genetic past, that we are, despite our pretensions, still largely animal in nature. That we humans are pack animals, like our not so distant ancestors and so, at least to some extent, we are a Pack Consciousness. That we take our cues and make our decisions based at least in part on what the rest of the human pack are doing. That there is a pack morality as part of the Pack Consciousness.

More to the point, that we get away with whatever the rest of the pack will tolerate, what the Collective Consciousness will allow.

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