As if it even needs to be said, our thanks should be going out to Dennis Kucinich! For standing up for Single Payer Not-for-Profit Health Care for all. For calling on the withdrawl from NAFTA. For standing against the war and occupation in Iraq, and not voting to fund this catastrophe. And for standing up to Dick Cheney and W by calling for their impeachment.
March 1, 2008 archive
Mar 01 2008
Mar 01 2008
This is an Open Thread:
so you look into the land and it will tell you a story
story ’bout a journey ended long ago
if you listen to the motion of the wind in the mountains
maybe you can hear them talking like I do
White House ties troop levels to Iraqi elections
A senior official says withdrawals must stop this summer to ensure security at the polls. Doubts are also cast on Army plans to shorten combat tours.
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration believes a halt in troop reductions in Iraq after July is needed in part to ensure a large enough force is present to provide security for local elections, a senior administration official said Friday.
By tying troop levels to Iraq’s provincial elections, officials in effect established a new milestone to guide U.S. policy during President Bush’s last months in office. And by linking them to the elections, the administration is increasing pressure on the Iraqis to actually hold the balloting.
Iraq’s presidency council, consisting of three top officials, vetoed legislation this week that set plans for the provincial elections, which the U.S. regards as one of the benchmarks of political progress in Iraq.
White House blocks inquiry into construction of $736m embassy in Iraq
The Bush administration is blocking an inquiry into the delay-plagued construction of the $736m US embassy in Baghdad, a senior Democrat in Congress said today.
Henry Waxman, who is chairman of the oversight committee in the House of Representatives, asked US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice today to explain why her department certified the embassy as “substantially completed” in December despite inspections that reveal continued deficiencies in the facility’s water, fire alarm and kitchen systems.
The Baghdad embassy, which stands to become the largest US diplomatic facility in the world, had an original opening date of mid-2007. But the project stalled amid ballooning cost estimates as well as charges of corruption and shoddy work by the private contracting company overseeing the project.
Mar 01 2008
I’m locking my bike to the Rec Center rack when I hear Roy call my name. He rides up clutching a soccer ball under his left arm. It’s only ten minutes to game time, but he’s the only other person from my team here so far, and the other team is nowhere to be seen. Out on the field, the previous hour’s intramural games are wrapping up, the players slouching off to the locker room through the warm, dry October evening. I stand up and scan the darkening campus, searching the bike paths and sidewallks for any signs of teammates, and casually ignore Roy’s happy chatter. He’s just leaned his bike against the fence without locking it, and I briefly wonder if he’s sober.
Mar 01 2008
Sandalwood and sage was the first thing to hit my consciousness, I opened my eyes and felt a lick at my hand. The tongue was too large to be a cat’s so I deduced I was still with Hecate, or had returned to the wrong body, always an inconvenience. Sitting up caused a large amount of spinning.
“Don’t rush it. I told the cats not to worry and to blow the candles out as it would be awhile.” My cats could be pyrokinetic when the mood suited them; fortunately for me they never use it to express displeasure. They would also keep the wards up so no entity would get into my room and cause havoc. I would have to really thank the dragons if they had chosen to hang around.
“Thank you Mother. What happened?”
” I showed you the truth. I wasn’t sure if you would survive the psychic backlash but I had to risk it as explaining the process would never have worked.”
“Wait, what? Gods come from Stonehenge!!!! Don’t let the New Agers know, they’ll tear through the rest of it trying to find which part of which stone goes to which deity and argue over who’s got the more authentic rock.” That caused several giggles and tongues lolling in doggy laughter. “I think the alcohol I had earlier absorbed the backlash, but somehow I still have a world class hang over.”
“Naomh’an, you of all people should know alcohol and magic do not mix! In this case however it may have saved you, who knows what would have happened if you had seen that while in complete control of your mind, your normal barriers may have fought it so much that it could have damaged you.”
“Why did you take that risk Mother? Either I am way more important than I thought or I mean a lot less to you then you have led me to believe.”
“Naomh’an, dear one, you mean more to me then you should know at this point. If I had told you about that would you have believed it? Would it have made as much of an impression? Most important, would you have learned the truths that you know now? ”
“All I know now is that nothing I knew before was right.”
“Notice the first thing you said, “Gods come from Stonehenge”. How did you know it was a god?”
“Nothing else made sense I guess, you’re a Goddess and we were talking about deities when we went there.” I was shaking from psychic shock and she was quizzing me. Think, Caitlin, think, what had just happened. The faces and shapes in the fog, what did they represent. The stones were obviously a focusing point but of what. “Those people in the fog, the
babble about the veil between worlds is more then babble isn’t it? Those were other worlds, dimensions and planes.” Hecate nodded and handed me some tea. ” So people do create gods? How? This is much worse then the chicken and egg high school philosophy stumper isn’t it.”
“Yes it is. We think we know how it started but even we do not know because every deity was created and can be a creator. Every plane, every dimension, every realm has energy. Energy cannot be stagnant, it must move, must grow, must become something. Perhaps the first sentient being just manifested, we do not know. What we do know is that the nature of energy is to create; the created life form loses some of its connection to the original current of nature. Over time, as life forms become more complex they feel less of the original link to their “mother” for lack of a better term. They then start trying to recapture that connection through creating religions and myths, as those myths gain more believers, they become thought forms. The more energy that is poured into a thought form the more power it gets until finally the thought form manifests from the quicksilver as you saw. The believers decide the form. Once it manifests it goes to it’s plane and provides the connection to the source. All thought forms start off weak, with little ability to affect much other then to serve as a conduit for its followers to touch the source. The longer the thought form exists and is fed energy the stronger it becomes. Many of us have faded back into the source or have taken on other forms as believers die out or change the forms in which they believe. We take on the nature of our creators, some of us were created to kill, to heal or to conquer. The ones of us that were originally created by conquering races have used the ability to shift forms to gain more followers; as a result they have become powerful enough to create new worlds. When they do this, they supplant the natural forces of creation and usually the worlds they created self-destruct over time because they were never stable. This has happened many times. ” She stopped to let me absorb.
“So what does this have to do with vampires?” I was too mentally exhausted to absorb, I just wanted a simple answer.
“Sometimes, thought forms are so strong that they can take beings from one realm or world and transplant them onto a world they created. It is easier for a thought form to remain strong if it has a base of strong believers with it. The presence that I felt was not of your world, was not summoned by a witch nor is it from any realm I know.” Then she shimmered and I was back in my body, all my limbs had fallen asleep.
Mar 01 2008
A Hokkaido Shimbun reporter who was arrested for molesting a female hotel employee admitted the allegations, saying, “I was drunk and don’t clearly remember what I did, but I’m sure I committed the crime.”
A Kyoto court ordered a 26-year-old man to pay ¥670,000 in damages to a woman he punched in the face after she repeatedly told him to remove his bag from an unoccupied bus seat so an elderly passenger could sit down.
A Nagano-to-Tokyo shinkansen was delayed for 37 minutes after an 80-year-old passenger traveling in the Green Car without a ticket punched a conductor in the jaw.
Mar 01 2008
Did anyone NOT see this coming after another Democratic Congressional Leadership very special “sternly worded letter” to Mukasey (a man that would never have been Attorney General if Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein had any sense of dignity) about subpoenas being ignored by Miers and Rove?
Did anyone NOT think that the House Democrats would ultimately waver for a possible cave on telecom immunity after Reid let Rockefeller’s telecom immunity bill pass the Senate, despite the fact that nearly 60% of people are against telecom immunity?
Did anyone NOT think that the RNC would decide to just stop looking for the emails that were erased on purpose, despite the fact that they were ORDERED to be turned over to Congress?
Mar 01 2008
Judge White has had a serious Emily Latella moment.
The whistleblower site Wikileaks.org may resume its U.S. operation following a hearing in California federal court today, where Judge Jeffrey S. White dissolved a previous order that required the site to be taken offline and indicated he would not approve a second order prohibiting the site’s publication.
The Feb. 15 orders had required domain name service provider Dynadot to cut off access to the Wikileaks site, disabling the Web address. A Swiss bank had asked the court to require the site to be taken down, arguing it disclosed private banking records.
Acting as a friend of the court, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and several other media organizations asked the judge earlier this week to take notice of the prior restraint that occurred as a result of those orders. Wikileaks had not appeared in court to defend against charges by the bank that it had improperly posted private information and no First Amendment concerns were raised before the Court.
White’s order of today dissolved the injunction that had prohibited Dynadot from allowing Wikileaks.org to be accessible. It also “tentatively” denied the bank’s request for an order that would keep Wikileaks from independently publishing itself online.
“It’s not very often a federal judge does a 180 degree turn in a case and dissolves an order,” said Reporters Committee Executive Director Lucy A. Dalglish. “But we’re very pleased the judge recognized the constitutional implications in this prior restraint.”
White is expected to issue a full opinion on the matter in the near future. The media coalition’s brief in the case can be found at: www.rcfp.org/news/documents/20080229-amicusbrie.pdf
Shorter Judge White:
Mar 01 2008
bound, caper, frisk, hop, rise, skip, spring, surge, upsurge, upswing, vault, pounce, fly!!! It’s Leap Day ….and being a male, I shall not further expound on the traditional activities of the day, so on to the Funkaliciousness…
Starting with – Funkmeister Frank!
Mar 01 2008
In From Strom to Barack buhdydharma asks the question:
As we prepare to take this next step (hopefully) what do you think the ramifications will be on our society in general….and on the attitudes of the remaining, dwindling, but still large….population of both the casual and the more vehement racists in our nation as….
“The world is about to roll over them?”
In response, I’d like to link to two different diaries posted over at Daily Kos today, one on immigration by Duke1676 and one on the further shenanigans of the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans by mcbrid35. I consider both these bloggers top notch in quality and credibility, excellent examples of true citizen journalists when it comes to analyzing facts, law and the ethical and moral consequences that we all will experience.
Mar 01 2008
Think the Bush Administration is done trying open new fronts in using scare tactics in the service of war profiteering? Think again.
In yet another display of mindboggling display of fearmongering coupled with greed, the Bush Administration is now now telling Europe that it needs to buy American missile defense systems–or else. From the Los Angeles Times:
With American officials working to close a deal on a missile defense system in Europe, the head of the U.S. program warned Thursday that Iran was within two or three years of producing a missile that could reach most European capitals.
“They’re already flying missiles that exceed what they would need in a fight with Israel. Why? Why do they continue this progression in terms of range of missiles? It’s something we need to think about,” Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering III, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, told a conference here on missile defense… [snip]
“Our short-range defenses could protect Rome and Athens,” Obering said, but he warned that London, Paris and Brussels would remain vulnerable “against an Iranian [intermediate-range missile] threat.”
That’s right, mes amis, meine Damen und Herren. Unless you buy our preposterously expensive and utterly ineffectual Star Wars “defense” technology, dangerous terrorist Ahmadinejad and his merry band of clerics will unilaterally start a war with Israel, create a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv, and use the expanded conflict to send your beloved Arc de Triomphe and Reichstag into the stratosphere.
Mar 01 2008
On Monday I read Learning to Count Past Two…with a few updates as asides…to a Women’s Studies class called Changing Women’s Lives. My partner Debbie is coordinator of the Women’s Studies Resource and Empowerment Center (WSREC) and teaches that class. It would be great if it were a faculty line, and hence a full time position, but that is not the case. She’s rather considered more of a hybrid staff/adjunct faculty person (i.e. she gets no benefits, except as my spouse).
Let’s not even talk about adjunct compensation. It’s one of the things our society should be ashamed of.
I’ve presented that piece live a time or two before. It was, in fact, written to be presented to a Psychology of Women class at the University of Central Arkansas. The professor who invited me to lecture her classes several times didn’t get tenure. That’s an observation, not a conclusion.
But it is true that many, many people think that teaching about people like me to college or high school students is beyond the pale. And I leave open the definition of “people like me.”