March 17, 2008 archive

UPDATED (3x): Police Conduct House-by-House Searches In Tibet As Protest Spreads

From today’s Wapo – I’ve highlighted a chilling part of their report:

Vowing a harsh crackdown, Chinese police conducted house-to-house searches in central Lhasa Monday and rounded up hundreds of Tibetans suspected of participating in a deadly outburst of anti-Chinese violence, exile groups and residents reported.

The large-scale arrests and official promises of tough reprisals suggested the Chinese government has decided to move decisively to crush the protests despite calls for restraint from abroad and warnings that heavy-handed repression could taint next summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing.

The Tibetan regional governor, Champa Phuntsok, said detainees who show remorse and inform on others who were part of the week-long unrest would be rewarded with better treatment. But Buddhist monks and other Tibetans who participated in Friday’s torching of Chinese-owned shops and widespread attacks on Han Chinese businessmen would be “dealt with harshly,” he told a news conference in Beijing.


Pony Party…March Madness

It looks like the brackets are set for the NCAA basketball tournament.  As of my auto-publish, only the East bracket still has a “play-in” in the 16th seed…

So I used this site to set up a group where we can make picks for the tournament.  I didnt enter our group into the sweepstakes…so please dont feel obligated to participate with ‘us’ if you want to go for the big $$$.  We’re just doing this for fun….right?

Docudharma Times Monday March 17

Lower the curtain down in memphis,

Lower the curtain down all right.

I got no time for private consultation,

Under the milky way tonight.

Monday’s Headlines: U.S. may be just at midpoint in Iraq: Fed Acts to Rescue Financial Markets: Death, destruction and fear on the streets of cafes, poets and booksellers: Iran poll delivers challenger to president: Ex-policemen jailed for journalist’s murder:  UN police retake Kosovo’s court: Major Stock Markets in Asia Tumble: China plays victim for its audience: Mexico City: A sea of Juarez streets:  First coca find in Brazil Amazon: Tunisia hostage deadline extended

Midnight ultimatum for Tibet showdown

The only Western journalist in Lhasa reports from a city gripped by fear

Last night I gazed out over a deserted city. After two days of deadly riots and arson attacks, the people of Lhasa hunkered down before a midnight deadline and a feared military crackdown.

Rubble and burnt-out vehicles littered the streets, but few people dared to set foot in the narrow and winding alleyways, fearful of turning a blind corner and running into an army patrol. Only the occasional gunshot rang out over the city, the whoops and cheers of the rioters silenced. Amid claims that many people have been killed in the most dramatic backlash against Chinese rule for almost 20 years, a showdown looms tonight. The rioters must turn themselves in by midnight or face the consequences.

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…

The other romantic war Bush missed

A fitting exclamation point to a weekend that brought us the opening of Hearts and Minds at Winter Soldier II.

The anniversary of the Murder of Rachel Corrie.

And the 40th anniversary of My Lai

Is Just Voting Enough?

I realize that the there is a lot of passion in this election cycle.  Democrats are chomping at the bit to elect one of their own to replace Bush and his band of cronies.  IMO, it is a noble and necessary cause, for we must get the neocons out of Washington.  That conservative mindset has harmed the average American voter beyond reasonable repair.

The two candidates have their passionate supporters.  Sometimes to the point of exaggeration and down right lies.  However the Democratic Party used to be the party of the people, but in recent years that has slid into a centrist, pro-business position.  The Party use to stand for principles and diversity, but that has been replaced with less progressive ideals, solely for the acquisition of power.  It has become more important to beat the Repubs than to improve the quality of life of Americans.  

If one is voting Democratic, that is great!  But if you are voting just to beat a Repub then I question your motivation.  What are you really voting for in this election?  A return of the Clinton years or the possibility of real change in the white house?  But please keep in mind that the promise does not necessarily make it so.  Voting for the most popular candidate accomplishes nothing.  We might as well hold the election on “American Idol”.  

Just voting is not enough!  Participation after the fact is necessary and is the key to a GOOD government.  The insistence that the winner keeps his/her promises is a must.  Make whoever the winner is being answerable for their actions or their inactions.  Vote from knowledge not from anger and hatred or you will most likely not be pleased with the choice you made.  The winner of the general election in November has got to be held accountable.  If not then you have pissed away your vote–YET AGAIN!

Happy Evacuation Day – March 17th

Here in the Boston area it’s a legal holiday. It’s also a holiday in Cambridge and Somerville. Evacuation Day is one of only two celebrated in the U.S. The other is in New York.

On March 17, 1776 the 11-month siege of Boston ended when the Continental Army, under Washington, fortified Dorchester Heights with cannons captured at Ticonderoga, forcing General Howe’s garrison to attack or flee. To prevent what could have been a slaughter of his troops, Howe agreed to retreat to Nova Scotia via his ships without setting the city on fire as he left.

Both celebrate the departure of the forces of darkness of the time. The forces who sought to deprive the people of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

March 17th is also, and very obviously, a celebration of the Irish in America. I’m a full-blooded member of the Celtic tribe (pronounced keltik, from Greek (Keltoi)) and Boston born so it’s a double celebration day here. It is for a lot of Irish-Americans and has been since the original Evacuation Day.

Many of the soldiers who volunteered to serve under General George Washington to break the yoke of British colonialism were Irish Catholic. These soldiers and their families experienced first hand British occupation and suppression. Many of their sacrifices during the War of Independence were critical in bringing about the establishment of the United States of America. After a failed movement in 1876, the holiday was finally proclaimed on the 125th anniversary in 1901.

So a Happy March 17th to all of you and there’s more…

Bear Stearns and the N-Word: Nationalization

Today, the United States will do something which it hasn’t done since the New Deal: it will nationalize a corporation.  Bear Stearns is the new Tennessee Electric Power Company.

After a weekend of intense negotiations, the Federal Reserve approved a $30 billion credit line to help JPMorgan Chase acquire Bear Stearns, one of the biggest firms on Wall Street, which had been teetering near collapse because of its deepening losses in the mortgage market.

In a highly unusual maneuver, Fed officials said they would secure the loan by effectively taking over the huge Bear Stearns portfolio and exercising control over all major decisions in order to minimize the central bank’s own risk.

President George Bush is responding to the disasters of one of Wall Street’s most reckless firms by echoing the actions which he has so passionately criticized in Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez.  When the high-stakes financial gamblers of derivatives trading are exposed, the true face of Bush Republicanism has been revealed: they are nothing less than communists.

EENR for Progress: Time to Fight Cancer

If you’re looking for a pie fight or for a joyful diary you won’t find it here. This installment of EENR tonight will be focused on one of the biggest killers in our country; cancer. There was good news released this past February that showed that deaths caused by cancer have decreased by 18.4% among men and 10.5% among women. That does not mean that we don’t need to fight this disease harder than ever. Here’s a snippet from the WAPO:

In 2008, an estimated 1,437,180 new cancers will be diagnosed, and 565,650 people will die of the disease, according to a report released Wednesday from the American Cancer Society (ACS)


Follow me below the fold…..

“Greeted as Liberators”

Five years ago today, Dick Cheney appeared on Meet the Press. He made a quote that will go down as one of the great whoppers of the Bush era.

Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. And the president’s made it very clear that our purpose there is, if we are forced to do this, will in fact be to stand up a government that’s representative of the Iraqi people, hopefully democratic due respect for human rights, and it, obviously, involves a major commitment by the United States, but we think it’s a commitment worth making. And we don’t have the option anymore of simply laying back and hoping that events in Iraq will not constitute a threat to the U.S. Clearly, 12 years after the Gulf War, we’re back in a situation where he does constitute a threat.

As we all know, the threat he was referring to has since been proven false and nearly 4,000 American troops are dead. Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians are dead. The Iraqi people have created segregation, but not functional government. By the most conservative estimates, the American people have spent at least 500 billion dollars, and may spend as much as three trillion. There’s still no end in sight and one of the two ’08 presidential nominees has said he’s committed to staying for “100 years”.

Five years to the Sunday, it’s safe to say that “greeted as liberators” will go down as one of the most terrible, tragic predictions in American history.

Breaking the Last Seal of Republican Socialism

Wow, so I thought ruling elite would let this die down in the news cycle and let JP Morgan absorb Bear Stearns in Q3 when no one was looking. I mean hell, the election hysteria should have made this bailout Section D news. Nopes, everyone in millionaire row realized the last days of the pig trough are in effect.

No matter who is elected next, even McCain, knows that the country cannot continue to sustain the whole scale looting by the ruling elite. So they are getting while the getting is good. Well, for them, not us.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) said on Sunday it would buy troubled rival Bear Stearns (BSC.N) for about $2 a share in an all-stock deal, and that the Federal Reserve would fund up to $30 billion of Bear Stearns’ less liquid assets.

Wow, we had a spare $30 billion lying around to save Bear Stearns’s ass? No one tell New Orleans! They might get the idea the government saves the ruling elite while the people are left to die on their roofs. Or that our government has been hijacked by Republican Socialist supplanting our democracy.

(emphasis added, bd)

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