March 29, 2008 archive

Docudharma Times Saturday March 29

There is unrest in the forest,

There is trouble with the trees,

For the maples want more sunlight

And the oaks ignore their pleas.

Saturday’s Headlines: Endorsement of Obama Points Up Clinton’s Obstacles:  Treasury Wants to Reshape Regulation:  Politkovskaya’s killer identified by prosecutors: It’s war, Mugabe says, as opposition prepares for battle: Fear keeps South African exiles away: Castro opens new era by lifting mobile phones ban: No end in sight to Andean conflict:  US rapper Jerome White Junior aka Jero finds enka stardom in Japan: Plague of rats brings threat of famine to millions in Mizoram: 19 Tense Hours in Sadr City Alongside the Mahdi Army

American warplanes join Iraqi troops in taking the fight to Shia militia

· Sadr stronghold in capital comes under attack

· British army holds fire as battles intensify·

US aircraft attacked Shia militia in Basra for the first time in the current round of fighting as intense battles continued between supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr and tens of thousands of Iraqi forces in a crackdown personally supervised by Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

British troops, based at the city’s airport, were kept away from the operation described by George Bush as “a defining moment in the history of Iraq”.

American fighter jets dropped bombs on a mortar team and a militia stronghold in Basra, said Major Tom Holloway, a British military spokesman. The number of casualties was unknown.

As protests spread across Iraq, US aircraft also attacked Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, killing at least five civilians, according to Iraqi police and hospitals.

Meet Barney Frank, the point man in Congress on the economy!

Crossposted from another fine community, SwordsCrossed

At the height of the housing bubble in 2005, Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank gave a boilerplate speech on the House floor in support of a meaningless resolution to honor National Home Ownership Month.  This speech, forgettable at the time, reveals much of what is wrong with our legislative process, and gives insight into the complacency that has found us at the precipice of the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Random Japan

WHAT WAS ON THE TUBE (March 17-21)

The following are the lengths of time six “wide shows” on four channels in the Tokyo area devoted to certain topics. The programs cover everything from politics to celebrity gossip.

The listing is provided by Reservia Corp.

1. Rioters and authorities clash in China’s Sichuan province, as protests in support of demonstrations led by monks in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa spread to the neighboring area. Chinese authorities mobilize armed police to clamp down on the protesters. But it is difficult to grasp the entire picture of what is happening because of China’s control over the media. 6 hr, 26 min, 1 sec

2. After the opposition-controlled Upper House rejects a nominee for Bank of Japan governor because of his past in the Finance Ministry, the government offers up a new candidate–another ex-Finance Ministry bureaucrat. Not surprisingly, the BOJ’s top post becomes vacant for the first time in postwar history, and also at a time when global markets are in turmoil. 5hr, 49 min, 56 sec

3. The ruling coalition and the opposition camp continue their standstill over road-specific tax revenues. Minshuto insists that the current higher rates, which are to expire March 31, should be abolished. The step would allow the price of gasoline to be lower by 25 yen a liter. But the ruling coalition wants to extend the “temporary” rates for yet another 10 years. 3 hr, 26 min, 9 sec

White House Seeks New Power to Keep Markets Stable

From The New York Times: White House to Seek New U.S. Power to Keep Markets Stable

The Bush administration will propose on Monday that Congress give the Federal Reserve broad authority to oversee financial market stability, in effect allowing it to send SWAT teams into any corner of the industry or any institution that might pose a risk to the overall system.

The proposal is part of a sweeping blueprint to overhaul the country’s hodge-podge of regulatory agencies, which many specialists say failed to recognize rampant excesses in mortgage lending until after they triggered what is now the worst financial calamity in decades.

I think this is precisely what Naomi Klein warned about in her book, The Shock Doctrine. I suspect the Bush administration is going to try to use the shock of the collapsing economy to quickly deregulate the entire economy to make it easier to loot.

Funkalicious Friday: DIY!

The tubes are slow tonight my friends, like an old man in a deli trying to send back soup…..???

It took me half an hour to get this one Tube to load far enough so I could copy the embed code…and I can’t even listen to it! But I think it is appropriate, since I will have to lean on y’all to fill out the play list tonight, Goddess Bless ALL of you!

Now, get to work!

‘The American President Americans have been waiting for’

This new ad by McCain seems to imply that the other candidates are not American, somehow.

The voice-over is very dark, insistent and nearly foreboding in tone.

A quick dive into it, the implied contrasts here give a clue to the tone of this campaign.

“That she [America] is worth protecting, it’s people, honorable”

The implied smears against Barack Obama are loaded up, and ready to go. If we think we’ve seen nasty so far, just wait “my friends”. We’ll be swimming in innuendo up to our eyeballs.

But it’s that tone, the announcer’s voice that drives home the implications that ‘there’s something not right with the other candidates’.

The announcer in this ad, Powers Boothe played Jim Jones in the story about Guyana, in the made for TeeVee movie in 1980.…

Yes, there are degrees of separation here, but somehow it seems fitting in a way this guy who made his mark in Hollywood portraying an insane cult leader who led over 900 people to kill themselves should be doing voice overs for McCain.

One other thing about the announcer; he seems to think that getting an Emmy is more important than honoring a SAG union strike line…

Fascinating, what’s behind the scenes at these ads at times, ain’t it?  

Friday Night at 8: The Deep Well

Everywhere I look these days there is so much to feel pain over.  What is happening in Tibet is heartbreaking for both the Chinese and the Tibetans, what is happening in Burma, the suffering all around the world.  And here in the United States (I don’t say America any more because … well, I don’t even know!) every day brings a new kind of suffering, people being treated so badly all across this land, whether it be dying from lack of health care, folks still suffering too much in New Orleans, soldiers coming home to homelessness and despair, the dreadful story of Don Siegelman which shows how blatantly one gets punished when trying to do the right thing … ah, the list goes on and on.  And those of us here, we don’t get hardened to it but sometimes we despair, for the suffering is so great and so continuous it seems impossible to take it all in.

And of course there is the pain of thinking “can I do more?  Have I done enough?  Am I more part of the problem than the solution?”  These doubts and fears, they are painful, too.

I read somewhere about suffering and joy.  I read how suffering that goes deep within us also makes a very deep place for joy as well.  And that if we do not face and allow the pain go deep into our hearts, our joys, when they arrive, and they always arrive, will not go very deep either.  I read that the depth of our joy is equal to the depth of our pain.  I don’t remember who said that, but it always stayed with me.

I’d like to write about deep joy, because I think we’ve all been exposed to so much that has caused us deep pain.  And I think deep joy is the well that is always available to us to draw from, whenever we wish, to give us strength to do what we know is right and to love and help each other as we all wish to do.

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