March 30, 2008 archive

I see no bravery in your eyes anymore. Only sadness

Crossposted at The Big Orange.

There is no glory in the violence we choose to inflict upon other human beings.

There is no justice for the victims of our collective hate. There is only the suffering of the many made possible by the decisions of a few. Do not come to me with open arms or begging bowl when the alliance you seek is one of kinship or dispensation for your brutality. I am not your brother or your keeper.

There are children standing here,

Arms outstretched into the sky,

Tears drying on their face.

He has been here.

Brothers lie in shallow graves.

Fathers lost without a trace.

A nation blind to their disgrace,

Since he’s been here.

Not A “Global Warming Skeptic”

I am looking at the “Say no to Beijing 2008” ad in the upper left corner and find it related to global warming also.  Yea, we are screwing up the enviornment but the marketing effort via Big Al and this CO2 shit is only aimed at getting the peasants in chains.

Docudharma Times Sunday March 30

The world closing in

Did you ever think

That we could be so close,like brothers

The future’s in the air

I can feel it everywhere

Blowing with the wind of change

Sunday’s Headlines: Clinton Vows To Stay in Race To Convention: Clinton, Obama supporters wrangle over delegates: Files Released by Colombia Point to Venezuelan Bid to Arm Rebels: Brazil teen ‘killer’ investigated: Vote count under way in Zimbabwe: ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero to give evidence in extradition case:  Under siege in Baghdad’s Mahdi army stronghold: ‘Divided’ Arab summit continues: Wed to Strangers, Vietnamese Wives Build Korean Lives: Tibet tensions high as Olympic torch nears Beijing: Whatever Happened to the IRA?

Tibetan monk protests reflect growing activism

More Buddhist monks, nuns likely to revolt against injustice, oppression

BANGKOK, Thailand – Buddhist monks hurling rocks at Chinese in Tibet, or peacefully massing against Myanmar’s military, can strike jarring notes.

These scenes run counter to Buddhism’s philosophy of shunning politics and embracing even bitter enemies – something the faith has adhered to, with some tumultuous exceptions, through its 2,500-year history.

But political activism and occasional eruptions of violence have become increasingly common in Asia’s Buddhist societies as they variously struggle against foreign domination, oppressive regimes, social injustice and environmental destruction.

Common sense and logic .. from who else, except Al Gore?

Gore expects the situation to “resolve itself” by the time the convention comes around.…

MURFREESBORO – Former Vice President Al Gore said Thursday that he expects the Democratic nomination fight will “resolve itself” before the party’s convention in late August.

Gore told The Associated Press that he sees no urgency in endorsing a presidential candidate.

“What have we got, five months left?” he said in a brief interview after a speech at Middle Tennessee State University.

When pressed that several prominent Democrats, including Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, have expressed hope for an earlier decision on the nomination, Gore said: “I think it’s going to resolve itself. But we’ll see.”

Sort of disappointed to see Howard Dean doing something a little different ..…

“If we have an ugly, divided convention, we will lose. John McCain is not a strong candidate for president. The only way we lose is if we are divided.”

I think Gore’s got the right frame here, the correct vision to adopt. Dean should be backing away from even giving the appearance that Democrats will be anything but united, come August.  

The Weapon of Young Gods #16: Treating The Symptoms

“Don’t call 911.”

I think that I’m the one who says this, but I can’t be sure. The field lights are shining down too brightly, blacking out details on the shapeless forms that hover just above me. “Was that Derek? Is he, like, awake?” Jaime, from far away. “Jesus fucking Christ, dude, look at his head!” Troy, a little closer. Their voices are disembodied, gurgling into my ears, passing through infinite layers of misty-black, liquid fog; through ripples of pain spilling down from the back of my skull. Skull. Goal post. Roy. Allison. “That was the fucking scariest hit I’ve ever seen, Ali.” Jaime again. “Oh shit, oh shit, oh man. I’m totally calling an ambulance,” says Roy, also nearby, still shaken up.

“Don’t call 911, dammit!”

Previous Episode

Iglesia ……………………………………… Episode 44


(Iglesia is a serialized novel, published on Tuesdays and Saturdays at midnight ET, you can read all of the episodes by clicking on the tag.)

Previous episode

They were walking through the remains of an underwater city….underwater. Dolphins swam all around them. Hundreds of them. They swam and played in the ruins darting through marbled arches and between the pillars and columns of temples and above the rooftops of the ancient ruins. It was almost too surreal to register in his present state, until a group of dolphins swam up and started laughing at them and pointing with their fins.

Wait, no. They were laughing at him. Rogers had a finger to his lips and was looking at them and shaking his head. He thanked God that Rogers had let go of his ear.

My US Navy son has returned from Iraq

Back in mid-September, I diaried about visiting with my son before he left for Iraq.  His daughter turned 8 months old yesterday.  Today her Daddy arrived home, safe and sound.

Physically, AFAIK, he is fine.  Psychologically, he’s probably okay as well.  He is pretty solid and he knows how to let bullshit slide by.  For 6 months, he and unit have been under the never-ending blare of FUX Propaganda posing as news from the outside world.  Not to mention 12 hour shifts, 6 days and one day off.  And you can’t really prevent rubbing shoulders with the gung-ho types.  You just try to avoid them as best you can.

My apologies, I am an HTML dumbfuck, so this is a C&P of my diary at dkos.

I just wanted to update y’all.

How German “intelligence” helped Bush regime fabricate the case for war in Iraq.

One of the reasons the Bush-Cheney regime was able to lie so effectively to the American public in selling its case for invading Iraq was the appearance of legitimacy that came from foreign intelligence agencies.  Five years after the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the United States of America (with a coalition of coerced and bribed allies that eventually fell apart as the occupation went sour), the truth of how German intelligence officials helped fabricate the case for war is being told — but not in America.

Der Spiegel reporters Erich Follath, John Goetz, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark tell at last the story of how a drunken Iraqi defector sold made-up bullshit to German authorities.

If you’re looking to hide out from the rest of the world, the grayish white residential block in this southern German city would be a good place to be. Six families live here, most of them with children, and the building blends inconspicuously into the dull suburban skyline. A green toy tractor is parked out front, the bicycles have baby trailers, one of them complete with an American flag fluttering in the breeze. On a mailbox hanging outside the building’s entrance, the name Rafed has been scrawled in pale green handwriting — difficult to read, but decipherable from up close.

There are many the world over who would love a chance to chat with the man whose mail lands in this post box. The US Congress is desperately interested in him, and the White House once even expressed an interest in trotting him out on primetime television. A book has been written about him and Hollywood is currently working on a motion picture documenting his life.

The man’s codename is “Curveball.” And in an earlier life, he played a crucial role in the geo-politics at the beginning of this decade: He was the man who provided vital “evidence” that ultimately contributed to the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies. But that role has since turned into his greatest problem: Everything he claimed to know about Iraq’s weapons program, all the proof he presented, was fabricated. His lifeline, though, has yet to be cut: Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), remains loyal to their source. They keep him under cover and protect him from uncomfortable questions — here in southern Germany.

The rest of the article is far too long to reproduce here in its entirety here, but I have done so on my discussion forum.  Or you can read the article at the link above.  At any rate, the truth of how four thousand American soldiers and roughly one million Iraqis (and counting) had their lives needlessly sacrificed on an alter of greed and imperial ambition must be told.  This is only one of many tiers in the construct of lies that led to war.  Others, including former CIA European station chief Tyler Drumheller and investigative journalists David Corn and Michael Isikoff, have described parts of the ‘Curveball’ story.  All these sources and more are worth reading, if for no other reason than to track the myriad deceptions used to sell the invasion.

A Beginner’s Research on Tibetan Buddhism and History

In one of those synchroncities that sometimes occur in life, shortly before I began to hear about the current unrest in Tibet, I had begun to read a book called The Essential Dalai Lama: His Important Teachings, edited by Rajiv Mehrotra and published by Penguin Books. The book is a compilation of essays and lectures on Buddhism by the Dalai Lama. It is a relatively thin book, under 300 pages, but I have yet to finish it a couple of weeks later, because each of the essays in the book is so full of meaning and deserving of further thought that I cannot read too much of it at once without stopping to absorb and ponder it.

I am not a Buddhist. I am someone who has a great deal of interest in spiritual questions about the actual nature of reality, but because of a questioning mind I have been unable thus far to accept any religion. As such, I am by no means an expert on this subject, but I want to convey some sense of what I believe is the deep importance of preserving the Tibetan culture. I have the impression that many Americans are unfamiliar with that culture and think of Tibet as far away and unimportant to them. I want to express why I think it is imperative that we support Tibet.

Our troops can’t stop the violence

It all comes down to this point, and it really is that simple.  

Our troops have done better than anyone could have expected, especially given the lack of support by the Bush administration and the republicans in Congress, the lack of a real plan after “Shock-N-Awe™”, the lack of any direction, the ridiculous decision to disband the Iraqi army, the arming and bribing of Sunni insurgents, the lack of rest, armor, equipment and the minor fact that at least 500,000 troops at the outset of the invasion would have been required in order to do what needed to be done.

However, as we have been seeing, the deadly game of “whack-a-mole” has been played out for well over a year now, and there is still absolutely no foresight into how to address the larger issues of Sunni vs. Shiite civil war, Sunni vs, Sunni fighting, local tribes and sheikhs in places like Anbar taking over, Shiite (as in al Sadr’s militia) vs. Shiite (as in Maliki) vs. Shiite (as in parts of the Iraqi army that are sympathetic to the militias) fighting, the lack of desire for a central government by many who see Maliki as an illegitimate puppet of Cheney and Bush.

Wacky Sex News

Are you ready for some absolutely shocking news about sexuality and teens? Can you handle it?

Comprehensive sex education that includes discussion of birth control may help reduce teen pregnancies, while abstinence-only programs seem to fall short, the results of a U.S. survey suggest.

Abstinence was mildly effective in one instance…

The study found that teens who’d been through abstinence-only programs were less likely than those who’d received no sex ed to have been pregnant. However, the difference was not significant in statistical terms, which means the finding could have been due to chance

Just to clarify… apparently teaching teens nothing about sex is rather ineffective and telling them not to do it is only slightly more effective. Imagine that? Turns out that teens have sex!!!!! And young women who have sex and have had no or little exposure to sex education get pregnant! Could anybody have ever anticipated these results?

And further sex education does not actually force teens to go out and have sex as the right would have you believe. Apparently the right believes teens never even thought about sex until that depraved liberal teacher put the evil, nasty thoughts in their minds. Maybe the right has sex education and porn confused? If my own exposure to sex education in the middle school years is any example, I got the impression they were trying to make it as boring and clinical in order to induce teen boredom. I hope the states that actually teach it still aren’t using that approach.

In addition, there was no evidence that comprehensive sex education increased the likelihood of teen sex or boosted rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) — a concern of people who oppose teaching birth control in schools

In nursing we talk a lot about “evidence based clinical knowledge”, this radical concept that what we do in the clinical setting should be studied and compared in order to determine the best practical approach. The federal government on the other hand believes in promoting “myth based” knowledge.

Currently, the federal government champions the abstinence-only approach, giving around $170 million each year to states and community groups to teach kids to say no to sex. This funding precludes mention of birth control and condoms, unless it is to emphasize their failure rates

Through the Darkest of Nights: Testament III

Every few days over the next several months I will be posting installments of a novel about life, death, war and politics in America since 9/11.  Through the Darkest of Nights is an intensely personal story of hope, reflection, determination, and redemption.  It is a testament to the progressive values we all believe in, have always defended, and always will defend no matter how long this darkness lasts.          

All installments are available for reading here on my page, and also here on Docudharma’s Fiction Page, where refuge from politicians, blogging overload, and one BushCo outrage after another can always be found.

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