April 7, 2008 archive

Four at Four

  1. The fighting continues in occupied Iraq. The New York Times reports U.S. and Iraqis battle militias to end attacks. How’s that for an ironic headline? “American and Iraqi troops sought to control neighborhoods used by Shiite militias to fire rockets and mortars into the nearby Green Zone. But the operation failed to stop the attacks…” No! In a conflict where every one person killed creates ten more people who hate you, how does the Bush administration believe they can stop the attacks by killing more people? The only way for this strategy to work is for genocide.

    “Altogether, at least three American soldiers were killed and 31 wounded in attacks in Baghdad on Sunday, and at least 20 Iraqis were killed, mostly in Sadr City.” Okay, so by my calculation (20 * 10), the Bush administration created 200 more people who are now even more angry with the U.S. But don’t let the sentiment in Iraq or the United States stop you George. “The immediate concern of the American forces was more tactical: trying to shut down the mortar and rocket attacks that have become a daily problem for the Green Zone.” Of course, if you remove the targets (i.e. Americans and the puppet government) from the Green Zone, you could also stop the attacks.

    “Over the past week, Mr. Maliki has also been trying to recoup the political damage he sustained when his American-supported military assault in Basra met with intense resistance from militias.” South Vietnam?

Four at Four continues below the fold with news from Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, and McIraq.

OR-Sen candidate Jeff Merkley will fight for Equal Rights!

Oregon Senate candidate and current House Speaker Jeff Merkley has been endorsed by equal rights advocacy group Basic Rights Oregon. This is yet another endorsement for the House Speaker in his Senate race in Oregon. Just this past Friday, there was a Democratic primary debate. In Jeff Merkley’s opening statement he talked about how he fought for workers’ rights and environmental protections. He cited his huge accomplishments during the past 2007 legislation. Where he seemed to get the most fired up, was when he talked about his work for equal rights for gay and lesbian couples. Here’s what he said:

“I fought so hard for gay and lesbian families that Karen Minnis cut off my mic on the House floor and threatened to have state troopers remove me. But I kept right on fighting and in 2007 won passage of historic legislation for basic rights and domestic partnerships. And, today I’m proud to announce that my campaign has received the endorsement of Basic Rights Oregon”

If you’d like to watch the debate in full go here.

Seen at 15th & Leary Seattle – OBAMA STREET ART






McCain to star in Rambo VI – Total Conquer

Hollywood, CA – In a nod to both Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain has gone Hollywood. With a deal secured to star in a upcoming sequel to Rambo, Rambo VI – Total Conquer, McCain will join the ranks of Republican actors. Though it might conflict with his duties as President, McCain said he can easily handle both and still answer the phone at 3 a.m.

“What is truly special about this,” said McCain, already ripped out for his new role, “is to be part of this special franchise. Film after film, Rambo wins a former war for America. I plan on taking the full enchilada like the hot tamale I am.”

The script is being hastily written by some hacks who actually still live in Hollywood. The basic plot is McCain singled handedly conquers the whole world, bringing peace on Earth.

“A peace with honor, at that,” McCain grinned out, oiling up a vast array of awe-inspiring weapons. “Sylvester Stallone not only endorsed me, but also gave me a chance to strap on the headband of John Rambo. Let’s roll.”

John McCain will star as McCainbo, as the elite solider is known in the screenplay, and the list of countries he brings the final peace solution to is impressive. Somalia, Indonesia, China, Russia all fall to the fury of McCainbo. He also ties up loose ends in Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia and North Korea.

“And don’t forget Cuba,” said McCain, smearing war paint on, relishing in his role as the ultimate warrior. “And Iran, you are officially on notice. And so are you France.”

There are also rumors of McCain and Stallone are teaming up for yet another sequel called Rambos: Ageless Warrior, where the dynamic duo go back in time to not only destroy ancient Rome, but slay Alexander the Great himself.

Rambo VI – Total Conquer is set for release in Christmas, 2010 and will be the first movie rated MV, Mandatory Viewing.

7 minutes

Have you got 7 minutes to think about the world being a better place?

viðrar vel til loftárása

Words and music by sigur rós

Contextual Icelandic-to-English translation via senyxx (Czech Republic):

I let myself flow onwards

I swim through my mind back and forth

My soul still sings

the song we once wrote


We once had a dream

We had everything

We rode to the end of the world

We rode on searching

We climbed skyscrapers

But they were all destroyed

The peace is gone now

I lack balance, I fall down

Still, I let myself flow onwards

I swim through my mind

but I always come back

to the same place

There is nothing left to say

This is for the best

God will provide a day

for us


Isn’t the fact that we do love more important to us as human beings than who we love?

Prediction: If Obama Nominee, Hillary Under The Bus

Over at Talk Left, BTD is arguing that if, as his supporters and surrogates say, Obama has locked this thing up, he should attempt to unify the party–that it is not Hillary who should do this (as Kos and Meteor Blades argue).  http://www.talkleft.com/story/…

I argue the opposite.  I believe if Obama gets the nomination, not only does he not try to gain the consent of Hillary supporters, and not only does he not request Hillary to help in his campaign (much less ask her to be his v-p), he throws Hillary under the bus.  

My prediction is that Hillary will become the token of what is characterized as “old school” politics, divisiveness, and the belt way.  I think Obama determines that Hillary supporters, in the end, will not vote for McSame no matter what he does and that he will run to the right (to the extent he cannot simply run on hope, change and unity) in the general election.

What do you think?

Changing the World: A Beginners Guide


The world is made up of nearly seven billion people. In order to change it, you have to change the minds of those people. That’s a LOT of changing! Should we try to sit down and have a conversation seven billion times to change each individual mind? Obviously not. The travel expenses alone are prohibitive.

Margaret Mead said:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

So how does this small group change the world? By indeed, the only method that has ever worked.

Propagating ideas.

If an idea is specific but not simplistic, but can still be stated relatively simply, and the truth behind it is potent enough, iow if it resonates with enough people…if it changes enough minds….it changes the world.

But there is a problem….or two…hundred.

The Clinton Problems

I have heard all the pundits that have been saying that Hillary should just drop out of the race, so that the Party can get to work on McCain.  Also we have heard that this back and forth between Clinton and Obama is good conversation.  IMO, I do not see the campaigns as a conversation, more like he said, she said petty argument.

But let us look at the problems that face Clinton:

1–Penn had to resign.

2–The Ohio hospital story

3–The sniper mis-speak

4–$109 million income for the last several years.  Hard to say you speak for those making $35,000 or less.

5–The super delegate trickle toward Obama.

6–Michigan Dem voters say no do-over

7–Lagging delegate count and popular vote

8–Her support for NAFTA before she opposed it

This list is not everything, but it is the must quoted.  My question is can she truly get the nomination with these problems.  Will a squeeker in Pennsylvania, will she be pressured to drop out?  Can she survive without a large win in Pennsylvania?

Just would like to hear what you guys think.

Diary ideas

Quality, as it relates to journalism, and the inclusion of people like John Yoo and Doug Feith on the faculties of major universities

New diary: Hillary has a hidden strategy to win the general election

Talk about the electoral College.  Do some research to see how those electors are pledged.  Compare and contrast that with Hillary’s declared intentions about pledged delegates.

New diary: the fact is, not conspiracy, defeat Hillary

Discuss how the fact of Mark Penn’s work for Columbia, as opposed to the lie about old bomb is involvement with the Canadians, worked against her.  Similarly, discuss how the fact of her Bosnia sniper story proved to be so inconvenient; also, the story about NAFTA and North American Free Trade Agreement.  Also, the story that she opposed the Iraq war before old mama did.  Also, the fact of her fund-raising shortfalls.  Also, the fact of her poor decision-making surrounding her campaign, undercutting her “experience” and “judgment” strategies.

The Law of Opposites, Golf and Governance

The more they try to get it right, the more they get it wrong.  Anyone who plays golf knows the rule of opposites.  If you try to hit the ball to the right, it goes to the left, hit to the left, it goes right.  If you try to hit UP on the ball it goes down, hit DOWN on the ball and it goes UP!  This all defies conventional wisdom and is completely wrong in the annals of common sense.

Conservative ideology is filled with conventional wisdom, common sense, and the famous “gut feeling.”  

McSame, Cokie Speak

McCain promotes surge, warns of hasty withdrawal

Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor, The Boston Globe

April 7, 2008 10:02 AM

On the eve of the key appearance before Congress by General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, presumptive Republican nominee John McCain will argue today that the new counterinsurgency strategy backed by the “surge” of American troops last year pulled the war-torn country back from the abyss and “opened the way for a return to something approaching normal political and economic life for the average Iraqi.”

“Much more needs to be done, and Iraq’s politicians need to know that we expect them to show the necessary leadership to rebuild their country,” McCain continues. “….But there is no doubt about the basic reality in Iraq: we are no longer staring into the abyss of defeat, and we can now look ahead to the genuine prospect of success. Success in Iraq is the establishment of a generally peaceful, stable, prosperous, democratic state that poses no threat to its neighbors and contributes to the defeat of terrorists. It is the advance of religious tolerance over violent radicalism. It is a level of security that allows the Iraqi authorities to govern, the average person to live a normal life, and international entities to operate. It is a situation in which the rule of law, after decades of tyranny, takes hold. It is an Iraq where Iraqi forces have the responsibility for enforcing security in their country, and where American troops can return home, with the honor of having secured their country’s interests at great personal cost, and helping another people achieve peace and self-determination.”

Iraq PM: Shiite militia must disband

By BUSHRA JUHI, Associated Press Writer

1 hour, 54 minutes ago

BAGHDAD – The prime minister issued his strongest warning yet to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to disband his Mahdi Army militia or face political isolation. The Sadrists said Monday a move to ban them from elections would be unconstitutional.

The U.S. military, meanwhile, said two more soldiers died in roadside bombings Sunday, raising the day’s American death toll to at least five. The announcement comes a day before the two top U.S. officials in Iraq are scheduled to brief Congress on prospects for the eventual withdrawal of American troops.

Gunbattles also continued Monday in Baghdad’s main Shiite district of Sadr City, a day after fierce clashes broke out when some 1,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops began an operation to push deeper into the Mahdi Army’s largest stronghold.

With tensions rising, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, himself a Shiite, told CNN Sunday that al-Sadr’s followers would not be allowed “to participate in the political process or take part in upcoming elections unless they end the Mahdi Army.”

The inability of the Iraqi forces to curb the militias has cast doubt on their ability to take over their own security. The top American officials in Iraq – Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker – are to start briefing Congress Tuesday on the prospects for further reductions in the U.S. troop presence in Iraq.

Glenn on Cokie below the fold…

More Women Rising Up

Yesterday I wrote an essay titled Women of the World, Rise Up. We had some interesting discussion and some fun in the comments. And then this morning, the synergy breaks out because I got an email forwarded by a friend from Eve Ensler (author of “Vagina Monologues”) about her “V to the Tenth” tour to stop violence against women. I wanted to share a bit of it here as a follow-up to our discussion yesterday.

I have seen the faces of hundreds of activated, vital, committed, diverse women and men who are literally giving their lives to end violence against women and girls. Women and men who have changed their cultures, told their stories and helped others do the same. I have met the V-Day activists who have raised money, raised hope, raised hackles, raised the V flag in community after community.

I heard the stories of three women in the military, April Fitzsimmons, Suzanne Swift, Dorothy Mackey, who flew in to Austin Texas to be honored at a V-DAY in an Enchanted Forest. I learned from them that one out of three women in the military will be raped and that very few men are every held accountable. I learned that there is something called Military Sexual Trauma. This is a condition in which, after suffering terrible trauma on the battlefield leading to PTSD, women, and some men, are then raped by their own comrades who they were trained  to trust. This secondary betrayal and violation throws them into multiple layers of trauma, often resulting in severe depression and suicide.


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