April 14, 2008 archive

Sen. Chambliss on the record; torture is fine! Let’s put them ALL on record.

(Cross posted from DailyKos)

There has been a flurry of torture items on the Recommended Diary list this week (If you missed them, incredible outpourings in Troutfishing’s series, here, here, here, and here,  and clammyc’s piece, as well) We are all sickened and outraged (see OPOL’s great diary) and left feeling shame and horror, and maybe overwhelming helplessness, too.

Here is a chance to do something to shame those who have known about it, allowed it, and still do not stop it. If enough of us care, and raise our voices in outrage, we can make them feel pressured to do something to stop Bush and Cheney from torturing in our names.

I Look For The Light Through The Pouring Rain

We, most of us anyway, come here everyday writing essays commenting and discussing ideas I think with a singular but lofty goal in mind.

To try to effect some positive change on the world we find ourselves in. Mostly on the political landscape of America and it’s effects on the larger world, to try to find some way that the lives of people can be bettered. To try to reclaim the perceived original visions that created America.

To try, each in our own way but with help from each other, to find and give birth to a so far elusive meme, a ripple, that will be so irresistibly powerful that it will spread across our world like a tsunami wiping clean all opposition in its path, take down the most powerful fascist elements ever to gain power in America, and bring about a simple idea for the foundation of society – the valuing of people over money and power.

Yesterday NLinStPaul wrote about Power and in comments I reiterated an idea that came to me about a year ago after it became obvious that the Democrats, with six or so months behind them of a Congressional majority, through passage of the Iraq supplemental funding bill last spring, made it bluntly clear that they were going to do nothing but be enablers of the Bush/Cheney regime and that all of the campaign rhetoric that led to their winning that majority in November 2006 was nothing more than empty sloganeering and deception to garner votes.

I commented in her essay that I think that people already have the power to achieve what we come here to to do, but that we forget that we have that power.

I think that if enough people turned democrats away at the door during the campaigning leading to November and said “come back when you guys have done what you were elected to do last time” and you’ll have my vote… they would do it, because they would be afraid of not winning in november.

It would be the people turning the tables and fearmongering the democrats to make them do what the people want them to do.

It would also scare the hell out of the corporations who are now shifting the bulk of their donations to democrats, because they think that people will vote for democrats out of fear of republicans.

Leverage = power. Dangle the carrot. It’s not that complicated, is it?

If the Democratic leadership were quaking in terror of not winning in November, if they really believed they might lose their Congressional majority and not win the presidency, they might actually start thinking: “Hey wait a minute, these people really want us to defund and end the Iraq occupation, repeal the MCA, and charge Bush and Cheney with war crimes. Fuck – we can win in November! All we have to do is do what we were hired in 2006 to do.”

breathisngststill breathes no more


Four at Four

  1. The Washington Post reports Rising food costs unravel schools nutrition initiatives. “Sharp rises in the cost of milk, grain and fresh fruits and vegetables are hitting cafeterias across the country, forcing cash-strapped schools to raise prices or pinch pennies by serving more economical dishes. Some school officials on a mission to help fight childhood obesity say it’s becoming harder to fill students’ plates with healthy, low-fat foods… This year, the U.S. Agriculture Department is giving schools $2.47 per lunch to serve free meals to children from the poorest families, up from $2.40 last year, a 3 percent increase. In the same time, milk prices rose about 17 percent and bread nearly 12 percent… The average cost of preparing and serving a school lunch runs from about $2.70 to $3.10, according to the School Nutrition Association.”

    This is just the begining of the impact on the food crisis here in the Unite States. Worldwide, Spiegel reports on The fury of the poor; people are dying before our eyes. “Around the world, rising food prices have made basic staples like rice and corn unaffordable for many people, pushing the poor to the barricades because they can no longer get enough to eat. But the worst is yet to come… Food is become increasingly scarce and expensive, and it is already unaffordable for many people. The world’s 200 wealthiest people have as much money as about 40 percent of the global population, and yet 850 million people have to go to bed hungry every night.”

    Meanwhile, The New York Times reports Despite tough times, the ultrarich keep spending. “We’re trying to spend on what we feel is important,” one said.

Four at Four continues below the fold with stories about greenhouse gas emissions, “The Madness of Ben Bernanke”, and 1,300 fired for desertion in Iraq.

Now! Just for you! Your own $3-trillion shopping spree!

We asked recently what you would rather have than a war.

Now, from Brave New Films, an easy, amusing way to make those choices:

The occupation of Iraq will cost $3 trillion, America’s most expensive conflict since WWII.

Can YOU spend that money better?

Here’s your chance to go on a virtual $3 trillion shopping spree and prove it!

Browse our online store, fill up your cart, click the checkout button, and send virtual gifts to everyone you know.

A private island fortress? Healthcare for all? Anything you can imagine, and if you can’t find it, add it yourself!

Watch the video, then load up your cart here.  

France urging EU countries for a global initiative on food security

Biofuels are of increasing interest as an alternative to fossil fuels.  This pure image allows industry, politicians, the World Bank, the United Nations and even the International Panel on Climate Change to present fuels made from corn, sugarcane, soy and other crops as the next step in a smooth transition from oil to a not yet defined renewable fuel economy.  But, at what price?

From BBC News:

Agriculture minister Michel Barnier said Europe could not remain passive and leave the situation to the markets.

He said producing biofuels, a key part of the EU’s plans to tackle climate change, was a “crime against humanity”.

Focusing the Outrage

If you’ve read my posts you know I’m no fan of Barack Obama, and that I have a distinct tendency to display copious amounts of Righteous Indignation.  There’s a reason for that, but there is always a danger in creating outrage fatigue, so today I’m going to try to help put it all into perspective.


Maybe it’s because I’m at the northern Oregon coast, right now, but this article caught my eye:

Scientists listening to underwater microphones have detected an unusual swarm of earthquakes off central Oregon, something that often happens before a volcanic eruption – except there are no volcanoes in the area.

Scientists don’t know exactly what the earthquakes mean, but they could be the result of molten rock rumbling away from the recognized earthquake faults off Oregon, said Robert Dziak, a geophysicist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Oregon State University.

There have been more than 600 quakes over the past 10 days in a basin 150 miles southwest of Newport. The biggest was magnitude 5.4, and two others were more than magnitude 5.0, OSU reported.

On the hydrophones, the quakes sound like low thunder and are unlike anything scientists have heard in 17 years of listening, Dziak said. Some of the quakes have also been detected by earthquake instruments on land.

The usual pattern for earthquakes is that there will be a major jolt, followed by smaller ones. The usual pattern is not happening, here.

Scientists hope to send out an OSU research ship to take water samples, looking for evidence that sediment has been stirred up and chemicals that would indicate magma is moving up through the Juan de Fuca Plate, Dziak said.

Or maybe for a giant fire-breathing lizard?

lost dog edition…

First, i have to tell you that i blame all this on the God thing…

What to Do about Torture, by Steven D

Reposted with permission from Booman Tribune

I’ve just Read Clammyc’s diary,  This is Not Torture. First, let me say I was disgusted by what I read there. Even though I have read many similar stories before about the torture that was condoned and authorized in our names, to protect our freedoms, such descriptions never fail to make me physically ill. Beyond the sheer immorality of these acts, and their illegality under American and international law, we know that there was simply no justifiable reason for these “activities” — no ticking time bomb, no great or imminent terrorist threats that were exposed. It’s mostly been practiced on people with little or no connection to Al Qaeda.

So, what do we do? The media won’t cover this issue. Congress won’t hold impeachment hearings. McCain will likely continue the same pattern of deceit regarding the abuses at Gitmo, and at American bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and other “detention facilities” if he is elected President. He certainly won’t make it a priority to investigate the crimes of the Bush administration since he believes we are legitimately fighting the terrorists in Iraq, and he would like to fight the terrorists in Iran, too, for that matter. As for our Democratic candidates it likely won’t be a priority for them, either, unless we can raise public consciousness of the issue.

Alert the Media to Torture

As the story of a America President torturing in your name quickly fades from the ludicrously small prominence it managed to achieve, Bittergate rages on. The candidate frenzy as well. A sad testimonial on both the traditional media AND the Blogosphere. Very sad. Though it’s been said many time, many ways….our media is a collection of clueless hacks. To them it is ‘just a job’ and not a ‘sacred’ responsibility to be taken seriously.

What can we do about it? StevenD has one suggestion over at Booman Tribune. There are two other things I can think of. One, keep writing essays/diaries, to keep it visible in the blogosphere, (which I will be doing) the second is, as the title implies, Alert The Media.

There are only two responsive entities in the media right now, Olbermann  ([email protected])

and Jack Cafferty at CNN

Please e-mail them, and if you don’t know what to say, sending them the ACLU/C&L petition (included below the fold) is not a bad way to go. Oh ad pleae go sign and send it too!

Crying Rape

My Johnny Carson Moment… “I did not know that.”

I did not know that a certain person “cried rape” about the predatory lending which brought about the mortgage/lending crisis.  I bet not many others here did either.

Are you tired of hearing the phrase “subprime crisis” without adequate explanation?

The following comment from OPOL’s recent diary put the pieces of the so-called “subprime crisis” story together for me… not to mention the current global economic crisis which has resulted from it all…

But in 2003, during the height of the crisis, Bush invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act that pre-empted all state predatory lending laws and then made new rules that prevented states from enforcing their own consumer protection laws against national banks.   thank you tahoebasha3

Ah, but from whence did the information in tahoebasha3’s comment emerge?  Kindly bear with me as we look into it all.  The “cry of rape” happens in Act Three.

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