April 26, 2008 archive

This RepugNut Has Got To Be Kidding!

VietnamA group of Marines ogling a pinup girl outside their bunkers in Khe Sanh, South Vietnam, in January 1968

Targetting Congressional Pages or Toe Tapping in public bathroom stalls is just fine and dandy, as well as giving male prostitutes seemingly unlimitted access to the White House Press Room and only rove knows where else, and the other numorous sex related adventures of mostly republican congressmen, bet the women have a few little secrets themselves.

But shockingly, once again, after being the Lead Cheerleaders, along with their equally sex confused talking heads, o’really are you listening, you to fatboy cyst, to the extremely failed policy of Wars/Occupations Of Choice we get this:

Docudharma Times Saturday April 26

Come with me

Into the trees

Well lay on the grass

And let the hours pass

Saturday’s Headlines: Party Fears Racial Divide: Detainees’ Mental Health Is Latest Legal Battle: In Beijing, No Answer to The Bulldozer: Country for sale: Scores arrested in police raid on MDC and poll monitors: Jacob Zuma: President in waiting: Spain’s military banned from websites showing models or giving sports results: Georgia steps up its diplomatic push for NATO membership: Militias ‘recruit child bombers’:   Questions Linger on Scope of Iran’s Threat in Iraq: Protest in Mexico’s Congress over PREMEX bill ends

U.S. Afghan supply lines depend on Islamic militant

BARA, Pakistan – The only thing standing between Pakistan’s Taliban and the lifeline for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan may be an Islamist warlord who controls the area near Pakistan’s famed Khyber Pass.

In an interview with McClatchy, Mangal Bagh, who leads a group called Lashkar-i-Islam, voiced his disdain for America but said he’s rebuffed an offer from the Taliban to join them.

Truckloads of food, equipment and fuel for NATO troops wind through the Khyber Pass daily to the bustling border at Torkham. Last month, Taliban fighters bombed fuel trucks waiting at Torkham to cross into Afghanistan, and last week, fighting between Bagh’s men and a pocket of Taliban resistance closed the highway for several days.

What if 6 turned out to be 9?

What if…

every cop is a criminal

and all the sinners saints?

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By zwoof at 2008-04-26

Attack at Al Kibar, Syria, Prelude to Attack at Arak, Iran?

Since about five minutes after Israel sent its warplanes to attack a site near Al Kibar, Syria, became known eight months ago, the speculation has been that Israel took out a nuclear reactor. Although the immediate public response from Washington officials was that the target wasn’t a nuke, we now know that those officials thought they knew better and had for months. The question now is whether this attack last September was a prelude to an attack on a nuclear reactor in Arak, Iran.

Six weeks after the attack, the Institute for Science and International Security provided some details and photos, a “confirmation” that the Syrians had been building a reactor near Al Kibar. Moreover, ISIS seemed to agree with U.S. officials who, in early October had said that satellite photos indicated the Syrian site bore the “signature” of a small reactor. ISIS made clear that this structurally resembled a site in Yongbon, North Korea, where plutonium has been extracted for that country’s nuclear weapons.  In December, Clayton Keir explored Syria’s nuclear capabilities for GlobalSecurity.org.

Hence, senior officials of the Cheney-Bush Administration, assisted with visual aids, didn’t provide any real surprises during Thursday’s  all-day briefing of Congress. No doubt it was nuke, they said. North Korea built or helped build it. And, yes, the White House had held extensive discussions with Israel prior to the September 6 attack. About whether the Syrians were actually pursuing the building of a plutonium Bomb the senior officials were less willing to be certain. That’s because there were some crucial missing pieces, including a chemical reprocessing facility capable of separating plutonium.

How I Will Spend My Tax Rebate

I’m scheduled to get $2700 by electronic deposit some time in the next two weeks. I’ve already got most of it spent. Had this list of stuff I’ve been meaning to get for the longest time and some long overdue recreational activities to fund…

Jeremiah Wright = “states’ rights”?

I’ll be quick.

Had a brief conversation at lunch yesterday with someone I’ve known for nearly 20 years now. This gentleman – let’s call him Solley – is a longtime Democratic supporter, to the tune of scores – perhaps hundreds – of thousands of dollars over decades. He and other family members used to be active in Democratic politics and were very well connected within the party, but not so much anymore. He’s a World War II veteran.

We were talking about the presidential race, and about the respective prospects for Hillary and Obama. Solley brought up his concern about the Rev. Wright issue, and expressed the view that it could be a very serious matter in terms of Obama’s electability.

Random Japan

Ashes to ashes, crest to crest — cremation cruises offer new wave of eternal rest

Growing numbers of Japanese are taking a leaf out of the books of ancient Vikings, choosing to cremate their departed loved ones on crematorium ships — and getting a cruise out of it, to boot, according to Sunday Mainichi (4/27).

Cramped living conditions, huge waiting lists for graves and increasingly high burial costs have made death a real pain in the ass for a lot of Japanese.

Get this party started

Passengers on a Nagoya subway line hit the jackpot when a ticket vending machine spat out ¥5,000 and ¥10,000 notes instead of ¥1,000 bills as change. The error ended up costing the station ¥252,000.

Rush Limbaugh: Screw the World! Riot in Denver!

While the Conventional Media is still consumed with remarks made by Barack Obama’s pastor criticizing America, they are virtually ignoring the comments of Rush Limbaugh that are brazenly advocating violence for political gain.

Limbaugh: “Now, I am not inspiring or inciting riots. I’m dreaming. (singing to the tune of White Christmas) I’m dreaming of riots in Denver. Remember 1968?”

And this #$&^%$&%&#@ still has a job???

Brought to you by…

News Corpse

The Internet’s Chronicle Of Media Decay.

Funkalicious Friday: Bring Your Own Funk

Tonight’s ‘Funkalicious Friday’ is presented with my sincerest apologies to ‘K9K’ and ‘BD’…I’m not fit to hold your usb cables….

So in the spirit of filling in on someone else’s funkalicious time slot….and with full awareness of my own lack of funkaliciousness….tonight’s installment will be dedicated to cover songs.

Dylan wrote it, Jimi rocked it….

Friday Night at 8: Crazy Times

Obligatory youtube song, some New Orleans funk from Bonnie and Sheila, danced to by a goofy fellow up north:

My mother used to use a Yiddish word as her highest praise, she’d say “That one is a mensch.”

Lots of definitions of that term, but my mother took it to mean a “human being.”

Crazy times to be a human being.  I dunno, it’s not so much that we’re suffering more than we have in human history as we are able to view what is happening globally in a way never before experienced here on planet earth.

And that has its drawbacks as well … for there is always a difference between viewing an event whether on television or in photographs or on the tubez, and actually being there.

Case in point — 9/11.  Here in the City we were all glued to our TV screens because we only had such a small view of what had happened.  Yet our view was unique and charged by the experience.  We did not have more information, but we had close-up experience that information alone, in all of its manifestations, could not convey.

So we know and we don’t know.  Crazy times.

Progressives and Liberals, Movements and Political Parties – Part 3

Cross-posted from my blog at Campaign for America’s Future.

Today I wrap up my series on Progressives and Liberals, Movements and Political Parties.  In the first entry of the series, I explained what I think distinguishes progressives from modern American liberals, and the distinction to be made between a movement and the political party (or parties) through which it acts.  In the second, I went into some detail on short and long term strategies, how we can use strategic campaigning to influence more Democratic candidates to run leftward, progressive campaigns.

Before I begin in earnest, I must point out that when I write about bringing the Progressive Party to all fifty states I mean we establish presences at the local level.  The reason for this is one of practicality: you cannot hope to achieve tangible, lasting results by trying to build from the top down; the only way to build any structure is from the bottom up.  An example of why this is important is the Green Party-members have tried to go national before they had solid state-level presences and infrastructures throughout the country, and a very damaging consequences has been that it has incurred the wrath of Democrats for the 2000 electoral disaster (unfairly, to be sure, but nevertheless Greens are held responsible).  Trying to win a national-level campaign without first building the local and state infrastructures required is political suicide, not to mention foolish.

So the first step is to begin at the local level.  Seek out and establish contact with like-minded progressives, and start holding meetings.  First figure out if this is something you really want to devote your time and energy to, because if no chapter exists in your state you’ll be starting from scratch, and there is a certain level of commitment necessary to build a political party from the ground up.  Once you’ve decided that you all are set on doing this, it’s time to establish a platform on which to run (for an example, see the aforementioned first entry in this series).

After that phase has been completed, you’ll need to both create a working set of party bylaws for your state or municipality and expand your network to other, like-minded progressives.  As you grow in number, those bylaws are going to come in handy since no political party can function without the organizational structure.  You’ll also want to make clear what your short and long term objectives are.  As I wrote in the second entry of this series, you’ll want to focus on finding and running candidates in areas where Democrats don’t run, or where the Democrat is a corporate-conservative.  Your best bet, of course, is to pick the former over the latter unless circumstances dictate otherwise.  Why?  Because the overall goal for the time being is to decrease the numbers of the GOP in political office, and influence the Democrats to shift leftward.  Use your own judgment, however, as to how best to achieve this goal.

Finally, you need to find candidates.  Running for political office is not for everyone.  I don’t write this to knock anyone, but again, there is a certain level of commitment required and many people simply do not have the time, energy, or passion for politics.  So finding someone who lives and breathes politics is vital.  Once you find someone willing to take on this monumental task of running a political campaign, you need to raise money.  Election laws are set up to eliminate people who can’t raise a set amount of funds.  Speaking for myself, I think that blows, but there is a certain pragmatism to it; if you can’t convince a hundred people to donate fifty dollars, how do you expect to convince a thousand, or ten thousand?

That’s about all I can tell you here.  The rest is up to you.  If you would like more information, you could do a lot worse than to get in touch with the Vermont and Washington Progressives.

Friday Philosophy: Pushing Back the Boundaries

Sometimes we start with an intention to address one idea and someone insists that another idea be spoken, even if that person doesn’t know it or intend to do so.  Wandering can sometimes be productive.  But sometimes not.

Be forewarned.

Central to much of my teaching philosophy is the following concept:

Learning is not a race.  It’s not a contest between individuals.  Students who are competing against each other…or against their teacher…for grades are missing the point of education.

As a student my task, as I understand it now…and maybe I understood it then as well…was to compete with myself to learn more.  And better.  To push back the boundaries of my own ignorance.  And to try to remember that we each possess so much ignorance that even when everyone is striving to push back those boundaries, we will rarely all be pushing in the same direction.

I will never stop being a student.

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