May 19, 2008 archive

Pebble Mine: The biggest environmental threat in Alaska

Everyone has heard about ANWR.*  It is so well known that I do not have spell out the acronym. Ever heard of the Pebble Mine Project?  Probably not. The major environmental organizations have done an extremely poor job of publicizing this disaster in the making. Pebble Mine is worse than anything the oil thugs want to do in ANWR and it is in the permitting stage, making it a critical issue in terms of time and public awareness. Please join me for an introduction to the proposed Pebble Mine Project.


*Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Four at Four

  1. The Washington Post reports the Fifth top aide to McCain resigns. “Tom Loeffler, the national finance co-chairman for Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign, resigned yesterday because of his lobbying ties… He is the fifth person to sever ties with the campaign amid a growing concern over whether lobbyists have too great an influence over the Republican nominee.”

    “McCain… has been criticized for months about the number of lobbyists serving in key positions in his campaign. Until recently, his top political adviser, Charles R. Black Jr., was the head of a Washington lobbying firm…”

    “Loeffler, a former congressman from Texas, is a close friend of McCain’s and took over the campaign’s fundraising last summer… His firm, the Loeffler Group, had collected $15 million from Saudi Arabia and millions more from other foreign governments. He is listed as chairman and senior partner at the firm.”

    The New York Times reports McCain to rely on Republican Party money against Obama. “To confront the Obama juggernaut, Senator John McCain, whose fund-raising has badly trailed that of his Democratic counterparts, is leaning on the Republican National Committee…

    To that end, Republican officials said they were enlisting President Bush, a formidable fund-raiser who has raised more than $36 million this year for Republican candidates and committees, for three events on Mr. McCain’s behalf… Offering a glimpse of the kind of money that can be spread around with such a committee, $300,000 was collected from nine hedge fund executives and real estate investors at an event in New York in March…

    Lacking a robust small-dollar Internet fund-raising operation, Mr. McCain has a busy schedule of some two dozen high-dollar fund-raising events this month.”

  2. Meanwhile, Barack Obama draws a crowd of between 72,000 and 75,000 people in Portland, Oregon. The Oregonian reports “Tens of thousands jammed Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland on Sunday to watch Sen. Barack Obama wrap up a busy weekend in Oregon and a historic campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.”

    According to the Tribune Newspapers, Obama gave his standard 30-minute stump speech, but added a few Portland flourishes. “He’s added a few Oregonian flourishes, drawing big cheers when he said the country can learn from Portland’s commitment to mass transit and bicycle lanes. The biggest applause came when he denounced the Iraq war”.

    “If you vote for me on Tuesday,” Obama said, “We won’t just win Oregon. We’ll win this nomination, we’ll win this general election. And you and I together, we’ll change this country, we’ll change the world.”

Four at Four continues below the fold with a story from Guantanamo Bay and about banning cluster bombs.

If you think there is a humanitarian crisis in Iraq now…

There has been a lot of talk over the past few months and even past couple of years with respect to the refugee crisis in Iraq – the flight of much of the professional class from Iraq, the displacement of millions of Iraqis and the sectarian cleansing are just some of the things that jump to mind.  Couple that with the high unemployment rate, the lack of electricity, the ongoing violence and rampant corruption, and the outlook has been pretty bleak for quite some time.

However, the recent events and fighting in Sadr City that created a shortage of food, water and medicine for tens of thousands of Iraqis (including up to 75,000 children) is just the tip of the iceberg.

How can that be, you may ask.  

The Gray Lady

The NYT’s latest Kristol embarrassment

by Glenn Greenwald, Salon

Monday May 19, 2008 12:47 EDT

The NYT should be very proud of itself. Of course, Kristol was hired at the NYT because his dad, Irv, was really good friends with former NYT Executive Editor Abe Rosenthal, whose son, Andy, currently runs the NYT Op-Ed page. Andy and Bill followed in their dad’s footsteps by becoming good friends (and in every other sense), and Andy then hired his friend, Bill (son of his dad’s friend), as the new NYT Op-Ed writer. So this is typically what one gets — and deserves — when driven by nepotistic impulse.

Rosenthal actually claimed when he hired Kristol that he did so to achieve “balance” and to create diversity on the Op-Ed page. Indeed. Last Monday, Kristol’s column compared Americans who don’t want to fight for Israel to Neville Chamberlain appeasers. Then, on Wednesday, Tom Friedman declared a “cold war” whereby Israel and the U.S. fight together (along with Sunni Arab dictators) against Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. Then, on Friday, David Brooks declared Obama suspect when it comes to hating Hezbollah enough, writing that Obama’s statements bear “the whiff of what President Bush described yesterday as appeasement” and that “if Obama believes all this, he’s not just a Jimmy Carter-style liberal. He’s off in Noam Chomskyland.” Obama then had to call Brooks, demonstrate his commitment to hating Hezbollah, and was cleared by Brooks (for now) of the charge of insufficient devotion to fighting Israel’s enemies.

Media War! MSBC and FoxPlus….The Maddow Movement: Letters!

  The feud between Fox’s O’Liely and MSNBC’s Olbermann has apparently spread to their bosses! With Bill-o, thug that he is, backed by Ailes, perhaps when it comes to the destruction of the Free Press that has helped land us where we are…The Worst Person In The World!

Bill-o, is actually using his bully pulpit to go after and smear the head of GE, NBC’s parent company! A “news anchor,” with the backing of his bosses, going after the corporate head of his rival! Trying to smear him…

Last week, in an unrelated segment with CBS’s Kimberly Dozier about being injured in Iraq, O’Reilly used a graphic that combined GE’s logo with a photo of Ahmadinejad. The heading: “Business Partners.”

…in an attempt to control the content of MSBC’s news! Even if the content they are trying to control is Just Olbermann’s attacks on O’Reilly. And it may indeed, be more than that..

O’Reilly initially retaliated in 2006 with a petition on his Web site that urged MSNBC to fire Olbermann. But he does not mention Olbermann’s name on the air. Instead, he routinely assails NBC — sometimes naming Zucker and Capus — as an organization that “spews out far-left propaganda,” is “the most aggressive anti-Bush network” and is “in the tank” for Barack Obama.”

Though knowing Bill O’reilly, it is probably just about…him. But the precedent being set here is simply stunning! This is a true media war, with O’Reilly and Fox apparently trying to “take down” or at least heavily influence, not just a rival newsman or organization, but the head man of a giant corporation…. because of the news content of their subsidiaries subsidiary. Iow, Fox is tryig to bully MSBC into submission!

Interesting times!

4th of july 2008: do we celebrate or begin again?

It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.

Dick Cheney

• we’ll ask the prisoners at Gitmo and get back to you, dick

• we’d like to ask those who died in Iraq for your oil buddies… just don’t how to reach them

• maybe you could survey, face-to-face, some of those who are no longer free to use their limbs or who lost their peace of mind, their sanity… ask them if your freedom to wage an illegal war was worth the price of their freedom


Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and

another of darkness on the confines of two everlasting hostile empires.

Thomas Carlyle

Hate. And Terrorism.

The Department of Defence defines Al Qaeda as “a radical Sunni Muslim umbrella organization established to recruit young Muslims into the Afghani Mujahideen and is aimed to establish Islamist states throughout the world, overthrow ‘un-Islamic regimes’, expel US soldiers and Western influence from the Gulf, and capture Jerusalem as a Muslim city.”

They’re probably right. I think that’s a good assessment. But, it’s pretty much on a par with defining the objectives of groups like Fred Phelps and his band of christian(?) nutbars, or Aryan Nation, or Ann Coulters or Pat Robertsons followers, and bears no relation to these groups status or non-status as representative of the thinking and intentions of all people in their respective societies – Al Qaeda in Islamic countries, and the groups I mentioned in western Christian societies.

There are crazy fringe fanatics in every society. Al Qaeda is probably a little bigger that the three I just mentioned, but is probably not anywhere the size of the group that supports bush’s hegemonic fanaticism. There are no hordes of billions of insane Islamic killers out there about to wash over us in a tidal wave of massacre.

Maintaining some  perspective is important here, I think. There is a fringe group of fanatics, called Al Qaeda. That is what we are dealing with.

So, what are some things we as a society can do about them? How can we stop them and live peacefully with Islamic countries?

Action: Helping Families Harmed in Iowa Immigration Raid

Over at Standing Firm you can read the terrible story of how our federal government is dealing with the problems of immigration — by coming into small towns and raiding them, tearing families apart, and terrorizing an entire community.

On Monday, May 12, federal immigration authorities raided the Agriprocessors, Inc. meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa. This massive raid led to the arrest of more than 300 workers and quickly threw this small town of less than 3,000 people into chaos.

Throughout the last week family members have been desperate to get information about their loved ones, children are staying away from school for fear of leaving their homes, attorneys have been attempting with limited success to gain access to workers being detained by federal authorities, and the entire town faces an uncertain future. Fears are growing that the detained workers will soon be shipped across the country to be prepared for deportation without being able to speak with attorneys or family members.

Before I go any further into this story, there’s something we call can do to help:

The community of Postville is also organizing a humanitarian response to the raid. Please spread the word to individuals or institutions that would be willing to send donations to support families impacted by the raid. Donations should be sent to:

St. Bridget’s Hispanic Ministry Fund

c/o Sister Mary McCauley

PO Box 369

Postville, IA 52162

(mark “Postville Raid” in the memo)

For further information about providing material or monetary support, please call Sister Mary McCauley at (563) 537-0002.

McCain. Vice Presidential thoughts. Would he? Could he? Maybe… Part 2

I have a question for Dharmite’s everywhere.  As we are all well aware, since WE don’t even have the DNA to think like Republicans, we have to seriously think outside the possible VP contender list, because Republicans may not be able to hit a curve ball but they sure have been really good at throwing them.  Democrats aren’t exactly batting 1.000 against that pitch, either.

We can speculate until the cows come home, (as to why the cows ever left home is something I’m still speculating on, too) but how does one think like a Republican?  How to get inside the insipid mind of the Party of Greed?  Who would want to?  I mean, the pure filth that could stick to you and never wash off might send a mere mortal screaming into the abyss…

If you dare, join me below. Even with the thought that there could be much possible damage inflicted upon myself, I feel someone has to try.  

I’m going in…..

Special Treatment For The Royal Lady

Any mention of “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country.” is ‘low class’. The candidate for change is planning an end-run around Dem primary voters this week. A 41% whipping in West Virginia, a close race in a former stronghold, and sure defeat in Kentucky, probably by double-digits, has the candidate for change spooked.  

The Weapon of Young Gods #23: Salvage Some Dignity

You know the kid lied to you today.

About precisely what, now, that’s the trillion-dollar question. Of course at this point, with the case blown wide open again, any new testimony is merely more potentially twisted, invented material. Reed’s will merely top off the vast, pre-existing repository of fiction in the mammoth case file. Hell, what good was interviewing a functioning amnesiac, anyway? Sure, the kid was calm enough, and he seemed genuine most of the time, but the rambling and the monotone were damn near unendurable at best. Completism isn’t professionalism. You need to remember that.

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Pony Party, Playoff updates

The Pens won the series 4-1, and move on to the Stanley Cup Finals

In the west, game 6 is tonight, the Wings lead the series 3-2.  Be ready to make your finals pick….  😉  

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