May 30, 2008 archive

Leave The “Uncontacted” People Alone!! (Updated)

cross posted from The Dream Antilles


The “Uncontacted” Village

CNN  has reported that an “uncontacted tribe” has been sited in the Peruvian-Brazilian Amazon.  The story isn’t really surprising:

Researchers have produced aerial photos of jungle dwellers who they say are among the few remaining peoples on Earth who have had no contact with the outside world.

Taken from a small airplane, the photos show men outside thatched communal huts, necks craned upward, pointing bows toward the air in a remote corner of the Amazonian rainforest.

The National Indian Foundation, a government agency in Brazil, published the photos Thursday on its Web site. It tracks “uncontacted tribes” — indigenous groups that are thought to have had no contact with outsiders — and seeks to protect them from encroachment.

More than 100 uncontacted tribes remain worldwide, and about half live in the remote reaches of the Amazonian rainforest in Peru or Brazil, near the recently photographed tribe, according to Survival International, a nonprofit group that advocates for the rights of indigenous people.

Look at the photo and notice the obvious harmony of the tribe with its environment.  Do they need our help?  Do they need our influence?  Do they need us to be flying over them in our airplanes?  Do they need us to be driving them from where they are?

Four at Four

  1. The Defense War Department has replaced the judge, Army Col. Peter Brownback III, in the Guantánamo Bay “show trial” for Canadian detainee Omar Khadr. The official reason? He is “ill”. The likely reason? Brownback has made rulings in favor of the defense. The Miami Herald reports Pentagon is silent on Guantánamo judge’s ouster.

    Military prosecutors had been pressing Brownback to set a trial date, but he has repeatedly directed them first to satisfy defense requests for access to potential evidence. At a hearing earlier this month, he threatened to suspend the proceedings altogether unless the detention center provided records of Khadr’s confinement.

    The Bush administration is worried Canada might “demand Khadr’s repatriation.”

  2. The LA Times notes that Grandpa McCain’s Web gap is showing. Seems the McCain campaign just can’t keep up with the young whippersnappers these days. “Six of the top 10 videos returned by a “John McCain” YouTube search Thursday pegged the 71-year-old as inconsistent, extreme, wooden or a combination of the three… Contrast that with a YouTube search of “Barack Obama.” It’s a swoon fest, with virtually all of the top entries featuring the Illinois senator at his eloquent, uplifting best.”

    “So how do McCain & Co. get into the YouTube game?” asks the LA Times. “It may be time for McCain to play his own, less-menacing Hollywood ace: Wilford Brimley… He’s got those Quaker Oats ads and that stolid, old-man cool.” I guess Grandpa Simpson is already booked?

  3. I don’t know if America’s corporate media is going to pick up on this, The Guardian reports McCain is using a picture of himself shaking the hand of a uniformed General David Petraeus in his campaign fundraising material. Both Sen. John Kerry and Wisconsin’s Gov. Jim Doyle said this was an inappropriate politicisation of the military. Just like George W. McBush.

    The pair also leapt on the Arizona senator’s remarks yesterday in Wisconsin that US troop levels had declined to pre-surge levels and that some cities in Iraq are “quiet”.

    “I assume Senator McCain just doesn’t know the facts here,” Doyle said.
    “It’s very disturbing to have John McCain continually raise questions about what he knows and what he bases his judgments on,” said Kerry, a Navy veteran of Vietnam.

    “If you don’t know the number of troops it’s very difficult” to assess if they are overextended. The comments raise “serious questions about his comprehension of this challenge”.

    McCain’s reponse? ‘The surge is a success.’ The reality? “The level of violence has been inching up since January, after a 60% drop in attacks nationwide in the second half of last year, according to U.S. military figures.”

  4. Clean coal is a myth and guess what? According to the NY Times, Mounting costs slow the push for coal plant carbon capture. The coal power industry wants “to take the carbon dioxide that spews from coal-burning power plants and pump it back into the ground… But it has become clear in recent months that the nation’s effort to develop the technique is lagging badly.”

    In fact, viable techniques to pump CO2 underground are practically nonexistant. “Considerable research is still needed to be certain the technique would be safe, effective and affordable.”

    Scientists need to figure out which kinds of rock and soil formations are best at holding carbon dioxide. They need to be sure the gas will not bubble back to the surface. They need to find optimal designs for new power plants so as to cut costs. And some complex legal questions need to be resolved, such as who would be liable if such a project polluted the groundwater or caused other damage far from the power plant.

    Test projects have failed and “in January, the government pulled out after projected costs nearly doubled, to $1.8 billion. The government feared the costs would go even higher.” Clean coal is snake oil.

What for? {Devastating News from Mia Farrow}

On the 26th of this month, Memorial Day, at 12:21 AM, Mia Farrow posted the following on her blog. The ‘What For?’ is her subject title, and one many of us have been asking for these 5plus years.

Pelosi’s Statement on McClellan, So…um….now what?

H/t to Kagro X

“I almost wonder how anybody associated with this war, unless they were of completely different philosophy, would not come to the conclusion that this war is a grotesque mistake, that it was misrepresented from the start, not prepared for correctly,” said Pelosi.

“This war is a big lie. It was a lie to begin with..and it continues to be a some point, maybe the lies just got to be too heavy for him to carry,” she said of the former White House spokesman.

Emphasis mine

So gosh Nancy, the war is a lie…..Is lying us into a war that has killed a million people or so a….ya know….CRIME?

One that it is your duty to investigate and prosecute…like Kucinich’s HRes 333 says we should?

One that YOU have the sole power to…and responsibility to ….prosecute through impeachment?

WTF are you waiting for?

Test Drive: Firefox BETA 3

So far so good except that FF3 does not yet support the Proxy AddOn Gladder that I use for The Great Fire wall. So, I have to run a separate Firefox 2 browser for that which requires jumping thru all kinds of fiery hoops since FF only allows one. (It can be done)

The Good News.  It’s way faster.  I went to on both and FF3 won by 20 seconds.  (CNN is very slow here)

The Bestest News:  FF3 allows me to use the DKos BB Codes for html formatting

Woo Hoo! Now, I don’t have to write an essay at DKos and then copy and paste it in over here.

Mozilla says you can easily downsize back to the previous version but I found that bookmarks can get lost doing this and other things, so back up your bookmarks before jumping in the pool.

Impeachment: Bush Says Yes, Pelosi Says No


President Bush, did you authorize illegal domestic spying?


President Bush, did you authorize the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity?


President Bush, did you authorize torture?



Courtesy of Time For Accountability

Pony Party, Phone it in Friday

FRIDAY!!!!   Finally!!!!!!!!

corb lund….’truth comes out’…

DNC Blogging: Congrats to LiA & Other Great Progressive Blogs!

 For all my (myriad) frustrations with the Democratic Party, sometimes they get it right correct:  my home state’s premier progressive blog, Left in Alabama, will be live blogging from this year’s Democratic National Convention in Denver.  

Here’s “mooncat’s” announcement (hot off the presses) of getting word of LiA’s being credentialed to live blog from Denver.

Well, Left in Alabama and about 120 other blogs from around the country.  Things got a bit sticky a few weeks ago.  I don’t know, and frankly don’t care to know, all the inside story on this (several stories here and orange covered that, I think) when some very worthy blogs were frozen-out passed-over  (through inadvertent neglect, I think, not through intentional sinisterness – thus my point about “frozen out” not being the correct term for what happened),  but that’s all been fixed and word’s just come down from on high that LiA and many other great, state-based blogs are now credentialed and going to Denver.

Thanks are in order to many state party leaders, both here in Alabama and around the country — who listened to, and worked with, the people “in the trenches”, their progressive, hard-working, blogging constituents.  They went into action and worked with the blogosphere and the DNC to get this whole kerfuffle worked out, amicably and righteously.  

The moral of the story:  that screw-ups or oversights happen is not the issue; how decision-makers handle, and react to, and fix screw-ups is the issue.  Here, they did well.  Again, thanks are in order to state and national Democratic Party leaders.

Please feel free to give shout-outs to your favorite state-based progressive, Democratic blog.  We’re all in this together.

Mu . . .

Docudharma Times Friday May 30

Al-Qaeda In Retreat

Al-Qeada In Retreat

Al-Qeada In Retrea

Until The Need

For Good Old Fashion Fear Mongring

Friday’s Headlines:  Former prosecutors challenge White House immunity claim   Europe fuel protests spread wider   Party leader faces ruin over Stasi spy claims    Low-caste tribe riots in Delhi for right to be ‘untouchable’   Internet backlash forces Japan to shelve plans to send relief planes to China   Rogue Sadr militias roam Baghdad   U.S. Withdraws Fulbright Grants to Gaza    Mugabe presides over decline in Zimbabwe’s wildlife parks    Aerial images prove existence of remote Amazon tribe

The last Briton in Guantanamo faces death penalty

After being held prisoner by the US for six years, inmate to be charged with terrorism offences despite protesting his innocence

By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor

Friday, 30 May 2008

A British resident who is facing the death penalty in Guantanamo Bay has made a final desperate plea to Gordon Brown to end his six-year ordeal and bring him home today.

In a letter delivered to Downing Street, Binyam Mohamed, the last Guantanamo inmate with the automatic right to British residency, calls on the Prime Minister to use his influence with President George Bush to stop an American military “kangaroo court” sending him to his death.

Mr Mohamed, 29, from Kensington, west London, who is expected to be charged by the Americans with terrorism-related offences in the next few days, claims he has suffered horrific abuse during more than six years in detention without trial.


Campaign Jousting Returns to Iraq War

McCain, Obama Trade Attacks

After a strong push from Sen. John McCain’s allies, the war in Iraq has moved back to center stage in the presidential election, with McCain attacking Sen. Barack Obama for making up his mind about the war without visiting the war zone and Obama charging that McCain has yet to learn the lessons of President Bush’s mistakes.

“The next commander in chief is going to have to make decisions that will either lead to peace and security in Iraq or chaos and conflict,” said Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, sounding a theme that Republicans have pushed all week. “The voters need to know how the candidates will make that decision. And the fact that there are 2-year-old Iraqi children who weren’t born the last time Obama was in their country raises questions about what he is making his decisions on.”

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Shiny Objects

Words arrive

at the edge

of consciousness

searching for

meaning, rhythm

and grace

Visual emphasis


the mind

and heart


to the words

through what is seen

and what is not

Words are spilled

one life’s blood

hoping a gatherer

happens to pass

this way

The thoughts

are moderately


into a shiny object

to attract


–Robyn Elaine Serven

–May 29, 2008

Please join us on the inside to celebrate, venerate, regenerate and/or motivate our muses.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

You know, at one time I aspired to Journalism.  I think any politically active child of an age to have experienced Watergate did as soon as they gave up on being an Astronaut (which I did young because of my poor eyesight óò).  Since l’affair Lewinski though I have become really radicalized about ‘The Press’ and now view 98% with a pure passionate contempt which while white hot is but a dwarf compared to the Rigelian levels they deserve.

The press is a gang of cruel faggots.  Journalism is not a profession or a trade.  It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits – a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.

(I)t (is) a low trade and a habit worse than heroin, a strange seedy world full of misfits and drunkards and failures.  The business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.  There’s also a negative side.

Objective journalism is one of the main reasons American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long.- Hunter Thompson

The transcript of last night’s Hardball is up and it does Gregory no more credit today than his video last night.

A McCain Glossary: Sticky Words and Phrases

It’s about framing the narrative, stupid.

This fall Republicans will trumpet John McCain’s experience and valor, and Democrats naturally will call into question McCain’s judgment and vigor. Barack Obama will throw a few sharp elbows during debates and on the stump, but the grassroots work of shaping the narrative on McCain will fall to Obama’s running mate and to other surrogates, including canvassers and ordinary voters at the precinct and neighborhood levels.

Below the break is a sampling of words and phrases to consider lobbing in McCain’s direction. Some are obvious. Some have already been used elsewhere. Some are wry. Some are harsh.

Surely McCain’s persona and positions will serve as magnets for such descriptive terms, some of which can be made to stick.

Without further ado, here is a modest first draft of a McCain Glossary. Consider the subtitle to be: Narrative Framing for Dummies.

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos and Raising Kaine.)

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