June 16, 2008 archive

Four at Four

  1. McClatchy Newspapers report U.S. abuse of detainees was routine at Afghanistan bases. “The public outcry in the United States and abroad has focused on detainee abuse at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, but sadistic violence first appeared at Bagram, north of Kabul, and at a similar U.S. internment camp at Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan.”

    The extent of the mistreatment eclipses the alleged abuse previously revealed. “Guards said they routinely beat their prisoners to retaliate for al Qaida’s 9-11 attacks, unaware that the vast majority of the detainees had little or no connection to al Qaida.”

    Since “Bush loosened or eliminated the rules governing the treatment of so-called enemy combatants, however, few U.S. troops have been disciplined under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and no serious punishments have been administered, even in the cases of two detainees who died after American guards beat them.”

  2. The New York Times reports that Officials fear Pakistani nuclear bomb design went to others.

    Four years after Abdul Qadeer Khan, the leader of the world’s largest black market in nuclear technology, was put under house arrest and his operation declared shattered, international inspectors and Western officials are confronting a new mystery, this time over who may have received blueprints for a sophisticated and compact nuclear weapon found on his network’s computers.

    Working in secret for two years, investigators have tracked the digitized blueprints to Khan computers in Switzerland, Dubai, Malaysia and Thailand. The blueprints are rapidly reproducible for creating a weapon that is relatively small and easy to hide, making it potentially attractive to terrorists…

    The design is electronic …. making it easy to copy – and they have no idea how many copies, if any, are circulating.

Four at Four continues with flooding in the Midwest and in China, and bloggers being arrested.

The Remnants of War

Originally I was going to postup on a report out of Vietnam, that I received, as to ‘Agent Orange’, a few days back.

But War brings alot of negative results, very few positives, especially in conflicts of choice built on lies and the occupations that result, often having the invading country placing a supportive government in place as they remain the occupiers.

I’ll get to the information on Agent Orange in a moment, but before that I’d like to update some other news on the Remnants of War.

…and what happens when Mukasey ignores these subpoenas?

On one hand, I gotta express support, yet again, for Rep. Waxman, as he is one of a shrinking number of Congressional officials that dare to investigate, ask tough questions and follow up to a large extent.

On the other hand, I can’t help but feel that we have been down this road more than once over the past few years and still are in the same crappy place we were had no subpoenas been issued in the first place.

Devastating Floods Continue Across Iowa

I had a chance to take a few pictures of the flooding in Iowa this weekend.  In much of the state you are bound to run across a scene like the following picture.  This is the Iowa River near Amana, IA, about 20 miles upstream from Iowa City:

What It Will Take

1976…32 years ago, Paddy Chayefsky:

Howard Beale:

I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad.

Howard Beale: [shouting] You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell,



The window thing was a good idea at the time, and great visuals for a movie….but now we have the internet.

Connecting the dots

I’m not always so good at zeroing in on particular issues, providing details related to them, or  analyzing solutions. That’s why I’m so grateful to many of you here that do that difficult work and keep folks like me informed. We’re all hardwired differently when it comes to these kinds of things and I say, “thank the universe for that” because together…we can cover it all.

My particular brain is always trying to question direction and see patterns…to look below the surface and try to determine what’s driving things. So today, when I’ve taken in the information so many of you have provided about things like torture, chemical weapons, modern-day slavery, the intersection of race, gender and class, and the effects of intolerance, I wonder if there is anything that connects these dots. I know that solving these issues will take organized efforts on the individual issues. But what is it that prevents us from getting busy and getting the job done??? I don’t think the problem is in finding solutions, but in motivating people to do it.  

“Congress Responds to Kucinich Impeachment Bill”

Another “FYI” post for those who are fed up to here with all the impeachment talk.

Congress, under the leadership of the esteemed Nancy F’ing Pelosi and Harry “we don’t have the votes” Reid, is apparently doing exactly the job they think they were hired to do.

Congress Responds to Kucinich Impeachment Bill

Congressman Dennis Kucinich has introduced articles of impeachment to the US Congress citing all of the known reasons that current Head of State, George W. Bush should not only be impeached, but also brought up on War Crimes.

Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly stated that impeachment is off the table, as has Sen. Harry Reid.

Upon hearing the 35 pages of crimes committed by Bush, Pelosi and Reid fell into hysterical laughter at the prospect that any Congressman or Senator would pretend to do their jobs. Issuing a joint statement in response to Kucinich, they said, “What does he think this Congress is going to do, work? Fulfill the will of the people? He has lost site of our real purpose as leaders. Our job is not to conduct oversight on illegal presidential acts. It is not our position to investigate these truths. We will let history judge the president and us. We can’t waste time on matters of importance.” Pelosi then excused herself saying she had more pressing issues such as “naming new Post Offices” to deal with.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers, last year received articles of impeachment on VP Dick Cheney, and he has let them die in committee. Conyers insisted; “there are many more issues that are more important which we will not investigate, why put this ahead of them? It’s not like the American people expect us to legislate or put a stop to such actions. The people of this country are just fine with a corrupt leader and incompetent Congress.”

In a surprise statement, failed presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton said, “Leave poor George alone, he is doing the best with what he has to work with. It’s not his fault that his IQ is 39.”

Sen. Joe Leiberman made it as clear as he could say, “President Bush has done no wrong, he is just misunderstood and his mommy and daddy have abandoned him in his time of crisis. He is only following orders of the far right and confused religious groups of which I am chairman.”

Media Bias? NPR = National Progressive Radio? Well, that’s what I heard!

We continue to hear from the strains of Right Wing Hate Radio programming to the musings in conservative rags such as the Washington Times that the media has a Liberal Bias to the stories they cover.  

The Neo-Con’s whine and cry and complain that the New York Times (to a conservative, synonymous with George Soros’ personal newspaper), CNN, The Washington Post, USA Today, BBC News, NPR, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on and on, are nothing more than the mouthpieces of the dangerous liberal movement in our country!  The Wingnut set decries these media outlets for only giving us one side, TEH LIBERAL SIDE, of any story.

Still rolling on here in our quest to find the liberal bias in the so-called Liberal Media outlets.  We’ve been to The Peoples Republic of CNN, we have viewed the writings in The George Soros New York Times and lastly we sailed across the great Atlantic divide to take on the DNC-BBC right there in jolly-old-England.

So far, ….nothing!  Not unlike weapons of mass destrcution in Iraq, no liberal bias was found.  How can that be?!?

Today we will go where NO KONSERVATIVE has gone before and have a look at the most hated of Liberal News Outlets, NPR (aka National Public Progressive Radio).

The wingers hate this news outlet more than any other, due to the fact that not only does some of THEIR tax money go into paying for NPR, but NPR to them is the one place on radio that everyone can access talk radio without having to listenen to Right Wing Hate Radio.  It really pisses them off!

Docudharma Times Monday June 16

Just What’s Needed

More Monopolies

Bring Back The Robber Barons

Monday’s Headlines:

Congress Pushes to Keep Land Untamed

Afghanistan leader threatens to send troops into Pakistan

Nepal puts Hitler’s Mercedes gift on show

Israel pressed to reveal why army killed cameraman

Assaf family returns to uncertain life in Iraq’s Triangle of Death

Zimbabwe’s pro-Mugabe war vets draw hard line

In a rare interview, militia leader threatens to take over more white-owned farms and businesses.

After 15 Years, Hints of Peace in Burundi

Spanish police arrest Russian mafia suspects

Tension mounts as Kosovo Constitution takes effect

Human cost of Brazil’s biofuels boom

Saudi King: ‘We will pump more oil’

 By Anne Penketh in Jeddah

Monday, 16 June 2008

Saudi Arabia will raise oil production to record levels within weeks in an attempt to avert an escalation of social and political unrest around the world. King Abdullah signalled the commitment to the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, at the weekend after the impact of skyrocketing oil prices on food sparked protests and riots from Spain to South Korea.

Next month, the Saudis will be pumping an extra half-a-million barrels of oil a day compared to last month, bringing total Saudi production to 9.7 million barrels a day, their highest ever level. But the world’s biggest oil exporters are coupling the increase with an appeal to western Europe to cut fuel taxes to lower the price of petrol to consumers.

Abuse plagued Afghan camps, too

By Tom Lasseter

McClatchy Newspapers

Second of five parts

KABUL, Afghanistan – U.S. soldiers herded the detainees into holding pens of razor-sharp concertina wire, used to corral livestock.

The guards kicked, kneed and punched many of the men until they collapsed in pain. U.S. troops shackled and dragged other detainees to small isolation rooms and hung them by their wrists from chains dangling from the wire mesh ceiling.

Former guards and detainees McClatchy interviewed said Bagram Air Base was a center of systematic brutality for at least 20 months, starting in late 2001. Yet the soldiers responsible have escaped serious punishment.


In Midwest Floods, a Broad Threat to Crops


Published: June 16, 2008  

NEWHALL, Iowa – Here, in some of the best soil in the world, the stunted stalks of Dave Timmerman’s newly planted corn are wilting in what sometimes look more like rice paddies than the plains, the sunshine glinting off of pools of collected water. Although time is running out, he has yet to plant all of his soybean crop because the waterlogged soil cannot support his footsteps, much less heavy machinery.

Mr. Timmerman’s small farm has been flooded four times in the past month by the Wildcat Creek, a tributary of the Cedar River which overflowed its banks at a record 31 feet last week, causing catastrophic damage in nearby Cedar Rapids and other eastern Iowa towns and farmsteads

FCC Chair To Support XM-Sirius Merger

By Cecilia Kang

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, June 16, 2008; Page A01

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin said yesterday that he will support a merger between the nation’s sole satellite radio operators, XM and Sirius, a decision that could remove the last regulatory hurdle in the lengthy and heavily criticized move to make the companies one.

Martin came to the decision after the companies agreed last week to several commitments intended to prevent the monopoly from raising programming prices and from stifling competition among radio makers, aides to the chairman said in an interview yesterday. Critics have argued that a merger of District-based XM and Sirius of New York would hurt consumers, who would have fewer choices of programming and radio transmitters and who would be charged higher prices because of a lack of rivals.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

State of the Onion VIII

Art Link

Working with Silver

On Worth

Treasure comes in many shades

For some it is always material

For me it is the wonder

of the measurable variability

of human thought and emotion

In the hearts and minds

and souls of others

I find the value

of my own


of my own


Difference is the light

in the darkness

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–March 13, 2006

Please join us on the inside to celebrate, venerate, regenerate and/or motivate our muses.  I’m hoping some more new poems can be anticipated.

Congressman Wexler Stands Strong Again

Robert Wexler is under attack, along with our guy Dennis, for his stand on Impeachment.  Wexler explained the situation by email:

Last Thursday the largest newspaper in my congressional district – the South Florida Sun-Sentinel – published an editorial lambasting my enthusiastic support for immediately holding impeachment hearings for President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.  Numerous letters to the editor have also criticized my support for this movement.

I assure you that I will not back down from this fight – no matter the consequences or political cost.  The only thing that maters is that we deliver accountability for the Bush Cheney Administration and defend our government and our constitution.

The Sun-Sentinel Editorial is printed  below, along with Wexler’s response.  Wexler states:

If you would like to write a letter to the Sun Sentinel, you can email letters@sun-sentinel.com.

Thank you for your continued support.

Robert Wexler


Another chance Friday to speak up against the war

They’ll be flipping pancakes for peace Friday at the Midwest Renewable Energy Expo in Wisconsin.

They’ll hold a teach-in on torture on the train to San Jose, where a picket and vigil will target a Boeing subsidiary accused of providing logistics for those “extraordinary rendition” flights.

Church bells will ring in Massachusetts. Activists will leaflet commuters in San Francisco Bay area, Brooklyn, and Takoma Park MD. Street corner vigils are planned in dozens of communities across the country, large and small.

It’s all part of the Iraq Moratorium , a monthly event that asks people to break their daily routines and do something to show that they want to Iraq war and occupation to end.

Nearly 100 events in 82 communities are listed on the Moratorium website, bringing the total to more than 1000 since the Moratorium began last September.

The Iraq Moratorium does not believe that one size fits all.  It asks people to act, but in whatever way they choose.

The whole idea is to do something — anything — to show your opposition to the war, whether it’s wearing an armband or writing your members of Congress or donating to a peace group working to end the war and occupation.  All it takes to have an action is two people and a sign.  

Friday’s the day.  Please do something.

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