June 22, 2008 archive

don’t despair


we are here. why? dunno know. yes. i do. it’s about the building and the tearing down and the rebuilding.

then forgetting it all…  to feel it all new again. like we’re here, first, to experience it…

silken threads woven through times of fire and ice floes… slender shiny strong threads

hold onto them

shut your eyes… tell me what you see…  shut your eyes and open your soul


we are here for this. the tough times. it’s when shit happens.

everything. else. is. just. camping_out

waiting for the next upheaval. the next row.

sharpen up. get back to yourself.

primal elemental fundamental original: you

beat the tom toms

hear it because it’s calling you

shut your eyes

hear it

feel it

know it

don’t despair. you’re made for this.

exactly this. we will all be born again.

Café Discovery: Feelings

The other night Debbie asked me to tell her when were the happy times in my life.  Was I ever happy?

I told her that, contrary to any outward appearances or to what other people have believed about me, I spend most of my time happy–in my understanding of the word–because I continue to hold out hope that the world will get better and that I have tried to do what I can to help in that process.  But I also told her that I get disappointed a lot about the fact that the happiness I have felt has seemed to end up misplaced, that the world has not usually become a better place, no matter what efforts I may make.  

That brings me sadness and I don’t like being sad.  In the past I have looked for what I can change to eliminate that sadness.  What can I do to regain that happiness, even if it has a false face?

Admitting to myself that what I have been doing has failed, that it hasn’t resulted in what I have desired, even if it is valued by others, is the usual first step.

I don’t like being a failure at what I endeavor, but an honest evaluation of my life would display that I have consistently been one.  

On National Numbness

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

This morning’s Docudharma Times led off with a New York Times story about the interrogation of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.  It’s worth reading all the way through.  I found it extremely disturbing, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.  Hence, this essay is an expansion of this comment.

As Viet71 appropriately noted in the comments, the Times story

tries to put a “human face” on the CIA torture of prisoners by focusing on a CIA interrogator who doesn’t seem to be such a bad guy at all.

The writer displays absolutely no disgust for the topic about which he writes and paints a fairly calm picture of the CIA renditions and harsh methods.

There is no mention in the article of high-level administration approval of torture.

All in all, I believe this article is aimed at causing people to believe that what the CIA did in these renditions just wasn’t that bad.

In other words, the story appears to be propaganda for the acceptance of CIA behavior in extraordinary renditions illegal extraditions and harsh interrogation techniques torture.

I agree with the comment.  How, I wonder, can the arrest, detention in a secret prison in Poland, illegal extradition, and yes, torture, of Khalid Shaikh Mohammad not provoke outrage?  How, I wonder, did we end up with a story focusing on the “good cop” in the interrogation, and virtually ignoring the “bad cops”, the ones with whom the “good cop” was acting in concert in the interrogation, the “knuckledraggers” who admittedly, repeatedly abused the prisoner?  Do we just overlook the war crimes and human rights violations? Are we numb?

Take One Last Look


One of our Founding Fathers is behind telco immunity

In all of this talk about telco immunity in the FISA bill, the same question keeps popping into my mind:

Just exactly which constituency is it that’s clamoring for telco immunity?

Take one last look at this sacred heart before it blows


Durga pierces the heart

Today I’m going to quote mostly from a book that I have just begun reading – but has already had an enormous impact on me. It’s The Bond Between Women: A Journey to Fierce Compassion by China Galland. Here’s a bit from the synopsis.

Around the world, women are working for healing, and the lives of these women reveal an unusual source of strength: the fierceness of compassion, symbolized in ancient icons, images, and archetypes of the divine feminine. Known to Buddhists in Nepal and Tibet as Tara, to Hindus in India as the goddess Durga, to Catholics in Europe and Latin America as the Black Madonna, and as Jemanja in the Afro-Brazilian tradition of Candomble, this fierce divine feminine arises when the world is on the brink of destruction, and saves us, the ancient stories say.

Galland begins this journey by telling the tale of the Hindu Goddess Durga.

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Leonard Cohen:  Songs from a Room

The Old Revolution

Docudharma Times Sunday June 22

Beer For Everyone

John And Cindy Are Buying

Sunday’s Headlines:

John McCain could have a conflict brewing

Haditha victims’ kin outraged as Marines go free

ElBaradei warns against strike on Iran

Pakistan troops ‘aid Taliban’

 China grabs cut of star athlete Liu Xiang’s gold

No justice for Congo’s child soldiers as trial of militia chief fails

Mugabe allies ‘set up’ political terror

Italian Wag admits she was an illegal immigrant

Soaring fuel prices clip Air Berlin’s wings

Mexico suspends officials in club deaths

Tariff dispute unsettles Argentina

Inside a 9/11 Mastermind’s Interrogation


Published: June 22, 2008

WASHINGTON – In a makeshift prison in the north of Poland, Al Qaeda’s engineer of mass murder faced off against his Central Intelligence Agency interrogator. It was 18 months after the 9/11 attacks, and the invasion of Iraq was giving Muslim extremists new motives for havoc. If anyone knew about the next plot, it was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

The interrogator, Deuce Martinez, a soft-spoken analyst who spoke no Arabic, had turned down a C.I.A. offer to be trained in waterboarding. He chose to leave the infliction of pain and panic to others, the gung-ho paramilitary types whom the more cerebral interrogators called “knuckledraggers.”

Philippines ferry hit by typhoon


Fears are growing for more than 700 people on a ferry which officials say has capsized in the central Philippines in the wake of a typhoon.

Rescuers are scouring the area but their efforts are being hampered by heavy seas and gale force winds.

Officials on Sibuyan island say four bodies have been recovered. There are unconfirmed reports of three survivors.

Typhoon Fengshen has caused flash floods and landslides, killing at least 80 people elsewhere in the Philippines.

The Philippine President, Gloria Arroyo, has demanded an explanation as to why the ferry was allowed to leave port on Friday despite warnings that a typhoon was about to hit.


3 in 10 Americans Admit to Race Bias

Survey Shows Age, Too, May Affect Election Views

 By Jon Cohen and Jennifer Agiesta

Washington Post Staff Writers

Sunday, June 22, 2008; Page A01  

As Sen. Barack Obama opens his campaign as the first African American on a major party presidential ticket, nearly half of all Americans say race relations in the country are in bad shape and three in 10 acknowledge feelings of racial prejudice, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Lingering racial bias affects the public’s assessments of the Democrat from Illinois, but offsetting advantages and Sen. John McCain’s age could be bigger factors in determining the next occupant of the White House.

Dear Senator Webb: a bittersweet letter

Amid all the diatribes, my letter to Senator Webb, to be ignored, with an automated letter to come six weeks from now:

Dear Senator Webb,

I write knowing that my words will have little impact, a staffer will quickly stuff this into the pile for a form response.

Mr Webb: I was a member of (a bit player/contributor to) DraftWebb. I had and have a great deal of respect for you, on multiple levels.  I am hoping (somewhat without hope) that you will live up to, and exceed, that respect through a forceful stance with those like Dodd and Feingold who stand ready to fight against the House FISA capitulation to Bush Administration illegalities.

I use computers. I use the internet. I communicate.  

I am a citizen. I am a patriot. I have put my life on the line for my, for our nation.  

And, as you have, I have sworn oaths to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.

The FISA bill, with its ex posto facto and blanket and secretive amnesty for the telecommunications industry, violates the 4th Amendment, it rips it to shreds.

You have sworn to uphold the Constitution.

Will you uphold your oath?  

Electoral Politics is the Black Hole of Moral Responsibility

When I was younger, I used to believe a lot of things I now find remarkably stupid.  For years, I dated a beautiful woman who was just a couple inches shorter than me.  For reasons I find baffling now, I had the notion in my head that in a couple, it was important for the man to be taller than the woman.  So I didn’t like it when she wore high heeled shoes or boots when we went out together.  I can’t pinpoint the moment that I got over this particular prejudice, but it retrospect, it baffles me.  We actually fought about this once or twice.

Before reading below the fold, read this post by Micha Ghertner.

More Frippery

Thinking of those who fought and lost, no not soldiers in battle, but citizens, folks who tried to speak truth to power and were destroyed by that power.

We may never know the names of those who fought back and were defeated.

We may one day hail those who will finally defeat the forces of evil we so plainly see.  It is unlikely that any more than family and friends will ever know how many paid the price for that victory.

The old fairy tales talk about this, and rather cruely, I always thought.

Thus my poem.  Which is below the fold, because it’s shy.

Load more