June 23, 2008 archive

Four at Four

  1. An hour ago, the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming had a briefing by James Hansen, a climate scientist and the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, on the 20th anniversary of his Senate hearing where he said he was “’99 percent’ certain that humans were already warming the climate.” The NY Times reports that now, two decades later, the Climatologist renews his call for action.

    Hansen planned briefing would state “it is almost, but not quite, too late to start defusing what he calls the ‘global warming time bomb.'” He planned to present “a plan for cuts in emissions and also a warning about the risks of further inaction.”

    The Guardian reports he will tell the committee to Put oil firm chiefs on trial. He will “call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.”

    Speaking before Congress again, he will accuse the chief executive officers of companies such as ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy of being fully aware of the disinformation about climate change they are spreading.

    In an interview with the Guardian he said: “When you are in that kind of position, as the CEO of one the primary players who have been putting out misinformation even via organisations that affect what gets into school textbooks, then I think that’s a crime.”

    He is also considering personally targeting members of Congress who have a poor track record on climate change in the coming November elections. He will campaign to have several of them unseated.

    Congress will not like his ideas, but I do.

  2. Spiegel Online reports German politicians want nukes out of Europe.

    Following the release of confidential information from a US Air Force report claiming that US nuclear weapons in Europe are not properly taken care of, German politicians from across the political spectrum are calling for the weapons’ removal…

    The information, included in an article published Thursday on the Web site of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), states that most nuclear weapons sites in Europe fail to meet US Department of Defense security standards and that several of the sites required “significant additional resources.” …

    Although the number and location of nuclear weapons in Europe is not public knowledge, FAS estimates put their number at between 200 and 350 weapons stored in underground vaults at bases in Belgium, Holland, Italy, Turkey, the United Kingdom and at Büchel Air Base in southwestern Germany.

    Stars and Stripes reported on Saturday, Air Force investigators: Most European bases with nukes lacking in security. “At some places, the duty of protecting nuclear weapons fell upon foreign conscripts with as little as nine months of military experience, the report said… Problems with nuclear safety at bases in Europe was unknown until Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists obtained a declassified version of the full report and posted it on his blog earlier this week.” Kristensen’s blog entry is here.

Four at Four continues with stories from the Supreme Court and the war and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

FISA & the Dream of Total Omnipotence

Niemand sieht mich, wenn er mich sucht;

doch überall bin ich, geborgen dem Blick.

Perhaps the commenter August Adams put it best, following upon a Robert Parry article on the Democratic capitulation on telecom immunity for illegal Bush administration wiretapping:

So we are a Capitalist State

So, fascism is led by a dictator, so how does a “super” capitalistic state, one where the President and the Congress and the Senate are all in lock Step, differ from a Fascist state where the Dictator simply seizes power.

I guess we live in a State where the leaders simply use the Corporate Controlled Capitalist Media to spin propaganda and the “electoral” process is manipulated to select our rulers.

Humans Only Change Through Crisis

Will they?


Now that even The Shepherds are starting to ask questions? AP: Is everything seemingly spinning out of control?

I hate dehumanizing my seven billion brothers and sisters by calling them sheep. But after spending fifty years on this planet with them, it is tough not to make the comparison. I do not think less of them for their self-involvement, life on this planet is tough. There is work to do to keep the children fed and teach them right from wrong. Friends and neighbors to care for, lawns to be mowed, garages to be painted, things to do, places to go, people to see. Busy, busy busy. There is too much to do already, in their small portion of the world. They have learned since grade school that looking up, or god forbid, speaking up, is dangerous and just plain wrong. And when they do look up from the monumental task that keeping body and souls together on this little rock can be, what do they see?

Forces beyond their control, from all indications. Events and actions on a global scale that seem to bear no relation to their neighborhoods or living rooms. Especially through the warm insulating filter of their teevees, which tell them that everything is no more of a mess than usual and that their highest function is to consume, that if they consume correctly they will feel fulfilled. Their leaders reassure them and tell them not to worry. We know what we are doing, we will keep you safe, they say. Trust us, and go about your lives …well go about the lives that we proscribe for you….and do as you are told…don’t bother to pay attention…if you see that something is wrong, report it to the Authorities….we will keep you safe, we will keep you warm, we will take care of everything so that you can play your part. Go along to get along. You can’t fight City Hall. Trust us and consume. We are smart, you are busy. Trust us. The world is too complex for you to grasp, we know what we are doing. Trust us. If it seems like things do not make sense, that is because YOU do not understand. Trust us.

We have built a nice green meadow just for you…all you need to do is graze contentedly.

Oh, and a small reminder. We have dogs and guns and can do whatever we want. Don’t make trouble, keep your heads down, ignore the smells and sounds from the slaughterhouse just over the hill. Trust us.

Through the Darkest of Nights: Testament XXIII

Every few days over the next several months I will be posting installments of a novel about life, death, war and politics in America since 9/11.  Through the Darkest of Nights is a story of hope, reflection, determination, and redemption.  It is a testament to the progressive values we all believe in, have always defended, and always will defend no matter how long this darkness lasts.  But most of all, it is a search for identity and meaning in an empty world.

Naked and alone we came into exile.  In her dark womb, we did not know our mother’s face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth. Which of us has known his brother?  Which of us has looked into his father’s heart?  Which of us has not remained prison-pent?  Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?      ~Thomas Wolfe

All installments are available for reading here on Docudharma’s Series page, and also here on Docudharma’s Fiction Page, where refuge from politicians, blogging overload, and one BushCo outrage after another can always be found.

NFTT: You Will Never Know How Much It Means…

It’s Monday, and that means everybody supports the troops! Here at NFTT (Netroots For The Troops), we’re we’re preparing care packages to ship to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It warms my heart to know that people take the time, money, and effort to pack and ship a box 8000 miles across barren land with only the hope that it bring a smile to someone’s face. You will never know how much your support means to all of us, how a bite into your favorite candy bar can bring you home.

That’s from a letter a soldier sent to a perfect stranger who shipped him a care package.  A little comfort can go a long way.  You know you want to be a part of that comfort, so give us a little time and/or a little money.

And speaking of money, I’ll put some where my mouth is. I’ll match the first $500 donated today from here and from dailykos. That’s right. I made this challenge and posted this over at the GOS, too.  When you chip in, I’ll make it double.

Please join me below for the details.  

Pony Party: Sweet Pony Blue Eyes

What have you got to lose?

karynsig (flickr creative commons)

Kjunstorm (flickr creative commons)

Yesterday was the 64th Anniversary

And what Anniversary would that be, you ask, Well:

Of President Franklin Roosevelt’s signing of the GI Bill, which enabled millions of veterans to go to college, and is credited for sparking the post-war economic boom.

Docudharma Times Monday June 23

Most Of Us Dream Of Change

Others Just Flip and Flop

Monday’s Headlines:

Comedian George Carlin Dies in Los Angeles at 71

‘Mugabe has declared war and we will not be part of that war’

In Algeria, a tug of war for young minds

Iraq: How a daring new generation of graphic novelists view the art of war

Gaza blockade is eased but family of hostage solder try to halt truce  

The Ukrainian ‘genocide by starvation’

UN chief signals shift on Kosovo

Town in India rocks (no use to wonder why, babe)

Resistance snuffed out as Olympic torch tours Tibet

Bolivia faces August showdown as autonomy wins again

Agreements Are Elusive at Oil Talks in Saudi Arabia


Published: June 23, 2008

JIDDA, Saudi Arabia – A hastily convened global energy summit meeting led by Saudi Arabia ended largely in disagreement on Sunday, with only a modest pledge of increased production by the Saudis and no resolution on what other practical steps should be taken to ease the crisis over soaring oil prices.

The Saudis, who considered the meeting a success because of the high attendance, announced a production increase of 200,000 barrels a day and an expansion of their output capacity if needed in coming years.

But news of the immediate production increase had already been absorbed by the world market for oil. Some experts had anticipated that the Saudis might announce a bigger increase.

U.S. Network Falters in Mideast Mission

CAIRO First of two articles

By Craig Whitlock

Washington Post Foreign Service

Monday, June 23, 2008; Page A01  

The Egyptian bureau of al-Hurra, an Arabic-language television network financed by the U.S. government, boasts a spectacular view of the Nile River and the capital’s bustling streets. But inside, all is quiet.

The bureau’s satellite link was unplugged with little explanation a few weeks ago by a local company, making it impossible to broadcast live. Since then, staffers have had to use a studio controlled by the Egyptian secret police, who have warned guests not to say anything controversial on the air.

Al-Hurra — “The Free One” in Arabic — is the centerpiece of a U.S. government campaign to spread democracy in the Middle East


Obama Camp Closely Linked With Ethanol


Published: June 23, 2008  

When VeraSun Energy inaugurated a new ethanol processing plant last summer in Charles City, Iowa, some of that industry’s most prominent boosters showed up. Leaders of the National Corn Growers Association and the Renewable Fuels Association, for instance, came to help cut the ribbon – and so did Senator Barack Obama.

Then running far behind Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in name recognition and in the polls, Mr. Obama was in the midst of a campaign swing through the state where he would eventually register his first caucus victory. And as befits a senator from Illinois, the country’s second largest corn-producing state, he delivered a ringing endorsement of ethanol as an alternative fuel.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

State of the Onion XIII

I have learned, over time, to celebrate being Other.  The boundaries of human existence are the frontiers of our possibilities.

Art Link

On the Borderlands

The land

on the border

is fertile

The people

are kind



for the most part

until of course

the patrol comes by

to force everyone

to move to one side

or the other

That causes

great turmoil

on the borderlands

so sometimes

we move

the border

when they aren’t looking

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–March 3, 2006

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

It’s Going To Happen

According to Stephen C. Webster at Raw Story:

“Former CIA officer Ray McGovern states that he believes ‘a perfect storm seems to be gathering in late summer or early fall,’ when the Bush administration and allies in Israel will launch attacks against Iran. “This time it will be largely the Air Force’s show, punctuated by missile and air strikes by the Navy,” writes McGovern. “Israeli-American agreement has now been reached at the highest level; the armed forces planners, plotters and pilots are working out the details.”

In his editorial at Anti-war.com Ray McGovern warns:

Emerging from a 90-minute White House meeting with President George W. Bush on June 4, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the two leaders were of one mind: “We reached agreement on the need to take care of the Iranian threat. I left with a lot less question marks [than] I had entered with regarding the means, the timetable restrictions, and American resoluteness to deal with the problem. George Bush understands the severity of the Iranian threat and the need to vanquish it, and intends to act on that matter before the end of his term in the White House.”

George Carlin has Died

I just heard George Carlin died.  When I was very young, he was in his prime. Carlin was the first political stand up comic I knew.  Regarded, then at least, at the successor to Lenny Bruce.  He was the first person to host Saturday Night Live, which some of you know was once a huge cultural event (back in the days of Ackyroyd, Belushi and Murray).

Carlin is a much more important figure than some might think.  His 7 words you can’t say on the airwaves was actually a Supreme Court Case, which he lost 5-4.

Here are some favorite quotes and remembrances:

*Carlin also introduced the “Two Commandments”, a revised “pocket-sized” list of the Ten Commandments, ending with the additional commandment of “Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.”

*While appearing in Las Vegas, Carlin stated that he couldn’t wait to get out of Las Vegas, stating “People who go to Las Vegas, you’ve got to question their fucking intellect to start with. Traveling hundreds and thousands of miles to essentially give your money to a large corporation is kind of fucking moronic.”

*”Tonight’s forecast: Dark. Continued dark throughout most of the evening, with some widely-scattered light towards morning.”

*”When you’re born, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front-row seat.”


“Take a fucking chance! Put a little fun in your life! … most Americans are soft and frightened and unimaginative and they don’t realize there’s such a thing as dangerous fun, and they certainly don’t recognize a good show when they see one.”

Feel free to share your thoughts.

New Freudian Stage Discovered – Old Fart!

A team of scientists and researchers announced a breakthrough in Freudian Theory today.  The team included the esteemed Dr. Numbnutz from Psychedelic State and Dr. Bob (at least that’s what his personalized license plate read) from somewhere in Upstate NY.  By holding up Freud’s personal notebooks to a light they were able to see inverted writing on the back of his notes regarding the Anal Stage of psychological development.

“Basically it boils down to this,” said Numbnutz,”once a caucasian male reaches the age of 65 he enters a stage called ‘Old Fart’.  It is in this stage that the said male will remain for the duration of his life.”

When asked to describe what this stage is like, Numbnutz replied “Like being so far up your own ass you can see what you had for yesterday’s breakfast.”  As examples he listed the following prime “Old Farts”: Jack Cafferty, John McCain + Dick Cheney

More on this breaking story every day for the rest of your life.

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