June 28, 2008 archive

Docudharma Caption Contest

Below the fold.

There are no prizes, only Zuul.

Thank you for participating in my experiment.

Docudharma Caption Contest

Below the fold.

There are no prizes, only Zuul.

Thank you for participating in my experiment.

The Mendacity of Hope

By Pham Binh via counterpunch.com:  http://counterpunch.com/binh06…

ATTN: Veterans, Families of, Friends of, Caring Others

The beginning of this is an attempt to bring you up to speed on what has been going on this past year leading up to the purpose of this post, a New Investigation on Veterans Care, and the request for those listed in the subject title to get involved with, especially the Veterans having their troubles with the VA and their Care.

Docudharma Times Saturday June 28

What’s the Difference?

…Between A Blood-Sucking Leech…

…And A Hedge Fund Manager?

The Leech Hasn’t

Been Arrested,Yet.

Saturday’s Headlines:

Political Maneuvers Delay Bill After Bill in Senate

Iraqi officials outraged by U.S. raid in prime minister’s hometown

In the tunnels of Gaza, smugglers risk death for weapons and profit

Cabby fights for a clean ride in smoker-friendly Japan

North Korean nuclear deal may signal internal shift

Ink-stained finger voters hope will keep them alive

 US finally passes bill to remove Mandela’s ‘terrorist’ tag  

MPs to give Berlusconi temporary immunity  

First meeting of Kosovo assembly

Memories of 1978, good and bad, roil Argentina

U.S. and Europe Near Agreement on Private Data


Published: June 28, 2008

WASHINGTON – The United States and the European Union are nearing completion of an agreement allowing law enforcement and security agencies to obtain private information – like credit card transactions, travel histories and Internet browsing habits – about people on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

The potential agreement, as outlined in an internal report obtained by The New York Times, would represent a diplomatic breakthrough for American counterterrorism officials, who have clashed with the European Union over demands for personal data. Europe generally has more stringent laws restricting how governments and businesses can collect and transfer such information.

Report: Iran will use oil as weapon if attacked

Military chief warns of controls on route where two-fifths of oil is shipped

MSNBC News Services

updated 6:33 a.m. ET June 28, 2008

TEHRAN, Iran – The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said the country would impose controls on shipping in the vital Gulf oil route if Iran was attacked, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

Fear of an escalation in the standoff between the West and Iran, the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, have been one factor propping up sky-high oil prices. Crude hit a record level on international markets near $143 a barrel on Friday.

Envisioning a world of $200-a-barrel oil

As forecasters take that possibility more seriously, they describe fundamental shifts in the way we work, where we live and how we spend our free time.

By Martin Zimmerman : times staff writer

June 28, 2008

The more expensive oil gets, the more Katherine Carver’s life shrinks. She’s given up RV trips. She stays home most weekends. She’s scrapped her twice-a-month volunteer stint at a Malibu wildlife refuge — the trek from her home in Palmdale just got too expensive.

How much higher would fuel prices have to go before she quit her job? Already, the 170-mile round-trip commute to her job with Los Angeles County Child Support Services in Commerce is costing her close to $1,000 a month — a fifth of her salary. It’s got the 55-year-old thinking about retirement.

“It’s definitely pushing me to that point,” Carver said.

The point could be closer than anyone thinks.


Bust, boom or treading water? What’s up with the economy?

 By Kevin G. Hall | McClatchy Newspapers  

 WASHINGTON – Everywhere you turn, the news on the economy seems dire. Oil prices are through the roof, home prices are through the floor, the stock market’s plunging and the entire U.S. economy seems shaky. Here’s a look at what’s going on, why and when we’ll know things are turning around.

Q. What’s hurting the U.S. economy now?

A. There are three big drags on our economy: the slumping housing market, the sustained rise in oil prices and an increasingly fragile banking system. Combined, they’re socking it to the economy.

bootleg raw: an apology and…

i have to apologize to all of you for letting my anger get the better of me. And i apologize to NPK, NLinStPaul, and kj for the hurtful things I said to them. And I apologize to myself, because lashing out hurts me. And, with all respect, I’m not asking that we all be friends nor do I think this heals all wounds. I just don’t think there is any reason to inflict any more blows.

Life is personal. Work is personal. Blogging is personal. And, imo, this I’m going to quote Night Owl here, because I think he nailed it… where it can all go wrong for me…

Its a consequence of … approach (4.00 / 2)

… (the) whole approach in this thread has been to focus almost exclusively on the terms I use, rather than the context in which they are made.

So instead of actually discussing the idea I am trying to articulate, … moral advantage (is sought) by harping on my terminology.  Basically, the ‘OMG! I can’t believe he said that!’ approach.

Then, after … becoming frustrated because I refuse to apologize for the (admittedly colorful) words I use, … others start questioning my motives and intentions, and when that doesn’t work … just start making stuff up that I didn’t say and downrating my comments.

Meanwhile, if  you would merely try to engage the substance of my argument rather than tut-tutting the way I say it, we might all come to some better understanding without all the fireworks.?

44% of Americans in Favor of Torturing Innocent People.

Americans are backward people.

44% support the torture and imprisonment of innocent people who have not been charged with a crime.  That’s a lot of goddamn people.


Random Japan

Enough of that

In response to the knifing rampage in Akihabara that left seven people dead and 10 others injured, game-maker Konami canceled a launch event for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot, which features “a grizzled commando who shoots and stabs his way through enemy lines.”

The Japan Patent Office will distribute a handbook to local governments and companies after it was revealed that the names of 19 of the country’s 47 prefectures have been registered as trademarks-in China.

A 38-year-old member of the Matsuba-kai yakuza organization who was gunned down on a street in Adachi-ku was also found to have been stabbed twice.

Doctors in Chiba removed a softball-size towel from a 49-year-old man’s stomach that had been left there in an operation 25 years before.



Percentage increase in Japan’s fertility rate in 2007, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry

¥3 million

Yearly tuition at Rote H, a new Tokyo cram school that “prepares high school students for entry into Harvard University”


Number of students enrolled at the school


Average price of a liter of gasoline in early June-the first time in history that the figure has topped ¥170, according to watchdog group Oil Information Center


Cartons of milk intended for public schools in Chiba whose expiration date was misprinted, forcing a recall

Response to Pfiore8’s Free Speech Essay

There are many levels to this, blogging only being a small part of it. Blogging is like a home or private club to me, and then there is the issue of my gay relatives who have been beaten bloody in the 70’s.

I don’t think Free Speech was created for “I can hurt you, and be a harassing douchebag in the name of something meant to protect people’s right to object to Governmental or The Elite’s abuse of them”…

Hence; I wrote this last month for my blog. I ban NO subjects, only abusiveness.

Snapshots from Unity

Just got back from Unity, NH. I’m so friggin sunburnt, tired, and I’m not in the mood to submit to Huffington Post. But I will.

Here are some snapshots from today’s event. It actually wasn’t all that bad… from a logisitics POV. Sometimes these events can be a nightmare to cover, other times they’re good. This time they went all right. Hope you enjoy the photos and look for my stories tomorrow AM…. just before I leave for the Green Mountain Daily/Vermont Daily Briefing hamburger summit. That’s the Vermont blogosphere’s annual get together. Don’t worry. I’ll be wearing my Docudharma t-shirt there!

– ctrenta



Barack and Hillary take the stage


Lots more below the fold

A Series of Dreams

I was thinking . . . of a series of dreams . . .

I was thinking of a series of dreams,

Where nothing comes up to the top.

Everything stays down where it’s wounded,

And comes to a permanent stop . . .

We the People are down, we’re wounded, not mortally yet, but BushCo and Congress are squeezing the trigger for the kill shot.  The rule of law has come to a stop.  Nothing comes up to the top.  The gutter we’re in is so deep no one can even see the top anymore, much less get there.  

Just thinking . . . of a series of dreams . . .

Wasn’t thinking of anything specific,

Like in a dream, when someone wakes up and screams . . .

Like when a soldier with PTSD wakes up and screams

Like when a Katrina survivor wakes up and screams.

Like when an innocent Gitmo prisoner wakes up and screams.

Like when 20 million Iraqis wake up and scream.  

Funkin’ Delicious Friday Afternoon

Shuckin’ and Jivin’

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