June 2008 archive

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’

Friday Philosophy: Money

Apparently when I was born, I was entered into this huge game, the Game.  I never chose to play it.  Apparently I can’t opt out.


Once upon a time, some women bought some prints of my graphics.  I sold them at a Women’s Project Retreat, I think for $10 a piece or so.  Mostly I had a “booth” to let my artwork display to the community I wished to be a part of a little more about who I am.

Occasionally when I have shown them in the world of solids, someone has asked how much I would sell a print of one of my graphic/poem combinations for.  I’ve asked back, “What do you think it is worth?”  Truthfully I haven’t got a clue.  I’ve always ended up not making a sale.  I have given some as gifts to people who have meant something in my life, on occasions where it seemed appropriate.  But truthfully I have no knowledge of their value.

Nor do I want that knowledge.  Isn’t that a hell of a thing.  I have absolutely no interest in money.  I don’t want to play the Game.  But I’m not allowed to opt out.  Helluva thing.  And people talk about losing freedom?

Painted Pony Party

by Elsie Carousel on Brighton Pier, England

by stuttermonkey Salem’s Riverfront Carousel, OR

Yes, There Is A Double Standard……..

going on regarding what politicians and other people have been saying about this current flooding and what they said after the federal flood about New Orleans and those it impacted. I was cynical enough and had had my suspicions as I noticed that something was missing.

To wit: Nobody, even though some of the currently-affected communities along the Mississippi which had also been affected in the flooding of 1993 have been flooded again, has been telling the folks in these communities that they should not rebuild……  

The Bill of Wrongs

Cross posted from my morning Open Thread on WWL this morning.

Finally had time to cross it! Have a grin. (kind of)

I am thinking about the slaughter of the Bill of Rights. Of course, when written it only inferred itself to rich white men anyway; now it blatantly applies to rich white men.

(Hat tip to Mentarch for sending me off on this tangent a couple times this week!!)

Being in a snarkilicious mood, lets examine these shall we? I’m dying to see what I come up with, and dying to see if you can find a better, more humorous way to re-define them in the comments.    

Nuremberg & Shifting Rationales for War against Iran

The germ of this essay was posted as a Comment to Truong Son Traveler’s diary on DailyKos, “The Truth About the Iranian Threat,” which TST also posted on Docudharma.  

Principle VI of the Nuremberg Principles appears to make even the formation of a Resolution such as HRes 362 a criminal act “against peace.” The thrust of the ambiguously-worded HRes 362 seems to be to provide legislative cover for acts of war against Iran. HRes 362 discusses what is to be done about Iran, increasingly demonized as a “Threat to Humanity.”  But why Iran should be held subject to punishment is not yet clear; judgment has been rendered and punishments spelled out, but no criminal act on Iran’s part has as yet been named.

In much the same fashion as the US invasion of Iraq was rolled out on the American stage through shifting rationales and propagandized demonization campaigns, so the “Shock Doctrine” is being prepared for Iran, under similar shifting rationales concealed by similar demonizing rhetoric. I’m not a lawyer or a legal scholar; it just seems to make sense to me that the reasons for unleashing such destabilization, death, and destruction can make all the difference in an assessment of their morality and legality.


Four at Four

America is doomed. Get out while you still can.

  1. Surprise! Congress agrees to keep troops in Iraq until end of Bush’s term, reports The Guardian. “The Democratic-controlled US Congress late yesterday agreed to keep the military in Iraq until George Bush leaves office… The massive war bill faced little opposition… The war bill gives the Pentagon $162bn to continue Iraq operations well into next year… Approving war money for Bush with no strings”.

    Meanwhile in Iraq, the LA Times reports U.S. forces postpone handover in Iraqi province. “The U.S. military today postponed a weekend ceremony to hand over responsibility for security in Anbar province to the Iraqi government, citing forecasts of bad weather… The decision was not connected to a suicide bombing at a community meeting in the Anbar town of Karmah on Thursday that killed 20 people, including three U.S. Marines and two interpreters. High winds and dust storms are expected Saturday… The military provided no new date for the official handover but said it would take place soon.” Feel the “surge” working or is it just the wind?

  2. Surprise! Is Obama turning out to be just another politician? asks McClatchy Newspapers. “From the beginning, Barack Obama’s special appeal was his vow to remain an idealistic outsider, courageous and optimistic, and never to shift his positions for political expediency, or become captive of the Inside-the-Beltway intelligentsia, or kiss up to special interests and big money donors. In recent weeks, though, Obama has done all those things.” Imagine that?

    “In Illinois, fellow politicians and civic activists who watched Obama as a state lawmaker say he’s a political realist who pivots when he needs to, but can be counted on to follow through on big promises… Obama’s aides dismiss criticism of his shifts as misunderstandings of his original positions, or merit-based decisions that Obama had never ruled out.”

  3. Surprise! Key player in waterboarding policy ‘smug’ under questioning, according to the LA Times. “Glaring out through half-rimmed glasses, David S. Addington, a top aide to Vice President Cheney and alleged master-mind of the legal rationale for the harsh techniques, appeared before a House subcommittee.”

    David Addington and John Yoo

    Or, as Dana Milbank of the Washington Post puts it When anonymity fails, be nasty, brutish, and short.

    There he sat, hunched and scowling, at the witness table in front of the House Judiciary Committee: the bearded, burly form of the chief of staff and alter ego to the vice president — Cheney’s Cheney, if you will — and the man most responsible for building President Bush’s notion of an imperial presidency.

    David Addington was there under subpoena. And he wasn’t happy about it.

    Could the president ever be justified in breaking the law? “I’m not going to answer a legal opinion on every imaginable set of facts any human being could think of,” Addington growled. Did he consult Congress when interpreting torture laws? “That’s irrelevant,” he barked. Would it be legal to torture a detainee’s child? “I’m not here to render legal advice to your committee,” he snarled. “You do have attorneys of your own.”

    John Yoo was equally as helpful.

  4. Surprise! The NY Times reports the Dow moves into bear territory as oil hits new high. “Shares fell as oil reached $142 a barrel, a new record, as the major indexes extended their losses a day after a painful 358-point plunge in the Dow.”

    This Recession, It’s Just Beginning, writes Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post.

    So much for that second-half rebound…

    It ain’t gonna happen. Not this summer. Not this fall. Not even next winter.

    This thing’s going down, fast and hard. Corporate bankruptcies, bond defaults, bank failures, hedge fund meltdowns and 6 percent unemployment. We’re caught in one of those vicious, downward spirals that, once it gets going, is very hard to pull out of.

    Only this will be a different kind of recession — a recession with an overlay of inflation.

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, Made it race against time. Once I built a railroad, now it’s done — Brother, can you spare a dime?

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