July 11, 2008 archive

Healing the Divide: Hey Crackhead

Sometimes other people disappoint us.  Sometimes people we don’t even personally know let us down and cause us pain.  At those times we have a choice to make:  reach out to the offending party in peace to keep open the lines of communication or declare all-out war and severe any hope of connection.

Perhaps we can take a lesson from the creative response of one injured individual.  He used Craigs List to reach out, offering connection, vulnerably sharing his pain while holding firm to his principles.  Here is exemplary letter, courtesy of Best of Craigs List.

This may look long, but the subtlety is mostly in the details.  I assure you every word contributes to the whole.

Four at Four

  1. The NY Times reports the OPEC leader issues a warning about Iran and the oil supply. “Iran, the second-largest producing country in OPEC after Saudi Arabia, produces about four million barrels of oil a day out of the daily worldwide production of close to 87 million barrels.”

    Abdalla Salem el-Badri, the OPEC secretary general, warned that “oil prices would experience an ‘unlimited’ increase in the event of a military conflict involving Iran”.

    “We really cannot replace Iran’s production – it’s not feasible to replace it… The prices would go unlimited,” Mr. Badri said during the interview, referring to the effect of a military conflict. “I can’t give you a number.”

  2. The Guardian reports an Afghan government inquiry has concluded that a US air strike wiped out an Afghan wedding party. “A US air strike killed 47 civilians, including 39 women and children, as they were travelling to a wedding in Afghanistan, an official inquiry found today. The bride was among the dead. Another nine people were wounded in Sunday’s attack, the head of the Afghan government investigation, Burhanullah Shinwari, said.”

    “Fighter aircraft attacked a group of militants near the village of Kacu in the eastern Nuristan province, but one missile went off course and hit the wedding party, said the provincial police chief spokesman, Ghafor Khan. The US military initially denied any civilians had been killed.

  3. The LA Times reports that About 33% of coral species threatened with extinction. A worldwide assessment by international group of scientists have found that 32.8%, nearly one-third, of the more than 700 coral species “face an elevated risk of extinction from global warming” and destructive fishing practices and pollution. According to the study’s co-author, marine biologist David Obura, the “loss of coral reefs could have a profound effect on more than 500 million impoverished fishermen in the tropics who rely on them to feed themselves and their families”.

  4. Finally, this from BBC News — Urban farming takes root in Detroit.

    The idea is very simple: turn wasteland into free vegetable gardens and feed the poor people who live nearby.

    Motown has lost more than a million residents since its heyday in the 1950s and it is common to see downtown residential streets with just a few houses left standing.

    Taja Sevelle saw the hundreds of hectares of vacant land in the city and came up with the idea of creating an organic self-help movement that would be “affordable (and) practical”…

    Visiting one of the largest allotments, on a site that had been derelict since Detroit’s infamous 1967 riots, locals spoke about an astonishing transformation…

    “That’s one cucumber you didn’t have to pay 69 cents for,” she adds, with a smile.

    There are no fences but one local said greed had not been a problem.

    “People are only taking what they need, because they know it’s for everybody,” he said.

    NPR also has a story about this: Farms Take Root in Detroit’s Foreclosures. Transforming Motown into Growtown!

Beginning on Monday and for the following two weeks, Four at Four will hopefully be brought to you by an amazing guest editor!

Whaaat? No Parting Gifts???

“Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.”

How bout some frikkin Turtle Wax then? Or a years supply of Rice-A-Roni?

Can I at least get, like, a $10 phone card?!?!?


I’m a AMERICAN dammit! If you sell my Constitutional Rights….

I at least want some decent shwag in return!

In fact I am putting CorporAmerica on notice right NOW!

When you guys finally drown my planet, I at least want a Korpororate Kommemorative Kayak!


Life Not Worth As Much As 5 Years Ago – WTF?

Your Government is at work.  It’s HARD WORK to put a value on an American life, but by gosh, Your Government is willing to do it.  Not only are they willing to do it, but in the past five years, Your Government has downgraded the WORTH of your life by $900,000.00.

Let’s take a peek into this piece of unsavory news.

From AP:

It’s not just the American dollar that’s losing value. A government agency has decided that an American life isn’t worth what it used to be.

The “value of a statistical life” is $6.9 million in today’s dollars, the Environmental Protection Agency reckoned in May – a drop of nearly $1 million from just five years ago.

The Associated Press discovered the change after a review of cost-benefit analyses over more than a dozen years.

Though it may seem like a harmless bureaucratic recalculation, the devaluation has real consequences.

When drawing up regulations, government agencies put a value on human life and then weigh the costs versus the lifesaving benefits of a proposed rule. The less a life is worth to the government, the less the need for a regulation, such as tighter restrictions on pollution.


Brave New Foundation: “In Their Boots” Episode 2- Webcasts

The first episode of the groundbreaking new live webcast “In Their Boots” aired on Wednesday, 2 July 2008, with host Jan Bender as he explored the lives of the Babin family as they care for their wounded veteran son Alan. That premeir show was Part 1 on Alan and the Babin family, Part 2 aired this past wednesday, 7-9-08.

Docudharma Times Friday July 11

Cowboy George

Sure Loves

That Good Ole Fashion

Air Pollution

Friday’s Headlines:

EPA Won’t Act on Emissions This Year

Once again, Israel cuts a deal with its worst enemies

‘This is like apartheid’: ANC veterans visit West Bank

Moscow names British diplomat Chris Bowers as spy

Dutch court upholds U.N. immunity in genocide case

UN agrees to Bhutto investigation  

Unofficial schools aim to boost prospects of China’s migrant children

Sanctions will cause civil war, Zimbabwe tells UN

Kenyan waitress sacked for being HIV positive wins landmark case

Venezuela, Colombia to meet on mending relations  

Sudan Leader To Be Charged With Genocide

Peace Efforts in Darfur Could Be Hampered, Some U.N. Officials Fear

By Colum Lynch and Nora Boustany

Washington Post Staff Writers

Friday, July 11, 2008; Page A01

UNITED NATIONS, July 10 — The chief prosecutor of the Internationals Criminal Court will seek an arrest warrant Monday for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, charging him with genocide and crimes against humanity in the orchestration of a campaign of violence that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in the nation’s Darfur region during the past five years, according to U.N. officials and diplomats.

The action by the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo of Argentina, will mark the first time that the tribunal in The Hague charges a sitting head of state with such crimes, and represents a major step by the court to implicate the highest levels of the Sudanese government for the atrocities in Darfur.

South Korean tourist shot dead in North Korea

Jonathan Watts, east Asia correspondent


Friday July 11, 2008

A North Korean soldier shot and killed a South Korean tourist who wandered into a restricted zone today, casting a shadow over hopes of a resumption of bilateral talks between the two sides of the divided peninsular.

The fatal shooting at the Mount Kumgang resort this morning coincided with a breakthrough offer by the South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, to resume dialogue and provide food aid to the North.

According to the Seoul-based Yonhap news agency, the soldier opened fire on the 53-year-old woman tourist surnamed Pak after she crossed into a military area.


A Trickle That Turned Into a Torrent  


Published: July 11, 2008

The word began spreading across Wall Street trading desks on Monday morning: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant companies at the heart of the nation’s housing market, might be in trouble.

The tumult, which continued on Thursday, started with a cautionary analyst’s report, one that might have caused few ripples in normal times. But these are not normal times. Within minutes, the price of the companies’ shares was plunging, sending shock waves through the financial markets, the economy and Washington.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

If there is a “We” and we want the world to be a better place, then one would think we would want to join in common cause, which requires finding common ground.  That last thing is not so easy.

State of the Onion XXVII

Art Link

Suspended in Blue

Common Ground

Common ground

cannot be found

when some people demand

that everyone have

the same beliefs

as themselves

Common ground is found

when it is acknowledged

that individuals

with different beliefs

can work together

towards the same goals

Common ground is found

when we concentrate

on what we do

not why we do it

or what we believed

while we were doing it

Common ground

is populated

when individuals

with different beliefs

can respect the value

of divergent points of view

Most important of all

common ground occurs

when people are willing

to be changed

by the effort they make

to seek it

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–February 10, 2006

4th Amendment Hit Squad

Via Blue Tidal Wave: http://www.bluetidalwave.com/2…

Fuck it! I’m in!

Dear Friends:

I have never asked you for much.  But please, please contribute to my cause!

Please click on my link at News3Online, below, provided by one of my supporters!

All major credit cards are accepted, but cash is preferred.

God bless you, and GOD BLESS AMERICA!—-

Hey Tom,

I went on this online community thing and everyone was talking about you… what is going on? There’s even a video about it on News3Online:


Let me know,


The Stars Hollow Gazette

Uplifting.  That’s the ticket.  What do I think about when my heart is sore?

It was a better life.  I don’t mean all the travelling and seeing aliens and spaceships and things.

That don’t matter.

The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life.  You know, he showed you too.

That you don’t just give up, you don’t just let things happen.

You make a stand, you say no.

You’ve got the guts to do what’s right when everyone else just runs away.

Only 30% ever supported the Revolution.

Wexler calls July 10th “…a perfect impeachment storm…”

For those of you holding your breath, you can exhale now.  For all of us, I think we can take some cheer.  At 5:30 PDT, I got an e-message from Congressman Wexler:

Capitol Hill is buzzing today with major developments regarding our campaign for impeachment hearings for President George W. Bush and Vice Presideent Dick Cheney.  Just today, in what could be described as a perfect impeachment storm:

  • Karl Rove once again thumbed his nose at Congress and the American people by brazenly ignoring a lawful congressional subpoena to testify before the House of Representatives;

• Judiciary Chairman John Conyers indicated his willingness to use the power of inherent contempt against Rove if necessary;

• Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced another article of impeachment on Bush’s lies regarding the Iraq war; and

• Speaker Nancy Pelosi was quoted today saying that the House Judiciary Committee should address the issues that Kucinich raises in the House Judiciary Committee.

After years of work by so many of you, the time appears ripe to finally hold Bush and Cheney accountable.

Reflecting on Wexler’s letter brought many thoughts — about blogs, the netroots, activism, but mainly about OTB’s ants and the Weapons of Blog Destruction.

We the blogging worker ants turned our powerful WBDs outward on the timid complacencies of the status quo.  It wasn’t just the blog, and it wasn’t just DD, but the collective forces of these and many others converged, through e-space and resultant phone calls to members of congress to form the perfect storm.  I say this with the humility of just one of the many, many worker ants.

Perhaps tahoebasha3 said it best in a comment on my original essay, after a couple of calls to Pelosi and much web search, tahoe found that a Pelosi spokesperson said Pelosi had never urged the Judiciary “not to pursue contempt charges against Rove”, that such a statement had just been a rumor floating around the blog.  So tahoe commented:

It’s possible she did say it, but the uproar has caused a total retraction — who the hell knows—tahoebasha3

Casting about for the Beauty Platform

The days go by, the years flow away

The oceans run dry…

But you are alone, in your soul and your eyes

These tears, these wounds…

But don’t you look, don’t look around

Stay the way you are

Stay yourself

The whole world lights up [in] your eyes

If the love lives in [your] heart.

You watched all the movies about love

But there’s also a lot of fairytales in real life

Don’t hurry, wait and you’ll see –

Everything will happen, just not right away.

But don’t you look, don’t look around

Stay the way you are

Stay yourself

The whole world lights up [in] your eyes.

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