July 19, 2008 archive

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 As wars lengthen, toll on military families mounts

By DAVID CRARY, AP National Writer

43 minutes ago

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Far from the combat zones, the strains and separations of no-end-in-sight wars are taking an ever-growing toll on military families despite the armed services’ earnest efforts to help.

Divorce lawyers see it in the breakup of youthful marriages as long, multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan fuel alienation and mistrust. Domestic violence experts see it in the scuffles that often precede a soldier’s departure or sour a briefly joyous homecoming.

Teresa Moss, a counselor at Fort Campbell’s Lincoln Elementary School, hears it in the voices of deployed soldiers’ children as they meet in groups to share accounts of nightmares, bedwetting and heartache.

It’s All In Your Head?


Amongst my many other deficiencies, I am a male. An America male, at that! Thus I would rather kiss Dick Cheney full on the mouth (Aaack!) than ever ask for help. (Aaaaack!)


I need your help, and Cheney is not around.

I order to keep blogging without going completely insane due to my upcoming move to dial up and the recent demise of my faithful laptop (I am currently using loaners)

Bush Blinks……Twice!

Is our favorite little cowboy growing up?


In perhaps the weasliest fashion possible and using a newly coined weasel word….Horizon….Lil George has agreed to set a timeline for getting out of Iraq.

AND Flip-flopped on appeasing the terrurists in Iran!

Two total 180 degree turns on your cowboy foreign policy in the same week, George?

Well gol-leee, George! What happened to bring it on??? With us or against us? Dead or alive? They brought it, you killed a million people in Iraq and sank our nation and our troops into the quagmire for SIX YEARS, but NOW you agree to set a timeline? Wassup wit dat?

Melons n G-strings

in the country………



Bad Pragmatism in Theory (pt.4): Gramsci vs. the Republicans

There are two models of the acquisition of political power discussed here:

1) the Republican model, in which an “aestheticized” politics is promoted (in this case, it’s the “aesthetics” of the War on Terror and of insecurity in general) in order to capture power for an elite (the Bush administration and its neoconservative cronies, and its financial backers in the oil and defense industries)

2) the model proposed by the Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci, in which a coalition comes to power in order to support the claims of working people.

Here I will try to suggest that the former is “bad pragmatism” and the latter is real pragmatism, and suggest that the Democratic Party stop imitating 1) and find a way to subscribe wholeheartedly to 2).

(crossposted at Big Orange)

The GOP Threatens To Sue Its Own Supporters

The great minds at the Republican National Committee are once again demonstrating their transcendent grasp of marketing, finance, and public relations.

In an action so preposterously witless as to scramble the common cranium, the GOP has sent a “cease and desist” letter to CafePress citing trademark infringement on the part of sellers using the term “GOP” or the elephant logo.

And most of those infringers are pro-Republican!

Pony Party

Saturday Morning Art

dear calico, please delete this if you have a pony.

this was done just in case…..i know you’ve been busy!

dear everybody else, i know nothing about art… just a couple names. but i do know how to find a youtube!

some paintings by VanGogh …

with Enrico Pieranunzi’s melancholy music ( Canto Nascosto )

Art works of Johannes Vermeer

~♥~ Pony Party is an Open Thread. Don’t wRECk the pony! ~♥~

Docudharma Times Saturday July 19


The Pain


Opening Ones


John McCain

Saturday’s Headlines:

McCain backer’s comments anger Muslims

Cafe that linked east and west Germans to close

Was Ahmet Yildiz the victim of Turkey’s first gay honour killing?

Desperate rescue bid to save climbers on ‘Killer Mountain’  

Thailand and Cambodia teeter on edge of conflict at cliff-top temple

Hezbollah’s formidable weapons arsenal under fresh scrutiny

Iraqi village shows hope for wider stability  

‘A Tremendous Day for International Justice’

A prayer for the world’s poor on Mandela’s 90th

Mexican navy seizes cocaine sub

Obama Lands in Afghanistan


Published: July 20, 2008

WASHINGTON – Senator Barack Obama arrived in Afghanistan early Saturday morning, opening his first overseas trip as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee by meeting with American commanders there, and later in Iraq, to receive an on-the-ground assessment of military operations in the two major U.S. war zones.

Mr. Obama touched down in Kabul at 3:15 a.m. Eastern time, according to a pool report released by his aides. In addition to attending briefings with military leaders, he hoped to meet with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan before flying to Iraq later in the weekend.

His trip was cloaked in secrecy, which advisers said was due to security concerns set forth by the Secret Service. His whereabouts have been unknown since he departed Chicago.

Giant steelworks’ leap lets Beijing breathe in time for the Olympics

From The Times

July 19, 2008

Martin Fletcher

For 89 years the great black furnaces and mills of the Beijing Capital Iron and Steel Company – commonly known as Shougang – have been churning out pipes, plates and girders on the edge of the Chinese capital.

For nine decades, as it has transformed trainloads of iron ore into steel for everything from Peoples’ Liberation Army tanks to the new Olympic stadium, this flagship of Chinese heavy industry has also been blanketing Beijing in soot, dust and noxious chemicals.

In recent times the chimneys of its huge plant 11 miles (18km) west of Tiananmen Square have spewed forth 18,000 tonnes of particulate dust a year – the equivalent of 100 average-sized factories – and equally alarming quantities of sulphur dioxide, making it Beijing’s worst polluter.


Bush agrees to ‘time horizon’ for Iraq withdrawal

In a video call with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, he says troop withdrawals still would be tied to security conditions. The shift is seen as an effort to break a deadlock in talks on security pact.

By Julian E. Barnes and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

July 19, 2008

 WASHINGTON — President Bush has agreed to a “general time horizon” for withdrawals of U.S. combat troops from Iraq, the White House announced Friday in a marked softening of his long-standing opposition to deadlines for reducing the American presence.

Administration officials portrayed the shift, which was announced a day after a video conference between Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, as an evolution in policy rather than a fundamental change. They emphasized that withdrawals still would be tied to improvements in security conditions.

But military officials acknowledged that by setting targets for troop reductions, the new agreement was a step toward a timeline.

“The bottom line is I think there has been a little bit of a shift, or at least a shuffle,” a senior Defense official said.

Random Japan

Pipe down!

A court in Okinawa ordered the government to pay nearly ¥150 million compensation to locals who had sued over noise pollution caused by US military choppers based at Futenma Air Station in Ginowan.

This beat definitely won’t go on: taiko drum master Daihachi Oguchi, who performed at the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in 1998, died at age 84 after being hit by a car as he crossed a street in Nagano.

The Mainichi Daily News disciplined several staffers and nixed the popular and titillating WaiWai column after fielding complaints about “inappropriate” content. Damn! No more classic headlines like, “Hooker Housewives redefine a Hard Day’s Work” and “Fast Food Sends Schoolgirls into Sexual Feeding

What were they thinking?

Police arrested a man for slashing a cop with a knife in Akihabara, the same area where

a stabbing spree last month left seven people dead and 10 wounded. The officer had stopped the copycat perp for questioning on “an intuition.”

Citing gifts ranging from beer to takoyaki, a government survey decried the widespread practice of public officials accepting presents from the drivers of “pub taxis,” with 1,402 bureaucrats from 17 ministries and agencies involved.

A disgruntled 61-year-old Osaka man, who later told investigators he was “upset with insufficient social security benefits for my common-law wife,” was arrested after ramming his car into a government building and injuring an office worker. He also tried to light a Molotov cocktail, and police found three propane cylinders in his car.

It was observed that a nail salon in Odaiba staffed by a pair of perky young Japanese women has a sign out front reading “Nail me!”

The Ministry of Finance asked Japanese diplomats abroad to spend less money on tableware, saying they don’t need to use dishes and glasses bearing the paulownia flower, a symbol of the Japanese government.

Authorities discovered about 160 times more asbestos than allowed under the Building Standards Law at a parking lot in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward.

Tokyo University was ordered to pay back taxes on about ¥3.3 billion in illegal payments it made with research funds in fiscal 2004.

A hired driver was found with a knife sticking into his chest in an underground parking lot in Ginza, and astute police officers were able to determine that “there was a high possibility he had been stabbed by an assailant.”

Fireflies & Lightning

Fireflies and Lightening at the same time right outside my window. No rain right now, but its really cool.

Time to move off the negative pointless shit, however mildly amusing and back to the beauty.

Look outside and tell me what you see.

I see my death over my left shoulder, as I always have since reading Carlos Castenada, but more apparent from my episode earlier this week. It makes everything more kodachrome, everything more perfect.

I swear the colors are brighter, the music more lovely; my beloveds more precious than ever.

Obama’s entrance exam

Original article by Lance Selfa via socialistworker.org.


The real audience for the Obama campaign’s “move to the center” isn’t some group of swing voters, but the political, media and business establishment of the U.S.

Load more