July 21, 2008 archive

Oh This Is Rich – NYT Rejects McCain OpEd

Courtesy of video by CNN, turns out the New York Times, after having published an OpEd by Barack Obama, has rejected Johh McCain’s efforts and will not publish his OpEd.

The video is very creepy – the Villagers are all atwitter.

Here is McCain’s rejected piece, in its entirety.

This is considered a big breaking news story.  Yep.

Enjoy the circus that used to be called America.

And no, there’s nothing below the flip.

We Want Change…Are We Ready For The Pain That Comes With It?

Because change is painful. Taking it to the extreme of metaphor, change is death. When we change, either as individuals or as a culture/society, a part of us, a part of the past, a part of who we were in the past….dies. And a new part is born. Birth and death are the two most painful things we face in life. As a society, that is related to the birth and death of ideas and ways of being, the birth and death of societal paradigms. Change…hurts.

Conservatism (political and social) in its essence is nothing more than trying to stop change. Progressivism in its essence is bringing as much change as possible to society. Change is pain. That is why bravery, the bravery to openly and honestly face pain of change, is a Progressive trait…and not so much a Conservative one.


In order to stop the worst of Climate Change, for instance, we have to change nearly every aspect of the ‘American lifestyle,’ from the personal scale to the grandest of scales. Every aspect of our economy, the way we work, the way we get to work, the way we grow our food, the way that food is brought to us, the way we go to get that food at the store, the way we build homes and cities and suburbs, the way we power and use power in our homes, the way we are entertained, educated, find mates….

The ways and reasons we wage wars (or don’t) and all of our foreign policy.

So…did anybody notice….

In a brilliantly timed political move, Barack Obama just happened to begin his ‘shore up my foreign policy credentials’ tour of the mideast and Europe just as Netroots Nation was being held!

Louisiana’s Relationship From Hell: The Sequel

For anybody who thought Louisiana would get a far better deal from BushCo under GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal than she did under Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco, they’d better think again. For Bush’s pattern of abuse against Louisiana seems to transcend her politics. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate,

Bobby Jindal,  angered over the increased costs that storm-wounded Louisiana must shoulder for construction of hurricane protection levees, asked Washington for more time – and a little fairness.

Under the latest war spending bill, Louisiana must kick in $1.8 billion by 2011 in order to activate $5.8 billion in federal funding needed to strengthen the New Orleans-area levee system.

Jindal said Louisiana’s share for repairs to the 360-mile, federally maintained levee system, is higher post-Katrina, than before the storm. “It seems ridiculous,” Jindal said, tersely.

Pony Party

Do what you can where you can when you can.

~♥~ Pony Party is an Open Thread. Please don’t wRECk the pony. ~♥~

Americans don’t need Medical Insurance; Need Healthcare for all Guaranteed!

I have Medical Insurance that I purchase through the company I currently work for.  It is very expensive and the coverage is at best, spotty and underwhelming.  I had a Doctor tell me that I needed to see a specialist last year regarding a health issue I was going through.  By the time I got the bills from the “Specialist” and the other places he sent me for tests, etc., I was over my head in deductibles, plan paid maximums for tests and the “Specialist” himself and various other line item expenses that had to be paid by myself.  

They had me set up to go through a number of other tests and see a few other “special” groups to bring about a change for the better in my condition, and I did the one thing that I didn’t want to do, but could only afford to do.

I cancelled all other tests, appointments, etc. and explained to them that I simply could not afford to continue this outpouring of money, even though we were closing in on the problem that was afflicting me.

Yes, I simply quit in the middle of hopefully obtaining a much better outcome.

Remember, I have a job and medical insurance.  Think about those that have neither….

We discuss the known 47 million people in the USA that have absolutely NO MEDICAL INSURANCE at all.  Then we discuss the people in the USA that are under-insured.  I’m pretty sure that most of us that actually have medical insurance fit into that catagory.  Considering the fact that the Insurance Company that provides our Medical Insurance can at any time decide NOT TO COVER ANYTHING THEY DAMN WELL DECIDE NOT TO COVER, I think we are just about ALL in that catagory, whether we know it or not.

July 21 in History

Brought to you as This week in History by Peace Buttons.

Docudharma Times Monday July 21


And Voting

Machines In

America A

Regular Magical

Mystery Tour

Monday’s Headlines:

For ‘Surge’ Troops, Pride Mingles With Doubt

Gypsy girls’ corpses on beach in Italy fail to put off sunbathers

Mystery plague set to wipe out France’s crop of baby oysters

World Focus: Iran’s stalling on nuclear compromise will only hand ammunition to hawks

Mideast facing choice between crops and water

Two dead in Chinese bus blasts  

Bombay slum dwellers’ makeover by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill

Is it the beginning of greater commitment to lasting democracy in Africa or the deepening of hypocrisy?

The ‘problem’ with Bashir is that he’s a better suspect than Taylor

Plea deal unlikely before Gitmo war crimes trial

World warned over killer flu pandemic

By Ben Russell, Political Correspondent

Monday, 21 July 2008

The world is failing to guard against the inevitable spread of a devastating flu pandemic which could kill 50 million people and wreak massive disruption around the globe, the Government has warned.

In evidence to a House of Lords committee, ministers said that early warning systems for spotting emerging diseases were “poorly co-ordinated” and lacked “vision” and “clarity”. They said that more needed to be done to improve detection and surveillance for potential pandemics and called for urgent improvement in rapid-response strategies.

Threat of mass starvation looms in Zimbabwe after latest harvest fails

· Five million will need help within months, warns UN

· Families flee as many reduced to one meal a day

Chris McGreal in Harare

The Guardian,

Monday July 21, 2008

Millions of Zimbabweans are threatened with starvation after the widespread failure of the latest harvest brought on by the government’s disastrous mishandling of land redistribution, and food shortages in the shops caused by hyperinflation.

The United Nations says hundreds of thousands of people require food aid immediately because they have harvested little or nothing in recent weeks. It has warned that up to 5 million will need assistance in the coming months. A third of the population is chronically malnourished.

But attempts to assist them are blocked by a ban on foreign aid agencies working in rural areas after President Robert Mugabe said they were fronts for “regime change” by Britain and the US.


Influx of Voters Likely to Test New Machines


Published: July 21, 2008

With millions of new voters heading to the polls this November and many states introducing new voting technologies, election officials and voting monitors say they fear the combination is likely to create long lines, stressed-out poll workers and late tallies on Election Day.

At least 11 states will use new voting equipment as the nation shifts away from touch-screen machines and to the paper ballots of optical scanners, which will be used by more than 55 percent of voters.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

‘The comprehension of self’, that is the Beyond of all dharmas.”

–Siddhārtha Gautama, The Questions of Suvikrantavikramin

Phenomena III: delving

Film at 11


Deep down below

past even the words

are ideas and concepts

normally unthought

except by the weird

unkempt minds

of those who dare

to be different

Whipped creaminess

of dangerous notions,

syllables expressed

too rarely

and more seldom heard,

whizzes by faster

than can normally

be sensed

Grabbing on

to a possibility

I was taken downward

further than


could conceive

There is truth here

There is more

wherever I look

And who wanted

to be normal


–Robyn Elaine Serven

–December 28, 2007

More Real News: US Foreign Policy, and The Geo-Politics of Oil

What’s a rational American foreign policy?

Aijaz Ahmad: Start with the question, why does the US have to be the most powerful country on earth?

The United States economy is stagnant and faces the possibility of a real Depression. Its currency has lost a quarter of its value on global markets in three years. No country in the entire history of humankind has ever owed as much money to foreigners as the US does today, and this debt rises by about a billion dollars a day. Its military expenditures are higher than those of the next twenty countries combined. It’s time to question basic assumptions about US foreign policy.

The American Expeditionary Force

From the plebian soldier’s point of view, the social contract regarding wartime service isn’t all that hard to comprehend.  Every generation or so, your country goes to war, with the tacit understanding that the government will: only compel you to bear arms for a limited time; compensate you in some way for your time and effort; and tend to any long-tem injuries sustained while fighting for the government’s causes.  So it is that every generation or so, a group of veterans returns to the United States in full belief that the government which sent them into battle will care for their wounds and honor their service – and in nearly every case, find their naïve hopeful trust violated in the most unconscionable, unpatriotic ways.

Join me, if you will, in the Cave of the Moonbat, where tonight your resident historiorantologist will start looking at how that government treated some of the veterans of a war four generations removed from the Iraq Occupation.  Along the way, we’ll take a look at a war message that doesn’t seem to have lost much relevance – or many talking points – over the past 91 years.

Quote for Discussion: Jon Chait on Naomi Klein

For some time, I have wondered at the adulation towards Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” by people who I know and respect.  Finally, I’ve decided to brave it, and as I’m about halfway through, Jon Chait gives it a massive, ten page review.  He’s gentler on it than I am, but that doesn’t mean he’s nice to it.

Klein’s relentless materialism is not the only thing driving her to see conservatives merely as corporate puppets. … Her ignorance of the American right is on bright display in one breathtaking sentence:

“Only since the mid-nineties has the intellectual movement, led by the right-wing think-tanks with which [Milton] Friedman had long associations–Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Institute–called itself “neoconservative,” a worldview that has harnessed the full force of the U.S. military machine in the service of a corporate agenda.”

Where to begin? First, neoconservative ideology dates not from the 1990s but from the 1960s, and the label came into widespread use in the 1970s. Second, while neoconservatism is highly congenial to corporate interests, it is distinctly less so than other forms of conservatism. The original neocons, unlike traditional conservatives, did not reject the New Deal. … And their foreign policy often collides head-on with corporate interests: neoconservatives favor saber-rattling in places such as China or the Middle East, where American corporations frown on political risk, and favor open relations and increased trade. Moreover, the Heritage Foundation has always had an uneasy relationship with neoconservatism. … And the Cato Institute is not neoconservative at all. It was virulently opposed to the Iraq war in particular, and it opposes interventionism in foreign policy in general.

It ought to be morbidly embarrassing for a writer to discover that the central character of her narrative [Friedman] turns out to oppose what she identifies as the apotheosis of his own movement. And Klein’s mistake exposes the deeper flaw of her thesis. Friedman opposed the war because he was a libertarian, and libertarian conservatism is not the same thing as neoconservatism.

Emphasis added.

Seriously, do people really believe her when she says that Israel scuttled the peace process to benefit its anti-terrorism industry?  How the hell is this narrative even slightly believable?

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