August 12, 2008 archive

Through the Darkest of Nights: Testament XXXII

Every few days over the next several months I will be posting installments of a novel about life, death, war and politics in America since 9/11.  Through the Darkest of Nights is a story of hope, reflection, determination, and redemption.  It is a testament to the progressive values we all believe in, have always defended, and always will defend no matter how long this darkness lasts.  But most of all, it is a search for identity and meaning in an empty world.

Naked and alone we came into exile.  In her dark womb, we did not know our mother’s face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth. Which of us has known his brother?  Which of us has looked into his father’s heart?  Which of us has not remained prison-pent?  Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?      ~Thomas Wolfe

All installments are available for reading here on Docudharma’s Series page, and also here on Docudharma’s Fiction Page, where refuge from politicians, blogging overload, and one BushCo outrage after another can always be found.

Four at Four

  1. Here’s a shocker… not. The NY Times reports Mukasey won’t pursue charges in hiring inquiry.

    Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Tuesday rejected the idea of criminally prosecuting former Justice Department employees who improperly used political litmus tests in hiring decisions, saying he had already taken strong internal steps in response to a “painful” episode…

    “Where there is enough evidence to charge someone with a crime, we vigorously prosecute,” he said.

    But not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime,” he said.

    As the inspector general’s report acknowledged, the hiring violations were such a case, because the wrongdoing violated federal civil service law, but not criminal law, he said.

    “That does not mean, as some people have suggested, that those officials who were found by the joint reports to have committed misconduct have suffered no consequences,” Mr. Mukasey said. “Far from it. The officials most directly implicated in the misconduct left the Department to the accompaniment of substantial negative publicity.”

    Oh deary me! Negative publicity! Such a terrible burden to bare. Tsk, tsk. Remind me again why it was better to fill the position of Attorney General and not leave it vaccant until the next administration?

Four at Four continues with an Iraqi interpreter, whales, and the Olympics.

Obama and the Middle East

Original article by Uri Avnery, subtitled A Knight on a Gray Horse , via

Peanut Pony Party

Real News: Who’s To Blame For The Russian Georgian Conflict?

August 12, 2008 – 6 min 8 sec

Pepe Escobar: Georgia is a strategic client state of the US with close ties to the Bush administration

Georgian troops launched an aerial bombardment and ground attack on its separatist province of South Ossetia on Thursday. South Ossetians want to join up with their ethnic brethren in North Ossetia, an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation. Seeing this as an act of aggression Russia launched bombing raids against Georgia, vowing to defend its citizens. More than half of South Ossetia’s citizens are said to have taken up Moscow’s offer of a Russian passport. Pepe Escobar believes that “the hypocrisy of the international community knows no bounds for if the West forced the issue of Kosovar independence then the independence of South Ossetia should also be on the cards.”

Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil is the roving correspondent for Asia Times and an analyst for The Real News Network. He’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, based in London, Milan, Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore, and Bangkok. Since the late 1990s, he has specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central Asia, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has made frequent visits to Iran and is the author of Globalistan and also Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad During the Surge both published by Nimble Books in 2007.

Medvedev Orders an End to Russian Attacks in Georgia

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced in a nationally televised speech on Tuesday that he had ordered an end to the military campaign in Georgia, saying that the Russian military had punished Georgia and restored security.  Various skirmishes had continued overnight Monday but no major offensives on either side were being reported.

From the BBC: Medvedev’s statement included:

“I’ve decided to finish the operation to force the Georgian authorities to peace. The safety of our peacekeeping forces and civilian population has been restored.

“The aggressor has been punished, having sustained considerable losses. Its armed forces have been disorganised”

Docudharma Times Tuesday August 12

These are dangerous days

To say what you feel is to dig your own grave

Tuesday’s Headlines:

China’s ‘protest pens’ unused amid arrests, permit denials

Al-Qaida video calls for war on Pakistan and Musharraf

The curse of Yemen

In dog-walking, Saudi virtue police see vice

Russian leadership: Putin in his element as successor is left in back seat

Sun, sea and a cell: more Britons held abroad

Former refugees launch university in Somaliland

Zimbabwe rivals set for make-or-break talks to end crisis

Rival camps in Bolivia both see victory

Russia Steps Up Its Push; West Faces Tough Choices


Published: August 11, 2008  

WASHINGTON – Russian troops stepped up their advance into Georgian territory on Monday, attempting to turn back the clock to the days when Moscow held uncontested sway over what it considers its “near abroad,” and arousing increasing alarm among Western leaders.

Even as they prepared to convene an emergency meeting of NATO on Tuesday and President Bush denounced the Russian actions in the strongest terms to date, the United States and its European allies faced tough choices over how to push back. They seemed uncertain how to adjust to a new geopolitical game that threatened to undermine two decades of democratic gains in countries that were once part of the Soviet sphere.

Endangered Species Act Changes Give Agencies More Say

By Juliet Eilperin

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, August 12, 2008; Page A01

The Bush administration yesterday proposed a regulatory overhaul of the Endangered Species Act to allow federal agencies to decide whether protected species would be imperiled by agency projects, eliminating the independent scientific reviews that have been required for more than three decades.

The new rules, which will be subject to a 30-day per comment period, would use administrative powers to make broad changes in the law that Congress has resisted for years. Under current law, agencies must subject any plans that potentially affect endangered animals and plants to an independent review by the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service.


Some Web Firms Say They Track Behavior Without Explicit Consent

By Ellen Nakashima

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, August 12, 2008; Page D01  

Several Internet and broadband companies have acknowledged using targeted-advertising technology without explicitly informing customers, according to letters released yesterday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

And Google, the leading online advertiser, stated that it has begun using Internet tracking technology that enables it to more precisely follow Web-surfing behavior across affiliated sites.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Who offends the inoffensive,

the innocent and blameless one,

upon that fool does evil fall

as fine dust flung against the wind.

–The Dhammapada, 125

Phenomena XIX: comparing

Groove Thing

Are we there yet?

We can spend our time

counting the days

living metronomes

beating out the hours

minutes or seconds

but in the end

the important question

is whether or not

tomorrow will be

a better day

than today

and perhaps

we could wonder

for whom

that may be

and for whom

it will not

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–April 2, 2008

The Child of Preemptive War

Yesterday my aunt in Arizona and I got into our usual squabble about politics and world events.  She’s an nice woman, a retired nurse that sadly has drunk the kool-aid John Airbus McCain has put out.  Well today she sent me an email with the subject line “John McCain would handle Russia”.  You can pretty much guess what the whole email was about.  At first I thought I would respond with highlight the usual deficiencies in neo-con foreign affairs.  Then it hit me, what’s going between Georgia and Russia was indeed because of neo-conservative foreign policy!    

Bush Knows New Endangered Species Rule Illegal

Bush is killing Endangered Species law (ESA) by a proposed administrative rule because he does not want ESA to be “used as a back door” to regulate GHG.  Thus, Bush is using a back-door administrative process to change the law because similar attempts to obtain legislation from Congress failed. Bush’s new rule would hasten the extinction of many species by wiping out the independent scientific review currently used to determine harmful impacts on species and replacing it with a unilateral government review devoid of scientific data.  It’s an approach of ignorance is blissful for profits. After all, it was the scientific data which compelled the conclusion for the first time that climate change impacts may trigger listing a species as threatened, which recently happened with the polar bear. Moreover, Bush knows his proposed rule is illegal because a court rejected a similar rule a few years ago.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that Matt Stoller, Chris Bowers, and Paul Rosenberg and OpenLeft in general are must read blogging for me.

It’s hard core political and if that’s not to your taste that’s ok, but talk about fearless advancement of a progressive agenda as well as truth telling about Village counter attacks and co-option.

It’s a Soapblox blog just like ours with the same strengths and weaknesses.

I’m including a sampling of some recent posts of interest below the fold.

A Horesless Pony

What I want to accomplish here is to hijack the idea of the pony party for one meme.  Namely, all this shit in Georgia is how my generation grew up thinking WE WERE ALL GONNA DIE except for the ones fighting over dusty cans of radioactive tuna fish.  Like, pretty much everything has been wargammed from here out to the end of the world: there's no cause to worry.  So.  Something catharctic, celabratory, something nobody recommends, ok? 

On to it… 

Load more