August 18, 2008 archive

Pakistan’s Musharraf Resigns To Avoid Impeachment

From the BBC this morning…

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, facing impeachment by parliament, has announced that he is resigning.

In a national televised address he said he was confident the charges against him would not stand, but this was not the time for more confrontation.

The charges against the president include violation of the constitution and gross misconduct.

He has been one of the United States’ strongest allies in its war against Islamist extremism.

His political rivals swept to power last February in national and provincial elections after months of political confrontation and worsening militant violence.

Docudharma Times Monday August 18

Are Barack Obama And John McCain

Running For President

Or To Make Conservative Religious

Leaders Feel Good About Themselves  

Monday’s Headlines:

Accordions are not just a punch line anymore

Tour of Tskhinvali undercuts Russian version of fighting

Europe’s pine may be wiped out, say experts

Last piece of fibre-optic jigsaw falls into place as cable links east Africa to grid

Zimbabwe crisis talks end in failure as power-sharing deal is rejected

The Afghan women jailed for being victims of rape

Christians stage sit-in at airport after Chinese police confiscate bibles

Resilient Sunni Stronghold Tests the Iraqi Army’s Best

Shin Bet upset over prisoner release

Musharraf Announces His Resignation


Published: August 18, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Facing the threat of impeachment, President Pervez Musharraf announced Monday that he would resign, saying the charges against him were false but that he would step down for the sake of his nation.

“In the future, I put myself to the people of Pakistan to decide about my future and they will do justice,” he said, in a televised address to the country. “I am very satisfied with whatever I could do for this country.”

Pakistan has been plagued by political uncertainty ever since the four-month-old civilian government announced 11 days ago that it would bring impeachment charges on the grounds that Mr. Musharraf violated the Constitution when he declared a state of emergency in November, firing 60 judges under the decree.

Russia Vows Pullout as Troops Dig In

Occupied Georgian City Struggles With Aftermath

 By Jonathan Finer

Washington Post Foreign Service

Monday, August 18, 2008; Page A01

GORI, Georgia, Aug. 17 — Russia pledged Sunday to begin removing its troops from Georgia on Monday, but the streets of this occupied city reflected a broadening, not a waning, of Russia’s military incursion. President Dmitry Medvedev vowed to “begin the withdrawal of the military contingent” starting Monday. Russian leaders have made contradictory and at times clearly false statements about their troops’ plans and positions ever since the Georgia operation began. On Saturday, a top Russian general told reporters that his country had no troops in Gori.


DNC plan: Portray Obama as all-American

Speakers will seek to define Democratic candidate on his own terms

 By Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg

WASHINGTON – One of the first images prime-time viewers will see of the Democratic National Convention next week is that of Michelle Obama, who will begin the four-day introduction of her husband, and her family, on her terms.

Like everything else at the orchestrated gala, that is by design.

Democrats face a number of imperatives at their convention, none trickier than making more voters comfortable with the prospect of putting a candidate with a most unusual background – the son of a black Kenyan father and a white Kansan mother, who grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia – and his family in the White House.

Bill Moyers Journal – Andrew J. Bacevich

If you missed the PBS Bill Moyers Journal, this past friday night, or if not on your local PBS station, this is an Interview that should be seen, absorbed and discussed!

For Retired Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich, Conservative, lays out, very clearly, the wrong direction this country has set it’s course on which is leading it towards destruction or a meaningless society as others fill the void of the real World Leadership!

Through the Darkest of Nights: Testament XXXIII

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.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Let no man ever take into consideration

whether a thing is pleasant or unpleasant.

The love of pleasure begets grief

and the dread of pain causes fear;

he who is free from the love of pleasure

and the dread of pain knows neither grief nor fear.

Paul Carus, Chapter XLVIII: The Dhammapda, verse 29

The Gospel of Buddha: Complied from Ancient Records

Phenomena XXIII: dreading

Sky Ensnared

Beaten Down

The world so heavy

he can’t look up

shoulders sag

under the weight

of too many last straws

back bent

from too much sorrow

leaden legs drag bloody feet

painfully forward

until collapse is imminent

Rise up?  How?

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–July 11, 2008

Politics is the Mind-Killer: An Essay on the Nature of Fandom

In the time of the Roman Empire, civic life was divided between the Blue and Green factions. The Blues and the Greens murdered each other in single combats, in ambushes, in group battles, in riots. Procopius said of the warring factions: “So there grows up in them against their fellow men a hostility which has no cause, and at no time does it cease or disappear, for it gives place neither to the ties of marriage nor of relationship nor of friendship, and the case is the same even though those who differ with respect to these colors be brothers or any other kin.” Edward Gibbon wrote: “The support of a faction became necessary to every candidate for civil or ecclesiastical honors.”

Who were the Blues and the Greens? They were sports fans – the partisans of the blue and green chariot-racing teams.

~Eliezer Yudkowsky, A Fable of Science and Politics

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved baseball.  Strangely, in America, when you say you love baseball, or football, or basketball, that doesn’t mean you love playing the game, of course, but that you are a passionate fan and spectator of the sport you love.  I do enjoy playing baseball, although I haven’t actually played hardball in at least a decade.  (One issue that people talk about a lot is how fewer native-born Americans are playing baseball, and making it to the major leagues.  I wonder how much the fact that softball, and not hardball, is the recreational version of the sport, impacts this.  Parents sensibly are more concerned about their kids getting hurt, so kids don’t play with a hardball unless they are in Little League.  Everything else is softball.)  But I’m a Major League Baseball fan.  I can enjoy watching any part of any baseball game.  I’ve been known to become audibly excited when a pitcher throws a great series of pitches, or when a hitter has an at-bat where they keep fouling away pitch after pitch of the pitcher’s best stuff.  I can name the top ten minor league prospects for all thirty teams.

The Stars Hollow Gazette w/ Updates

Picking Fights and Drawing Lines in the Dirt.

Oh Noses. Daily Kos once again has it’s recommended list filled with scurrilous Consipracy Theories (CT stands for “Completely True” BTW).

While the point of this story doesn’t depend on the particulars I’ll briefly rehearse them so you understand the issues I’m really addressing.

So at Rick Warren’s “debate” John McCain told this heartfelt story about how he shared a moment of Christian worship with a guard who scratched out a cross in the dirt at his feet.  One problem with that story is it’s been attributed to Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

In Honor of Alexander Solzhenitsyn: Writer, Leader, Hero

Monday, August 04, 2008

By Paul M. Weyrich

This man who Solzhenitsyn said he had never seen at the gulag took a stick and drew a cross in the dirt. And he left, never to be seen again. Solzhenitsyn later came to believe that that kindly figure was Christ himself.

Other details differ, in Solzhenitsyn’s story the person who scratches the cross in the dirt is a fellow prisoner.

I can’t myself prove it comes from The Gulag Archipelago, it’s Googlebook search indicates no relevant matches from ‘cross’ or ‘dirt’ or ‘guard’, but there are redacted pages and I don’t have an account.  It might be from One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, I haven’t checked that.

What I do know is that Paul Weyrich is this Paul Weyrich and if he remembers it from TWO STINKING WEEKS AGO! so should John McShame or at least his PLAGIRIZING SPEECH WRITERS!  Otherwise they’re incompetent fools.

Just like when they plagiarized the Wikipedia article about Georgia (last week!) and those cookie recipes.

Thought seems to be split into three main camps, ‘Completely True’, ‘Cone of Silence’, and ‘Shut Up’.  ‘Cone of Silence’ isn’t what you think, it’s the contention that McShame’s cheating by knowing the questions before is the more important story.

‘Shut Up’ is exactly what you would think, Democrats too cowardly to challenge McShame’s character as if Mr. Wetstart had any.

August 17th

It kind of reads like a bad horror story, but really it isn’t. Its just my life, and for me its pretty much normal now. Not normal as in average, I know it is creepy. I still have a visceral reaction if I notice the date. I don’t always notice the date… some years it slips by without notice. Is it brain block out, or busy Mom life not to notice the calender?

Anyway, someday when I’m gone, I figure my son will want to know more about me, and look up all this babble. If he really wants to know who I am, he has to hear the tale of August 17th.

Lets start with February 2nd first.

Sometimes life (and death) intrudes

I haven’t been posting much lately.  It’s not personal to Dharmakarma. I enjoy it here. Just had life (and death) intrude.  Not looking for sympathy and am not putting this on the front page as it is personal, but do have a story to share for those few (if any) who might wonder where I’ve gone.

About year ago, a dear friend lost her father. She was unable to adequately mourn because, at the time, she was being treated rather badly by some maniacs who’d decided they didn’t like her political positions (which, btw, mirror my own). I moved in with her, as a friend, at first, because I was concerned for her. That friendship grew with my admiration at her ability to handle hardship. There are some people in this world who are simply special.  She is one of them and I love her dearly. However, I did not entirely understand the pain she was experiencing, partly because she handled it so well. Now, through a loss of my own, I’ve come to understand and realise that my support for my friend had been inadequate.

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