August 27, 2008 archive

A Noun, A Verb and POW POW POW POW …..

*** I reworked my original diary and added more to it, the first one was unplanned, a work in progress. ****

First of all I want to say this diary is not about denigrating the service of our military or making light of the heroism of our POWs. There are things about McCain’s POW experiences that need to be put into perspective, because being a POW like John McCain doesn’t automatically make one presidential material or particularly heroic. If this is true of any POW it is true of McCain in spades. Follow me below the fold for some straight talk.

Four at Four

  1. The NY Times reports Wind energy bumps into power grid’s limits. The nation’s “power grid that cannot handle the new demand” from added renewable energy. “While the United States today gets barely 1 percent of its electricity from wind turbines, many experts are starting to think that figure could hit 20 percent.”

    The grid’s limitations are putting a damper on such projects already…

    The basic problem is that many transmission lines, and the connections between them, are simply too small for the amount of power companies would like to squeeze through them. The difficulty is most acute for long-distance transmission, but shows up at times even over distances of a few hundred miles…

    The power grid is balkanized, with about 200,000 miles of power lines divided among 500 owners. Big transmission upgrades often involve multiple companies, many state governments and numerous permits. Every addition to the grid provokes fights with property owners…

    Wind advocates say that just two of the windiest states, North Dakota and South Dakota, could in principle generate half the nation’s electricity from turbines. But the way the national grid is configured, half the country would have to move to the Dakotas in order to use the power.

  2. The Oregonian reports that Black helicopters startle Portlanders. Portland was invaded by the U.S. Army and Navy special operation forces. Armed men in four MH-6 black helicopters startled and scared Portlanders and “generated dozens of calls to emergency dispatchers and the mayor’s office”. The operations were part of a joint-training exercise.

    The crews practiced drills including aerial maneuvering, landing and dismounting in an urban setting, said Lt. Nathan Potter…

    “We routinely train in places that we’re not familiar with,” he said. “The first time our guys are in a large, unfamiliar city, it should not be in combat.” …

    The Defense Department held training in June in Denver, he said. It also conducted previous training in other cities, including Los Angeles, Boston and New York.

    I suspect the U.S. military is planning to fight in U.S. cities… against Americans.

Four at Four continues with a top U.S. diplomat ambushed in Pakistan, Taliban gains in Afghanistan, suicide attack that killed 25 people in Iraq, three U.S. soldiers that executed Iraqis, and China to surpass the U.S. in greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation.

The Nation and the Obama campaign

Original article, by Jerry White, via World Socialist Web Site.

The “special convention issue” of the Nation magazine features a lengthy article entitled “Progressives in the Obama Moment,” which seeks to make the case for those opposed to war and the reactionary policies of the Bush administration to rally behind the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Note: The Nation article is here:…

Heckuva Job, Brownie, Part Deux? (Updated x 3)

Cross posted from The Dream Antilles

Its name is Gustav.  And nobody is entirely sure where it’s going.  But the 5 day forecast map from makes an alarming prediction:


And that prediction is that this storm could grow in intensity and travel to New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Join me in the City that Care Forgot.

Would we truly be racist if we demanded “Made in the USA”?

Amazingly, in the past several months I’ve been called a racist 3 times, more than anytime in my life!  The first time was when the Jeremiah Wright thing broke out and I defended the guy, I was called bigoted against whites.  Then, just the other I was called first "pro-Black" then "racist against whites" because I favored Barack Obama over that walking museum piece from Arizona.  Now, today, the conservative economic blog site, Carpe Diem, is labeling people like me racist for demanding things be made in this country!

A heartfelt plea to the Far Left

We can never really know how others perceive us, but in todays political spectrum, I consider myself to be Far Left. Certainly some folks on Dkos and elsewhere would agree, and certainly folks elsewhere would not. Probably because I try to mix what I perceive as political reality or pragmatism into my principled politics. I have been called a Dirty Fucking Hippie Radical, a Purity Troll AND a sell out to the Corporate Fascist Insects in my time, both on the web and in “Real Life.” And this post may get me more of the same. But fuck it, this needs to be said. From the bottom of my  40 years on the Far Left heart….

PLEASE………stick a clothespin on your nose and Vote For Obama.


Yes, yes I know all of the objections. He is a tool of the Corporate warmongers. A Neo-con/Neo-liberal in Progressive clothing. Another empty suited con man for The System that is destroying Freedom and the Planet. The figurehead of a cult of personality whose intention is to bluff his way into office as a Populist Democrat and then continue all of the horrible agendas of the Ruling Class and the Military Industrial Complex. And a litany of other complaints to numerous to mention. And picking the tool of the Bankers and a leader of the insane War on Drugs just makes it worse. A vote for Obama is a vote for the continuation of The Same Old Shit.

To which I say ….so fucking what.

Obama is FAR from perfect. Obama is far from a true LEFT Progressive. Obama has yet to meet a principle that he is not willing to compromise on. Obama IS in bed with Corporate interests, the very people who have made this world the screwed up place it is today.Obama most likely will NOT fight hard for the things we hold dear. There is a veritable laundry list of things that are wrong with Obama. There are a lot of reasons not to vote for him, he is not a savior or the solution to all of the problems that beset the world. But there is one other thing he is not.

He is not a fucking Republican. He is not George Bush and he is NOT John McCain.

From the bottom up

I’ve recently had some experiences in my professional life that validate the “bottom up” approach to change. I thought I’d share them with all of you to see if there are any threads of learning in them that can help us understand the ways we can work together to grow a movement.

Back in 2000, the non-profit I work for was asked to be part of a coalition with St. Paul Public Schools to write a federal Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant proposal. Our coalition was funded for three years. The role of our organization was to have staff on-site in three middle schools to work with students who are chronically suspended for fighting and/or bad behavior. We all know that sending these kids home for a few days relieves the school of safety concerns, but does little or nothing to address the behavior. In fact, for alot of students, getting a few days off from school is a reward. Our staff were there to work one-on-one with these students when they came back to school to provide structure and accountability – but also support and guidance.

The problem with this kind of coalition is that it dies once the three years of funding are up. That’s exactly what happened here. But the schools in which we participated were especially supportive of the service we had provided over those years and desperately wanted us to continue. After long and hard discussion (its difficult to continue work when you don’t know where the funding will come from), we scaled back to two schools and “hit the streets” to fund raise for these efforts.


Day two at the DNC

Too much to say, too little time. I got into the Pepsi Arena but my pass was only good for the hallways, not the arena itself. Still… I got some good pictures. Thanks to a friend of mine, I’ll make it onto the floor tonight. So stay tuned y’all. Here’s my slide show from yesterday, If you have any questions, Comment here and I’ll respond. All of you at Docudharma are the best!

– ctrenta

Update: Blue Dog party shuts out Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald, and Jane Hamsher despite credentials

h/t to Raw Story for covering this. Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, and A-list bloggers Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher were all shut out of a Blue Dog Democrat party sponsored by AT & T. All three of them had press credentials. Here’s how Amy Goodman covered the event. Welcome to the Dems version of Dick Cheney’s energy council.

Hang tight. More to come! – ctrenta

The War Party(s)?

August 27, 2008 – 6 min 47 sec

Stephen Zunes: Obama’s anti Iraq war stance wiped out by choosing hawk Biden

Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus ( From 1996 to 1999, he served as chair of the Board of Peaceworkers, a US-based group supporting the non-violent struggle of the Kosovar Albanians and other non-violent movements and peacemakers in areas of conflict.

Open Thread


Thread is served.  Come and get it!

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

if in day to day life you lead a good life,

honestly, with love, with compassion, with less selfishness,

then automatically it will lead to nirvana.

–Tenzin Gyatso (the fourteenth Dalai Lama),

from Religious Values and Human Society

Phenomena XXX: ephemeron

Searching for Fertile Ground

Leaving Nothing but Footsteps

I tread


though life

Soft footsteps

shaped like words


like apple seeds

along the years

Applying color

like a butterfly’s wings

to attract the prey

Don’t be concerned

I will not harm you

I need only what allows

the next moment

and the hope that ideas


after I have passed

I have tread lightly

through life

and intend

to leave it lightly

as well

And maybe just

a little better

for my having

been here

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–April 11, 2008

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