October 14, 2008 archive

Four at Four

  1. McClatchy Newspapers report according to Iraq’s Sunni vice president, the U.S. and Iraq won’t reach accord on troops this year. “The United Nations mandate that authorizes the U.S. military presence in Iraq will expire on Dec. 31 and without a so-called status of forces agreement, it’s questionable whether the U.S. will have a legitimate right to maintain its troops in Iraq, Vice President Tariq al Hashimi” said. He is concerned violence will increase as the U.N. mandate expires.

    The main point of contention is jurisdiction. Maliki has been pressing for jurisdiction to prosecute U.S. troops when they aren’t on their bases, which the U.S. has so far refused to permit.

    “The impression of the Iraqi people is that American troops from time to time exaggerate their reactions, use excessive force and irresponsible behavior,” Hashimi said. “We would like to put an end to that. When this happens in the future there must be prosecution of those who are exceeding the limit of the authorities given to them.”

    The U.S. government has said that the mandate must be renewed if no agreement is reached, or U.S. forces will withdraw, Hashimi said. But it takes time to pull out more 130,000 troops, presenting a new problem about who’d have jurisdiction during a technically illegal occupation.

    The Washington Post adds that with time running out and Lacking an accord On troops, the U.S. and Iraq seek a Plan B.

    Neither side finds the options attractive. One possibility is an extension of the United Nations mandate that expires at the end of the year. That would require a Security Council vote that both governments believe could be complicated by Russia or others opposed to the U.S.-led war. Another alternative would amount to a simple handshake agreement between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Bush to leave things as they are until a new deal, under a new U.S. administration, can be negotiated…

    U.S. officials do not dispute that the absence of an agreement would probably require an immediate end to combat operations and, at a minimum, confinement to bases on Jan. 1.

    Meanwhile, McClatchy Newspapers report Iraqis are being attacked and killed for returning to their homes. Only a small number of the nearly 5 million Iraqi refugess have made an attempt to return home. Many are being attacked upon their return or having “their homes blown up.”

    Sectarian cleansing has helped to reduce the violence in Iraq to a four-year low, but the small number of returnees who’ve been targeted so far could be a warning that the violence could return, too.

    I wonder if Iraq, like the markets, will implode too before Bush escapes office. The “surge” was designed to buy Bush enough time to get clear, but their are signs of the lid coming off the pot.

Four at Four continues with election day in Canada, Brazil’s dam projects, Paraguay’s landless, protecting forests instead of cutting greenhouse emissions, and a bonus graphic of the stock markets compared under Democratic and Republican administrations.

GOTV as Fraud Prevention

Just a quick note in light of stuff like this. As we ramp up for victory, it will be easy to become complacent and perhaps think that your vote doesn’t matter. That Obama will cruise to victory without you.

But please remember that the only SURE way to prevent the Republican Rat-Fucking Machine that brought us Florida in 2000…and thus George Bush….is an unfuckable with, unstealable, unequivocal, unprotestable margin of victory. The Repubs will whine and scream and throw huge tantrums to try to convince the media and the nation that ACORN and other ‘radical terrorists’ have committed voter fraud by registering a few thousand ineligible voters, and thus stolen the election. All while they do all they can to steal it….again.

And again, the only sure way to ensure and inoculate this election is to have a VERY clear majority…everywhere. So do NOT get complacent, Get Out The Vote!

Not For The Weak Stomach – Reality of War!!

Salon has this up at their site and I’m sure we haven’t heard the end of this incident, or like others maybe we have!!

The only way that doesn’t happen is if You, the Citizens Of This Country, Make Sure It Gets Investigated and Indictments come down, not for the Soldiers but for those in Leadership, Top Down!!

Socialism On The March!

Growing up during the Cold War, I actually thought about the fact that one day all of the jingoistic Cold Warriors (on both sides) that were preventing peace, while ratcheting up hate and fear and spending trillions on ‘defense’ over all those decades….would some day be dead.

That until the folks with that mindset were well and truly gone the black and white reactionary views they represented would rule the world. Until they were no longer around to enforce the rabid anti-anything-remotely-resembling-godless-communism propaganda of the Cold War with a Stalinist Iron Fist, we could not move forward from a time long past and an enemy long defeated. That the deep, deep programming that extended to a nearly cellular level and the complete demonization arising from a struggle that truly was existential would rule our world. We would be stuck. Stuck in a mindset that rejected anything…and I mean anything that remotely resembled, had anything to do with, or could even be painted to look like the taint of socialism. And that we would be doomed to a world where a significant (though old, like me!) portion of the populace was poisoned by some of the most effective propaganda ever devised to live in fear of the Red Menace….even though the Red Menace was dead and buried almost two decades ago.

Now, with Cheney and Rumsfeld soon heading for whatever imaginative and exquisite hell they have fully earned and wholly deserve, and John McCain (forgive me!) about to get shot down again…

Here we are. On the cusp of embracing socialism….to save capitalism. And it is the very Republican party that has demonized socialism for well over half a century that is about to embrace it. Apparently, I was wrong! (If only by a few months!) Dick Cheney must be turning over in his grave! We are about to < gasp! > of all things, nationalize the Banking Industry!!!

We are living in an age of nearly absurd irony, my friends!

Open Thread


Busted flat in Baton Rouge waitin’ for a thread.

Docudharma Times Tuesday October 14

Sarah Palin A Political Disaster Area

Where’s Brownie?  

Tuesday’s Headlines:

At Indian call centers, another view of U.S.

China plans string of dams in south Tibet

World Focus: Game, set and match to North Korea

Rwanda to switch from French to English in schools

Zimbabwe: Msika, Mujuru Sworn in

Ireland braced for tough times ahead

Jacqui Smith creates ’emergency bill’ after 42-day detention defeat

Riots fracture rare Jewish-Arab ties in mixed Israeli town

Mideast anti-Americanism doesn’t apply to Harley-Davidsons

U.S. Investing $250 Billion in Banks



Published: October 13, 2008  

WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department, in its boldest move yet, is expected to announce a plan on Tuesday to invest up to $250 billion in banks, according to officials. The United States is also expected to guarantee new debt issued by banks for three years – a measure meant to encourage the banks to resume lending to one another and to customers, officials said.

And the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will offer an unlimited guarantee on bank deposits in accounts that do not bear interest – typically those of businesses – bringing the United States in line with several European countries, which have adopted such blanket guarantees.

London and Asian markets continue world-wide rally of shares after bailouts


From Times Online

October 14, 2008

Leo Lewis in Tokyo, Suzy Jagger in New York, Francis Elliott and GrĂ¡inne Gilmore

London and Asian markets continued the world-wide rally of shares today after governments committed trillions of dollars to stop collapse of the financial system – with America set to unveil its bailout plan in a few hours.

The FTSE 100 share index posted a 4 per cent rise in early trading today after Japanese dealing floors led the way in Asia, unleashing an unprecedented frenzy of buying to post the Nikkei’s biggest one-day gain.

France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Japan and Qatar all took measures to guarantee deposits or improve bank liquidity.



At least 1 dead, more than 10,000 acres burned in two San Fernando Valley fires

Governor declares a state of emergency. A fire in Porter Ranch has scorched more than 5,000 acres and 19 homes. The Marek fire near Lake View Terrace has burned 5,300 acres.

  By Julie Cart,, Ari B. Bloomekatz and Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

October 14, 2008  

With treacherous Santa Ana winds as their bellows, twin wildfires raced through populated canyons, forests and brushlands on the northern fringes of the San Fernando Valley, claiming at least one life and 49 structures, and prompting authorities to suggest a hair-raising, worst-case scenario — that one of the blazes, which began near Porter Ranch, could burn all the way to the Pacific Ocean about 15 miles away.

“This fire has the potential to move from where it is now . . . perhaps as far as Pacific Coast Highway,” Los Angeles County Fire Chief Michael Freeman said Monday afternoon as he assessed what he called “a design for disaster.” Freeman said winds of up to 60 mph were expected to push the fire down through canyons at least through this morning.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

A Transition through Poetry XXIX

Art Link


Not  exactly courage

From my old life I dangled

entangled in the lives

and expectations of others

unable to break free

or maybe too afraid

to seek emancipation

fiercely clutching the shreds

of what I thought was dignity

but it was a fiction

preferred by everyone

even though I strangled

mangled emotionally

dying inside from lying without

suspended in shame

until I lost my grip

I landed on my feet.

Many don’t.

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–January 11, 2006

Liquidating the Empire

Original article, by Pat Buchanan, via antiwar.com:

“Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers.”

So Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon advised Herbert Hoover in the Great Crash of ’29.

Hoover did. And the nation liquidated him – and the Republicans.

Overnight Caption Contest

I Made a Mistake and I Need to Apologize Now!

Cross posted at kos

I wasn’t going to write this because I didn’t want to jeopardize anyone else any more than I already have.

You are all at risk! And it is all my fault! So Please forgive me.

I wasn’t entirely truthful and now you are in danger!

You are all doomed…..and it is because I am here that you are doomed.

Thoughts on Ghandi and Technology

Every advance of technology is a double edged sword.  One can power a million homes with nuclear or incinerate a million homes with nuclear.  One could say figure out which specific nutrients might cause human disease and then sell you “the cure” at a 30,000 percent markup.  What I have is seen by some as the salvation of man or the enslavement of man take your pick.  You all know my stellar “faith” in the human condition.  In my case I don’t place a high value on artificial computer intelligences proactively pre-empting and thus influencing my persona decisions of what “freedom” actually means and then trying to influence my decisions about that.  They, them them, think faster and far more coherently than you do plus they know shit about you, shit you told them by blabbing about it in places like this.

God, I miss the far simpler days of the Cold War when MAD was the only destructive thing to worry about.  Taken from a site I value this was a simple cut and paste.  It is about Google’s vision for the future.  It is about the soon to be institutionalized functions that will affect your life.  Sure financial assholianism is currently “in the lamestream news” but there are multiple prongs to the Illuminati Plan to Destroy America.  Datamining and the use of that data to complicate and ruin your life is just as destructive as the missles of October.

Open Thread

Kai, over at Zuky, has a post up, Time to Throw the Traders Out the Temple (Part 1) wherein he opines about our most recent economic catastrophe:

Every action that the US government is currently undertaking to supposedly “rescue” our economy has more theatrical effect than structural impact. The bailouts, the debt buyouts, the interest rate cuts, all appear designed to artificially prop up certain nosediving assets and mildly encourage a loosening of credit markets without substantially addressing or mitigating the immediate or eventual social costs of financial meltdown.


Most trades these days don’t even involve stocks or bonds, but derivatives, which are contracts establishing conditions and rules for the buying and/or selling of stocks, bonds, or other derivatives. For example, a common derivative would be a stock option; which, say, gives me the right to buy GimongoCorp stock at $5 per share by a certain date; and if GimongoCorp stock hits $10 per share by that date, I get to double my money by executing the option. But here’s where it starts getting funky: the option contract itself can be assigned a current dollar value according to market conditions (using a tricky little piece of calculus known as the Black-Scholes model) and traded on that basis. So for the most part, investment banks have ended up trading not merely stocks and bonds but derivatives of derivatives of derivatives of…and so on. The result is an impenetrable layer of multi-dimensional mathematical abstraction between the allocation of physical resources (i.e. actual societal investment) and the free-market mechanisms which steer that allocation, the proverbial invisible hand.


The most tangible asset that a US citizen can “own” is a plot of land with a house on it. The single biggest historical driver in the accumulation of US wealth has been the theft, redistribution, and subsequent inheritance of real estate. From plantations to Indian reservations, from the Homestead Act to post-Civil War ethnic cleansings, from Jim Crow redlining to the covert racism of modern mortgage practices, the dominant culture has worked tirelessly to build multi-generational economic structures that enrich and advantage white communities while obstructing and disrupting the accumulation of wealth by communities of color. I don’t have to explain to readers here how African Americans and Native Americans and other people of color have waged long and bloody battles to knock down many obstacles. The Fair Housing Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Community Reinvestment Act all marked legal victories in anti-racist struggle; yet we all know that it takes more than legislation to reform centuries of racist cultural practice. Nevertheless, over the years many people of color succeeded in beating the odds, managing to acquire and defend real estate holdings, building thriving families and communities in largely hostile environments.

Open Thread Away!

Load more