November 16, 2008 archive

Greens Mobilize for Malik Rahim for Congress

Original article, via Ronald Hardy, via Green Party Watch:

Louisiana turned out one of the better showings for Cynthia McKinney on November 4, which may have been due to her embracing of the Reconstruction Platform and strong post-Katrina positions.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 US supply line threatened by Pakistan truck halt

By RIAZ KHAN and FISNIK ABRASHI, Associated Press Writer

1 hr 19 mins ago

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Pakistan temporarily barred oil tankers and container trucks from a key passageway to Afghanistan, threatening a critical supply route for U.S. and NATO troops on Sunday and raising more fears about security in the militant-plagued border region.

Confirmation of the suspension came as U.S.-led coalition troops reported killing 30 insurgents in fighting in southern Afghanistan and detaining two militant leaders – both in provinces near Pakistan’s lawless border.

Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters are behind much of the escalating violence along the lengthy, porous Afghan-Pakistan border, and both nations have traded accusations that the other was not doing enough to keep militants out from its side.

Café Discovery: beginnings

Previous episodes:

250 years of history

mathematics and science, philosophy and religion

Dutch history

to the heavens and back

imitating christ

I’d like to express extreme appreciation to the Mathematics Genealogy Project and Wikipedia.

Last time we had gotten back as far as Thomas à Kempis.  Thomas was educated as a copyist by the newly formed Brethren for the Common Life.

Toyota hits rocky road.

A global economic meltdown has sent auto sales tumbling 32 percent in October alone, which could shake the entire auto industry to its core.

Photobucket Link

Forbidden Fruit

Every human being has a biological drive for 4 things…air, water, food, and sex. We’ve pretty much accepted the first two as givens, but ever since Eve took that bite out of an apple, we’ve struggled with our need for food and sex, coming up with all kinds of rules about who, what, when and how. I, for one, think its highly symbolic that such a powerful myth in our culture involves a woman eating a “forbidden fruit.” After all, we know the long fixation we’ve had with women and sex. Is it any surprise that we are also fixated on what she eats?

From Meer Images Photography

Sunday music retrospective: Al Stewart

Al Stewart I: setting a mood

Last Days of the Century

Sunday Morning Muse-ic Thread

Requiem for Nancy Pelosi…

Supply side doesn’t have anything for your small town

I posted this on dailyKos last week, under my other handle I use there.  It passed by there as most diaries do.  This morning I woke up and started my weekly dose of opposition research and MSM lunacy.  I got 5 minutes of Fox News with Senator Dorgan arguing for taking 25-30 of the already allocated 700 billion to help the car companies (responsible for 3 to 5 million jobs).  Senator Kyl and Chris Matthews countered with the same supply-side crap and “blame the poor people” grandstanding that has gotten us in to this mess.  Then they asserted that the Democrats should “compromise” with the Republicans and not bail out the car companies (just the banks).  I got so angry, I turned the channel to ABC, where Ahnold was saying that Fannie May and Freddie Mac forced so many banks into loaning to people who had no business getting a home mortgage.  As a VP in a community bank, let me tell you that this is a baldfaced lie, but it is one of the somber “explanations” that the wingnuts peddle to again place the blame on “the poor”. (It is also designed to appeal to racists, BTW) I only got through about 6o seconds of Arnold’s  crap before I turned off the TV and decided to repost my rant here.

We’ve sold all the drywall and insulation out of the house that is the American economy, along with the siding, furniture (not the tv, of course), plumbing, and the “unnecessary” parts of the roof.  We’re down to the studs, people, and winter is coming.  What is left of the American middle class is about to be pushed forever into poverty, the the long term GOP-corporatist plan of feudalizing America is about to become complete, and the Sunday morning shills are suggesting we “compromise” with these thieves.  Its time to fight back.  We must obliterate supply side economics and expose it for the insidious farce that it is, with overwhelming force and all due haste.  Now, the repost:

This rant started in a bar in a 2700-person town, arguing politics with a mostly Republican group on the night after the election.  While (thankfully) they accepted the results of the election, and generally wished success for Obama, they also wished he would continue “supply side” and “free market” policies.  Our town, like most others, has been economically decimated the past 30 years.  It started a rap that is roughly transcribed here:

There are relatively few people who have benefited greatly from supply side economics, but if you live in a small town, the numbers are ridiculously skewed against you.  Supply side doesn’t have anything for your small town, except for job losses, poor quality products, the end of locally based businesses, and the erosion of community political and economic power.  These ill effects also spur on other problems such as bad customer service, lack of pride in workmanship, and lethargy in general.

Message Being Sent By Veterans: Defending the Constitution

Veterans Occupy National Archives

photo from Tony Teolis

Docudharma Times Sunday November 16

The Automotive Industries  Mistakes  Are Of

Their Owning Making

Yet The American Tax Payer

Will Be Asked To Accept A Government

Bailout For A Problem They Didn’t Create

Sunday’s Headlines:

Detroit Has Plans for Loans to Retool. First It Must Survive.

On the front line in war on Pakistan’s Taliban

The remarkable renaissance in Chinese art

Albino Africans live in fear after witch-doctor butchery

Kenyan police units ‘murder hundreds’

Inside Europe’s corruption capital: how Bulgaria’s crime mafia plunders EU grant money

Italian Auschwitz Survivor Warns Against Roma Discrimination

Iraq’s Cabinet meets to debate, vote on US pact

Shiite Bloc Fails to Go to Meeting on Iraq-U.S. Pact

Baseball Diplomacy

World Leaders Vow Joint Push to Aid Economy


Published: November 15, 2008

WASHINGTON – Facing the gravest economic crisis in decades, the leaders of 20 countries agreed Saturday to work together to revive their economies, but they put off thornier decisions about how to overhaul financial regulations until next year, providing a serious early challenge for the Obama administration.

Though the countries’ stimulus packages were cast as ambitious steps, they mainly reflected measures that the countries were already undertaking to respond to the crisis. What remains to be seen is whether, working with a new White House, the leaders will cast aside their political and economic differences to embrace more radical changes, including far-reaching but fiercely debated proposals to overhaul regulation.

 Young Tibetans ‘will resist China with blood’

As Tibet’s exiled leaders meet to decide the future of their struggle some are calling for direct action

From The Sunday Times

November 16, 2008

Michael Sheridan

The fate of the Dalai Lama’s birthplace high on a lonely mountainside shows the absolute supremacy of China over his ancestral land on the eve of a critical meeting between Tibetan exiles to debate the future of their cause.

The farmhouse in Taktser where he was born in 1935 stands silent in a walled compound. Destroyed by Red Guards, it was rebuilt and adorned with a golden roof at a time when China and the Tibetan spiritual leader were on better terms. Gaily coloured prayer flags flutter from a tall pole outside.

“We hope he will come back,” said a villager, “but whether that is possible or not is up to the government.”



Catastrophic fires blaze a path of destruction through Southland

From Santa Barbara to Orange County, hundreds of homes burn and thousands of people are evacuated. A mobile home park in Sylmar appears to lose the highest number of housing units in L.A. history.

By Louis Sahagun, Mike Anton and Mitchell Landsberg

November 16, 2008

In a swiftly moving catastrophe that seemed as familiar as it was shocking, Southern California once again was besieged by flame Saturday, from Orange County to Santa Barbara, with hundreds of homes consumed by three major wind-driven fires, including one of the most devastating blazes ever to strike the city of Los Angeles.

At least 30,000 people were ordered to evacuate their homes amid smoke that blew like stinging fog through wind-ravaged canyons. Major freeways, including Interstate 5 and the 91 and 71 freeways, were closed, making escape tricky for some. More than 500 mobile homes were destroyed at a community in Sylmar; and about 100 houses and apartments were damaged or destroyed in Riverside and Orange counties. The numbers were expected to grow.

The elites’ pathetic props for the current system

This diary is about the G20 summit and the economy, but really it’s about the larger implications of a society which cannot let go of its status quo assumptions in time to save itself.  Here’s the false dilemma: either the current system must be saved, or the current system will fail.  The idea that we could switch over to another system, through a set of radical changes, cannot even insinuate itself into the conversation, outside of (perhaps) a marginal section of the blogosphere.  Yet this is what the world most needs.  In light of this, I recommend that we (bloggers) attempt to overcome resistance to some basic premises of thinking about the current situation.

(crossposted at Big Orange)

Third Friday actions focus on new Congress

Having again elected a new Congress with a mandate to end the war, activists are determined to hold Congress accountable this time. The Raise Hell for Molly Ivins Campaign is urging contact with members of Congress, in their home offices, on the Third Friday of the month — Iraq Moratorium day — and has produced a video with Vietnam vet Ron Kovic to promote it.  (That’s next Friday, Nov. 21.)

United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) is urging meetings with members of Congress in their home offices between now and Jan. 3, when they are seated. Says UFPJ:

These visits will help communicate our sense of urgency. Our nation is still at war, as well as in the throes of sharp economic decline and a growing global environmental crisis. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing us billions of dollars, which are vitally needed here at home, and tens of thousands of deaths on all sides. There is much to be urgent about!

With a new administration and a new Congress coming to power in January, we have an opportunity to advance new priorities and to help restore the proper role of Congress in foreign policy matters. But that means we have to start our work now, we cannot wait for several months…

Issues To Address In Your Meetings With Members Of Congress

At a time of economic crisis, the United States needs a new foreign policy, which emphasizes diplomacy and international cooperation, rather than military power and war. In discussions with members of Congress, it will be helpful to stress that our economy will not recover, and we will not have the resources to create green jobs, health care for all, 21st-century education and rebuild the infrastructure, if the military budget is not reduced. The present level of military spending is outrageous and not sustainable with all the new programs promised during the election campaigns.

Other specifics:

1) On Iraq. Congress should insist on the rapid withdrawal of all U.S. military forces and contractors from Iraq. This withdrawal should be accompanied by a new diplomatic surge to stabilize the country and open the political space for Iraqis to decide their own future. Deployment of the National Guard in wars overseas should cease, returning their focus to domestic security.

2) On Afghanistan. Congress should not permit an expansion of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. It should press for a multilateral regional effort at stabilization along with rapid withdrawal of NATO and U.S. forces.

3) On Iran.  Members of Congress should make clear their opposition to a new war in Iran. They ought to encourage unconditional, high-level talks to reduce tensions and urge Iran to abandon any nuclear weapons program. If the U.S. truly wants to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, it will require us to live up to our commitments under Article 6 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Why not work on that on Iraq Moratorium day as well?

If there’s no Congressional office where you are, bring cell phones and contact numbers to your Moratorium event and place calls from there.

Do something. Keep the heat on. It’s got to stop, and we are still the ones who have to stop it.  

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