November 22, 2008 archive

How I Learned to Savor Thanksgiving

I’ve again been entreated by numerous people to post the Thanksgiving Diary that I’ve put up here the past four years. I’m reposting a slightly edited version of last year’s entry. For those of you who’ve read it before, I apologize. I also urge you to read my friend Winter Rabbit’s The Massacre For Which Thanksgiving Is Named.

• • •

I forced myself to watch the History Channel’s Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower last weekend. I don’t feel as if I totally wasted my time. Including performances and interviews of some Wampanoags, descendants of the indigenes who saw the Pilgrims make landfall 388 years ago, made the program a good deal more palatable than it might have been.

I would have preferred a bit more about how one reason the Pilgrims were “persecuted” in England and Holland was because of their efforts to get everyone to comply with their own crabbed view of religion. Something they and the Puritans who followed them also did here in America. Not dissimilar from what some modern day others would like to do now. But what an improvement the program was over past efforts.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Nepal’s Buddha boy returns to jungle to meditate

By BINAJ GURUBACHARYA, Associated Press Writer

2 hrs 47 mins ago

KATMANDU, Nepal – A Nepalese teenager revered by many as a reincarnation of Buddha has returned to the jungle to meditate after emerging for less than two weeks, officials said Saturday.

Ram Bahadur Bamjan, 18, reappeared on Nov. 10 after several months of meditation to bless thousands of his followers, speaking to them on at least two occasions.

He made his last appearance on Friday and then returned to the jungle to meditate, said Biswo Prakash Newpane, a government administrator in the area. It was not clear when he would return again.

Nadler Responds to the Coming Pardons

Jerry Nadler, Democratic representative for parts of NYC has been lobbied HARD to impeach Bush. We know this because several people here (and their friends) have been the ones lobbying. As a powerful member of Conyer’s Judiciary committee, he has been in a critical position regarding impeachment and has expressed his sympathies with the impeachment movement ‘privately’ to these constituents….while of course, doing next to nothing publicly. But lest I sound like the typical purity troll in criticism of him, we at least have evidence now that the lobbying did not fall on deaf ears. That at least SOME people in our dysfunctional government understand what has been going on for lo these eight long years. Even if they never did anything about it.

And truth be told….still aren’t.

Apparently Nadler is at least trying though to shine the spotlight on what will go down as the last official outrage of the Bush administration. The cherry on top of the shit sundae of outrages. The pardoning of as many of his henchmen as possible. Nothing can actually STOP Bush from doing this. He has the power to pardon whoever he wants. The best that anyone can do (short of impeachment, and we are ALWAYS short of impeachment) is shine the light to call attention to this oh so predictable closing act. It is the least they can do, literally, so I suppose we should thank Nadler for that. Sigh. It is better than a lit cigar up your nose, anyway.

The relevant passage:

…is in response to President Bush’s widespread abuses of power and potentially criminal transgressions against our Constitution. The Resolution aims to prevent undeserved pardons of officials who may have been co-conspirators in the President’s unconstitutional policies, such as torture, illegal surveillance and curtailing of due process for defendants.

“This Resolution declares that we will not tolerate [ed. note. this is in other words, just another Strongly Worder Letter] a last minute attempt by President Bush to shelter his cronies – cronies who may well be guilty of serious criminal offenses – from the full force of the law,” said Rep. Nadler. “President Bush must not excuse his own officials from possibly illegal acts committed outside the context of their official duties.  Such pardons would merely obfuscate the truth and amount to a gross miscarriage of justice.”

Beyond preventing pre-emptive pardons, the Resolution also recommends the establishment of a special commission or select committee to investigate the potentially illegal activities – including abuse of pardon power – of senior Bush Administration officials. It also calls for the next Attorney General to appoint an independent counsel to investigate and prosecute any crimes.

Please go and sign the petition  in support of the resolution.

Important Actions Needed Right Now! Includes Bush Pardoning Himself . . .!! (Update)

From The People’s E-mail Network (“The Pen”):

Congress Must Debate The Implications Of A Bush Self-Pardon

Many people have been asking us, “Could Bush actually pardon himself?”.  Would it be despicable?  Sure it would.  Would it be shameless and cowardly?  Yes, that and that too.  But all those adjectives fit Bush like O.J.’s glove before it shrunk from being soaked completely in blood.  Which means he is absolutely is planning on doing it.

And only impeachment could stop it.  We need to talk about this.  We need Congress to talk about this.  And Congress is in session this week, so we need you to speak out this week while there is still time.

Impeach Now Action Page:  

Tens of thousands of you submitted the action page on this last week.  Do it again.  Please speak out again while we still can.  There is already a drum beat in the right wing media calling on Bush to pardon his whole administration.  Only our voices can raise the price of such action so that there would be real consequences.

We have not given up, and will never give up hope on justice.  We will be taking delivery of another huge shipment of the “Impeach Both!!!” caps that are still so popular.  But this might be the last batch.  So if you want to demonstrate your support for impeachment, please request yours now from the return page of the action page submission.

Impeach Now Action Page

Will Congress now act?  That is not the yardstick of the worth of our activism.  We speak out because we must speak out, whether we are heeded or not.  Let history record that we spoke out until the last minute to the eternal shame of those who did not.  Because when enough of us speak out at once, the worst thing that can possibly happen is that we are building the progressive base for the REAL change of the future.

So Bush most certainly is planning on pardoning himself.  And all the right wing lock down ideologues in the corporate controlled media will call it “healing”.  Let’s all make nice with war criminals?  Shall we all make nice with the gang rape of our economy, our environment and our Constitution?  We think not.

And one more thing.  You know that come January 20th the right wing will start calling for the impeachment of our new president, over a endless litany of the most ridiculous of trivial trifles.  In fact it has already started even though he has not even taken office.  If they are so hot on impeaching someone, let them speak out now, when it truly is called for, or shut the hell up in 65 days.

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

There’s more!  

A Kid From Car Country

I found this rather touching story and wanted to share it with you.

“We all did what we had to do, buddy boy”, he told me.  “They was good jobs and it was how I  could take care of y’all.

Like thousands of our fathers, he joined the picket lines and fought to make a living for their families.

..he joined the union and walked the picket lines in the brutal Michigan winter for health care and better wages. He watched other people driving around in new cars he had helped to build but he could never afford to own. A million little worries and a dozen big troubles in a cold, gray place without family nearby caused him to fall to pieces. He spent time in an institution and when he was cured he had nothing to look forward to other than going back on the line. But the automobile industry gave him possibilities he was not able to find anywhere else with his tenth grade education.

They’re STILL reading “The Pet Goat” to you – DON’T FALL FOR IT!

By now most people have seen the video where Bush is shunned at the G20 summit. The first time I saw it, I caught what apparently most other people didn’t. This incident was deliberately staged.

Bush did not even try to shake anyone’s hand. There was no incidence of rebuff. He was ignoring them as much as they were ignoring him.

It worked, at first. The progressive community reacted viscerally, with glee and schadenfreude at Bush’s apparently “new” role at the summit as “The Pet Goat”. What people don’t seem to quite get is that Bush has BEEN the pet goat ever since he sat down to read it to a classroom full of children on September 11th.

What you should be asking yourself instead is how many of those people were still willing to shake Bush’s hand after he invaded Iraq? In fact, how many of them are fully complicit either by assistance or inaction in the war crimes of the Bush administration?

The answer is ALL OF THEM. This incident was designed to attach all of the world’s rage and frustration directly to Bush, “The Pet Goat”. So when Bush goes away, so does all the reason for the frustration and rage, right? WRONG.

The 140th Anniversary of the Washita Massacre of Nov. 27, 1868

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The intent to commit genocide at Washita is hidden in plain view, unless key elements are brought together. These are: that the Cheyenne were placed on land where they would starve while promises to avert starvation were broken; that George Bent observed how Civil War soldiers did not harm white women and children by a “code of honor,” while Indian women and children were slaughtered; that Sheridan declared “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead;” and that the War Department did not differentiate between peaceful and warring Indians. Hence, the orders “to kill or hang all warriors.” As the consequence, the intent was to kill all men
of a specific race.

Docudharma Times Saturday November 22

Who’s In Charge In Washington?

Must Be  Beavis And Butt-head

Saturday’s Headlines:

Regulators fired, disciplined for taking gifts from oil firms

Chinese Governor, Demonstrators Hold High-Profile Meeting

Acid attacks and rape: growing threat to women who oppose traditional order

Obama clan in Kenya enjoys reflected glory

Islamists raid port in hunt for pirates

Shias stage protests against Iraq-US pact

World Focus: Shah’s exiled son bids to unite fractured Iran

Aubry wins French Socialist battle by a tiny margin

Litvinenko murder suspect Andrei Lugovoy makes peace offer over tea

In Venezuela, learning as Dudamel did

Clinton Is Said to Accept Offer of Secretary of State Position


Published: November 21, 2008

WASHINGTON – Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to give up her Senate seat to become secretary of state in the Obama administration, making her the public face to the world for the man who dashed her own hopes for the presidency, confidants of Mrs. Clinton said Friday.

The accord between the two leading figures of the Democratic Party was the culmination of a weeklong drama that riveted the nation’s capital. President-elect Barack Obama and Mrs. Clinton fought perhaps the most polarizing nomination battle in decades, but in recruiting her for his cabinet, Mr. Obama chose to turn a rival into a partner, and she concluded she could have a greater impact by saying yes than byremaining in the Senate.

Wanted: Entertainers for War Zone. Helmets Provided.

Army Seeks Stars to Visit Bases in Afghanistan

By Walter Pincus

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, November 22, 2008; Page A01

The war in Afghanistan is heating up, so it must be time for the wrestling divas.

And what better way to boost the spirits of troops dining on MREs and dodging IEDs than some abbreviations with more pleasing associations — such as NASCAR and NFL?

Over the next five months, the U.S. Army is preparing to reinforce troop morale with “Entertainment from the Home Front,” a string of touring entertainers and athletes that will include World Wrestling Entertainment Divas, National Football League cheerleaders and players, NASCAR drivers, and professional rodeo participants.



Seeking $25 Billion, Big Three to Get a Second Chance on the Hill

By Kendra Marr

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, November 22, 2008; Page D01

In just 10 days, Detroit’s Big Three automakers hope to re-plead their case for a $25 billion emergency loan. But this time they will be expected to produce clearer business plans.

Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) sent the automakers a letter calling on them to submit “a credible restructuring plan” by Dec. 2.

The letter came a day after congressional leaders delayed a vote on providing the auto industry as much as $25 billion in emergency aid.

Bleak Times Call for Bleak Measures

Crossposted at http://StephenJGallagher.blogs…

An obscure internet radio station  led me to American symphonic composer Gloria Coates, creator of some of the  most relentlessly bleak music I’ve ever experienced.  On the page for one of her symphonies I saw a “listmania” item on the left side of the page. This is a user-produced  feature of  Amazon, sort of “If you like this, you’re gonna love the items on my list!” It was the title of  the list that got the hook in me and kept gnawing away at me for  the next several months.

Joe And Barack: Who Owns Who?

Joe Lieberman faced a secret ballot vote from the Democratic caucus last Tuesday, who in spite of his support for John McCain during the presidential election campaign, yielded to the wishes of President-elect Barack Obama and allowed him to keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.


Once Senator Joe Lieberman was Senator Barack Obama’s mentor and urged him to “reach for the stars”. Then he fiercely campaigned against Obama alongside his close friend, Republican Senator John McCain. He lost his bet.

Many a Democrat believed there was only way out as far as Lieberman was concerned: heavy punishment by the Democratic party. The President-elect ordered otherwise.

Pepe Escobar argues this is a political marriage of convenience.

Real News: November 22 – 5 min 46 sec

Joe and Barack: who owns who?

The President-elect’s calculation: valuable asset Senator Joe Lieberman should be kept in the fold

Judah Freed at the Examiner the other day also analyzes and makes a prediction…

Random Japan

Kids these days

It was revealed that 22 students who passed the entrance exam to Kanda Prefectural High School in Hiratsuka were rejected admission because of their “long nails, piercings or alleged appearance or attitude problems.”

The Japan Pediatric Society has devised a 46-question survey to help doctors and school nurses determine the effects of video games and TV on kids’ physical and mental health.

A survey by Recruit Co. found that 78 percent of Japanese men and women accept their parents’ financial assistance when getting married. Of the ¥4.21 million average wedding cost, mom and dad ponied up ¥1.99 million.

A Buddhist temple from Nagoya that was rebuilt on a college campus in South Carolina will hold a class called Realizing Bodymind, in which students are to “use the powers of [their] mind… to sit in meditation for an hour and a half without being cold.”

A K-12 school that caters exclusively to Indian children is set to open in Midori-ku, Yokohama.

The New Ozymandias


– by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land

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