November 23, 2008 archive

More Than 1 in 3 The Stunning Reality of The Iraq War

This is a compilation of information contained in my previous Iraq diaries, updated whenever possible.

The most difficult number to validate is the real population of Iraq on March 19, 2003. Population figures have been an educated guess, in part determined by the amount of food purchased and historic birth rates, trying to take into account the 500,000 or more who died each year because of the embargo. From the various sources, the UN and international aid agencies the population is estimated between 22 and 25 million. The number most frequently quoted is 24 million on the eve of the war, this is the figure I will use.

The information contained here is gathered from UNICEF, the United Nations, WHO, various medical journals, relief organizations, governments of Syria and Jordan and eye witness reports. Whenever possible they have been verified with muiltiple sources.

Follow me below the fold for a clearer look at how we have literally destroyed the cradle of civilization.

FBI: Indians Still Most Assaulted in Hate Crimes

Would institutionalized racism against American Indians have aided the approximately 68 Caucasian individuals to commit hate crimes against American Indians?



TULSA, Okla. – Crimes of hate against American Indians totaled 75 incidents in the nation during 2007, said a Federal Bureau of Investigation report. While the overall number of crimes against Indians mirrored 2006’s 75 incidents, the overall number of hate crimes dipped, according to the report. The federal law enforcement agency culled data from over 13,000 agencies across the nation.

Dreaming of a Better World


Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 APEC: Financial crisis to be overcome in 18 months

By JOSEPH COLEMAN, Associated Press Writer

31 mins ago

LIMA, Peru – The global financial crisis can be overcome within 18 months by acting “quickly and decisively,” Pacific Rim leaders said Sunday as they pledged to make food cheaper, governments cleaner and markets more open.

But the 21 leaders, who represent more than half the world’s economic power, offered few details of their recovery plan. The biggest accomplishment of the two-day summit was broadening support for the Washington Declaration made last weekend by major economies, pledging to maintain free trade despite domestic pressures.

“We are convinced that we can overcome this crisis in a period of 18 months,” the leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum said. “We have already taken urgent and extraordinary steps to stabilize our financial sectors and strengthen economic growth.”

Café Discovery: ch-ch-changes

There have always been problems with trying to share my experience as a transwoman.  I can only speak my experience.  And I can only speak my experience from the point of view of now.  I mean, I have taken great care to preserve my writings in the 90s as they were written, because they portray how I felt then, but often I have difficulty even remembering the frame of mind I was in when I wrote them.

I am not a transman.  I cannot speak for any of them, though I can feel a sense of kinship.  And I can try to speak in favor of the rights we should have in common.  Our common experience, however, may be too ephemeral to grasp.

I am not pre-operative.  That was left far in the past.  And I forget.  I’m sure some of that forgetting has been intentional.  There are pains I would prefer were left behind.

I’m also not black.

But how can anyone understand the whole without understanding some of the parts?

We have a new blog on our Blog Roll.  I stumbled across Monica Roberts’ TransGriot when I was looking to increase diversity in my essay for Friday.

One of the discussions I stumbled on was about that fact that black transwomen are almost universally assumed to be prostitutes, in life and especially in death.  I was looking for that today when I decided to take a look at something else.

Perspective can stand to be expanded.  Besides, I’m tired and can handle a discussion much easier than a lengthy psychological analysis.

Sunday music retrospective: Al Stewart

Al Stewart II

Year of the Cat

Blog Voices This Week: Daily Yonder

I’m substituting for NLinStPaul this week, so don’t expect any miracles!

Daily Yonder covers rural issues in the US.  From their “about” section:

55 million people live in the rural U.S. ­ Maybe you’re one of them, or used to be, or want to be. As mainstream TV and newspapers retreat from small towns, the Daily Yonder is coming on strong.

We’re your daily multi-media buffet of news, commentary, research, and features.

Check us throughout the day for breaking news, updates from the best rural bloggers and pointers to streaming live radio from the coast of Maine and to the wilds of Montana.

How about those presidential candidates? The Daily Yonder is your source for news of all the campaigns — how they’re reaching (or ignoring) rural communities.

There’s an interesting post up from this past Thursday, Letter from Langdon: I Got a Government Bailout by Richard Oswald.

Clear Light Breakfast

“Voodoo Chile”

Sunday Travel: The Mayan Riviera

This essay is cross-posted from dKos and The Dream Antilles


The Beach in Bahia Soliman

Maybe this is the beginning of another love story.  People come from all over the world to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico as tourists, fall in love with it, and return over and over and over again.  The Mayan Riviera is the area south of Cancun, Mexico, and north of Tulum, on the Caribbean.  You get there by flying to Cancun.  After that, you travel south on Route 307, to Playa del Carmen, and then Akumal, and Puerto Aventuras, past Xel-Ha and on to Tulum.  You can make the trip by rental car, bus, taxi, or collectivo.  

Join me on the beach.  

Sunday Morning Over Easy

This song has been on my mind a lot this week. The first is the video version, and the images are powerful, but the second is live and has so much more feeling evident.

The layers in this song are untold.

Random thoughts about why I think so below. This song reflects this whole weeks’ writing for me.

Docudharma Times Sunday November 23

More Drama Than A

Soap Opera A Clinton Nomination    

Sunday’s Headlines:

Gay-rights activists protest Prop. 8 at Capitol

Gurkhas brave hail of fire for comrade’s body

India shocked by discovery of first Hindu terror cell

Somalia sinks deeper into a state of total disintegration

World’s ships held to ransom by pirates’ growing greed

Socialists fear civil war after Royal defeat

Iceland protest ends in clashes

Israel fears US will dither while Iran goes nuclear

Iraq needs security pact for order, officials say

Obama Vows Swift Action on Vast Economic Stimulus Plan


Published: November 22, 2008

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama signaled on Saturday that he would pursue a far more ambitious plan of spending and tax cuts than anything he outlined on the campaign trail, setting the tone for a recovery effort that could absorb and define much of his term.

In the Democrats’ weekly radio address, Mr. Obama said he would direct his economic team to craft a two-year stimulus plan with the goal of saving or creating 2.5 million jobs. He said it would be “a plan big enough to meet the challenges we face.”

Mr. Obama said he hoped to sign the stimulus package into law soon after taking office on Jan. 20. He is already coordinating efforts with Democratic leaders in Congress, who have said they will begin work next month.

Militants and military brace for a winter of war in Afghanistan

Normally the fighting slows when the harsh weather sets in, but this year it is likely to be different.

By Laura King

November 23, 2008

Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan — In recent years, the first snow falling on the jagged mountain peaks of Afghanistan has ushered in a seasonal slowdown in fighting between insurgents and the Western forces that overthrew the Taliban in 2001.

This winter looks to be different. Snow and icy terrain aside, both sides have made it clear that they plan to keep fighting, each contending that the harsh conditions favor them more than their enemy.

“We’ll be pursuing them, and pursuing them aggressively, whatever the conditions, and they know this,” said Canadian Brig. Gen. Richard Blanchette, chief spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, a vow amplified by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. David D. McKiernan, in a speech in Washington on Tuesday.



Banking Regulator Played Advocate Over Enforcer

Agency Let Lenders Grow Out of Control, Then Fail

By Binyamin Appelbaum and Ellen Nakashima

Washington Post Staff Writers

Sunday, November 23, 2008; Page A01

When Countrywide Financial felt pressured by federal agencies charged with overseeing it, executives at the giant mortgage lender simply switched regulators in the spring of 2007.

The benefits were clear: Countrywide’s new regulator, the Office of Thrift Supervision, promised more flexible oversight of issues related to the bank’s mortgage lending. For OTS, which depends on fees paid by banks it regulates and competes with other regulators to land the largest financial firms, Countrywide was a lucrative catch.

Late Night Karaoke

Talk Openly

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