December 7, 2008 archive

Cuba Stifles Blog Freedom. Again.

cross posted from The Dream Antilles


La Bloguera Yoani Sanchez

Cuban Blogger Yoani Sanchez, the 2008 Gasset y Ortega Prize winner for digital journalism, and her husband, Reynaldo Escobar, have been forbidden by the Cuban government from attending a blogger conference in Cuba.

Join me 90 miles South of Miami.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread


From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 AP IMPACT: How Freddie Mac halted regulatory drive

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer

33 mins ago

WASHINGTON – When the Washington Nationals played their first-ever baseball game in the nation’s capital in April 2005, two congressmen who oversaw mortgage giant Freddie Mac had choice seats – courtesy of the very company they were supposed to be keeping an eye on.

Efforts to tighten government regulation were gaining support on Capitol Hill, and Freddie Mac was fighting back. The baseball tickets for home opener were means of influence.

According to confidential company documents obtained by The Associated Press, Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., spent the evening in hard-to-obtain seats near the Nationals dugout with Freddie Mac executive Hollis McLoughlin and four of Freddie Mac’s in-house lobbyists.

Celebrate the new Madison Avenue pseudo-holiday: VALKYRIE FRIDAY!

Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Valkyrie Friday (well, this year it’s Friday) is the day after Christmas! The shopping mall battlefields are strewn with the dead and wounded misfit toys that didn’t make the cut while the wild-eyed mobs ran through the aisles like the bulls at Pamplona. Fly, fly, my sisters and brothers, and rescue the heroic offerings presented to you by a desperate consumer kingdom as is your sacred duty!

While those who have fulfilled their glassy-eyed Christian obligation to obtain material goods by a certain morning rest at home, replete with sated consumerism and shaking the blood of WalMart employees from their shoes (PAAAA-RAIZZZE JEEZUS!), those of us who have resisted the multi-limnal marketing bombardment of the previous weeks for whatever reason now have our chance.

Everything is half price! Some stuff is less than half price! This is all the STUFFFFFFF!!!!! that didn’t move, and now it can be YOURS!!!!! Can I get a “HOI KRIEGER!” everybody! Heed the wise post-9/11 words of Der FucktardFuhrer and GO SHOPPING!

Dec. 6, 1941 – The day before the day “which will live in infamy”


Many highlights stand out and many dates are remembered for their significance as to world events.  Of course, we here in The United States of America tend to remember more the dates of events that have been crucial and important to our young country.  

We all know that on December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, HI, which caused the USA to stand up and be counted beyond just monitary assistance to other countries in WWII.  We also know the highlights of what came after, up until the end of WWII.  Yet, not many know how hard our President Roosevelt had tried to work with Japan, especially, in order to keep the entire world from breaking out into war.

The Dark

The hard part about winter for me is not necessarily the cold…its the darkness. I don’t know what its like where you are, but around these parts I figure we spend about 1/3 of any 24 hour period in the light and the rest of the time darkness rules. So its the dark that’s on my mind today.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with darkness. Its a great excuse for the lazy among us to hibernate. And it seems that there are some who prefer the dark for prowling. But overall, we seem to want to avoid it.

Sunday music retrospective: 1960

1960 (non-Elvis)

Roy Orbison:  Only the Lonely

Military Suicide: The War Within

Brave New Foundation:  In Their Boots Episode 23

Topic: Military Suicide Featuring: The War Within: Chapter 1

Originally Aired on December 3rd, 2008 and Will Continue on December 10th, 2008

The War Within

A Marine Reservist seeks help from the Veterans Administration to heal his invisible wounds. But like too many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, his condition worsens, his medical needs go un-met, and he ultimately takes his own life. For the past four years, his family has been advocating to prevent other veterans from experiencing a similar fate.

Docudharma Times Sunday December 7

Spying On Those Who Are No Threat

And Calling Them Terrorists   The Paranoia Of The Bush Years Continues  

Sunday’s Headlines:

General Motors’ strength is overseas

Mumbai terrorist came from Pakistan, local villagers confirm

In the lair of the Taliban

Families offer shelter to victims of Congo war

UN forced to cut food aid to Zimbabwe’s starving people

All Irish pork is recalled in dioxin poison alert

Comedy film puts racism in spotlight

Baqubah a minefield of Iraqi sectarian tensions

Iraqi Women, Fighting for a Voice

Journalists become targets in Mexico drug war

U.S. Plans a Shift to Focus Troops on Kabul Region


Published: December 6, 2008

KABUL, Afghanistan – Most of the additional American troops arriving in Afghanistan early next year will be deployed near the capital, Kabul, American military commanders here say, in a measure of how precarious the war effort has become.

It will be the first time that American or coalition forces have been deployed in large numbers on the southern flank of the city, a decision that reflects the rising concerns among military officers, diplomats and government officials about the increasing vulnerability of the capital and the surrounding area.

Spying on pacifists, environmentalists and nuns

An undercover Maryland State Police trooper infiltrated nonviolent groups and labeled dozens of people as terrorists.

By Bob Drogin

December 7, 2008

Reporting from Takoma Park, Md. — To friends in the protest movement, Lucy was an eager 20-something who attended their events and sent encouraging e-mails to support their causes.

Only one thing seemed strange.

“At one demonstration, I remember her showing up with a laptop computer and typing away,” said Mike Stark, who helped lead the anti-death-penalty march in Baltimore that day. “We all thought that was odd.”

Not really. The woman was an undercover Maryland State Police trooper who between 2005 and 2007 infiltrated more than two dozen rallies and meetings of nonviolent groups.

Maryland officials now concede that, based on information gathered by “Lucy” and others, state police wrongly listed at least 53 Americans as terrorists in a criminal intelligence database — and shared some information about them with half a dozen state and federal agencies, including the National Security Agency.



Obama Offers First Look at Massive Plan To Create Jobs

Project Would Be the Largest Since the Interstate System

By Michael D. Shear

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, December 7, 2008; Page A01

On the heels of more grim unemployment news, President-elect Barack Obama yesterday offered the first glimpse of what would be the largest public works program since President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the federal interstate system in the 1950s.

Obama said the massive government spending program he proposes to lift the country out of economic recession will include a renewed effort to make public buildings energy-efficient, rebuild the nation’s highways, renovate aging schools and install computers in classrooms, extend high-speed Internet to underserved areas and modernize hospitals by giving them access to electronic medical records.

In defense of autoworkers

Original article, a comment by Greg Shotwell, via Socialist Worker (US):

THE CEOs of the three Detroit automakers will return to Congress December 4 to request some $36 billion in loans from the federal government. As a condition of receiving that aid, the automakers were told to provide Congress with a plan for “restructuring” their companies that will include plant closings, elimination of tens of thousands of jobs, and cuts in benefits.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) is prepared to accept this. In a December 3 press conference, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger announced that the union would allow the companies to defer payments into a trust fund that covers retiree health care and to eliminate the “jobs bank” program that provides pay and benefits for laid-off workers.

Gregg Shotwell, a recently retired GM/Delphi worker and a founder of the Soldiers of Solidarity network, challenges the efforts by employers and politicians to blame the auto crisis on union workers:

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Pearl Harbor Day Bonus Edition

Art Link

4 by 4

           Four Freedoms

    Franklin proclaimed them

      to us in 1941

    Norman drew them

      for us in 1943

    We have lived our lives

      in search of them

    They are our most deeply

      held convictions

    Four are the freedoms

    and the freedoms are for

    all humans everywhere

    They are the goal

    Freedom of Speech

      Free to talk
        and hear
      Free to write
        and read
      Free to teach
        and learn
      Free to create
        and experience

    Freedom to Worship

      whomever or no one
        whatever or nothing
      whenever or never
        wherever or nowhere
      however or not at all
        why ever or for no reason
      the religion, philosophy, or ethos
        the faith or belief we choose

    Freedom from Fear

      of oppression and brutality
        by tyrants or despots
        by bullies or demagogues
      of killing and slaughter
        because of nationality or religion
        because of race or culture
      of disease and corruption
        of bodies or minds
        of institutions or leaders
      of rape and torture
        of people or nature
        of wallets or souls

    Freedom from Want

      of food
        and drink
      of lodging
        and warmth
      of work
        and self-worth
      of respect
        and value

    These are our values

      or so I was taught

    So what the fuck

      is happening to us now





    It is

      time for
          to go

    Help me

      take back
        this land
          from them

        –Robyn Elaine Serven
         –December 23, 2005

(LA-04) [big orange] political posers should feel pain and shame

(This is Cross-posted from Daily Kos; I thought some people here might be interested in it.  It’s got more than the Recommended Daily Allowance of meta.  I didn’t bother rewriting it here; I think y’all can figure out that I’m not talking about this site.  If that really bothers people, please let me know and I’ll keep it in mind when I think about cross-posting.)

Every once in a while in my more than three years here I have felt the need to compose a rant against my fellow members of this site that will pretty much ensure I don’t get invited to any good cocktail parties.  Never more so than tonight.

This, at its best — including leading up to last month — has been a site of political actors.  Leading up to tonight, it was a site of political observers.  A site not of people trying to change the system, but of posers who want to chatter on about change.

If Paul Carmouche loses in LA-04 — and I doubt that either provisional ballots nor a recount will reverse a 356-vote, .038% margin, unless it turns out that the last few come-from-behind votes were obtained by fraud — then it was entirely foreseeable and entirely preventable.

We simply had to choose to act.  We chose not to act.  We should be ashamed.

We seem to have forgotten what this site is about.

Late Night Karaoke

Use Your Preferred Method For Speaking

Bob Marley – Sun Is Shining ( Techno Remix )

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