December 16, 2008 archive

Giving Bush the Boot, Marking the Moratorium

Friday’s Iraq Moratorium will offer a mixed bag of activity across the country, from holiday-themed events to footwear-related actions.

Antiwar caroling, mall walks to raise shoppers’ consciousness, and vigiling by Santa are among the plans.

Elsewhere, the shoe-throwing by an Iraqi journalist have inspired actions like a “Give Bush the Boot” footwear-throwing contest in Milwaukee, and plans by others in New York and Connecticut to mail shoes to the White House on Moratorium day, with a note calling for an end to the war and occupation.

It’s all part of the ongoing, growing effort to get US troops out of Iraq by ratcheting up locally-based antiwar activity on the Third Friday of every month.  Friday, Dec. 19, is Iraq Moratorium #16.

Moratorium efforts got a boost last weekend when the National Assembly of United for Peace and Justice, the nation’s largest antiwar coalition with 1,400 member groups, approved an action plan that includes support for the Moratorium’s Third Friday organizing efforts.

Here’s a list of what’s planned this week (that we know of; there are always others we find out about later.): December actions.

You’ll find lots of other information and ideas on the Moratorium website.

Friday’s the day.  The war’s got to stop and we’ve got to stop it.  Please do something,

Disappointing News From Auburn University

A bit of a controversy is developing in my back yard concerning my alma mater, Iowa State University, and its former football coach Gene Chizik.  After compiling a 5-19 record at Iowa State in his only two seasons there, Chizik somehow landed the head coaching job at Auburn University in Alabama.  Given Chizik’s rather short and unremarkable tenure with Iowa State, the reaction of some Auburn fans was . . . oh, let’s call it . . . mixed:

“I don’t know how to react. It doesn’t seem real. It doesn’t seem like they could possibly be so shortsighted. I’m going to spend tonight trying to figure out how to react. That, and drinking.”

Was there a better candidate for Auburn’s head coaching position?  The athletic director at Auburn, Jay Jacobs, also interviewed Turner Gill, a young coach who just led Buffalo to their first bowl game and conference championship.  Gill has been prominently mentioned for other coaching vacancies after turning Buffalo’s lowly football program around in only three years.  Why would Auburn pass over Turner Gill for Gene Chizik?

It couldn’t have anything to do with Gill being African-American and having a white wife, could it?  Former NBA star Charles Barkley, who attended Auburn, thought it did when he described a conversation he had with Gill about the coaching position at Auburn:

“We talked about the whole race thing in Alabama,” Barkley said. “I told him it’s there and it’s going to be anywhere you go. I told him you can’t not take the job because of racism. He was worried about being nothing more than a token interview. He was concerned about having a white wife. It’s just very disappointing to me.”

Four at Four

  1. Not much joy for the U.S. economy today:

    • The Washington Post reports the Federal Reserve slashes interest rate to historic low. “The Federal Reserve slashed a key short-term interest rate to effectively zero today… The move cuts the rate to the lowest it has been in the 54 years that records go back, and stunned market watchers who expected a more modest cut.”

    • Bloomberg News reports U.S. industrial production falls on autos. “Industrial production fell 0.6 percent, the third drop in four months,” according to the Federal Reserve. “Automakers slashed their assembly rate to the lowest level in more than 18 years.” Vehicle assembly is still one of the few things made in the U.S.A.

    • The NY Times reports Retail prices fell at record rate in November. “The Labor Department reported Tuesday morning that consumer prices fell for the second consecutive month, and at the fastest rate since the government began keeping track in 1947.”

    • Business Week reminds readers that the unemployment rate is Worse Than it Looks. “The official unemployment number captures only a slice of the total joblessness in the U.S. To be counted as unemployed in this statistic, a worker must not have a job, be currently available for work, and have actively sought employment within the last four weeks. In other words, a lot of the jobless are left out of the government’s tally.”

    • Blogger London Banker wrote last Friday that Deflation has become inevitable. “I’m now coming down on the side of deflation for a very simple reason: there is no longer any incentive to save or invest, and so debt and investment cannot increase much beyond current bloated levels.”

Four at Four continues an update on the shoe tossing Iraqi journalist, Afghanistan, and the shift to mass transit.

Send Bush A “Farewell Kiss”

Today my sweetie and I are headed for the local post office to send a package containing a beat up old shoe from my closet to George W. Bush at the White House. In the package is a note saying:

This is a gift from the American people. This is the farewell kiss, George.

Then, this Friday, for the 16th monthly observance of the Iraq Moratorium, I plan to send along its mate, with a note reading:

This is for the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.

(Dody suggested this yesterday and it appears that a lot of people have come up with the same idea.) The Iraqi journalist whose words I paraphrase above, Muntader al-Zaidi, pitched a perfect game on Sunday. His two shoe barrage totally disrupted what the White House had choreographed as a farewell tour for Bush to claim success for the catastrophic wars that he lied the US into and will leave behind him when he checks out on January 20.

If you like this idea, please spread it far and wide! Let’s bury the White House in shoes, letting George know that we aren’t about to let him soft-shoe his way into history.

Crossposted at Daily Kos.


Imagine if you will, a world…


…..a world steeped in darkness. A darkness so thorough and dense that public arguments FOR torture are not considered extraordinary, a world where Lizard People not only exist (Serling-like pause, cut to shot of Lizard Person)


but reach out from beyond their political graves to tempt the living into the same darkness that they inhabit.

Imagine, if you will, a new world emerging from beneath and beyond that darkness, walking through a long tunnel towards a dim glimmering light. The voices of the dead and tortured and the voices of the children of a bright future beckoning them forward while the still somehow considered sane voices of those who plunged the world into darkness beckon Vaderlike behind them, the tentacled temptations of a comforting conforming past attempting to wrap around their ankles as they walk ever so slowly towards the light. Towards emergence. Towards change and hope.

“My goal will be to eliminate this threat.”

We’ve got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel.

— George W. Bush

The regime has longstanding and continuing ties to terrorist groups, and there are Al Qaida terrorists inside Iraq.

— George W. Bush

The Iranian regime supports violent extremists and challenges us across the region. It pursues a nuclear capability that could spark a dangerous arms race and raise the prospect of a transfer of nuclear know-how to terrorists. Its president denies the Holocaust and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat.

— Barack Obama

So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in farsi: “Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad.”

Iran’s President Did Not Say “Israel must be wiped off the map”.

“The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time”.

Word by word translation: “Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).

++ (see explanation below)

How many people across the left blogosphere over the past eight years have said words to the effect “This regime occupying the White House must vanish from the page of time.”? Terrorists all?

So what’s the explanation here? Why is Barack Obama so intent on continuing the same hawkish warlike rhetoric and foreign policies vis a vis Iran? Why the continuation of Bush’s WOT lies?

Weren’t we supposed to be entering a new more enlightened geopolitical era with Obama’s election?

In an interview with Paul Jay of The Real News, historian and investigative journalist on US foreign policy and military policy analyst Gareth Porter describes the general unwillingness in the US to accept the level of clout that Iran has in the Middle East and how this is viewed in Tehran.

Gareth, who returned days earlier from a trip to Iran, points to Iran’s influence over major players in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine as examples of the broader question that is on the table in any discussion of Iran’s nuclear program, and that is whether or not the US will accept an Iran that exercises influence over the region?

Happy Holidays from the Bush Whitehouse

I think I know what George Bush has been up to the past many months. He’s been making a movie.

Do The Math #4

*Warning, this post contains racially charged language, not as a reflection of my views, but to expose the ugliness and hatred of racism for the horrifying thing that it is.

Part 2 reflected, in part, on where your jobs went; the fact that “Free Trade” had little to do with anything other than being able to enter other countries and exploit their workers at a cheaper rate.

That shouldn’t be so hard to do the Math on, since the template for it exists right in your own backyards. American companies have been exploiting a segment of your fellow workers for years, and have taught you to HATE those exploited peoples by playing off of human’s innate fear of different appearances.

They told you the biggest lie of all, and many of you believe it.

“Its the niggers and wetbacks taking your jobs.”

I cannot cure this racist bullshit in one post, but maybe I can show you the Math on why racism is just a tool they use to fuck workers into less wages, and more profit for themselves. I can show how ultimately this is bad for EVERYONE.


Docudharma Times Tuesday December 16

The Bush Legacy

So What

Meaning I Don’t Care

What You Think

Tuesday’s Headlines:

A gray future for a black college in Georgia?

‘I was still holding my grandson’s hand – the rest was gone’

The monster in India’s mirror

Russian skinhead gang jailed for murder of 20 migrants

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

‘Shoe-thrower of Baghdad’ brings Iraqis on to the streets

New face of law and order in the West Bank

Zimbabwe cholera deaths soar to 978

New South Africa party to launch

Latin nations fight economic slump with stimulus

Big Oil Projects Put in Jeopardy by Fall in Prices


Published: December 15, 2008

From the plains of North Dakota to the deep waters of Brazil, dozens of major oil and gas projects have been suspended or canceled in recent weeks as companies scramble to adjust to the collapse in energy markets.

In the short run, falling oil prices are leading to welcome relief at the pump for American families ahead of the holidays, with gasoline down from its summer record of just over $4 to an average of $1.66 a gallon, and still falling.

But the project delays are likely to reduce future energy supplies – and analysts believe they may set the stage for another surge in oil prices once the global economy recovers.

Arctic melt passes the point of no return

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Scientists have found the first unequivocal evidence that the Arctic region is warming at a faster rate than the rest of the world at least a decade before it was predicted to happen.

Climate-change researchers have found that air temperatures in the region are higher than would be normally expected during the autumn because the increased melting of the summer Arctic sea ice is accumulating heat in the ocean. The phenomenon, known as Arctic amplification, was not expected to be seen for at least another 10 or 15 years and the findings will further raise concerns that the Arctic has already passed the climatic tipping-point towards ice-free summers, beyond which it may not recover.



Obama Picks Chicago’s Schools Chief For Cabinet

By Anne E. Kornblut and Philip Rucker

Washington Post Staff Writers

Tuesday, December 16, 2008; Page A01

President-elect  Barack Obama will nominate Chicago schools executive Arne Duncan as his education secretary at an event in the city today, transition aides said, and is expected to tap Sen.  Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) later this week to serve as secretary of the interior, all but finalizing his selections for major Cabinet posts.

Obama plans to introduce Duncan this morning at Dodge Renaissance Academy, a Chicago elementary school that the two visited together in 2005.

Duncan, 44, has been chief executive of the Chicago public schools since 2001, steering the nation’s third-largest school district, which has more than 400,000 students.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

State of the Onion XXVIII

Art Link

Cracks in the Shell

On Aging

The urge to expend all energy

to protect the container is strong

but what good does it do

to protect the body

if the spirit dies

Time demands its payment

Youth cannot be defended

by surrendering

to the needs of the flesh

The vessel slowly deteriorates

worn down joints

creak with every motion

muscles are too stiff

bones become brittle

but the contents

the mind/soul

can be bright and vital

growing fresher

with each new thought

with each opinion challenged

with each dip in the fountain

of knowledge

I will be forever young

if I continue to bathe

in the River of New

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–April 4, 2006

hellooooo . . . Caroline is a BETTER democrat

Caroline Kennedy has written two books about aspects of the U.S. Constitution.  Ms. Kennedy has studied the Constitution. wOw. Studied the founding document of our country… has a law degree and been an advocate for public (PUBLIC) education and the arts and has served the public to champion these causes.

She believes in political courage.

These are serious times. Ms. Kennedy is a serious person. Not an ideologue. I think she feels called to the service of her country. Not to attain power. But to serve. Now, what more do you people (at dKos) want?

at dKos

Late Night Karaoke

This Isn’t The Library

Be Loud

Jungle Love The Time

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