March 9, 2009 archive

Why Torture Is So Heinous And What You Can Do About It

As those of you that can read the title and sometimes read the Dog’s posts know the Dog is very serious about torture. It is, in fact, the only issue that could make the Dog a single issue voter. There are few things more heinous than the act of State sponsored torture. It degrades every society that is seduced by its brutality for whatever reason. There is nothing that a country can do that is worse for it and for its people than to engage in torture.  

Four at Four

  1. The NY Times reports Bush’s signing statements are put on notice. “Calling into question the legitimacy of all the signing statements that former President George W. Bush used to challenge new laws, President Obama on Monday ordered executive officials to consult with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. before relying on any of them to bypass a statute.” However, Obama, himself may still use signing statements.

    “In exercising my responsibility to determine whether a provision of an enrolled bill is unconstitutional, I will act with caution and restraint, based only on interpretations of the Constitution that are well-founded,” Mr. Obama wrote in a memorandum to the heads of all departments and agencies in the executive branch.

  2. The Washington Post reports the U.S. protests ‘harassment’ of Navy ship by Chinese vessels. “The Pentagon today protested what it called harassment and aggressive shadowing of a U.S. Navy ocean surveillance ship by five Chinese vessels in international waters off the South China Sea on Sunday, warning such behavior could lead to collisions or the loss of life.”

    The U.S.N.S. Impeccable was “surrounded” by Chinese vessels and told to leave the area. When the Impeccable turned fire hoses at one of the ships, “the Chinese crewmembers stripped to their underwear and the ship ‘continued closing to within 25 feet'”. When the Impeccable tried to leave, it was blocked by two ships.

  3. BBC News reports a U.S. General says allies ‘not winning’ in Afghan south. Gen. David D. McKiernan, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, believes the coalition in areas of the north, east, and west Afghanistan where “coalition efforts in support of the government of Afghanistan [are] winning.

    “But there are other areas – large areas in the southern part of Afghanistan especially, but in parts of the east – where we are not winning,” he said.

    The NY Times adds Western-style democracy ‘no question’ in Afghanistan. McKiernan “raised the possibility of the American military reaching out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq.”

    “If nationalist-minded Taliban come to power through the ballot-box and respect the constitution, that is the Afghans’ business,” he said. “What we reject is support for international jihad,” he said.

  4. The Observer reports Scientists issue stark warning over dramatic new sea level figures.
    Scientists will warn this week that rising sea levels, triggered by global warming, pose a far greater danger to the planet than previously estimated. There is now a major risk that many coastal areas around the world will be inundated by the end of the century because Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are melting faster than previously estimated. Low-lying areas including Bangladesh, Florida, the Maldives and the Netherlands face catastrophic flooding”.

The End is Near; Honest; For Real This Time


A respected pastor, best-selling author and founder of a major ministry to teens predicts an imminent “earth-shattering calamity” centered in New York City that will spread to major urban areas across the country and around the world – part of what he sees as a judgment from God.

This dude, Minister David Wilkerson, is predicting a new, bigger, eviler and nastier 911 which will begin in New York and spread across the globe like a wildfire of locusts. And Dave is no crank, he’s been saving souls for 50 years now and he knows a good apocalypse when he sees one.

Take heed folks. The End is Near. Really. Honest. If you can’t see the signs then you’re going to burn in hell where Jim Cramer will sit on your face for eternity.

Do You Like to Eat?

Yeah I do too.  News of the latest food fascism scam comes from pilots for 911 truth.  All you survivalist gardeners out there?  Keep your food to yourself.  Let the peasants eat the Monsanto soylent green.

HR 875 The corpo-fascism food act

Docudharma Times Monday March 9

North Korea Throws A

Tantrum About Something  

Monday’s Headlines:

One man’s odyssey from campus to combat

Czech leader joins meeting of climate change deniers

How the French finally acquired a taste for soap

Africa’s first narco-state?

Darfur rebels: we will topple President al-Bashir if the UN doesn’t

N Korea warning over ‘satellite’

China’s thirst for copper could hold key to Afghanistan’s future

Seeking Justice, Chinese Land in Secret Jails

As Olmert’s Time in Office Nears End, Captive Soldier’s Saga Gains Urgency

Cocaine production surge unleashes wave of violence in Latin America

A Rising Dollar Lifts the U.S. but Adds to the Crisis Abroad


Published: March 8, 2009

As the world is seized with anxiety in the face of a spreading financial crisis, the one place having a considerably easier time attracting money is, perversely enough, the same place that started much of the trouble: the United States.

American investors are ditching foreign ventures and bringing their dollars home, entrusting them to the supposed bedrock safety of United States government bonds. And China continues to buy staggering quantities of American debt.

These actions are lifting the value of the dollar and providing the Obama administration with a crucial infusion of financing as it directs trillions of dollars toward rescuing banks and stimulating the economy, enabling the government to pay for these efforts without lifting interest rates.

Carbon cuts ‘only give 50/50 chance of saving planet’

As states negotiate Kyoto’s successor, simulations show catastrophe just years away

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor

Monday, 9 March 2009

The world’s best efforts at combating climate change are likely to offer no more than a 50-50 chance of keeping temperature rises below the threshold of disaster, according to research from the UK Met Office.

The key aim of holding the expected increase to 2C, beyond which damage to the natural world and to human society is likely to be catastrophic, is far from assured, the research suggests, even if all countries engage forthwith in a radical and enormous crash programme to slash greenhouse gas emissions – something which itself is by no means guaranteed.

The chilling forecast from the supercomputer climate model of the Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research will provide a sobering wake-up call for governments around the world, who will begin formally negotiating three weeks today the new international treaty on tackling global warming, which is due to be signed in Copenhagen in December.



U.S. to pull 12,000 troops from Iraq as withdrawal begins

The initial phase in Obama’s plan to end combat operations will take place over the next 6 months, military officials say. Just before the announcement, a suicide bomber kills 33 police recruits in Baghdad.

By Greg Miller and Usama Redha

March 9, 2009

Reporting from Baghdad and Washington — The U.S. will reduce its military presence in Iraq by 12,000 troops over the next six months as part of the first major drawdown since President Obama announced his plan to end combat operations in the country next year, U.S. military officials in Baghdad said Sunday.

The announcement came just hours after a suicide bomber on a motorcycle struck a crowd of police recruits outside an Interior Ministry compound in Baghdad, killing at least 33 people and wounding 61.

Despite that grim reminder of the lingering danger, U.S. officials said the drawdown reflects growing confidence in the security gains in Iraq over the last two years. It also reflects a major shift in priorities for the U.S. military, which is increasingly focused on efforts to arrest the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Wings of Truth

A Modern Cave

Spreading truth

in the face

of ignorance

we return to the cave

after experiencing

the beauty and wonder

of a better place

a more just world

a brighter future

We understand

the difficulty

you face

having lived in the

in the mostly dark

having only experienced

the shadows

that passed as reality

What we don’t understand

is why you can

no longer hear

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–February 27, 2009

Late Night Karaoke

Libby Montana

A Green Freeway from Canada to Mexico

There was an article in today’s local newspaper about a “Green Freeway” stretching from Canada to Mexico. It would pass through only three states, all led by progressive Governors and Legislatures (or at least two of the governors.) There are only a few places in America where you can drive from Canada to Mexico and cross only three states. (But how progressive is Utah?)

As the plan stands, motorists eventually would be able to pull off at I-5 rest stops for more than a cup of coffee and roadside relief: They also would be able to charge, or swap out, their electric-vehicle batteries or fill their tanks with biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen or compressed natural gas.

There are, of course, hurdles, challenges, and obstacles which must be confronted before any of this becomes a reality.

Hop in a barrel and follow me over the fa-a-a-a-alls.

political : is : personal :: personal : is : political (UPDATED)

UPDATED…. she’s gone. see my last comment below.

My friend Barb is dying as I write.  I come here for vigil, shelter, a safe harbor. Barb has always been one of my “Go To” girls. She gently offered shelter in the calmest of ways, often without much more than a “come on in, hey, how bout some coffee?” A truly gracious lady. I’m going to miss her. A lot.

Bob Dylan, Shelter From the Storm…

Three, maybe four weeks ago, she was walking  and talking. She was fine. Some random unexplained aches and pains maybe, I hear she dismissed them, they’ve been going on for months apparently. But she downplayed it and managed because she had no other choice. She has no insurance.

Return of the Blackshirts

It’s something out of a twisted wingnut fantasy: 25,000 identically-dressed, tough-looking men and a charismatic leader with a simple, strong motto (in this case, “Believe!  Obey!  Fight!”) barge into the capital city and bully their way into a leadership role in the government.  No complicated voting, no messy democracy, no stupid consensus; just a bunch of ballsy, take-charge kinda guys who know what’s best for the nation and its historically-destined people – and woe unto he who disagrees with their image of what “the nation” ought to be…

And yet, like so many bizarre, terrifying, and ultimately uncivilized events, this one actually happened.  Join me, if you will, in the Cave of the Moonbat, where tonight we’ll take a peek at Italy in 1922 – and if we’re lucky, we’ll even be able to discern how the shadowy rightists behind Santelli and the Teabaggers have moved beyond simply genuflecting before Zombie Reagan, and may now actually be trying to resurrect Benito Mussolini himself.

It is time to say my good-byes

If you have read my stuff, you know I don’t trust Obama in the least.  He may have a sincere bone in his body (it’s probably the ‘stirrup’ in his right ear).  I think he’s one of ‘them.’

December 5th 1921- March 8th 2009

  She was so frail when I went back for my last visit in January. Even though Mom had found her a place close by, she had a difficult transition from her own place to a “retirement home” and she often had moments of panic calling my Mom desperately after Mom had just left. My Mom confided at times she felt frustrated to see her own mother, such a tough pragmatist become needy. Grandma knew she had become this way and lamented leaning so hard on my Mom. There was nothing wrong with her intellect. The day before I flew back to Tennessee we sat around and did crossword puzzles with her and argued over words and spelling. The last few visits home I was nagged by a feeling it was the last time I would see her. When I spoke to her last week on the phone she sounded tired but alright.

Thursday afternoon I got “the call” from Mom. Massive anterior MI. She was still alive. She had a DNR. We had discussed dying and funerals over the years. When she was still conscious, Mom told her how much we both loved her. Grandma instructed to her call a list of people. She was gone at 0630 AM this morning.

Yes. Intellectually I knew she had to go. Her body gave out. Considering she had smoked many years, quit, survived colon cancer living to her age was pretty good. Intellectually. Yes. I understand. She had suffered the last few years, not acutely but gradually. Her sight. Her independence. She became weak and tired. In fact, I told Mom and she agreed that her heart would just stop working.

But emotionally? No. Even though I prepared for this moment, I still feel intense sadness. Things get sad at work sometimes but you wrap yourself around professionalism in order to be able to be useful to the families. But it has been a while since I felt intense sadness. Tiring. It doesn’t matter whether you expect to lose somebody or not.It doesn’t really matter whether they were 8 or 88. They are gone. In my case I lost one of the few people in the world who knew me very intimately. Did I lose something of myself?

Maybe that isn’t so bad. I don’t believe in heaven and hell so maybe when she passed she took a little piece of me with her into the universe. And a piece of my mom.

She did not want a funeral. She wanted to be cremated and she told us the place where she wanted her ashes scattered. My mom told me not to rush home for a visit but when i came we would scatter the ashes.

Her name was Jeanie.

Her parents met on the boat coming over from Scotland and got married. Her father had already run away from home several times. She was the youngest of six. A few years before there was another baby who died in infancy probably from the flu. Growing up she had a German Shepherd named “Dawn”. Dawn walked them to school and met them when they returned. They dressed Dawn up like a baby and she went ice skating and sledding with them.

Her favorite brother Bill died in the war. There is a street in France named after him. He was injured and saved several other injured people by stealing a truck getting them in and taking them to a medical station while under fire. Somehow he disappeared. Another brother did some semi pro wrestling and boxing in the 1930’s.

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