April 2009 archive

Four at Four

  1. The Guardian reports Taliban vow to meet U.S.-led surge with violence against Karzai government. The Taliban vowed to meet any U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan with a summer of violence. “Mullah Brother Akhund, the second most powerful man in the hardline movement, published a statement on the Taliban website announcing the start of ‘Operation Victory’ today, which he said will involve ambushes on security forces and suicide bomb attacks.”

    “Zabihullah Mujahid said the promised upsurge in violence was a response to the decision of the US and several other Nato allies to send more troops to Afghanistan to challenge the influence Taliban insurgents who influence over huge swathes of countryside in the south and in the provinces next to Kabul, the capital.”

  2. The LA Times Scientists see this flu strain as relatively mild.

    As the World Health Organization raised its infectious disease alert level Wednesday and health officials confirmed the first death linked to swine flu inside U.S. borders, scientists studying the virus are coming to the consensus that this hybrid strain of influenza — at least in its current form — isn’t shaping up to be as fatal as the strains that caused some previous pandemics.

    In fact, the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus, which emerged in San Diego and southern Mexico late last month, may not even do as much damage as the run-of-the-mill flu outbreaks that occur each winter without much fanfare.

Four at Four continues with DoJ corruption, Somali piracy, and same-ol’, same ol’ in Iraq.

Torture Arrest Warrants Issued? Michael Ratner: Obama Must Now Prosecute Or Pardon.

Crossposted from Antemedius

Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon is recognized worldwide for his determination to bring suspects to justice, wherever they seek refuge or how old the crime.

A 2005 BBC profile of Garzon notes that:

He came to prominence in the late 1990s, when he campaigned for the extradition former Chilean military ruler Augusto Pinochet, from London to Spain for human rights abuses.

In late 2003 Judge Garzon compiled a 692-page indictment which called for the arrest of 35 men, including Osama Bin Laden, for their alleged membership of a terrorist group. The number of suspects was later increased to 41.

Mr Garzon is one of six investigating judges for Spain’s National Court which, like many other European countries, operates an inquisitorial system, as opposed to the adversarial system used by the US and UK.

The investigating judge’s role is to examine the cases assigned to him by the court, gathering evidence and evaluating whether the case should be brought to trial. He does not try the cases himself.

Today, April 30, 2009, Garzon opened a Spanish investigation into torture allegations against US military personnel at the Guantánamo detention centre:

Never Again

Wow: Condi Tries To Cover Her Ass…..and fails miserably.

Cenk Dissects, but the credit goes to the Stanford students. Just stunning, if this ever does get to court…they are toast. They have had months now to come up with some ass covering bullshit…..and THIS is the best they can do???

You can feeeel the panic, you can practically taste the denial.

Really nothing I can say does it justice.

Videos via Think Progress. Head over there and read their analysis too.

But this leaves no doubt in my mind that Condi, at least, really believed that they weren’t doing anything wrong. They bought there own bullshit in their panic after 9/11. And REALLY believed that if Bush …if the President…said it based on the Bybee et al memos…it was legal. I really doubt now that they ever let the reality of what they were doing actually penetrate their reality bubble.

Nothing illustrates the danger of the Unitary Executive, the concept of The President as King, more clearly. The King not only do anything he wants, he can believe anything he wants. Even that torture is GOOD.

Especially with this moron as King.


All I can do is shake my head….and do everything I can to make sure that, just as with the much greater horror of the holocaust (if you can measure horror) that we come out of this tragic era with the same phrease burned into our collective brains.

Never Again.

(Which, btw makes her statement that Al Qaeda was “more dangerous than the Nazis” ring even more hollow…and bitterly sad)

Mr. President You Can’t Have It Both Ways On Torture!

Dear President Obama;

I watched your press conference last night. I was happy with the tone that you set about the N1H1 ’09 virus and thought you gave quite good advice. However that is not why I am writing you today. Mr. President I continue to be dismayed with your efforts to straddle the line on the issue of the Bush administrations apparent State Sponsored Torture program.  

Chrysler Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Today?

Chrysler is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today on the heels of a failure to secure a deal to restructure debt in negotiations with bondholders, Reuters reports this morning:

The Chapter 11 filing, which sources said would be done in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, will send shockwaves through the entire auto industry — including Chrysler’s rivals, suppliers, dealers and the many hundreds of thousands who rely on the industry for their livelihoods.

A statement from President Barack Obama on Chrysler’s situation and the auto industry is scheduled for noon EDT.

In a bid to win over three fund firms that had spurned an offer to accept $2 billion in cash in exchange for writing off all of Chrysler’s $6.9 billion in secured debt, U.S. officials sweetened the terms by throwing in another $250 million, people familiar with those discussions said.

About 45 financial institutions hold Chrysler’s secured debt.

On Wednesday, Obama said concessions by Chrysler’s unions and its major bank lenders had made him more hopeful than a month ago that the struggling automaker could be made viable.

Chrysler would be 85 years old in 2010. In 1928, three years after the company was founded, construction began on the Chrysler Building, a Manhattan landmark and for a time the tallest building in the world. It was the world’s tallest building for 11 months before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931.

The Chrysler Building is a classic example of Art Deco architecture and considered by many contemporary architects to be one of the finest buildings in New York City. In 2007, it was ranked ninth on the List of America’s Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects. (wikipedia)

Heather (chacounne) doing radio show with VFP tonight at 8:00 PDT.

Tonight at 8:00 PDT, Heather (chacounne at Daily Kos) will participate with the Olympia Rachel Corrie Chapter 109 of Veterans For Peace in the radio show “On Wings of Peace”. This is a special monthy show produced by VFP in cooperation with “Free and Fair on the Air” with John Ford on KAOS. They will discuss torture.

KAOS is a community radio station affiliated with Evergreen State College.

You can find KAOS and Free and Fair on iTunes or stream directly from the radio station’s webpage through links on this page.

Please tune in!

In which Chlorosilane looks at Veterans Green Jobs

FINALLY, someone had a good idea about green industry that wasn’t just a bunch of blowing smoke with fancy buzzwords or an attempt to gain stimulus funding and/or sell their book!

Solving the problem of veteran homelessness and the energy crisis in one swell foop is made of nothing but win. Chlorosilane is pleased. She only looks pissed off because she was drawn that way. ;-7

I’ve been looking at the Veterans Green Jobs program, which is loosely affiliated with Obama’s Americorps endeavor. I applied to the program and receive email about opportunities for training as they occur. The next iteration appears to be oriented mostly toward forestry careers. It’s taking place in Colorado and runs from June 1st until August 14th.

The video (linked from Change.org) has it’s cheesy moments as it is interspersed with old newsreel footage, but in general is good and useful information.

Applicants will apparently be expected to be able to deal with living under “in the field” conditions for most of these programs. While I am no stranger to this, a back injury prevents me from being able to do heavy lifting, extended walking or standing. However, it’s not like I don’t have anything to offer once the program moves closer to my area and/or expands into training that will accomodate my existing skill set and abilities.

Military Spouses Deserve a Special Nod

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10, 2009. If you need a reminder just check your calendar.

What you might not find on that calendar, however, is that the Friday before Mother’s Day is designated as a day of remembrance for another very special group – it’s called Military Spouse Day.

Military Spouse Day was first celebrated 25 years ago. President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation assigning the Friday before Mother’ Day as a time to honor and commemorate the contributions of military spouses. It is likely that few people are even aware this special day exists.

Military families clearly live a different life then their civilian counterparts. The military family might have the opportunity to travel to wondrous places they might never had a chance to visit as civilians. Their duty stations could be in Europe, the Far East, the South Pacific, or even beautiful areas of this country. But, there is another side to being a military spouse. >>>>>Rest Here

Docudharma Times Thursday April 30

The First 100 Days Are


Don’t Forget That There

Are More Than 3 Years Left

And They Are Just as Important    

Thursday’s Headlines:

Obama injects message of hope into 100-day speech

A long, slow descent into hell

South Korea’s wartime sex slaves: Hoping for closure at the end of their lives

Six years after Saddam Hussein, Nouri al-Maliki tightens his grip on Iraq

UK Iraq combat operations to end

Battle of the Berlusconis: Italy’s first couple at war over ‘harem’

Moscow police chief Vladimir Pronin sacked over killing spree

Egyptian Christians riot after swine flu cull

Zimbabweans still groaning as aid remains elusive

Chrysler Bankruptcy Looms as Deal on Debt Falters


Published: April 29, 2009

DETROIT – Last-minute efforts by the Treasury Department to win over recalcitrant Chrysler debtholders failed Wednesday night, setting up a near-certain bankruptcy filing by the American automaker, according to people briefed on the talks.

Barring an agreement, which looked increasingly difficult, Chrysler was expected to seek Chapter 11 protection on Thursday, most likely in New York, these people said.

The automaker, which is in talks with the Italian automaker Fiat, would file for bankruptcy first. It subsequently would present an agreement with Fiat to the court for approval, possibly on Monday, these people said. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the government.

New health threat system was slow to alert

Scores were dead before authorities were fully aware of swine flu outbreak

By David Brown

WASHINGTON – Despite huge efforts in the past six years to make the reporting of disease outbreaks fast and automatic, there were significant delays in bringing Mexico’s swine flu outbreak to the full attention of international authorities.

News of an outbreak of severe respiratory illness in Mexico burst into public consciousness last Friday, April 24.

That was 18 days after public health authorities there started looking into unusual cases of pneumonia in their country, eight days after Mexican authorities notified the World Health Organization of the growing outbreak and four days after the events came to the full attention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.


Swine Flu Is Suspected in Region; WHO Warns of Likely Pandemic

6 Possible Cases Investigated in Md. as Global Alert Is Raised

By Rob Stein

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The World Health Organization took the unprecedented step yesterday of warning that the world is probably on the verge of a pandemic, as new cases of swine flu mounted, the first death was reported in the United States and the dangerous virus appeared to arrive just outside the nation’s capital.

The Geneva-based agency raised the alert level for the second time in three days, elevating it to one notch below a full-scale pandemic, after concluding that the virus was causing sustained outbreaks in the United States and Mexico.

The heightened alert is intended to prompt every nation to activate an emergency response plan, to spur pharmaceutical companies to increase production of antiviral drugs and help speed development of a vaccine, and to prod bankers to help poor countries afford measures to fight the virus, officials said.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

An Opened Mind XXVI

Art Link



Sometimes when you

peer inside an egg

all that you find there

is the inside of the shell

holding in darkness

A brain can seem as empty

A heart can seem as black

Courage can seem as fragile

as an empty egg shell

I am reminded of the wizard

It was all for show

with smoke and mirrors

Impressively awesome

with very little substance

The parallel is clear

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–December 29, 2005

Our Place in the Universe

I really like DocuDharma and my family does too.  My brother actually posts here on occasion and my Aunt is a regular reader.

What they tell me sets this place apart is that we are mellow and relaxed and I definitely think that’s the kind of atmosphere that buhdy and the rest of the founders intended to create, a space where you are free to express yourself in ways that are not rigidly limited by considerations of electoral victory.

I think our site’s tone is an accurate reflection of it’s readership and contributors.  I’ve always tried to feature the essays of others.  My opinions are mine to the extent I express them and to me that includes signing off on my promotions though I don’t always check every link.  All the Contributing Editors have the power to promote or at least draw attention to content so if you feel you’ve been unfairly overlooked all I can say is I’m sorry my arbitrary laziness offended.

While others aspire to more lofty goals I’m happy that we can give some exposure and consideration to content that might get missed at faster paced blogs, not that we’re slow.  We have 14 regularly scheduled slots a day that we mostly fill with member promotions.

Our anchor spots are mishima’s Late Night Karoke (3 am et) and early morning (7:30 am et) DocuDharma Times, Robyn’s (6 am et) Muse in the Morning, and Magnifico’s 4 @ 4 (pm, et).

Almost every day buhdy has something to say around 2 pm (et).

The regular weekly contributors are mishima again with Random Japan Fridays midnight (et), Pony Parties are published 2 pm (et) Wednesdays and 11 am (et) Sundays.  I kick in with Weekend News Digests on Saturdays and Sundays at 4 pm (et), Monday Business Update and Wednesday Science Supplement at 8 am (et).  Robyn has Friday Philosophy (6 pm et), Nightprowlkitty the aptly named Friday Night at 8 (pm et).  NLinStPaul is Sunday at 11 am (et).

Otherwise it’s up to you.

The payoff should be eyeballs.  In addition to the editorial freedom you have to create something that conforms to your own “artistic vision” (that I have no hesitation crushing like a bug without explanation should I decide to promote you), everything you publish here is more exposure for your work.

You can’t count on comments to measure effectiveness, between us and Democrats.com we’ve rounded up about 50,000 signatures urging AG Holder to prosecute torture.

But the bottom line is that I want to encourage your active participation- commenting, publishing, and contributing.  I value the service we provide and I hope you do too.


Special Torture Prosecutor Appointed…In Chicago

Torture used against criminal suspects in the US is not new, but two cases illustrate that we can appoint a special prosecutor now to investigate the Bush gang and then move on, or we can ignore the rule of law to let it fester over decades before justice in any form is served.

The GOP love to fawn over President Reagan yet ignore that it was his DOJ that prosecuted a Texas sheriff and deputies for waterboarding prisoners to get confessions.  Politicians can push the move-on meme for the Bush gang, but the appointment this week of a special prosecutor to investigate decades-old allegations of police torture against prisoners shows that justice may be slow, but tenacious advocates of human rights will not surrender.

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