April 13, 2009 archive

Four at Four

  1. The NY Times reports Soldiers bridge two stages of war in Afghanistan.

    Afghanistan has long been a land of invisible but broadly understood boundaries. If you go here, it will be friendly. If you go there, you will be attacked. There are places where almost no outsiders go at all.

    With more military units expected, the many dangerous seams outside of the control of the Afghan government, like the Taliban-run area around Wanat, could in time have a regular American presence or a fixed outpost, several of the company and battalion’s officers said. And then, patrol by patrol, the Taliban could be undermined, and the complicated geography of informal boundaries could be eroded.

    These changing expectations have made the soldiers now on the ground a bridge from the older war to a fight that stands to become more invigorated, and hopeful, albeit perhaps more bloody as American units push into longstanding Taliban sanctuaries.

Four at Four continues with Somali Islamists applaud acts of piracy, prosecuting small time Iraq and Afghanistan, reconstruction money crooks, update from Thailand, and police preemptively arrest greenhouse gas protesters in the UK.

Just Like Bush? My ASS. Obama Lifts Cuba Travel Restrictions

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING


 Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is allowing Americans to make unlimited trips and money transfers to family in Cuba and easing other restrictions Monday to usher in a new era of openness toward the island nation ruled by communists for 50 years.

The formal announcement was being made at the White House Monday afternoon, during presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs’ daily briefing with reporters, a senior administration official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity before the announcement.

With the changes, Obama aims to lessen Cubans’ dependence on the Castro regime, hoping that will lead them to demand progress on political freedoms, the official said. About 1.5 million Americans have relatives on the island nation that turned to communist rule in 1959 when Fidel Castro seized control.

Jesus fucking christ, it is about goddamned time.

Misanthropy Break

Today the President now has a dog. I like dogs! Dogs are cute when they are little but are still fun when they grow up. If you are good your dog will teach you to do tricks like throw sticks for them and take them for walks.

Also, four bad men kidnapped a guy from a boat. Then they wouldn’t give him back, so we killed them. Republicans said that the President wouldn’t kill them, but he did! That will show those Republicans!

Republicans are also bad in other ways!Republicans are going to protest in the street because thy don’t like the what they think the President is doing!

Hahahaha! What kind of idiot goes and protests in the street when they don’t like their government???!!!??? Stoopid Republicans. But even though the Republicans are bad and stoopid, we must still fear them!

We cannot do things that are smart or right, because the stoopid bad Republicans will call us bad names on tv. That would mean that we can’t do good things anymore. So we have to not do good things…or else the bad, stoopid Republicans will go on tv and call us names for doing good things, so we can’t do good things.

So everybody who wants the president to do good things better be quiet. If we tell the president we want him to do good things, that he can’t do, because of the scary bad stoopid Republicans you are just falling into the bad stoopid scary Republican trap where they try to make you do good things so they can call you bad names on the tv.

Or even, also….they could stand up in the Senate and say no. And when the scary bad stoopid Republicans stand up and say no….they mean it! Not like the Democrats when they were in exactly the same position as the scary bad stoopid Republicans! When they stood up and said no to that Bush guy, he still did bad stuff. Cause, I guess, they didn’t really mean it…or weren’t as scary and bad and stoopid as the Republicans. Because when the scary bad stoopid Republicans say stuff we have to do it, even if it is scary and bad. But when the Democrats say we have to do good stuff, we can’t do it. Or they will say bad stuff on…..wait! They already say bad stuff on tv about the Democrats every day! They even make stuff up and nobody even says nothing about it!

MY bad, I better correct that or I will be a bad person too, for saying stuff, ok, here we go!

UPDATE: We can’t do good stuff or the scary bad stoopid Republicans will go on tv and say…..even MORE bad scary stuff!

So we better just do what they want.And not do any good stuff. Good thing we are smarter than them! We figured out just in time that we better not do good stuff and still let them do bad stuff or we might fall into their trap and not be able to do anything good!

DARN those scary bad stoopid Republicans for making us stop doing good stuff like that. Boy are THEY stoopid hahahahaha!



Pressure the Press, and or Free The Press, and or whatever else we may end up calling it, starts tomorrow!

Global Warming Roundup: How Long Do We Have?

Have We Hit the Limits of Human Population? – Alternet

The last 200 years of economic growth have been based on a monumental Ponzi scheme that has pushed us toward the ultimate tipping point.

Poor prognosis for our planet – Sydney Morning Herald

The world has about a decade left to sort out the climate-change mess. John Collee sees lessons from his medicine days as parallels for the future of our planet.

Every patient with an incurable illness will ask how long they have to live. The answer goes something like this: “No one can say how long you may live, because every individual is different, but focus on the changes you observe and be guided by those. When things start changing for the worse, expect these changes to accelerate. So the changes that have occurred over a year may advance by the same degree in a few months, then in weeks. And that is how you can judge when the end is coming.”

Breaking the silence about Spring – RealClimate

Did you know that in 1965 the U.S. Department of Agriculture planted a particular variety of lilac in more than seventy locations around the U.S. Northeast, to detect the onset of spring – in turn to be used to determine the appropriate timing of corn planting and the like? The records the USDA have kept show that those same lilacs are blooming as much as two weeks earlier than they did in 1965. April has, in a very real sense, become May. This is one of the interesting facts that you’ll read about in Amy Seidl’s book, Early Spring, a hot-off-the-press essay about the impacts of climate change on the world immediately around us – the forest, the birds, the butterflies in our backyards.

Ice loss sparks new climate change fears – Financial Times

Evidence of ice loss from both poles this week has sparked fresh fears that global warming is progressing faster than scientists had predicted. Arctic ice has thinned dramatically, as well as shrinking in area, according to US research. Thin seasonal ice, which melts and refreezes each year, now makes up about 70 per cent of the Arctic winter ice, up from about 40 to 50 per cent in the 1980s and 1990s, leaving far less of the older, thicker ice that is harder to melt.

In the Antarctic, an ice bridge connecting an island to the Wilkins ice shelf – a sheet of ice about the size of Northern Ireland – shattered as scientists monitored it through satellite observations.

Postcard from the Illuminati


Cheney’s DNA has gone viral, like twitter, and spread across red-meat America. Lying dormant through the Bush years, seething since Clinton “got away” with it, and now ready to bloom into full blown metastasized paranoid, hysterical hatred for all things not God and Guns.

Nevermind the contaminated Cheney Virus does not possess the god gene. But because the gun gene tends toward overkill we have a cancer which eats piety and excretes scorn like Church Bells in Hell.

All in all, gentlemen, things have not gone so smoothly and according to plan since the Elders wrote the Protocols. Weishaupt was a genius and all hail to the ONE.

America manufactures losers

America’s loss of manufacturing prowess is widely lamented, but what is not widely understood is that our postmodern business culture has perfected the manufacture of a hugely profitable product: the loser. Losers are citizens who have been stripped of their independence by ignorance, poverty, addiction, and propaganda manipulation. Losers are a profitable product for the following reasons:

1. Losers are docile consumers, willing to buy almost anything, with low expectations for quality and service.

2. Losers can be loaded down with debt, because they can’t perform rudimentary arithmetic and will tolerate living as debt slaves.

3. Losers are politically passive because they are hypnotized by TV propaganda that tells them that they are OK.

4. Losers are easily addicted to highly profitable products and services like alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and fantasy entertainment.

5. Losers produce loser children, because they don’t value education and are too poor and stressed to raise their kids properly.

As the American economy contracts, the “winners” in our society will try desperately to increase the production of losers. If the supply of willing losers is insufficient, it may be necessary to turn the middle class into losers by debasing the currency and calling for national “sacrifice.” America’s winners, having perfected the manufacture of losers, will not readily abandon this highly profitable industry.

Chlorosilane takes the day off

So kindly enjoy the appearance of our guest stars.


Docudharma Times Monday April 13

 A Tea Party for Stupidity


Monday’s Headlines:

Mood of America may have finally hit bottom

Storm brews as Italian hoteliers target forecasters

S├ębastien Clerc’s common sense crusade to improve French education

Iraqi leaders attacked over spate of homophobic

In Algeria, Bouteflika’s opponents challenge his landslide win

Ceasefire hope for civilians trapped in Tamil Tiger zone

As Asia builds economic ties, Taiwan sidelined by China

Zimbabwe: A brave man’s words keep his memory alive

Africa: International Body Launches Appeal for Polio-Affected Countries

Americans stick to their guns as firearms sales surge

Amid fears that President Obama is planning a clampdown on guns, Chris McGreal reports from Culpeper, Virginia, on a new US arms race

Chris McGreal

The Guardian, Monday 13 April 2009

At the Guns and Ammo Warehouse they are reluctant to admit Barack Obama is right about very much. But customers enjoy the thought that his controversial campaign comment, that “bitter” small-town Americans are clinging to their guns, has proved more true than the president could have imagined.

Firearms sales have surged in the six months since Obama’s election as millions of Americans have gone on a buying spree that has stripped gun shops in some parts of the country almost bare of assault weapons and led to a national ammunition shortage.

The FBI says that since November more than seven million people applied for criminal background checks in order to buy weapons, a figure excluding the many more buying at thousands of gun shows in states such as Virginia, without facing any checks.

Clashes Over Thai Protests Intensify

Janesara Fugal contributed reporting from Bangkok


Published: April 13, 2009

BANGKOK — The Thai army clashed with demonstrators here early Monday after thousands of anti-government protesters defied a state of emergency, massing in the streets, climbing atop armored military vehicles and attacking the prime minister’s motorcade.

In one clash at a major intersection, soldiers fired shots from automatic rifles and tear gas at the protesters, who answered with gasoline bombs. The intersection leads to a major road out of the city.

The gunfire appeared to be aimed above the protesters; hospitals reported more than 70 injured, many from tear gas. Four of the casualties had gunshot wounds, including two civilians and two soldiers, according to a hospital official quoted by the Reuters news agency.


An Early Military Victory for Obama

By Michael D. Shear

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, April 13, 2009; Page A09

It was one of the earliest tests of the new American president — a small military operation off the coast of a Third World nation. But as President Bill Clinton found out in October 1993, even minor failures can have long-lasting consequences.

Clinton’s efforts to land a small contingent of troops in Haiti were rebuffed, for the world to see, by a few hundred gun-toting Haitians. As the USS Harlan County retreated, so did the president’s reputation.

For President Obama, last week’s confrontation with Somali pirates posed similar political risks to a young commander in chief who had yet to prove himself to his generals or his public.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

An Opened Mind XIV

Art Link

Narrow Passage


All war does

is spread

more war

Stopping the fighting

by means of war


just encourages

people to fight

someplace else


they have learned

how to kill


–Robyn Elaine Serven

–January 13, 2007

Late Night Karaoke

Hanging Out

Monday Morning Business Update

Old News


1 AP IMPACT: Chinese drywall poses potential risks

By BRIAN SKOLOFF and CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press Writers

1 hr 39 mins ago

PARKLAND, Fla. – At the height of the U.S. housing boom, when building materials were in short supply, American construction companies used millions of pounds of Chinese-made drywall because it was abundant and cheap.

Now that decision is haunting hundreds of homeowners and apartment dwellers who are concerned that the wallboard gives off fumes that can corrode copper pipes, blacken jewelry and silverware, and possibly sicken people.

Shipping records reviewed by The Associated Press indicate that imports of potentially tainted Chinese building materials exceeded 500 million pounds during a four-year period of soaring home prices. The drywall may have been used in more than 100,000 homes, according to some estimates, including houses rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina.

Considered Forthwith: House Science and Technology Committee

Crossposted at Daily Kos, Congress Matters and A Little R&R.

This is a series I started at Daily Kos and Congress Matters. I figured I would offer it here, too. If ya’ll don’t like it, let me know. I can handle the falmes.

Welcome to the third installment of Considered Forthwith. This approximately weekly series looks at the various committees in the House and the Senate. Committees are the workshops of our democracy. This is where bills are considered, revised, and occasionally advance for consideration by the House and Senate. Most committees also have the authority to exercise oversight of related executive branch agencies.

If you want to read previous dairies in the series, search using the “forthwith” tag. I welcome criticisms and corrections in the comments.

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