May 17, 2009 archive

1967 reincarnated…

The year was 1967.  An Army special forces unit goes on a seven-month killing spree in Vietnam.  Far from being isolated incidents that occurred without notice, Army commanders were aware of the actions and let it continue.  Ultimately, the unit was disbanded, its members never prosecuted, the facts buried by the Army from the public.

Then, a small newspaper, the Toledo Blade, got wind of the cover-up, investigated the accusations, and in 2003, released a Pulitzer-winning mini-series about “Tiger Force“, the unit that committed wholesale slaughter in Vietnam.

Donald Rumsfeld, who in 2003 was George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense, stifled any investigation into Tiger Force or its surviving members.  

But, the story doesn’t end there…

How To Increase Suffering

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

The Times Record Herald reports that the New York Prison Guards Union has managed to kill a performance of an inmate musical production.  The prisoners, it seems, wrote a play, a musical to be exact, produced it, directed it, and act, sing and dance in it.  They were going to show it to prisoners at another, nearby prison.

Why has the production been canceled?  Because the guards’ union is mad at the Governor because of closings, supposedly for budgetary reasons, of work release centers in which union member guards are employed.  Not content to fight the Governor directly, not content to picket the Governor and the legislature, the Union has stepped in to stop the prisoners’ showing their play to other prisoners by threatening to picket the performance:

State prison officials have lowered the curtain on an inmate theatrical performance.

A troupe of 18 convicted murderers, robbers and other felons at Woodbourne Correctional Facility had been scheduled to perform an original play Wednesday at Eastern Correctional Facility in Ellenville.

But the state Department of Correctional Services has canceled the show because union workers threatened to picket.

“The commissioner does not want to jeopardize the program or the people in it by putting them in the middle of a statewide labor issue,” said DOCS spokesman Erik Kriss.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Now with World News.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Buoyant Congress eyes new allies for coalition

By Krittivas Mukherjee, Reuters

Sun May 17, 9:57 am ET

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Congress party held talks Sunday to identify allies for a new stable coalition government after a sweeping election victory at a time of sagging economic growth and regional instability.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s coalition defied predictions of a tight election and was only about 12 seats short of an outright majority from the 543 seats at stake, according to election commission data.

In a country where unwieldy coalitions were becoming the order of the day and hobbling policy, the electoral verdict this time means Congress will call the shots in coalition building rather than being dependent on the goodwill of regional parties.

Café Discovery: Context, 1964

I was a sophomore at Lake Oswego High School for the first half of 1964 and a junior at at the end of it.  

Like 1963, the music ranged from the Beatles at the beginning of the year…to the Beatles at the end of the year.  The meaningful music, as far as I was concerned, was in between.

I pulled the news from 1964 out of wiki, every fifth story or so.  I’ve added some content and some memories and followed a few threads forward.

I found it an interesting study.  I hope you do, too.

Curing community soul sickness

There’s an outdoor Scandinavian Day festival that takes place around this time of year in a park close to where I was born. We’ve been attending the festival as re-enactors for close to a decade. My husband does double duty as a live steel performer with one group and a fencer with the other, while I perform the role of seidhkona and do rune readings for three bucks.

It’s a small fair, and the only one where I feel comfortable doing psychic readings for several reasons. What I do adds color to the nature of the festival and fits it’s paradigm, so I don’t feel like “being myself” here is pushing anything onto the community that it doesn’t want. It is also held in what I consider to be one of my “odal” or “sacred lands”. The hospital where I was born, the house where my grandparents lived for seventy years and the room where I took my oath of enlistment are all mere blocks from the site.

We generally have good success with the weather, but when it becomes more important to the stupid, the arrogant and the hateful to make the local shamanic practitioner look and feel like a powerless fool, well, there’s going to be rain when rain isn’t really wanted by ANYONE else. It never fails to amaze me how these cointelpro-like cretins claim “victory” and “success” for throwing a monkey wrench into the shamanic work done with the intent to benefit all, but the world is full of paranoid control freaks who would gladly convince the rest of the world that if they can’t do it themselves or exclusively on their terms, it can’t and should never be done. So last year was a day where I had difficulty keeping the rain up and finally ended up losing that battle at around 3:30pm.

This year the morning started out with mist and light rain, but the husband and I packed up anyway and wended our way to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. There was a lighter attendance than usual, and I despaired of making any money this year (I usually average around $85) but stubbornly set up my double-headed eagle viking chair.

Photo: Miguel Paz

The weather steadily improved to the degree that I ended up coming home with a well-sunburned face and $99. I immediately converted $60 of that to a case of honey that a friend got for me at cost from an upstate apiary. There’s gonna be some mead making this summer at Chez Coles. Several people from last year were only remarkable by their absence, and they were also not missed. “Goodbye Earl”, as the song says…

Sunday music retrospective: 1964 – Part II


Betty Everette and Jerry Butler:  Let It Be Me

Them:  Gloria

Weapon of Choice

Where are we getting our real news from in these past times, especially about the two long running occupation theaters we have our soldiers engaged in? I would suggest we’re getting a better look on these conflicts, and other real news, from local outlets and not the so called National Media Cable Outlets, which seem to give more talk, from so called experts and analyst, singular opinion, than real news reporting, with the occasional mini doc thrown in.

I did a post yesterday on Veterans and the problem of Homelessness within our community of brothers and sisters, all the video’s and links were from local outlets, or individuals.

Same a few days prior to that after the tragic incident at the stress clinic In-Country in Baghdad. These were also local outlet reports and investigations on the stress of War and Occupation and PTSD possibly playing a major roll in what happened.

The Divide

I think Obama summed up the reason why so many in the progressive blogosphere are having trouble with his administration in his Saturday video address this week.

I have always believed that it is better to talk than not to talk; that it is far more productive to reach over a divide than to shake your fist across it. This has been an alien notion in Washington for far too long, but we are seeing that the ways of Washington are beginning to change. For the calling of this moment is too loud and too urgent to ignore. Our success as a nation – the future of our children and grandchildren – depends upon our willingness to cast aside old arguments, overcome stubborn divisions, and march forward as one people and one nation.

Since its inception a few years ago, the role of the progressive blogosphere has been to “shake our fist across the divide.” That was certainly what initially drew me to these kinds of conversations back in 2003/04. First of all, it helped us not feel so alone in our rage. And secondly, that’s about all we could do. It was clear that Bush and Cheney weren’t interested in anything we had to say. And Congress, even after the 2006 elections, wasn’t paying much attention either.

Obama is right that shaking fists across the divide is what those in Washington have also done. Its been interesting to watch the Republicans as they sometimes have to work to position the divide so that they can continue to shout across it.

But one of the things I have questions about these days is “where exactly is the divide we should be shouting across?”  

Sunday music retrospective: 1964 – Part I


The Temptations:  The Way You Do the Things You Do

Helen Shapiro:  Fever

Associated Press Mentions Bilderburg!!!!

Yet that selective selectiveness that is US commercial lamestream/propaganda media will give you something else like Farrah Fawcet or Octomom.

The verdict is in.

Short depression, 14% official unemployment,25% real unemployment

This leads to globalized banking to “manage” the situation.

Second major agenda, surprise surprise, is a global health ministry with a real agenda not related to health but eugenics.  

Docudharma Times Sunday May 17

Will The Host’s

Of The Sunday

Morning Interview Programs

Ask The Tough Questions

About Torture? Don’t Hold

Your Breath

Sunday’s Headlines:

From a Theory to a Consensus on Emissions

Sri Lankan army pushes on with final assault on cornered Tamils

Tribe wants newly elected politicians to ‘keep their word’

Riot police arrest Tatchell at gay march in Moscow

A who-wunnit: family fight over crime writer’s fortune

History made in Kuwait as women elected to parliament

Israel PM ‘may back two states’

Eritrea denies Somali involvement

Zimbabwean girls seek opportunity in South Africa

Guatemala in uproar after lawyer predicts own murder

Afghan civilian deaths: Who is to blame?

Commanders and villagers give conflicting accounts of the attack that Afghan officials say killed 140 civilians, a toll disputed by the U.S. But injured girls make clear the costs for two families.

By Laura King

May 17, 2009

Reporting from Qale Zaman, Afghanistan — The road to Bala Baluk district stretches arrow-straight ahead, with heat-shimmered cucumber fields on either side. But determining exactly what transpired nearly two weeks ago in a hamlet called Garani takes a far more twisted path.

A battle raged. Bombs fell. Afghan officials say at least 140 civilians died, two-thirds of them children and teenagers, in what may prove the most lethal episode of civilian casualties since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Days of interviews with U.S. and Afghan commanders, mourning villagers and jittery provincial authorities, doctors and human rights activists about the fighting of May 4 yielded accounts that could be likened to a series of linked circles; some elements overlap while others appear irreconcilable.

Villagers consistently told of a bombardment that came at least 90 minutes after the Taliban had melted away from Garani, a village just 22 miles from the provincial capital, Farah City.

How Neanderthals met a grisly fate: devoured by humans

A fossil discovery bears marks of butchering similar to those made when cutting up a deer

Robin McKie, science editor

The Observer, Sunday 17 May 2009

One of science’s most puzzling mysteries – the disappearance of the Neanderthals – may have been solved. Modern humans ate them, says a leading fossil expert.

The controversial suggestion follows publication of a study in the Journal of Anthropological Sciences about a Neanderthal jawbone apparently butchered by modern humans. Now the leader of the research team says he believes the flesh had been eaten by humans, while its teeth may have been used to make a necklace.

Fernando Rozzi, of Paris’s Centre National de la Récherche Scientifique, said the jawbone had probably been cut into to remove flesh, including the tongue. Crucially, the butchery was similar to that used by humans to cut up deer carcass in the early Stone Age. “Neanderthals met a violent end at our hands and in some cases we ate them,” Rozzi said.


Gay-Marriage Issue Awaits Court Pick

Same-Sex Unions Supplant Abortion As Social Priority for Conservatives

By Shailagh Murray

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, May 17, 2009

As President Obama prepares to name his first Supreme Court justice, conservatives in Washington are making clear that his nominee will face plenty of questions during the confirmation process on the legal underpinnings of same-sex marriage.

In addition to shedding more light on the nation’s most contentious unfolding social drama and legal frontier, Senate Republicans say the debate could provide a road map to an Obama nominee’s judicial philosophy.

“It may reflect the degree to which they think that they’re not bound by the classical meaning of the Constitution, and that they may want to let a personal agenda go beyond what the law said,” said  Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Forthwith, House Ways and Means Committee, health care, reconciliation

As always, Docudharma gets this essay first when I get it done early. This turns Orange and will appear on Congress Matters Sunday around 8 p.m. Eastern.

Welcome to the eighth installment of “Considered Forthwith.”

This 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.

For the next few weeks, health care reform through reconciliation will be a common theme in this series. Check out this Front Page story on Congress Matters for a description of the reconciliation process.

This week, I will look at the House Ways and Means Committee. The chair is Charlie Rangel of New York and the ranking member is Dave Camp of Michigan. In general, Ways and Means deals with tax issues, trade, Social Security, and health insurance.

Load more