May 22, 2009 archive

Where Have All The Rebels Gone? The Right Of Free Thought

(Editors Note: This essay contains strong opinions that might not be suitable for those under the mental age of 13)

Unless you were one of the thousands tortured or killed, unless you were one of those who has teh gay and were denied your civil rights, unless you were jailed under the Patriot Act, unless you were one of those….ok, it’s a long list…I’ll start again…

ONE of the greatest damages done under the iron fist of The Bush Reign Of Terror….was the repression of thought. Specifically the repression of Right of Free Thought. The Right to be Rebellious. Not just to express rebellion, but through the insidious forces of social pressure, to even, within the confines of your own head, THINK freely, let alone rebelliously.

The Right of Free Speech barely survived, even as an endangered and protected species. The blogs did much to keep that alive. On life support. With only a few visitors during supervised visits and only during visiting hours. It was much curtailed and assaulted, but you could, if you were willing to suffer the slings, arrows, and shocked gasps accompanied by raised and disapproving eyebrows still…sorta….SAY what you thought.

But you had to think about what you thought first. And therein lies the problem.

We were….and still are, forced to self-censor. Which is far, far worse than some Authority censoring you. Self-censorship kills the human spirit. Self-censorship is a form of suicide.

“What are you rebelling against Johnny?”

“Whaddya got?”

Marlon Brando

The DRC, Sudan, and Looking Forward.

Dave Waldman writes on Obama’s reluctance to prosecute for torture:

That poses an extraordinarily broad array of difficulties, not the least of which is that it’s an open an ongoing threat to the greater Obama agenda, which is itself often invoked as a reason for not dabbling in the “distraction” of “looking backward.” But unless we can demarcate Cheneyism — the “anything goes” philosophy as explicitly illegal, unconstitutional and illegitimate, its continued existence (and threatened practice by future administrations) calls into question the value and durability of the whatever parts of the Obama agenda are ultimately implemented, on detainee policy or anything else.

Last week, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations had a hearing entitled Confronting Rape and Other Forms of Violence Against Women in Conflict Zones: DRC and Sudan. The US Senate wishes to tackle rape as a weapon of war. Barbara Boxer feels we are in good position to affect the atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sudan.

Distractions With Noises

Making noise to effect change is not always something one can hear, but that one can see.

These distractions are to help one see things that you may not hear, & I hope they do make a little noise in your already busy & hectic lives.

So, I`ll begin with this.

Silent Scream


More than a Long Weekend

With Memorial Day right around the corner, check out this wonderfully moving article printed in USA TODAY entitled “More Than A Long Weekend” by Kathy Roth-Douquet, Blue Star Families’ Co-Founder and co-author with Frank Schaeffer “AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from Military Service — and How It Hurts Our Country”.

Docudharma Times Friday May 22

 The Stupid That

Is Dick Cheney

Is Beyond Me

Friday’s Headlines:

Washington governor orders cutbacks in emissions

In Sri Lanka the war is over but Tamil Tiger remnants suffer brutal revenge

Swat town fights back to push Taliban militants out

Silvio Berlusconi vows to grab more power in Italy at Parliament’s expense

Russia alarmed over new EU pact

Robert Mugabe offers MDC surprise concessions over key Zimbabwe posts

Malawi leader to be inaugurated

Obama demands that Israel stop settlements. How feasible is that?

Iran’s Missile Test: A Message to Obama and Netanyahu

U.S. to Steer GM Toward Bankruptcy

Filing Expected as Chrysler Set to Emerge

By David Cho, Peter Whoriskey and Kendra Marr

Washington Post Staff Writers

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Obama administration is preparing to send General Motors into bankruptcy as early as the end of next week under a plan that would give the automaker tens of billions of dollars more in public financing as the company seeks to shrink and reemerge as a global competitor, sources familiar with the discussions said.

The move comes as the administration prepares to lift the nation’s other faltering car company, Chrysler, from bankruptcy protection as soon as next week, industry sources said.

The shifts into and out of bankruptcy are landmarks in the Obama administration’s attempt to broker a historic restructuring of the American auto industry in the space of months.

Spread of Swine Flu Puts Japan in Crisis Mode


Published: May 21, 2009

KOBE, Japan – It all began at a high school volleyball tournament here on May 2 – or so residents of this Japanese port city suspect.

Soon, volleyball players who took part in the event were coming down with swine flu, early cases in a wider outbreak that has made Japan the worst-hit country outside North America in the global epidemic.

On Thursday, confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu virus in Japan reached 279, centering on Kobe and the neighboring city of Osaka, in western Japan. Like many other countries, Japan has reported mild flu cases and no deaths. Still, it is in crisis mode: more than 4,800 schools have been closed in the region, medical services are swamped, and testing laboratories are working around the clock.


Obama Faces Pitfalls With ‘Surgical’ Tack on Detainees



Published: May 21, 2009

As President Obama defends his national security strategy, he faces a daunting challenge. He must convince the country that it is in safe hands despite warnings to the contrary from the right, and at the same time persuade the skeptical left that it is enough to amend his predecessor’s approach rather than abandon it.

Arguably on the defensive over policy for the first time since taking office, Mr. Obama is gambling that his oratorical powers can reassure the public that bringing terrorism suspects to prisons on American soil will not put the public in danger.

At the same time, he must explain and win support for a nuanced set of positions that fall somewhere between George W. Bush and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Secrets of the Temple

Digby observes that the American economy is essentially in the hands of the High Priests of the Federal Reserve, who do not answer to anyone, least of all to the great unwashed masses who allegedly aren’t equipped to handle something so important as money.

Considering the fact that America’s banking system has become the Clusterfuck of All Time, it seems to me that the High Priests of the Temple of Bernanke are the ones who can’t handle money.  Or keep track of it.  Or reveal how many trillions of dollars they’ve printed and who they’re handing all those trillions of dollars to.

Congressman Grayson:

The Federal Reserve has refused multiple inquiries from both the House and the Senate to disclose who is receiving trillions of dollars from the central banking system.  The Federal Reserve has redacted the central terms of the no-bid contracts it has issued to Wall Street firms like Blackrock and PIMCO, without disclosure required of the Treasury, and is participating in new and exotic programs like the trillion-dollar TALF to leverage the Treasury’s balance sheet.  With discussions of allocating even more power to the Federal Reserve as the ‘systemic risk regulator’ of the credit markets, more oversight over the central bank’s operations is clearly necessary.

Even more oversight than there already is???

Wow.  I didn’t know it was possible to have even more oversight over that Temple of Secrets and its Branch Temples on Wall Street than we already have.  But I know this much. . .

The High Priests will be very offended.  They’d already ordained themselves as Supreme High Pontiff Systemic Risk Regulators and now some heathen asshole in Congress is suggesting that they should be subject to even more blasphemous oversight.  

Can I be “16 times louder”?

Last night, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act out for consideration by the rest of the House.

This bill is filled with good … and bad elements. It has strong provisions for improving energy efficiency in the United States, a weak renewable energy standard, and massive (MASSIVE) direct and indirect subsidies and payoffs for the fossil fuel industries.

This is a challenging moment.

There are environmental organizations cheering from the rooftops. There are environmental organizations declaring their opposition. And, there are those vowing to fight even harder.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Dharma is the support of the earth.

Born of compassion and kindness.

It patiently holds the thread

Of creation together.

Understand this and become a person of Truth.

–Sri Guru Nanak Dev, Hymn 16, Japji Sahib

Phenomena V: Truth

Art Link

At the Nub



of pretense

scraped down

to the nub

bathed in

the acid

of reality


is coated by

no varnish

No twisting




can alter it

Truth is inviolate

but there are many


–Robyn Elaine Serven

–March 12, 2008

Obama wants to give nukes to the crooks in the UAE

Tonight I want to point out a story of which very few people are aware.   Surprisingly enough, this is inspired by a piece that is actually on CNN (a network which represents, usually, the very worst of the Corporate/Republican Noise Machine, albiet in a far more insidious and subtle way than Fox).  

The story is here:

Torture video threatens U.S.-UAE nuclear deal

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Obama on Thursday sent a civil nuclear agreement with the United Arab Emirates to the Senate for ratification, but its passage remains uncertain, thanks to a recently disclosed video.

Senior U.S. officials said lawmakers critical of the deal could use the video, which shows a member of the UAE government’s royal family torturing a man, to argue the United States should not have such nuclear cooperation with a country where the rule of law is not respected and human rights violations are tolerated.

This is putting it oh-so-mildly, and it barely touches the tip of the UAE iceberg.    

Late Night Karaoke


McClatchy Nails Cheney To The Wall

Whenever I read a piece like the one last night from McClatchy News Service, “Cheney’s speech contained omissions, misstatements”,  I often wonder where they’ve been for the last 8 years, pre-Obama? To its credit though, McClatchy had far better reporting going on than AP and Reuters during the Bush years. This one is just scorching… HOT! It’s the kind of reporting we all lusted after, but never got, while Cheney was in office.

Cheney said that “the key to any strategy is accurate intelligence,” but the Bush administration ignored warnings from experts in the CIA , the Defense Intelligence Agency , the State Department , the Department of Energy and other agencies, and used false or exaggerated intelligence supplied by Iraqi exile groups and others to help make its case for the 2003 invasion.

I envision Yosemite Sam, right after Bugs blows him up with gunpowder or something, still smoldering.

– Cheney said that only “ruthless enemies of this country” were detained by U.S. operatives overseas and taken to secret U.S. prisons.

A 2008 McClatchy investigation, however, found that the vast majority of Guantanamo detainees captured in 2001 and 2002 in Afghanistan and Pakistan were innocent citizens or low-level fighters of little intelligence value who were turned over to American officials for money or because of personal or political rivalries.

This piece, written by reporters Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel, is to be applauded. It’s nice to see some media not afraid of Dick Cheney.

There’s so much more at the link. For your viewing pleasure (don’t miss it!):…

Meet the deadatom and how i learned to relax

Hi!  I am deadatom!  Or rather, i am the person who uses this handle on the world wide web.  A lot of people have made me out to be some sort of monster.  Those people are wrong.  I’m much worse!  A human being like everyone else who is prone to errors and bad judgement calls.  

For example, when i was a younger man i was a real sack of shit.  One time, in the year 2000, i even defended no child left behind! shudders.  How did i go from right wing idiot to the deadatom that i am now?  Basically i did a lot of drugs for 4-5 years straight.  Good times!

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