July 19, 2009 archive

For those who claim the media isn’t right-wing

For those of you who claim that the media is anything other than owned by the right-wing and the corporatocracy, I give you this:

Dystopia 12: The Jaguar People

When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.


BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, (1706-1790), Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1746

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Now with World News.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Honduras crisis talks deadlocked over Zelaya return

By Ana Isabel Martinez and John McPhaul, Reuters

1 hr 32 mins ago

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) – Talks to resolve Honduras’ political crisis dragged into a second day on Sunday, with negotiators for deposed President Manuel Zelaya and coup leaders deadlocked over his proposed return to power.

A new session opened in Costa Rica after nearly 10 hours of closed-door meetings on Saturday failed to yield any kind of agreement.

Zelaya, a leftist, was ousted in a June 28 military coup, and the de facto government led by Roberto Micheletti has so far resisted all international pressure, refusing to accept any deal that includes Zelaya being restored to power.

The End of the World (as we know it), and I Feel Fine

Kossack Stranded Wind has a diary on the rec list today entitled Contemplating Human Extinction, wherein he offers charts and graphs and doomsday projections about the upcoming “extinction event” and it’s already too late to change it. Now Buhdy has an essay here on the recent passing of his mother, and it made me cry because it’s as beautiful as it is sad. Here I’d like to note a few things wrong with the Doomsday View of Life, and hopefully touch on something beautiful too.

My hubby and I decided way back in the dim recesses of the late 1960s that we’d only have two children, not wishing to contribute to what was apparent even back then about overpopulation and increasing stress on resources plus pollution issues. That’s just what we did, too – had a girl and then a boy, then purposely joined the ranks of the non-reproducing. That way I didn’t have to spend my life wondering if I’d get cancer from birth control pills or ever have to face the hard question of abortion (which I wouldn’t have chosen, I don’t think). From there we went on to adopt three children no one else wanted yet were already housebroken, and ended up with a long line of other people’s troubled teens who decided our house was better than their own. Some of them grew up okay, some of them are still messed up, and a few of them died along the way (including our son). Life is like that. I was never the best of mothers, I suppose, but that’s okay too.

Now that our grandchildren are well into reproductive age and we’re looking to finally do what WE want to do with the rest of our lives, I have thought a lot about the unsustainability of humanity’s current crazy lifestyles and self-imposed anxiety and depression, whether or not any of us will survive. I’ve pretty much decided it doesn’t matter, and that it’s going to be someone else’s problem when I’m gone. They’ll either do what needs doing for themselves and their own progeny, or not. No skin off my teeth – or rather, the few teeth I’ve got left.

I will say that it’s always bugged me that the doomsayers always want to appeal to “But What About The Children!?” canard when trying to motivate people to do something about the mess. As if the people who pull the strings – and spend their lives polluting the planet, stealing the wealth, and otherwise trading gold on the several huge futures markets in human suffering – give a shit about anybody’s children (including their own). The sciencey-types keep telling me that the reproductive urge and tendency to have so many children they can’t be supported is some sort of ‘natural’ evolutionary drive controlled by complex macromolecules in our cell nucleuses that are “selfish” and want to take over the world. Since that’s never been true for me – my macromolecules are just physical biochemical pieces-parts, thanks, and don’t run my life – I have a hard time blaming them for anything except my physical nature and its unique peculiarities. And while humans are indeed incredibly short-sighted and stupid about many things, it doesn’t take much neural superglue to simply move to higher ground when the water rises. I mean, if you’re too dumb to do that much, you probably deserve to drown!

Fleur: Twelve Graphics

A week ago, I started a graphic series.  As much as there ever is an inspiration to any of my graphics, there was the awareness that it was Bastille Day in France.  So I sat down at my program and created a series of unfinished (in my opinion) graphics, with the plan that I would come back later and finish each of them.

For some unknown reason, I decided to finish each one in two different ways, sometimes with something as simple as altering the hue.  Other times I made major alterations.

I don’t promise that they get better as they go along…but only that they got different.  It’s not a bad thing to surrender linear thinking sometimes, to explore what might have been if we had only done something different.

Who DID Cheney’s goon squad kill?

While the Times presents this disingenuous analysis of Cheney’s secret CIA hit squad, and yet more smoke and mirrors are fed to the Washington Post with desperately-toned CYA backpedaling statements like “The program was active in fits and starts, and it was essentially killed in 2004 because it was deemed ineffective, former and current intelligence officials said. It reemerged briefly in 2005 but remained largely dormant until this year.”; more pieces to the puzzle can be found in an article which ponders aloud whether British weapons scientist Dr. David Kelly and American colleagues Benito Que and Don Wiley, all of whom worked together to assess Iraq’s WMD status AND all of whom were found dead under suspicious circumstances, were victims instead:

“According to Post reporter Joby Warrick, Bush’s finding “imposed no geographical limitations on the agency’s actions” and that the CIA was “not obliged to notify Congress of each operation envisaged under the directive.” This implies that targets could be hit anywhere, including on the soil of a NATO ally or inside the United States itself.”

This article also mentions how convenient Bruce Ivin’s “suicide” (a biochemist we are expected to believe chose an overdose of Tylenol as his way out, knowing full well he would languish in excruciating pain for days before he’d actually expire) was for those investigating the domestic anthrax attacks.

The NYT quickly tries to atone for it’s shameless GOP ass kissing (“Mr. Cheney has never been accused of reckless openness about intelligence programs”) by implying that the program was flawed more by incompetence than malice, but the statement “The real surprise is that in eight years of off-again, on-again brainstorming, planning and training, the program did not kill a single terrorist. It did not even mount an attempt, C.I.A. officials say.” still begs the question: Who DID Cheney’s goon squad kill?

The Times is even ballsy enough to mention that the CIA’s illegal activities relevant to this program came to the attention of Italian authorities who attempted to prosecute them in absentia, but strangely fails to mention the subsequent all-too-convenient “suicide” of Adamo Bove, the IT guru who was the Italian prosecution’s primary witness!

The Bush administration has left behind a long trail of convenient “accidents”, “suicides” and at least one “disappearance”.

Everyone from Pat Tillman to “DC Madame” Deborah Jeane Palfrey to Mike Connell (the IT guy who tweaked the Ohio vote at Rove’s behest and who was about to sing)…

“Muscles” Leola McConnell, Bush’s supposed dominatrix who was disappeared 3 months after writing a tell-all book detailling a bisexual three-way she had in the early 80’s with Bush and his then-roommate at Yale, Arthur Ashe. Ashe was later appointed Ambassador of Poland. Poland is on record as being one of the countries that hosted illegal “extraordinary rendition” prisons. I am guessing they had a little reunion with “Muscles” in Poland shortly before her death…

An IT worker in Greece who found evidence of the CIA’s warrantless wiretapping, and who, like Adamo Bove, was “suicided”.

Fourteen internationally known scientists who specialized in developing antidotes for biotoxins/bioweapons…

Six members of the USAF crew at Minot (including the commander) who handled the nuclear missiles which were almost “accidentally” rerouted to New Orleans. Most were “suicided” or met with fatal accidents within a two week timeframe…

Two paymasters at Baghram Airbase, Afghanistan, one of whom warned her family before she returned from leave to see to it that there would be an investigation “if anything happened to her” because “she’d found something she did not like”. She and her predecessor were both found shot in the back of the head execution style on the base…

With “protection” like this, who needs the mafia? Perhaps more to the point… who needs TERRORISTS?

Gold In Sacks

Stuart Carlson

© Stuart Carlson

Sunday music retrospective: Jimi

Are You Experienced?

Are you Experienced?

The Wind Cries Mary

“Camp Hell” Afghanistan

“Camp Hell”!! Pay attention ‘kombat keyboard chickenhawk rambo’ cheerleaders, as well as the greater majority of this population that have forgotten our Two Occupations and the Veterans of, this is what Service in and War, Wars of Choice, Occupations, Look and Sound like!!

Despite 100 Attacks, Unit Leaves Afghan War With No Casualties

‘Camp Hell’ Attacked More Than Any Other Outpost in Afghanistan

Docudharma Times Sunday July 19

Sunday’s Headlines:

Defying Slump, 13 States Insure More Children

Diversity a touchy topic at Sotomayor hearings

Dublin braced for more killing as feuds take a grotesque twist

Human rights group pulls out of Chechnya

Hamid Karzai says bring Taliban to table

Indonesia police reconstructing face of suicide bomber

Once world’s bread basket, Iraq now a farming basket case

Rafsanjani’s main message: Don’t write off reformists

Drugs ‘Taliban’ declares war on Mexican state

Internal Rifts on Road to Torment

Interviews Offer More Nuanced Look At Roles of CIA Contractors, Concerns Of Officials During Interrogations

 By Joby Warrick and Peter Finn

Washington Post Staff Writers

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In April 2002, as the terrorism suspect known as Abu Zubaida lay in a Bangkok hospital bed, top U.S. counterterrorism officials gathered at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., for a series of meetings on an urgent problem: how to get him to talk.

Put him in a cell filled with cadavers, was one suggestion, according to a former U.S. official with knowledge of the brainstorming sessions. Surround him with naked women, was another. Jolt him with electric shocks to the teeth, was a third.

Child labour used in cosmetics industry

From The Sunday Times

July 19, 2009

Nicola Smith  

Deep in the jungle of Jharkhand state in eastern India, at the end of a rutted track passable only by motorbike, a six-year-old girl named Sonia sat in the scorching midday sun, sifting jagged stones in an open-cast mine in the hope of earning enough money for a meal.

Sonia was halfway through her working day and she was already exhausted and dishevelled. Her hair was matted and her pretty flower-patterned dress spoilt by dust.

She barely had enough energy to glance at her eight-year-old cousin Guri, toiling intently beside her as they searched the stones for pieces of mica, a shiny material whose many uses include putting the sparkle into make-up.

CIT crisis threatens wave of business failures and layoffs

Original article, by Barry Grey, via World Socialist Web Site:

The Obama administration has refused to provide government backing for outstanding debt or other emergency aid to CIT, a New York-based bank that finances nearly one million small and midsize companies in the US.

She has me weeping

I saw this photo and I had to share it.

Why is this woman so maligned by the ‘liberal’ media?

Why is she so hated?

What has she done to draw so many swords against her?

I say God bless you Cindy Sheehan.  God bless you for all you have done for the anti-war crowd.  God bless you for all you have done for the left.

Your loss is incomprehensible for most of us and your contributions are welcome.  I salute the ‘Peace Mom’!

I apologize for the short essay, but this woman deserves better.

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