October 10, 2009 archive

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

29 Top Story Final Edition.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Clown beams message of water conservation from space


Sat Oct 10, 1:00 am ET

MONTREAL (AFP) – The first clown in space, Guy Laliberte, has launched a 14-city poetic planetary extravaganza to promote clean drinking water, from the International Space Station.

The billionaire space tourist and founder of Cirque du Soleil described his journey as a “poetic, social mission.”

The two-hour live One Drop show, broadcast online Friday included guests Al Gore, Bono, Salma Hayek, Peter Gabriel, Shakira, Canadian astronaut Julie Payette and a musical theatrical performance by Laliberte’s circus troupe.

Aunty Mame is a big fan.

Can the Hero Model Save the Publishing Industry?

Burning the Midnight Oil for Breaking the Silicon Cage

Some time ago, I asked the question, What Can Newspaper Reporting Learn from Yuricon?. Now I turn the question on its head to ask what Yuricon can learn from Yuricon.

This is set up by Erica Friedman (@Yuricon on Twitter), posing a hypothetical at the Yuricon blog … would they pay upfront:

  • $50 for a 5 issue subscription to a 200 page per issue manga (graphic novel)
  • $60 for 4 issues of a 300 page per issue manga
  • $75 for 3 issues of a 450 page per issue manga

For several days, until I put ChrisCook and Erica’s “5 things Niche Companies Do Right”, I was in this “modern meaning of the term ‘subscription'” mode of thinking. But then I made a wisecrack, and it got me thinking of an older meaning of the term “subscription”, and what might be termed a “Hero Model of Publishing”.

Afghanistan and American Morality

Simulposted at Daily Kos

In my view, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Obama for one central idea. An idea so vital to world peace that the prize was not just deserved, but that it was in fact necessary.

That idea that Obama would restore American Morality.

Something that got dreadfully and tragically, and incredibly harmfully lost over the last eight years.

The lack of American Morality is far and away the greatest threat to world peace in the 21st century. Everyone agrees that America is the most powerful nation in the world. When the most powerful nation in the world, a nation that possesses enough firepower to end life on earth, loses it’s moral compass, it changes from a force for good to a force for evil.

Evil like…torture.

Shutting Pandora’s Box

Democrats, particularly Progressive Democrats, have been collectively incredulous.  The motives  and tactics driving the rancor and bile spewing forth from Republican politicians, Fox News, talking heads, pundits, entertainers, and conservative citizens seems so unjustified and so irrational.  Looking back to what we recently came through might be the best way to understand this reactionary response.  We must believe that one election cycle or one President can undo the blight upon the human psyche or the sustained abuse upon our sacred institutions, sense of safety, and peace of mind.  President Obama has been Chief Executive for less than a year, but what we’ve all learned, much to our chagrin, is that change that you can believe in is slow and incremental.

The reaction of conservatives is directly proportional to the massive amount of fear-mongering, manipulative tactics, and irresponsible governing perpetrated by the Bush Administration.  That we on the left are not as affected by this steady barrage of fear and loathing is merely a reflection of the fact that we were hardly the ones to believe in it in the first place.  We were the target of scorn, not the targeted audience.  One cannot discount for a second the combined evil we were all exposed to for eight long years and that this degree of emotional torture cannot be whisked away with the stroke of a pen, an award, or a sizable agenda.  It did not arrive overnight, nor will it depart like a thief in the night.  

The old adage of how to cook a frog comes to mind.  As the story goes, one doesn’t place the frog immediately into boiling water, else the animal would jump out.  Instead, one places the frog in lukewarm water and incrementally increases the temperature, allowing the animal to slowly adjust.  Eventually the frog is tricked into staying in water hot enough to kill and then thoroughly cook it.  This is what has happened to the conservative movement and why we face such a challenge in reversing course.  They have been subtly and not-so-subtly manipulated by the doctrine of opportunist neo-conservative thought to the point that conservatives cannot see any common ground with the left.  What made this strategy particularly effective and insidious is that it was implemented little bit by little bit until the combined evil was much greater than any individual part.

It should surprise no one then that we’ve seen this degree of nonsensical, uncompromising, petty, sheer hatred of liberals and President Obama.  The Bush/Rove Doctrine might as well have been a a commandment to despise that which opposes you, forsake common humanity for single-minded gain, use any means necessary to win, and never accept the blame for mistakes.  We on the left have mentioned this battle plan upon the American public in oversimplified, outline form so frequently that it borders on platitude, but we haven’t gone much deeper.  For Republicans and conservatives, however, Bush Administration tactics have left a devastating legacy than will not easily be corrected.  We need to ask ourselves if there is anything much we can do to refute it.  The GOP itself must recognize the damage and make ends to reverse it.  If they do not, then this perspective will further calcify and we ought to expect more of these ridiculous nontroversies and petty partisan attacks.  Shelving our skepticism for a moment, we need to understand that humans are much more impressionable and easily duped than our frustration with immediate results will allow.  We are clamoring for systemic change, but that comes with time.  No President ought to have to clean up messes he or she didn’t create, but that’s the foremost challenge facing our current President, and one that has and will continue to impede what he wants accomplished.  

The Ancient Greek fable of Pandora’s Box is an allegory to explain the paradox human nature.  Simultaneously blessed and cursed with the gift of curiosity, Pandora opens a particularly tempting box and unwittingly unleashes a plethora of ills upon the human race.  However, it must be mentioned that what is last to leave the box is the gift of hope.  A more Biblical illustration would be that of Adam and Eve, who ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and in so doing were banished from the Garden of Eden.  I find a Jewish interpretation to be most instructive in this instance.

According to the Jewish tradition God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree that was to give free choice and allow them to earn, as opposed to receive, absolute perfection and intimate communion with God at a higher level than the one on which they were created. According to this tradition, Adam and Eve would have attained absolute perfection and retained immortality had they succeeded in withstanding the temptation to eat from the Tree. After failing at this task, they were condemned to a period of toil to rectify the fallen universe. Jewish tradition views the serpent, and sometimes the tree of the knowledge of good and evil itself, as representatives of evil and man’s evil inclination.

Perhaps each of us must toil to rectify our own sin or even take the time to rectify someone else’s sin.  I believe this to be a function and a role we must all take on as part of being human.  It might not be fair, but life is rarely just as we would wish it to be.  In this instance, the President, the Congress, and we ourselves are going to have to first reverse trends that have now become entrenched.  Some of them have their Genesis eight years prior to today, some of them came into being in 1980, and some of them date back to the 1960’s.  The hope lies, I firmly believe, with a strategy of persistence and steady pressure that ought not to be perceived as a failure if it does not garnish immediately discernible results.  Sometimes it doesn’t take an Act of Congress to make a major impact on someone or even on the debate itself.

Nukes and Iran

There’s a reason I’m posting these backwards, how any view is up to them.

No matter what is thought about the leadership of Iran, by the World, especially as to it’s treatment of it’s citizens, the fact remains, as pointed out in part three, they are surrounded by Nuclear Powers and Weapons. So if really seeking their own they do so as to defense of their threatened country and it’s citizens, and talks had ceased to disarm or rid the world of. New cold war mentality, yep!!

Perhaps the FEMA Internment Camps are a Good Idea Afterall

There over 600 prison camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive prisoners. They are all staffed and even surrounded by full-time guards, but they are all empty. These camps are to be operated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) should Martial Law need to be implemented in the United States.

We missed an  opportunity to capture 1,000,000 or more of the paranoid parasites when they came to Washington to Teabag Health-care Reform.  But don’t worry, we can easily lead them into a trap.


   I.Kidnap the leaders

       A. Send in the Black Helicopters to whisk away Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh  

           1. Straight jackets should be size ‘Portly’ with extra large head openings.

           2. Transfer to Black Jets at the secret base in Mena, Arkansas

           3. Guantanamo

       B. Replace them with duplicates

           1. This may require cosmetic surgery; kidnap Michael Jackson’s doctor.

           2. Follow me below the fold ::    

Docudharma Times Saturday October 10

Saturday’s Headlines:

For Presidency in Search of Success, Nobel Adds a Twist

How world views Obama Nobel Peace Prize

Health-Care Bill May Not Get Single GOP Vote in the House

Oregon dam’s demise lets the Rogue River run

The art of protest in Iran

Yemen child soldier tells of his hatred for al-Houthi rebels

Silvio Berlusconi: I am inferior to no one in history

Hadron lab scientist held on terrorism charges

Burma’s generals allow envoys to meet Suu Kyi

Taleban claim victory in Kamdesh after attack on US Camp Keating

Kenyans not ready to leave camps

Argentina’s cradle of tennis stardom

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Random Japan



Lawmakers who won a seat in the recent national elections earned ¥2.3 million for working just two days in August, thanks to a law that “guarantees full monthly remuneration to Diet members even if they are in office for a single day.”

It was revealed that the newly launched Consumer Affairs Agency pays a monthly rent of ¥800 million for its offices in Nagatacho-¥300 million more than it would have paid at another building in Bunkyo-ku that the agency had been considering.

Electronics giant Sharp has teamed up with the National Institute of Informatics to develop an infrared system that will “prevent pirates from recording films at movie theaters.”

Concerned by the number of patients hospitalized for schizophrenia compared to other industrial nations, Japan’s health ministry has announced a plan for slashing the figure by the year 2014.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications reported that, for the first time ever, more than a quarter of Japanese women are aged 65 or older.

The International Criminal Court; When Does IT Step Up?

I’m sure everyone here has read this wonderful essay by tahoebasha3.  To follow up on it, I think we must examine the role the International Criminal Court plays.

This excellent article brings out a very interesting point:

The move may give some wider latitude to the relatively young International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, legal experts say, though this is disputed. Currently the ICC indictments and trials are drawn mostly from cases of genocide or war crimes in Africa.

And there, to be precise, is the problem…

Sometimes You’re the Warrior, and Sometimes You’re the Bug

Most of us, I suspect, go through our lives with this niggling little feeling of “if only” we had our act together, we could really do something with it.  Or do something better.  If only we were more organized, had more energy, better tools and gidgets, or had taken a different course of study, or if our parents didn’t hate us, or if we hadn’t gotten sick, or if the car hadn’t come over the center line….

Other times, like a Phoenix, we arise from what should have just been one flat out disaster that we should not, no way, no how, have survived, and yet we did, leaving us puzzled as to why.  We had a chainsaw and gas when the tree hit the car, we trusted our instincts, our tracking skill, and our horse and found the trail back, we came up to the edge of the cliff and… didn’t fall off, the seat belt held and the embankment wasn’t too steep, the life jacket worked and somebody pulled us out.  Or we pulled them out.  We traded for firewood and didn’t freeze to death.  We found a job or received a gift unexpectedly, just in time.  We were in the depths, and bounced just so, and came back up gasping.

And still, have this little insecurity. It could be better, right?  We got through the week, clawing, kicking, and screaming, resigned to just surviving the dreadful thing…  the ogre bosses, the obligations, the whiny relatives,  the disappointments, the crazy destructiveness of our political system, waking up at 4am exhausted, now,not having to do that soul killing monotony for a day … What if…

Some of Obama’s “common challenges of the 21st century”

President Obama Will Accept Nobel Peace Prize as a Call to Action

“I will accept this award as a call to action —

a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.

. . . we must all do our part to resolve those conflicts

that have caused so much pain and hardship over so many years . . .”

– President Barack Obama

United States Mission to the United Nations

What are some of those “common challenges of the 21st century”?

The US government hosted UN link above, identifies some of these global issues:

Peace & Security

Nonproliferation & Disarmament

Poverty & Development

Climate Change

Human Rights & Democracy

United Nations Reform

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