January 4, 2010 archive

We deal in change

I am very far from being okay.  The murder of handcuffed Afghan schoolchildren by American “civilians” (CIA?) who have access to helicopters has me in a surly mood.  I have to repeat to myself over and over, “small steps, small steps, stick to the plan.”  So I stick to the plan.  The Full Court Press is a good plan, a very good plan.  But I’m feeling a little less tolerant of bullshit today, so let’s have a fight.  Over strategy and method.  Let me pick on ActBlue, because variations of its strategy of funding liberal candidates to replace the worst of the Democrats has been holy writ among progressives for so many years.

At one level, no such fight is necessary.  I’m sure the ActBlue folks are good people.  If I were in the right district, I’m sure I would vote for many of the candidates they funnel money to.  In fact, a key feature of the Full Court Press is its flexibility, its compatibility with other tactics.  It merely calls for filing candidates in all 435 congressional primaries around a modest but pointed program:

WPA-style jobs program

Medicare for all

Repeal Stupak and Hyde and their ilk

U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan

It does not comprise a complete strategy.  Since the only bottom line is supporting the above points and getting on the congressional primary ballot, it does not require campaigning hard against Dennis Kucinich if he doesn’t endorse the program.  We would not want to undermine an effort to defeat Stupak.  On the other hand, if an incumbent said they agreed with “U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan” but had voted to fund the war effort, they wouldn’t get the FCP stamp of approval either.  Our tactics may be flexible, but our principles are not.  Being flexible doesn’t mean being a patsy.

A Coalition to……What, Exactly?

There has been a lot of talk about coalitions lately, who it is ok to align with and which “devils” (as one poster put it) it is verbotten to align with. But no one has talked about what a coalition…any coalition, would actually…..do.

After all, the folks who say we can’t align with devils don’t really want to DO anything but support whatever the President does anyway. They don’t want to pressure him to do a better job and be less of a tool for the status quo, so what is the hypothetical coalition for?

And of course it must be repeated that while they demonize people for aligning with Republicans…..their guy is…..aligning with Republicans.

So their coalition that will demonize and exclude people for aligning with Republicans is meant to, it must be said, align with Republicans in support of the President doing so.

If it wasn’t all emotion based anyway, it wouldn’t make much sense. It only does make sense if you look at it through a single lens of supporting Obama, right or wrong. In other words through a lens of emotion, not politics or political strategy.

Which brings up the question, what IS the political strategy of the Center/Left?

It is not getting us out of War, because it is now Obama’s war.

It is not reforming Wall St, because Obama doesn’t want to reform Wall St…..much.

It is not helping Main St, because Obama is ignoring Main St, for the most part.

It is not prosecuting Torture and War crimes, because Obama doesn’t want to prosecute War Crimes.

It is not “fixing” health care, because Obama got the bill he wanted.

And it is not fighting Climate Crisis, because as with everything else, Obama is not leading on Climate Crisis.

Which brings up the question…what is Obama’s political strategy?

Can anyone tell me? Does anyone know?

What are his goals? And thus the goals of a coalition consisting of his supporters. A year in and where are we headed?

Once he has compromised down to all of the half assed “fixes” that address, if not actually solve, all of the problems left by Bushco, where is he planning to go from there?

Once he has sorta ‘fixed’ Afghanistan and Iraq, what is the next step? Once he has sorta fixed Wall St and the banks, what next? Once he has sorta addressed Climate Crisis, what next?

Where is he going, what does he want to do, where will he lead his supporters?

Is it in a direction that is worth aligning to support? Or an agenda that we will have to continue to fight against by applying pressure from the Left?

To his supporters it just does not matter. At best they will politely interject some mild criticism if he goes off course. But to the rest of the world, facing the real and deadly serious challenges we face, it is critical.

So it comes down to this, coalition wise. What is the positive vision of this coalition you talk about so much in the negative sense? We hear a LOT about what we can’t do.

What is it that this mythical (so far) coalition DOES want to do?

Vita Ultra Velum

Seven CIA employees were killed and six others injured in a terrorist attack on a base in eastern Afghanistan as the agency steps up its presence in the country alongside thousands more U.S. military forces.

President Barack Obama told Central Intelligence Agency employees yesterday that their colleagues who died Dec. 30 were “patriots who have made great sacrifices for their fellow citizens and for our way of life.”

“In recent years, the CIA has been tested as never before,” Obama, who is on vacation in Hawaii, said in the letter to agency employees.


Open Air


Afghanist- yemen- omalia- bama, & Good Intelligence

Al-Qaeda shifts into dangerous new territory

UK Telegraph, January 04, 2009

The key to success against the jihadists will always be good intelligence.

President Barack Obama’s statement on Saturday linking the failed airline bomb attack over Detroit on Christmas Day to an al-Qaeda group based in Yemen will have surprised no one. It confirmed, if confirmation were needed, that the coming decade will be as dominated as the last by the threat posed to the West by Islamist terrorism. The focus of the battle is, however, shifting. Significant successes by the United States and its allies in both Afghanistan and Pakistan have forced al-Qaeda largely to re-locate to Yemen and Somalia.

It’s a goddamn good thing he’s keeping you “safe” by upping the number of troops in AfPak to 100,000 or more and shooting handcuffed children, right?

Real News Network – January 4, 2010

Afghanistan and global dominance

Engdahl: US China strategy driving Afghan war, but no real long range thinking in place

The Restoration of Rights for Former Felons in Virginia

originally posted by Mitch Malasky at Sum of Change

An unusual bird story

I live on a ridge top in East Tennessee. I have a large deck accessed by four patio doors. The deck overlooks the valley and the forested ridge on the other side. Usually there are 3 to 10 hawks/bussards/falcons cruising over the valley looking for a meal.

Yesterday a dove crashed into the kitchen patio door at top speed and was stunned. It was lying on the deck and my wife went to help. As she reached down to pick it up, a falcon? swooped in and took it away. I said falcon because my wife described it as slightly larger than the dove. I have seen the prey birds catch other birds, snakes and small animals but this incident tops my list of weird. Obviously I need some education about birds of prey in tnis area.

Monday Meta Madness

You know, it isn’t like I’m not providing enough content.

My current concept is a constant Computer Corner, because I do that and I’m interested in experiences with Windows 7 (I run an XP shop and highly recommend it).

But the bigger question is this- what kind of content are you willing to provide?

I usually promote 4 essays a day and for the most part I’m content with your random ramblings.

I’ve had the Muse hit me upside my head and I totally understand.

Yet if you push out a publication worthy of promotion on a regular basis and can deal with a deadline you don’t need much of a title (or responsibilities) to draw my attention.

What you need is commitment.

I can run a show about nothing, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry Davis are not geniuses.

Yet I’d far rather run a show about you.

So think about it.

I hate spunk.

Why We Fight / Open Threadishness

I had a long conversation with Sally Panic (Lady Libertine) yesterday. The woman is smart, knowledgeable as hell and interesting. I love a conversation that fills me with more questions, that sends me to links and google trying to understand more about any given subject. I love when my thirst for knowledge is kindled anew.

So today I am thinking more about the histories of other Nations, Nations we have fucked over in extreme ways in the past, or have abused their own equally; histories not told in America. I won’t expound until she writes what she’s going to write.

We watched 1984 with Jake last night. We had great discussions with him throughout, and thereafter.

He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.

He caught a lot of the parallels between this movie and “V” all by himself, including the irony of the star of the former being the villain of the latter. He caught the commonality of Valerie’s words with Winston’s. He’s almost done with the LOTR trilogy, and wants to read this book next.

So, I woke up and the name Upton Sinclair floated through my brain. The resistance always starts with the muckrakers. Pamphleteers. Truth tellers. Prophets.

Sally Panic and I spoke of other cultures. Again, I reiterate the absolute brilliance of “The Shock Doctrine.” In almost every case, as I taught myself more about their histories, I could see again and again that those methods were being used (perhaps have always been) to overwhelm people into compliance and apathy. They still are. Here and Now.

Teddy Partridge at FDL, and Ek Hornbeck of DD wrote of Good Germans last night. It does feel like there are far to few people in America speaking out.

Like I told Jake, what I do here, why I spend a portion of every day tied to this keyboard is that with every word I type, I help to control the present. I refuse to let them shock and rewire my brain to accept their version of reality. There may be too many stories, too many atrocities to cover on any given day. But I have to fight the lies I can fight. He gets it, my men don’t resent my time here.

I may have a job, but this is my calling, second only to teaching that 10 year old the value of why we fight.

It was a good day.

Docudharma Times Monday January 4

Monday’s Headlines:

Homeowners forced to buy flood insurance after FEMA redraws maps

Environmental Refugees Unable to Return Home

Use of potentially harmful chemicals kept secret under law

TSA tries to assuage full-body scan concerns

Iraq will help Blackwater victims sue

Records fall as world’s tallest building opens

Professional models barred from German magazine

French clubbers win the right to party all night long

Afghan parliament wins kudos for blocking Karzai appointees

What’s behind North Korea’s new ‘peace offensive’?

Kenyan tribe slowly driven off its ancestral lands

We have been beaten in jail, say first openly gay couple in Malawi

South America: Media has become a political battleground

Stars on the Wall

I strongly recall the moment I first stepped into the Meeting Hall in Stars Hollow.

It’s filled with pews because they rent it out to the Congregational Church on Sundays and we are a parsimonious lot and the benches serve just as well for town meetings (for which they have the grace since I asked to remove the hymnals for).

In the lobby is a big old board I’ll never be on that records our dead in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and World War One and Two.  Kind of separate so you can see it’s an update are our Korean and Vietnam casualties.

What you don’t see are the people who died in our Native American genocide or our Colonial Wars against Spanish speaking  “brown” people (and I just have to stop and explain once again SPAIN IS PART OF EUROPE!  LOOK AT A FUCKING MAP!)


Anyway out of political correctness they’ve started to include Gulf War One (justified in my mind as the defense of the weak against the strong) and our current crusade against Islam (as doomed to defeat as all of them say I an Illuminati DeMolay Knight).

What I wonder is where we will put our stars on the wall for the CIA/Blackwater operatives who kill indiscriminately and are themselves killed in return.

Eight CIA agents were killed when a suicide bomber somehow gained access to their forward operating base near the Pakistan border. The incident made Wednesday the single bloodiest day for U.S. intelligence operatives in the eight-year Afghanistan war. The CIA has been conducting a campaign involving drone attacks on suspected, high-ranking insurgents on Pakistani soil.

The drone attacks have been responsible for the deaths of over 500 people since September of 2008. Publicly, the Pakistan government has expressed its opposition to the incursions, but it is suspected that it has surreptitiously cooperated with the CIA in organizing the attacks.

Happy New Year.

A Fish Story

In the Oh Noes Iceland, a proud and iconic nation of Vikings, decided to devote the plurality of their economy to the service of Mammon, including “investments” in speculative securities and questionable derivatives.

They ran their nation like a hedge fund Ponzi scheme because suits are thought less smelly than herring and are more numerous in these Global Warming times and suffered the Bernie Madoff consequences during our current tulip bulb bubble pop real estate value correction.

Because so much of their underfunded liability was owed to serious people in the “City” of London, those Banksters demanded their pound of flesh (Yup.  I know who Shylock was.  Given average body mass even for non-Americans a hand or foot would suffice, let alone an arm or a leg.  Ask Saudi Arabia how effective a deterrent dismemberment is.) but it seems Vikings may sail once again.

Over 70% of the population of that barely habitable rift rock is urging the veto of their craven legislature’s capitulation and their President is vacilating.

Good for them.

I’ve carried my shield a long way and the axe is sharp enough.

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