February 5, 2010 archive

Crotch-fire explicitly allowed to fly.

Drips and drabs.

George Washington notices that the U.S. State Department explicitly allowed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s fiery crotch to fly.

The State Department didn’t revoke the visa of foiled terrorism suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab because federal counterterrorism officials had begged off revocation, a top State Department official revealed Wednesday.

Patrick F. Kennedy, an undersecretary for management at the State Department, said Abdulmutallab’s visa wasn’t taken away because intelligence officials asked his agency not to deny a visa to the suspected terrorist over concerns that a denial would’ve foiled a larger investigation into al-Qaida threats against the United States.

“Revocation action would’ve disclosed what they were doing,” Kennedy said in testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security. Allowing Adbulmutallab to keep the visa increased chances federal investigators would be able to get closer to apprehending the terror network he is accused of working with, “rather than simply knocking out one solider (sic) in that effort.”

Even if this account were true, wouldn’t some undercover agents have accompanied the suspected terrorist on the plane and beyond?  Instead, we are to believe a suspected terrorist was explicitly unattended and some heroic Flying Dutchman had to wrestle him down.


ACTION: Stop the Extradition of Marc Hall to Iraq

US military plans to extradite stop-lossed Iraq war vet to Iraq for court martial over protest rap song

IVAW Press Release: Please Share!

Fort Stewart, Ga. – The US military plans to extradite a stop-lossed Iraq war veteran to Iraq “within a few days” to face a court martial for allegedly threatening military officers in a protest rap song he made.

Spc. Marc Hall has been jailed in the Liberty County Jail near Fort Stewart, Ga., since Dec. 11 because he wrote a song called “Stop Loss” about the practice of involuntarily extending military members’ contracts.

“It is our belief that the Army would violate its own regulations by deploying Marc and it would certainly violate his right to due process by making it far more difficult to get witnesses. It appears the Army doesn’t believe it can get a conviction in a fair and public trial. We will do whatever we can to insure he remain in the United States,” said Hall’s civilian attorney, David Gespass. >>>>>>

Original v. Cover — #11 of a Series

matter of time Pictures, Images and Photos

This week’s featured song was co-composed by two great songwriters, at the historic Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Martin Luther King, Jr. would later be murdered in April, 1968. This week’s featured song was first performed in 1965 and released on vinyl in 1966, rising to #1 on the R&B charts and #21 on the Billboard Top 40 charts. Despite this rather inauspicious beginning, it has survived and become even more popular over the years. Most of the available cover versions sound mostly like the original, except for a few played at a faster pace, which seems to lose something in the translation, in this writer’s opinion.

This week’s feature song is ranked at #134 on the Rolling Stone list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, one of two songs that the performer would place on the top 500 list. This number was also designated as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.  Acclaimed Music ranks this week’s selection as the 89th greatest song of all time, as well as the seventh best song of 1965.  

Several cover versions mentioned in the associated wikipedia article looked to be quite interesting, however, it doesn’t seem that some of these were to be found on the youtube site.  These performers include Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, The Doors and Van Morrison’s Them band at the Whiskey A Go Go (1966), The Chambers Brothers and Buddy Guy.  The Grateful Dead also regularly performed their cover version of this song, however, this writer was unable to locate one on youtube which represented much of a departure from other versions, or in some cases, the sound/video quality seemed to be lacking.  A group called Cross Country apparently had some success with this song, their version reaching #30 on the Billboard Top 40 charts in 1973.  Again, a youtube version of their performance appears to be nonexistent.

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Ten Americans face jail in Haiti after kidnapping charge

by M.J. Smith and Clarens Renois, AFP

Thu Feb 4, 6:40 pm ET

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Ten American Christians were Thursday facing a long time in police detention in quake-hit Haiti as they await trial on charges of child abduction and criminal conspiracy.

But the country’s Justice Minister Paul Denis insisted they should be brought before Haitian courts, instead of being returned to the United States.

“It is Haitian law that has been violated,” Justice Minister Paul Denis told AFP. “It is up to the Haitian authorities to hear and judge the case. I don’t see any reason why they should be tried in the United States.”

I Still Believed In My Dreams

Can you remember who I was?  Can you remember what I once stood for?  

I gave America the New Deal, I gave America Social Security, I gave America the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and Medicare.  I had vision, I had courage, I had integrity.  I was the Democratic Party. I stood there boldly, sweating in the sun, felt like a million, felt like number one.  

The height of summer, I’d never felt that strong . . .

jfk Pictures, Images and Photos

Like a rock.

I was the party of working Americans, the party of the middle class, the party  of social justice.  Long ago, before Baucus and Conrad, before Landreau and Nelson, before NAFTA and Blue Dogs and Harold Fucking Ford, I was the Democratic Party.

My hands were steady,

My eyes were clear and bright.

My walk had purpose,

My steps were quick and light.

And I held firmly to what I felt was right . . .

Robert Kennedy Pictures, Images and Photos

Like a rock.

In the days of your parents, in the days of your grandparents, in the days of FDR and Truman and JFK, I was the Democratic Party.  I led America through the Great Depression, I led America and her Allies to victory over Fascism, I rebuilt the shattered nations of Europe with the Marshall Plan, I defended the Constitution, I upheld the rule of law, I hauled Richard Nixon’s thugs into the Watergate Hearings and shut down that freak show he called a Presidency.    

I was the Democratic Party.

I was strong as I could be.

Nothing ever got to me.

You wouldn’t know it now . . .

But I was something to see.

No mas d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d !!!

On the topic of extra-judicial assassinations of Americans by CIA hit squads, Glenn Greenwald writes:

…government officials often abuse their power and/or err and therefore must prove accusations to be true (with tested evidence) before they’re assumed to be true and the person punished accordingly.

I wonder what he’s talking about.

Veronica Bowers, 35, and her seven-month-old daughter, Charity, were killed when their Cessna was mistaken for a drug plane in 2001…

…A cockpit video tape obtained by ABC News shows how a CIA spotter plane sneaked up behind the Cessna and wrongly identified it as a drug plane. CIA operatives then called in the Peruvian Air Force.

Jenny Sanford’s Field Guide to Biking the Appalachian Trail

Jenny Sanford, the soon to be ex- wife (divorce filed and pending) and campaign manager of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, has written a book, called   “Staying True.”  

Governor Sanford, who completely disappeared for five days last summer, for a side trip to Argentina to get it on with his mistress, leaving aides with the alibi of “he’s hiking the Appalachian trail”  says that he has not read the book yet.

“I know anything Jenny does, she does well, so I look forward to reading it along with everybody else,” he said, according to The Sun News.

Per Tim Rutten’s review in the LA Times, “Staying True”

is a memoir of a marriage that only can be described as the Contract With America meets Southern gothic.


In fact, by the time we get to the affair late in the book, it’s a bit of a relief, since this is about the first normative impulse either of the Sanfords seems to have had during their marriage.


As Sanford informs us elsewhere in the book, “Women were made for sacrifice.”

And boy does she sacrifice . . . over and over and over. What’s never clear from her extended exercise in score-settling is why? The man she describes is driven, self-absorbed, pathologically cheap and 360-degrees weird. She runs his political campaigns, puts up with his habitual absences and bears him four sons.


Walk On Your Lips Through Busted Glass

Envy is the religion of the mediocre. It comforts them, it soothes their worries, and finally it rots their souls, allowing them to justify their meanness and their greed until they believe these to be virtues. Such people are convinced that the doors of heaven will be opened only to poor wretches like themselves who go through life without leaving any trace but their threadbare attempts to belittle others and to exclude-and destroy if possible-those who, by the simple face of their existence, show up their own poorness of spirit, mind, and guts. Blessed be the one at whom the fools bark, because his soul will never belong to them.

My brother’s voice slices through the fermented air with muted authority. He always did love deploying the righteous wisdom.

Obama: Congress might screw the pooch on Health Care

Crossposted at Daily Kos

    At a DNC fundraiser last night, President Obama had an interesting exchange with a Democratic organizer about health care reform, wherein he appeared to suggest that Congress could drop the ball and fail to pass a bill–and that voters should judge them harshly if they do.

    “[I]t may be that — you know, if Congress decides — if Congress decides we’re not going to do it, even after all the facts are laid out, all the options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not,” Obama said.


    More below the fold

Open Dates


HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq & Afghanistan/Pakistan – January 2010

April 5, 2009 Dover ‘Old Guard’

Dover ‘Old Guard’ team shoulders heavy burden

Culture And War

The first thing to go out the window when an aggressive, warlike nation starts a war (other than the truth) is whatever culture understanding may have existed before.  

For instance: what was the  American pop culture 1960’s view of middle eastern culture?  Belly dance and music, beautiful architecture, snake charming, funny hats. Even children’s story’s like Ali Baba.  

Conversely, what was the 1960’s view of Vietnam? Sub human dirty gooks.  

Today, there’s a piece in the NYT about the beautiful ancient art of Vietnam, which surely never would have occured in the war years:

see more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02…

Before we blew up all the minarets in Bagdad, it was necessary to remove them as objects of beauty, as expressions of humanity — we had to remove the ME from our cultural radar.  How many American children today know about Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves?  And how many worry about hook nosed terrorists?

To know a culture –even a Mickey Mouse pale imitation of the real thing — is to understand the humanity, that there are real children, real families there at the other end of the gun-sights; different from us, yes, but real nonetheless.  

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