March 28, 2010 archive

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Over 300 killed in DR.Congo massacre: rights group


Sun Mar 28, 8:38 am ET

KINSHASA (AFP) – Ugandan LRA rebels killed at least 321 civilians in a previously unreported “well-planned” four-day attack on villages in the DR Congo last December, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday.

In a report released in Kampala, HRW said 250 others, including at least 80 children, were abducted in the December 14-17 Lord’s Resistance Army attack in the remote Makombo area of northeastern Haut Uele district.

A Catholic clergyman at Isiro-Niangara in the same district, speaking before the report was issued, confirmed that 30 members of the rebel LRA attacked a dozen villages of Haut Uele, which is in Orientale province.

Jane Hamsher revisited

“I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?”

“I am jeffroby, the Small and Meek. I have come to you for help.”

“What do you wish me to do?”

“Keep to your principles.  Before the healthcare bill passed, you quoted a poll that said, “A full 79.7% think it’s ‘important’ or ‘very important’ that the health care bill contain no restrictions on abortion coverage, and 82.3% think that any member who casts a vote to restrict abortion coverage should face a primary.  You approved.  Now I beg you to use your power to make it happen.”

“Why should I do this for you?” asked Oz.

“Because you are strong and I am weak; because you are a Great Wizard and I am only a little blogger.”

Or so it felt.

The great and terrible wizard, of course, is Jane Hamsher.  An often principled and occasionally courageous progressive.  On March 10, she came out in favor of primarying any Democrat who voted for a healthcare bill containing Nelson or Stupak anti-abortion language.  I was impressed.

Sunday Train: Revisiting What’s in SUPERTRAINS for Small Town and Rural America?

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

Originally late April, 2009

This last weekend I wrote up a small diary, cross-posted to various places … which even stumbled into being wrecklisted at Agent Orange … about the High Speed Rail plan released by the Obama administration.

That diary focused on laying out the three “tiers” of HSR in the announced plan. “Express HSR” is one of the bullet train systems, like they are planning for California. But between that tier and conventional rail, are two more tiers, “Regional HSR” and “Emerging HSR”.

The bullet trains are the show ponies … but for small town and rural America, the genuine seat at the table for Emerging and Regional HSR is the real good news from the announcement.

Open Cool


The President Visits A Lost War

It’s good that President Obama has gone to Afghanistan. There is much to see. And people have been speculating that Afghan “President” Hamid Karzai was informed only at the last minute because the White House doesn’t trust him. The White House has reason not to trust him. Which isn’t the only bad news out of Afghanistan. Despite some attempts to spin it otherwise, the war in Afghanistan is going the way wars in Afghanistan always go. Badly.

The Associated Press has some stark facts:

The number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan has roughly doubled in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period last year as Washington has added tens of thousands of additional soldiers to reverse the Taliban’s momentum.

Those deaths have been accompanied by a dramatic spike in the number of wounded, with injuries more than tripling in the first two months of the year and trending in the same direction based on the latest available data for March.

U.S. officials have warned that casualties are likely to rise even further as the Pentagon completes its deployment of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and sets its sights on the Taliban’s home base of Kandahar province, where a major operation is expected in the coming months.

Of course, this followed the big offensive in Marja. Which some tried to claim was some great military triumph. Was it?

CIA Admits to Illegal Operations; United States Now a Pariah

Did you hear?  The United Kingdom has decided that maybe, just maybe, it shouldn’t be subservient to the United States anymore.

Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee said the government should be “less deferential” toward the Americans and take a more realistic view of the relationship. In a report published Sunday, the committee said that, while ties with America remain close, it is important to recognize that Britain is just one of many countries with important U.S. links.

It’s not hard to see why the UK may be feeling this way since they were unable to squelch investigations into complicity in the torture of detainees, a program started by the Bush administration.  Now, politicians and government officials in Britain are trying their best to run from that complicity.

The government protested to the US over the torture of terror suspects, the former head of MI5, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller revealed last night.

She also said the Americans concealed from Britain the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 2001 attacks.

“The Americans were very keen that people like us did not discover what they were doing,” Lady Manningham-Buller told a meeting at the House of Lords.

She also admitted MI5 were slow to recognise that the US was torturing detainees. Asked if Britain protested, she replied: “We did lodge a protest.” She declined to elaborate but it is believed that the protests were made at ministerial level.

Yes. We PROTESTED the use of torture, but, didn’t do anything to actually STOP it.  Yet, NOW that it is all coming out, British politicians are worried they are seen as America’s “poodle”.

“The perception that the British government was a subservient ‘poodle’ to the U.S. administration leading up to the period of the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath is widespread both among the British public and overseas,” the report said. “This perception, whatever its relation to reality, is deeply damaging to the reputation and interests of the U.K.”

Actually, what has damaged Britain’s reputation isn’t perception, but, the facts that are now emerging; Tony Blair DID follow George W. Bush into war with Iraq and the torture of detainees.  He turned Britain INTO America’s poodle.


Its about Energy, stupid… and Empathy

So…its not just us who think this way. Well, you guys know that but sometimes I don’t.

This piece is an absolute MUST READ by Jeremy Rifkin.

Today, we are on the cusp of another historic convergence of energy and communication–a third industrial revolution–that could extend empathic sensibility to the biosphere itself and all of life on Earth. The distributed Internet revolution is coming together with distributed renewable energies, making possible a sustainable, post-carbon economy that is both globally connected and locally managed.


Nader on Health Care and Howard Dean

PhotobucketJust the other day, I declared my liberation from politics and talk radio and blogs that promote the party line.   With this liberation came a renewed interest in the only man outside the system, Ralph Nader.

Today, I got this email from him on health care.  It contained the usual stuff that we all know.  The bill is corporate welfare and was written by the health care corporations.  Many people recognize the Obama spin for the lie it is, and it contains many money quotes from Chris Hedges and others who know that when it smells like a skunk, looks like a skunk, well you know the rest of that.

I have copied and posted the entire email below in case someone wants to donate to the single payer cause; but there is one short paragraph on Howard Dean in the email that caught my attention.  I bolded it because I think it is important.  Apparently Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders got their pound of flesh for their support shutting up.  Bernie got clinics for the people, and Dean got – well read it for yourself.  

Thanks For The Ball, Dad

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man on the moon

When you comin’ home son?

I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son

You know we’ll have a good time then

Iraq: When Was the Last Time You Visited?

Filmed in Iraq (the cradle of civilization) 2 weeks before “Shock and Awe”:

First Annual ! Official: “Welcome Home Day”?

Some four decades late, and the Country still in denial about, wants to Officially ‘welcome us home’, eight and nine years after cheering on two more extreme failed policy long running occupations, Still Ongoing, and quickly loosing interest in except when some words and phrases are needed as to political speak, of two innocent countries and peoples and bombing a third {and most here have the audacity to ask “Why do they hate us so?”}!

Want to Really ‘Welcome Us Home!’, Start Sacrificing and give these New War Veterans All That You Promised Them, that which you didn’t give us and the Korean Vets before and since, Pony Up Your End Of The Contract, Everything Promised and Especially Needed as the Results of the Wars you allow, and not only as to the Veterans of but their Families as well !!!

Docudharma Times Sunday March 28

Sunday’s Headlines:

DR Congo rebel massacre of hundreds is uncovered

$500 million launcher lacks one thing: rocket


Washington Post poll finds split on health-care law remains deep

There goes the neighbourhood: change sweeps black America’s cultural home


Pope considers emergency ‘abuse summit’

Italian regional elections to test Berlusconi

Middle East

Patrick Cockburn: Iraq – violent, divided, but hopeful

Saudis fund Balkan Muslims spreading hate of the West


Goa: property frenzy and crime poison the hippy dream

Thai PM agrees to meet with anti-government protesters


White farmers ‘being wiped out’

South African stars to miss out on World Cup

Latin America

In Mexico, Catholic order is haunted by past

Load more