May 22, 2010 archive

UK Torture Inquiry Gearing Up

While the Chilcott Iraq War Inquiry was mostly about what was going on in Britain at the time of the lead up and into the Iraq War and Occupation there were many points made, early on especially, as to what was happening in the White House as well as between the Counterparts in the Governments and the Military’s of both countries. Just below is a clip of what I had posted of testimony coming out of that Inquiry:

Docudharma Times Saturday May 22

Saturday’s Headlines:

In Kandahar, the Taliban targets and assassinates those who support U.S. efforts

Casey Affleck: Killer instincts


As financial overhaul takes shape, it’s crunch time for lobbyists

Stand up to BP and say: ‘You know, I’m not taking your s*** any more


Cracks appear in EU unity as fears spread for future of the eurozone

Paris art heist: The alarm that didn’t sound, the dog that didn’t bark

Middle East

Qatar’s offer to help rebuild Gaza is snubbed by Netanyahu

Iran, Sun Tzu and the dominatrix  


Many dead in Indian plane crash

Pakistani Army Major Among 2 New Arrests in Bombing


Anti-gay laws in Africa are product of American religious exports, say activists

After half-century absence, Black Rhinos fly home to Serengeti

Latin America

Brazil’s diplomacy on Iran points to larger ambitions

The Tea Party and the 21st Century Social Crisis

I’ve been thinking tonight about the accumulating and apparently accelerating cycle of social crises and conflicts of the past several years.  Specifically I’ve been thinking about this in the context of the rightist “Tea Party” movement, which may have reached its high-water mark with the nomination of Rand Paul as the Republican candidate for Senator from Kentucky.  Most notable to me is the stridently pro-corporate, pro-business nature of Paul’s rhetoric.  This exposes to some degree the contradiction between the rightist nature of the Tea Party, and the string of corporate abuses that have provided much of the social discontent on which the Teabaggers have sought to advance.

This is also the first, tentative and provisional, step in my long contemplated effort to develop a larger social and ideological critique of the current social crisis, both in the US and globally.  I’m sure I’ll backtrack, reassess, recorrect some good portion of this and what will follow, but for the first time I feel at least sufficiently  confident of my understanding to begin putting words on paper, or on electron as the case may be.  

Late Night Karaoke


Sign Alan Grayson’s Petition!!!

Here’s something that we can all do.

Sign the petition for Alan Grayson’s new The War is Making YOU Poor Act.

See Alan Grayson:

Sign The Petition!!

TGIF: Who is Your Favorite Film Director?

Crossposted at Daily Kos

What makes a movie memorable?  Is it the talented cast of actors who engross themselves in unforgettable roles, the producers who spare no expense to achieve perfection, the technical production staff who polish the film’s rough edges, the magical sound makers who captivate an audience, the advertising geniuses who convince a skeptical public, or something else?

The most compelling case can be made for someone who brings all these diverse people together and meshes their talents into a compelling and coherent whole

(Peter Lewis,, Buy this cartoon)

Sydney Pollack directed such high-profile and critically-acclaimed movies as They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Jeremiah Johnson, The Way We Were, Three Days of the Condor, Absence of Malice, Out of Africa, Tootsie, and Havana

A Few Quick Words About Small Government

We don’t have a lot of time for a big discussion today, but I wanted to take a second and talk about basic Federal Government economics as they apply to Rand Paul.

It is his stated vision to reduce the size of Government…and it is an undeniable reality that the vast majority of the Federal Budget is focused on only a few areas of spending.

Today, we’ll quickly run through that economic reality, and we’ll challenge Dr. Paul to tell us where he stands.

Meet the Meatrix

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.

As you gobble that fine food, be it steak, a frankfurter, roasted chicken, or an omelet, please, sit back relax. Put your feet up and stay a while.  I will furnish the entertainment in the form of a film. Meatrix is fun, fascinating, and far from folly.  This presentation is playful; the message profound.  

You may recall the fairy tales you loved as a child.  The plots varied, although all had elements of mystery.  Adventures were abundant.  Tots were often so engrossed in the tales, they barely noticed that the themes taught a life lesson.  Meatrix is as the fables you once anxiously awaited and even asked others to read aloud to you.

It is Our Turn Now

As a civilization, we now stand on the edge of a precipice. One could easily name a hundred concurrent crises that, even by themselves would have posed a serious, generation-defining predicament, but combined, they seem like the perfect storm to bring about an unprecedented paradigm shift. Peak oil, the ticking commercial real estate time bomb, global warming, a rapidly declining honeybee populations, the decline of the Ogalla Aquifer, our interminable wars of imperialism, the skyrocketing national debt, the Eurozone facing collapse, oceans that are on the verge of death from over-fishing and pollution, one could go on and on.

As the current order of things fades into the sunset, it is our duty to create a whole new world. A world where humanity seeks to live in harmony with itself and the rest of the planet. A world that is sustainable. A world that recognizes that we are all part of the same whole. A world of mutual respect and cooperation. A world where humanity serves as a steward, rather than an exploiter of nature.

Random Japan


For the first time in history, Tokyo’s population topped 13 million. According to the TMG, 13.01 million people were living in the city as of April 1.

A recently released Cabinet Office study predicts that if a major inland quake were to strike the Tokyo area, 11,000 people would die, 850,000 buildings would be destroyed, and the damage would total ¥112 trillion.

The report also said that over 1.5 million households would “still be living as evacuees” one month after the quake.

The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology predicted that global warming may cause the “frequency of violent typhoons whose winds exceed 194kph” to increase 1,000 percent by the year 2100.

The transport ministry is mulling whether to increase the number of international flights in and out of Haneda Airport to 120 per day by 2013.

Friday Evening Photo Blogging: Wave Hill Edition

This diary is for curmudgeon who asked in last week’s post of FEPB “are there other gardens that you’d include in a must-see list for visitors to your fair city?” As a matter of fact there is.

A few here who enjoy my flower fluff from the New York Botanical Garden might be surprised to learn that I live just a couple of blocks from another Botanical Garden. Wave Hill has a view that is similar to my many sunset diaries. Wave Hill is a truly fascinating legacy and this is a good time to remember some American who once held a deep respect for nature.  

The Wave Hill grounds were not opened to the public until 1960 but before becoming the newcomer to public gardens, this New York City oasis had a long and very rich history as a private garden. The perfect location, rolling hills down to the Hudson River and vistas of the Palisades also holds two historic houses. Wave Hill was once the residence of “Darwin’s Bulldog” Thomas Henry Huxley and Theodore Roosevelt spent summers there in his teen years. Both Mark Twain and Arturo Toscanini lived and were inspired by the sights and sounds of Wave Hill.

Below are some photos from this spring at Wave Hill and a few little stories about this New York City respite that seems so far from New York City.      


Due to personal time constraints, I was not able to post last Friday`s usual distractions.

Tonight, I`m submitting a few shots of what I close the day with, taken from my deck.

Not only is the view outstanding, but the sounds of crashing waves, which resound from just beyond the tree line, make the beauty all the more intense.

Many of these images are composites of many images.

Some of these are not yet cropped, so it`s quite obvious that I just take these free-hand. (no tripod)

It`s always a pleasure to get home just in time for these.

The light colored one is also a merged set, but taken from my old house.

To the right of center in the distance, is where all the others were taken, Point Dume.


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