August 13, 2010 archive

The more things change, the more they stay the same

  Perhaps the worst insult you can hurl at a politician these days is to give him the middle name of “Hoover”.

  Such as George Hoover Bush and Barack Hoover Obama. 80 years later Herbert Hoover is still the standard for the “do-nothing” president in the face of economic collapse.

 Like most easy comparisons, these examples lack details. That’s because the names are there for the purpose of accusation, rather than enlightenment.

 However, if you dig down into the individual economic policies of Hoover, Bush, and Obama, the story gets much more interesting.

 As Mark Twain once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” I’m not going to try and find direct connections in this essay, just broad picture comparisons. If the reader confuses the two, then that will only mean I was justified in writing this.

Gulf Recovery in Editorial Cartoons – Helping the Helpless

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

John Sherffius

John Sherffius, (Boulder Daily Camera)

NOTE: Please Read This

There are another dozen or so editorial cartoons posted here in the comments section.  Check them out.

Omar Khadr Trial SUSPENDED ! Defense lawyer collapses in court !

Yesterday evening the news broke that Omar Khadr’s only attorney, Lt Col Jon Jackson, collapsed in the Guantanamo courtroom during the beginning of the trial !

(previous diary on the trial & background history here:…  )

A witness posted this at Huffpo:…

On Thursday afternoon I watched Omar Khadr’s sole defense lawyer, Lt. Col. Jon Jackson, collapse in the Guantanamo Bay courtroom in the middle of conducting a cross-examination of a key government witness. He was taken away on a stretcher by ambulance, hooked up to an I.V. Fortunately Jackson, who’s only 39 years old, was breathing normally at the time, though as an observer in the courtroom I was stunned. It all happened so suddenly and he seemed to be in perfect health and in complete control of his questioning. I learned Friday morning that the trial has been suspended indefinitely.

This morning’s update says that Lt Col Jackson suffered a gall stone attack (after having had surgery 2 months ago)  and is being evacuated from Guantanamo to a hospital in the US for medical treatment.   Reporters were told by an official that the trial has been suspended for at least 30 days.  

Emptywheel at FDL also has this:


There is a comment about removing one of the jurors from the case for having so called pre conceived notions

He said he thought that some earlier policies had lost America its “reputation for being a beacon of freedom.”

Asked specifically which policies had led him to this conclusion he authoritatively cited examples including; charge without trial, torture, rendition and the denial of access to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross to detainees held in secret locations. He went on to say that he believed a small number of detainees may have been killed while in American custody but added: “I don’t think my views differ from those of the President.”

By the time he had admitted that he would be “suspicious” of any evidence obtained under torture his fate was sealed.

Carol Rosenberg’s McClatchy Miami Herald…

We know from her report Khadr was in the courtroom after all,

Jackson was put on “convalescent leave,” according to Broyles, a status that allows him to continue to draw a salary and not use up vacation days.

He cited privacy reasons for not releasing the lieutenant colonel’s health condition but said he was likely being airlifted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Pentagon’s premier hospital. He was on a morphine drip Thursday night at the base hospital.

Jackson, who has been on the case for about a year, became Khadr’s lone lawyer within a week of his surgery after the Toronto-born teen fired volunteer civilian attorneys Barry Coburn and Kobie Flowers from Washington D.C.

Parrish ordered the Army defender to stay on the case, but the Pentagon Defense Office provided him no additional assistance beyond two enlisted paralegals who had already been on the case.

Khadr, who sits in court with three guards behind him, leaped to his feet when his Army defender collapsed about 4 p.m. Thursday, according to Khadr family lawyer Dennis Edney, who functions in the war court only as a consultant because he is not a U.S. citizen. The guards didn’t interfere.

“We were all shocked,” Edney said.


Ottawa Citizen

We Should Be Embarrassed 8/13/2010…

A United Nations special representative for children and armed conflict issued a statement on Aug. 9, saying “the Omar Khadr case will set a precedent that may endanger the status of child soldiers all over the world.”

“Even if Omar Khadr were to be tried in a national jurisdiction, juvenile justice standards are clear; children should not be tried before military tribunals,” the statement from Radhika Coomaraswamy explains. “The United States and Canada have led the way in creating and implementing these norms. … I urge both governments to come to a mutually acceptable solution on the future of Omar Khadr that would prevent him from being convicted of a war crime that he allegedly committed when he was a child.”

Canada’s government has ignored this, as it has ignored questions about the implications of Khadr’s age all along.

His age, though, is not the only factor that makes many observers of his trial queasy.

There is also the fact that the judge has ruled that statements Khadr made to his interrogators are admissible, even though they were, as Khadr’s defence argued, “fruit of a poisonous tree.” Khadr was, in the words of a defence submission, “asphyxiated, terrorized by dogs, doused with freezing water and left in the cold.” He was threatened with rape.  

More Canadian opinion from Chantal Hébert at Toronto Star 8/11/2010

Canada’s top court described Khadr’s treatment as “. . . state conduct that violates the principles of fundamental justice.” It added: “Interrogation of a youth, to elicit statements about the most serious criminal charges while detained in these conditions and without access to counsel (. . .) offends the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects.”

About violations of Khadr’s Charter rights, the Court found that: “. . . their impact on Mr. Khadr’s liberty and security continue to this day and may redound into the future.”

Despite those prescient words, the ruling stopped short of prescribing a remedy to the federal government.

On the face of it, the absence of Supreme Court prescriptions in the Khadr case falls short of its own, recently reaffirmed, deterrence principle. In a matter that involves state abuse of the right to liberty and security of a person in a fundamental way, that absence has ultimately tipped the scale towards virtually unfettered government discretion.

Got to love our northern sisters and brothers, “unfettered government discretion” is used to describe being held without charges or legal counsel, then put on trial in a foreign country in front of a jury of military officers, apparently selected to have no pre conceived notions about whether your age was relevant years ago, or how the “confessions” or just witness statements were obtained –  by shooting you in the back, first, then isolating you for years in the disgrace of Bush & Cheney’s little waterboarding gulag where you no doubt heard what happened to the prisoners who didn’t cooperate– or sometimes did.

No wonder poor Lt Col Jon Jackson might be feeling some physical stress attempting to navigate this.  Kids don’t get to select their parents.  

Omar Show Trial on Hold

I want to point you to this very nicely written piece by HRW’s G’mo attendee, Andrea Prasow:

The Man Gitmo Raised, Omar Khadr’s trial is a reminder of everything that went wrong with justice at Guantánamo Bay.

It’s not very long and she neatly recaps the back story for you, then touches on a couple of key points as well. Go read it. I’ll wait. Okay, here’s a teaser:

Khadr’s trial was about to begin in January 2009, when the newly-inaugurated President Barack Obama ordered a stay of all military commission proceedings. Many believed that Obama would scrap the military commission system altogether, but that May, he announced his plan to revive an improved version of them. The resulting legislation did have better rules limiting the admission of hearsay and evidence obtained through coercion. So Khadr was charged yet again — this time with murder, attempted murder in violation of the laws of war, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism, and spying. A military judge ruled this week that almost all of the statements Khadr made to interrogators were reliable, including those made following a threat of rape, and would be admissible at trial.


Wild Wild Left Radio #76 What’s a Stoned, Professional Liberal to Do?

Tonight, August 13th at 6PM Eastern Time, WWL Radio!!!!!

Gottlieb and Diane G. are live and in color (or is that off color?) on WWL radio Friday night at 6pm Eastern Time to guide you through Current Events taken from a Wildly Left Prospective.

Hear the Unreported & Under Reported Headlines stories you should be paying attention to, from US Politics, to the farthest reaches of the Earth by the WWL coalition of subversion: undermining the PTB by speaking Truth to Power!!!!

Well, for one thing, not get too much exposure, or you end up “accidentally” drowning in your hot tub, like Matthew Simons.

For another, expect to have no privacy and complete Orwellian Oversight – **with the added bonus** – of paying MORE for your intellectual property to be mined.  The corporations now are directly writing laws and regulations.

Lastly, get thrown under the bus by the Obama Administration for daring to espouse views that might benefit people rather than corporations.

Overall? Pretty much get marginalized as high-on-drugs, dirty-fucking-hippies for not praising the Obama Golden Calf giving us our golden shower, and basking with joy in said piss as red white and blue manna from the our Corporate Reality Creators, and believing all is at it should be.

As Sally Panic says: GAME ON


Lets roll…………… because the Professional Left is not buying your shit anymore.

Gottlieb and I shall try and break through the layers of disinformation and tap into the main vein of truthiness tonight! See you on the air!!!


Be heard by joining in our live chat, or calling in! Spread the message by telling your friends to listen in or sending them the podcasts!

Please join us for the only “out there where the buses don’t run” LEFT perspective on the breaking news!

Controversy? We face it. Cutting Edge? We step over it. Revolutions start with information, and The Wild Wild Left Radio brings you the best in information and op/eds from a position that others on the Left fear to tread.

Call In!

Join Diane and Gottlieb every Friday at 6pm EDT on Wild Wild Left Radio, via BlogtalkRadio, for News from the Real Left. No hand-wringing, no PC, just straight talk from reality based politics.

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The live chat link will go live around 5:20.. found at the bottom of the show page, or by clicking the link below!


Friday the 13th

News at Noon

From Reuters

Heavy rain and mudslides bring more misery to China

By Ben Blanchard and Huang Yan

August 13, 2010

(Reuters) – Heavy rain across western China has caused more mudslides and flooding, killing at least 29 people and trapping more than 10,500 in the latest natural disasters to hit the country, state media said on Friday.

In Longnan, in poor and remote Gansu province, 20 died and more than 10,000 were trapped following torrential rains and landslides, state television said. Another four died in Gansu’s Tianshui city and dozens are missing province-wide.

More than 1,000 people died in the nearby town of Zhouqu when an avalanche of mud roared down the slopes of a mountain last weekend after unusually strong downpours.

Original v. Cover — #38 in a Series

Steam Roller Pictures, Images and Photos

O.K.  I’ll admit it.  I’m a sucker for a witty, well-turned phrase.

Pickup lines could potentially fall within this category, most assuredly in the minds of those who speak them, an opinion not necessarily shared by those on the receiving end. But of all the pickup lines witnessed live or on the silver screen, I’m hard pressed to think of one that didn’t seem crude, cliched or trite.

Such solicitations assume many forms, some subtle, vague and indirect but in other cases, are exceedingly clear, to the point and unambiguous. Those adopting the latter approach seemingly prefer to skip past the means, focusing exclusively on the ends, avoiding time-consuming preliminaries and unpredictable outcomes.    

Docudharna Times Friday August 13

Friday’s Headlines:

Showcase Afghan army mission turns into embarrassment

Linguist on mission to save Inuit ‘fossil language’ disappearing with the ice


Pentagon push to phase out top brass causing much consternation

Lawyer’s hospitalization halts Khadr’s Guantanamo trial


France cracks down on Roma migrants

Moroccan protesters blockade Spanish enclave

Middle East

Ashtiani outrage spurs Iran to commute stoning sentences to hanging

Al Qaida in Iraq targets Baghdad’s police force


Indian Forces Face Broader Revolt in Kashmir

Why is the world unmoved by the plight of Pakistan?


Mystery of Aurora corpses

Rwandan opposition urges global community to reject polls result

Latin America

Uncovering jobs a major challenge since Haiti earthquake

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

An Opened Mind II


On Time

The years fly by

while the months

pass too slowly

Each day drones on

With not enough


Each second


the beating

of my heart



to the end

of my eternity


the grains

of sand

in the hourglass

acting as

the timepiece

of my life

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–December 22, 2005

Late Night Karaoke

Government Got A Cracka Thinkin ’bout Murdahhhh!

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, known for his smoothness and precision, seems to have erred egregiously twice in just weeks.

First, he speculated on TV that Democrats might lose the House, an inexcusable blunder because it is his job to omit the truth – not lie, just omit the truth – when the truth hurts. Then, there he was in print this week, deriding “professional liberals” who label President Barack Obama too moderate, saying they need “to be drug tested.”

Gibbs should have expected this would enrage liberals. Maybe that’s just what he planned.

Facing reporters Wednesday, Gibbs neither apologized nor backtracked. Instead, he doubled down. He was angry at the liberal TV pundits who bash the president, Gibbs said, standing by his words. Then he said he wasn’t the only one at the White House that felt this.

If Gibbs is purposely picking fights with the left, it’s not too surprising. In fact it’s consistent with the White House effort to position Obama closer to the center – where he traditionally needs to be for a reelection victory in 2012.…

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