October 31, 2010 archive

Haiti: Yet Another Disaster Lurks

Hasn’t Haiti suffered enough?  Centuries of grotesque exploitation and purposeful neglect.  And most recently, the devastating earthquake.  Then an inadequate relief effort that has left thousands and thousands homeless or stuck in makeshift, flimsy camps, without adequate housing, food, medicine or sanitation.  An outbreak of Cholera.  And now, on top of all of that, the unimaginable: a possible Hurricane this week.  And a very big one at that.

The model predicts the storm will make a right turn.  In fact, almost all of the models say it will make a right turn.  And when it does, it will come ashore in Haiti.  This will cause loss of life, flooding, further outbreaks of disease, loss of even temporary shelter, unavailability of food.  A nightmare for those living in Haiti.

I’ve asked before that we contribute to Doctors Without Borders, specifically for Haiti Aid.  Now I’m asking again.  What else can be done?  What else can I or you do?

Money for specialized aid is extremely important.  As important, and perhaps more important in the long run, I think is for US citizens to being to know Haiti’s history and the story of its relationship to the US, in other words, the story of how it got to be the way it is now.  I’m sure we all realize that Haiti didn’t get to its present horrendous situation all by its self, without a lot of US and European “help.”  To ferret how all of this has happened, a great starting point is this dailyKos essay by allie123. It’s part of a series.  Each piece is important on its own.  Please take the time to read them.

For now, though, please consider an immediate, small donation to Doctors Without Borders.  It might save some lives in Haiti.  It might alleviate some of the suffering.


cross posted from The Dream Antilles

sham/e UPDATED

Michelle Shephard’s tweet:


40 years. Wow. #Khadr looked straight ahead. Widow of soldier he was convicted of killing cheered out in court.


#Guantanamo sentence 15 more than even Pentagon prosecutors asked for in #Khadr case.    

# The 40 year #Khadr sentence unexpected. Pentagon lawyers asked for 25. Prosecutor had said, “send a message.” I’d say they sure did that.

Ill try to come back later to add updates and more info.

Sick. Just sick. The widow cheered.


#Guantanamo prosecutors, #Khadr lawyers on the way to media hangar for press conferences. #Military jurors have declined to be interviewed.

updates below

Baseball bats, David Broder’s face, grand slam.

David Broder suggests that killing millions of innocent people may hitch our wagon out of our economic morass brought on by pure “made-in-America” fraud, yet he’s not really suggesting “economic stimulus by murder” to pull our asses out of the fire of our own making, though it would be politically expedient, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.  

I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected. But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this threat and contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.

Bipartisan, war-mongering lying for political gain is the “highest broderism” of them all.

If Broder’s deranged fantasies about killing Iranians for political and monetary gain prevailed, forensics would have to use DNA fingerprinting to identify his demented remains, because there won’t be any dentition left, save for the dust and fragments pounded imponderably deep into his large colon.

I know people are overly-fond of inciting violence these days, but let me go on the record as viewing such grisly scenarios on a “tit-for-tat” basis.  I’d view “going to war with Iran” as “going to war with me,” not because I’m Iranian (I’m not), but because the very idea of unilateral and lawless US hegemony is the constant, bordering menace that violates my sense of self and safety.  

So far, we have failed to prosecute anyone for blatant war crimes (not to mention economic fraud).  Don’t count on me to stand by and countenance further war crimes to bail our asses out of economic self-destruction.  

The “Creative Destruction” of American Lives

Much as been said and written about “Creative Destruction” lately — including this good Ad by Russ Feingold, which focuses on the fallout of this Economic policy stance, held by his GOP-Tea Party opponent Ron Johnson:


Well, in a free-market capitalist system, there are always winners and losers. It’s creative destruction. That just happens. It’s unfortunate. But let’s face it, if it weren’t for that we’d still have buggy whip companies.

— Senate candidate Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.)

“Winners and Losers”, Nice.  

I suppose with his CEO background Mr Johnson feels qualified to pick them?

Open Kelly


Sorry, Jon Stewart, but I was just way too busy to make it to your rally

As we all know, there was a rally in Washington, DC on Saturday.  It’s gotten tons of attention in the media and had some high profile guests, like The Roots, Jeff Tweedy, the Mythbusters and, of course, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Its aim is…well, nothing.  Just to get together on the national mall, have some laughs, and get the Viacom-sponsored duo some attention.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But my previous enthusiasm for the rally and for the brave master satirists hosting it has been tempered lately.  It seems not to be any kind of beneficial political activity, but, as Irregular Times put it, a promotion of “inactivism.”


Season of the Witch

The Godzilla Interview


 Happy Halloween.

 Of course while nothing’s scarier that the thought of “Senator O’Donnell,” “Senator Angle,” or “Senator Miller” (or, for that matter, “President Palin”) — there, did I make you just throw-up a little bit in the back of your mouth? — I do offer this:  an interview I had a few months ago with a mighty scary dude, the one and only Godzilla.


 Yep, I managed to get a sit-down with him in Tokyo, an interview, and, I hate to give this away right up front, found him to be not really the “monster” you see on film.

 Here (again) is the link to the whole shebang:  “The Godzilla Interview”.

 And here’s an excerpt:


 You obviously feel very strongly about this. Is it CGI in particular, or something more?

Well of course it’s the CGI. First of all it looks fake. I can’t watch one of those pieces of plastic trash without standing up in the theater, you know – like the little boy in the Emperor’s New Clothes story? – and going, “Does anybody else here think this just looks like a cheesy, fake-o video game?!” (laughing) In fact, I actually did that one time, just recently. I think it was at first Transformers thing, a few years ago. I got applauded! Can you believe? Applauded! Then I walked out.

 They could’ve just been applauding you, you know. Recognizing a star in the audience and all.

Maybe. But my point is that none of the American studios are making films anymore, at least not decent Sci-Fi ones. Maybe some of the Indie stuff. Just crap that’s done on a souped-up Mac, far as I can tell.

 Besides your own, what films and filmmakers do you like from days gone by?

How long have you got?

First of all, I do like my films very much. I’m proud of them. Most of them. And even the clunkers have their moments. But as far as other films go. Eeeee, where do I start? I suppose (Japanese Director Akira) Kurosawa. I loved that man. Greatest regret of my life is that Toho would never let him direct me. Did you know that? They were afraid he’d bust the budget. (laughing) Sort of like Coppola and and Apocalypse Now, I suppose. Great film, by the way, one of my favorites, Apocalypse. Anyway, Kurosawa trained (Ichiro) Honda, who directed most of my films, many, maybe most, seems that way. I loved Honda-san, too. Great guy to work with. But I never got to work with several directors who were going strong back when I was in what I consider my “classic” time, Rosellini, Truffault, Hitchcock, Wells. And John Ford, of course. But it still comes back to Kurosawa for me. Do you think Michael Bay’s ever sat his ass down and watched, I mean really watched, Ikiru, let alone Heaven & Hell (released in the West as High and Low), that he gets, I mean really gets the Seven Samurai. I doubt it. If he has it sure doesn’t show….


Docudharma Times Sunday October 31

Sunday’s Headlines:

Scary Halloween? Don’t count on it: on Dracula’s trail in Romania


Democrats Fight to Keep Senate From G.O.P. Gains

Thousands descend on National Mall for Stewart’s and Colbert’s ‘Sanity’ rally


Marathon anniversary race helps Greece’s empty coffers

Army chiefs protest against headscarf

Middle East

Yemen makes bomb-plot arrest

Iraqi Gold’s Glitter Dims for Dealers Under Siege


Indonesia to rebrand dictator as ‘national hero’

Opium is winning the Afghan war


Ivory Coast to hold long-delayed ‘reconciliation’ poll

Latin America

Haiti could suffer another earthquake, scientists warn

Yemen, the new crucible of global terrorism

Al-Qa’ida has taken firm root in the poverty-stricken nation

By David Randall and Andrew Johnson Sunday, 31 October 2010

The axis of terror got bigger yesterday. After the presence of explosives in two packages bound for the US was confirmed – and a suspected 24 more discovered – their place of origin entered the big league as a crucible of deadly and disruptive terrorism. As Magnus Ranstorp, one of the world’s leading experts on the issue, told The Independent on Sunday: “Yemen has become the new Afghanistan.”

And, to go with this status, there comes to prominence one Yemeni who – in the eyes of America and some leading security specialists – is on a par with Osama bin Laden: Anwar al-Awlaki.

Late Night Karaoke

Republicans will be like the dog that caught the car

  Republicans have made themselves clear: no compromises.

  The GOP has plans that include cutting taxes while stimulating the economy.

 At least that is what they intend to do as long as reality doesn’t get in their way. Let’s face it: reality has not been a problem for the lion’s share of the Republican base. In their minds Obama is a muslim, and a socialist, who wasn’t born in America. And that’s just for starters, facts be damned.

 The thing is that most of America isn’t part of the Republican base. Most of America still lives in the real world. When things get tough that percentage is likely to grow because reality gets harder to ignore.

  That’s bad news for Republicans. There are several events building that are going to rain on their victory parade.

Wizard of Oz — The American Banking Fight

I just saw an excellent documentary about the American Banking System and the history of American Banking, which I highly recommend.  Many historians believe that the true reason for the Revolutionary War was the control put on the colonies by the English banking system because the Colonial system of creating currency (money) was such a threat to the British banking system.  The Colonial currency that was highly successful and threatening to the British was issued by the colonial governments while in the English Banking system the currency of England was issued by the private banks.  The English private banking system was highly threatened by the colonial governments’ successes in issuing governmental currency and was afraid it would make the colonies so prosperous that other governments would begin to issue their own currencies instead of private banks.  Because of the English private banking system’s financial control over the English government, it forced the English government to eradicate the Continental governmental currencies.  The prosperous colonies went into a severe depression within a year as a result and war ensued shortly thereafter.

Most of us have no clue that the money we have, save the coins in our pocket, are not governmental issue; almost all of the US currency, is the private issue of the banks. (The Federal Reserve is private, not part of the US government). (Look at a dollar bill — it says it is a Federal Reserve Note). Both the government and everyone of us pay interest on the currency issued by the banks.  In contrast, currency issued by a government does not bear interest and the government never is in debt.  If the United States government issued its own currency it would have no debt at all.

This documentary is a story about how the United States lost its ability to print money and gave the ability to issue its currency to the private banks, and in the process, incurred the outrageous debt we now have to the private banks.

Interestingly, the original Wizard of Oz is an allegory about the US’s attempts to regain/retain its ability to issue its own currency and its fight with the banking establishment’s attempt to retain/regain the right to issue the currency.  The yellow brick road symbolizes the road to the gold standard, something private banks favor, because gold is scarce and favored by the wealthy who own and hoard it.  

A gold currency, because of its scarcity, is easy to manipulate, and there is never enough to go around. The documentary uses the original story of the Wizard of OZ to explain the history of the US government’s fight with the private bankers over who will issue the US currency.

As an aside, one of the interviewees in this documentary is Ellen Brown.  I have been to, and blogged on, her excellent website, webofdebt.com, many times and have shared personal emails with her on a number of occasions.  She was the person most instrumental in making me decide to bring my suit to remove the cloud on my title against my mortgage company.  I used a lot of her research to do it and got her ideas and thoughts before I filed.  We keep in touch about the status of my case.

Ellen advocates, as well as does the author of this documentary, Bill Still, (who also did an excellent video years ago called The Money Masters) that the United States take back the right to print its own currency which we ceded over to the banks in the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, a year I call the year of infamy.  In that year we also enacted the amendments to the constitution that allowed for income tax and public voting for senators (before 1913 they were chosen by the legislatures of the states), all of which greatly centralized the federal government and put the grip of the money masters around the throat of America.

And now for the video, titled “The Secret of OZ”:


Watch it and weep — or maybe be inspired to think that there might be a true vehicle for change.

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