Monthly Archive: May 2010

James Carville’s shameful hypocrisy on the oil spill, and his ties to South America

James Carville has been all over the news lashing out at Obama for not being strong enough in his response to the BP oil disaster.  And with the news that the oil geyser will continue spewing its stuff until August, I don’t blame the man.  He is, after all, from Louisiana.

But for some reason I’m not convinced he’s being completely sincere.  In fact, Colombia held a presidential election yesterday and (this may seem somewhat bizarre if you don’t know much about him) Carville actually helped the establishment candidate who wants to encourage “foreign investment,” at a time when BP is considering offshore drilling in Colombia’s waters.

A political guru, frequent CNN pundit and a personality who was featured in the well known documentary The War Room, Carville moves in powerful circles in the U.S.  What’s less commonly known, however, is that Carville is also a virtual kingmaker in Latin America — indeed, his professional contacts have ranged from Mexico’s Ernesto Zedillo to Brazil’s Fernando Enrique Cardoso to many others.

Crossposted at DKos and other blogs

Unarmed and Courageous: Emergency Workers in Afghanistan

By Kathy Kelly and Josh Brollier

June 1, 2010

For six days in late May, 2010, Emergency, an Italian NGO providing surgery and basic health care in Afghanistan since 1999, welcomed us to visit facilities they operate in the capital city of Kabul and in Panjshir, a neighboring province. We lived with their hospital staff at both places and accompanied them in their weekly trips to various FAPs (First Aid Posts) which the hospitals maintain in small outlying villages.

One morning, accompanying a field officer from the Kabul hospital, we pulled off of the main road and traveled over unpaved lanes, then walked a short distance to a shady grove outside a small Afghan village. Villagers, eager to welcome Emergency’s staff and drivers, served ripe mulberries and a salty cucumber yogurt drink. We sat in a circle, shaded by the trees. When breezes stirred the branches, we’d enjoy a momentary rain of mulberries, much to the amusement of little children nearby.

The five youngsters, age five – ten, smiled shyly at us, shook our hands, and then joined their older brother to systematically gather mulberries. Using a large hoe, the older brother slammed the tree trunk. The children caught the cascading mulberries in a plastic tarp. Then they sorted the fruits, seeming to take discipline and routine for granted.

Earlier, Felippo, an Emergency nurse in Panjshir, had told us about how hard life can be for Afghan children in rural areas. “They never get a day off,” exclaimed Felippo. “Never. If they attend school, and school is closed for a day, the kids join workers in the fields.” Felippo, who has been to Afghanistan for three six month rotations, fantasizes about building a theme park where kids could play and be entertained.

The majority of Afghanistan’s agricultural laborers, both children and adults, face harsh realities.

Abe Lincoln: when “Corporations have been enthroned” a chilling prediction coming true

    I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”

— U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864

(letter to Col. William F. Elkins)

Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)

ratical.org

Bold text added by the diarist



(Note: The authenticity of this quote has been disputed, but I believe it is worthwhile to discuss nonetheless. The link I have provided is my proof of the validity of this quote, but I leave it to you, the reader, to decide.)

Almost 150 years later . . .

More below the fold

Tony Hayward issues Executive Order: Plumes do not Exist.

Since everything they try, to clean up the mess in the Gulf fails, BP CEO Tony Hayward has decided to take a different tact.

CEO Hayward has decided to “will away” the Oil by some sort of Divine Executive Fiat!

(Managing Billions of Dollars can inflate a person’s Ego sometimes, it seems.)

BP CEO disputes claims of underwater oil plumes

Associated Press — 05/30/2010

VENICE, La. – Disputing scientists’ claims of large oil plumes suspended underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, BP PLC’s chief executive on Sunday said the company has largely narrowed the focus of its cleanup to surface slicks rolling into Louisiana’s coastal marshes.

During a tour of a BP PLC staging area for cleanup workers, CEO Tony Hayward said the company’s sampling showed “no evidence” that oil was suspended in large masses beneath the surface. He didn’t elaborate on how the testing was done.

Hayward said that oil’s natural tendency is to rise to the surface, and any oil found underwater was in the process of working its way up.

“The oil is on the surface,” Hayward said. “There aren’t any plumes.”

So that’s, THAT, then.

Open Goddess

gaia

On This Memorial Day 2010

The Fallen of Afghanistan and Iraq

April 2010***March 2010***February 2010***January 2010***December 2009***November 2009***October 2009***September 2009***August 2009***July 2009***June 2009***May 2009***April 2009***March 2009***February 2009***January 2009***December 2008***November 2008***October 2008***September 2008***August 2008***July 2008***June 2008***May 2008***April 2008***March 2008***Febuary 2008***January 2008***December 2007***November 2007***October 2007***September 2007***August 2007***July 2007***June 2007***May 2007***April 2007***March 2007***Feb. 2007***Jan. 2007***2006***2005***2004***2003

A Veteran Speaks Out about Being “Un-American” on Memorial Day

(published at Truthout.org)

Memorial Day, observed since the end of the Civil War, is a day that we honor the soldiers who have fallen in the service of their country. As a veteran, I can think of no other way that better epitomizes what it means to be an American than to honor those who died for our country. But Memorial Day is more than simply a day for honoring our fallen soldiers; it is also about remembering the ideals for which they gave their lives.

No Vacation Nation

All work and no play makes America a dull country. For some today, the Fourth of July and Labor Day will have to serve as their summer vacation, three days off. Besides honoring the more than one million Americans killed in battle and the people who serve today, Memorial Day also marks the unofficial first weekend of summer. For many a season no different from the rest, one survey shows only 10% of us will take a full two weeks off.

CBS Sunday Morning opened yesterday with the facts, nine vacation days per year for the average American. It was another of those “of the thirty-three richest nations” stats that the U.S.A. comes out on the wrong side of. The U.S. is the only developed nation with no legally required vacation for its workers. Why is America the only industrialized nation that thinks of vacation as a perk, not a right?

For many Americans waiting for an unemployment extension from Congress time off is not an issue but for some who are worried a little getaway might mean the person in the next cubicle getting ahead there’s an app for that, good government. Allen Grayson made the segment talking about creating a law here and claimed “Sixty-nine percent of middle class Americans say that their number one desire in life is more free time.”

No Vacation Nation

All work and no play makes America a dull country. For some today, the Fourth of July and Labor Day will have to serve as their summer vacation, three days off. Besides honoring the more than one million Americans killed in battle and the people who serve today, Memorial Day also marks the unofficial first weekend of summer. For many a season no different from the rest, one survey shows only 10% of us will take a full two weeks off.

CBS Sunday Morning opened yesterday with the facts, nine vacation days per year for the average American. It was another of those “of the thirty-three richest nations” stats that the U.S.A. comes out on the wrong side of. The U.S. is the only developed nation with no legally required vacation for its workers. Why is America the only industrialized nation that thinks of vacation as a perk, not a right?

For many Americans waiting for an unemployment extension from Congress time off is not an issue but for some who are worried a little getaway might mean the person in the next cubicle getting ahead there’s an app for that, good government. Allen Grayson made the segment talking about creating a law here and claimed “Sixty-nine percent of middle class Americans say that their number one desire in life is more free time.”

Obama’s Oil-and-Water Bipartisanship

HYPE

Excerpts from Obama’s Oil-and-Water speech yesterday in New Orleans…

What is striking about today’s debate about oil and water mixing in the Gulf of Mexico is the degree to which it remains rooted in the culture wars of the 1960s – in arguments that go back forty years or more.

In the early years of the environmental movement and opposition to the offshore drilling, defenders of the status quo often accused anybody who questioned the wisdom of Big Oil of being hippy tree-huggers.

Meanwhile, some of those in the so-called counter-culture of the Sixties reacted not merely by criticizing particular government policies, but by attacking the symbols, and in extreme cases, the very idea, of corporate America itself – by defacing Exxon signs; by blaming Shell Oil for all that was wrong with the world; and perhaps most tragically, by failing to honor the CEO’s who enrich us all by enriching themselves.

Most Americans never bought into these simplistic world-views – these caricatures of left and right. Most Americans understood that concern for the environment does not make you a hippy tree-hugger, and that there is nothing smart or sophisticated about a cynical disregard for America’s corporate hierarchy.

And yet the anger and turmoil of that period never entirely drained away. All too often our politics still seems trapped in these old, threadbare arguments – a fact most evident during our recent debates about oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, when those who opposed offshore drilling were tagged by some as eco-freaks, and a corporation providing its full resources to shut down the leak was accused of criminal negligence.

Given the enormous challenges that lie before us, we can no longer afford these sorts of divisions.

Basket stars, crinoids, anemone, and crab

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