September 30, 2007 archive

Mr. Death Squad in Charge of Blackwater Oversight

The sheer bonk-on-the-head idiocy of leaks put out by the Bush Administration are occassionally useful for the White House, in that they get the reporter and the reader to miss the one really salient fact being conveyed.

For example, in the midst of all of the mind-numbingly stupid leaks put out by the State Department over the past few days about Blackwater, no one seems to have noticed that State has put John D. (“The ‘D’ stands for ‘Death Squad'”) Negroponte in charge of Blackwater oversight. 

New York Times Sept. 29:

— big snip —

The Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has asked Mr Negroponte to oversee the department’s response to problems with security contractors.

— big snip —

Jean Luc Ponty, Al Di Meola and Stanley Clarke

Just got back from the show at The Egg in Albany, NY.  The show started off with a piece written by Al, then one by Jean Luc, and one by Stanley, they also did a John Coltrane number then Al walked off stage and Jean Luc and Stanley did an amazing piece together.  Al then came back on stage and began the solo section where each musician played 4 or 5 pieces of their choosing.

After an intense percussive groove that saw Stanley literally punching his instrument to achieve the sound he wanted he looked up at the audience and said:

“The pain in my right hand is for you.”

We ALL Live in Jena

First of all, I’d like to say that the graphic here and the title of this essay are taken from Nezua over at The Unapologetic Mexican with his permission.

After seeing his diary, I spent some time this afternoon trying to understand why I haven’t engaged more with the Jena 6 issue. While I have been aware of the situation for several months now, I haven’t really spent a lot of energy on it or gotten involved at all. Part of me thinks that’s wrong and I’m sorry.

But I just saw something on Fox News (yeah, can you believe that one!!!) that helped me understand why. In a roundtable discussion about several issues related to race that have happened this week, one of the commentators talked about a case where a white boy had been beaten up by a group of black boys, but had gotten no media attention. This is the problem with advocacy by anectdote. If we are going to rely on one case to make our point – the other side is more than capable of coming up with a case in counterpoint. But we all know what a lie that turns out to be, don’t we?

Saturday Night Bike Blogging: Gearing Up for the Commute

The votes are in. Commuting issues beat coast to coast cycling by a massive Two to One margin … that is, two votes for commuting issues, versus one votes for coast to coast cycling.

And this week I got some more gear for my cycle commute, so my mind seemed to turn to the topic of gearing up for the commute.

Of course, any SNBB essay is also … probably primarily … a cycling open thread … so whatever your cycling thought, observation, or recollection, drop on in.

A Tale of Two Suburbs

This past week we witnessed the responses of two local law enforcement agencies to increasing political pressure to rely upon them to enforce federal immigration policy:

In Irving Texas, a suburb in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, 2000 protester marched this week to highlight that city’s participation in a Federal program that has caused deportations to increase 500% from that city in the last year alone.

In Nassau County NY, a suburb in Metro NYC, the county’s highest ranking police official announced this week that his department would no longer assist federal authorities with the apprehension of undocumented immigrants.

Across the country, municipalities large and small are now being forced to examine exactly what their rights and responsibilities are when it comes to enforcing federal immigration policy.

In a heated political climate where incendiary speech and inflammatory rhetoric often pass for public discourse, too many local leaders have chosen to make political hay by claiming it is now their responsibility to take on the burden of enforcing Federal law.

Others have taken a much wiser approach.

The Young Dems Made Me Sick: Event Planning Lessons

cross posted at/adapted from my blog

It’s been a rough week.  Work has been very busy and Mr. D (my live-in boyfriend) and I single-handedly planned and executed a Young Democrats event on Thursday night.

This event, which had been talked about and conceptualized for about two months, literally came together in less than two weeks.  With some (read: minimal) help from the Board President and other members, we created and mailed about 1100 post card invites, learned “constant contact” and sent email invites to current members with its email marketing application, spruced up the website and myspace page to advertise the event, shopped for and prepared all the food and drink for about 70 guests, set-up and broke-down the day of the event…I am totally shocked it went off (seemingly) without a hitch.

Help Send Three Kossacks to Congress

As many of you know, three members of the netroots community are running for Congress. We all talk the talk. They’re daring to walk the walk. All face uphill battles, but with a little luck, lots of hard work, and your help, all three can win.

We’re coming to the end of the quarter, for filing campaign contributions. A late rush is always helpful, not only for the obvious reasons, but for the buzz it creates. They can all also use volunteers and cyber-volunteers. Please do what you can, and do it by Sunday. Thanks!

Here are some diaries about our three candidates, plus links to their campaign webpages, ActBlue pages, and volunteer sign-up pages:

Jerry Northington for Congress- DE-AL

His Daily Kos page: possum

My introductory diary: (DE-AL) Kossack Jerry Northington (possum) for Congress!

We’re used to politicians who posture and spin, and whose every move is meticulously calculated. How often do we see politicians who think and write like Jerry Northington? He’s a warrior for peace, a teacher and healer, a scientist with the soul of a poet. We don’t often have the chance to send such a person to Congress. We now do.

Jerry’s announcement diary: possum for Congress

The issue on which my campaign is based is the war. As a Vietnam veteran I know from firsthand experience what war can do to the troops and to civilians. We must end this war and end it as soon as possible. So many other issues are not being addressed in this country today. The monies being squandered on a failing Iraq occupation need to be redirected. In addition we must work to see our freedoms restored. We have lost so much in the past six long years. If we fail to begin soon to change direction we may lose all in the end.


Contribute, through ActBlue!

(and two more, below the fold…)

Pony Party: Obscure Sport Edition

The whole world is full of sport, competition, and bored people who can turn any kind of competition into a sport.

It does seem as we become less physically active as a society, we put more energy in cherishing our our passive past times of watching other people who are in shape do fascinating things.

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