October 9, 2007 archive

Are Pakistani Troops Defecting?

Today brings another report of the capture of 50 Pakistani troops in Waziristan in the volatile tribal area of northwestern Pakistan. Reports are confusing, fragmentary, and, of course, “official,” so it is hard to determine exactly what is happening.

Some 240 paramilitary troops “captured” on August 30th in the same general area are still missing, though a few bodies from that group have been found, allegedly executed.

What is really going on here? Could it be that, rather than merely surrendering with no or very little resistance, whole units of the Pakistani military are now defecting to Taliban-affiliated tribal militias in Pakistan?

Let’s ponder the question in a little more depth below the break.

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos.)

Chewie and Buddy

Chewie is a French Alpine wether (that’s a neutered goat, for you non-Caprine readers). He is black and white, with perky ears and a propensity to do spontaneous arabesques and cabrioles when the feeling strikes.

He and his pal, Buddy, a soft brown and tiny-eared La Mancha wether, had been petting zoo goats, and when their summer in the sun was over, they had been sold to the first comer. After a stint being used to clear brush from fields, the owner no longer wanted either of them, and so they landed at a farm to live with horses, miniature horses, chickens and several pygmy goats.

The Proctoscope… or The View From Here

Ranting About Manifestos and Blogs

(Incidentally, I offered the “Proctoscope” title to buhdy, but for some strange reason, he turned me down. What was he thinking?)

At any rate, here’s my dumbass take on the Manifesto thing. Why should you care about what I say? You shouldn’t. I’ll be the first person to tell you, unequivocally, to never take my advice on anything because I’m as full of shit as a Christmas turkey and don’t know what in the f*** I’m talking about. I’m not well-educated and have only a few worthless initials after my name.  If that’s not a huge problem for you though, then in my best “Price is Right” voice, I say “C’mon down!”…. Below the fold, that is.

Dancing Bear

(Some old stories – with FD in mind.)

Dancing Bear is a little mahogany bundle of soft fur, a curly tail, and no eyes.

One was never developed at birth, and the other was left untreated by its owner, who was disgusted that the little dog wasn’t going to be sale able. She took him away from his mother a few weeks too early and left him outside, hoping that he would die out of sight and definitely out of mind.

However, the fates intervened, and the little underfed puppy finally landed in a safe place with a person who loved to hug and cuddle the little bit of fluff and fur.

Constitutional Interpretation, Originalism and a Living Constitution

Another reprint on the Constitution. This is leading up to something I promise.

In discussing Scott Lemieux's piece on Dred Scott (Lemieux responded here), I touched upon the issue of Constitutional Interpretation. On Constitutional interpretation I wrote:

It seems undeniable to me that Dred Scott was a results oriented decision. And in that respect, Lemieux's statement that “[a]spirational” jurisprudence is only as good as the aspirations of the judge involved” is obviously correct. However, that does the “theory of a living Constitution” short shrift. The theory (or at least my theory) of a Living Constitution does not rest on “aspirational jurisprudence”, but rather on common law judicial principles and the Constitution itself.

More on this on the other side.

When the hangover strikes.

When the hangover strikes
And I open my post
And the coffee is on
And I’m burning my toast
I let the battle commence
I see a sun in the trees
And a draught at the door
With my head in my lap
There’s a day to explore
But I’m left without sense

The Locker Room

CBS Sports Widget

For more widgets please visit www.yourminis.com

If nobody has a strong and meaningful objection, it will be much easier for me to copy this widget every Monday than trying to follow NFL, NHL, and NBA scores all winter.  (MLB, WNBA, NCAAB and NCAAF scores are also available, click the arrow…drop the menu…c’mon..you know you want to…)  Objections can be expressed in the comments.

MLB Playoffs

NL: The D-backs and Rockies advance to the NL Championship Series (sorry Buhdy), which begins on Thursday in Arizona.

AL: The Yankees and Indians play game 4 in New York tonight; the Indians lead 2 games to 1 in the series.
The Red Sox have advanced, and will meet the winner of that series in the AL Championship Series.

Oh, and lest you quit on me before you get that far, Barry Bonds gets a mention in the ‘Track and Field’ section, in a story about another athlete being investigated for doping who has plead guilty to lying to investigators.


Patriots, Colts, and Cowboys remain undefeated; the Cowboys play the Bills tonight, 8:30 P.M. edt.

The Packers departed our undefeated list this week thanks in part to an end-zone interception thrown by Brett Favre.  This is notable in that it ties Mr. Favre for another NFL record: most career interceptions thrown.  He’s tied with George Blanda at 277.  Blanda’s career spanned 26 years, and included 340 games, 4007 pass attempts.  Favre is in his 16th year, has played in 245 games, and attempted 8393 passes.  Congrats, Brett!  :p

you can’t believe all the fucking dog hair i just swept up

i had to sweep the floor after this latest development.

And good god, my old dog can shed some hair.

He’s getting more and more bow legged the older he gets. Doesn’t hear very well. We used to walk together all over…now we barely get around the building. Sometimes he has accidents on the rug. He pants. His toenails click click click on the pine floor. And he makes me laugh. He makes me feel my heart and he lets me forget myself to be myself.

He is my guy. Mostly, he just wants a few snacks and to be next to me. And I feel the same.

Breaking: AEP to pay $4.6 Billion environmental settlement!

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With a symbolic one dollar for every year the earth has been around, the Associated Press is reporting that AEP has agreed to pay $4.6 Billion in that lawsuit initiated by 8 eastern states, directed at the midwestern coal plants contaminating the air and making the clouds rain acid:

The settlement requires American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, to reduce chemical emissions that cause acid rain by at least 69 percent over the next decade.

It also fines AEP an additional $15 million in civil penalties and another $60 million in cleanup and mitigation costs to help heal parkland and waterways that have been hurt by the pollution.

Just for some perspective, this marketbasket type settlement marks a new milestone in environmental settlement history.

Exxon Mobil Corp. estimates it has paid $3.5 billion in cleanup costs, government settlements, fines and compensation for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. The company is fighting an additional $2.5 billion in punitive fines.

Wonderful news! There’s not much detail about the contents of the basket on the internet yet but I’ll update as more appears. This is a bfd, and a major legal victory, so let’s see if it makes the morning news. Congratulations to all people, statues, streams and national landmarks involved.

(from Truth & Progress)

The Downside of Luck

People complain about the bad things that happen to em that they don’t deserve but they seldom mention the good.  About what they done to deserve them things.  I don’t recall that I ever give the good Lord all that much cause to smile on me.  But he did.

The Manifesto Project: Submissions Please!

To be posted soon in Orange, also

We are all a bit disappointed these days. The Golden age of a Democratic Majority has not panned out, so to speak. The Dems have pretty much given up on doing something meaningful to oppose Bush. The primary is still five months of candidate diaries away …..and people are still dying.

We seem to have no power to do much of anything while we wait for the long year and a quarter until Bush is gone and one of the Dem candidates takes office and …hopefully….begins to fix the huge mess Bush has made of the world and our nation. So it is time for “Lessons Learned” and hopefully time to build a new way for us to be more powerful in the future. The simplest and most obvious way to do that is to become more united in purpose and in focus.

Armando suggests rallying around lobbying Congress, now and in the future.

Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse suggests a bloggers union

After publishing The Big Picture Vol. 1, several commenters suggested a manifesto. Thus was this project launched.

Torture: Suffering for Beauty

I got a little out of the news loop when I was on vacation.  Now it’s 3 AM and I have jet lag, so I’m catching up.  The Blackwater stuff keeps piling up, and Media Matters did me the favor of a day-by-day review of what happened with the Rush Limbaugh fiasco.  I see where some MN vets are being denied the GI bill, and that it is apparently okay to deny medical coverage to small, vulnerable children.

Now Bush says “We don’t torture.”  I suppose that depends how one defines “torture.” 

George Carlin talks alot about “euphemisms.”  You know – where they simply replace words that make people uncomfortable, to shade the truth?  So “toilet paper” becomes “bathroom tissue”?  A “mattress” is a “sleep system?”  “Torture” is now “interrogation methods”.

So anyway, the President says we don’t torture, but maybe the shock has just worn off.  Otherwise, how do you explain this commercial?!

(Thanks toNyc Alberts, NYC, who originally saw this commercial on television late at night in a longer version, and finally tracked it down & also wrote about it)

By the way, The New York Times Sunday editorial was entitled |”On Torture and American Values” and contained this statement:

“Once upon a time, it was the United States that urged all nations to obey the letter and the spirit of
international treaties and protect human rights and liberties. The people in much of the world, if not their governments, respected the United States for its values. The Bush  administration has dishonored that history and squandered that respect.”

UPDATE: I posted this after it had been up all day at Democracy Cell Project and I wanted more discussion.  On Nyc’s suggestion, I sent it to the main women at Feministing, who he’d contacted after he first saw it.  I’m headed for Docudharma.  Any other ideas, let me know.  Don’t see comments on here but have gotten some email such as “It’s no better than if it were about child molesting” or “It’s an obvious example of corporate propaganda to soften the image of torture.”

Not to mention:
Ordinary commercials (which are usually in bad taste or have crappy music) are annoying enough….

Have we gotten so low in our degradation scale under the Bush administration that we can make light of torture, the worst thing we can do to our fellow human beings (and other animals on the planet) and casually accept pseudo-torture to sell beauty products…? (Beauty products?!?)

I find the commercial offensive in the extreme. Eeeeeeeeowwww doesn’t begin to describe the mental/emotional recoil I had when watching it.

Gotta go wash out my eyes and disinfect my ears… but how do I get the images and the sounds out of my brain…?

Creepy, in the extreme.

See also Nyc’s blogpost which paralleled mine, at A Pen Warmed In Hell.

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