April 27, 2008 archive

Homeless Vets. Don’t You Dare Look Away.

What do you do when the greed fueled madness of the few becomes the stark deadly reality for many, and the blatant lies of the killers become the truth that is ejected day after day from the plastic reality box , where shiny bright vultures of the ruling class, with perfect teeth and perfect hair, proclaim and affirm that what you see isn’t what you get, that your eyes and ears are lying, that war is peace and hate is love and all is righteous and good in God fearing America.  What do you do when our soldiers, bound by oath to fulfill their duty, are lied to, abused, sent to fight ill equipped, under manned, without competent leadership, stop lossed, numbed with medication, re deployed, over and over,  then are dumped into our cities and streets, forgotten and left to fend for themselves. What do you do.

Sunday Morning Over Easy

Crossposted just for fun, from WWL

Today, I want to open by honoring my favorite Deity.

When the Flying Spaghetti Monster makes Rolling Stone Magazine for the Second Time, you have to know there is intelligent life on Earth. (Images from their site, please visit there!)

Is it any wonder when Jimmy Buffett moved from Alabama (a place with notoriously low emissions) he quit singing about Pirates?

In fact, a move to high carbon emission Florida got Buffett singing about Volcanoes. Coincidence? I think not.

…and I quote Pastafarian scripture:

You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s.

Sunday Morning Over Easy music choice below the fold.

Docudharma Times Sunday April 27

I know what nobody knows

Where it comes and where it goes

I know its everybodys sin

You got to lose to know how to win

Sunday’s Headlines: Letters Give C.I.A. Tactics a Legal Rationale: If Clinton can’t run campaign, can she run White House?: Hizbollah builds up covert army for a new assault against Israel: The Iraqi teenage girl killed for loving a British soldier: How do you like your eggs? Read our undercover investigation into Britain’s battery farming: City boy’s survival guide to the gulag: Kim Jong-il builds ‘Thunderbirds’ runway for war in North Korea: Karzai unhurt after parade attack: In Zimbabwe jail: A reporter’s ordeal: Tribesman tells of risks he took as a translator in Darfur: Massive gunbattles break out in Tijuana; 13 dead, 9 wounded

The New Economics of Hunger

A brutal convergence of events has hit an unprepared global market, and grain prices are sky high. The world’s poor suffer most.

The globe’s worst food crisis in a generation emerged as a blip on the big boards and computer screens of America’s great grain exchanges. At first, it seemed like little more than a bout of bad weather.

In Chicago, Minneapolis and Kansas City, traders watched from the pits early last summer as wheat prices spiked amid mediocre harvests in the United States and Europe and signs of prolonged drought in Australia. But within a few weeks, the traders discerned an ominous snowball effect — one that would eventually bring down a prime minister in Haiti, make more children in Mauritania go to bed hungry, even cause American executives at Sam’s Club to restrict sales of large bags of rice.

Help for Veterans

The following came in on a google news alert I have on Nadia McCaffery who’s son, Sgt. Patrick McCaffrey, was killed nearly five years ago in Iraq. The reason I use the alert is that Nadia, and her Daughter-in-Law have been slowly growing the dream of helping other Veterans returning from the Theaters of War suffering from PTSD and TBI, her son was a medic. Their dream, in her sons honor, is called Veterans Village

This report doesn’t cover ‘Veterans Village’ but Nadia was asked about her thoughts on this Congressional Bill.

Elizabeth Edwards Speaks Truth To The Press

In today’s OpEd section of The New York Times, Elizabeth Edwards delivers a very well expressed and unfortunately, very necessary, critique of today’s press regarding the picking of a president.

Opening with a mention of the media’s (lack of serious) coverage of the Pennsylvania primary, Elizabeth hits the nail on the head and calls the press out for what it has become: shallow. She also notes that she is not alone in this observation.

I’m not the only one who noticed this shallow news coverage. A report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy found that during the early months of the 2008 presidential campaign, 63 percent of the campaign stories focused on political strategy while only 15 percent discussed the candidates’ ideas and proposals.

The picking of our president is too important a task to approach without good, solid analysis of a candidate’s policies and positions.

The Weapon of Young Gods #20: Fragile Equilibrium

Roy calls me on Friday afternoon around four and says he’ll be ready to go whenever I want to pick him up. I don’t even bother reminding him that he was supposed to meet me at my place, because it doesn’t really matter. I still have a blinding headache from our collision at the game two nights ago and I don’t really need to go anywhere this weekend, especially with Roy in tow, but it’s a good excuse to get away from cleaning up the festive destruction that my roommates inflicted on our apartment.

I pack my overnight bag and try not to think about how much it will suck when I come back Sunday night to deal with the remaining fallout strewn across the apartment’s three tiny rooms. When I get down to the Civic I chuck my bag in the back seat, squeeze in behind the wheel, and just try to chill out a bit and wait for the day’s sixth aspirin to kick in. After ten minutes I still feel lousy so I decide to just get going. It’s not as if my headache wouldn’t return once Roy got in the car.

Previous Episode

May One – if One May, Please

If you can make it to Faneuil Hall in Boston around 11:30 this Thursday that’d be great. If you can do something locally wherever you are that’d be great. If you can take some time and write to your congress critters that’d be great. If you can take some time and write some LTEs that’d be great. If you can take some time and call your congress critters or local rag that’d be great.

If you can join one of the many protests that seem to be naturally occurring simultaneously that’d be really great. The longshoremen’s union, the truckers and the immigrants will all be making a statement on the born-in-the-USA (Haymarket, Chicago, 1886, 8 hr workday movement) International Workers Day.

Don’t know about all of you out there but I just can’t sit around flinging IP packets into the bit-stream and waiting for something to happen. We can type away until our fingers fall off. It’ll change nothing. We gather here in web space and piss and moan to the chorus. We’re intelligent, we’re creative, we’re outraged by what is happening around us. We pour our hearts out. Nothing happens. We’d still be in Viet Nam if people hadn’t gone out of their way to show up by the dozens, then hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, to collectively vent their unwillingness to allow the desecration of all they held to be right to continue.

It has to start somewhere at some point in time with someone showing up in public to make the case for stopping the collective insanity. It looks like a lot of people have picked May One as the day. If you can’t bring yourself to participate, find something going on and go watch. Body counts matter. There’s enough of us who were around for the 60s and 70s protests to remember what it felt like to be part of a movement for peace. Movement is the key. Turn off the computer, go outside, find one other person to join you and go to the most heavily trafficked public place near you. See if anyone else shows up who may have the same feelings you do.

This May One thing is in our primitive neo-pagan history. It’s that cross-quarter day halfway between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice. There’s a primal nature behind the day. Get outside with other like-minded people and see what happens. Take pictures. YELL LOUDER!

May One. Take America Back.


DoJ: Torture Sometimes Legal

From the NY Times: Letters Give C.I.A. Tactics a Legal Rationale: In response to a congressional request, the Department of Justice has written a letter claiming that it is sometimes legal to torture. Well, the NY Times hesitates to use the actual word T.O.R.T.U.R.E. Here’s how they say it, you know, in language that befits the grey lady. Ahem.

The Justice Department has told Congress that American intelligence operatives attempting to thwart terrorist attacks can legally use interrogation methods that might otherwise be prohibited under international law.

“Otherwise be prohibited under international law.” Translation: Illegal.

The Cruelest Lie

From Obama’s Website April 27, 2008:

Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.


Quote for Discussion: New Orleans

“Mr. Cobb, how are you doing?” I asked James Cobb, a lawyer in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“It depends on what you mean,” Mr. Cobb answered. “If you mean how am I doing after losing my house and every fucking thing in it, and after being forced to live in a two-bedroom shithole with my wife and two kids and being told how lucky I am to get it, and after being fucked — and I mean absolutely fucked — by my insurance company and by the United States government (and by the way, just so you know, if anybody from New Orleans, Louisiana, tells you that they’re not getting fucked by their insurance company and by the United States government, they’re fucking lying, all right?) . . . if you mean, how am I doing after all that is factored in: Well, I guess the answer is that I’m doing fine. Now, how can I help you?”

Jim Cobb and I had never spoken before.

From the remarkable article, The Loved Ones, by Tom Junod, Esquire Magazine, September 2007.

I try not to be too cynical about government.  But I have to ask, at what point do all these cumulative failures become evidence of the inability of it to not fail?

The Paradox of Human Rights

A wise young woman whom I’ve never met, spoken with, or corresponded with, but whom I feel like I know, once said: “All you have to do to qualify for human rights is be human.” In those 13 words, she elegantly summed up both the ultimate meaning of the claim for human rights and the origin of their breach. The very articulation of human rights traces their prior transgression. Without humans wronged, there is no need for a claim of human rights

The claim for human rights is a simple proposition: “I am human.” But this claim depends upon recognition and accord. The one who violates the rights of the other does so precisely because this claim of humanity is not recognized or falls on deaf ears.

Thus the paradox of human rights: There where they need to be asserted, they are precisely denied. When I most need to say “I am human,” I cannot. I need you to say my I, the I that is being violated, negated, erased.  

Protest in Rural CT Takes on Bush, Kissinger

-10Last night I got a phone report from my friend Dody about today’s demonstration in moneyed Kent, CT, where war criminal Henry Kissinger and his wife Nancy were hosting a Republican fundraising lunch (actually at the $1000 a plate level, it’s probably a “luncheon”). The bash starred another Nuremberg Trial prospect, George W. Bush himself.

Folks who’ve been working on the Iraq Moratorium in Cornwall, CT, the somewhat less posh rural town to Kent’s immediate north, were part of a demonstration that they estimated at 60 or 70 at the start, when they tried to get close to the Kissinger residence. An arranged system of shuttles was to take folks inside the State Trooper blockade to protest, but when passengers on the first shuttle were bumrushed by the law when they tried to get out, plans were quickly adjusted.

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