AntiWar Rally Today: Seattle Reporting (Photos) (Anti-Occupation Rallies today. 11 pm – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Dsc05643I headed off to the “staging area,” which was Judkins Park, in a quiet area of town mostly populated by minorities.  Participants organized with their respective groups, mostly “usual suspects” (ie. committed and brave and patriotic in the best sense of caring truly about humanity) BUT with a notable lack of community participation.  If 60% or more oppose the war nationally, and 90% or so here in Seattle before it even started, where were the rest?

Why was it that I counted ONE BUS (belonging to “Pastors for Peace,” who travel to Cuba, Mexico, Central America – though not necessarily in the bus) but on the way home I counted MORE THAN NINETY busses of University of Washington football fans?  I know that football is immensely popular in the fall and tailgate parties are a tradition, along with Jack’o’Lanterns but what about our country?  Our future?

The rally was intended to go from Judkins Park down (or up) Jackson Street to Occidental Square, which may not mean anything to someone who doesn’t live in Seattle.  To me though, it is a traditional labor march route, much as the one from Place de Nation to Place de Republique has been in Paris, via the site of the storming of the Bastille.  In both cases, the routes are now off to the side of the zones of commerce, and the populist marches for justice no longer seem to strike fear in the hearts of the bourgeoise.  In both instances, the media appears to be aligned with the increasingly more right-leaning government, contrary to what the far right says.

It seem, like Tom Hayden warns, that the antiwar movement was discouraged from developing after 9/11, through the use of fear.  Once it developed, a huge PR campaign has been forged on the right, to try to marginalize protesters as “goofy.”  Indeed, I did a “search” for antiwar at MySpace and found military spouses who wanted protesters to impale themselves on the sticks of their protest signs.  Pressed further, some of them still appeared to believe the 9/11-Saddam link or that civil warring factions were intending to somehow head through the skies to attack rural America. More pictures below- ek

Sadly, I keep attending, and I was gratified to see many young people today.

Global Environment Outlook

The UN just published their 2007 Global Environment Outlook.

In a phrase, it is “beyond depressing.”  All 567 pages, or so, which I only uncritically and rapidly previewed.  I already know it.  So does everyone else.  Let’s face it: Population size has surpassed Earth’s carrying capacity several times over.  The atmosphere, oceans, rivers, and lands are all collapsing.  Rising demand meets failing supplies.  In the best of all possible scenarios, millions if not billions must die.  Perhaps we will all die.  Problem solved.  In the meantime, population growth drives extraction and economic growth.  Economic growth drives consumption, as well as our politics.  Globalization simply accelerates the process.  The oil is collapsing, so we start wars over the commodity that is killing us most.  What can we do about it?

I have no idea.  I quit driving.  It will be three years in January.  It’s a pretty useless thing as a lone act.  I know for certain that until this war in Iraq ends, the conversation cannot change to more useful discussions.

Arendt’s thesis of the banality of evil is interesting, but stupid.  People don’t simply commit evil because they are told to, or enter “agentic states” under the influence of authority, as Milgram suggested.  Serious conflicts of interest entice, enjoin, and entrain people to behave in evil ways.  Then people become further transformed by the institutional traps.  Such is Congress.  Their inaction on the genocide occurring in Iraq is evil.  Nancy Pelosi, while not Adolf Eichmann, is nonetheless evil for being a bureaucratic collaborator with evil.  Much the same can be said of the rest of Congress for enabling genocide.  What they know is bad enough, but if only they knew the full extent of that evil.  It’s difficult to believe that many don’t already know, and are therefore fully committed to the world domination scenario of carrying capacity.

When the full scale of the collapse strikes, it will be the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and then some.  That, too, will be considered evil, but it will have been a preventable evil.  Some of it will happen no matter what, because of what we have already wrought, through our own selfish somewhat ignorant and wholly unthinking narratives and conflicts of interest.

Nothing will happen until we stop this war.  Continuing the war only deepens our problems, and kills time and opportunities for preventative action.  Quit being evil, Nancy, and impeach the fuckers. 

William F. Buckley on Impeachment

Yahoo News Opinion
William F. Buckley
Fri Oct 26, 7:57 PM ET

What stands out this time around is that there are no serious people urging impeachment. By “serious” is here intended, men and women of sobriety who weigh conscientiously what constitutes impeachable presidential behavior.

Mr. Bush is swimming in very low political tides. Although he beat down with ease the outrageous and insulting charges of Rep. Pete Stark of California, it is striking that a member of Congress felt free to indulge in that level of public obloquy. There was enough of that for Bush in the election of 2006, which was interpreted, reasonably, as a repudiation of his leadership.

If ours were a form of government patterned after that of the Europeans, Bush would probably have been replaced as leader of his party. But the majority of the American people still think of him as a man of good will and very stout heart who is pursuing his duties as he sees them, a man, moreover, of conspicuous incorruptibility. Let the people pronounce on his stewardship in November 2008.

Well if you ever needed to have it spelled out for you there it is.

We are not serious people.

We are not “men and women of sobriety who weigh conscientiously what constitutes impeachable presidential behavior.”

And just so you know what “serious” is?

Lying about a blow job.

Zombi Condi

condi zombi t

Click on the image to get your own fair-use copy.

Anti-war rally in Minneapolis: Don’t bomb Iran edition (photos)

(Anti-Occupation Rallies today. 11 pm – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Several hundred people turned out for an anti-war rally in Minneapolis at the intersection of Lake and Hiawatha streets. I found out about this rally after reading Bikemom’s diary here on Docudharma.

Nearly all of the participants at the rally expressed concern that Bush is planning a war with Iran. I compared the tally for the Kyl-Lieberman Bill that declares part of Iran’s army a terrorist group to the vote for the Iraq war authorization. The votes were 76-22 and 77-23 for Iran and Iraq bills, respectively.  We haven’t made any ground since the killing began. The last photo shows the US flag flying upside down which is a sign of distress.  Indeed it is…..

More pictures below- ek

The orange “Don’t Bomb Iran” banner below was made at Coleen Rowley’s place. She is the former FBI whistleblower who ran for congress in Minnesota in 2004. She’s having a sign-making party at her place tomorrow. The plan is to have a freeway display of these signs around the state. 

Quotes for Discussion: Anarchist Edition

In existing States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. If the road between two villages is impassable, the peasant says, “There should be a law about parish roads.” If a park-keeper takes advantage of the want of spirit in those who follow him with servile obedience and insults one of them, the insulted man says, “There should be a law to enjoin more politeness upon the park-keepers.” If there is stagnation in agriculture or commerce, the husbandman, cattle-breeder, or corn- speculator argues, “It is protective legislation which we require.” Down to the old clothesman there is not one who does not demand a law to protect his own little trade. If the employer lowers wages or increases the hours of labor, the politician in embryo explains, “We must have a law to put all that to rights.” In short, a law everywhere and for everything! A law about fashions, a law about mad dogs, a law about virtue, a law to put a stop to all the vices and all the evils which result from human indolence and cowardice.

~Peter Kropotkin, “Law and Authority”

Perhaps most fundamentally: government is not a solution to the public goods problem, but rather the primary instance of the problem. If you create a government to solve your public goods problems, you merely create a new public goods problem: the public good of restraining and checking the government from abusing its power. “[I]t is wholly owing to the constitution of the people, and not to the constitution of the government, that the crown is not as oppressive in England as in Turkey,” wrote Thomas Paine; but what material incentive is there for individuals to help develop a vigilant national character? After all, surely it is a rare individual who appreciably affects the national culture during his or her lifetime.

To rely upon democracy as a counter-balance simply assumes away the public goods problem. After all, intelligent, informed voting is a public good; everyone benefits if the electorate reaches wise political judgments, but there is no personal, material incentive to “invest” in political information, since the same result will (almost certainly) happen whether you inform yourself or not. It should be no surprise that people know vastly more about their jobs than about their government. Many economists seem to be aware of this difficulty; in particular, public choice theory in economics emphasizes the externalities inherent in government action. But a double standard persists: while non-governmental externalities must be corrected by the state, we simply have to quietly endure the externalities inherent in political process.

Since there is no incentive to monitor the government, democracies must rely upon voluntary donations of intelligence and virtue. Because good government depends upon these voluntary donations, the public goods argument for government falls apart. Either unpaid virtue can make government work, in which case government isn’t necessary to solve the public goods problem; or unpaid virtue is insufficient to make government work, in which case the government cannot be trusted to solve the public goods problem.

~Bryan Caplan, Anarchist Theory FAQ Version 5.2

It is with some irony that I realize that I am becoming more absolutely anti-government the more time I spend on political web sites, most particularly progressive web sites.

A Tale of Two Iraqs

As touched on in today’s Four at Four, there are two very different stories coming from Iraq in today’s (October 27) U.S. papers. I think these two different stories, one from Baghdad and one from Ramadi, help explain a lot to why the United States’ occupation in Iraq continues, why the U.S. Congress remains divided on what to do, and why the issue of the Iraq occupation may be slowly fading as the primary issue in the 2008 elections.

The first story comes from Joshua Partlow of the Washington Post who reports Members of one U.S. unit are tired, bitter and skeptical after 14 months in a Baghdad district torn by mounting sectarian violence.

“Their line of tan Humvees and Bradley Fighting Vehicles creeps through another Baghdad afternoon… A bomb crater blocks one lane, so they cross to the other side, where houses are blackened by fire, shops crumbled into bricks. The remains of a car bomb serve as hideous public art. Sgt. Victor Alarcon’s Humvee rolls into a vast pool of knee-high brown sewage water…”

Asked if the American endeavor here was worth their sacrifice — 20 soldiers from the battalion have been killed in Baghdad — Alarcon said no: “ enter I don’t think this place is worth another soldier’s life.

The second story is from Tina Susman of the Los Angeles Times with Marines declare war on garbage. The U.S. Marines see “trash pickup as the key to maintaining security in Ramadi, where a decision last year by Sunni Arab tribal leaders to turn against insurgents has brought calm to the once-violent capital of Anbar province… The desire for clean streets and pleasant surroundings has overtaken security concerns in Ramadi, where the population has declined by 100,000 residents since the war began four years ago.”

“This is the fight — sewage, water and trash,” Lt. James Colvin said as he showed the landfill to a visitor. “I was a poor math major in college. I come here and they tell me: ‘OK, fix the sewage system!’ ” said Colvin, remembering how shocked he was to return to Ramadi and find that he could walk down streets that he once dreaded crossing in an armored vehicle. “ accutane and side effects But there’s no enemy to hunt down now, so this is our line of attack.

So in Baghdad, troops are dying. While in Ramadi, troops are bored. There is news for those who want to end the occupation and there is news for those who believe the occupation is working. So should we stay or should we go? Congress cannot make up its mind. There are not enough Democrats to force a decision and, as the Los Angeles Times reported last week, Republicans who now oppose the war are being punished by their party and their war-loving constituents.

Most Americans, if recent polls this year are to be believed, want the U.S. troops out Iraq and think the war was a bad idea. But, as the Financial Times reported earlier in the week, Iraq is fading as a hot political issue. “A well-placed bomb in Baghdad’s Green Zone could change everything but, for the time being, the war in Iraq has ceased to be the US’s hot political issue.”

So who benefits with Iraq as a cold political issue? Likely politicians who supported the Iraq war and occupation. Candidates who have advocated troop redeployment or complete withdrawal may seem less relevant to American voters and other concerns may surface in importance — such as health care, immigration, or terrorism. (I have little hope my prime concern, the climate and the environment, will be a significant issue in the 2008 presidential race.) Or, perhaps Americans have learned to live with ongoing war? Since, for the most part, the pain of war is borne by a very small few. Or, perhaps Americans are focused on the next war the Bush administration and Congress is selling?

But certainly, what these mixed news stories do is work against a clear argument for leaving Iraq. This helps the Bush administration’s goal of prolonging the war until George W. Bush leaves the White House.

As Iraq fades from the headlines, the status quo prevails with the United States losing about 2 soldiers a day and is borrowing and sending to keep the occupation going. In the more than four years of Iraq war and occupation, 3,838 soldiers haved died so far and 28,171 wounded. $463,420,000,000 already borrowed and spent and more being borrowed and spent every day.

America is in a war we cannot afford anymore. When a friend or loved one goes so far down a path of self-destruction, those who care for that person try to intervene. My fellow Americans seem hellbent on destruction — in the Middle East and with our planet’s climate — and if trends continue, neither will be of primary significance in 2008. If Americans prove incapable of even admitting we have a problem, let alone working on solutions, in the coming months, then America might be in need of an intervention.

Cross-posted from the European Tribune.

Pony Party: Porn Edition

Hey, somebody else started it with blow jobs in pony party.  Anyway, children shouldn’t be on computers on Saturdays  looking at pony parties, they should be out breaking their arms and legs in fun childhood games like Red Rover or break some other bone at the skate park or in some sport designed to teach sportsmanship and team work. Although I love sports myself, I always wondered how blood spurting everywhere or a bone sticking out was supposed to make somebody feel bonded to the team.

The second one is just creepy….

Oh well….  party on ….

Please don’t rec pony party, hang out, chit chat and then got read all the other excellent offerings here…

Blog Voices This Week 10/27/07

(Great series, great service! Thanks NL! @8 – promoted by buhdydharma )

I thought I’d do a second installment about news from around some of the smaller blogs – with a special focus on those by people of color.

I have to say that the story that gripped me the most is one from The Latin Americanist that I’ve already blogged about here. That’s the one about Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa telling the US that they can keep their military base in Ecuador if he can build one in Miami. Gotta love a guy that can not only reframe the whole “US Empire” thing, but also do it snarkalishously.

Kyle over at Citizen Orange reflects on the defeat of the Dream Act and the courageous young people who worked so hard on it.

Amidst all of the stories of justice denied, it was great to learn that the Georgia Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Genarlow Wilson, a young man who had been convicted of receiving a consenting “blow job.”

Speaking of justice denied, Nezua tells us about Abdul Muneem Patel, a 17 year old who was sentenced to jail for “one charge of possessing a document likely to be useful for terrorism.”

Over at Resist Racism we get a wonderful lesson on racimese.

The women of Document the Silence are asking us all to wear red on October 31st in memory of the violence against women of color that most often goes unnoticed and unreported.

Finally, as we approach Dia De Los Muertos, I want to recommend a diary written by Madman in the Marketplace over a year ago. This is perhaps some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read on the internet.

Today, in the spirit of Dia De Los Muertos, let us look away from all of that. Today, lets celebrate instead those who’ve fought dark times before, survived dark times before, PREVAILED in times that were much like what we face now.

THIS Dia De Los Muertos, remember their struggles, but remember their COMMUNITY. Remember that unlike the right, unlike the worshippers of division and death, we can look back with joy and fondness at people who sang and danced and loved and communed DESPITE their struggles, despite the exploitation, the hatred, the discrimination and fear. They formed communities, they formed unions, they formed sewing circles and barn raisings and volunteer organizations. They rallied with their neighbors, mended fences, found common ground with NEW neighbors different from themselves. It’s easy to remember the nativists, the klansmen, the misogynists and gay bashers and jingoists and bundists … but also remember that there were ALWAYS good people opposing them, forging bonds, talking and working together to build a brighter, broader, more inclusive future. While there were slavers, there were abolitionists. When other men jeered and sniped, remember there were women who reminded others that a woman was every bit the equal of a man and should have a voice, and there were sons who listened to them.

Celebrate the artists, the writers, the musicians and performers who forged bonds between different groups of people, who showed us all that it’s okay to be different, that different can be wonderful and exciting. Remember that every time that culture tried to expand our ties, broaden our conversations, help us see the world anew, the authoritarian minded tried to silence them, ban them, attack them, but over time the artists prevailed. From the churches and the juke joints, the beer halls and the smokey bars, from the salons to the corner table at the Algonquin, from coffee houses to underground clubs … we can remember fondly those who found beauty and strength in the everyday and in the sublime and IN EACH OTHER. THIS Dia De Los Muertos, read their words, sing their songs, dance to their tunes, enjoy their paintings and sculptures and their videos. Remember that no matter how loudly, how violently, how insistently those afraid of openness and sharing and difference and change tried to stop it, the songs got sung, the rugs got cut, the words got read.

The fight, the struggle, the great human show continues, and throughout history given time and perserverance it has been the cultivators, not the extractors, who have brought beauty, peace and prosperity to the world. Over the next couple of days, remember them fondly, and let those memories inform your choices as we face the struggles ahead.

The Brothers Agwunobi and Bush

TPM Muckraker wasn’t interested in my hot news tip, so you get the goods.

Keeping it all in the family:

Jeb and George W. Bush have been good for the brothers Agwunobi.

Check the brothers Agwunobi:  John and Andrew

John Agwunobi was a Bush HHS appointee (had the rank of Admiral in the Public Health Service and was an assistant Sec. of HHS) under Michael Leavitt:  totally bollixed pandemic flu planing public health information – used Greg Dworkin (Dem from CT) to front for him on the bogus HHS Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog.  Here’s good old Johnnie backstroking to try to close the gap between the false information that he spewed on the blog and Greg’s “reality has a liberal bias” blog contributions.

Last week I met Dr. Greg Dworkin – in the flesh – at the HHS Pandemic Leadership Forum. It was nice to put a face to the man whose postings I have read on this blog. His comments at the forum highlighted his unique insight into the importance of the flu blogging community. As founder of FluWiki, Greg is clearly a respected “elder” in the pandemic influenza blogging community. He has helped me understand the power and unique importance of the flu blogging community and its collective voice.

I have learned a lot from the comments I have read on the blog and my conversation with Greg last week. In my first posting, it was not my intention to dissuade advanced preparation or to down play the gravity of pandemics. Advanced preparedness is critical and individual preparedness and a culture of self sufficiency are essential. No one can afford to wait until after an emergency begins in order to prepare.

No one can predict with certainty what the next pandemic will look like. There are no guarantees or promises that can be made regarding its impact on society. The next pandemic may be mild, as in 1957 and 1968, severe, as in 1918, or somewhere in between. The next pandemic could even be worse than 1918. There is simply no way of knowing.

It’s important to know that the Federal government alone cannot respond to and address the unique challenges brought on by a pandemic. We are urging a sense of shared responsibility, as it is the only way we can help each other, those less fortunate, and ourselves. Shared responsibility includes all levels of government, private sector, civic organizations, businesses, faith-based communities, education sector, communities, families, and individuals.

He recently resigned from his wingnut welfare job at the HHS and went directly to Wal-Mart as its new “Director for Health/Wellness” – selling the point of care retail health clinics and putting spin on horrible worker health insurance benefits.

John’s brother is Andrew Agwunobi, who appeared in the WSJ report 10/25 about the WellCare raids.  The brothers have almost identical histories:  med school, MBAs, then political appointments as wunderkinds – all courtesy of the Bush clan.

Current and former WellCare officials have been unloading shares as the company’s share price climbed higher and higher, the WSJ reports. The company, which provides managed care plans for Medicare and Medicaid patients, was raided by federal agents yesterday, and its stock tumbled today.

Andrew Agwunobi, who now heads Florida’s Medicaid agency, served on WellCare’s board from June until December 2006 and sold $1 million worth of shares in December of 2006, according to an SEC filing. Agwunobi wasn’t immediately available for comment, the WSJ said.

The enter site Atlanta Daily World story includes a picture of Andrew Agwunobi and more of his bio.

Agwunobi joined Grady on June 1, 2003. Dr. Andy, as he has become affectionately known, has been on the forefront of change for the health system during a very difficult period faced with financial challenges.
“We have been fortunate to have had the leadership, energy and skills of this remarkably talented individual at the helm of Grady during this sensitive period in the history of the health system,” Brown said. “He will leave a legacy to be remembered and admired.”
During his short tenure, Agwunobi negotiated the potential merger of Hughes Spalding Children’s Hospital with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, launched a public information and transparency campaign to raise awareness and brand the health system, oversaw a portfolio analysis with KPMG to identify financial strengths and weaknesses in all service areas in Grady, using a quarter of free propecia created a plan to grow revenues within the profitable service areas to help fund the mission of Grady Health System, created a plan to eliminate services to the uninsured who live outside DeKalb and Fulton counties (ed. note – my emphasis), served as a catalyst for philanthropic support, improved pharmacy operations and won much recognition and praise.
Grady’s new interim chief also has a list of accomplishments and awards that are numerous. They include being the past chairman of the board of the Georgia Hospital Association, past regent of the American College of Healthcare Executives, service on the regional policy board of the American Hospital Association, the board of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the board of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. How’s that for stories of heartwarming and pocket-picking brotherly love?

Four at Four

The afternoon’s news and lasix use in horses open thread.

  1. A Tale of Two Iraqs. There are two differing stories coming from Iraq in today’s papers. The first comes from Joshua Partlow of the Washington Post who reports Members of one U.S. unit are tired, bitter and skeptical after 14 months in a Baghdad district torn by mounting sectarian violence. “Their line of tan Humvees and Bradley Fighting Vehicles creeps through another Baghdad afternoon… A bomb crater blocks one lane, so they cross to the other side, where houses are blackened by fire, shops crumbled into bricks. The remains of a car bomb serve as hideous public art. Sgt. Victor Alarcon’s Humvee rolls into a vast pool of knee-high brown sewage water…”

    Asked if the American endeavor here was worth their sacrifice — 20 soldiers from the battalion have been killed in Baghdad — Alarcon said no: “ vardenafil generico durata I don’t think this place is worth another soldier’s life.

    The second story is from Tina Susman of the Los Angeles Times with Marines declare war on garbage. The U.S. Marines see “trash pickup as the key to maintaining security in Ramadi, where a decision last year by Sunni Arab tribal leaders to turn against insurgents has brought calm to the once-violent capital of Anbar province… The desire for clean streets and pleasant surroundings has overtaken security concerns in Ramadi, where the population has declined by 100,000 residents since the war began four years ago.”

    “This is the fight — sewage, water and trash,” Lt. James Colvin said as he showed the landfill to a visitor. “I was a poor math major in college. I come here and they tell me: ‘OK, fix the sewage system!’ ” said Colvin, remembering how shocked he was to return to Ramadi and find that he could walk down streets that he once dreaded crossing in an armored vehicle. “ But there’s no enemy to hunt down now, so this is our line of attack.

    I think these two different stories explain a lot why the occupation continues and Congress remains divided.

Below the fold today are stories about a Guantánamo military lawyer brave whistle blowing, CIA ‘ghost prisoners’, a conversation with Castro, “Guns of Greed”, and a “bonus” story of delayed justice for 28 African-American soldiers from World War II.

  1. Two stories about Guantánamo Bay and U.S. secret prisons today. The Independent reports a Guantanamo military lawyer breaks ranks to condemn ‘unconscionable’ detention. “An American military lawyer and veteran of dozens of secret Guantanamo tribunals has made a devastating attack on the legal process for determining whether Guantanamo prisoners are ‘enemy combatants’. The whistleblower, an army major inside the military court system which the United States has established at Guantanamo Bay, has described the detention of one prisoner, a hospital administrator from Sudan, as ‘unconscionable’… The officer they interviewed was so frightened of retaliation from the military that they would not allow their name to be used in the statement, nor to reveal whether the person was a man or woman.”

    And the Washington Post reports From CIA jails, inmates fade into obscurity. “On Sept. 6, 2006, President Bush announced that the CIA’s overseas secret prisons had been temporarily emptied and 14 al-Qaeda leaders taken to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But since then, there has been no official accounting of what happened to about 30 other ‘ghost prisoners’ who spent extended time in the custody of the CIA. Some have been secretly transferred to their home countries, where they remain in detention and out of public view, according to interviews in Pakistan and Europe with government officials, human rights groups and lawyers for the detainees. Others have disappeared without a trace and may or may not still be under CIA control.”

  2. The Guardian has “an exclusive extract” from Ignacio Ramonet’s Conversations with Fidel Castro. Here’s one question and Castro’s answer.

    viagra generico 100 mg prezzo piu basso a Firenze Do you agree that terrorism is the biggest threat to the world today?

    Cuba condemned the crime committed on September 11 in no uncertain terms. And we have reiterated our condemnation of terrorism in all its shapes and forms. The US has cynically included Cuba among the countries sponsoring terrorism, but Cuba will never allow its territory to be used for terrorist actions against the people of the US or any other country.

    I agree that terrorism is a serious threat to the world today, but I believe humanity is facing other threats of equal or greater seriousness: the accelerating destruction of the environment; the deepening of poverty; the lack of health care. To all of which one would have to add the hegemonic designs of the only superpower that aspires to become the ruler of the planet, and its arrogant policy of domination.

    Also, Castro said he has given up smoking cigars to “teach by example” to help promote “public health in Cuba”. He wears his uniform “for practical reasons”. He doesn’t “have to put on a tie every day” or decide what to wear.

  3. Today’s “Guns of Greed” is mostly loose ends.

    • The Washington Post reports Agency says Blackwater employee ruling not related to tax status. “The Small Business Administration said yesterday that its ruling that Blackwater Worldwide’s workers are independent contractors instead of company employees should have no bearing on the security contractor’s tax liability… Blackwater classifies its armed guards as independent contractors, allowing it to avoid paying certain federal taxes.”

    • The Danger Room blog at Wired wonders Blackwater = Fire-Fighter? Blackwater “is saying that it wants to help fight California’s forest fires… Brian Bonfiglio, vice president of Blackwater West, notes that the complex’s proposal includes water tanks capable of holding 35,000 gallons. ‘I see a tactical operation center for East County fires,’ he says. ‘Can you imagine how much of a benefit it would be if we were operational now?'”

    • The AP reports UN expert to look into allegations of illegal killings by US military, contractors. “The U.N. expert investigating extrajudicial executions said Friday he plans an official visit to the United States to look into allegations of illegal killings by members of the U.S. military, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as by military contractors like Blackwater. Philip Alston, a professor at New York University law school who has been the U.N.’s independent expert on killings outside the law since 2004, welcomed the positive responses from the United States and Brazil to his requests to visit… During his U.S. visit, Alston said he may also look into the use of the death penalty.” Reuters has more.

    • Lastly, Blackwater warlord Erik Prince visits The Virginian-Pilot as part of his PR tour. The full interview will run on Sunday, but here are some of the paper’s teaser excerpts, Debate ‘more than we bargained for’. Prince: “Getting caught in the plate tectonics of the political fights in Washington is certainly more than we bargained for. We got to where we are not through politics or political connections; we’ve been successful because we executed what our customers needed us to do. We are not policy guys; we’re another tool in the toolbox for the U.S. government to use — or not to use. It’s their choice.”

  4. The Seattle Times reports U.S. Army overturns convictions of Fort Lawton soldiers court-martialed in 1944 after riot, lynching. “In an extremely rare move, the U.S. Army has overturned the convictions of 28 World-War-II soldiers who were court-martialed in 1944 after a riot and lynching at Seattle’s Fort Lawton. The decision, released this morning, found the trial, held in the segregated Army of the time, was ‘fundamentally unfair’ to the African-American soldiers, who were denied access to their attorneys and to critical investigative records… Only two of the 28 soldiers are still alive.”

So, what else is happening?

Admit One

Crossposted from To Us All.  Permission NOT granted to use at this time without express author’s consent.

I’m working on a novel outline for this year’s National Novel Writing Month: NaNoWriMo.

Something wicked this way comes. A synopsis of the plot I’m working on:

A very conservative senator who may or may not resemble Inhofe from OK – known for untreated strain of Bush rabies, anti-science and boot strapping non-torture has a businessman Bush pioneer brother-in-law.  B-I-L has an auto accident (he may or may not have imbibed a beer or two hours before the accident).  He is med-flighted to his state’s premier level one trauma center where he is treated for his traumatic brain injury, multiple fractures, blunt chest and abdominal trauma (of course he doesn’t wear a seat belt, and yes there is a gun rack in his dually -why do you ask?) by a crew of conservative emergency department physicians and nurses.

After maxing out his insurance bennies (with lots of hilarity during the claims denials and appeals process), he incurs enough debt and slowly goes bankrupt.  The senator, meanwhile, of course, is still voting to kill children via S-CHIP vetoes. He follows the twin religions of fundamentalist xtian dominionism and Bush boot strap conservatism.

As B-I-L is discharged and tries to get into a rehab facility to treat his TBI, he rooms with an Iraq veteran who is also suffering from untreated TBI’s who was drummed out of the Army with a Chapter 5-13 general discharge.

More hilarity ensues.

The ending?

Haven’t decided yet – but consider the possibilities: red state turns blue, homelessness, joblessness, homicide, suicide, domestic violence, conversion of the heathen from Repubs to progressives….

Whaddya think?

Also – in the hospital subplot, patient delays based on reimbursement source and diagnosis will predominate, the schism of faux nurse leaders who are organizational prostitutes instead of nurse advocates will have a supporting role, and passive aggressive nurses who blame everyone except themselves for their working conditions (who needs collective bargaining or self-governance?) will get some face time.

Who’s the hero/ heroine?  Stay tuned.

NaNoWriMo begins at 0001 on November 1.  Watch for updates.

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