Fires are Burning

Fires are burning. This was the evening news from Armageddon…

After discovering a suspicious man in a brush area on the San Bernardino campus  of California State University, police attempted to detain a 27-year-old on suspicion of arson.
Following a chase, officers opened fire and killed him, police said.

“They thought there could be the possibility that he’s an arsonist,” Patterson said. The area “is in the path of the fire.”

Four charred bodies were found Thursday in an apparent migrant camp burned by one of the wildfires raging across southern California, authorities said Thursday.

As wildfires were charging across Southern California, nearly two dozen water-dropping helicopters and two massive cargo planes sat idly by, grounded by government rules and bureaucracy.

A news crew was taping a cabinet meeting at the White House as the president was giving a briefing on the California wildfires. The news crew taped Cheney as he appeared to be nodding off.

“There’s all kinds of time for historians to compare this response to that response,” Bush said during a tour of the state’s fire-ravaged communities.

A lot of people are going to lose their homes today,” San Diego Fire Capt. Lisa Blake predicted earlier.

According to estimates, nearly 1 million southern Californians have been displaced in the biggest evacuation in state history as a result of at least 16 simultaneous wildfires. More than 350,000 houses have been evacuated.

People who need it can get help with “home reprayer – repair,” said the president, handing out the FEMA phone number and Web-site for victims of the wildfires.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger is right. These fires are going to go out… but there are still going to be needs and concerns,” Bush said. “We’re not going to forget you in Washington, D.C.”

These fires are going to go out, and hard work will remain, but I am not counting on Bush to set things right. After the jump, I will tell you what you can do right now to help the people hurt by this crisis.

I have little faith in Bush’s ‘reprayer.’ I have seen his work in the past.

Instead, I will pass along the recommendations of California Democratic Party Chair Art Torres.

safe prednisone dosage 5mg ldn Give Food and Household Goods
The San Diego Democratic Party is collecting food and household goods, such as canned meats, fruits, vegetables as well as cleaning supplies, diapers, detergent and personal hygiene products for families in San Diego. You can also send a gift card for a local supermarket chain such as Ralphs, Vons or Albertsons.

Donated items may be delivered or mailed to: 8304 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite 108, San Diego, CA 92111 or by calling (858) 277-3367. 

vardenafil generico Palermo Donate Other Goods or Money
The San Diego Democratic Party has partnered with the San Diego Food Bank, which has a network of more than 260 agencies throughout the San Diego area. You can order goods directly from the Food Bank’s Virtual Market or make a monetary donation.

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While there are many things we can do right now to help, there will also be a need in the coming weeks and months for assistance with the rebuilding efforts in the affected communities. Sign-up today through Democrats Work so we can keep you posted on our future efforts once the fires have been brought under control. 

The Virtual Food Bank is a great way to help out from wherever you are.

I am sure that Bush will make sure that Mel Gibson is safely back in his home, and that the producers of ‘24‘ are compensated for the delays in their shooting schedule, but I think that when it comes to people who were already struggling it will be a different story.

I am part of Democrats Work in Colorado, and I am very proud to see my counterparts in California being such an active part of this effort.

Fires are Burning

This was the evening news from Armageddon…

After discovering a suspicious man in a brush area on the San Bernardino campus  of California State University, police attempted to detain a 27-year-old on suspicion of arson.
Following a chase, officers opened fire and killed him, police said.

“They thought there could be the possibility that he’s an arsonist,” Patterson said. The area “is in the path of the fire.”

Four charred bodies were found Thursday in an apparent migrant camp burned by one of the wildfires raging across southern California, authorities said Thursday.

As wildfires were charging across Southern California, nearly two dozen water-dropping helicopters and two massive cargo planes sat idly by, grounded by government rules and bureaucracy.

A news crew was taping a cabinet meeting at the White House as the president was giving a briefing on the California wildfires. The news crew taped Cheney as he appeared to be nodding off.

“There’s all kinds of time for historians to compare this response to that response,” Bush said during a tour of the state’s fire-ravaged communities.

A lot of people are going to lose their homes today,” San Diego Fire Capt. Lisa Blake predicted earlier.

According to estimates, nearly 1 million southern Californians have been displaced in the biggest evacuation in state history as a result of at least 16 simultaneous wildfires. More than 350,000 houses have been evacuated.

People who need it can get help with “home reprayer – repair,” said the president, handing out the FEMA phone number and Web-site for victims of the wildfires.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger is right. These fires are going to go out… but there are still going to be needs and concerns,” Bush said. “We’re not going to forget you in Washington, D.C.”

These fires are going to go out, and hard work will remain, but I am not counting on Bush to set things right. After the jump, I will tell you what you can do right now to help the people hurt by this crisis.

I have little faith in Bush’s ‘reprayer.’ I have seen his work in the past.

Instead, I will pass along the recommendations of California Democratic Party Chair Art Torres.

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=acquistare-viagra-generico-100-mg-consegna-rapida-a-Bologna Give Food and Household Goods
The San Diego Democratic Party is collecting food and household goods, such as canned meats, fruits, vegetables as well as cleaning supplies, diapers, detergent and personal hygiene products for families in San Diego. You can also send a gift card for a local supermarket chain such as Ralphs, Vons or Albertsons.

Donated items may be delivered or mailed to: 8304 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite 108, San Diego, CA 92111 or by calling (858) 277-3367. 

prescription levitra professional Donate Other Goods or Money
The San Diego Democratic Party has partnered with the San Diego Food Bank, which has a network of more than 260 agencies throughout the San Diego area. You can order goods directly from the Food Bank’s Virtual Market or make a monetary donation.

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=cialis-generico-non-funziona Roll Up Your Sleeves 
While there are many things we can do right now to help, there will also be a need in the coming weeks and months for assistance with the rebuilding efforts in the affected communities. Sign-up today through Democrats Work so we can keep you posted on our future efforts once the fires have been brought under control. 

The Virtual Food Bank is a great way to help out from wherever you are.

I am sure that Bush will make sure that Mel Gibson is safely back in his home, and that the producers of ‘24‘ are compensated for the delays in their shooting schedule, but I think that when it comes to people who were already struggling it will be a different story.

I am part of Democrats Work in Colorado, and I am very proud to see my counterparts in California being such an active part of this effort.

UN Environment Programme: The future of humanity is at risk

It’s more than global warming and climate change.

From the Guardian:

arizona accutane guild child custody legal The future of humanity has been put at risk by a failure to address environmental problems including climate change, species extinction and a growing human population, according to a new UN report.

In a sweeping audit of the world’s environmental wellbeing, the study by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warns that governments are still failing to recognise the seriousness of major environmental issues.

It doesn’t get much more blunt, although don’t expect to hear much about it from the corporate media.

The study, involving more than 1,400 scientists, found that human consumption had far outstripped available resources. Each person on Earth now requires a third more land to supply his or her needs than the planet can supply, it finds.

Meanwhile, biodiversity is seriously threatened by the impact of human activities: 30% of amphibians, 23% of mammals and 12% of birds are under threat of extinction, while one in 10 of the world’s large rivers runs dry every year before it reaches the sea.

This is a follow-up to a similar study, made in 1987. It’s a progress report.

As the UNEP press release explains:

GEO-4, the latest in UNEP’s series of flagship reports, assesses the current state of the global atmosphere, land, water and biodiversity, describes the changes since 1987, and identifies priorities for action. GEO-4 is the most comprehensive UN report on the environment, prepared by about 390 experts and reviewed by more than 1 000 others across the world.

viagra generico 50 mg miglior prezzo pagamento online a Milano It salutes the world’s progress in tackling some relatively straightforward problems, with the environment now much closer to mainstream politics everywhere. But despite these advances, there remain the harder-to-manage issues, the “persistent” problems. Here, GEO-4 says: “There are no major issues raised in Our Common Future for which the foreseeable trends are favourable.”

The report says there is a need for, and a lack of, international leadership. These problems are global, and intertwined.

GEO-4 recalls the Brundtland Commission’s statement that the world does not face separate crises – the “environmental crisis”, “development crisis”, and “energy crisis” are all one. This crisis includes not just climate change, extinction rates and hunger, but other problems driven by growing human numbers, the rising consumption of the rich and the desperation of the poor.

Examples are:

– decline of fish stocks;

– loss of fertile land through degradation;

– unsustainable pressure on resources;

– dwindling amount of fresh water available for humans and other creatures to share; and

– risk that environmental damage could pass unknown points of no return.

Futhermore:

-to meet the Millenium Development Goal on hunger, food production must double by 2050;

-fresh water is declining, but water usage will rise 50% in developing countries, and 18% in developed countries, by 2025;

-water quality is also declining, with increased water pollution;

Globally, contaminated water remains the greatest single cause of human disease and death.

-although fish consumption has more than tripled since 1961, fish stocks are being depleted at a rate 250% above sustainability;

-species are going extinct at a rate a hundred times faster than that shown in the fossil record;

-the sixth major extinction is under way, and this one is the fault of humans; 

-land degradation, desertification, urban growth, pollution, destruction of ecosystems, and waste are increasing problems.

The UNEP report includes four possible outcomes, by the year 2050. It makes clear that some environmental damage may be irreversible, but:

Our common future depends on our actions today, not tomorrow or some time in the future.

The report is available here. It’s conclusion is not without hope.

According to the press release:

The GEO-4 report concludes that “while governments are expected to take the lead, other stakeholders are just as important to ensure success in achieving sustainable development. The need couldn’t be more urgent and the time couldn’t be more opportune, with our enhanced understanding of the challenges we face, to act now to safeguard our own survival and that of future generations” ends.

It doesn’t get bigger. It doesn’t get more important. As we look to the 2008 election, there is no higher priority. We want to hear from our potential leaders on so many different issues, but this must be number one.

Looking to the Root Causes of Migration: NAFTA

(More goodness from duke @ 2pm – promoted by buhdydharma )

Over the last few years, over 1000 migrants have perished making the hazardous journey through the desert to make new lives in “el Norte.” Some were small coffee growers from Vera Cruz, chicken farmers from Jalisco, or vegetable growers from Guadalajara. Others were indigenous subsistence farmers from the Chiapas highlands no longer able to eek out a living. Still others were Guatemalan migrant workers who could not find work on either side of Mexico’s border and jumped on El Tren de Muerte (The Death Train) in Tapachula for the first leg of their journey, boarding alongside Salvadorans escaping decades of political upheaval and Hondurans escaping crushing poverty.

Between 6 and 7 million people have taken the arduous journey north, many within the last ten years, most of them coming from poor agriultural areas that are no longer able to support their populations. Yet, with all the debate about reforming US immigration policy and securing the borders, we have not heard one solid proposal to address the root causes of this massive migration.

The question of why so many must leave their homes and families to simply survive is rarely mentioned, but remains the missing piece in the comprehensive immigration reform puzzle.

Most people recognize that the economic conditions in Central and South America drive much of the current migration. It’s widely acknowledged that most sender nations suffer from economic inequities that leave the vast majority of their populations living in abject poverty while a small elite ruling class controls most of the wealth.

In Mexico for instance, nearly half of its 106 million people live in poverty, yet it has more billionaires than Switzerland.

But what has fostered these inequities and in fact exacerbated them over the last ten or fifteen is not widely discussed. It is this deeper understanding of the complexities of the issue that seems to be absent from much of the debate.

From the immigration hawks we hear that a mix of government corruption and an inability or unwillingness on the part of people from these countries to effect change has led to the problems in this region. Lou Dobbs tells us that a greedy Mexican government intentionally ships its poor here to avoid upheaval. Others admonish the undocumented migrants living in the US, suggesting they return home and work to fix their own countries rather than look for acceptance here.

Those supporting comprehensive reform skirt around the issue of causation, looking instead for methods to regulate and accommodate this increasing flow of migrants. Looking to change or shuffle quotas and grant temporary worker status to a large percentage of newly arriving migrants, their plans are also flawed and incomplete. They don’t address the reasons this migration is taking place.

But if we are to ever effect meaningful reform of our flawed immigration system we must start to face the tough questions and look for real solutions. We must start to look at causation and how to change the current paradigm.

This video, produced by the Teamsters Union, long-time opponents of NAFTA, looks at one of these root causes of migration.

Admittedly, this Teamster produced video, like everything that comes from the forces at play on the greater Washington stage, presents a picture painted by those with an agenda that doesn’t always coincide with the greater concerns of migrants. But with that said, it certainly raises some of the right questions …..questions we need to start to address.

Pony Party, phone-it-in Friday

Videos from “how it should have ended”….

visit how it should have ended.com for more….

Today is Rose’s last day of therapy, she returns to school next week.  I may sleep all day Monday, but eventually next week I’ll be baaaaack…

Please don’t recommend the pony party…

~73v

Pledge: Become A Modern Day Warrior For Indigenous Rights (Updated & Edited)

( – promoted by winter rabbit)

NOT VANISHED, JUST OVER-LOOKED

“Viewing Native Americans as a people of the past is the most accessible, convenient perception for Americans.  While I believe it is important to create images that are historically, culturally correct and support the preservation of culture, I also believe it is imperative that a modern, contemporary representation of Native culture needs to surface in the mainstream.

A web of land theft in a “a new kind of Indian war” is taking place. Non Indians’ racism and genocide denial, who engage in attempting to steal tribal sovereignty through the court system, ignore an obvious question. Where would they meet to practice their religion, a white Caucasian word, if their churches were stolen, condemned, and being used to drill for oil and uranium? The “spirit” seems to be this: “What one group calls genocide, another group may call progress.” Let’s try to get an overview of the “progress” in the web of land theft in the “New kind of Indian war.”

August 26th  through the 29th was the SYMPOSIUM ON THE SETTLEMENT OF INDIAN RESERVED WATER RIGHTS CLAIMS (a good overview is here).

I am speculating, but I think that one reason for the Symposium on the Settlement of Indian Reserved Water Rights Claims was because of this:

Radiation Warning Signs Placed on Cheyenne River

Red Shirt Village — Residents of Red Shirt village on the northwest corner of the Pine Ridge Reservation have put up signs warning people of the high nuclear radiation levels found in the Cheyenne River.

Which, I assume in part resulted in this resolution being made.

Defenders of the Black Hills: a group of volunteers without racial or tribal boundaries working to ensure that the United States government upholds the Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,
the GPTCA affirms that any person, agency or entity including federal, state, and county governments, or corporations, businesses or companies who shall cause any nuclear pollution, or contamination to enter the confines of the Indian Reservation Homelands should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and

NOW, BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED,
the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association calls upon all other Tribes and Indian Nations to join with us to protect our Reservation Homelands, to ensure that no damage will come to the people, the culture, the environment including the air and water and economy of the Tribes of the Great Plains because of uranium mining or other processing of contaminants in the region of the Great Plains Region.

Furthermore, I assume that this was created to combat the devastating affects of land theft and pollution in the above case, at the very least:

The Tribal Supreme Court Project is part of the Tribal Sovereignty Protection Initiative and is staffed by the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). The Project was formed in 2001 in response to a series of U.S. Supreme Court cases that negatively affected tribal sovereignty.

This information at the international level, beginning with the Cobo Report, is crucial to understand in conjunction with all the above.

Chapter 6: International developments in the recognition of the rights of Indigenous peoples

The Cobo report, as it is commonly known, was prepared over the next decade. It was submitted to the Sub-Commission in 24 instalments between 1981 and 1984 with its conclusions and final recommendations compiled in a consolidated volume in 1987. Underpinning the report’s detailed conclusions and recommendations is the recognition that, despite the great diversity of their cultures and systems, Indigenous peoples throughout the world have common experiences of discrimination, oppression and exploitation.

– snip –

– recognition that Indigenous peoples and nations are subjects of international law and must be included within international law processes;

– recognition of Indigenous peoples’ special relationship to land and its integral link to their beliefs, customs, traditions and cultures and for efforts to be taken to maintain or restore that relationship;

– the ratification and implementation by States of international human rights treaties such as those on genocide, anti-slavery, racial discrimination, civil and political, and economic, social and cultural rights; and

– the establishment of a working group on Indigenous peoples at the United Nations under the Sub-Commission.[12]

The chairperson altered this, yet some were still against it (emphasis & underline mine).

SPEAKERS CALL FOR INCREASED INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION OF INDIGENOUS RIGHTS,

Recognizing that most of the world’s remaining natural resources — minerals, freshwater, potential energy sources and more — are found within indigenous peoples’ territories, the sixth annual session of the Permanent Forum has brought indigenous groups together with representatives of Governments, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations agencies to state their views, voice concerns and suggest solutions regarding their lands, territories and natural resources.

We know how that went, don’t we?

It falied in the U.S.

Here is more information about it.

Since we’re talking about a web of land theft and “a new kind of Indian war,” I’m going to make this ending short and sweet about something more well known. I don’t agree with the Chief of the Cherokee Nation in regards to the freedman, but I really don’t agree with Diane Watson. Let me say why by posing a question which I believe reveals Watson’s intent in light of the fact that her “proposal” has so much support, while vital issues as Indian Health Care have failed. My question is based completely upon my own speculation.

Who gets the casinos after the Cherokee lose the right to use them?
Maybe it will be the Cheyenne State of Oklahoma and the U.S. Government. Should the world end their entire relationship with the U.S. based solely on the current sitting president? Right, please sign the pledge below.

Click on: Take A Stand! Click Here!

We “will accept nothing less than the U.S. government keeping the promises made to Native Americans.”

Docudhrama Times Saturady Oct. 27

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=comprare-levitra-online-sicuro-Palermo This is an Open Thread: Don’t forget to Chat.

go USA

‘I Don’t Think This Place Is Worth Another Soldier’s Life’
By Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, October 27, 2007; Page A01

BAGHDAD, Oct. 26 Their line of tan Humvees and Bradley Fighting Vehicles creeps through another Baghdad afternoon. At this pace, an excruciating slowness, they strain to see everything, hoping the next manhole cover, the next rusted barrel, does not hide another bomb. A few bullets pass overhead, but they don’t worry much about those.

“I hate this road,” someone says over the radio.
They stop, look around. The streets of Sadiyah are deserted again. To the right, power lines slump down into the dirt. To the left, what was a soccer field is now a pasture of trash, combusting and smoking in the sun. Packs of skinny wild dogs trot past walls painted with slogans of sectarian hate.

Merrill Lynch Weighs Ouster of Top Officer
By LANDON THOMAS Jr. and JENNY ANDERSON
Published: October 27, 2007
The board of Merrill Lynch, its frustration mounting over the brokerage firm’s credit losses and the decision-making of its embattled chief executive, E. Stanley O’Neal, has begun to actively consider whether to replace him and with whom, according to people briefed on the board’s deliberations.
The discussions underscore Mr. O’Neal’s precarious position. Once credited with turning Merrill Lynch around, Mr. O’Neal is struggling to retain his job in the wake of a third-quarter loss of $2.3 billion and an $8.4 billion charge for failed credit and mortgage-related investments.

From CIA Jails, Inmates Fade Into Obscurity
By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, October 27, 2007; Page A01

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — 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.

U.S. Army overturns convictions of Fort Lawton soldiers court-martialed in 1944 after riot, lynching

By Jonathan Martin

Seattle Times staff reporter

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.

Middle East

Turkey: Wait-and-see approach in Iraq
ISTANBUL, Turkey – Turkey’s leadership will hold off on ordering an offensive against Kurdish guerrilla bases in northern Iraq until the prime minister visits Washington early next month, the military chief said Friday.
The country’s civilian leaders, meanwhile, said they were not satisfied with proposals from Iraq’s U.S.-backed government for dealing with Turkish Kurd separatist fighters who take shelter across the border.

Discontent boils among Egypt workers
By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 27, 2007
EL MAHALLA EL KUBRA, EGYPT — President Hosni Mubarak faces discontent from many quarters, but perhaps the most intense criticism resonates from the banners and shaking fists of militant workers who have broken away from government-controlled unions and staged sporadic strikes across the nation.

The Egyptian government frequently muffles free speech and political dissent, but these ragged and often disorganized picket lines present a widening crisis for a president viewed as detached from the working class and unable to lift wages and stem double-digit inflation.

Europe

Europe faces tough choices on Iran
LONDON — With tough new U.S. sanctions against Iran now in place, the next step falls to European nations: Will they agree on biting measures of their own, the only way to make the unilateral U.S. action truly effective?

European officials expressed worry Friday that the Bush administration’s designation of Iranian agencies and firms as supporters of terrorism and purveyors of weapons threatens efforts to bring Iran back into the fold of diplomacy. That could erect a formidable barricade against relations with Tehran for years to come, some analysts warned.

“It will make things much more difficult,” said Alex Bigham of the London-based Foreign Policy Center, echoing the uneasy sentiment across the continent about the go-it-alone U.S. stand. “Obviously this is about Bush trying to be tough and ratchet up the pressure on Iran, but also it’s kind of trying to lock in his successor.

Air France strike set to continue Saturday
ROISSY AIRPORT, France (AFP) – Air France flights continued to be disrupted Saturday after talks between management and cabin staff striking for more pay collapsed leaving hundreds of passengers stranded.
There was a glimmer of hope, however, as a union source said negotiations with the airline’s management would resume at 0900 GMT on Saturday.

There were dozens of flight cancellations Friday on the second day of the strike, with more than half of long-haul flights as well as some 50 medium-haul services out of Paris’ main international airport Charles de Gaulle-Roissy cancelled.

Latin America

Court drops charges vs. Pinochet family
SANTIAGO, Chile – A Chilean appeals court on Friday dropped corruption charges against former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s widow and four of his children, who had been accused of misuse of state funds related to multimillion-dollar overseas bank accounts.
The Santiago Court of Appeals also dropped charges against 10 of the late dictator’s former associates and aides, court President Juan Eduardo Fuentes said.

Film casts light on rough justice in Rio
This heavily armed group wears black uniforms and their faces are often masked, and their symbol includes a skull with crossed pistols.
It is not some illegal paramilitary force but an elite battalion of the police in Rio de Janeiro known as Bope, the Battalion for Special Police Operations.

They were created to deal with kidnappings, but their job now is to take on the most dangerous drug gangs in the country, a battle fought with high-calibre weapons in the city’s favelas or shanty towns.

Africa

Nigerian court grants jailed Biafran leader three-month bail
ABUJA (AFP) – A Nigerian court Friday granted the jailed Biafran separatist leader, Ralph Uwazuruike, three months bail to enable him attend his mother’s funeral, court officials said.
Presiding judge Binta Murtala-Nyako of the Abuja court said the temporary bail was granted following an affidavit by a local chief from Uwazuruike’s home who said he was required by tradition to be physically present for the funeral.

Rebel snub threatens Darfur talks
UN-African Union talks aimed at ending the four-year war in Sudan’s Darfur region are due to open in Libya later on Saturday.

But two of Darfur’s main rebel groups have decided to boycott the talks in a row over invited factions, despite UN Security Council sanction threats.

The absence of key rebel groups could mean the talks may have to be delayed, says the BBC’s Amber Henshaw in Darfur.

Asia

Myanmar junta frees more protesters
YANGON (Reuters) – Myanmar’s junta has freed 87 more people arrested during last month’s crackdown, including more than 50 members of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), party spokesman Nyan Win said.
As well as 12 monks and 14 students, the released detainees included Hla Pe, an 81-year-old NLD Central Executive Committee member, and Tayzaw Bartha, a 76-year-old Buddhist monk arrested in early August for staging a lone protest outside City Hall.

Government at Odds Over Declaring End to Korean War
Cheong Wa Dae appears to be at odds with the Foreign Ministry over the question of what a declaration of an end to the Korean War should amount to, and who should declare it. In a nutshell, the presidential office appears to look at a mammoth diplomatic task before President Roh Moo-hyun’s term expires in four months, and preferably before the December presidential election, while the Foreign Ministry is looking to the reality of international relations.

Cheong Wa Dae or The Blue House is the official residence for the President of South Korea

Docudharma Times Friday Oct. 26

This an Open Thread: Speak



USA

Chicago Aldermen Request Police Complaint List

By SUSAN SAULNY

Published: October 26, 2007


CHICAGO, Oct. 25 – With the Chicago Police Department mired in accusations of misconduct, a majority of aldermen took the unusual step on Thursday of asking a federal judge for access to the names of officers who were the subjects of the most complaints.


Mayor Richard M. Daley, who opposes releasing the information, accused the elected officials of grandstanding and disloyalty to the police force.

Wildfires Wane as Bush Visits California

EL CAJON, Calif., Oct. 25 — Continued weakening of the seasonal Santa Ana winds allowed firefighters to step up their battle against devastating wildfires Thursday, though thousands of homes remained under threat from advancing flames and the death toll rose with the discovery of six bodies.


“The fires are winding down. We’re starting to get control, except for the major fires in San Diego,” said Bill Peters, spokesman for the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “We’ll get them out, shifting more and more resources down there. And the weather helps.”

Officials balked on ’05 Blackwater inquiry

Even as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended her department’s oversight of private security contractors, new evidence surfaced Thursday that the U.S. sought to conceal details of Blackwater shootings of Iraqi civilians more than two years ago.


In one instance, internal e-mails show that State Department officials tried to deflect a 2005 Los Angeles Times inquiry into an alleged killing of an Iraqi civilian by Blackwater guards.


Middle East

Iran defiant at new US sanctions

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said the sanctions were doomed to failure.


The US move came as a senior American diplomat accused Russia and China of aiding and abetting Iran’s military.


US Assistant Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said Russia should stop selling weapons to Iran and China should stop investing in the country.

Al-Qaida takes issue with Al-Jazeera

CAIRO, Egypt – Al-Qaida sympathizers have unleashed a torrent of anger against Al-Jazeera television, accusing it of misrepresenting Osama bin Laden’s latest audiotape by airing excerpts in which he criticizes mistakes by insurgents in Iraq.

Users of a leading Islamic militant Web forum posted thousands of insults against the pan-Arab station for focusing on excerpts in which bin Laden criticizes insurgents, including his followers.


Europe

Putin warns Europe ahead of summit

MAFRA, Portugal (AFP) – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin made a new warning to Europe over the Iran nuclear standoff and Kosovo’s push for independence ahead of a summit with EU leaders Friday.

The European Union had been hoping to patch up differences with Putin at the summit. But the Russian leader outlined sharp differences as he arrived, likening supporters of tough policies against Iran to “mad people wielding razor blades” and calling for “patience” on Kosovo’s future.

Lithuanian mayor bans gay rally

Over 200 gays, lesbians and transsexuals attended the meeting.


Delegates inside a local bar found it difficult to breathe after the smoke bombs were thrown, but had to stay inside because of safety concerns.


The event was to be part of a week of events organised by ILGA Europe, a gay rights group based in Brussels.


Latin America

Rising hopes for Argentine first lady

SAN JUSTO, Argentina – Most polls project first lady Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will crush 13 rivals Sunday to replace her husband as Argentina’s president. But no matter how easy her win, what follows will be tough: easing poverty, inflation and unemployment.

In San Justo, a gritty Buenos Aires suburb of more than 1 million people, the voters crying “Cristina! Cristina!” at one of her final rallies besieged her with hand-scrawled messages on slips of paper, pleading for jobs, better schools, better roads.

Many candidates in danger in Colombia

EL DONCELLO, Colombia – Jair Diaz is one of the brave ones. After leftist rebels gunned down two city councilmen, most other politicians fled this town in the shadow of Colombia’s rebel-controlled southern jungles.

Despite death threats and pleas from his family, the 36-year-old accountant refuses to drop his mayoral bid.


Africa

Nigerian militants attack Italy-owned oil platform

LAGOS (AFP) – Armed militants attacked an Italian-owned offshore oil platform in Nigeria early Friday, industry sources and the Italian government said.

No details about casualties in the attack in the volatile and oil-rich Rivers State were immediately given.


The militants targeted an offshore platform owned by Agip, a unit of Italian oil major ENI, oil industry sources said.

Sudan: Little Hope for Success Ahead of Darfur Talks

Long-awaited peace talks between Sudan’s government and rebel groups from the country’s war-torn Darfur region are due to begin in the Libyan port city of Sirte Saturday.


But before negotiations have even started, an upsurge in fighting — together with signs of increasing splits on both sides of the negotiating table and certain insurgents boycotting the talks altogether — have dealt a body blow to faint hopes of success.


Asia

Pakistan troops attack rebel cleric’s stronghold

IMAMDEHRI, Pakistan (AFP) – Troops surrounded a militant cleric’s hideout in northwest Pakistan Friday, fighting heavy clashes with his supporters a day after a deadly bombing, officials and witnesses said.

The battle erupted in the scenic Swat valley in North West Frontier Province, the base of radical religious leader Maulana Fazlullah who has been driving a fierce campaign to introduce pro-Taliban laws.

Philippine Pardon Strains Antigraft Effort

By JAMES HOOKWAY

October 26, 2007


When former Philippine President Joseph Estrada was convicted of corruption and sentenced to life in prison last month, it was welcomed by many Filipinos as a first step toward promoting more accountability in the country’s graft-ridden political culture.


Yesterday, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo pardoned Mr. Estrada, leading some to suggest that political expediency would continue to outweigh the merits of lasting change in how the Philippines is governed.

What are you reading?

Today, I give you the usual list.

If you like to trade books, try BookMooch.

cfk has bookflurries on Weds. nights
pico has literature for kossacks on Tues. nights

What are you reading?  is crossposted to DailyKos

Just finished:
Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett.  I’d read this before, it’s one of my favorite Discworld novels.  Outstanding.

John Adams by David McCullough.

Last week:
An excellent book about a fascinating man.  The more I read about this era, the more I am impressed by the fathers, but the less I understand the Jefferson cult.  I like Adams more. 

Continuing with
How Mathematicians Think by William Byers.

Last week:
Fascinating ideas about ambiguity, paradox, and math.
Really quite an amazing work, and relatively accessible.  I recommend it to anyone interested in math. Some of the later chapters get into some less accessible math, but I think they can be skipped around, without losing too much. 

This week: I’ve read about 10 explanations of what exactly Euler’s formula (e ^ i*pi = -1) actually means.  I understand the arguments, but I still don’t really get it, intuitively.  On the other hand, this book has one of  the clearest explanations of the roots of unity that I’ve seen. 

Causality by Judea Pearl.  Fascinating but deep.

Intro to Probability Theory by Hoel, Port, and Stone.  A good text.

The Elements of Statistical Learning by Trevor Hastie and Robert Tibshirani.  An in-depth look at a wide range of statistical techniques.  Beautifully produced.

Just started
The Politics of Congressional Elections by Gary Jacobson

The light fantastic by Terry Pratchett.  More Discworld fun.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

The muses are ancient.  The inspirations for our stories were said to be born from them.  Muses of song and dance, or poetry and prose, of comedy and tragedy, of the inward and the outward.  In one version they are Calliope, Euterpe and Terpsichore, Erato and Clio, Thalia and Melpomene, Polyhymnia and Urania.

It has also been traditional to name a tenth muse.  Plato declared Sappho to be the tenth muse, the muse of women poets.  Others have been suggested throughout the centuries.  I don’t have a name for one, but I do think there should be a muse for the graphical arts.  And maybe there should be many more.

Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…

In 1992 I learned to speak my truths.  They were tentative at first, hardly more than notes about the reality of my life.  Later some of them became poems.  Still later, more poems were added to add the view of hindsight.  I’ve tried to arrange them into a cohesive whole.  Maybe it works.  Maybe it has more meaning this way.

My second oldest poem, with more newish art.  I once pointed to this as a possible second career writing for Hallmark…or maybe anti-Hallmark.

A Transition through Poetry V

Art Link
More Blues

Senses

Tears cloud the vision
Silence enshrouds the ears
Touching is denied
Taste and smell are dulled
Pain pierces the heart
Loneliness hammers at the brain
This is how a friendship ends

–Robyn Elaine Serven
–June, 1992

I know you have talent.  What sometimes is forgotten is that being practical is a talent.  I have a paucity for that sort of talent in many situations, though it turns out that I’m a pretty darn good cook.  🙂 

Let your talent bloom.  You can share it here.  Encourage others to let it bloom inside them as well.

Won’t you share your words or art, your sounds or visions, your thoughts scientific or philosophic, the comedy or tragedy of your days, the stories of doing and making?  And be excellent to one another!

How Does This Happen? Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act Passes!

Democrats from CA want “thought crimes” and transgressive behavior to be declared terrorism.  On 10/23/04 HR 1955 passed in the house by a 2/3rds majority.  I thought this was a joke.  Apparently not…

Yeah, yeah.  You don’t like people to post whole articles.  I just got home from class and I am exhausted. PLEASE read this article.  It’s mind boggling, on many levels.  Like, what the fuck are Dems doing sponsoring this bullshit, and what the hell is congress doing passing it by a 2/3rds majority?  Read the article and decide for yourselves. 

House Passes Thought Crime Prevention Bill
Lee Rogers
Rogue Government
October 25, 2007

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1955 titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This bill is one of the most blatant attacks against the Constitution yet and actually defines thought crimes as homegrown terrorism. If passed into law, it will also establish a commission and a Center of Excellence to study and defeat so called thought criminals. Unlike previous anti-terror legislation, this bill specifically targets the civilian population of the United States and uses vague language to define homegrown terrorism. Amazingly, 404 of our elected representatives from both the Democrat and Republican parties voted in favor of this bill. There is little doubt that this bill is specifically targeting the growing patriot community that is demanding the restoration of the Constitution. First let’s take a look at the definitions of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism as defined in Section 899A of the bill.

The definition of violent radicalization uses vague language to define this term of promoting any belief system that the government considers to be an extremist agenda. Since the bill doesn’t specifically define what an extremist belief system is, it is entirely up to the interpretation of the government. Considering how much the government has done to destroy the Constitution they could even define Ron Paul supporters as promoting an extremist belief system. Literally, the government according to this definition can define whatever they want as an extremist belief system. Essentially they have defined violent radicalization as thought crime. The definition as defined in the bill is shown below.

(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term violent radicalization’ means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.

The definition of homegrown terrorism uses equally vague language to further define thought crime. The bill includes the planned use of force or violence as homegrown terrorism which could be interpreted as thinking about using force or violence. Not only that but the definition is so vaguely defined, that petty crimes could even fall into the category of homegrown terrorism. The definition as defined in the bill is shown below.

(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term homegrown terrorism’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Section 899B of the bill goes over the findings of Congress as it pertains to homegrown terrorism. Particularly alarming is that the bill mentions the Internet as a main source for terrorist propaganda. The bill even mentions streams in obvious reference to many of the patriot and pro-constitution Internet radio networks that have been formed. It also mentions that homegrown terrorists span all ages and races indicating that the Congress is stating that everyone is a potential terrorist. Even worse is that Congress states in their findings that they should look at draconian police states like Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom as models to defeat homegrown terrorists. Literally, these findings of Congress fall right in line with the growing patriot community.

The biggest joke of all is that this section also says that any measure to prevent violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism should not violate the constitutional rights of citizens. However, the definition of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism as they are defined in section 899A are themselves unconstitutional. The Constitution does not allow the government to arrest people for thought crimes, so any promises not to violate the constitutional rights of citizens are already broken by their own definitions.

SEC. 899B. FINDINGS.

The Congress finds the following:

(1) The development and implementation of methods and processes that can be utilized to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States is critical to combating domestic terrorism.

(2) The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.

(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.

(4) While the United States must continue its vigilant efforts to combat international terrorism, it must also strengthen efforts to combat the threat posed by homegrown terrorists based and operating within the United States.

(5) Understanding the motivational factors that lead to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence is a vital step toward eradicating these threats in the United States.

(6) The potential rise of self radicalized, unaffiliated terrorists domestically cannot be easily prevented through traditional Federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts, and requires the incorporation of State and local solutions.

(7) Individuals prone to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence span all races, ethnicities, and religious beliefs, and individuals should not be targeted based solely on race, ethnicity, or religion.

(8) Any measure taken to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism in the United States should not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights and civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.

(9) Certain governments, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have significant experience with homegrown terrorism and the United States can benefit from lessons learned by those nations.

Section 899C calls for a commission on the prevention of violent radicalization and ideologically based violence. The commission will consist of ten members appointed by various individuals that hold different positions in government. Essentially, this is a commission that will examine and report on how they are going to deal with violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism. So basically, the commission is being formed specifically on how to deal with thought criminals in the United States. The bill requires that the commission submit their final report 18 months following the commission’s first meeting as well as submit interim reports every 6 months leading up to the final report. Below is the bill’s defined purpose of the commission. Amazingly they even define one of the purposes of the commission to determine the causes of lone wolf violent radicalization.

(b) Purpose- The purposes of the Commission are the following:

(1) Examine and report upon the facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States, including United States connections to non-United States persons and networks, violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in prison, individual or lone wolf’ violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence, and other faces of the phenomena of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence that the Commission considers important.

(2) Build upon and bring together the work of other entities and avoid unnecessary duplication, by reviewing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of-

(A) the Center of Excellence established or designated under section 899D, and other academic work, as appropriate;

(B) Federal, State, local, or tribal studies of, reviews of, and experiences with violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence; and

(C) foreign government studies of, reviews of, and experiences with violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence.

Section 899D of the bill establishes a Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States. Essentially, this will be a Department of Homeland Security affiliated institution that will study and determine how to defeat thought criminals.

Section 899E of the bill discusses how the government is going to defeat violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism through international cooperation. As stated in the findings section earlier in the legislation, they will unquestionably seek the advice of countries with draconian police states like the United Kingdom to determine how to deal with this growing threat of thought crime.

Possibly the most ridiculous section of the bill is Section 899F which states how they plan on protecting civil rights and civil liberties while preventing ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism. Here is what the section says.

SEC. 899F. PROTECTING CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES WHILE PREVENTING IDEOLOGICALLY-BASED VIOLENCE AND HOMEGROWN TERRORISM.

(a) In General- The Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to prevent ideologically-based violence and homegrown terrorism as described herein shall not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, and civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.

(b) Commitment to Racial Neutrality- The Secretary shall ensure that the activities and operations of the entities created by this subtitle are in compliance with the Department of Homeland Security’s commitment to racial neutrality.

(c) Auditing Mechanism- The Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Officer of the Department of Homeland Security will develop and implement an auditing mechanism to ensure that compliance with this subtitle does not result in a disproportionate impact, without a rational basis, on any particular race, ethnicity, or religion and include the results of its audit in its annual report to Congress required under section 705.’.

(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of contents in section 1(b) of such Act is amended by inserting at the end of the items relating to title VIII the following:

It states in the first subsection that in general the efforts to defeat thought crime shall not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights and civil liberties of the United States citizens and lawful permanent residents. How does this protect constitutional rights if they use vague language such as in general that prefaces the statement? This means that the Department of Homeland Security does not have to abide by the Constitution in their attempts to prevent so called homegrown terrorism.

This bill is completely insane. It literally allows the government to define any and all crimes including thought crime as violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism. Obviously, this legislation is unconstitutional on a number of levels and it is clear that all 404 representatives who voted in favor of this bill are traitors and should be removed from office immediately. The treason spans both political parties and it shows us all that there is no difference between them. The bill will go on to the Senate and will likely be passed and signed into the law by George W. Bush. Considering that draconian legislation like the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act have already been passed, there seems little question that this one will get passed as well. This is more proof that our country has been completely sold out by a group of traitors at all levels of government.

Pete, Nancy, George and WWIII, by Cindy Sheehan

auntcindytig07

Originally posted at Information Clearing House

Pete, Nancy, George and WWIII

By Cindy Sheehan

“You don’t have money to fund the war or children. But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.”
-Pete Stark (D-Ca)

“While Members of Congress are passionate about their views what Congressman Stark said during the debate was inappropriate.”
-Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, (D-Ca)

“But this – we got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. So I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have (sic) the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”
-George Bush, War Criminal
10/25/07 “ICH” — — I cheered inside my head when I heard Rep. Stark unbelievably utter his words condemning the murderous acts of BushCo on the House floor, and I was impressed with his candor, compassion and what I consider an appropriate amount of rage and honesty. How many of us were not thinking the same thing about the S-CHIP votes? I knew, however, that it would not be long until Pete Stark had to apologize. It happened today.

I believe that Speaker Pelosi’s comments about Rep. Stark were utterly inappropriate and out of line. I believe that when she said that impeachment was “off the table,” her remarks were not only inappropriate but also antithetical to our Constitution and directly in opposition to why the people of this country put Democrats back in power.

We may remind the Speaker of some of the things George has said: He told us that Saddam was able to reach the Eastern part of the US with drones that contained either chemical or biological weapons; that the smoking gun might come in the form of a “mushroom cloud” and that Saddam was also seeking significant amounts of “yellow cake uranium.” George and his co-criminals also told us over and over again that 9-11 was the justification for an attack on Iraq because Saddam had something to do with 9-11.

It is imperative that Ms. Pelosi be a true leader and lead the charge to impeach the liars, or at least get the hell out of the way so they can be impeached. I buried my son for no logical, moral or truthful reason for God’s sake, and she has neither the integrity or fortitude to finally say that BushCo has to be stopped before George is the instigator for Armageddon.

Ms. Pelosi is not the only one who condemned Rep. Stark; she joined hands (again) with Republicans to do so. However, for the Republicans to say that Congressman Stark’s comment demeaned “the troops” is so patently ridiculous, it is stunningly pathetic. Our troops and their much higher paid cousins, the mercenary killers, are killing innocent Iraqis. IT IS A WAR! What do these morally bankrupt Chickenhawks think occurs in war? It would be better for everyone if “the troops” went over to play pinochle with the Iraqis, but occupied peoples have an inherent hatred of their occupiers and want them to leave their country: dead or alive. Congress wants to hide behind “the troops” by giving BushCo billions more dollars to wage the occupation so their lobbyist buddies and campaign contributors can become richer off of the flesh and blood of those same troops that they claim to support.

BushCo has over 14 more months to sew their demented seeds of destruction all over the planet. We must all join Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh) in his call to remove them from office not only for their past, but for their future, illegal wars of aggression, possibly even doing the unthinkable: using a nuclear weapon. The terrorists that wear Brooks Brothers and Armani and live and work in the big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue are more dangerous to our way of life and safety than any others.

I wish Congressman Stark had not caved to the establishment elitists. George is the one that needs to apologize to each and every one of us for killing just about everything that we hold dear: our treasury, our Constitution, our standing in the international community, our ecology, our children, and for murdering our hopes and dreams for the future.

When I replace Nancy Pelosi as the Representative from California’s 8th district, I will fight for the lives, security and prosperity of not only my constituents, but for all the human beings in the world. If BushCo is still in office, God forbid, when I am sworn in, I will do everything in my power to hold them accountable for their crimes against humanity and I will never, ever apologize for telling the truth.

To Contact Cindy: http://CindyforCongr…

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