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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 05/04/2008 - 05/11/2008
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Carter: "Our country for the first time in my life time has abandoned the basic principle of human rights"

not so very long ago, if a former united states president came out and said something like this, the world would be rocked to its foundations... what the hell has happened to us...?

Former President Carter says the U.S.
"has abandoned the basic principle of
human rights."

The United States tortures prisoners in violation of international law, former President Carter said Wednesday.

Former President Carter says the U.S. "has abandoned the basic principle of human rights."

"I don't think it. I know it," Carter told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"Our country for the first time in my life time has abandoned the basic principle of human rights," Carter said. "We've said that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to those people in Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo, and we've said we can torture prisoners and deprive them of an accusation of a crime to which they are accused."

Carter also said President Bush creates his own definition of human rights.

watch the video here...

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It's been one heckuva busy day

it's not often that i don't get posts up because i simply don't have time... usually it due to one of three other things - burn-out over the constant stream of nauseating news, no news worth posting, or i'm stuck in an airplane somewhere at 35,000 feet... today was unusual in that i was on a dead run from early 'til late, and i'm so worn out at the moment, i just don't have the energy to post... maybe jim or brother tim will be moved to jump in but i'm just going to have to say good night (and, yes, i realize the day is just getting underway in the u.s.)...

chauuuuuuuu y abrazos a todos...

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Friday, May 09, 2008

John at AMERICAblog hits one out of the park

john's post title...?

And your little dog too


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The Reno earthquake jitters

from esteemed #1 son in northern nevada...
You might be a Northwest Reno resident If

# While shopping for a new dining room table, you bring the entire family to RC Willey [well-known local furniture store] to make sure you all fit underneath it.

# “Family Game Night” includes copious rounds of Uno, Scrabble and “Guess the Magnitude.”

# The USGS Web site is your home page, and you check the UNR Seismology site as frequently as you check your e-mail.

# You believe the “Triangle of Life” is so last week.

# You can now hear the earthquakes before they arrive.

# You are spackling and painting your walls — why not, there aren’t any pictures on them anyhow.

# You get mad at the kids when they’re snacking out of the earthquake bin in the garage.

# “I’ve felt 25 earthquakes today?” you reflect. “What a great day!”

# Your children know what “Rabbit in the hole” means.

# The “Living with Earthquakes in Nevada” publication that you found last week in the RGJ has become your coffee-table book.

# You know the exact latitude and longitude of your home.

# You can adeptly convert UTC to Pacific Daylight Time.

# Earthquake insurance brochures and estimates are in your “To File” stack.

# You debate the philosophical underpinnings of “aftershock or foreshock” with your family and neighbors.

# Wall hangings = floor leanings.

# You have narrowed down the lag time between an earthquake and the moment the magnitude posts to the UNR Seismo site to 11 minutes and 42 seconds – give or take.

# Your car is parked in your driveway — and not because there’s no room in the garage.

# You take a shower in your swim suit; after all, who wants to be naked when the “Big One” hits?

# On your nightstand next to the latest Eckhart Tolle book and your Carmex is a Maglite flashlight and a crescent wrench you’ll use to turn off the gas.

# The pharmacist doesn’t even ask if you need the briefing about Xanax anymore.

only 27 more days and i'll be back there...

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The worm has turned... What a difference a few days can make...

from the friday washington post opinions email...

Andres Martinez's Stumped
Drop Out Already, Hillary
Her campaign would be comical if it weren't so offensive. Plus: Let the Obama veepstakes begin!
Send your question to Stumped.

Charles Krauthammer
Too Little, Too Late
The only thing left is negotiating the terms of her surrender.

Eugene Robinson
The Card Clinton Is Playing
Clinton's sin isn't racism, it's arrogance.

wasn't it only a few days ago that the vast majority of opinion pieces cited in this email were trashing obama...?

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$200USD a barrel oil in six months

c'mon, house of cards... fall down... c'mon... c'mon...
The price of crude oil could soar to 200 US dollars a barrel in as little as six months, as supply continues to struggle to meet demand, warned a report from Goldman Sachs energy strategist Argun Murti as benchmark US light crude passed the 123 dollars mark for the first time

Surging demand was increasingly likely to create a "super-spike" past 200 in six months-to-two years' time, he said. Oil prices have now risen by 25% in the last four months and 400% since 2001.

Mr Murti correctly predicted three years ago, when oil was about 55 US dollars a barrel that it would pass 100 dollars which it reached for the first time in January of this year.

i don't wish anyone any unnecessary pain, but, fercryinoutloud, let's stop the slo-mo collapse... it's going to happen... it NEEDS to happen... let's get it the hell over with...

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What do Cyclone Nargis and Hurricane Katrina have in common...? A shitty government response...

- unprepared to non-existent emergency response on a national level

- using military force to control citizens inside national borders during a natural disaster

- refusing offers of aid from other countries

- a shocking disregard for the poorest and most vulnerable citizens

The United Nations suspended relief supplies to Myanmar on Friday after the military government seized the food and equipment it had already sent into the country.

Earlier, in a statement, Myanmar’s military junta said it was willing to receive disaster relief from the outside world but would not welcome outside relief workers. Nearly one week after a devastating cyclone, supplies into the country were still being delayed and aid experts were being turned back as they arrived at the airport.

In the statement, the government said it would distribute international relief supplies itself.

Paul Risley, a spokesman for the United Nations World Food Program, said, "all the food aid and equipment that we managed to get in has been confiscated." He said the World Food Program was suspending the few flights that the Myanmar authorities had so far allowed to enter the country until the matter was resolved.


One United Nations official said he had never seen delays like this before in delivering relief supplies and aid officials. In Indonesia after the tsunami in 2004, he said, an air bridge of daily flights was established within 48 hours.

"The frustration caused by what appears to be a paperwork delay is unprecedented in modern humanitarian relief efforts," said the official, Paul Risley, a spokesman for the United Nations World Food Program, in Bangkok. "It’s astonishing."

yes, the scale of human loss and devastation in myanmar is staggering and the cruel and authoritarian response of the myanmar military junta is appalling... but...

as brother tim was reminding me last night during our long chat, three years later, new orleans still looks almost as ragged as it did immediately post-hurricane katrina... my country has no room whatsoever to stake out a righteous position vis a vis myanmar...

god help the people of myanmar...

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Question... Why does a former U.S. president have to turn to foreign media to be heard...?

jimmy carter in the uk guardian...
The world is witnessing a terrible human rights crime in Gaza, where a million and a half human beings are being imprisoned with almost no access to the outside world. An entire population is being brutally punished.

This gross mistreatment of the Palestinians in Gaza was escalated dramatically by Israel, with United States backing, after political candidates representing Hamas won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Authority parliament in 2006. The election was unanimously judged to be honest and fair by all international observers.

Israel and the US refused to accept the right of Palestinians to form a unity government with Hamas and Fatah and now, after internal strife, Hamas alone controls Gaza. Forty-one of the 43 victorious Hamas candidates who lived in the West Bank have been imprisoned by Israel, plus an additional 10 who assumed positions in the short-lived coalition cabinet.

Regardless of one's choice in the partisan struggle between Fatah and Hamas within occupied Palestine, we must remember that economic sanctions and restrictions on the supply of water, food, electricity and fuel are causing extreme hardship among the innocent people in Gaza, about one million of whom are refugees.

Israeli bombs and missiles periodically strike the area, causing high casualties among both militants and innocent women and children. Prior to the highly publicised killing of a woman and her four children last week, this pattern had been illustrated by a report from B'Tselem, the leading Israeli human rights organisation, which stated that 106 Palestinians were killed between February 27 and March 3. Fifty-four of them were civilians, and 25 were under 18 years of age.

the players...

United States






there are so many unconscionable tragedies going on in this world and what's happening in gaza is certainly one of the worst...

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There is nothing this bunch won't do or say to make the case for bombing Iran

flogging the axis of evil on the ramp-up to the long-awaited orgasm so eagerly anticipated as a result of bombing iran back to the stone age...
Isolated Iran sees Latin America as a place to push back US influence, from which it could maintain a terrorist threat against the United States in the event of a conflict, a senior US official warned Wednesday.

Iran views Latin America as a chance to break out of some of its international isolation and defy Washington's major power status in its back yard, State Department official Thomas Shannon said in Washington.

"It's a way to push back on us," Shannon told a conference bringing together cabinet ministers and other officials from North and South America to promote greater economic integration.

Shannon, the assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, said it also posed a threat there as he repeated charges that Iran was behind bombings against Israeli and Jewish targets in Buenos Aires in the 1990s.

Iran denies any links.

ok, look... argentina has been pursuing its case against suspected iranians involved in the buenos aires bombings*... let argentina do it and let's keep our goddam noses the hell out of it... argentina is perfectly capable of handling its own affairs...

from the nyt, 10 march 2003...

* An Argentine judge has ordered arrest warrants for four Iranian government officials who he says helped organize and carry out the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that left 85 people dead.

But the judge balked at a recommendation by prosecutors that more than a dozen more senior Iranian officials, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's spiritual leader, also be indicted. He offered no public comment, and the decision is likely to intensify criticism from a variety of quarters that he has not pursued the case aggressively enough.

as a sidenote, buenos aires has the largest jewish community in the world outside of new york city and israel... it also has the only kosher mcdonalds outside of israel...
In keeping with Buenos Aires's reputation as one of the world's greatest Jewish centers, this is the only kosher McDonald's in the world that is outside of Israel. Rabbi supervision makes sure that kosher rules are strictly followed here. It's your typical McDonald's fare -- burgers, fries, salads, fish sandwiches, and the like, but there is no dairy at all. They also sell souvenir mugs and other items to bring home to remember your visit. Locals of all kinds patronize the place, Jewish or not.

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As painful and heartbreaking as it is, as a country, we simply MUST face the reality of what we're doing

Two-year-old Ali Hussein is pulled from the rubble of
his family's home in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City
in Baghdad, Iraq on Tuesday, April 29, 2008. The child,
who later died in hospital, was in one of four homes
allegedly destroyed by U.S. missiles. More than two
dozen people were killed when Shiite militants ambushed
a U.S. patrol in Baghdad's embattled Sadr City district,
bringing the death toll in area on Tuesday to more than
30, a U.S. military spokesman and Iraqi officials said.

(AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

Ridh Hadi places his two-year old
nephew, Ali Hussein
, into a coffin in
the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad,
Iraq on Wednesday, April 30, 2008. The child
died on Tuesday after U.S. forces struck
back at militia fighters with 200-pound
(90-kilogram) guided rockets that
devastated at least three buildings in the
densely packed district that serves as the
Baghdad base for the powerful Mahdi
Army militia.

(AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)

helen thomas...
Some readers resented The Washington Post for publishing an Associated Press photograph of a critically wounded Iraqi child being lifted from the rubble of his home in Baghdad’s Sadr City “after a U.S. airstrike.”

Two-year-old Ali Hussein later died in a hospital.

As the saying goes, the picture was worth a thousand words because it showed the true horrors of this war.

Neither side is immune from the killing of Iraqi civilians. But Americans should be aware of their own responsibility for inflicting death and pain on the innocent.

damn right...

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Psssst...! Hillary... It's over...

(thanks to john at americablog...)

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Well, whaddaya know...! Zawahiri and al Qaeda support McCain...

who woulda thunk it...?

juan cole...

Well, it turns out that al-Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri has declared that he is actually on McCain's side in wanting to destroy Iran. Al-Zawahiri is hurt that McCain keeps confusing hyper-Sunni al-Qaeda with radical Shiism: "Ayman al-Zawahiri said al-Qaeda wants to see the destruction of Iran - a Shiite nation battling the terrorists . . . "The dispute between America and Iran is a genuine struggle, and the possibility of the US striking Iran is real," al-Zawahiri said. . ." Al-Zawahiri hopes that the US struggle with Iran will destroy the latter and weaken the former, putting al-Qaeda in a position to administer the coup de grace.

ain't it interestin'...?!?!

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Jekyll and Hyde: a perspective on Hillary from Germany

first this...
The former first lady bet everything -- and lost. Barring some kind of miracle, Barack Obama will become the Democratic Party's nominee for president. A dramatic finale on Tuesday night brought an end to the Clinton era.

Hillary Clinton and family: The race
is over for the former first lady.

then this...
In the past few years, I have met two outstanding American women. One of them is named Hillary Clinton.


Hillary Clinton spoke quietly, quieter anyway than one would expect from a former first lady and current senator. At no point did she try to dominate the four-strong group around the table. She was ladylike, confident, reflective -- and she was also a bit of a snob, if the truth be told.


The other extraordinary American woman I met is also called Hillary Clinton.


Hillary Clinton II was down to earth and hard as nails. She laughed loudly and could sometimes be mean. She drank beer, not wine and water. In the primaries for the Democratic nomination, she never let up attacking her rival Barack Obama.

She questioned his Christianity, his patriotism, his experience, his judgement and his personal integrity. She labelled him "unrealistic." She made it clear to the voters: I am tough and he is weak. I am real and he is the creation of a speechwriter.

The longer the campaign went on, the more these two Hillarys diverged from one another. One was a great lady, the other nothing less than a great fighter. She pulled out all the stops, resorting to everything, including self denial.


With her defeat in North Carolina and a narrow lead in Indiana, the race is over for Clinton. Barring a miracle, Barack Obama will become the Democratic Party's nominee. His lead may be narrow, but it's a gap that can no longer be closed.

Hillary Clinton II has come a long way. Now it's time for her to return to her old self.

dontcha wish the u.s. media could offer us some of that kind of perspective...? dontcha wish geese laid golden eggs...?

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Leave, Hillary, ferchrissake... Wake up and smell the coffee...

tom toles in the wapo nails it...


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A tale of two Taliban warlords, the Luddite* and the techno-geek

the luddite* in pakistan...
Taliban cleric Faqir Mohammed is tall, thin, very serious and very religious. His eyes are hard and he speaks slowly. He never smiles.

And when you hear what he has to say, you won’t be smiling either.

"If we get hold of nuclear weapons – which we hope to get very soon – then we will safeguard them until Allah Almighty guides us when and against whom to use them," he told NBC News in an interview at his mountain hideout.


Faqir explained how he and his men avoid detection. He said never carries a cell phone and never uses the Internet or any other form of modern communication. And he demands his men do the same. "Most of the top al-Qaida fighters have remained safe because they do not use any electronic devices," he said.

Faqir Mohammed, left, speaks with
NBC News Mushtaq Yusufzai, center

"All messages are conveyed through trusted couriers and the letters are immediately burned with a lighter that every fighter keeps in his pocket," said Faqir.

that part about the nukes is a tad disturbing, altho' the article goes on to state this...
And as for those nukes – Pakistan's generals aren't too concerned over Faqir's bluster. They say the nukes are locked up and in control of the army. The warheads are kept separate from their detonation components making it impossible to seize a complete nuclear weapon. And they say there are only a few trusted generals who know the key to the elaborate system of command and control. Even the Bush administration is on record saying it believes that Pakistan's nukes are in safe hands-for now.

then there's faqir's comrade-in-arms, the techno-geek in afghanistan...
Close to a year ago, Afghan warlord Nissam Udin kidnapped two German engineers and allowed one to be shot and killed.


Kidnappers like Mullah Nissam are pursued less zealously than, for example, Taliban sympathizers who have committed an attack on Germany's military, the Bundeswehr, in Afghanistan. Because of this policy of little or no follow-up, Nissam is probably the first kidnapper who German investigators not only know by name, but can also call at any time without Nissam himself having to feel any reason for concern. "I have also given my number to the German Embassy," the Pashtun boasts.

Mullah Nissam Udin

Those who dial Nissam's number will find themselves talking to a polite warlord who promptly invites his callers to pay him a visit in Wardak, where he owns a few hundred sheep and commands anywhere from 30 to 50 fighters. At the agreed meeting place, visitors must hand over their mobile phones and switch from their vehicle to the backs of mopeds. From there, they are driven around for hours until two young men lead them to a mobile tent camp where Nissam Udin is currently staying. A red-and-white mast supporting wireless antennas serves as a beacon of a civilization reachable only by days-long marches.
* Luddite

Main Entry:

: one of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest; broadly : one who is opposed to especially technological change

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Israel's Ehud Olmert likely to resign as a way of sabotaging a Palestinian peace agreement?

two items of particular interest besides the potential resignation... the first is in the first paragaph and the second is in the last paragraph...
Aljazeera tv reported [Wednesday] that the prime minister of the Israeli occupation government, Ehud Olmert, will announce next week either his resignation or going into a leave for one hundred days.

During his absence, the foreign minister of the Israeli occupation government will be appointed as an acting prime minister for one hundred days.

At the end of this period, Olmert returns if he is vindicated (unlikely), or the acting prime minister, Livni, will be asked to form a new government.

What's interesting is that sudden changes like this one happened in Israel whenever there was possibility for reaching an agreement with the Palestinian Authority, like the assassination of Rabi, the removal of Peres, Netanyaho, and Barak.

did you catch them...?

1. "Israeli occupation government"
2. "sudden changes like this one happened in Israel whenever there was possibility for reaching an agreement with the Palestinian Authority"

just two more instances of perspectives we'd NEVER see on u.s. "news" outlets...

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Yangon, Myanmar, the Category 3 cyclone, and a death toll of over 100,000

look at the escalation of the headlines...
More than 200 dead in Myanmar cyclone

Cyclone kills over 350 in Myanmar

Hundreds feared dead in Myanmar cyclone

Cyclone kills nearly 4000 in Myanmar: state TV

Myanmar: Death toll more than 15000

this morning...

US envoy: Myanmar deaths may top 100000

i've been watching al jazeera's coverage of the horrific disaster... when they post the video clip, i will get it up here as an update...

from ap...

Hungry people swarmed the few open shops and fistfights broke out over food and water in Myanmar's swamped Irrawaddy delta Wednesday as a top U.S. diplomat warned that the death toll from a devastating cyclone could top 100,000.

The minutes of a U.N. aid meeting obtained by The Associated Press, meanwhile, revealed the military junta's visa restrictions were hampering international relief efforts.

Only a handful of U.N. aid workers had been let into the impoverished Southeast Asian country, which the government has kept isolated for five decades to maintain its iron-fisted control. The U.S. and other countries rushed supplies to the region, but most of it was being held outside Myanmar while awaiting the junta's permission to deliver it.

Entire villages in the Irrawaddy delta were still submerged from Saturday's storm, and bloated corpses could be seen stuck in the mangroves. Some survivors stripped clothes off the dead. People wailed as they described the horror of the torrent swept ashore by the cyclone.

"I don't know what happened to my wife and young children," said Phan Maung, 55, who held onto a coconut tree until the water level dropped. By then his family was gone.

i have a terrible feeling that the 100,000 death toll is going to go much higher...

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Oh, Hillary... Boo-Fucking-Hoo

Would Hillary like some cheese with that whine?

(thanks to john at americablog...)

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Stifle, Hillary...!* Seriously... The fat lady has sung already, so take a powder, 'k...?

uh... 'scuse me, hillary, but i think the handwriting is on the wall...
Is It (Finally) Over? (Chris Cillizza, Washington Post)

Clinton Aides Doubtful About Future (Perry Bacon Jr. and Anne E. Kornblut, Washington Post)

Clinton lends her struggling campaign $6.4 million (Associated Press)

and if the above don't do it for ya, try these...

An End in Sight, at Last (Gerard Baker, Times of London)
Has Obama Finally Clinched It? (John Dickerson, Slate)
Clinton Hangs On - Barely (Vaughn Ververs, CBS News)
Hillary the Cat Runs Out of Lives (John Kass, Chicago Tribune)
Ugly Truth Why Clinton Won't Quit (Thomas DeFrank, NY Daily News)

* All in the Family

Archie's line "Stifle, Edith!" was ranked #12 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 20 Top Catchphrases" (21-27 August 2005 issue).

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"On Tuesday, May 6, 2008 the Rubicon was crossed"

brent budowsky posting on consortium news...
  • Hillary will withdraw and the superdelegates surge will reach a juggernaut pace that has already begun.
  • [T]here will be new talk about 2 million Obama donors that will rise to 3 million.
  • There will be talk of a historic voter registration program that has already been approved and will exponentially strengthen democracy and build even more voter turnout, voter excitement and voter enthusiasm.
  • [T]here will be talk about a Democratic landslide throughout the Congress as Democrats come together and coordination begins between the presidential and the congressional Democrats.
  • [T]here will be talk about the outpouring of enthusiasm around the world from good people everywhere ready to begin a new day of American world leadership based on the great role we have played in the past.
It was the night they drove old Dixie down, the night the old politics ended, the night a great new era in American politics truly began.

The battle now begins in earnest. On Tuesday, May 6, 2008 the Rubicon was crossed.

i'm praying he's right...

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A Brother Tim Op-Ed

I try to keep my posts proprietary to the blog on which they're written. However, as this story refuses to give up the ghost; I thought I'd launch my boat and see how it floats. This was originally published at the Blog of Revelation.

Obama Shakes Off Wright Jab

Although it was a stinger, it was by no means a knock-out blow. It never even drew blood. The pounding Obama has taken from the MSM pundits seems to have only proved to make him stronger, as witnessed by the primaries in North Carolina and Indiana last night. The question that the pundits of the MSM refuse to ask, even though it is asked daily in the blogosphere, is: What was Wright's motivation?

I have read and heard explanations such as, 'He was duped' or 'He's out to ruin Obama'. There may be some degree of truth to those explanations, but it is much more complex than that.

The Rev Jeremiah Wright is a self-aggrandizing, bombastic, egocentric, fool. He is an 'old-school' Black who refuses to accept or acknowledge progress. He is afflicted with what I would term, Plantation Syndrome. If he gets a traffic ticket; is declined credit; turned down for employment; or has his electric service cut off; the reason is always the same: "It's because I'm Black". It's the selfish resistance to accept responsibility; something I'm
certain he's preached on many times. It appears Wright has succumbed to the lustful desires of the flesh. Paul counsels in Galations 5:16-17
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Make no mistake about this: Rev Wright is an intelligent and well-educated man. Was he duped? To some extent. Was he trying to purposely hurt Obama? Again, to some extent. His motivation is spawned by his fleshly desire for vengeance.

The man started his calling with a good heart and noble intentions -- helping and lifting up the poor and downtrodden. In that, he experienced much success. Day-Care Centers; Outreach Missions; Food Pantries; and preaching the love and understanding of the Gospel of Christ. But somewhere, sometime, something went terribly awry.

I have several Black friends, including Pastors, and
am no stranger to Black Churches and their style of preaching and worship. I have spoken with them about the Wright Debacle, and they are all of the opinion that, worse than the pain he has inflicted on Obama, is the damage he has done to the Black Church, and Christianity in general.

Black Preachers are fiery, entertaining, animated Bible-thumpers; but they are NOT vitriolic or hateful. The Blacks I have talked with, including the Pastors, feel adamantly that he does NOT represent the Black Church. From my personal experiences, I tend to agree with them whole-heartedly.

He's correct when he said, "Black Churches worship differently", but not in the way he implied. Black Churches are on a different, possibly higher, spiritual plane; due to the histrionic tribulation of subjugation. There is a lot of truth in what Wright said, but with his intelligence and education, the language and words he used, were both irresponsible and inexcusable. Mark 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. So...... How did the flesh get such a death-grip upon a Man of God?

Frustration (I can understand that). But Wright let his frustration give way to anger, and his anger birthed a bitterness within him. Anger has a way, if not kept in check, to eat a man up, from the inside out. David advises in Psalm 37:8
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Wright was little-known outside of the Greater Chicago area, where he was highly esteemed. He saw in Obama, a chance to gain national prominence; to become, as it were, the next Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson, or Al Sharpton. To him, the opportunity was irresistible.

However, after being forced to resign both his coveted position as Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, and his seat on Obama's Spiritual Advisory Committee; his frustration, anger, and bitterness reached the boiling point. When he was offered the 'National Spotlight' by his long-time friend,
Rev Barbara Reynolds (an ardent Clinton supporter), at the National Press Club; he jumped on it like a duck on a June-bug. He had little or no concern for the ripple effect it would have on Obama, the Black Church, or Christianity. He thought only of himself, and his need to vent his anger and bitterness. He felt the National Press Club event was the perfect venue for the unleashing of his vengeance. Wrong---- It only tarnished his reputation, and sullied his message.

He should have prayed for discernment, as to why the MSM was giving him so much airtime, when preachers like John Hagee, Pat Robertson, Rod Parsley, Jerry Falwell, et al, make the same comments and worse; yet are given little to no coverage. Hypocrisy rears it's ugly head again.

So what do we do now?

I would exhort all people of faith to pray for Jeremiah Wright. I have, and will fervently continue to do so. I pray that Rev Wright will be blessed with:
Inner-peace -- To be freed from the bonds of the demons of his frustrations, anger, and bitterness.
Strength -- To combat the lusts of the flesh that are overtaking him.
Wisdom -- To see the error of his ways, and a return to the good works the Lord has commissioned him to do.

And what should Rev Jeremiah Wright do?

He should repent, apologize, ask forgiveness of those he has wronged; and above all, keep his mouth shut tight till the Holy Ghost gives him utterance.

Will he do it? I don't know. Given his mindset and performance over the last couple of months, it appears doubtful. But hey.......Scripture tells us that only God can change a heart, and with God, all things are possible.

Alors, I will keep the faith and continue praying.

Peace and Grace,
Brother Tim

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Here's the REAL matrix - read it and shudder


i read a fair amount of stuff that i find somewhat chilling... this one, however, is right up there at the top of the list...

Congress has ordered the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, to put together a National Cyber Range, as part of a massive (and massively secret) $30 billion, government-wide effort better prep for battle online. The project is now considered a top priority for the Agency. And to make sure the facility is as true-to-life as possible, Darpa wants the contractors running the Range to be able to "replicate realistic human behavior on nodes," a request for proposals, released today, reveals.

Specifically, the Agency wants to have its contractors:

• Provide robust technologies to emulate human behavior on all nodes of the range for testing all aspects of range behavior.
• Replicants will produce realistic chain of events between many users without explicit scripting behavior.
• Replicants must be capable of implementing multiple user roles similar to roles found on operational networks.
• Replicant behavior will change as the network environment changes, as the replicated “outside environment” (i.e. DoD DefCon, InfoCon, execution of war plans, etc) changes, and as network activity changes (detected attacks, degradation of services, etc).
• Replicants will simulate physical interaction with device peripherals, such as keyboard and mice.
• Replicants will drive all common applications on a desktop environments.
• Replicants will interact with authenticate systems, including but not limited to DoD authentication systems (common access cards – CAC), identity tokens.

These mock people have to be able to "demonstrate human-level behavior on 80 percent of all events," the Agency adds. And mimicking us flesh-and-blood types is only one of a wide array of tasks Darpa wants to see operators of the National Cyber Range, or NCR, pull off.

The facility should also feature a "realistic, sophisticated, nation-state quality offensive and defensive opposition forces" that can fight military info-warriors in mock combat. Contractors have to be ready to create 10,000-node tests from government-provided "network diagrams and configuration files" in less than two hours. And those nodes can't just be computers tied into a faux Internet. The NCR's operators should be able to "integrate, replicate, or simulate" military satellite and digital radio communications, mobile ad-hoc networks, physical access control systems, U.S. and foreign "unmanned aerial vehicles, weapons, [and] radar systems" -- even "cyber cafes" and "personal digital assistances [sic]."

dontcha love that bureaucratese...? it makes it somehow all the more sinister...

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Children suffer the consequences of depleted uranium in Afghanistan

this is the second time in one day that i've used the spanish term, "patético"...
"We don't use depleted uranium in Afghanistan; we don't have a requirement to use that." - Major Chris Belcher, Coalition spokesman.

Doctors in Afghanistan say rates of some health problems affecting children have doubled in the last two years.

Some scientists say the rise is linked to use of weapons containing depleted uranium (DU) by the US-led coalition that invaded the country in 2001.

A Canadian research group found very high levels of uranium in Afghans during tests just after the invasion.

A US forces spokesman denied its weapons were affecting the health of Afghans or the country's environment.

But claims made in the BBC World Service One Planet programme suggest the invasion may have left an unwelcome legacy for the country's environment and the health of its people.

Doctors in Kabul and Kandahar showed data indicating that the incidence of a number of health conditions, including birth defects, has doubled in under two years.

and here i sit, in kabul, afghanistan...

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The U.S. has 1% of its population in jail and a number of those have been wrongfully convicted

more good stuff from al jazeera...

For the first time in history, around one per cent of the adult population of the US is in prison. Even more disturbing than this unfortunate landmark is the number who have been wrongly convicted.

i gotta tell ya, i'm becoming a convert...

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A headline of unvarnished shame

no comment necessary...
Justice System For Detainees Is Moving At a Crawl

No Sept. 11 Trials Likely Before Bush Leaves Office, Officials Say


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Brave New Films and the War on Greed

more from robert greenwald and brave new films...

This year, the tax loophole has given Henry Kravis: $33,116,174 and counting

Tell the presidential candidates to pledge to close the buyout industry's tax loopholes

19,349 signers [as of 8:52 a.m. U.S. pacific time/8:22 p.m. Afghanistan time, 6 May 08]

Dear presidential candidates,

Buyout industry executives with multi-million dollar incomes have been amassing fortunes by exploiting a major tax loophole. Their tax privileges have robbed the public purse and placed the burden on working- and middle-class taxpayers.

Make a pledge, if elected, that you will work to close the buyout industry's tax loopholes.

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C.O.G. = Continuity of Government = martial law

a thorough, but chilling rundown of what might be in store for those of us considered "threats to the state" in the case of a national emergency... it's worth reading the whole thing, but here's a teaser...

from ich...

Under law, during a national emergency, FEMA and its parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security, would be empowered to seize private and public property, all forms of transport, and all food supplies. The agency could dispatch military commanders to run state and local governments, and it could order the arrest of citizens without a warrant, holding them without trial for as long as the acting government deems necessary. From the comfortable perspective of peaceful times, such behavior by the government may seem farfetched. But it was not so very long ago that FDR ordered 120,000 Japanese-Americans—everyone from infants to the elderly—be held in detention camps for the duration of World War II. This is widely regarded as a shameful moment in U.S. history, a lesson learned. But a long trail of federal documents indicates that the possibility of large-scale detention has never quite been abandoned by federal authorities. Around the time of the 1968 race riots, for instance, a paper drawn up at the U.S. Army War College detailed plans for rounding up millions of "militants" and "American negroes" who were to be held at "assembly centers or relocation camps." In the late 1980s, the Austin American-Statesman and other publications reported the existence of 10 detention camp sites on military facilities nationwide, where hundreds of thousands of people could be held in the event of domestic political upheaval. More such facilities were commissioned in 2006, when Kellogg Brown & Root—then a subsidiary of Halliburton—was handed a $385 million contract to establish "temporary detention and processing capabilities" for the Department of Homeland Security. The contract is short on details, stating only that the facilities would be used for "an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs." Just what those "new programs" might be is not specified.

In the days after our hypothetical terror attack, events might play out like this: With the population gripped by fear and anger, authorities undertake unprecedented actions in the name of public safety. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security begin actively scrutinizing people who—for a tremendously broad set of reasons—have been flagged in Main Core* as potential domestic threats. Some of these individuals might receive a letter or a phone call, others a request to register with local authorities. Still others might hear a knock on the door and find police or armed soldiers outside. In some instances, the authorities might just ask a few questions. Other suspects might be arrested and escorted to federal holding facilities, where they could be detained without counsel until the state of emergency is no longer in effect.

* According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, "There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived 'enemies of the state' almost instantaneously." ... [T]he database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core.

according to the article, the bulk of this has been in place since the 80s... no surprises here... at least not for me...

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Iran is pissed so, naturally, the U.S. throws gasoline on the fire

typical bush administration response...

"stop the crackdown...? i got yer crackdown right he-e-e-e-ere, ya wussies...!"

Iran called off further Iraq security talks with Washington until U.S. forces stop their crackdown on Shiite militias, but the military brought more air power into the fight Monday and escalated its accusations of Iranian backing for extremists.

The latest flare-up has put Iraq's government in a bind as it seeks to stamp out armed Shiite gangs but worries about angering Shiite heavyweight Iran, which has close ties to the core of Iraq's political leadership.

so, what does an honest-to-god expert, with all the right bona-fides think about this unholy mess...?

nir rosen in a post at steve clemons' washington note, entitled "selling the war"...

[T]here is nothing legitimate in the government of Iraq, it provides none of the services we would associate with a government, not even the pretense of a monopoly on violence, it was established under an illegitimate foreign military occupation and it is entirely unrepresentative of the majority of Sunnis and Shiites who are opposed to the American occupation and despise the Iraqi government.

Moreover the dominant parties in the government and in those units of the security forces that battled their political rivals in Basra and elsewhere are the ones closest to Iran. The leadership of the Iraqi government regularly consults Iranian officials and is closer to Iran than any other element in Iraq today. Moreover, the Americans have always blamed their failures in Iraq on outsiders, Baathists, al Qaeda, Iranians, because they refuse to admit that the Iraqi people don't want them. So Iran is a convenient scapegoat to explain the strength of the Sadrists, a strength actually resulting from the fact that they are a genuinely popular mass movement. Blaming Iran also lets the Americans maintain the illusion that the Mahdi Army's ceasefire is still in effect.


The truth is, most allegations about Iran's role in Iraq and the region are unfounded or dishonest. Iran was responsible for ending the recent fighting in Basra and calming the situation after Iraqi parliamentarians who backed Prime Minister Maliki approached it. The Iranians, never close to Muqtada or his family, were so annoyed with Muqtada and his presence that they reportedly ordered him out of Iran where he had been living in virtual house arrest anyway since arriving six months earlier. Iranian officials and the state media clearly supported Prime Minister Maliki and the Iraqi government against what they described as "illegal armed groups" in the recent conflict in Basra, which is not surprising given that their main proxy in Iraq, the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council dominates the Iraqi state and is Maliki's main backer.

The Supreme Council is of course also the main proxy for the US in Iraq and somehow in the Senate testimony it was forgotten that its large Badr militia was established in Iran and is actually the only Iraqi opposition group to have fought on the Iranian side against Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. Moreover, the Badr militia was a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that is so demonized today, and Badr dominates the ministry of interior, if not most of Iraq at the higher echelons. But none of this openly available information made its way to the Post's editorial writers or the dominant discourse in the US.

then we have scott ritter, another honest-to-god expert, who sees the writing on the wall...
Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, who was among the original experts to question Bush Administration claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, now says he believes an attack on Iran is a "virtual guarantee."

"We take a look at the military buildup, we take a look at the rhetoric, we take a look at the diplomatic posturing, and I would say that it’s a virtual guarantee that there will be a limited aerial strike against Iran in the not-so-near future—or not-so-distant future, that focuses on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command," Ritter said last week in a little-noted interview with Amy Goodman's Democracy Now. "And if this situation spins further out of control, you would see these aerial strikes expanding to include Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and some significant command and control targets."

as horrified observers, all we can do in a situation like this is to try and connect the dots, and when the picture starts to emerge, start screaming bloody murder (not that screaming bloody murder has ever even slowed the white house criminals down)...

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Who Will Live, Who Will Die?

Well, it was only a matter of time before this kind of report would become a topic in mainstream discussion. A few years ago, if you tried to make lists like this, you would have been offered a one way ticket to a prison for fascists. Like we have forgotten Viet Nam, so too we have forgotten the war to defeat Nazism. Hitler would be so proud of this group of goons. Sadly, some Doctors have forgotten the Hippocratic Oath as well.
Who Should Not Be Saved in a Pandemic?
Posted: 2008-05-05 13:28:17
Filed Under: Health News
CHICAGO (May 5) - Doctors know some patients needing lifesaving care won't get it in a flu pandemic or other disaster. The gut-wrenching dilemma will be deciding who to let die.

Now, an influential group of physicians has drafted a grimly specific list of recommendations for which patients wouldn't be treated. They include the very elderly, seriously hurt trauma victims, severely burned patients and those with severe dementia.

The suggested list was compiled by a task force whose members come from prestigious universities, medical groups, the military and government agencies. They include the Department of Homeland Security, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The proposed guidelines are designed to be a blueprint for hospitals "so that everybody will be thinking in the same way" when pandemic flu or another widespread health care disaster hits, said Dr. Asha Devereaux. She is a critical care specialist in San Diego and lead writer of the task force report.

The idea is to try to make sure that scarce resources - including ventilators, medicine and doctors and nurses - are used in a uniform, objective way, task force members said.

Their recommendations appear in a report appearing Monday in the May edition of Chest, the medical journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

In a triage environment, hard decisions are made by medical professionals on the spot based on the current situation.
It's an unfortunate reality. However, planning in advance who you will treat regardless of the current situation or the individual is absolutely wrong.
The folks on the spot need freedom to act according to their training, treating patients as they arrive for care.
If something bad happens, the first time I see an injured person turned away because they are on the "Die" list, I'm going to start my own "Die" list. Starting with the scumbag who turns them away.
Lists can't predetermine life, only an evaluation of a trained professional on the spot can do that, and I don't envy them that difficult task; it goes with the job.
Our Elitist masters are really starting to push their luck with this idea.
As I have said before:
Fighting evil is a moral obligation. Fighting corruption is a civil obligation. Fighting tyranny is a political obligation. The battle against all three is the war to save humanity.
Time to choose sides.

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Just when I think there's nothing worth posting, I read about $120 a barrel oil

holy shit...
Oil futures have surpassed the once unthinkable price of $120 a barrel.

Oil reached its latest milestone on a mix of threats to overseas crude oil supplies. A threat by Kurdish rebels in Iraq to attack American interests has investors concerned. And an attack on an oil facility in Nigeria cut oil supplies.

Meanwhile, defiant comments by Iranian leaders about the country's nuclear program raised worries about broader conflict in the Middle East.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery rose to a trading record of $120.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The falling dollar is also sending crude prices higher.

let me repeat that... holy shit...!

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I'm having trouble finding anything I consider worth posting about

am i burning out or is there just nothing much happening...?


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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sunday photoblogging: a post-thunderstorm sunset in Kabul

two thunderstorms rolled through kabul today, one around noon complete with hail, and the other in the late afternoon... the clouds began to clear just before sunset and offered some glorious color and amazing light and cloud contrasts over the hindu kush mountains...

here's a bit of cloud/light/mountain contrast...


and here's some of that dazzling color...

Click on photo for larger version

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The best thing about the Hillary campaign is that it's showing us the true Bill

the more hillary attempts to claw her way to the democratic nomination through lying, character assassination and dirty tricks, the more we are forced to face the sad reality represented by the presidential administration of bill clinton, and, believe me, i ain't talking about monica or jennifer... two great examples of how the eye-scales are dropping off by the dozen are john and joe at americablog...


You really can't get more shameless than Hillary Clinton.

She, like her husband, will screw over the rest of the Democratic party for her own political gain.

I think the question remaining is not whether Obama will get the nomination. That's a done deal. The question is how much damage Clinton and her minions, especially Bill, can wreak upon Obama and the Democratic party.

like john and joe, a lot of head-in-the-sand worshippers of the "big dog" are waking up to find that the halcyon days of the clinton administration were anything but... bill clinton spent a great deal of time and energy laying the groundwork for everything we're dealing with today, he just did it in a much lower-key, less in-your-face, much more schmoozable style than the current jack-booted chimpanzee that calls himself our president...

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A powerful essay from Bill Moyers on Wright, Hagee, Falwell, Robertson, the media feeding frenzy, and the politics of race

exceptionally worthwhile...

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The press isn't even bothering to use Condi's name in the headlines any more

as the secretary of state of the united states, you can pretty well chalk yourself up to being a piece of burnt toast when the media doesn't even bother to use your name in the headlines...
US diplomat pushes for progress on Israel-Palestinian peace

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