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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 08/17/2008 - 08/24/2008
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"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday photoblogging - on SATURDAY...!

my time in buenos aires always seems to go by too fast... i fly out on monday night back to the good ol' u.s.s.r. u.s.a...

one thing about buenos aires is that i'm always discovering something new, even in my neighborhood, barrio nuñez, that i've lived in off and for nearly three years now... so far this time, just in my little neck of the woods, i've discovered two great little restaurants i must have walked by a thousand times and never noticed, a patagonian place, featuring - what else - beef, and a salteño place featuring locro, tamales and humitas...

yesterday was gorgeous, so i biked over to parque de los niños and up the paseo de la costa... later in the day, i basked in the late afternoon sunshine in plaza lima, and then treated myself to helado (ice cream) from chungo, certainly one of the best heladerias in town...

Chungo in Nuñez

truly, even though that's a publicity photo from the chungo website, there are almost always that many people there... like i said, it's very popular...

another thing i discovered while walking around this morning is that plaza lima has a saturday market... who knew...?

Saturday market at Plaza Lima

spring is in the air here... the air smells like flowers and the flowering trees are coming out...

Spring is springing on Calle Correa

and the ivy under my front window is bursting with new greenery...

The ivy is greening up on Calle Grecia

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37 bank failures since 2000, 24 since 2003, 9 in 2008

from the federal deposit insurance corporation via atrios...

[B]anks which have failed since October 1, 2000
Bank Name Closing Date Updated Date
The Columbian Bank and Trust, Topeka, KS August 22, 2008 August 22, 2008
First Priority Bank, Bradenton, FL August 1, 2008 August 1, 2008
First Heritage Bank, NA, Newport Beach, CA July 25, 2008 July 25, 2008
First National Bank of Nevada, Reno, NV July 25, 2008 July 25, 2008
IndyMac Bank, Pasadena, CA July 11, 2008 July 11, 2008
First Integrity Bank, NA, Staples, MN May 30, 2008 July 25, 2008
ANB Financial, NA, Bentonville, AR May 9, 2008 July 25, 2008
Hume Bank, Hume, MO March 7, 2008 July 25, 2008
Douglass National Bank, Kansas City, MO January 25, 2008 July 25, 2008
Miami Valley Bank, Lakeview, OH October 4, 2007 July 25, 2008
NetBank, Alpharetta, GA September 28, 2007 July 25, 2008
Metropolitan Savings Bank, Pittsburgh, PA February 2, 2007 July 25, 2008
Bank of Ephraim, Ephraim, UT June 25, 2004 April 9, 2008
Reliance Bank, White Plains, NY March 19, 2004 April 9, 2008
Guaranty National Bank of Tallahassee, Tallahassee, FL March 12, 2004 July 25, 2008
Dollar Savings Bank, Newark, NJ February 14, 2004 April 9, 2008
Pulaski Savings Bank, Philadelphia, PA November 14, 2003 July 22, 2005
The First National Bank of Blanchardville,
Blanchardville, WI
May 9, 2003 July 25, 2008
Southern Pacific Bank, Torrance, CA February 7, 2003 July 25, 2008
The Farmers Bank of Cheneyville, Cheneyville, LA December 17, 2002 October 20, 2004
The Bank of Alamo, Alamo, TN November 8, 2002 March 18, 2005
AmTrade International Bank of Georgia, Atlanta, GA September 30, 2002 September 11, 2006
AmTrade International Bank of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
Spanish Version
September 30, 2002 September 11, 2006
Universal Federal Savings Bank, Chicago, IL June 27, 2002 April 9, 2008
Connecticut Bank of Commerce, Stamford, CT June 26, 2002 July 25, 2008
New Century Bank, Shelby Township, MI March 28, 2002 March 18, 2005
Net 1st National Bank, Boca Raton, FL March 1, 2002 April 9, 2008
NextBank, N.A., Phoenix, AZ February 7, 2002 July 25, 2008
Oakwood Deposit Bank Company, Oakwood, OH February 1, 2002 July 25, 2008
Bank of Sierra Blanca, Sierra Blanca, TX January 18, 2002 November 6, 2003
Hamilton Bank, N.A., Miami, FL
Spanish Version
January 11, 2002 July 25, 2008
Sinclair National Bank, Gravette, AR September 7, 2001 February 10, 2004
Superior Bank, FSB, Hinsdale, IL July 27, 2001 July 25, 2008
The Malta National Bank, Malta, OH May 3, 2001 November 18, 2002
First Alliance Bank & Trust Company, Manchester, NH February 2, 2001 February 18, 2003
National State Bank of Metropolis, Metropolis, IL December 14, 2000 March 17, 2005
Bank of Honolulu, Honolulu, HI October 13, 2000 March 17, 2005

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Friday, August 22, 2008

In a parallel universe, Ramsey Clark would be called a hero for insisting on the impeachment of George Bush

why, in our society, in the world of today, is a man like this marginalized...?

Ramsey Clark
Photo courtesy of the BBC and AFP
William Ramsey Clark (born December 18, 1927) is a lawyer and former United States Attorney General. He worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, which included service as the 66th United States Attorney General under President Lyndon B. Johnson. He is a left-wing activist and has been known for his continuing advocacy for civil and human rights political causes. He is also known for his role as defense attorney in the trials of Saddam Hussein. He was a recipient of the Gandhi Peace Award and the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award.


Following his term as Attorney General he worked as a law professor and was active in the anti–Vietnam War movement. He visited North Vietnam in 1972 as a protest to the bombing of Hanoi. He was also associated with the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison before resigning to run for political office.

In 1974 he was the Democratic Party's candidate for the United States Senate from New York, losing to Jacob Javits. In 1976, Clark again sought the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, but was a distant third in the primary behind Daniel Patrick Moynihan, (the winner), and Congresswoman Bella Abzug.

More recently, Clark has become controversial for his political views and publications. While mildly denouncing the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C. in 2001, he has also strongly opposed any retaliation against Afghanistan as well as against Al-Qaeda. He has been a strong opponent of the War on Terrorism in Afghanistan and the rest of the world from the very beginning.

In 1991, Clark accused the administration of President George H. W. Bush and "others to be named" of "crimes against peace, war crimes" and "crimes against humanity" for its conduct of the Gulf War against Iraq and the ensuing sanctions; in 1996, he added the charges of genocide and the "use of a weapon of mass destruction". Similarly, after the 1999 NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Ramsey charged and "tried" NATO on 19 counts and issued calles for its dissolution.


Clark is affiliated with VoteToImpeach, an organization advocating the impeachment of George W. Bush. He has been an opponent of both 1991 and 2003 Persian Gulf War conflicts. "Impeachment is the most important issue facing Constitutional government in the United States. Impeachment will determine whether the American people will hold the Bush administration accountable for its High Crimes and Misdemeanors".

in the united states, as we near the end of the first decade of the 21st century, anyone who has the courage to say what so desperately needs to be said, should be accorded only the highest of accolades...
A message from Ramsey Clark
"Bush has no right to lecture about human rights"

A price the American people are paying for the failure of the House of Representatives to impeach Bush, Cheney and their cabal for crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity -- the greatest assaults on peace and human rights of this century -- is the Bush Administration’s bellicose drum beat for war against a widening circle of chosen enemies.

Imagine George Bush with the blood of a million Afghans and Iraqis on his hands, the shame of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo hanging around his neck, having trashed the Bill of Rights, the Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, lecturing China for violating human rights at the World Olympics in Beijing, a hopeful symbol of international cooperation through the peaceful competition of athletes in friendship.

Imagine George Bush lecturing Russia on human rights after insisting on putting U.S. (not NATO) Star War missile sites on the Russian border in Poland and the Czech Republic despite the tragic lessons of the Cold War, all told the greatest crime in history. Among its costs are expenditures that could have provided food for all, vastly reduced poverty on the planet, progressed toward quality universal health care, education and housing for everyone. Instead it took more lives by military violence on five continents and greater military expenditures than World War II and released the genie of nuclear weapons to a status beyond control. Can the planet survive another arms race? And what was George Bush planning when he urged immediate admission of Georgia to NATO just months before Georgia invaded South Ossetia?

Imagine George Bush who committed wars of aggression, the “Supreme International Crime,” against Afghanistan and Iraq, invading and occupying both, judging Russia’s conduct as” unacceptable," and demanding withdrawal of Russian forces because it sent troops into Georgia to protect the population of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from an invasion by Georgia that killed citizens and peace keepers alike, destroyed property and had driven tens of thousands from their homes.

Nor was Georgia a stranger to Russia. It had been a part of Russia since 1801 for nearly all the last two centuries. It had great power within the USSR. Joseph Stalin was from Georgia, as were L. P. Beria, longtime head of the NKVD and many others, Edward Shevardnadze, the Soviet Union’s last Foreign Minister and the first President of the Government of the independent Georgia that separated from the Soviet Union in 1990.

George Bush took a keen interest in Georgia, which is on Russia’s southern border, but on the opposite side of the planet from the U.S., early in his Presidency and in Mikhail Saakashvili. Under Bush’s direction the U.S. provided major military arms and training for Georgia. It persuaded, or paid Georgia which had no interest in Iraq to send 2000 troops to there, a number exceeded only by the U.S. and U.K. It trained and supported the Georgian troops for duty in Iraq. Saakashvili, a U.S. law school graduate, to quote the New York Times “...positioned himself to become one of the world’s most strident critics of the Kremlin” and with the strong support from the U.S. he was elected President of Georgia.

The U.S. helped them militarize what had been a weak Georgian state. The Pentagon helped overhaul Georgia’s military forces, train its commanders and staff officers. U.S. marine strained Georgian soldiers in the fundamentals of battle. The forces were equipped with Israeli and U.S. firearms, reconnaissance drones and other sophisticated equipment, including anti-aircraft weaponry. That the U.S. trained and equipped Georgian forces fled in the face of Russian forces should have told us something about the U.S. training and equipping of foreign militaries.

All this U.S. support and manipulation was with the public goal, urged by George Bush, of making remote Georgia, though a thousand miles from Europe across the Black Sea and Russia, member of NATO and placing Abkhazia and South Ossetia under Georgian control by force.

As in most matters in which George Bush takes aggressive action, oil is a factor in some form. Georgia has made itself available for a pipeline from the Caspian Sea through Azerbaijan then across Georgia to the Black Sea, a major Bush goal, carrying oil from Azerbaijan and former Soviet Republics in Central Asia, produced in large part by U.S. oil companies, to Western markets by-passing Russia. Western Europe shared this U.S. interest.

President Bush visited Georgia in 2005, the first U.S. President to do so. Condoleeza Rice visited while National Security Advisor to Bush and since. Saakashvili has been a frequent guest at the White House and in the Washington corridors of power.

It is George Bush’s enticement and incitement of Georgia that created the present crisis. We have not been told what has been paid Georgia for it.

Suppose NATO had agreed to Georgia membership before Georgia invaded South Ossetia, as the U.S. urged. NATO would have been bound by mutual defense pact to defend Georgia as a Member. NATO, a Cold War creation, which includes all the former colonial powers, should be abolished. The U.S. persuaded NATO to share blame for its assaults that balkanized Yugoslavia which was created to end centuries of violence in the Balkans through unity. It tried to persuade NATO to join in its wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq. It nearly succeeded in Georgia.

The U.S. has a major military airbase in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet Republic to Russia’s south and more than 1500 miles east of Georgia which is used to bomb Afghanistan. The U.S. has surrounded Russia with military bases from the Baltic states south across its western border with Europe then east for more than 2500 miles to its borders with Xinjiang Province in western China and Mongolia.

Now we can see the hypocrisy of the U.S. calling NATO into emergency session to address the Georgia crisis with false claims made repeatedly about the ceasefire and withdrawal terms negotiated by President Sarkozy of France, only to back down from all its threats and demands for action after fomenting international friction on false pretenses. The world cannot be made safe for hypocrisy, or mendacity.

It is noteworthy that Georgia is within one hundred miles of the border of Iran across Armenia. While George Bush vigorously protests Russian confrontation with Georgian troops which invaded South Ossetia, he has continued his threatening of Iran with a war of aggression for its alleged but unproven efforts to achieve nuclear weapons capability while he engages in a huge U.S. expenditure for new nuclear weapons. The U.S. now has its largest Naval presence in the Gulf region since the Gulf war, pointed toward Iran. The probability that President Bush will cause Israel and the U.S. to attack Iranian nuclear facilities plants during his remaining months in office remains high. Such an attack would violate the Nuremberg Charter and Article 56 of Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Convention 1979, which protects “Works and Installations Containing Dangerous Forces,” including nuclear facilities, from attack, because of the “consequent severe losses among the civilian population” from the blast and radiation.

As Bush's crimes grow, so does our responsibility to act. Please bring your friends and family members into the impeachment movement by sending them to and make a donation today so that the movement to Impeach and Indict Bush and Cheney will keep growing. Click this link to make your donation.

Ramsey Clark
August 22, 2008

in a just, principled society, in a world not ruled by those thirsting for money and power, clark's message would never have to appear, and the criminals that hold sway over our lives would have never been able to do so...

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Now, HERE's an idea I can get behind - getting rid of toy guns


symbolic gesture or not, this makes sense to me... i've never been able to stifle my distaste for toy guns and, yes, you gamers out there, controllers on those violent video and computer games are directly analogous to guns...

Venezuela calls on children to lay down toy weapons in exchange for toys.

The toy exchange program comes at a time when the homicide rate in Venezuela has tripled in less than 10 years.

Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

SOUNDBITE: National Crime Prevention Director Edwin Rojas, saying (Spanish):
"This is an activity intended to give a lesson: we are exchanging toys of a belligerent nature, toys that have a violent connotation, for educational toys or sporting goods. We're fundamentally hoping to facilitate and make parents and their families aware that violence is often generated through the stimulation provoked by violent toys."

"the stimulation provoked by violent toys"... < profmarcus pauses to adjust his tin-foil hat > why do you think violent toys are so prevalent...? hmmmmmmm...?

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

C'mon, Barack, keep taking every advantage to give McSame this kind of sucker punch

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008


as atrios says, more like this...

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Exxon John

pretty much sums it up, dontcha think...?

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Monday, August 18, 2008

The nuclear black market and the myth of so-called U.S. "news"

yes, most everyone reading this blog is fully aware of the sad reality of what passes for "news" in the united states... however, it's always nice to have that truth validated in such an articulate fashion...
Centrism is the philosophy of the American media - and that essentially backs the status quo, when you're a centrist, and this game of objectivity that they play is really limited by parameters that you're allowed to ask questions and to investigate and in a sense then you're transmitting these assumptions, and reinforcing every day that the US is really a functioning democracy...


The mindset of the American mainstream press does not allow certain ideas to easily filter through: the idea that high-ranking US officials might actually be facilitating this [nuclear black market]... It's entertainment all the time, the presidential campaign is entertainment, and do you actually think that these guys would actually go in there and make changes, whoever wins, when behind this wall of entertainment put forward by news media and the entertainment industry is a murky world of terrorism, nuclear procurement ring, of CIA, of the FBI working - and this rarely breaks through to the mainstream press...

They rarely look at the entire system being rotten, not just one official here or there being rotten, and they pat themselves on the back. And when I say the entire system being rotten, I mean Congress that is enthralled to corporate backers, and approving their aggressive foreign policy that enriches themselves, and does nothing to secure the American people or the interests of most American people. That is not even in the discussion in the mainstream press...

this is part of an interview conducted by scott horton of joseph luria (audio here, full transcript here), one of the london sunday times investigators who is still working on the sibel edmonds story... luke ryland has one of his usual highly informative, thorough posts up on daily kos that captures the whole thing...

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The myth of thinking you're safe if you get sick and have health insurance

half the families that filed bankruptcies last year did so because of health-related crises... 75% of the families that filed bankruptcies had health insurance at the onset of the health crisis that precipitated bankruptcy...

elizabeth warren, a harvard law professor in a very interesting piece from the deleted scenes of michael moore's movie, "sicko"...

from brasscheck tv...
The All-American Scam

More than half of bankruptcies in America are the result of medical bills.

A full 75% of those had health insurance!

In Canada, the UK, Japan and Western Europe, an outcome like this is impossible.

Americans are told they have the best health care system in the world and if they pay thousands of dollars a year for health insurance they'll be protected.

just more major stuff that manages to stay under wraps in our highly propagandized news media...

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Priceless, Simply Priceless

I know this extends beyond the normal definition of 'fair use'; but I believe reprinting it in full IS fair use. And I'm certain that Pravda would agree.

From Pravda......Bush: Why don’t you shut up?

Taking the words of the illustrious King of Spain, in his imbecillic retort to President Hugo Chavez, we use them not as a response to a diatribe but rather, a just retort to an imbecile. President George W. Bush, why don’t you shut up?

President Bush,
Why don’t you shut up? In your statement on Monday regarding the legitimate actions of the Russian Federation in Georgia, you failed to mention once the war crimes perpetrated by Georgian military forces, which American advisors support, against Russian and Ossetian civilians. Kinda embarrassing, eh?

President Bush,
Why don’t you shut up? Your faithful ally, Mikhail Saakashvili, was announcing a ceasefire deal while his troops, with your advisors, were massing on Ossetia’s border, which they crossed under cover of night and destroyed Tskhinvali, targeting civilian structures just like your forces did in Iraq. Kinda humanitarian, eh?

President Bush,
Why don’t you shut up? The military forces of your faithful ally, Georgia, supported by American advisors, while on a mission as peacekeepers in Ossetia, were ordered to open fire on Russian peacekeeping forces in the same team. Kinda noble, eh?

President Bush,
Why don’t you shut up? Your American transport aircraft gave a ride home to thousands of Georgian soldiers from Iraq directly into the combat zone. Did your boys wish them good luck as they stepped off the aircraft? I can almost hear it, “Give ‘em Hell!” Kinda friendly, eh?

President Bush,
Why don’t you shut up? How do you account for the fact that among the Georgian soldiers fleeing the fighting yesterday you could clearly hear officers using American English giving orders to “Get back inside” and how do you account for the fact that there are reports of American soldiers among the Georgian casualties? Kinda odd, eh?

President Bush,
Why don’t you shut up? Do you really think anyone gives any importance whatsoever to your words after 8 years of your criminal and murderous regime and policies? Do you really believe you have any moral ground whatsoever and do you really imagine there is a single human being anywhere on this planet who does not stick up his middle finger every time you appear on a TV screen? Kinda makes ya’ll think, eh?

Do you really believe you have the right to give any opinion or advice after Abu Ghraib? After Guantanamo? After the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens? After the torture by CIA operatives? Kinda difficult, eh?

Do you really believe you have any right to make a statement on any point of international law after your trumped-up charges against Iraq and the subsequent criminal invasion? Like spittin’ into the wind, right?

President Bush,
Why don’t you shut up? Suppose Russia for instance declares that Georgia has weapons of mass destruction? And that Russia knows where these WMD are, namely in Tblisi and Poti and north, south, east and west of there? And that it must be true because there is “magnificent foreign intelligence” such as satellite photos of milk powder factories and baby cereals producing chemical weapons and which are currently being “driven around the country in vehicles”? Suppose Russia declares for instance that “Saakashvili stiffed the world” and it is “time for regime change”?

Nice and simple, isn’t it, President Bush?

So, why don’t you shut up? Oh and by the way, send some more of your military advisors to Georgia, they are doing a sterling job. And they look all funny down the night sight, all green. Hahaha!

Thank you, That would be all.

Bush, McCain, and the entire MSM, is turning America into the world's laughing stock.

Heckuva job, Chimpy, you hypocritical SOB.

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Sunday photoblogging from Thursday AND from today...

i spent most of the day on thursday outside... it was a magnificent day... first, i biked to parque saavedra and did laps before kicking back on a bench in the sun... after i got back to my place, i simply couldn't stay indoors, so i walked over to plaza lima to watch the sunset... it was an afternoon for light and clouds...

Photobucket Photobucket
Cloud formations at sunset,
Plaza Lima, Barrio Nuñez, Buenos Aires
Thursday, 1700 hrs, 14 August 2008

this morning, it was chilly and breezy but with bright sunshine and a brilliant blue sky... i decided to take in a sunday buenos aires tradition, feria san telmo, the antiques fair... unfortunately, there are too many anglos there to suit me, but it's a great place for people-watching while sipping a cafe con leche and nibbling on medialunas... i managed to grab the following video clip of tango dancers who are always on hand to show off their skills for the turista and make a few pesos...

i walked around some more and then headed off for a late brunch at restaurant macama where i had an excellent omelette and several hours of terrific conversation with some friends... yes, today was a great day, just one of many here in argentina...

Roquefort, mozarella and spinach omelette
with avocado and hash browns
Restaurante Macama
Barrio San Telmo, Buenos Aires
Sunday, 1400 hrs, 17 August 2008

by the way, the 10th annual buenos aires tango festival is underway through 24 august... check out the details here...


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Two Questions

The questions are theoretical, we ALL know the answers.

#1) Why is it, that every place America and Israel get covertly involved in, death and destruction follows?

#2) Why is it acceptable and noble to be under the sphere of American influence, but unacceptable and ignoble to be under the sphere of Russian influence?

Although you may not be able to understand the words to this music, the tone and the pictures are undeniably universal.

Does America and Israel have to meet their demise before this madness ends?

Oil ....................The curse of mankind.

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