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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 08/30/2009 - 09/06/2009
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, September 05, 2009

And I'm heading back to Afghanistan to face this...


an on-going tragedy of epic proportions continues in afghanistan...

al jazeera...

A Nato air strike is said to have killed between 70 and 130 people in the Afghan province of Kunduz.

Nato say they targeted Taliban fighters who had seized two fuel tankers.

Al Jazeera's James Bays reports from a nearby village, where locals say many of the killed were civilians.

according to several accounts i've read, including juan cole, there were numerous civilians gathered around the tankers hoping to get some free fuel...
The governor [Kunduz Governor Eng. Mohammad Omar] said the Taliban fighters hijacked two oil tankers carrying aircraft fuel for NATO forces from the Kunduz-Baghlan Highway. The militants were distributing fuel for free when the raid took place.

But a security official, seeking anonymity, said the death toll was more than 200. He claimed warplanes struck the people who had gathered to receive free oil distributed by the hijackers. The official would not give further details.

what with the unrest due to the disputed election results and the completely understandable outpouring of rage over civilian deaths, it's going to be a tough time to be headed back there, but back there i will be as of a week from this sunday... unfortunately, being there is no more of a guarantee of an informed perspective than sitting here in the u.s... anyway, stay tuned...

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Arrest and charge FOOTBALL players for assault? What about those who authorized torture?

look no further for evidence of the essential hypocrisy that runs deep in our national character than the endless bloviating going on today on espn about lagarrette blount of the university of oregon football team who assaulted two opposing team players in a game yesterday against boise state... the following piece summarizes the discussion very succinctly...
It was Boise State 19, Oregon 8. Also, it's so long to Ducks running back LeGarrette Blount, who should be kicked off the team today for what he did on Thursday at Bronco Stadium.

Blount punched Boise State's Byron Hout in the face on the field after the game. Then, Blount put a fist to the helmet of Ducks' teammate Garrett Embry, who was trying to play peacemaker. And what we have here is a low moment that can not be greeted with tolerance.

Blount left the field struggling with two police officers and two stadium security guards, and with Ducks assistant Scott Frost being towed along. There was a hostile brush with a Boise State fan, too. In the end, there was chaos and volatility all around this team, courtesy of Blount.

The Ducks running back should be arrested and charged with assault today for slugging Hout, who wasn't even looking. Also, Blount should be served up by first-year head coach Chip Kelly as a reminder of everything the program should never become.

would that we could champion such accountability among those in our national leadership who sponsored the commission of war crimes and those who carried out the nefarious deeds...

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

"Mr Gomez, Tear Down This Wall"

This jewel was sent to me from And, Yes, I DO Take It Personally friend, Betmo. Thanks, Kiddo!

From the Miami Herald..........

Mexico nabs 6 in theft of border-fence steel

TIJUANA, Mexico -- Police in the Mexican border city of Tijuana say they have arrested six men for stealing pieces of the U.S. border fence to sell as scrap metal.


Police said Wednesday in a statement that the men may face federal charges because the fence area is considered federal property.

Slooooooowly I turned..........

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Wednesday sunset and moonrise photoblogging

sorry... i can't help myself... there's just something about sunsets and moonrises that render me completely helpless when i have a camera available...

7:34 p.m., PDT, taken facing ESE

7:35 p.m., PDT, taken facing WNW

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Sigh... Yeah, it DOES feel like Bush's third term, doesn't it...?

argue with this if you dare...

dave swanson in tomdispatch via information clearing house...

[The] dark fantasy of a third Bush term is also an accurate portrait of Obama's first term to date. In following Bush, Obama was given the opportunity either to restore the rule of law and the balance of powers or to firmly establish in place what were otherwise aberrant abuses of power. Thus far, President Obama has, in all the areas mentioned above, chosen the latter course. Everything described, from the continuation of crimes to the efforts to hide them away, from the corruption of corporate power to the assertion of the executive power to legislate, is Obama's presidency in its first seven months.

Which doesn't mean there aren't differences in the two moments. For one thing, Democrats have now joined Republicans in approving expanded presidential powers and even -- in the case of wars, military strikes, lawless detention and rendition, warrantless spying, and the obstruction of justice -- presidential crimes. In addition, in the new Democratic era of goodwill, peace and justice movements have been strikingly defunded and, in some cases, even shut down. Many progressive groups now, in fact, take their signals from the president and his team, rather than bringing the public's demands to his doorstep.

If we really were in Bush's third term, people would be far more active and outraged. There would already be a major push to really end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan. Undoubtedly, the Democrats still wouldn't impeach Bush, especially since they'd be able to vote him out before his fourth term, and surely four more years of him wouldn't make all that much difference.

double sigh...

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Alex Gibney and Bill Moyers on "Money-Driven Medicine"

as always, bill moyers manages to burrow in to the guts of what's really happening in contemporary issues...

here's a trailer for the documentary, money-driven medicine, that was offered on bill moyers journal in shortened form...

a snippet from the documentary's producer, alex gibney...

The fact is that, in a mixed system where private enterprise and public monies inhabit the same space, inefficiency and extravagance are profitable. Remember the military industrial complex? Private contractors make profits by charging the government for cost overruns. Defense contractors call this "cost plus." Pharma calls it "No Public Option."

Why is it that free marketeers are so afraid of competing with a government program which, in their religion, is inherently inefficient? Well who wants to compete with a public option that won't take 10-20% in overhead, lobbying costs, administration costs and profit? That's my bonus, dude. Whoops, I mean, I have a fiduciary responsibility to deliver the highest possible return to my shareholders.

watch it... read it... it's some truly infuriating stuff that unsurprisingly validates most everything we already know...

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Government of, by and for the corporations

thank god somebody can still muster some snark...


thanks to raw story...

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Repulsive tv advertising tag lines

yeah, i confess, i've been watching more television than is probably good for my mental and emotional health...

here's some of the tag lines guaranteed to make me retch...

"Fill up on more drama"
- promo for "Bridezillas," a reality show on We TV

"You're gonna look real fly"
- faux rap music ad for Fruit of the Loom

"I chose to get my daughter vaccinated against cervical cancer"
- ad for the drug Gardasil, manufactured by Merck, masquerading as a public service announcement

"Your purchase can help save wildlife caught in oil spills"
- an ad for Dawn, a dishwashing detergent advertised as being particularly effective against grease

"Disney will plant a tree in your honor"
- a Disney ad whose subject I've evidently chosen to forget

"I'm packing my own lunch today for less than $3 thanks to Walmart"
- ad for Walmart touting how much you can save by making your own lunch with ingredients purchased there (as opposed to going out for lunch, presumably for fast food)

"We're out to buy $200M in gold by the end of summer"
- ad for

"To live large you have to see it large"
- ad for something I definitely chose to forget


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Cheney is trying to get everyone to accept that the end justifies the means

according to the big dick, as a country, we are entitled to do whatever it takes - legal, illegal, humane, inhumane, right, wrong, moral or immoral - to attain the ends our controllers and handlers have determined are the ends "we" must achieve...

watch it... it's so straightforward, articulate, eminently reasonable and enough to give me sleepless nights for weeks to come...

that this man is still permitted to serve as a spokesman for my country is a hideous betrayal of accountability and the rule of law, not to mention a pathetic portrayal of the united states to the rest of the world...

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I've never understood those who are so rabidly opposed to the ACLU

imho, they're doing most of the heavy lifting in the seemingly endless battle against our own government to uphold our civil liberties, accountability and the rule of law...
In the spring of 2003, long before Abu Ghraib or secret prisons became part of the American vocabulary, a pair of recently hired lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union noticed a handful of news reports about allegations of abuse of prisoners in American custody.

The lawyers, Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, wondered: Was there a broader pattern of abuse, and could a Freedom of Information Act request uncover it? Some of their colleagues, more experienced with the frustrations of such document demands, were skeptical. One made a tongue-in-cheek offer of $1 for every page they turned up.

Six years later, the detention document request and subsequent lawsuit are among the most successful in the history of public disclosure, with 130,000 pages of previously secret documents released to date and the prospect of more.

The case has produced revelation after revelation: battles between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the military over the treatment of detainees at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp; autopsy reports on prisoners who died in custody in Afghanistan and Iraq; the Justice Department’s long-secret memorandums justifying harsh interrogation methods; and day-by-day descriptions of what happened inside the Central Intelligence Agency’s overseas prisons.

it's not as if we needed the aclu to stoke our suspicions about what's been happening but we sure as hell have needed them to help us move beyond mere suspicions to real facts...

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