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Might as well lie back and ”think of England…” 31 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, 2010 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
104 comments

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“The Obama presidency presents us with both an opportunity and a challenge,” said the Rev. David K. Brawley, of St. Paul Community Baptist Church in Brooklyn. [J.B. Reed for The New York Times]

It’s from November 15th, but still timely… a friend had emailed me that night to not miss the photo on the FP of the NYT… and I would say it is special.  In the sense that specials, my father used to say, are on the sale table at Macy’s (and now the whole nation is on the Sale!  Reduced!  Mark Downs Intermittent and Otherwise have been taken!  tables).

As he walked into his office in Brooklyn nearly every day this fall, the Rev. David K. Brawley noticed a photograph on his assistant’s desk.

It showed Senator Barack Obama, head bowed, as a circle of black ministers gathered around him, touching their hands to his shoulders and uttering prayers.

Without even knowing the precise circumstances of the picture — it had been taken in July during the quadrennial conference of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination — Mr. Brawley understood the broader context. The hands and the prayers offered to Mr. Obama were an act, in the lexicon of black Christianity, of impartation.

What was being imparted at the most obvious level was a blessing on a black candidate’s pursuit of the presidency. Now, with Mr. Obama’s election, the image has taken on a double meaning. The presence in the White House of an African-American, and specifically one from the post-civil rights, multicultural era, will almost certainly impart influence and prominence on his contemporaries in the black ministry.

What a con.  The ultimate boxing in of Martin Luther King… as well as the ultimate projection of that narrowed, bitten off, truncated ”reality” the government allows.  Just a damned reverend, conning the people.  Quite convenient for the PTB, because they can control the reverends and the ministers and the priests…. thru cash and gratuities..  Deals… and whatever else.  Up for sale.  So many of them always taking the flock to market.

Ain’t it a shame.  And around our necks for years…

As if the church of Ratz or Rick Warren or  Dobson or the Elders of the LDS or TD Jakes — or the one pictured above (don’t miss the cute little wimmens ministry! …you too can be re-named after a precious, precious jewel!) meant anything, at all, to me.  I’d love to be a citoyenne in a secular state.

But we are stuck with them.  And a wanna-be, imo, in the WH.

Fucking hell.

*****

I’ve had this, title picture and text, tucked away for sometime, never found a good day to use it… but as of a few mins ago, I’ve hunted for days for something for New Year’s Eve… celebrations, NewYear’s as it hit the rising cities of China, S Asia, Australia… ships trying to fish in contested waters, fresh new babies, fresh new piglets (Good Luck for the year, so they say in Germany) all sorts of faces and moments, wild stags on tundra like landscapes… you name it, I looked at it… but hell, He sold himself as the ultimate New Year’s Baby… so, over to you Obama.

aemd from the previous thread:

One more time, Ioz, Belief You Can Change In.

“Israel is destroying Gaza, we’re still occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan is moving troops to its Indian border, the card-house global economy finally went a floor too high, and no one can do anything about it, least of all His Youthfulness.”

Good luck.  And have at it…

(Disclaimer:  I realise this does not reek of Hope… nor does it indicate I have a personal belief in the healing power of the Obama DNA)

Bomb bomb bomb bomb Palestine… 31 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Beirut, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, WAR!.
98 comments

palestineshuafatrefugeecamp1

Palestinian women crossed a street during a demonstration against Israel’s military operation in Gaza, in the Shuafat refugee camp, on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Monday. [Photo: Dan Balilty/Associated Press/NYT]

And Israel says NO!

Israel appears to have rejected a French proposal for a 48-hour lull in the Gaza offensive and will continue its attacks against Hamas, reports suggested today.

Bernard Kouchner, the French Foreign Minister, proposed the “humanitarian ceasefire” to Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence Minister yesterday.

The plan, which would allow aid shipments to enter the besieged strip where 1.5 million Palestinians have weathered four days of bombardment, was passed to Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister, who discussed it with his foreign and defence ministers overnight.

But the meeting ended with a decision to continue operations, according to government officials, the Associated Press reported. The security Cabinet will discuss the continuation of the offensive later today.

Fisk has a new one up:

Hamas – like all the other Palestinian outfits – is infected with spies, some working for the Palestinian Authority, others for the Israelis. Israel has successively murdered one Hamas leader after another – “targeted killing”, of course, is their polite phrase – and they couldn’t do that without, as the police would say, “inside help”. Hizbollah’s previous secretary general, Sayed Abbas Moussawi, was assassinated near Jibchit by a missile-firing Israeli helicopter more than a decade ago but the movement hasn’t suffered a leader’s murder in Lebanon since then. In the 34-day war of 2006, Hizbollah lost about 200 of its men. Hamas lost almost that many in the first day of Israel’s air attacks in Gaza – which doesn’t say much for Hamas’ military precautions.

And…

Israel, however – always swift to announce its imminent destruction of “terrorism” – has never won a war in a built-up city, be it Beirut or Gaza, since its capture of Jerusalem in 1967. And it’s important to remember that the Israeli army, famous in song and legend for its supposed “purity of arms” and “elite” units, has proved itself to be a pretty third-rate army over recent years. Not since the 1973 Middle East conflict – 35 years ago – has it won a war. Its 1978 invasion of Lebanon was a failure, its 1982 invasion ended in disaster, propelling Arafat from Beirut but allowing its vicious Phalangist allies into the Sabra and Chatila camps where they committed mass murder. In neither the 1993 bombardment of Lebanon nor the 1996 bombardment of Lebanon – which fizzled out after the massacre of refugees at Qana – nor the 2006 war was its performance anything more than amateur. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the fact Arab armies are even more of a rabble than the Israelis, the Israeli state would be genuinely under threat from its neighbours.

However.. they level a lot on the way to all those failures.

Report from ABC that the weather has intervened, and established a semi ceasefire.  It is raining and foggy in Gaza, visibility is low and the mud will forestall the start of a ground war.

Is there a 24 hour drive thru window where Gawd lives?  If so he woke up and gave a small break to a war.  Do you want a large or small Coke to go with that?  Have a Happy Day!

^^^^^

From Angry Arab and his first ex wife (he has two, LOL)

Palestinian Children “Pretending” to be Injured and killed

“If necessary, sympathetic photographers take pictures of children who pretend to be injured, and once they are published in Western newspapers these claims become fact.”

Kathy (my 1st ex-wife) sent me this with the comment: “

Barry Fucking Rubin and David Fucking Frum. I thought I had heard it all.”

I don’t know why catnip won’t take Frum back.

^^^^

I was looking over this splutter from Tomasky in the Guardian… scanning the comments and saw one that signed off saying,

“Glad not to be from Illinois,  a NY Demo”

Oh sweetie!… we are all in the same lock box.  Even having left the party you cannot get away from what increasingly looks like a cheap and worn out  commuter bus filled with Gawd knows who.

I don’t care whether they claw each other to death or congeal in the heat of the overloaded bus, but let it happen.

Happy End to 2008, which from a report I read somewhere, is fractionally longer than other years, due to some tilt of the earth… or something.  Not surprising.

^^^^

Here is a lovely thing:

“I call on you
I press your hands
I kiss the ground under your feet
and I say: I sacrifice myself for you
I give you as a gift
the light of my eyes
and the warmth of heart, I give you
My tragedy that I live
Is my share of your tragedies
I call on you
I press your hands
I kiss the ground under your feet
and I say: I sacrifice myself for you
I did not humiliate myself in my homeland
and I did not lower my shoulders
I stood facing my oppressors
orphaned, naked, and bare foot
I call on you
I press your hands
I kiss the ground under your feet
and I say: I sacrifice myself for you
I carried my blood on my palm
I never lowered my flags
and I cared for the green grass
over the graves of my ancestors”

From the poem I Call On You by Palestinian poet Tawfiq Zayyad (As’ad translation)  He has several posted

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A protester peers through the gates of the Thai parliament, where thousands of demonstrators loyal to ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra have gathered to oppose the new Thai government. [AP/BBC]

Rising 30 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, WAR!.
76 comments

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Smoke rises after an Israel air strike [Reuters]

Here is a laugh… do you suppose he ate Twinkies?  Or was it a bad, really bad matzoh ball… or a few?  hmm?

While Bernard Madoff is being investigated for his alleged $50 billion fraud scheme, a report says he is considering an insanity defense.

“Bernie’s family and his attorneys may argue that, somewhere along the line, he had a mental break,” a Madoff acquaintance told the New York Daily News.

“They may even say he has a multiple personality disorder,” the source added

But, matzoh jokes aside, surely he is on suicide watch?

Meanwhile, Madoff’s family fears that he may follow suit in the footstep’s of Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, a Madoff client who slit his wrists last week.

“He has a very low affect. Bernie barely speaks,” the Daily News quoted a source as saying.

Madoff’s attorneys are expected to argue that he committed the fraud during manic and euphoric periods or that he was so delusional that he convinced himself the investment returns were real.

it would be amusing if it were anything but a dodge…

According to Times Online, the federal investigators believe Madoff would not have been able to pull off a fraud of such magnitude without significant international assistance.

That sounds just so sane

hmm the gregarious boychicks over at Clusterstock don’t seem to have heard of the mental defect defense or the newly acquired affect… at least not as of 2:10 am in the Pacific zone………..

Do you think they have him on quarter hour checks?  Hourly bed check…?

Somehow I think not.

Smoke from the abattoir… 29 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Egypt, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Israel/AIPAC, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, WAR!.
62 comments

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– RAFAH, Dec. 28, 2008 (Xinhua) — Palestinian firefighters try to extinguish flames at a medicine storehouse after Israeli airstrike targeted at a fuel tank nearby in southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah Dec. 28, 2008. (Xinhua Photo  081228)

What’s a little war making from our friends… ?

Gwen Ifill is quoting Obama’s words (daughters -sleeping -Sderot -rockets -I would do the same!, etcetera) to the Palestinian Observer to the UN, and noted that Ehud Barak  quoted him in the Knesset today.  Way to go Barack!  Well cemented in…silent in Hawai’i but well and properly used.    This is so like his tactical words that became enmeshed in the Prop 8 battle out here.  “God is in the mix“, meaning in marriage, said on MTV 3 days before election … and “sex is sacred“, that one, he says often!… The right LOVED it.  Yes on 8 used tapes of his voice.  Oh it all worked out so well.

catch a clue, they are flying in the air….

From Democracy NOW!

JUAN GONZALEZ: And, Dr. Moussa El-Haddad, I’d like to ask you also about the—there have been reports that the Israelis were trying to block television signals. What’s the situation with the electricity, the ability of the people to at least get some information and communicate with each other?

DR. MOUSSA EL-HADDAD: Well, as I speak to you know, I have no electricity in my house. I have a generator that I can open or let work for like two or three hours every now and then to let the internet work and watch TV. We have electricity like three or four hours a day. We have no cooking gas. I mean, I’m talking about the people. Maybe I have a little left in my house. But people don’t have electricity about 75 percent of the time, no cooking gas, no gas for the cars. So fuel is also lacking. And the only source of, like, food and fuel lately was through Egypt, through those tunnels, and these were attacked last night. At least forty tunnels were demolished last night.

I don’t know. This is—can you tell me if any of this is against Hamas? There’s nothing against Hamas.

This is a clear-cut genocide and holocaust against civilians, civilians who are helpless. They don’t have warplanes. They don’t have warships. They don’t—even the rockets that they talk about are homemade. And I just—I cannot—and I really lost the words, because the situation is so bad. And we are in the twenty-first century. We are not in tenth or fifteenth century. Everybody in the world can see and hear. But who acts? Who is doing anything? Now, they say the killer and the killed are the same. They are putting Israel, with all its military power, [inaudible] level like Hamas and people of Gaza.

And the smoke rises higher:

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: … Also, I want to clarify that Gaza Strip is the highest densely populated area in the world, with almost 4,150 people in each square kilometer. When you start bombing the place with bombs that are one to two tons heavy, then you’re determined to kill people and kill civilians and innocent people.

I’ve just heard Tzipi Livni, the Foreign Minister of Israel, saying that Palestinians should go away from Hamas and Gaza. Where should they go away? In which place? Where? Which place they can go to, when Israel is putting Gaza for two years under total blockade, by sea, by air, by land. Israel has been claiming that it has withdrawn from Gaza. Israel never ended its occupation of Gaza. It maintains the occupying of the airspace, the sea around Gaza and the land around Gaza.

And it was preventing people from getting medical aid and equipment and fuel and electricity. I was just talking to our people in Gaza and asked them, “What is your situation?” They told me they don’t have bread. Even bread is unavailable in Gaza. And now Israel is bombarding it in this horrible and unacceptable way.

I think the world community must see the reality. This is an unprecedented bloodbath that the Israeli generals are using—and politicians are using for their political campaigning in their elections. For one more time, they’re using Palestinian blood for their election campaigns.

I’m so sorry that even some left parties in Israel are supporting such an aggression.

They all claim that this is about missiles. But let me ask a very simple question: How many Israelis were killed during the last six months by missiles? Almost none. The only two Israelis that were killed so far were killed after this operation.

… and what does smoke rise from… burning flesh.

ALI ABUNIMAH: Isn’t it convenient that we only have one president at a time, when it suits Barack Obama to stay silent on something that is enflaming the whole world? Apparently, we don’t have one president at a time when it comes to the economy or Iraq or Afghanistan or other issues. But on this, Barack Obama is content to remain silent and, in fact, to give, through the statements of David Axelrod, his more or less open support for what Israel is doing, which fits with the policies that he has enunciated consistently of supporting Israel’s attacks on Gaza, supporting the blockade of Gaza, supporting the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006.

And this is why Israel feels so comfortable carrying out these sorts of atrocities, which cross every red line of the Fourth Geneva Conventions, of the Nuremberg Principles, of all of the laws of war that were developed in the twentieth century.

Israel feels totally comfortable crossing them, because it knows that it will have full support from any US administration, no matter what political shade it is.

And this is why it’s crucially important that people don’t sit by waiting ’til January 20th. January 20th, the calendar flipping is not going to change anything. What’s going to change things is boycott, divestment and sanctions, people rising up and demanding an end to impunity, demanding, for example, that Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni be brought to account before an international war crimes court for the orders that they have given for these massacres of the civilian population of Gaza. That’s what’s going to bring change, and that’s what people must call and organize for.

Well… we won’t see Ehud or Tzipi before any war crimes court, nor will we  see BushCheney.

More protest… [update] 28 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Beirut, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Divertissements, Europe, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, Spain, WAR!.
72 comments

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David Bates: ‘I took this picture in a car park in Spain. A very imaginative use of a hole in a wall. Maybe it is a scream for help or just a clever piece of graffiti’ [Photograph: David Bates - Reader Photographs - Guardian]

I hardly go to HuffWuffMuffPo anymore.. and I am sure i miss a lot.. but it became too much like a tabloid during the primaries and the GE.  Just too devoid of anything near reality.

But I dropped in and see this from Sam Stein, who I think has operated as a factoid, quote and whatever else upchucker for Obster… and is still at it…

One of Barack Obama’s chief spokesmen repeated on Sunday that it would be counterproductive for the president-elect to weigh too deeply into the crisis between Israel and Hamas while another commander-in-chief occupied the Oval Office.

But David Axelrod, appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, did reaffirm Obama’s commitment to the “special relationship between the United States and Israel” in a way that suggested general sympathy for the Jewish state’s actions.

Speaking a day after Israeli airstrikes, targeting and destroying Hamas facilities in Gaza, killed more than 275, Axelrod said the president-elect, from on-the-ground experience, understood the urge for retaliatory action.

Last July, Obama visited Sderot, a southern Israel town on the border of the Gaza Strip that has taken the brunt of Hamas attacks, Axelrod reminded host Chip Reid. “He said then that when bombs are raining down on your citizens, there is an urge to respond and act to try to put an end to that. That’s what he said then. I think that’s what he believes.”

OH too funny… if Axelrod does not know what Ob believes then no one does.

And:

But the ascension of Hamas to political power has complicated not just regional politics but Obama’s approach to the matter. During the course of the election, his view on the organization seemed to harden. And when it was reported that his former church had reprinted a pro-Hamas op-ed in its bulletin, Obama offered deliberately strong lines of disapproval.

Hamas is a “terrorist organization,” he opined, “responsible for the deaths of many innocents, and dedicated to Israel’s destruction, as evidenced by their bombarding of Sderot in recent months. I support requiring Hamas to meet the international community’s conditions of recognizing Israel, renouncing violence, and abiding by past agreements before they are treated as a legitimate actor.”

He’s so fucking boxed in.  If he does that… he’s a secret muslim!  Or if he does this, then he really did listen to the Wright epistles, newsletters (given out at the services) and the various essays…

I think that suits Ob. And in the end, it all comes back to status quo.

I went back to that spineless, legless, armless post of Clemons’… to the thread … snipped from a comment:

[I] was in Israel in November listening to various Cabinet members assure the settlers on the status of peace negotiations.

Here is the deal – the Palestinians get about 75% of the west bank with Israel getting 25 years to remove the settlements that will ultimately give them about 91.7%.  Israel retains control of the West Bank aquifers and all water resources in Palestinian territory. In addition, Israel controls the Jordan border and ALL ingress and egrees from the West Bank is forever under Israel control. Jerusalem for the Palestinians was a dead issue with the expansion of Har Homa meaning East Jerusalem is forever cut off from the rest of the West Bank.  …

This peace crap has been going on for 40 years including the intensive Annapolis talks. If Israel really wants peace they could have had at any time over the past couple decades if they would be fair. Meanwhile the settlements expand and new ones crop up and within 10 years a two state solution will be impossible. Do you realize there are 500,000 Jews on the other side of the Green Line? Do you really think Israel would move them? That’s why the peace talks always remain talk – Israel could not move these people. That is why we get delays and subject changes(like the Gaza bombing) to indefinitely delay the time when Israel has to make serious decisions.

There’s not a lot of newer noooz around (we are in one of those holding pens of war) but down in the guts of an AFP article there is this…………. restating what’s been stated but also what is apparent to anyone sane:

[A]nd the UN envoy to the Middle East Robert Serry called for a new truce with international backing, telling AFP in an interview that there was no military solution to the conflict.

But a senior Israeli official insisted: “We have our goals and our timetable, and we don’t seek mediation.”

Israel in the meanwhile announced it would allow 100 truck-loads of humanitarian aid into Gaza on Monday but said it would maintain its crippling blockade on the impoverished territory. [...]

The beat goes on in the abattoir…

[T]he Israeli offensive sparked protests across the world. In the occupied West Bank, two demonstrators were killed in clashes with police.

Israel unleashed “Operation Cast Lead” against Hamas in the middle of Saturday morning, with some 60 warplanes hitting more than 50 targets in just a few minutes.

By Sunday, some 230 targets had been hit, the military said.

Hamas has responded by firing more than 90 rockets and mortar rounds at Israel, killing one man and wounding some 20 people.

The Israeli blitz came after days of spiralling violence since the expiry of the Gaza truce. It comes less than two months before snap parliamentary elections in Israel called for February 10.

Whenever anything big breaks out, Electronic Intifada starts running eyewitness diaries from those on the ground:

[E]yewitnesses said two Israeli missiles had destroyed the station. One had soared through a children’s playground and a busy fruit and vegetable market before striking its target.

Civilians dead

There was blood on a broken plastic yellow slide, and a crippled, dead donkey with an upturned vegetable cart beside it. Aubergines and splattered blood covered the ground. A market trader present during the attack began to explain in broken English what happened: “It was full here, full, three people dead, many, many injured.” An elderly man with a white kuffiyeh scarf around his head threw his hands down to his blood-drenched trousers and cried, “Look! Look at this! Shame on all governments, shame on Israel, look how they kill us, they are killing us and what does the world do? Where is the world, where are they, we are being killed here, hell upon them!” …snip…

It will be something, at least, of we don’t get a repeat of the silencio across the aligned blogs, like we had during the war against Lebanon in 2006.

SHAME ON THOSE WHO CHOOSE THE PARTY OVER JUST SPEAKING OUT AGAINST WAR.

Not like it requires courage, ffs.

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UPDATE, 2:02 am PT

While I was at Press TV, saw this – full text -

Mystery surrounds Gaza port condition

Mon, 29 Dec 2008 07:58:57 GMT

Israel may have bombed the Gaza seaport amid Iranian plans to send a ship to deliver humanitarian aid to the besieged coastal strip.

It seems that the Gaza seaport was the latest target of Israeli attacks, Press TV’s Gaza correspondent, Yousef al-Helou, reported after explosions were heard around the port.

It is no longer clear whether aid ships will be able to dock at the port as Tel Aviv has also bombed the area late Sunday.

The news comes amid plans for aid deliveries to the coastal area to begin via the sea.

As well, Press TV had “Breaking News”:

Medical sources have confirmed to a Press TV reporter at the scene that at least 1550 Gazans have been injured and 310 have been killed.

An earlier shipment of Iranian aid supplies has gone to Cairo by plane..

Link to Press TV’s Palestine page.

Protest 27 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, Italy, WAR!.
74 comments

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A pro-Tibet protester shouts anti-China slogans from a police van in front of the Chinese Embassy Visa Section in Kathmandu on April 29 [Picture: REUTERS]

I figured a day of onset of war or renewed war somewhere would make good use of this pic… Works today I think

Since Israeli troops overran the Strip in 1967, Israeli politicians and generals have always seen it as a problem – a hotbed of radicalism and opposition. And so Israel has ventured failed experiment after experiment in the attempt to control Gaza. It has tried everything except the obvious – to allow its people to be free.

It has tried directly managing Gaza, and a brutal policy of quarantine backed by tanks, jets and gunboats. It has attempted the maintenance of strategic settlements, which only provided a focus for resistance against the patrolling troops. And when that failed, Israel retreated – only to find that, without a proximate enemy, those living inside turned to attacking the nearby towns with crude missiles.

Ironically, one of Israel’s experiments involved assisting in the creation of Hamas, which had its roots in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, to counter the power of Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation. Israel has been determined to push Hamas ever closer to all-out war since insisting that even though it won free and fair Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, its right to govern could not be treated as legitimate.

Since Hamas took power in Gaza in summer 2007, after a short, brutal struggle with Fatah, Israel’s policy has been one of collective punishment, summed up in the policy of “no prosperity, no development, no humanitarian crisis”.

It has tried everything except the obvious – to allow its people to be free.

Yes.. Let’s not get too carried away with this easy idea of  ”failure”.  We tried so hard!  We failed! Ongoing chaos seems to me to be the order of the day.  Just as Iraq is not,  nor was it ever,  “mismanaged”.

Here is where the author leaves us… I am less sure than he seems to be that some Great Fork in the endless war road that we share with Israel has occurred.  Nice thought tho.

And Israel has supplied a rallying point. Something tangible and brutal that gives the critics of its actions in Gaza – who say it has a policy of collective punishment backed by disproportionate and excessive force – something to focus on.

Something to be ranked with Deir Yassin. With the Sabra and Shatila massacres. Something, at last, that Israel’s foes can say looks like an atrocity.

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What a strange day! A writer in the Sunday Observer (what a diminished, shadow of nothing that publication is!) ponders B16′s Christmas Urbi e Orbi

Over the past few months, the Vatican has been quietly canvassing Lord Guthrie, the former head of the armed forces, John Studzinski, the millionaire philanthropist, and a handful of other influential British Catholics on who should succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor upon his imminent retirement. From the telephone conversations and one-on-one meetings, it is clear what Pope Benedict XVI expects of the man who will lead Britain’s more than four million Catholics: courage, patience, PR nous and an unshakable respect for liturgical tradition.

As of last week, we also know one quality the Pope is not seeking in prospective candidates: tolerance towards lesbians and gays. [... and we did not know this last year?  and before?  --Mcat]

In his Christmas address to Vatican staff, Benedict XVI inveighed against the harm done by “gender theory” (he likened it to the threat to the planet caused by the destruction of the rainforest), which teaches that the distinction between male and female is down to cultural rather than biological influence. Most of the faithful billion-plus Catholics who pay close attention to every word the Pope utters must have drawn a blank: gender theory, perhaps a familiar concept to some Ivy Leaguers, is unknown in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and the slums of Calcutta [really?  --Mcat]. The media, however, quickly bridged the knowledge gap and interpreted the papal message as a coded attack on homosexuals. Gender theory questions the patriarchy and sex-based discrimination; its critics, ergo, must support both.

and she posits that blither from il papa is, somehow,  going to cause:

Instead, Benedict XVI issued a message that could be, and was, boiled down to a finger-wagging warning against a vulnerable minority. Many Catholics, even among his most devoted disciples, must be issuing a moan of exasperation, none more so than the candidates to succeed Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor. These men stand to inherit a position that propels them to the centre of public life in an overwhelmingly secular society that will treat them with suspicion, if not downright hostility. Given the make-up of today’s Catholic church, at least some of these men are bound to be gay; given their candidature, their service to the church cannot be doubted.

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How is any of this new, and why would things change?  B16 and Ganswein seem to be joined at the hip in some fashion, rather more than elderly prelate and youngish monsignor/secretary … but why would that or anything else change the church’s love of prohibition for people…  (Of course she is a Catholic writer, former editor of the Catholic Herald.  Keep the fictions going!)

As a critic has said of the pope:

”If Ratzinger had a motto it could have more to do with Caesar than Jesus: divide et impera.”

I say, Excellent! for a War Pope!  To my eye, things are on track!  Not the right track, but the preferred track!

They have had murderers and buggerers as papa and princes of the church for centuries and still they maintain the long finger shake… when not arranging the capelet…

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Sorry, I just love to dish on the pope… it’s easy!

Just a golden snowflake… 26 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Italy.
94 comments

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Benedict XVI: Pope Benedict XVI blesses children as he celebrates the Christmas Midnight Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, early Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008. (AP Photo / December 24, 2008)

Just a golden snowflake.. in the lives of children…

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Day after………. 26 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, India, WAR!.
100 comments

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Christmas in India:   Children dressed as Santa Claus participate in a peace march on Christmas Eve in Amritsar, India. (AP Photo / December 24, 2008)

Just because it is so basic… It’s Sirota, but as I said, basic:

[P]aterson defended his proposals by telling PBS’s Bill Moyers “that when you tax the wealthy in the downturn of an economy, you have an automatic link of a loss of job opportunities and then a loss of population.” The rationale sounds intelligently pragmatic—until you peruse the relevant data.

When New Jersey recently raised taxes on the wealthy, Princeton University researchers found that most of those who later left the state moved to places with higher taxes, meaning there is no causative link between levies on the rich and residential flight. Likewise, when New York temporarily raised high-income taxes after 9/11, the state added 127,000 jobs, meaning no link exists between higher taxes on the rich and job loss.

During times of surpluses, governors could get away with the unsubstantiated nonsense Paterson is peddling. But now, 43 states confront shortfalls, and because states cannot run deficits, the dollars and sense of these arguments matter. Lawmakers must choose what policy will create the best chances for economic recovery: spending cuts or tax increases, and if the latter, on whom?

The answer isn’t rocket science. As Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says, “Reductions in government spending on goods and services (are) likely to be more damaging to the economy in the short run than tax increases focused on higher-income families.”  ….snipped and clipped….

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Pause for the Claus 24 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, AFRICOM, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Pakistan, Panama, WAR!.
49 comments

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A man dressed as Santa Claus walks the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. US. stocks rose further on Monday [of Thanksgiving week] after data showed U.S. existing-home sales fell in October about in line with expectations, adding to earlier gains on the government’s $20 billion injection of new capital into Citigroup. [Reuters via The Independent]

Looks like top of the commercial line theatrical costume rental.. as well.  We don’t want any ratty old down at the edges childrens’ Santa for Wall St… oh nooo.

Surprised they did not slap Old Glory patches on his shoulders, as some on the trading floor wear on their jackets…

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In the last thread…Madman had popped up the link to the Center for Constitutional Reform’s opposition to Warren…

From the close:

We understand that there will be compromises and decisions we won’t agree with in the coming years, and we will be right there challenging them. But to begin it all in this way, is a terrible signal to send to the people who worked day and night to elect President Obama. He should withdraw his invitation. At the very least, he should ask someone else to officiate as well, someone with decency and eloquence who can balance the presence of Rev. Warren. If the president is at a loss for ideas, allow us to suggest two women who could ably fit the bill: Bishop Katherine Jeffords Schori,  the presiding head of the Episcopal church who supports the ordination of gay ministers, and Susana Heschel, a feminist theologian and daughter of Abraham Joshua Heschel, the Jewish leader who worked hand in hand with Martin Luther King.

Let’s not start off on the wrong foot and hobble progress before we’ve even begun.

I was surprised what a strong statement it was… but of course Obama just points to Lowery and says that takes care of it.  Either of the two women clerics would have been an amazing, bracing, invigorating choice.

Change and forward motion,  written all over it,  Lowery there as benediction, a balm and blessing for safe passage (we need it).   Too much for Ob to handle, is my take.

Instead we get schlock.

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Someone popped me this by email…  I think of it as Christmas future, for America, as we gift the earth with endless war, more than the various people of the world could think up or manage on their own…  I don’t hear us making any plans to stop.  Quite the opposite.

[A]nd when they benefit from the carnage no longer, their yellow ribbon patriotism and shallow concern fade quickly to apathy and indifference. The living refuse of war that returns are heroes no longer, but outcasts and derelicts, and burdens on the economy. The dead, they mythologize with memorials and speeches of past and future suffering and loss. Inspiring and prophetic words by those who sanction the slaughter to those who know nothing of sacrifice.

I used to try to explain war to help them understand and to know its horror, naively believing that war was a deficiency of information, understanding, discernment and vision. But being crazy has liberated me, allowing me to see that war is not a deficiency at all, but an excess of greed, ambition, intolerance and lust for power. And we are its instruments, the cannon fodder, expendable commodities in the ruthless pursuit of wealth, power, hegemony and empire.

And now, I accept and celebrate my unorthodoxy, my insanity, as an indictment of the hypocrites and the arrogant, of the ignorant and the narrow-minded for a collective responsibility and guilt for murder and mayhem, and crimes against humanity. And I offer my insanity as a presage of their future accountability – to humankind in the courts of history, and to the god they invoke so often to sanction and make credible their sacrilege of war.

Amen – to a secular prayer.

O Tannenbaum 23 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in Greece, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Viva La Revolucion!.
75 comments

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People flee from the burning Christmas Tree in Athens’ central Syntagma Square after it was set on fire by demonstrators during a night of riots in Athens on December 08, 2008. Fury at the fatal police shooting of a schoolboy, 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos, erupted in a third day of rioting across Greece today, with youths looting stores, attacking hotels and clashing with the security forces. [AFP PHOTO / Aris Messinis]

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