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Bittersweet… 10 February 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Australia, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC.


Animal rescue: Staff at animal hospitals have been offered counselling because of the traumatic injuries they have had to treat on animals like this Koala [Herald Sun]

From a gallery at the UK Times:

Link:  Animals caught up in the Australia bush fires.


This possum’s feet were scorched by the flames [Healesville Sanctuary]

Link to the FP of the Sydney Morning Herald

Apparently the death toll rises, near or over 300.  Saddest it seems some children died.. while their parents lived.  How very awful.


It seems Tzipi ascends, narrowly… Kadima with 30, but Likud with 28, followed by the ultra right, nationalist party.  Labour, I read, “collapses”.

Israeli elections tonight produced the tightest of races with early television exit polls putting Tzipi Livni, the centrist foreign minister, narrowly ahead of the rightwing opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu.

Polls from three main television stations, broadcast moments after voting closed, all put Livni’s Kadima party ahead by two seats, but they also predicted that rightwing parties had fared best overall. Livni was predicted as winning either 29 or 30 seats in the 120-seat Knesset.

Avigdor Lieberman, the far-right leader, came in third, ahead of Ehud Barak, the Labour leader and defence minister, whose party was headed for one of its worst election results.

If the exit polls are accurate, and in the past they have not always been reliable, it suggests a long, drawn-out period of negotiations to form a coalition. Even if Livni emerges with the largest party she may not become prime minister if the rightwing parties can together muster a larger coalition.  …

Someone will just have to bomb the Gaza, to consolidate power.



1. marisacat - 10 February 2009

ProPublica has an easy to read chart of the Senate and House bills. NOT a pdf

I notice that Nancy told the House they will be foregoing their annual raise. I may not vote for her, anymore, but she is not entirely deaf.

2. marisacat - 10 February 2009

Moving this forward from the end of the last thread… from Intermittent Bystander:

Top of the reclist at the Glowball – ACTION: Protesters ‘Storm’ Banking CEOs Homes! (diary by AfroPonix)

Monday, Feb. 9, a group of 350 to 400 at-risk homeowners, organized by the Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America , staged a series of protests outside the mansions of wealthy bankers in a moneyed Connecticut neighborhood.

3. Intermittent Bystander - 10 February 2009

Thanks, Marisacat.

Bittersweet down to the possum boots, for sure.

4. marisacat - 10 February 2009

For some reason the koala photo keeps only loading half way for me.. if that is happening for others, I am sorry.. it was fine all thru the posting and editing. Gah.

5. Intermittent Bystander - 10 February 2009

No problem with koala here (using Mozilla Firefox).

I see the Herald is showing two arrests on Saturday – a 15 yr old caught intentionally starting a grass fire, and a 40-yr-old fool with a spark-emitting power tool that ultimately cost two of his neighbors their homes.

6. catnip - 10 February 2009

From the last thread:

Financial stocks plummeted tonight as the markets reacted with horror to the Obama Administration’s economic rescue plans.

“Horror”. That’s putting it bluntly.

This is going be one lo-o-o-ng recovery.

7. catnip - 10 February 2009

Those poor animals. 😦

8. marisacat - 10 February 2009

Duplicating this comment of Intermittent Bystander’s from the the end of the previous thread, so it is both places… 😉

CSTAR, bay, MCat – I think I must have first heard Blossom’s voice as a kid (and always remembered her wildly onomatopoetic name!), because even though I haven’t followed her work, I knew her instantly when I saw the obit clip above. What amazes me about her sound and style is how light – and yet how right (and surprisingly rich, savvy, sly, etc) – it really is. Just learned today that she was involved with Schoolhouse Rock in her later years, too.

Found some more good ‘uns, for those interested. (And FYI Marisa – I’m Shadowing You is the first tune she plays live in the link at #49.)

Surrey with the Fringe on Top (performing on Jack Paar show, very early 60s)
It Might as Well Be Spring (audio only, French version)
(Montage of album jackets and photos set to audio of Don’t Wait Too Long)
Try Your Wings (audio only – video is clip from Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
I Don’t Remember (audio only, 1991)

9. Intermittent Bystander - 10 February 2009

Thanks for the Pro Publica chart. Great name for their project, too: ShovelWatch.

Nice to get a vague idea of the ingredients before it all heads to the bicameral conference grinder.

10. Intermittent Bystander - 10 February 2009

Israeli rivals claim election win

BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says the closeness of the forecasted result is in many ways the worst outcome for Israeli democracy, as it sets the scene for days and probably weeks of fractious political horse-trading.

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 February 2009

Blossom Dearie also sang Figure Eight for Schoolhouse Rock, which is hauntingly beautiful ep of that series.

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 February 2009
13. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 February 2009

Pro Publica is doing some great work.

14. marisacat - 10 February 2009

I was pleased with the Pro publica… I thought it was very easy for a civilian like myself to read.

Basically we are in for trillions. And possibly few indiviiduals will be helped. Nowhere near enough. It is very worrisome that almost no economists, either side of the aisle are OK with this.

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 February 2009

Why Republicans Won’t Support the Stimulus by: Robert Reich

I think he’s right about a lot of this, not that it matters. Nelson and Lieberman & Reid etc will fuck things up just fine on their own, not too mention what a shithead “centrist” Obama is.

16. Intermittent Bystander - 10 February 2009

Madman – that was super. (First time I’ve ever seen a Schoolhouse Rock episode, too. That sort of thing has to help kids learn, right? Are the studies all in yet?)

I’ve been in a Blossom Dearie dream all day, while tweaking resume and watching the economy burn.


Map of the wildfires from the Sydney Morning Herald link above.

I have family in Melbourne and sent best wishes by e-mail, but haven’t heard back yet with first-person reports. Local updates from the Age.

Reader photos here, including a firefighter giving a koala a water bottle drink in the smoky woods.

17. marisacat - 10 February 2009


I saw film of the koala getting fed water.. it also said he was at a shelter by now and repairing. The commentary said (and the film showed) he was reaching for the bottle and holding it like a baby.


ugh.. my mouse is acting up.. and I suspect in some early death throe… I am pikcing one out on Target (while I still can) but in case it takes a few days and this one dies… it died, LOL and I did nto die.

Hahahah. 8)

18. marisacat - 10 February 2009

I’ve been in a Blossom Dearie dream all day, while tweaking resume and watching the economy burn.

she really was wonderful.

19. marisacat - 10 February 2009

From the Reich:

Not because Senate Republicans are doctrinally opposed to deficit spending – many of them happily voted for Bush spending and tax cuts that doubled the federal debt.

Which the Demofrats are not getting out there and really saying. Oh obster alludes to it.. but then he drops it. They never really fight for anything, in ways that matter.

20. Intermittent Bystander - 10 February 2009

Are you saying they only gave one koala a drink?!

Very much appreciate the advance reassurance on the second point!

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 February 2009

That sort of thing has to help kids learn, right? Are the studies all in yet

Schoolhouse Rock was around when I was a kid. Here’s the Wiki.

Schoolhouse Rock! began as a commercial advertising venture by David McCall. The idea came to McCall when he noticed one of his sons, who was having trouble in school remembering the multiplication tables, knew the lyrics to many current rock songs. The first song recorded was “Three Is a Magic Number,” written by Bob Dorough. It tested well, so a children’s record was compiled and released. Tom Yohe listened to the first song, and began to doodle pictures to go with the lyrics. He told McCall that the songs would make good animation.

When a print workbook version fell through, McCall’s company decided to produce their own animated versions of the songs, which they then sold to ABC (which already was McCall’s company’s biggest advertising account) based on a demo animation of the original “Three Is A Magic Number” for its Saturday morning lineup. They pitched their idea to Michael Eisner, then vice-president of ABC’s children’s programming division. Eisner brought longtime Warner Bros. cartoonist/director Chuck Jones to the meeting to also listen to the presentation.

The network’s children’s programming division had producers of its regular 30- and 60-minute programs cut three minutes out of each of their shows, and sold General Foods on the idea of sponsoring the segments. The series stayed on the air for 12 years. Later sponsors of the Schoolhouse Rock! segments included Nabisco, Kenner Toys, Kellogg’s, and McDonald’s.

I still remember many of them, at least snippets of them, today. They’ve even been redone more recently in tribute albums by pop musicians.

22. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 February 2009

Meant to add, I don’t know if anyone did any studies.

23. Intermittent Bystander - 10 February 2009

From the Reich:

Because Clinton’s presidency had had a rough start and because House and Senate Republicans had kept remarkable unity in opposing him at almost every turn, Gingrich in the election of 1994 could claim that and the Republican Party offered a clear alternative, and had earned the chance to control Congress.

Fast forward to today and listen to Senate Republicans referring to the stimulus: “This is neither bipartisan nor is it a compromise,” said Sen. John McCain this morning. “It is … generational theft” that will increase the role of government and provide no mechanism for paying back the money.

Those fucks have some nerve talking about generational theft.

Geitner was a fuckin’

24. Intermittent Bystander - 10 February 2009

Oops – pure scrap at the end there, on Geithner. Ran out of adjectives to unpack!

I was kidding about the studies, actually.


25. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 February 2009

I was kidding about the studies, actually.

If no one did them, someone should, because I used to sing some of the number ones in my head when I was having trouble remembering the tables (especially nine and twelve).

I always liked Three is a Magic Number.

26. Intermittent Bystander - 10 February 2009

I can only hope and trust that somebody wrote up some findings on behalf of Schoolhouse Rock, because it seems flippin’ obvious to me that music and images help learning. As a child of the flashcard generation (pre-Sesame Street, even, for the basics), I’m jealous as hell, and could have used a tune or two, a time or two myself!

27. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 February 2009

Not A Serious Nation

John Cole excerpts a news piece about the Phelp’s pot case:

Now it appears the case has expanded beyond Phelps’ activities.

The party took place in November at a house on Blossom Street near Five Points.

It was at that house where someone snapped the photo of Phelps taking a hit on a marijuana pipe called a bong.

Lott says the picture indicated a law was being broken in his jurisdiction. He said he couldn’t ignore the violation just because Phelps is rich and famous.

We’ve now learned that since investigators began trying to build a case, they’ve made eight arrests: seven for drug possession and one for distribution. These are arrests that resulted as the sheriff’s department served search warrants.

We’ve also learned that the department has located and confiscated that bong.

Sources say the owner of the bong was trying to sell it on eBay for as much as $100,000.

The owner, who wasn’t even at the party, is one of the eight now charged.

I agree with his feelings about this:

When I read crap like this, I just want to give up. Apparently there is nothing else of importance for the local authorities to contend with, so there is an investigation into a bunch of jackasses smoking pot.

A country that does this and puts Tommy Chong in jail (nice work, Joe Biden) just isn’t a serious nation. Dissolve our federal, state, and local governments. Dissolve the courts. Screw the stimulus package. Let the banks fail. Let’s just say to hell with it all and let the country die a quick death and hope the Chinese do a better job governing us than we did.

28. marisacat - 10 February 2009

A country that does this and puts Tommy Chong in jail (nice work, Joe Biden) — John Cole via Madman

It is best to remember that Rahm is a committed drug warrior.. as is Biden. Nuthin’ will be changing.

I think what we really are into is a rigamarole of public contrition. You have 8 or 14 medals or whatever… and you DARE to do wthat millions do. Don’t forget we GAVE you those medals. Yuo lousy excuse for a swimmer.

Something like that.

The A rod is even sillier. I suppose it makes some aspect of sport unfair, or lards the grease pan in terms of BETTING… or whatever.. but gee. I don;t care. As some footballer said about two decades ago about steroids, the pressure is intense and they insist you beat your body to pulp,as it is.. unless you are some rare bird like Joe Montana or Rice or or or… (and Rodriquez is lucky in some ways and will have a corporate career later, if he wants).

It’s come out here that the CEO of the ball club (forget his name, they own Safeway too – very wealthy Irish mick family… ) knew what Barry Bonds was doing. later the article in the SF Chron was wiped.

29. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 February 2009
30. Intermittent Bystander - 10 February 2009

When I read crap like this, I just want to give up. Apparently there is nothing else of importance

If crap like that – the naturally distended result of a molehill’s massive magnification (and amplification! sound and fury!) by a corporate media (heavily invested in a militaristic, penal state, not to mention) currently sweating out its complicity and culpability for countless bloody, destructive, spiritually empty, greed-fueled, and (yes! often!) personally corrupt, far-reaching debacles – makes intelligent people want to give up, then the powers that be, via maximization of public distraction and brain-debilitating mesmerization, will most certainly prevail.

Can’t really picture a majority of people going for this type of shit much longer, though.

Call me a blithe spirit.

Hell, I actually thought the Executive Boyfriend in Chief did fairly well at pointing the finger – without wagging it tooooo much at VOTERS, to save some face for the shifting American ego – at certain guilty parties, in detail, in his prime-time speech. Under the circumstances, amid the array of landmines, exploding bushfires, etc., I was pleasantly surprised by the drawback from well-intentioned but meek.

Too bad Geithner and his mighty clouds of bankers’ joy had to roll out with that slick invoice for expensive nebulosity today.

31. Intermittent Bystander - 10 February 2009

Aha – I just bumped into an AP story, and apparently the Age photo with koala and water bottle is indeed the same famous koala.

Overwrought, multisyllabic opinions in moderation?

32. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 February 2009

Cutting a Deal with the “Death Dealers”: Soldier Attempts Suicide So Army Charges Him Criminally and Has His Mother Paint His Suicide Note On His Bedroom Wall

As Congress struggles to understand the shocking report of a massive increase in suicides in the Army, they might want to study the case of Army Pvt. Adam Lieberman to see how some officers treat soldiers in mental distress. Lieberman was experiencing severe mental problems after a year in Iraq qith the Ist Battalion, 67 Armored Regiment — known as “the Death Dealers.” When he tried to kill himself, he wrote his suicide note on the wall in his room. The Army reportedly responded to the suicide attempt by charging him criminally and cut a deal with this mom. If she re-painted the wall, his charges would not include defacing of government property. After she painted the wall with the help of her handicapped sister, they charged him anyway with the crime.

When he attempted to end his life with pills, Lieberman painted the following words on the wall: “I FACED THE ENEMY AND LIVED! IT WAS THE DEATH DEALERS THAT TOOK MY LIFE!” They never told the mother, who finally reached her son in the hospital days later. She says that his battalion commander, Lt. Col. Lance Kohler, at Fort Carson, Kansas, told her that she would only be notified for sure if he had succeeded in the attempt. When she asked why he was not put into a mental health treatment area of the hospital, Kohler allegedly said that he was given legal assistance instead because they wanted to criminally charge him. She said that she was told that he faced a charge of petty larceny for breaking a candy machine, going AWOL to say goodbye to a friend, and defacing government property.

The mother then went to her son’s commander, Capt. Phelps. She says that Phelps told her that if she didn’t want her son charged on the defacing count, she could get paint and equipment from supply and re-paint the wall. She did the job, but says that they charged her son anyway with the offense.


33. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 February 2009

Poverty of Imagination

So far — after two weeks in office — the Obama team seems bent on a campaign to sustain the unsustainable at all costs, to attempt to do all the impossible things listed above. Mr. Obama is not the only one, of course, who is invoking the quest for renewed “growth.” This is a tragic error in collective thinking. What we really face is a comprehensive contraction in our activities, especially the scale of our activities, and the pressing need to readjust the systems of everyday life to a level of decreased complexity.

For instance, the myth that we can become “energy independent and yet remain car-dependent is absurd. In terms of liquid fuels, we’re simply trapped. We import two-thirds of the oil we use and there is absolutely no chance that drill-drill-drilling (or any other scheme) will change that. The public and our leaders can not face the reality of this. The great wish for “alternative” liquid fuels (bio fuels, algae excreta) will never be anything more than a wish at the scales required, and the parallel wish to keep all our cars running by other means — hydrogen fuel cells, electric motors — is equally idle and foolish. We cannot face the mandate of reality, which is to do everything possible to make our living places walkable, and connect them with public transit. The stimulus bills in congress clearly illustrate our failure to understand the situation.

Washington is evidently seized by panic right now. I don’t know anyone who works in the White House, but I must suppose that they have learned in two weeks that these systems are absolutely tanking, that the previous way of life that everybody was so set on not apologizing for has reached the end of the line. We seem to be learning a new and interesting lesson: that even a team that promises change is actually petrified of too much change, especially change that they can’t really control.

The argument about “change” during the election was sufficiently vague that no one was really challenged to articulate a future that wasn’t, materially, more-of-the-same. I suppose the Obama team may have thought they would only administer it differently than the Bush team — but basically life in the USA would continue being about all those trips to the mall, and the cubicle jobs to support that, and the family safaris to visit Grandma in Lansing, and the vacations at Sea World, and Skipper’s $20,000 college loan, and Dad’s yearly junket to Las Vegas, and refinancing the house, and rolling over this loan and that loan… and that has all led to a very dead end in a dark place.

If this nation wants to survive without an intense political convulsion, there’s a lot we can do, but none of it is being voiced in any corner of Washington at this time. We have to get off of petro-agriculture and grow our food locally, at a smaller scale, with more people working on it and fewer machines. This is an enormous project, which implies change in everything from property allocation to farming methods to new social relations. But if we don’t focus on it right away, a lot of Americans will end up starving, and rather soon. We have to rebuild the railroad system in the US, and electrify it, and make it every bit as good as the system we once had that was the envy of the world. If we don’t get started on this right away, we’re screwed. We will have tremendous trouble moving people and goods around this continent-sized nation. We have to reactivate our small towns and cities because the metroplexes are going to fail at their current scale of operation. We have to prepare for manufacturing at a much smaller (and local) scale than the scale represented by General Motors.

34. BooHooHooMan - 10 February 2009

My Baloney Has A First Name….

On that name thing
by kos
Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 04:01:24 PM PST

As you’ve noticed, several editors have started transitioning to their real names. And like anytime we try something new around here, everyone notices and wonders what the heck is going on. So here’s what’s going on:

* kos’s diary :: ::

We started a new site called Congress Matters with Kagro X at the helm. It’s a serious site, and I am confident that Kagro is the best parliamentarian in the netroots.

Really. LOL. A “serious site” as opposed to “Assclowns and Orangatans.” Also The Smartest Chimp in the Zoo Award to Kagro, “I am confident that Kagro is the best parliamentarian in the netroots.”

Who he still kalls “Kagro.” LOL.

…And No one knows more about how congress works in this world than he does, probably because he likes that shit. (Shudder).

However, it’s an unfortunate fact that few in establishment DC will take someone who calls himself “Kagro X” as seriously as they would the guy whose name is “David Waldman”.

‘Scuse me. But

So Markos is trying brand extension. Again. That, uhm, only works
when you have, you know, a Substantive Brand.
And then it’s iffy.

Sooo, he wants to pimp his front pagers out on a “serious site”. LOL. Well, THAT’S a virgin market. Who knows? Maybe someday it might even become commonplace where people will be able to read commoditized rehash via these electronic networks, like with the computers we now use but LOTS of em – interconnected- LOL- but it’s good to know Markos is a visionary. A Holy Man.
And Great Writers will sure need Markos Moulitsas for their outlet.

LOL Seems like DavefromQueens has really gotten under MAMZy’s skin publishing every inflated site stat, and name address and molestation lawsuit of public record on his KosKops. Not to mention the Flying Monkey Brigades from FSZ and elswhere who sockpuppet the shit out of DK. LOL. Kudos to ALL.

I’m just glad Markos gave the word and it’s official and now I know
I can refer to these jackasses [whoops! – jumped the gun] as
That _________(expletive)______, _____(Full Name)______as warranted.

35. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 February 2009

Kunstler in moderation.

Have a good night, everybody.

36. Intermittent Bystander - 10 February 2009

“Assclowns and Orangatans.”

I think catnip posted a rare hybrid photo the other day.


37. Intermittent Bystander - 10 February 2009

Original link from Year of the Ox, comment 11.

Chuckles off to sleep. . . .

38. catnip - 10 February 2009


39. catnip - 10 February 2009
40. catnip - 10 February 2009
41. catnip - 11 February 2009

This is interesting. I stumbled upon it via antiwar.com right after seeing Thomas Ricks interviewed on TDS where he predicted (quoting someone, I think) that the Iraq war is only at the halfway mark.

Wearing the Beard for Petraeus – Jeff Huber (whose name I just remembered from dkos…kool-aid drinker for Obama or not?)

42. catnip - 11 February 2009

Bruce Fein in the Moony Times: Is an empire necessary?

43. catnip - 11 February 2009
44. NYCO - 11 February 2009

My favorite Schoolhouse Rock number was Verb.

45. NYCO - 11 February 2009

32. New York City’s status as the biggest/most powerful city in America very likely would not have happened without the influence of a blogger named Hercules.


46. catnip - 11 February 2009

CNN crawl: “Bank CEOs flogged in Washington”

Flogged? Really? Any video yet?


47. catnip - 11 February 2009
48. catnip - 11 February 2009
49. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 February 2009

Thanks for the Fein link, Catnip. Good piece.

50. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 February 2009

Oh, he’s a MARRIED MAN? Well, okay then!

Federal judge allows rapist sheriff to remain free until sentencing in May

Bill Keating (above, from this video), a former Texas Sheriff, pleaded guilty in federal court to sexually assaulting a woman, telling her she had to comply or face jail on a drug charge.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert K. Roach decided to allow Keating to remain free until sentencing in May. The honorable Judge Roach said Keating was neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community because he had a “stable marriage” and because “this crime and other alleged misdeeds happened when he was acting as the sheriff.”

First, if he pled guilty, the crimes are no longer “alleged”. Second, doesn’t committing the crime under the cover of his authority as a law officer make his crimes WORSE?

51. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 February 2009
52. Intermittent Bystander - 11 February 2009

I fear Marisacat’s mouse gave up the ghost.

Hope that Target is rushing the replacement rodent, and she’s enjoying the break!

53. Intermittent Bystander - 11 February 2009

Those Schoolhouse rock tunes are pretty catchy! And the animators weren’t afraid to throw a pie to make a point, were they?

Funnily enough, I saw an item at CNN today about a book coming out this year on the history of Sesame Street. An older but better article on the occasion is here: Sesame Street: Look who’s 40!

54. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 February 2009

Knoxville church shooter’s manifesto leaves no doubt: murders were political terror against liberals

But Monday, Adkisson told us himself — in his own words — just how central right-wing eliminationism was in driving him to his shooting spree. Shortly after he was sentenced Monday, he released a four-page handwritten “manifesto” — which he’d intended to be his suicide note — to the Knoxville News (the full .pdf can be downloaded here). In it, he unleashes the full measure of his hatred for liberals — and encourages other would-be right-wing warriors to take up arms and follow him into battle.

Some choice excerpts:

“Know this if nothing else: This was a hate crime. I hate the damn left-wing liberals. There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country & these liberals are working together to attack every decent & honorable institution in the nation, trying to turn this country into a communist state. Shame on them….

“This was a symbolic killing. Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg’s book. I’d like to kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I know those people were inaccessible to me. I couldn’t get to the generals & high ranking officers of the Marxist movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickenshit liberals that vote in these traitorous people. Someone had to get the ball rolling. I volunteered. I hope others do the same. It’s the only way we can rid America of this cancerous pestilence.”

“I thought I’d do something good for this Country Kill Democrats til the cops kill me….Liberals are a pest like termites. Millions of them Each little bite contributes to the downfall of this great nation. The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is to kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather. I’d like to encourage other like minded people to do what I’ve done. If life aint worth living anymore don’t just kill yourself. do something for your Country before you go. Go Kill Liberals.

55. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 February 2009

Under Siege Again, But Gaza Will Not Die By Ann Wright, retired US Army Reserve Colonel

Shifa hospital received hundreds of bodies of those killed and thousands of those wounded during the December 27, 2008-January 18, 2009 22 day attack, invasion and occupation of Gaza by the Israeli military.

Now in front of Shifa hospital was a tent filled with military armaments-rocket parts, ammunition, etc from Israeli missile and bombs. Several were American made—a 120 mm artillery shell, a TOW missile. During the past eight years under the Bush administration, Israel has received over $21 billion in U.S. security assistance, including $19 billion in direct military aid. The majority of Israel’s military equipment is funded under U.S. assistance programs. The United States has given Israel 226 U.S. F-16 fighter and attack jets, more than 700 M-60 tanks, 6,000 armored personnel carriers, and dozens of transport planes, attack helicopters, utility and training aircraft, bombs, and tactical missiles. The U.S. Arms Export Control Act specifies that US weapons purchased by other countries can be used only for defensive purposes. The attacks on Gaza by the Israeli military are in violation of that act.

Also in the tent outside of Shifa hospital were photos of wounded and dead Palestinian women, men and children. Many photos had phrases written on them: “Gaza will not die,” “Despite the pain, Gazans Will Remain,” “Targeting all the Palestinians,” “We will Take Them (Israeli government officials) to the Tribunal.” Outside the tent were the remains of several ambulances that had been attacked and destroyed by Israeli aircraft as they were carrying wounded to the hospital.

Medea Benjamin, Tighe Berry and I were allowed by the Egyptian government to cross the border into Gaza last week, but for only 48 hours. At the end of the 48 hours, the Egyptians, under pressure from the Israeli and American governments, sealed off their border with Gaza putting Gaza again in an economic and political vice, as it has been for the past 16 months. The brief opening of the border allowed minimal amounts of humanitarian goods for the people of Gaza and the evacuation of some of the most injured Gazans in Israeli attacks on Gaza.

During our short visit we talked with persons with many organizations involved in caring for the people of Gaza.

56. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 February 2009

Lying to Congress is bad*

* Offer only applies to aging Major League Baseball players. Not valid for former attorneys general or other Bush administration officials. Does not apply for Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib. Scandals in rear view mirror are closer than they appear.

57. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 February 2009

US lawmaker injects ISP throttle into Obama rescue package

US Senator Dianne Feinstein hopes to update President Barack Obama’s $838bn economic stimulus package so that American ISPs can deter child pornography, copyright infringement, and other unlawful activity by way of “reasonable network management.”

Clearly, a lobbyist whispering in Feinstein’s ear has taken Comcast’s now famous euphemism even further into the realm of nonsense.

According to Public Knowledge, Feinstein’s network management amendment did not find a home in the stimulus bill that landed on the Senate floor. But lobbyists speaking with the Washington DC-based internet watchdog said that California’s senior Senator is now hoping to insert this language via conference committee – a House-Senate pow-wow were bill disputes are resolved.

“This is the most backdoor of all the backdoor ways of doing things,” Public Knowledge’s Art Brodsky told The Reg. “Conference committees are notorious for being the most opaque of all legislative processes.”

58. Intermittent Bystander - 11 February 2009

54 – When are we gonna demand that our nation’s industrial apple-pie makers face their ceremonial justice, I wonder?

Popcorn? (Hold the peanuts!)

59. Intermittent Bystander - 11 February 2009

44 – Thanks for the info on Jesse Hawley!

While in prison, writing under the name Hercules, he published fourteen essays on the idea of the canal from the Hudson river to Lake Erie; they appeared in the Genesee Messenger.


Though they were deemed the ravings of a madman by some, Hawley’s essays were to prove immensely influential on the development of the canal.

After a glance at his essays, I think Mr. Hawley earned his keep in debtors’ prison and then some!

60. Intermittent Bystander - 11 February 2009

MONUMENT TO JESSE HAWLEY.; Historical Sketch of the Progress of Internal Improvements. The True Originator of the Erie Canal. (NYT abstract, March 8, 1856)

Bit more here: Canal Musings, 1807-1817 (Scroll down for “The Prisoner and the Politician.”) Apparently he was a decent construction estimator, too.

61. Intermittent Bystander - 11 February 2009

46 :

“They keep putting their arms around each other and giving each other hugs. They really have made friends and it is quite beautiful to see after all this. It’s been horrific,” said Wood.

“Sam is probably aged between two to four going by her teeth and Bob is about four so they have a muchness with each other.”

::Searches for smiley with Aussie hat::

Sniff, sniff. . . . dab, dab. . . .

62. Intermittent Bystander - 11 February 2009

53 – It’s not terror if it’s targeted against liberals, gays, Arabs, women, or people of color, Madman.

Did you misplace your playbook?

63. Intermittent Bystander - 11 February 2009

Scratch Arabs, and replace with non-approved ethnicity or unpopular religious.


64. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 February 2009
65. catnip - 11 February 2009

mcat…psst…use keyboard shortcuts.

66. catnip - 11 February 2009

58. I like that word: “muchness”

67. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 February 2009

A Commodity Called Misery

You need not be Marcuse or R. D. Laing to feel the stress, depression, boredom and loneliness permeating everyday life up there in Gringolia. But to get an overview it does help to be a couple thousand miles outside the place. Kind of like being high in the stands at the racetrack with binoculars rather than down at the rail next to the paddock. Matters seem especially acute of late, with the entire American anthill in turmoil as its common god, the almighty economy, waves bye-bye while being noisily sucked down the global gurgler. Hell, twenty years ago mental health problems were already being described as “epidemic,” despite the joys of Facebook, iPod, and the consumption of some 25 million pounds of hot wings on Superbowl Sunday. A place where “normal” life includes Viagra, all the fried chicken you can stuff, round the clock televised crotch shots and HDTV as national mandate.

I used to think it was just some melancholic germ of my own that made me see a slowly increasing American alienation, anxiety and inner sadness over the span of my 62 years. Now however, I’m pretty convinced there is a national pathology at work, one which author Arthur Barsky called the “pathology of American normalcy.” Sounds accurate to me. In fact, this psychic poverty has been around so long it has become something of a norm. Despite that we have not resorted to cannibalism, single payer health care, or god forbid, socialism, we long ago passed into the realm of what we like to call an “unhealthy society.” Might not America’s psychological malaise be the result of knowing deep inside that life can hold more meaning — be more joyful? More emotionally rewarding and fulfilling? In a word, healthier?

68. catnip - 11 February 2009
69. NYCO - 12 February 2009

56. Yes, and another funny thing is that Hercules quoted another “blogger,” one Historicus.

70. Intermittent Bystander - 12 February 2009

Gregg steps away from the Commerce nom.

WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire abruptly withdrew his nomination as commerce secretary Thursday, citing “irresolvable conflicts” with President Barack Obama’s handling of the economic stimulus and 2010 census. “We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy,” Gregg said in a statement released by his Senate office.

71. Madman in the Marketplace - 12 February 2009

Gregg so punked them.

72. Madman in the Marketplace - 12 February 2009

I tossed up a quick salute to Charles Darwin on his 200th birthday.

73. catnip - 12 February 2009

66. Gregg steps away from the Commerce nom.

No drama Obama.

So much for that.

74. catnip - 12 February 2009

Bill Maher on Larry King:

“If baseball were any slower, it’d be farming.”


75. catnip - 12 February 2009

So, what’s the Cliff’s Notes version of the Gregg pullout? I’m not into reading 1,001 opinions right now. I saw a blurb on CNN about the GOP declaring war against Obama and that this is what that’s about… ?

76. Madman in the Marketplace - 12 February 2009

Here’s an interesting TPM post about the Gregg mess.

77. catnip - 12 February 2009

72. Hmmm. Thanks for that, MitM! Looks like this is one of those events in which both parties will claim to be the victims.

78. diane - 12 February 2009

At Wal-Mart, a Health-Care Turnaround

Now that Wal-Mart has put most if not all local United States competitors out of business by investing in luring rural Chinese into giving up land to work in big city factories now likely defunct (or something like that?), they’ve become HEROES because

….. Of the company’s 1.4 million workers, 52 percent are in a Wal-Mart health plan.
Despite revenue that is expected to exceed $400 billion for 2008, the company charges its low-wage workers a substantial portion of their income for medical coverage…..

…must say I was a bit confused with how that jibed with this paragraph about 2 paragraphs above it:

At a time when other firms are scaling back or eliminating health coverage, Wal-Mart has made a serious dent in the problem of the uninsured. New figures being released today show that 5.5 percent of its employees now lack health insurance, compared with a nationwide rate of 18 percent”

…weeeelllllllll……52% and 5.5% …aren’t quite the same thing….and I don’t even need a ‘puter’ for that……….and must admit I didn’t bother reading the rest to figure out that conundrum…there was actually a time when one didn’t face such conflicting paragraphs within half a page with no effort on the editors part to clarify the insanity.

At any rate the above reminds me of another Monopoly fan: Little Bully Gates. Now that he’s become obscenely wealthy by virtue of his ITS ME AND ONLY ME, NO PRISONERS TAKEN bizniss philosophy…he’s taken to…PHILANTHROPY (social engineering)……to ease the needs of the need to have a lesson in personal responsibility (yes…you and I MEAN YOU! COULD HAVE BEEN A WHITE HOUSE PAGE TOO!..if you weren’t so lazy and AMBITIONLESS!) masses not quite as BRILLIANT (clever..twisted….in need of ppppppfizer?) as he.

79. diane - 12 February 2009

….well….okay Michelle and Hillary…I can understand disclosure agreements, but I CANNOT UNDERSTAND NOT GENERALLY ACKNOWLEDING WHAT AN ABSOLUTE CESSPOOL BIZNESS AS USUAL REALLY IS…never will, fuck you!

80. diane - 12 February 2009

..well..but of course, the National Geo…has a pic on file of the pileated Ivory Billed PECKER on file…come back marisa/shane come back!…


81. bayprairie - 13 February 2009

the mouse has got the cat

and the cheeses stand alone

at least those of us jellin’ in spam.

82. bayprairie - 13 February 2009

from 2006 via wayback machine

Now Organic!

TDA (Texas Department of Agriculture) Organic Certificate in Hand.

You’ll see why we’re so pleased to say this is a Peanut Corporation of America plant!

We’re Ready NOW, not later!

Beginning with the first load of peanuts ever processed at Peanut Corporation’s new Texas plant, our most important task has been quality. We don’t request your patience while we figure out how to do this.

Instead, we request that you hold us to the high standards you’ve always expected from a Peanut Corporation of America plant. We’re ready.

(Click here for Texas Plant USDA Information.)

Pride in Our Newest Plant. Pride in Texas!

There couldn’t be a more perfect location than Plainview, Texas for the newest addition to Peanut Corporation’s list of plants! Just off North Interstate 27 in Plainview, we connect the Western and Central United States with the Texas Peanut Industry. Texas really is the best state, y’all!

Superior Technology

Peanut Corporation of America uses machinery that is the newest and best in the industry. Our superior employee training and top-rated Quality Control have earned us top ratings for quality and Food Safety at our other plants. That same drive for quality and safety has overtaken our newest plant. Give us the opportunity to prove what we mean. Let us blanch a load of peanuts for you. We know you’ll be pleased.

83. bayprairie - 13 February 2009

Ran across that link, and quite a few others, at fairfoodfight.com

84. bayprairie - 13 February 2009

speaking of horseshit. here’s some in orange.

A Truth Commission to Investigate Bush-Cheney Administration Abuses
by Senator Patrick Leahy

85. bayprairie - 13 February 2009

here’s a much more honest diary that isn’t on the rec list.

Counterpoint: We Don’t Need a Truth Commission
by TocqueDeville
Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 10:23:01 PM PST

Truth Commissions: Where investigations go to die.

86. Intermittent Bystander - 13 February 2009

dengre (longtime Abramoff-focused DK diarist) thinks there’s more to the Gregg backstory: Judd Gregg & his Abramoff Problem.

In other news, Feinstein comment on U.S. drones likely to embarrass Pakistan

The Predator planes that launch missile strikes against militants are based in Pakistan, the senator says. That suggests a much deeper relationship with the U.S. than Islamabad would like to admit.

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone.

87. Intermittent Bystander - 13 February 2009

BTW, I heard there were big layoffs at major law firms in Boston and NYC yesterday. The grapevine was calling it the “Valentine’s Day Massacre,” and apparently the announcements were timed for Thursday partly to avoid association with Friday the 13th today.

88. Intermittent Bystander - 13 February 2009

More on legal layoffs . . . not just East Coasters.

800 Law Firm Jobs Lost in One Day.

89. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 February 2009

Beverly Eckert, one of the 911 widows, was on that plane that went down near Buffalo.

90. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 February 2009

Lawmakers’ Goal to Cap Executive Pay Meets Resistance

Congressional efforts to impose stringent restrictions on executive compensation appeared to be evaporating yesterday as House and Senate negotiators worked to fine-tune the compromise stimulus bill.

Provisions to impose a penalty on banks that paid hefty bonuses and to cap pay at $400,000 for all employees at firms applying for additional government funds did not survive the compromise, sources said.

The situation was in flux last night, but provisions in the Senate bill that called for a ban on bonuses for all companies receiving government funds also appeared to be headed to the chopping block, congressional sources said.

The provisions would go further than those announced by the Obama administration last week. They would target the 359 banks that have received government aid and essentially prohibit companies from paying anything other than a base salary, analysts said. The 25 highest-paid executives at each company would be subject to the ban.

The White House restrictions, which capped executive pay at $500,000, apply only to institutions that receive government funds in the future and under limited circumstances. The White House version also allows companies to award company stock to executives that could be redeemed once the government investment was repaid.

91. NYCO - 13 February 2009

I’m still trying to figure out how two people escaped that house alive, with minimal injuries (re Buffalo crash). This video appears to have audio from the two survivors out on the street.

92. NYCO - 13 February 2009

More bad news about the flight…

Among those on the flight was Alison L. Des Forges, a historian and human rights advocate who documented the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and has investigated related issues in Burundi and Democratic Republic of the Congo since then, according to Emma Daly, communications director of Human Rights Watch in New York City.

A dreadful loss. She was the principal author of Leave None to Tell The Story which is perhaps the definitive work on the Rwandan genocide. My blog 100 Days of Rwanda drew heavily from her work.

93. bayprairie - 13 February 2009

clown thread

…But yeah, this line of work (blogging) is not for the faint of heart…

by: David Sirota @ Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 00:30:17 AM CST

94. NYCO - 13 February 2009

Mcat taking a vaca?

95. bayprairie - 13 February 2009

safe bet is her mouse expired. she posted a comment a couple of days ago that leads me to believe so.

96. bayprairie - 13 February 2009

comment upthread at 17

97. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

re: Alison Des Forges (currently comment #88):

Sure, let’s mourn the death of yet another western academic white “humanitarian” working in Africa for the ever so-unbiased, non-political Human Rights Watch. Another respected storyteller of the desired dominant narrative, which serves to obscure as much as blame & reveal. Of course these NGO’s couldn’t possibly in one way or another be complicit in the on-going REGIONAL genocide to make central africa available for western mining interests to plunder its mineral resources by carrying & publishing their ‘water’ (narratives).

Sure, read Allison & Samantha & you too can be an expert on Rwanda! bleeding hearts . . .


Btw, many are unaware that the ICC recently came to the conclusion that although acts of genocide took place , there is no evidence of a gov’t-wide conspiracy as these ‘humanitarians’ would have us believe.

No one deserves such a firey death, but hers is hardly some big loss to the world. Her work today still serves to actively obfuscate & harm.

Keith Harmon Snow, writing in 2003, Depopulation As Policy – Or, How the despair and death of millions of African people is daily determined by the lifestyle of ordinary Americans, in small town USA, with nary a word of truth in the US press, if anything at all, and why most of us know nothing about it, and do nothing to stop it when we do know.:

Philip Gourevitch is not alone in obfuscating genocide. Alison des Forges compiled the mammoth text Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda for Human Rights Watch. Some insist that Des Forges works with the U.S. intelligence apparatus (CIA, DIA, NSA), but I can say only that Human Rights Watch has become increasingly compromised,[v] that Des Forges exonerated the RPF, that she cleared the U.S. of war crimes. Like Gourevitch, Des Forges reported from the ranks of the RPF, where access to battlefields, massacres and information was tightly managed and, in keeping with the Jessica Lynch charade in Iraq, selectively manufactured. (Des Forges’ recent reports criticizing the Kagame government are not evidence of objectivity.) Amnesty International also bought the sanitized U.S. version.

98. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

Keith Harmon Snow writing this year, Ben Affleck, Rwanda, and Corporate Sustained Catastrophe:

Such smokescreens immunize people in North America, Europe, South Africa, Israel and Australia against our own waking up. Using words like ‘humanitarian’ and ‘AID’ and ‘relief’ and ‘peacekeeping’ to misname what are otherwise profitable white operations that are reliant purely on markets—where the commodities are people of color who have been uprooted and displaced, physically and sexually traumatized, and murdered en masse—is another way to justify the exploitation that proceeds both in plain site (refugee operations, peacekeeping interventions, media productions) and behind the scenes (extractive industries, weapons proliferation, multinational dumping, covert operations).

99. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

Keith Harmon Snow again, America’s War in Central Africa: The Pentagon’s proxy war in the Eastern Congo:

Of course, HRW ‘researcher’ Alison Des Forges wrote the HRW tome on genocide in Rwanda—Leave None to Tell the Story—the book that turned genocide in Rwanda upside down and set the stage for the total falsification of international consciousness.[55]

“This genocide resulted from the deliberate choice of a modern elite to foster hatred and fear to keep itself in power,” Des Forges wrote. Her assertions about a ‘planned’ Hutu genocide—“They seized control of the state and used its machinery and its authority to carry out the slaughter”—are now completely discredited.[56]

In contradistinction to the establishment narrative accusing the ‘Hutu leadership’ of an ‘organized’ and ‘planned’ genocide were the countless acts of genocide committed through a spontaneous uprising of the masses—people who had been brutalized, disenfranchised, uprooted and forced from homes; people who had witnessed massacres and rapes of family members; people who were themselves the victims of brutal atrocities. These were more than a million people, mostly Hutus, who had been terrorized by the Rwandan Patriotic Army from October 1990 to April 1994, as it butchered its way into Rwanda.

“She [Des Forges] concealed the fact that from 1990 the war caused an unprecedented economic poverty and that the one million internally displaced people tore the social fabric apart!” wrote Dr. Helmut Strizek, a former German official who has called for Alison Des Forges’ resignation from Human Rights Watch.[57] “And these people knew that Tutsi rebels [RPA] caused their misery. They did not wait for ‘instructions’ in order to revenge, once no one was able to maintain public order after the April 6 [1994] assassination [sic] and resumption of hostilities by the RPF.”[58]

At one Harvard University lecture on October 14, 1998, Alison Des Forges proposed a hypothetical ‘decapitation’ scenario whereby military intervention by a team of elite operatives could have ‘stopped the genocide’. “The scenario calls for elite troops to enter Rwanda in the first 2 to 5 days of the genocide and kill or capture the 20 or so extremist leaders who were primarily responsible for mobilizing the genocide.”[59]

However, this is regime change, and it is in keeping with the new ‘humanitarian’ warfare paradigm, and it licenses special operations forces to commit human rights atrocities and acts of terror legitimized by one state (US) over its ‘enemies’. And, in any case, there was no regime in Kigali to change as the state had already been decapitated by the double presidential assassinations of April 6, 1994. Des Forges’ role has been to hide the US backed coup d’etat in Rwanda and to obscure the involvement of the United States military and its western military partners.

Between 1990 and 1994, the RPA waged a systematic, pre-planned, secretive but highly organized terrorist war aimed at eliminating the largest number of Rwandan people possible—bodies were hacked to pieces and incinerated en masse. From 1994, once the RPA violently seized power, a terror regime was created, and developed, and a criminal structure parallel to the state was set up to pursue pre-determined kidnappings; torturing and raping of women and young girls; terrorist attacks (both directly and by simulating that the same had been perpetrated by the enemy); illegal detention of thousands of civilians; selective murdering; systematic elimination of corpses either by mass incineration or by throwing them into lakes and rivers; indiscriminate attacks against civilians based on pre-determined ethnic categories for the elimination of the predominant ethnic group; and also to carry out acts of war in Rwanda and Congo.[60]

100. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

Robin Philpot:

We now know that the Rwandan Patriotic Front operated 36 active clandestine cells in Rwanda when it invaded on October 1, 1990, and that these cells worked through human rights groups. 45 The groups created after 1990 were supported financially and politically by the large European and North American human rights organisations, such as Human Rights Watch/Africa in New York (later to become Africa Watch), the Fédération internationale des droits de l’Homme in Paris, the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development in Montreal (now Rights and Democracy), African Rights in London, and several others. During the Rwandan war from 1990 to 1994 these groups provided the invading RPF army with a veneer of respectability.

Former Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu claims that the international human rights groups were terribly biased before they even arrived in Rwanda. “They were all in close contact with the Tutsi diaspora dominated by the RPF.” Gilbert Ngijol is even more emphatic. The political attaché to UN secretary general’s special envoy maintains that “Financial support for the Rwandan human rights groups was a way to launder aid to the RPF army.”

Though many human rights declarations and reports were issued during the war, one particular commission stands out because of its devastating influence on the course of the war and also because of its dishonesty. The report was published in March 1993 by three of the above human rights groups and one African organization. The very title of the report betrays its bias: “Report of the International Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in Rwanda since October 1, 1990.” 46

. . .

Though many human rights declarations and reports were issued during the war, one particular commission stands out because of its devastating influence on the course of the war and also because of its dishonesty. The report was published in March 1993 by three of the above human rights groups and one African organization. The very title of the report betrays its bias: “Report of the International Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in Rwanda since October 1, 1990.” 46

By limiting the investigation into rights violations after October 1, 1990, the Commission conveniently avoided investigating the worst crime in international law, namely the crime against peace and national sovereignty perpetrated by the invading RPF army
. . .
Even if the secret ties between the Commission and the RPF are disregarded, the report reeks of collusion since it barely mentions crimes committed by the RPF. Though Commission investigators spent two weeks in Rwanda, they only spent two hours in territory occupied by the RPF army.
. . .
Over and above the report’s limited scope and the unacceptable relationship between the RPF and Commission members, the whole operation leaves a bad taste. It reeks of colonialism.

A Commission comprising mainly American, Canadian and French nationals spends two weeks in an African country and a month later issues a report that becomes the gospel in Western Foreign Affairs departments. Six of ten Commission members admitted that they knew nothing about Rwanda before going there in January 1993. None spoke the national language of Rwanda.
. . .
The Commission’s report on Rwandan human rights became the cornerstone on which the “right and proper tale” was built. Every book on Rwanda refers to it. Every film and television report cites it as proof of the genocidal intentions of Rwandan Hutus. Commission members became the main source of information about Rwanda in their respective countries. Media and foreign affairs departments sought them out. Reporters no longer had to find Rwandans to explain what was going on in their country. New resident experts with some two weeks experience in the country could now explain everything simply… and simplistically.

Some of the authors of the report dropped all reserve and attempts to appear neutral immediately following the assassination of President Habyarimana, and especially after the RPF took power in July 1994. A serious commission should have demanded that members maintain a certain reserve or neutrality whatever the outcome of the war. One commission member, Jean Carbonare, began working directly for the RPF as early as July 1994. William Schabas travelled back and forth from Canada to Kigali and basically operated as an FPR flack. He managed to obtain considerable Canadian aid money for the RPF and regularly boasted about being the author of that government’s organic genocide law. Rwanda became a staging point for his international career.

Alison Des Forges has promoted herself as the expert of experts in all the major trials in Arusha as though she understands Rwandans better than they understand themselves. “Alison Des Forges behaves as if she is Rwanda’s honorary consul,” complained former Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu. “When I met her for the first time in 1992, even though she had done her thesis on Rwanda, it was obvious she knew very little about Rwanda.” Supporters of the “right and proper” make much of Ms Des Forges’ vast knowledge of Rwanda and of her selfless dedication. They conveniently forget to mention that she was employed by the United States State Department in 1990 and 1992 and that she maintained close relations with the US National Security Council and the Pentagon throughout the 1990s.
. . .
The RPF understood the nature of Western public opinion and particularly US opinion. They knew that they could easily find craven visibility seekers who would carry the ball for them in Western countries.

Imperial strategists in North America and Europe also undoubtedly looked favourably on the publication of a report that devastated the Habyarimana government and spared the Rwandan Patriotic Front. After all, the same powers had effectively sanctioned the military occupation of part of Rwanda when they launched the euphemistic peace process in Arusha. They were imposing a new economic model on the country, the so-called Structural Adjustment Program, as well as a new political model while war raged on. This new weapon provided by right-thinking experts form Europe and North America simply rounded out the arsenal at their disposal.

101. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

Peter Erlinder, The Real Authors of the Congo Crimes. Nkunda has been arrested but who will arrest Kagame?

On December 18, 2008, a three-judge panel in the Military-1 case at the UN tribunal acquitted the top four military officers of the former Rwandan government of charges of “conspiracy to commit genocide” and “genocide planning”…which completely rejects the whole “Rwanda-story” that has been told by the Kagame regime July 1994, as a way of explaining the massacres that occurred during the 100-assault to seize power that began with Kagame’s assassination of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi on April 6, 1994.

Not only were the four officers acquitted of conspiracy and planning genocide, including “architect of the genocide” Col. Theoneste Bagosora, the highest ranking officer, General Gratien Kabiligi, was acquitted of all charges and was released from more than 10-years of custody. The three-judge panel in the Military-1 case was the first to in the history of the Tribunal to have been presented with long-suppressed UN and US government files that make clear that Kagame and his RPF were the aggressors and Kagame’s military-strategy actually prevented both sides from using troops to stop the massacres the assassination of the two presidents touched off.[2]

The recently revealed documents, and testimony at the UN Tribunal ,confirm that massive civilian-on-civilian violence was predicted to erupt in Rwanda as a consequence of war, because of similar massacres that occurred in neighboring Burundi in late 1993, when the first popularly-elected Burundian president was assassinated by Kagame’s Burundi-military allies. In fact, in late 1993 the US ambassador to Rwanda personally warned Kagame that he would be responsible for the same kind of massive violence, if he resumed the war.

Now evidence ICTR evidence shows that Kagame not only resumed the war, but assassinated two presidents as the opening shot, triggering the same massive killings that had already happened in Burundi six months before.

Previously suppressed UN documents also show that two-weeks after he assassinated Rwandan President Habyarimana…along with a second Burundian president, Kagame told UN General Dallaire that he would not use his troops to stop the massacres because he was winning the war, and the civilian deaths were only “collateral damage for his their war-plan. The April 22, 1994 memo reporting this conversation is in the ICTR evidence.

Kagame also repeatedly refused a ceasefire, proposed by the former military to use troops to stop the massacres touched-off by Habyarimana’s assassination. Documents from the former government repeatedly asking for a ceasefire, and Kagame’s rejections, are also in the ICTR record that the 3-judge panel had before it.

while a-historical dis-information has been crucial to the colonial project known as Israel, what’s happened to the story of Palestine is but a candle compared to the wildfire of death, rape & plunder that is the story of the people of central Africa

102. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

oops, missed bolding this from #95:

Des Forges’ role has been to hide the US backed coup d’etat in Rwanda and to obscure the involvement of the United States military and its western military partners. –“America’s War in Central Africa”

103. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

re 93: I get my post-colonial victors’ courts mixed up – that was the ITCR, not the ICC that “completely rejected the Prosecution theory of long-term planning and conspiracy to commit genocide by [Hutu] members of the former Rwandan military leadership”

104. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

grrr, that’s ICTR ! ! !

105. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

Cynthia McKinney:

I warned the audience that it is clear that the malevolent intentions of the government are too often combined with the corporate press to deny the truth from the American people and the global community. So it was with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and so it is with what the world now knows as the Rwanda Genocide. I have only asked for the truth to be told and justice to follow.

While in Congress, I was involved in truth-seeking in the role of the United States government and the United Nations in what the world knows as the Rwanda Genocide. Outraged by what I learned, I agreed to testify in court in Spain on behalf of the truth. Today, I learned that that participation and that search for truth was worth it. Forty members of the Rwandan Army have been indicted for genocide. And the judge found that the current President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, was complicit–although he enjoys immunity as a sitting Head of State.

106. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

all will eventually emerge from teh shadows of moderation, but for now, lemme c&c sans quotes & links what I posted earlier:

re: Alison Des Forges (currently comment #88):

Sure, let’s mourn the death of yet another western academic white “humanitarian” working in Africa for the ever so-unbiased, non-political Human Rights Watch. Another respected storyteller of the desired dominant narrative, which serves to obscure as much as blame & reveal. Of course these NGO’s couldn’t possibly in one way or another be complicit in the on-going REGIONAL genocide to make central africa available for western mining interests to plunder its mineral resources by carrying & publishing their ‘water’ (narratives).

Sure, read Allison & Samantha & you too can be an expert on Rwanda! bleeding hearts . . .


Btw, many are unaware that the ICC recently came to the conclusion that although acts of genocide took place , there is no evidence of a gov’t-wide conspiracy as these ‘humanitarians’ would have us believe.

No one deserves such a firey death, but hers is hardly some big loss to the world. Her work today still serves to actively obfuscate & harm.

107. NYCO - 13 February 2009

93. I don’t buy what that article seems to be selling (“there was no genocide”) – it wasn’t an either/or thing, as Des Forges’ report points out. (Kagame eventually banned her from the country because she kept pointing out both sides of the truth.)

There most certainly was an organized Hutu-government-sponsored campaign to exterminate Tutsi; it was not simply “wartime conditions.” Just because it wasn’t done Nazi-style doesn’t mean it wasn’t planned. That certainly doesn’t negate the truth that thousands of innocent Hutu were massacred. Kagame is no hero.

As with any genocide – Armenian, Holocaust – once it’s all over, the revisionism starts. But that’s the reason why Des Forges’ work is so valuable: it isn’t a polemic. In fact, in many ways it’s a loose narrative of genocidal mechanics. She doesn’t seek to define genocide — as so many people do, as they argued and bickered about it in 1994 — she instead describes its stink, the distinctive tracks it leaves on the ground, the way you would describe the course of a disease.

108. NYCO - 13 February 2009

Further on 93. I believe where people get into problems is when they try to create political or policy solutions to prevent it from happening. Then they will be challenged and make enemies. (The notion that Des Forges has been “thoroughly discredited” is ridiculous – discredited by whom? I haven’t read their meticulously on-the-ground researched report on why there are skulls all over Rwanda, although I’m sure it must be out there, right?) Isn’t it easier to say there’s no such thing as genocide? I prefer to think of it as “the rabies of mankind,” myself. Truly the most valuable insights in Des Forges’ work were not about an attempted extermination of Tutsi, but about how previously existing wartime conditions (the pre-94 wars) gave rise to a briefly state-sponsored genocidal culture, which rapidly twisted and morphed like a snake into ever decreasing circles of savagery.

I attempted a day by day chronology of events (an arbitrary “100 days” figure); the result is here; and honestly my final message about this disease… is not to deny that it exists but to say, if the stink of it ever reaches your nostrils,

Hide under your bed and pray.

109. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

sorry, but it’s an inconvenient fact that this narartive theory has been discredited – like any good propagandist, her selective use of detail lends the work credibility – but no one can claim that HRW & the other orgs have EVER presented a balanced accounting of what happened

110. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

look up the ICTR court . . .

111. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

discredited by whom? I haven’t read their meticulously on-the-ground researched report on why there are skulls all over Rwanda, although I’m sure it must be out there, right?

fuck yr sarcasm:

“ARUSHA, Tanzania – December 18 [2008] – Today’s ICTR judgments in the Military-I trial completely rejected the Prosecution theory of long-term planning and conspiracy to commit genocide by members of the former Rwandan military leadership. All four defendants were found ,b.”not guilty” of all counts charging conspiracy to commit genocide, based on the Chambers ruling that their actions prior to April 6, 1994 were based on war-time conditions, not planning to kill civilians or to carry out a genocide against Tutsi Rwandans.”


what surprise that hasn’t been more widely reported!

112. NYCO - 13 February 2009

Discredited by whom? Just wondering. Did someone produce a report exhaustively rebutting her work?

Because far from being a polemic that led to a “narrative,” I find it a loosely organized but very valuable look at a highly shifting situation. I certainly did not come away from it feeling as if it glorified or particularly condemned any political player, perhaps with the exception of the United States. I also don’t recall her going into much detail about who shot down Habyarimana’s plane, which you would expect a propaganda piece to do. I can see where her treatment of Kibeho wasn’t as detailed as it should have been, but I fail to see where her research itself rings false. The report is very much worth reading.

113. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

There most certainly was an organized Hutu-government-sponsored campaign to exterminate Tutsi; it was not simply “wartime conditions.”

according to you?

the ICTR judges found differently . . . of course that hasn’t been widely reported

114. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

it’s been essential to the narrative to NOT discuss who shot down the plane – nor who was responsible for the assasination in Burundi – the criticism of her work is more in what isn’t mentioned – what/who is obscured from the narrative – & you realize, don’t you, that Kagame is a US proxy?

115. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

narrowly circumscribing the time-line of a story is a time-worn propaganda technique well known to anyone familiar w/ I/P narrative battles – the suggestion is that her work falls well within that tradition

116. NYCO - 13 February 2009

Unless one has a crystal ball that can see back until the dawn of man, all of our historical views are propaganda.

What is genocide? Does it exist? Has it ever occurred?

117. NYCO - 13 February 2009

Also… I live in Haudenosaunee country and I’m pretty familiar with how the U.S. has circumscribed the timeline of their interactions with that particular group. That doesn’t mean that a well-researched description of the facts of how various lands got “sold” over the years is “revisionist history” or does not contribute to our understanding of the truth. As for what courts say, the U.S. courts have dealt with the Haudenosaunee pretty illegally… so whoop de fricking doo about the ICTR, sez me.

118. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

While you may believe that her work is “far from being a polemic that led to a ‘narrative,’” are you disputing that the dominant western narrative, accepted in your own words, isn’t There most certainly was an organized Hutu-government-sponsored campaign to exterminate Tutsi? That her work didn’t prop up that story? That she neglected to look at the larger context & actors? That the atrocities of the RPF’s initial invasion, let alone their repsonsibilty for what has happened in the DRC have been amost erased?

While one court’s findings certainly aren’t definitive, the fact that a western-backed court many thought to be pre-diposed to affirming that narrative couldn’t come up w/ the evidence is indicative that it isn’t really there.

119. NYCO - 13 February 2009

I do not dispute it because I believe, based on my own research, that there was a government-sponsored campaign. As I’ve explained, my respect for a Western-backed court in matters related to indigenous people is pretty close to zero.

I also don’t see where her report “erased” any history. If people really want to get the whole truth out, a complete and true “theory of Rwanda” then they would be better advised to write a new history that is true to the facts — all of them — without these politically motivated denunciations (which all mysteriously seem to lead back to Israel for some reason). In other words, it would have to encompass a great deal of Des Forges’ research. Which is why her work is valuable.

RPF committed atrocities. Hutu government responded by mounting a fairly sophisticated and systematic campaign against Tutsi. RPF responded by committing more atrocities – and it’s hard to say that Kibeho wasn’t a systematic extermination. We need an examination of what RPF was doing – its own “system” – not a condemnation of Des Forges’ work. Do you really think those two views of history are incompatible? They are parts of what happened. I really don’t understand the vehemence here.

If Des Forges had never used the “g” word I doubt we would be having this argument at all.

120. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

Sure, the detailed accounting of atrocities is useful. Benny Morris is useful in the same way (the analogy’s not perfect). But both embody ideological & political agendas that need scrutiny. The writing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. She’s a partisan in the post-colonial struggle. Certainly played a political role on the International Commission of Inquiry (*) assigning black hats & white ones.

The story of Rwanda can’t be understood outside the larger regional history. We can probably agree that a full accounting someday would be desirable.

If Des Forges had never used the “g” word

Well, she did – front & center – & made a career out of it as an actor in a highly politicized environment. Her narrative of Hutu-planned genocide is now thoroughly embedded in mainstream stories relating the latest incursion of Rwandan troops on Congolese soil (invited w/out the knowledge of Parliament – or in some accounts, even the DRC military – by a man[(Kabila] who was once an officer serving under Kagame). So the violence that story enables continues today as Hutus are, in the word of many stories, hunted down in eastern Congo under a banner of “Peace.”

(*) from a quote languishing in moderation:

“The Commission’s report on Rwandan human rights became the cornerstone on which the “right and proper tale” was built. Every book on Rwanda refers to it. Every film and television report cites it as proof of the genocidal intentions of Rwandan Hutus. Commission members became the main source of information about Rwanda in their respective countries. Media and foreign affairs departments sought them out. Reporters no longer had to find Rwandans to explain what was going on in their country. New resident experts with some two weeks experience in the country could now explain everything simply… and simplistically.
. . .
Imperial strategists in North America and Europe also undoubtedly looked favourably on the publication of a report that devastated the Habyarimana government and spared the Rwandan Patriotic Front. After all, the same powers had effectively sanctioned the military occupation of part of Rwanda when they launched the euphemistic peace process in Arusha.”

121. Arcturus - 13 February 2009

a full accounting someday

. . . which hopefully would hopefully discuss the role of the western NGOs & human rights orgs in the on-going disaster. Snow’s work (among others) is a beginning stab in that direction.

122. catnip - 13 February 2009

Hired death by any other name… Blackwater dumps tarnished brand name

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Blackwater Worldwide is abandoning its tarnished brand name as it tries to shake a reputation battered by oft-criticized work in Iraq, renaming its family of two dozen businesses under the name Xe.

123. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 February 2009
124. diane - 14 February 2009

Hollowwood sez: You fight just like your momma boy Landau, no less but how is he doing now?….and aren’t we so worried about our own piece of the prism that alas we’ve forgotten how he played the villain with relish…because he had known villains …in his own life…….certainly …Hollowwood has eaten him up and spit him out…just as what will be done to the northern italy german blond titanic star whose name …was on a gazillion emails…alas…he doesn’t have a clue…but….he will,….at some point….

Alas we are steeped in pppfizerizzed hormones gone amuck…..

nurture is but a flitting remembrance……now denied….it never existed? gaia.. sure…..hold on while I pour more ouzo…(must say a far sight better than the sambuca,…for my tastebuds….the less sucre (was that latin?…you did get it though didn’t ya’ll….some day I’ll do a DIARY (laughs abound) of the near indestructible roots of some ivys) the better……………..)

all find it embarassing to nurture………….who wants to be sodomized?…when it is against their will?…their spirit…their soul……….

And ..yet..in our own private corners…our love for for another…………………………

will live forever….if it is, in fact, love.

125. diane - 14 February 2009


You fight just like your momma boy Landau,

should’ve read:

You fight just like your momma boy. ….Landau,

the quote, is from the movie, Nevada Smith

126. diane - 14 February 2009

…and sorry again, the name Landau…., wasn’t in the script…..

Gosh and didn’t Carl Mauldin have an impossible nose….gone off now to On The Waterfront……...I cooda been somebody…….…(and something about you’re my brother…what the….!..and then desolation…pulling the one that was a part of you from the meathook with strength you never thought you had…………….

Raybin…I hope you are eating healthy…and not pppppfizerized……………

127. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 February 2009
128. diane - 14 February 2009

Raybin…I hope you are eating healthy…and not pppppfizerized

…………..and Cold Blue Steel,…….well you have my email address hons….I haven’t given it out to but a few…any thoughts you care to share?….,….well…timing is everthing,……….and patience,..is a virtue…………..

129. diane - 14 February 2009

…I hardly envision you as a rope, mad man in the marketplace …..and likely, at the end of the day, you hardly envision yourself as just a rope…otherwise,………..you likely wouldn’t be commenting….

130. Arcturus - 14 February 2009

commenter m156 @ Common Dreams has some interesting remarks & links this morning reklating to des Forges, the politicized narratives of genocide biz, & ‘humanitarian’ intervention

131. BooHooHooMan - 14 February 2009

Whole lot left out in this NYT piece…

Inquiry on Graft in Iraq Focuses on U.S. Officers

Published: February 14, 2009

Federal authorities examining the early, chaotic days of the $125 billion American-led effort to rebuild Iraq have significantly broadened their inquiry to include senior American military officers who oversaw the program, according to interviews with senior government officials and court documents.

Court records show that last month investigators subpoenaed the personal bank records of Col. Anthony B. Bell, who is now retired from the Army but who was in charge of reconstruction contracting in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 when the small operation grew into a frenzied attempt to remake the country’s broken infrastructure. In addition, investigators are examining the activities of Lt. Col. Ronald W. Hirtle of the Air Force, who was a senior contracting officer in Baghdad in 2004, according to two federal officials involved in the inquiry.

It is not clear what specific evidence exists against the two men, and both said they had nothing to hide from investigators. Yet officials say that several criminal cases over the past few years point to widespread corruption in the operation the men helped to run. As part of the inquiry, the authorities are taking a fresh look at information given to them by Dale C. Stoffel, an American arms dealer and contractor who was killed in Iraq in late 2004.

Before he was shot on a road north of Baghdad, Mr. Stoffel drew a portrait worthy of a pulp crime novel: tens of thousands of dollars stuffed into pizza boxes and delivered surreptitiously to the American contracting offices in Baghdad, and payoffs made in paper sacks that were scattered in “dead drops” around the Green Zone, the nerve center of the United States government’s presence in Iraq, two senior federal officials said.

Mr. Stoffel, who gave investigators information about the office where Colonel Bell and Colonel Hirtle worked, was deemed credible enough that he was granted limited immunity from prosecution in exchange for his information, according to government documents obtained by The New York Times and interviews with officials and Mr. Stoffel’s lawyer, John H. Quinn Jr. There is no evidence that his death was related to his allegations of corruption. {Okaaaay…}

Prosecutors have won 35 convictions on cases related to reconstruction in Iraq, yet most of them involved private contractors or midlevel officials. The current inquiry is aiming at higher-level officials, according to investigators involved in the case, and is also trying to determine if there are connections between those officials and figures in the other cases. Although Colonel Bell and Colonel Hirtle were military officers, they worked in a civilian contracting office.

“These long-running investigations continue to mature and expand, embracing a wider array of potential suspects,” a federal investigator said.

Interesting that Eric Schmitt of the Times contributed to the piece.
Whole lotta things left out, though.
That Stofell occupied rarified space transcending the DOD and CIA, a politically protected Bagman aside from whatever formal or compensatory ties he had to the Pentagon or the CIA. He had all the right quick stop tickets punched: Naval Intelligence out of college in PA, then Raytheon, but the heretofore nonexistent small biz dude was from Murtha’s backyard in PA. Ran “Wye Technologies” out of his house in Virginia.

So much left out WRT to the gangster factions within and between the DOD and CIA and their Pol Patrons. The shit that had one of their own, Stoffel, killed after leaving a meeting with DOD muckety mucks and 300 million IN CASH unaccounted for. And that the “Iraqi Mujahadeen” knew he was coming down that road. If there’s any Justice in the world, Murtha will go done as the crook he is, having enabled every murderous military scheme to come along for money. All in the tired slobber of serving the folks back home.

132. bayprairie - 14 February 2009

great moments in wannabe punditry

Pretzel Logic

by BooMan
Thu Jan 29th, 2009 at 03:53:16 PM EST

When the House votes on final passage of the stimulus bill, somewhere near two dozen Republicans are going to vote for it.

133. diane - 15 February 2009

I hope you didn’t take that comment as negative Madman, because it wasn’t meant that way.

And Marisa, I hope all is okay and you come back soon I can’t imagine the number of people missing your blog right now, I sure do. On the other hand, if you’re really enjoying the break, that’s wonderful.

134. Intermittent Bystander - 15 February 2009

Attention catnip!


diane at 116 – I can’t imagine the number of people missing your blog right now

Hark and you will even hear the sound of Sunday morning brayer!

135. diane - 15 February 2009


Saw that a few minutes ago, and your hilarious response.

Hand the man a hanky,…too funny,…actually kind of cute……..

There are countless others I’m sure who are missing Marisa….

Come back Marisa come back (but in the mean time have a bast)!

(gotta run, out of smokes……..arrrghhh)

136. catnip - 15 February 2009

Attention catnip!

Book me on the next flight to Mexico. Hola cheesecake, Batman!

137. diane - 15 February 2009

ohhh lord I just checked back on the link before logging off and Ender is having delusions of grandeur….another hanky needed…and perhaps some Pushkin, ….maybe a volume of Ayn Rand …………………..


errrrk seriously want some cigs……………

138. jam.fuse - 15 February 2009

Just saw an incredibly chilling video clip of the horrendous treatment of animals in China…. my blood runs cold.

139. BooHooHooMan - 15 February 2009

Oh gahd. Donkeytale, that consonant stuttering raconteur trying to scratch way out of the Elvis sightings beat on the blogosphere.
Accompanied by Ender.

Talk about “shut- ins”…LOL… and whiney little bitches.

140. DavidByron - 15 February 2009

Firstly — about Rwanda.

Secondly — sorry to hear about Marisacat (http://www.freespeechzoneblog.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=2928); hope she gets better soon or whatever. Naturally I was sad to learn she wasn’t a 22 year old former pron star, although that always seemed a stretch with her.

OK back to Rwanda:

NYCO– I read your 100 days in Rwanda blog but since then I’ve come to think the main story was largely missed by you at the time. The war was essentially a US backed coup also aided by US Uganda and with an aim of taking over profitable parts of the Congo. What genocide there was was in response to the US backed invasion by a group with a history of racial persecution. As soon as they seized power they proceeded to invade the Congo which led to far more deaths — about ten times as many — as died in Rwanda itself.

Are you aware of all this stuff? Louise Arbor’s part in it? Koffi Anan’s part in it? The assassination of the two presidents just prior to the invasion?

141. DavidByron - 15 February 2009

“Isn’t it easier to say there’s no such thing as genocide? I prefer to think of it as “the rabies of mankind,” myself.”

NYCO– with respect — the greatest crime is war itself not genocide. I agree with the Nuremberg court here. Genocide happens — and it seems it didn’t happen in this case (I think that if a kangaroo court set up entirely to for a US cover-up and whitewashing still can’t fake evidence of genocide when so many real dead bodies around then how is it possible to say it happened?) but where and when it does happen it happens during conflicts. War itself represents the full crime then and of course who started the war in Rwanda? and subsequently in the Congo?

We’re talking about a 180 degree reversal of what the real story was in essence.

142. DavidByron - 15 February 2009

HRW is the CIA’s favourite little NGO. Half their staff are former US government officials it seems. Was she?

143. Intermittent Bystander - 15 February 2009
144. diane - 15 February 2009

Intermittent (121)

What a wonderful way to be remembered….

It brought to mind Elephants mourning their dead……………so very unfortunate politics got involved with those grand wonders of the earth.

145. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 February 2009
146. Intermittent Bystander - 15 February 2009

More news in pachyderm world: Vibrations ‘could save elephants’. Title claim sounds OTT, and technique could spawn new probs, but interesting research nonetheless.


Siblings in prominent spots make me nervous. Shades of the McLellan boyz! Quite a bit of mixed opinion in the comments to the ChiSun story there.

147. catnip - 15 February 2009

Supper (mmm…): Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken

I added a bit of ketchup (instead of optional tomato paste), green peppers, 1 tsp powdered ginger & a can of water chestnuts. Also used just 1 tbsp of cornstarch and a bit of water as a thickener. Cooked on high (frozen chicken breasts to begin with) for 5 hrs. Perfect.

148. intermittentbystander - 15 February 2009

NYCO – Appreciated the info and perspective on Des Forges. In case you missed them, here are a couple of local obits, somewhat heavily emphasizing her early education in Niskayuna – a well-funded (and indeed, quite stellar) school system along the Mohawk, near Schenectady, serving (in particular, then) GE’s exurban atomic research and power labs. (Think Trident subs and 1st artificial diamond. Nobel winners, astrophysicists, multi-national top-secret doings, polluted river, etc.) Rumor had it Niskayuna was the 8th most likely spot to be bombed by the Russkies, back in the day.

Albany Times Union.
Daily Gazette (Schenectady).


149. jam.fuse@gmail - 15 February 2009

here is the link



150. intermittentbystander - 15 February 2009

125 – Welcome home, Crockpot!

151. intermittentbystander - 15 February 2009

Holy crap – now the rumor is that davefromqueens died suddenly. And denali is pointing at
Major Flaw on DFQ’s blog.

152. intermittentbystander - 15 February 2009
153. bayprairie - 15 February 2009

IB that diary was edited from this

It is now reported that he has just died of an apparent heart attack. [some people suspect foul play, but I don’t think anybody has evidence of that at present]

See http://davefromqueens.com/… (comment by ProfJonathan (Jonathan Ezor) a law school professor and friend of Dave’s.

If this is true, and I think it is, it is a very great loss to the blogosphere.

And it is a horrible sign that some people go too far in trying to restrain free speech on the blogosphere. [Edit: it has been suggested that I remove this last sentence. I’m not going to do so, but I will add: this is certainly something Dave would agree to. If this story is true, and I think it is, this may be the first person to actually die from stress about how the community moderation system at Daily Kos works. It is what it is. I draw no big conclusions from it. But it’s a gripping human story, and a sad one.]

to this

It is now reported that he has just died of an apparent heart attack. [some people suspect foul play, but I don’t think anybody has evidence of that at present]

See http://davefromqueens.com/… (comment by ProfJonathan (Jonathan Ezor) a law school professor and friend of Dave’s.

If this is true, and I think it is, it is a very great loss to the blogosphere.

[last part of diary removed]

yes its a horrible sign that boyo democratic party blogs strive to restrain free speech. but lets be sure and not mention that.

it is what it is, at least until its deleted.

154. intermittentbystander - 15 February 2009

Thanks for the forensic blogheirarchaeology. Good thinking.

155. bayprairie - 15 February 2009

every thread thug, blog maid and asshole front pager except armandois in that thread.

dave must have been the subject of quite a few townhouse messages. even blades drops in to express his “remorse”.

156. BooHooHooMan - 15 February 2009

Strange. My bud – the Medical Examiner in NY – says the boys in blue are looking for some persons of interest in NY and MD. Couldn’t elaborate more, but a heart attack wasn’t it…Stunning.

157. sabrina - 16 February 2009

BooHooHooman, is that true?

158. Intermittent Bystander - 16 February 2009

Diary by the real-life friend and law Prof (who first reported news of DFQ’s death) now at DK, with info on funeral arrangements: Missing My Friend DaveFromQueens and His Passion.

159. Intermittent Bystander - 16 February 2009

FWIW, BHHM, if your comment was a joke, it has now traveled elsewhere as a rumor and/or factual claim.

160. BooHooHooMan - 16 February 2009

On the internet?

161. catnip - 16 February 2009

RIP Dave.

It’s so unfortunate that he spent too much of his last days so concerned with what was going on at dkos. There’s a lesson in that. (Not saying that contributed to his death because I have no idea but there are so many other things in life to focus on each day.)

162. catnip - 16 February 2009

MARISA!! Where the heck are you??

Curses on you, Target. Curses, I say!

163. catnip - 16 February 2009

CA is laying off 20,000 state employees. Wow.

164. CSTAR - 16 February 2009

50 I second that motion.

139. I’m sure that’s going to stimulate the economy further.

Carnaval later this week and next should provide some stimulation. The pope won’t approve.

165. catnip - 16 February 2009

Just watched the movie The House of Sand and Fog. Well done and very true to the book.

166. catnip - 16 February 2009

I suppose this is supposed to be soothing…or something: Justice Dept. to Critique Interrogation Methods Backed by Bush Team

“critique”. Oooo. You want criticism of those legal opinions? Google “torture” and “Yoo”. Then, when you’re done, do something about it, Bush-pandering assholes.

167. catnip - 16 February 2009

Meta meta meta. It’s a metafest.

168. catnip - 16 February 2009

It’s all quite fucked over there.

What happened to browneyes?

169. catnip - 16 February 2009

FYI, this brand makes great dill pickle dip. I suspect it’s loaded with many faux food ingredients. Who says I don’t live dangerously??

170. bayprairie - 16 February 2009

catnip, i just looked at that thread hyperlinked to your “meta meta meta”…

the number of comments is 666

171. bayprairie - 16 February 2009

lots of denial in that thread by the morally bankrupt koskop management. houle is a scream.

172. catnip - 17 February 2009

the number of comments is 666

lol 😀

houle is a scream.

And Elise. OMG honey, get a life.

173. catnip - 17 February 2009

And the biggest elephant in that room is the fact that kos isn’t going to change a damn thing. It’s such a waste of time to discuss community moderation over there as if he’s going to do something about it. People who’ve been there forever, like eugene, ought to know that by now. But noooo…. On and on it goes.

174. catnip - 17 February 2009

This guy may need to be banned next for not bringing up the meta in his diary:

Dave Exemplifies Passions Nurtured In Queens

by State Rep Mark Cohen Dem PA

Piss in that one, Houle. I dare you.

175. catnip - 17 February 2009

It’s good that the overwhelming sentiment on this site is recognize the positives in Dave From Queen’s passion, and to put aside the rest.

Ummm, Rep Cohen? You have some reading to do.

176. catnip - 17 February 2009

denali gets his ass handed to him on a plate.

Okay. I’ve now read more meta in the past 24 hours than I’ve read in the past 6 months. My head’s about set to splode.

177. catnip - 17 February 2009

Patrick Cockburn: A ‘fraud’ bigger than Madoff

In what could turn out to be the greatest fraud in US history, American authorities have started to investigate the alleged role of senior military officers in the misuse of $125bn (£88bn) in a US -directed effort to reconstruct Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The exact sum missing may never be clear, but a report by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) suggests it may exceed $50bn, making it an even bigger theft than Bernard Madoff’s notorious Ponzi scheme.

“I believe the real looting of Iraq after the invasion was by US officials and contractors, and not by people from the slums of Baghdad,” said one US businessman active in Iraq since 2003.

In one case, auditors working for SIGIR discovered that $57.8m was sent in “pallet upon pallet of hundred-dollar bills” to the US comptroller for south-central Iraq, Robert J Stein Jr, who had himself photographed standing with the mound of money. He is among the few US officials who were in Iraq to be convicted of fraud and money-laundering.

Despite the vast sums expended on rebuilding by the US since 2003, there have been no cranes visible on the Baghdad skyline except those at work building a new US embassy and others rusting beside a half-built giant mosque that Saddam was constructing when he was overthrown. One of the few visible signs of government work on Baghdad’s infrastructure is a tireless attention to planting palm trees and flowers in the centre strip between main roads. Those are then dug up and replanted a few months later.

Iraqi leaders are convinced that the theft or waste of huge sums of US and Iraqi government money could have happened only if senior US officials were themselves involved in the corruption. In 2004-05, the entire Iraq military procurement budget of $1.3bn was siphoned off from the Iraqi Defence Ministry in return for 28-year-old Soviet helicopters too obsolete to fly and armoured cars easily penetrated by rifle bullets. Iraqi officials were blamed for the theft, but US military officials were largely in control of the Defence Ministry at the time and must have been either highly negligent or participants in the fraud.

American federal investigators are now starting an inquiry into the actions of senior US officers involved in the programme to rebuild Iraq, according to The New York Times, which cites interviews with senior government officials and court documents. Court records reveal that, in January, investigators subpoenaed the bank records of Colonel Anthony B Bell, now retired from the US Army, but who was previously responsible for contracting for the reconstruction effort in 2003 and 2004. Two federal officials are cited by the paper as saying that investigators are also looking at the activities of Lieutenant-Colonel Ronald W Hirtle of the US Air Force, who was senior contracting officer in Baghdad in 2004. It is not clear what specific evidence exists against the two men, who have both said they have nothing to hide.



In the early days of the occupation, well-connected Republicans were awarded jobs in Iraq, regardless of experience. A 24-year-old from a Republican family was put in charge of the Baghdad stock exchange which had to close down because he allegedly forgot to renew the lease on its building.

In the expanded inquiry by federal agencies, the evidence of a small-time US businessman called Dale C Stoffel who was murdered after leaving the US base at Taiji north of Baghdad in 2004 is being re-examined. Before he was killed, Mr Stoffel, an arms dealer and contractor, was granted limited immunity from prosecution after he had provided information that a network of bribery – linking companies and US officials awarding contracts – existed within the US-run Green Zone in Baghdad. He said bribes of tens of thousands of dollars were regularly delivered in pizza boxes sent to US contracting officers.

But just keep focusing on Obama’s Super Duper Stimulus Bill and pay no attention to the fact that this shit (and more) is still going on in Iraq.

178. mattes - 17 February 2009

…….how long does it take to catch a mouse??

179. marisacat - 17 February 2009

LOL mattes

apparently 7 full days. I ordered a mouse, with a dying mouse, nearly its last act, from Target and took the standard USPS delivery. Assuming for a Tuesday night order, I might get it Friday. No such luck Valentines and then the totally useless but to venerate the dead, Presidents Day.

So it arrived at 10:35, this am… in the rain. In the interim, much frustration.. as I could access urls and FP of sites but could click on nothing… nor eamil nor leave a comment here. Gah!

I have released all the pent up moderation and spam…

WP hit at everyone, over the days.. but especially the back and forth between Arcturus and NYCO on Rwanda, got whacked.. about 15 or so comments released from that go round… VERY SORRY!!

beware, some pranksters left messages in my name and others, as well. So… LOL before you get mad at any comment, make sure it was left by the namesake.

Submitted on 2009/02/10 at 9:56pm

Marisacat, I wonder if you’ll ever come out from behind your pseudonym. You probably shouldn’t bother, after all these years of sanctimonious criticism of others.

Just a bit of feedback from someone who finds you arrogant, judgemental, and repellent in spite of your intelligence and insightfulness.

I also see an eamil in my gmail inbox advising that d-tale, lording from the throne/commode over at FSZ, is counting down my demise.

Laugh laugh laugh.

180. marisacat - 17 February 2009

In my absence, someone emailed me this… a queer’s take on the old authoritarian queen in the big fancy Vatican House. What a scream!


Enjoy! Loved his sign off to B16:

[N]ow in the west we are making some headway in getting people to accept the cross-grained, multifaceted nature of human sexuality, the last thing we need is these arrogant, pompous, repressed, bottom pinching, boy-fondling old gits pronouncing on how we should fuck and with whom.

We’re here, we’re queer, like us or fucking lump us, and a big fat dildo up Benedict’s tightly-puckered old arse, sideways.

Quite a squeeze, what with his brain up there already.

181. marisacat - 17 February 2009

BTW, for Intermittent Bystander…. tho I am probably late with this.. just saw ont eh news today that in the Stim bill is monies to help fund COBRA payments, for those laid off after September 2008. Think it said up to 65% of costs of COBRA for the first 6 months.

Something, anyway.

182. NYCO - 17 February 2009

Can someone explain why Obama signed this thing in Denver? Why Denver?

183. marisacat - 17 February 2009

well I am just seeing on Politico (it headlines their FP) that obama is now planning to run against DC.

Or still. Guess he spent some years in that mode.

I wish him luck. What I have noticed is that neither he nor the wif like DC or the WH too much (nor do they mind saying so). Gee and they made such a breakneck run for the right to occupy.

184. bayprairie - 17 February 2009


::::welcome back::::

185. BooHooHooMan - 17 February 2009

Here’s a Glad to See Ya:

Midday open thread
by kos
Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 12:00:03 PM PST

* Time Magazine says we are overrated.Their own readers disagree, so yeah, yet another example of the disconnect between the traditional media and their readers.

No young fella. They didn’t just say you were overated.
They said this:

The 5 Most Overrated Blogs

Which blogs are coasting on reputation? Here are the 5 most overrated spots in the blogosphere

and for the review said this of Orange Hype in the post Bush Era:

……Be careful what you wish for [post-Bush]….Kos’s blog has lost its mission, and its increasingly rudderless posts read like talking points from the Democratic National Committee.

186. marisacat - 17 February 2009

nu post… 😉


…………. 🙄 ……………….

187. marisacat - 17 February 2009



185 BHHM

took years. He certainly was on the DNC, DSCC, DC3 fax list from 2003 on. And my own guess is way too chummy from years previous with Trippi, Rosenberg, Downey JR… (son of the S Carolina Dem party big wigs… Sr having been a DNC chair) and others. A con job, jsut with out a fed record, like Stock Tout, over at My DD.

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