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The cats have the right idea… 12 April 2009

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements.


Cats rest on a branch of fully-bloomed cherry blossoms at Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan. Flower viewing or ‘Hanami’ in Japanese is the national pastime of this time of the season in Japan. [Reuters: Photos of the week at UK Independent]

… get up in the air – and drown yourself in pink blossoms…



1. marisacat - 12 April 2009

Whew! It was a close one! th e US Navy faced down the pirates and won. Close shave, but they pulled it out.

The exact details of the shooting remain murky.

No surprise…

2. marisacat - 12 April 2009

Bingo. They throw the utter shit PR Saturday Utube out at the world…. however Caruso is right here:

How I Miss The Transparency And Openness Of The Bush White House

By: John Caruso

When Bush was president, you could go to whitehouse.gov and easily find any word he’d uttered in a public context. The items of interests were organized into two main sections—Current News and Press Briefings—both of which were indexed for easy perusal, and updated practically to the minute. And the same goes for Clinton’s version of whitehouse.gov, which didn’t quite reach the heights of the Bush administration’s version but was still straightforward to navigate. In both cases, you could wade into that vile cesspool, quickly find what you needed, and be out of there in the minimum amount of time, leaving plenty of time to hose yourself down with disinfectant.

But with Obama, those days of easy access are over. There are now multiple seemingly-overlapping potential locations under the Briefing Room for Obama’s utterances. Is that speech you’re looking for in Speeches? Official Statements? Press Briefings? Press Releases? Presidential Actions? Your Weekly Address? Or is it an entry in the vomit-inducingly named “Blog”? Good question. You may naively think that a speech would be included under “Speeches”, but if you check out that section you’ll be surprised to discover that the last time Obama delivered a speech was February 27th. …snip…

marisacat - 12 April 2009

Someone in the thread at TIny Revolution offered up this link:


UC Santa Barbara site on the presidency.. with a handy dandy section right on the FP called (don’t laugh too hard) OIA Obama In Action.

They track him day by day. However i note they are up to April 5.


I will give Bush this, right on the FP of WH.gov or one click away, a full page linking to that day (they posted fast) and the past day or so, speeches appearances, interviews, etc. Also major speeches or interviews given by the main cab members DOD, Sec State and so on.

What a difference.

Not that anything much means anything anymore.

catnip - 12 April 2009

But he’s only been president umm…(let’s say) 80 days!! Give the guy a break! Sheesh. Why do you hate America?

3. catnip - 12 April 2009

GM. Bankruptcy. Just around the corner. Count on it. Somebody in the administration has decided that it’s not “too big to fail”.

marisacat - 12 April 2009

”What’s good for GM is good for America.”


catnip - 12 April 2009

Well, America’s basically bankrupt right? 😉

4. catnip - 12 April 2009

Obamalama’s relatives are an interesting bunch. There’s his half-brother who’s been denied a visa in Britain “after he earlier gave a false name to police when accused of an attempted sexual assault”. He was, of course, thrown under the bus with the rest of the incovenient people in Obama’s life:

The White House had no comment on the reports. However, a White House official said the president had not spoken with Samson in 20 years.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Samson was granted a visa by the U.S. consulate in Nairobi to attend the inauguration. The president, however, did not see him while he was in Washington.

And then there’s that pesky aunt of his:

Zeituni Onyango, the Kenyan aunt of President Obama, emerged this morning after a brief, closed-door hearing in US Immigration Court in Boston and smiled broadly.

“Praise God,” Onyango said softly, holding her head high as she was surrounded by a throng of men in suits.

Judge Leonard I. Shapiro continued Onyango’s case until Feb. 4, 2010, which allowed her to stay in the United States until at least that date, according to Fatimah Mateen, a spokesperson for the court. At the initial appearance, the judge explained the deportation charges against Onyango and detailed her rights. Mateen briefed reporters in the lobby of the courtroom, standing beneath a framed photograph of Onyango’s nephew, President Obama.

“Ms. Onyango’s case is being treated just like any other case before an immigration judge,” Mateen said.


The hearing, which was closed at Onyango’s request, lasted less than 15 minutes and took place in a small, boxy courtroom with a red rug and nine benches. The third-floor room overlooks City Hall Plaza, where a white circus tent was visible below.

marisacat - 12 April 2009

Last I heard they had whisked her out of the Boston subsidised housing and stashed her in Cleveland. Some months ago…

catnip - 12 April 2009

I don’t understand how a non-citizen can live in gov’t subsidized housing there.

marisacat - 12 April 2009

hmm my guess is nobody checked… or she was awarded a spot during the wait for the [original] hearing and just stayed on.

5. catnip - 12 April 2009

Why does the NYT hate America and Obama?

In the absence of a fair review process that complies with international and military law, there is no reason to feel confident that everyone detained at Bagram deserves to be there. The administration should focus on putting such a process in place, instead of wasting its energies in an appeal that simply recycles extravagant claims of executive power and perpetuates the detention policies of the Bush administration.

I believe the Big Orange has just declared the NYT as being one of those banned conspiracy-spreading sites. I mean, really, first Krugman and now this? They MUST be Republicans who are out to destroy the Chosen One. There is no other explanation.

6. catnip - 12 April 2009

You have got to be kidding:

Obama’s “Raid on Entebbe”
by Al Rodgers

236 comments (236 new)

Check out the photoshopped pic of Obama with the absolutely huge gun. Wow. They’ve seriously lost their minds.

And they need to learn how to chillax (as the kids say) over there.


For the first time in months, I tune-in to watch Meet the Press, expecting to see coverage of President Obama’s incredible overseas success, and for a moment I thought I had accidentally turned on The Twilight Zone.

Asswipe David Gregory began the show with this line: “While Mr. Obama enjoys his popularity at home and star status abroad, his political critics question whether he has the toughness to conquer the mounting threats across the globe.”

Can you believe that. After everything the President did in Turkey and Iraq, this Corporate Media Kapò questioned the President’s courage, in the face of all contrary evidence.

This is why we HATE you Gregory. This is why we hold you and the Corporate Media™ in great disdain. We’re laughing AT you. [except when we steal pics from CBS and other media outlets to use in our diaries. -catnip] Give it up, McCain lost — we won. You can stop reading the wingnut talking points. Talk about coward — blindly reading laughable right-wing talking points.

We HATE you! Wha! You suck! You hurt our feelings. Nobody likes you! Go away!

marisacat - 12 April 2009

I remember when Al Rodgers was still sane. It did slip away slowly at first.

I wonder why people self lobotomise… Seems it would be painful, if nothing else.

catnip - 12 April 2009

He’s truly lost it:

O/T Nancy Pelosi loves my diaries !!! (12+ / 0-)

Digya see Nancy was on Olbermann Wednesday nite, and she called the President, “the Enforcer”.

She had to get the reference from my diary. There’s no other way.

Kinda cool, knowing the Speaker of the House of Representatives is a subscriber.

Sexy is the New Sexy

by Al Rodgers on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:10:55 PM MDT

marisacat - 12 April 2009


But so many are… I have on the Chris Matthews Sunday show, an NBC half hour… and they all decided that ObamaRama consolidated power in part as “they” are all afraid of his netroots network, that so assured his electoral win.


That is scraping the bottom of the barrel .. nor is it true. The response for his list grows less and less… as do viewings (so I read) of his YOuTubes. Which does nto mean they do nto fantasize about him. Or whatever it is that they do.

BooHooHooMan - 13 April 2009

LOL, catnip:

You have got to be kidding:

Obama’s “Raid on Entebbe”
by Al Rodgers

Check out the photoshopped pic..

How does he photoshop jet aircraft into a SHIP??
Land into WATER?

7. catnip - 12 April 2009

we need to put one or two (2+ / 0-)

Marine rifle squads on every US-flag cargo ship going through those waters.

That’s all it would take to get the “piracy = death” message across. M-60 machine guns firing from cover vs speedboats is a situation that is not going to end well for anyone on board speedboats.

If they kill hostages kept at pirate bases, that changes the situation to “nothing to lose” and a “daisy-cutter” fuel-air bomb will convert the great majority of villages into smoking rubble.

Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

by alizard on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:44:36 PM MDT

What can you say?

marisacat - 12 April 2009

oh let’s just shoot whoever we dislike from outer space.

Already there are so many “versions” of the kill … one version the captain was n the life boat, one version he was already in the water …

the Navy was already towing the lifeboat back out to open sea. But whatever version they tell has to include that a gun was trained on him, to fulfill (as reported) the “standing order” Obama gave t the commander of the Bainbridge. Be interesting to see if his numbers rise with Republicans, as it has been polarised. (To the extent one believes any numbers.)

wu ming - 13 April 2009

no doubt we’ll be gunning down anyone within range before too long. gotta be careful, after all.

8. catnip - 12 April 2009

A soon to be hidden comment:

This post is death porn. (0+ / 0-)

And Al is wallowing in it.

Just imagine how hot Al would get if they tortured the Somali guys before they killed him.

This site is sickening.

My name is Douglas Watts.

by Pometacom on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:06:30 AM MDT

9. catnip - 12 April 2009

Yup. This guy will soon be disappeared:

When do we apologize (0+ / 0-)

for blowing to bits a Pakistani family with a drone missile?


When does it get reported?


When does it happen?

Every week.

What do we talk about here?



The pathology and racism here is too think[sic] to cut through.

My name is Douglas Watts.

by Pometacom on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 01:30:19 AM MDT

10. catnip - 12 April 2009
11. catnip - 13 April 2009

Johann Hari: You are being lied to about pirates

Who imagined that in 2009, the world’s governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy – backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the US to China – is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth. But behind the arrr-me-hearties oddness of this tale, there is an untold scandal. The people our governments are labelling as “one of the great menaces of our times” have an extraordinary story to tell – and some justice on their side.

In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it.” Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to “dispose” of cheaply. When I asked Mr Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: “Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention.”

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: “If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters.”

This is the context in which the “pirates” have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a “tax” on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent “strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence”.

12. catnip - 13 April 2009


The story of the 2009 war on piracy was best summarised by another pirate, who lived and died in the fourth century BC. He was captured and brought to Alexander the Great, who demanded to know “what he meant by keeping possession of the sea.” The pirate smiled, and responded: “What you mean by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you, who do it with a great fleet, are called emperor.” Once again, our great imperial fleets sail – but who is the robber?

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009

Morning Joe just showed all the headlines of the captain thing while Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”, the one with the lyrics “Every little thing, gonna be alright”. That whirring sound is Bob spinning in his grave.

Off to work.

14. BooHooHooMan - 13 April 2009

Oh the Gush:

An Early Military Victory for Obama

Successful resolution of confrontation with Somali pirates could help build confidence in president’s ability to direct military actions abroad.

This is me, not so on-board on WaPo’s board:

WelfareForWallStreetAndISRAEL wrote:


“””Successful resolution of confrontation with Somali pirates could help build confidence in president’s ability to direct military actions abroad.”””

Obama is no more or less qualified to “direct military actions abroad” then if the rescue mission failed.

He’s. a. Politician. And as such, standard M.O. is always hiding behind the “Commanders-On-The Ground”. Especially when missions FAIL.

Theoretically, we pay him to represent our interests, and develop a range of strategies to do so and task their completion. Too bad the dumb@ss just sealed the next few generations in servitude to pay for the Fraud of the Rich. Too bad the dumb@ss didn’t take the early-in-term opportunity to do the People’s will and get us the hell out of Iraq. Now, as Iraq decompensates and more Americans get killed- 5 GI’s in one bombing the other day- OBAMA will go the way of Johnson, stuck with an un-re-electable fate for doubling down on a War in a region where Empires go to Die. We are like the Soviet Union in its death rails, the people know of course, but few can bear to face the reality.

Frankly, Obama the Charismatic Leader, is a White Collar gangster’s wet dream. So enjoy it people while it lasts, take comfort in what was an effective Navy SWAT Team operation. Try and make a meal of it, and pay the bills with it next winter.
4/13/2009 7:43:36 AM

catnip - 13 April 2009

5 GI’s in one bombing the other day

And I don’t recall him getting the blame for that. If he gets the roses, he should also get the thorns, shouldn’t he? After all, he is the commander-in-chief! Hoo-ah.

15. catnip - 13 April 2009

A WaPo opinion piece: Kill the Pirates

Yeah. Who cares about history and context and all of that other stuff?

16. catnip - 13 April 2009

U.S. Military Considers Attacks on Somali Pirates’ Land Bases

Queue Africom.

Once again, the US deigns Africa absolutely impotent to deal with its own problems. What an insult.

wu ming - 13 April 2009

colonies must first be deemed impotent, and made impotent if needs be, before they can be colonized. same ol, same ol here.

marisacat - 13 April 2009

well, Africa was on the radar. Africom meant some kind of business… and most likely it would be in the Horn region.

catnip - 13 April 2009

So I guess we can call it the GWOP? (Global war or piracy?) Although I don’t think the shortened version “WOP” will go over very well. 😉

Somali mortars miss US politician

Get your war on.

17. marisacat - 13 April 2009

Geesh the second in command on the Maersk Alabama is basically calling for a sea war. That sea farers are not separate nations, but one sea going nation and they need to be saved or defended or whatever from the pirates. Think he is speaking from Mombasa.


He also challenges that the crew (and i would guess the captain as well, hierarchies being what they are) “never surrendered the ship” and thus there was no “taking back”.

We are deep in the “hero” weeds here.

I caught a stray comment from the captain, some reporter (or someone) asked him yesterday about the pirates and he said, “they are just hungry”…

LOL they will be whisking the captain off stage for some re-edumacation. Pronto.

How soon til we shell the “pirate” enclaves and redoubts?

ObRama needs to up his numbers with the Republicans.

NYCO - 13 April 2009

It’s pretty cool that the captain gave himself up so his crew could get away. That seems absolutely heroic, although one could argue that’s what a captain ought to do.

But now the concept of “heroism” is getting seriously appropriated and muddled in the most freakish way.

marisacat - 13 April 2009

well I have no problem saying the captain did the right thing… or that the crew fought off the pirates… with what tools they had – and themselves.

Although some of the conversations today, the first mate is blabbing all over the place and the media are heavily carrying his clips… are stepping all over whatever right action or heroism the crew and captain did display. First mate is also the one basically calling for some big Anti Pirate War.

Anyway, ObRama has a cosy easy convenient little war to call up if the market crashes.

catnip - 13 April 2009

But now the concept of “heroism” is getting seriously appropriated and muddled in the most freakish way.

Freakish is definitely the word for it.

My jaw dropped yesterday and hasn’t made it back into position yet after reading the incredible reactions at dkos. This is a whole other world of ridiculous they’ve entered.

marisacat - 13 April 2009

there was a pretty ugly thread at Althouse as well… I sometimes drop in on her site as she seems a pretty commonly occurring hybrid, of sorts…

18. catnip - 13 April 2009

Meanwhile: NATO Strike Kills Six Civilians in Afghanistan

Provincial officials say a NATO air strike carried out in the Kunar Province overnight has killed six civilians, including two children, and wounded 16 others, most of them also children. The attack destroyed three homes in the restive province, and a three year old girl and 10 year old boy were among those killed.

The NATO forces said they attacked the area based on “multiple intelligence source” and said they saw “no evidence of a civilian presence.” Though they maintain all those killed were “enemy fighters,” they acknowledge now that some of the wounded, including a one-year old, may have been civilians. The district police chief says all the casualties, both dead and wounded, were innocent civilians.

The international forces were already under some uncomfortable scrutiny after a raid last week in the nearby Khost Province killed four relatives of an Afghan military officer. In that incident too the international forces initially touted the killings of “combatants” though they eventually conceded that all those killed, including the unborn baby shot in the womb were not believed to to be involved in militant activities.

marisacat - 13 April 2009

though they eventually conceded that all those killed, including the unborn baby shot in the womb were not believed to to be involved in militant activities.

… can you imagine if that happened under Bush?

19. marisacat - 13 April 2009

hmm Perrin. We are so sunk.

Navy SEAL snipers took out some Somali profiteers, and right on cue, many liberals and Obama lovers fairly creamed at their Father Leader’s feet. You can find plenty of stroking on various lib comment threads; but for me, the most energetic tug jobs took place at the Huffington Post:


“Glad to see we have a real man in office, and not a kid playing dress-up soldier.”

“I am so proud of President Obama and our Navy I am moved to tears. Truly, God has blessed America!”

“I’m just loving my President more and more each day, if that is possible!”

“President Obama was more effective in punishing the pirates than President Reagan was in punishing the Achille Lauro hijackers.”

“The Ship of State continues to sail strongly tonight. Thank You SEALS, U.S. Navy and Commander in Chief Obama for preserving our reputation.”

Obama has no shortage of targets in his crosshairs. Killing Somali racketeers is a guaranteed crowd pleaser, especially since the conditions that help nourish “piracy” (a rich description coming from US politicos and commentators) are of little to no interest to those clamoring for American global “leadership” and a restoration of our noble “reputation.” The energy and resource wars have found their perfect button man.

20. marisacat - 13 April 2009

Wall of sound goes down:

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

Los Angeles Jury Finds Phil Spector Guilty of Murder in 2003 Killing of Actress [5:16 p.m. ET]

catnip - 13 April 2009

I think his hair was to blame.

21. Arcturus - 13 April 2009

it’s being reported that the crew had been trained in anti-piracy measures, but not spoken is that those protocols apparently involve only evasive actions & proscribe non-resistance once a ship has been boarded – like the protocol-breaking swat team in Oakland, they’re HEROES – w/ longterm result likely being further violence & danger sailors – loverlie as usual . . . wave the flag ‘n all

lots of Somalia/piracy links & background being posted @ Moon Of Alabama:

No Victory Over Piracy, as well as in the on-going thread, Africa Comments (2), where I also noticed

keith harmon snow on the late alison des forges & HRW –False Narrative: Whitewashing Rwanda Genocide:

Alison Des Forges came across to many people as a wonderful human being with great compassion and impeccable integrity. Indeed, this was my impression upon meeting her as well. She is said to have helped people who were being persecuted—no matter that they were Hutus or Tutsis—by the Rwandan regime that has for more than 19 years operated with impunity behind the misplaced and misappropriated moral currency of victimhood. In the recent past, Alison Des Forges spoke—to some limited degree—against the war crimes of the Kagame regime.

In life she did not speak about the deeper realities of “genocide in Rwanda”, and she had plenty of chances. In fact, she is the primary purveyor of the inversion of truth that covered up the deeper U.S. role in the Rwanda “genocide”, and she spent the past 10 years of her life explaining away the inconsistencies, covering up the facts, revising her own story when necessary, and manipulating public opinion about war crimes in the Great Lakes of Africa—in service to the U.S. government and powerful corporations involved in the plunder and depopulation of the region.

marisacat - 13 April 2009

like the protocol-breaking swat team in Oakland, they’re HEROES

it’s taken a few weeks.. but there is muted criticism of the SWAT methods employed at the apartment house… and I can’t be the only person who noticed the cops are not talking about how things came down at the traffic stop.


As to high seas piracy, just hearing that those three headshots were at NIGHT… in “bobbing water”.


Arcturus - 13 April 2009

there was some buzz last week abt Oakland becoming a text-book case for swat classrooms for years to come

(did notice the survivor is the same cop who shot Gary King in the back a few years ago . . .)

& no, nothing abt the stop – tho in fairness, I’m not sure they’d radio in the reason for making the stop (or even that it was happening?)

& yea, MM, there’s much that’s curious abt this event – the MOA threads bring up a lot

marisacat - 13 April 2009

(did notice the survivor is the same cop who shot Gary King in the back a few years ago . . .)

Yeah I had looked up Gonzales too.. and saw he has two kills and one paraplegic in his history. All this decade too, iirc.

Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009

I seriously don’t think they were just some hapless crew … call me a mad conspiracy theorist, but that ship feels like a new female cop dressed up and sent out under the Qheensboro bridge on the stroll.

22. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009

Obama Taps 5th RIAA Lawyer to Justice Dept.

resident Barack Obama is tapping another RIAA attorney into the Justice Department.

Monday’s naming of Ian Gershengorn, to become the department’s deputy assistant attorney of the Civil Division, comes more than a week after nearly two-dozen public interest groups, trade pacts and library coalitions urged the new president to quit filling his administration with lawyers plucked from the Recording Industry Association of America.

The move makes it five RIAA lawyers Obama has appointed to the Justice Department.

Gershengorn, left, a partner with RIAA-firm Jenner & Block, represented the labels against Grokster (.pdf) and will be in charge of the DOJ Federal Programs Branch. That’s the unit that just told a federal judge the Obama administration supports monetary damages as high as $150,000 per purloined music track on a peer-to-peer file sharing program.

23. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009

Amazon banishes books with queer content to “adult” purgatory

Some people have wondered if this reveals a culture of homophobia at Amazon, or whether the timing has something to do with the recent legalizations of same-sex marriage in Iowa and Vermont. My own guess would be that it has nothing to do with homophobia and everything to do with the fragility of large organizations. I’d bet lunch that the sequence of events, in its simplest form, went something like this:

(1) Sometime in the middle-distance past—maybe a couple of months ago, maybe a year, it doesn’t matter—somebody decided that it would be a good idea to make sure that works of straight-out pornography (or, for that matter, sex toys) didn’t inadvertently show up as the top result for innocuous search queries. (The many ways that this could happen are left as an exercise for Making Light’s commentariat.) A policy was promulgated that “adult” items would be removed from the sales rankings and thus rendered invisible to general search.

(2) Sometime more recently, an entirely different group of people were given the task of deciding what things for sale on Amazon should be tagged “adult,” but in the journey from one department to another, and from one level of the hierarchy to another, the directive mutated from “let’s discreetly unrank the really raunchy stuff” to “we’d better be careful to put an ‘adult’ tag on anything that could imaginably offend anyone.” Indeed, as Teresa pointed out, it’s entirely possible that someone used a canned list of “adult” titles supplied from outside, something analogous to the lists of URLs sold by “net nanny” outfits, which would account for the newly-unranked status of works like Lady Chatterley’s Lover. (As one net commenter observed, “What is this, 1928?”)

If you don’t think this kind of clusterfark is entirely possible, you probably haven’t worked in a large organization. I don’t mean any of this as special pleading on Amazon’s behalf (although, full disclosure, obviously they’re one of Tor’s largest customers, so you may dismiss my views if you so desire). I just find it implausible that Amazon would want to alienate GLBT readers and their friends, who form an enormous and valuable segment of both their customer base and (surely) their own organization. Indeed, I suspect that dozens of Amazon executives and PR professionals will be having hurried meetings in Seattle this Monday morning, and that consumption of antacids at those meetings will be at an all-time high.

24. Arcturus - 13 April 2009

Kevin Pina – Controversial Senate elections planned in Haiti:

The Obama administration and the international community have remained silent the past two weeks concerning a decision by Haiti’s election council to move forward with controversial Senate elections scheduled for April 19. Without disclosing its origin, the United Nations announced on March 24 that Haiti received over 100 tons of election materials to be distributed to 11,000 voting locations in advance of the poll. The National Democratic Institute, an organization created by the U.S. government and loosely associated with the Democratic Party, has been busy holding seminars throughout Haiti in preparation for the upcoming Senate elections.

The apparent decision to green light the contentious ballot comes on the heels of a ruling by Haiti’s Provisional Election Council or CEP to exclude the Fanmi Lavalas party of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on procedural grounds. Haitian president Rene Preval met with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington on Feb. 5. The election council’s decision to disqualify all of the Fanmi Lavalas party’s candidates was announced the following day.

Major stakeholders in Haiti such as the U.S., Brazil, Canada and France have to worry whether excluding Lavalas from the upcoming ballot will be seen as undemocratic and call into question the validity of the elections. . . .

Factions of the Fanmi Lavalas party originally presented two slates of candidates to the CEP for the upcoming Senate elections scheduled for April 19. After the CEP demanded they present a single slate, the Fanmi Lavalas party’s leadership managed to hammer out a compromise list of candidates in time to meet the deadline. The CEP refused to accept their applications on the grounds they did not have Aristide’s personal signature from exile in South Africa as the National Representative of the Fanmi Lavalas party. One analyst close to the CEP and who spoke on condition of anonymity commented, “It didn’t really matter what Lavalas did. The result was always going to be the same. There was more division within Lavalas and greater procedural irregularities with their candidates in the elections of 2006. The only difference is they needed them to provide legitimacy to those elections. The political infighting only provided the CEP with a convenient excuse to exclude them. They don’t feel they need them [Lavalas] to legitimize the April 19 elections.”
. . .
On March 9, former president Bill Clinton and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon arrived in Haiti with several ‘business leaders’ and celebrities. Much of the press gushed . . .

Clinton and Ki-Moon were met with several large roaming demonstrations estimated at more than 20,000 combined who tried to get their attention through the thick cordon of U.N. security. It was a cat and mouse game between the demonstrators and U.N. military security that whisked the Clinton/Ki-Moon entourage from destination to destination always trying to stay one step ahead of the crowds.
. . .
According to witnesses from the Haitian press corps, the Clinton/Ki-Moon convoy along with a large contingent of foreign press took a route on March 9 designed to keep Lavalas protestors out of view. The recent decision to bar the Fanmi Lavalas party by Preval’s CEP, and the challenge it poses to the Obama administration and the international community for ‘restoring democracy in Haiti,’ may prove more difficult to hide.

25. marisacat - 13 April 2009

Sorry Arcturus… it snagged both of yours.. both out now…


26. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009
27. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009

Obama Administration Recruiting Lawyers to Defend Some Gitmo Detentions

President Barack Obama has ordered the Navy’s prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by next January, suspended Military Commission trials, and assigned Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct case-by-case reviews of the 241 prisoners still detained there to determine which ones should be prosecuted, released or sent to other countries. Yet the Obama Defense Department is still trying to recruit lawyers to defend its detentions.

In a ”help wanted” ad circulated through the American Bar Association, the Pentagon (DOD) offering $39,407– $130,211 a year for lawyers who will help respond to habeas corpus petitions filed by detainees in federal courts.

Habeas Corpus petitions challenge the government’s right to imprison them. That right was granted to the detainees in a landmark Supreme Court decision in June 2008.

The job posting said, ”Attorneys with any litigation experience are encouraged to apply” for the three-year positions. It said the positions are “located in the Washington, D.C. area, with the potential for some travel to Guantánamo Bay.” The ad says the DOD Office of the General Counsel is looking for applicants who can “start immediately.”

Arcturus - 13 April 2009

good luck to ’em w/ that – there aren’t enuf experienced habeas lawyers to deal w/ our death row population – & they don’t have to put up w/ the ‘nat’l security’ rigamorole (o, i see – “any litigation experience” is all that’s wanted, so any legal schmuck can deal w/ the byzantine habeas procedures . . .

I can’t wait for the circus to begin over where to detain the sitgmata-palmed captive pirate – or how to try him

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009

There was a good interview on Fresh Air today: Sex, Power, Women And ‘The Future Of the World’

Fresh Air from WHYY, April 13, 2009 · In her new book The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, And The Future of the World, Journalist Michelle Goldberg argues that granting reproductive rights to women internationally can help to control overpopulation, banish poverty and slow the spread of AIDS.

excerpt from her book:

Eunice Brookman-Amissah, the former health minister of Ghana, calls the death of her teenage patient Amina the beginning of her road to Damascus. The stepdaughter of an Anglican archbishop, Brookman-Amissah was brought up in a very conservative home, and those values stayed with her when she went to medical school. In the Accra teaching hospital where she trained in the late 1960s, young women who came in with botched abortions were put in a place called Chenard Ward. There were at least ten of them every day. “They were kept there bleeding and feverish and dirty until all the other cases were done— then it was time to do the evacuations,” she told me. “They were kept on the floor. Even when there were beds, these women were put on the floor. People stepped on them and insulted them and called them names— this is how horrible it was!”

Brookman-Amissah did not, at the time, see all this as particularly outrageous. “We were brought up to think that women who had had unsafe abortions were criminals,” she said. “They were bad women. They were the scum of this earth.”

After graduating, Brookman-Amissah went into private practice. She looked after a poor Muslim family who lived very close by. Their daughter, Amina, was exceptionally bright. “Her parents were illiterate, but she was going to school,” Brookman- Amissah said. Amina called her “Auntie Doctor,” and liked to hang out at her clinic and talk to the nurses, saying she would be one herself one day.

In 1992, when Amina was fourteen, she came to the clinic one Friday. As Brookman-Amissah remembers it, she was agitated and had been crying. A man in her compound, she said, had given her money to give to a doctor to make her period come. “My first reaction was one of outrage,” said Brookman-Amissah. ” ‘Amina, how dare you talk to me about that? Don’t you know we don’t do that here! Naughty girl!’ That sort of thing.” Brookman-Amissah asked Amina to send her mother on Monday so they could talk. “I can still see the look in her eyes,” she said.

But on Monday, no one came. Nor on Tuesday. On Wednesday, she heard drumming and commotion outside. A nurse told Brookman-Amissah what it was. “Doctor,” she said, “that’s Amina. They’ve gone to bury her.” The man who got her pregnant had taken her for an abortion over the weekend, and it had killed her.

“Was Amina really a criminal?” she remembers thinking. “Maybe I’m the criminal. That man, that older man, is a criminal. The whole society is liable for the death of an innocent young girl who didn’t even know what was happening to her.”

marisacat - 13 April 2009

lordy what a story…

“We were brought up to think that women who had had unsafe abortions were criminals,” she said. “They were bad women. They were the scum of this earth.”

And if you flew to London for the procedure, what were you?

I listened today to Fresh Air, but don’t think she mentioned that during the too brief half hour. I DID hear her (Michelle Goldberg, I mean) say that fundies (which includes Catholics) view S Arabia and other hard line anti women countries as their allies.

About time someone said it out loud.

Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009

yup, needs saying, over and over again.

Oh, and check this bit of conservative nuttery:


The evening was devoted to the Bill of Rights, but Justice Thomas did not embrace the document, and he proposed a couple of alternatives.

‘Today there is much focus on our rights,” Justice Thomas said. “Indeed, I think there is a proliferation of rights.”

“I am often surprised by the virtual nobility that seems to be accorded those with grievances,” he said. “Shouldn’t there at least be equal time for our Bill of Obligations and our Bill of Responsibilities?”

marisacat - 13 April 2009

“I am often surprised by the virtual nobility that seems to be accorded those with grievances,”

and he was such a fucking full fledged WHINER at his hearing.

Congress just fails so spectacularly… and of course many if not most agree with him. He was right up their alley. Right up BIDEN’s alley.

29. Arcturus - 13 April 2009

another from the forgotten isle (April 4th, 2009):

Washington wants to subdue Cité Soleil, the Haitian capital’s most rebellious shantytown. So, the U.S. is spending $2 million to refurbish and expand the principal U.N. troop base and Haitian police station there as well as two other outposts in the 300,000 person slum.
. . .
In March 2008, the contract for rebuilding the police station and military base was awarded, not surprisingly, to DynCorp, the Pentagon’s quasi-official military contractor.

“Under the Haiti Stabilization Initiative task order, DynCorp International will provide training support for up to 444 Haitian National Police,” explained a Mar. 31, 2008 DynCorp press release. “The task order includes DynCorp International procurement of the Haitian police force’s basic and specialized non-lethal equipment, vehicles and communications equipment. The value of this work is $3 million. DynCorp International has also been tasked to refurbish the main police station in Cité Soleil. This station will function as the primary location for this new specialized unit. The refurbishment work will be more than $600,000.”

DynCorp proceeded to bulldoze 78 houses belonging to Haiti’s poorest people and to build a 12-foot wall around the expanded base (see Haiti Liberté, Vol. 2, No. 6, 9/3/2008). The MINUSTAH troops are housed in the wing of the base that now sits on top of where the demolished houses once stood. Among the destroyed buildings was an evangelical church.

But in expanding the base, the U.S. bulldozed about 80 houses of impoverished Haitians, seeding deep anger among them and their neighbors.
. . .
In March 2008, the contract for rebuilding the police station and military base was awarded, not surprisingly, to DynCorp, the Pentagon’s quasi-official military contractor.

“Under the Haiti Stabilization Initiative task order, DynCorp International will provide training support for up to 444 Haitian National Police,” explained a Mar. 31, 2008 DynCorp press release. “The task order includes DynCorp International procurement of the Haitian police force’s basic and specialized non-lethal equipment, vehicles and communications equipment. The value of this work is $3 million. DynCorp International has also been tasked to refurbish the main police station in Cité Soleil. This station will function as the primary location for this new specialized unit. The refurbishment work will be more than $600,000.”

DynCorp proceeded to bulldoze 78 houses belonging to Haiti’s poorest people and to build a 12-foot wall around the expanded base (see Haiti Liberté, Vol. 2, No. 6, 9/3/2008). The MINUSTAH troops are housed in the wing of the base that now sits on top of where the demolished houses once stood. Among the destroyed buildings was an evangelical church.

Arcturus - 13 April 2009

oops – apologies

catnip - 13 April 2009

“Under the Haiti Stabilization Initiative task order, DynCorp International will provide training support for up to 444 Haitian National Police,” explained a Mar. 31, 2008 DynCorp press release.

Are you kidding me? DynCorp is the contractor that was hired to train Afghanistan police. Not surprisingly, it failed. Otherwise we wouldn’t be there almost 8 years later still trying to train them.

It’s all one big game: steal from the poor and give to the rich.

30. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009

Federal Appeals Court, States Reexamining Shackling of Pregnant Inmates

Did you know that in our own country some female inmates are routinely treated in a manner that the United Nations calls torture? In particular, pregnant inmates are routinely placed in leg shackles and handcuffs during childbirth, a practice that medical experts agree endangers health, makes labor more painful, and is unnecessary. A case before the en banc Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as legislation in several states, challenge this practice and seeks to ensure that it not continue.

Women who are in the process of giving birth should be mobile in order to assume various positions as needed, and restraints greatly limit, if not completely prevent, such mobility. Inability to move during labor can cause intensified pain, bruising, and the loss of dignity. Further, laboring pregnant women present a low security risk. A laboring woman could not simply run out of the delivery room. Escape can be prevented by less restrictive means such as stationing a guard at the door. For these reasons, the American Public Health Association and many others oppose shackling as unnecessary and inhumane.

According to international human rights standards, placing a laboring woman in shackles or handcuffs is torture and cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment. A 1999 Amnesty International Report, “Not Part of My Sentence,” discusses the use of restraints during labor as a human rights violation. In 2006, both the U.N. Committee Against Torture, which monitors compliance with the Convention Against Torture, and the Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, declared that shackling laboring inmates violates both treaties.

However, whether federal courts recognize that this practice violates the U.S. Constitution is unclear. Last summer, in Nelson v. Norris, No. 07-2481, a panel of the Eighth Circuit Court held that Arkansas’ practice of shackling pregnant prisoners in labor did not violate any constitutional rights. While incarcerated for credit card fraud, Ms. Nelson gave birth with her legs shackled to her bedpost and in handcuffs during most of the labor process. The narrow issue on appeal was whether corrections officers were entitled to qualified immunity against Nelson’s § 1983 claim for violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court refused to see the uniquely degrading and harmful effects of the use of restraints during childbirth and concluded, “Ms. Nelson’s experience does not rise to the level of unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain implicating the Eighth Amendment.”

This country is just so beyond fucked.

marisacat - 13 April 2009

While incarcerated for credit card fraud

a “crime” against MBNA. And yes I would guess there is some hapless individual connected to the other end of the actual card fraud. But it is nto as if she killed people.

Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009

she coulda killed PROFITS, dammit! If anything deserves punishment etc.

31. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009

Banned Books Week Founder Dies

It’s National Library Week, but we’re off to a sad start. Judith Krug, founder of the famed Banned Books Week and director of the Chicago-based American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, passed away this weekend.

32. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009

Cramer: Stewart Interview Was “A Complete And Utter Ambush”!

Jesus, that was weeks ago. Get over it, wuse.

33. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009

this reenactment makes no fucking sense.

I saw a clip of a reporter walking through one of those model of lifeboats … one person would BARELY fit behind that window.

marisacat - 13 April 2009

agree… it is a small window and this was at night. Does the life boat have electrified chandeliers?

Madman in the Marketplace - 13 April 2009

I suppose some kind of infrared scope, but at a distance, restive sea, though a heavy fiberglass shell?

I’m probably just too much of a peacenik lefty wimp to understand.

34. marisacat - 13 April 2009

Neue post:


……….. 😯 ………..

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