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Flat earth… 1 June 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health.
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World view according to Homer, prior to 900 B.C.

The Homeric conception of the world represented as a flat, circular disc of land surrounded by a continuous ocean-stream remained a popular notion in the Greek world even after many philosophers and scientists had accepted the theory of the sphericity of the earth enunciated by the Pythagoreans and subjected to theoretical proof by Aristotle. In this interpretation the world is like a plateau on the top of a mountain; inside this, close to the surface of the earth, lies the House of Hades, the realm of Death, and beneath it Tartarus, the realm of Eternal Darkness. The plateau of the earth is surrounded by Oceanus, the world river, and from its periphery rises the fixed dome of the sky. The sun, the moon, and the stars rise from the waters at the edge of the dome, move in an arc above the earth, and then sink once again into the sea to complete their course beneath the Oceanus. The atmosphere above the mountain of the earth is thick with clouds and mist, but higher up is the clear Æther with its starry ceiling.  [from this site]

***

The killing of George Tiller, not even 24 hours later, is being swept away from some news pages, minimised elsewhere… it rides at the top of the page in the LAT, rides a blaring tabloid banner at HuffPo… NYT has barely bothered to update their bare bones ‘re cap the doc’s past’ version…And it is of no interest this morning to NPR, not even in their news recaps (the did skim past it just now in their 5 AM update)…. It’s all Sotomayor.  And everything you ever wanted to know about numchuks! Or the strange case of the Air France plane, simply missing over the Atlantic…  GM.

Well, perhaps later in the day, when NPR denizens have had tea and crumpets and can face harsh realities at home, and not in some third world spot, carefully reported on, from a distance and with academic interest, to make us think we are safe and sound.

ABC is carrying the story on their site, with a bit of interest on extended security (boy does it sound grudging) for clinics and personnel…

Stolz said that Wichita police would be considering whether they need to do more to protect the clinic.

“We will look at security measures as a second facet of this investigation,” Stolz said at a news conference after the suspect was arrested.

Attorney General General Eric Holder said protection would be offered to abortion providers.

“I have directed the United States Marshals Service to offer protection to other appropriate people and facilities around the nation,” Holder said in a statement released late today by the Justice Department. “The Department of Justice will work to bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice. As a precautionary measure, we will also take appropriate steps to help prevent any related acts of violence from occurring.”

…and some bits of interest on the ex wife of the shooter.  She divorced him in ’96… partly due to his opinions on abortion.

Lindsey Roeder, the suspect’s ex-wife, said she came home from church today to find FBI and ATF agents going through her house in Overland Park, Kan., which is about three hours outside Wichita.

When they said they were there investigating the killing of a doctor who provided abortions, she felt instantly that her ex-husband was likely involved.

Lindsey Roeder said it was Scott Roeder’s strong anti-abortion views that led to the couple’s 1996 divorce. She said her ex-husband never kept quiet about his views on abortion.

“My family does not condone or support what Scott has done. This event is a tragic and senseless one and our thoughts and prayers are with the congregation and the doctor’s family,” Lindsey Roeder said.

She said her former husband was a member of the Freemen in Missouri and has a criminal history that includes an 1996 arrest for various parole violations and having bomb making materials. She said he did do some time on charges related to those issues, but was released on a technicality.

She said that Friday night Scott Roeder was adamant about seeing his 22-year-old son, Nick, who she claimed has tried to avoid his father and only saw him about once every six weeks growing up.

“My son is only related to his father by blood and does not believe in any of the same views his father does,” she said.

The two did meet Friday night, though, she said, and she believes the meeting was meant as a goodbye from father to son.

In the middle of the night I caught the repeat of MTP and since all the news is of Sotomayor and her life story (and numchuks!), Richard Wolffe did bother to remind that Obster had to be talked out of voting for Roberts… and that he appeared at Dkos in 2005 in the role of APOLOGIST for the Dem party ‘Yes on Roberts’ voters.  Which I well remember.  Even tho I – and others – had been banned already.

MR. WOLFFE:  But here was someone who leaned very heavily towards voting for John Roberts, and he had to be convinced out of it by his staff, his then chief of staff Pete Rouse, now a senior adviser in the White House, saying, “Look, this isn’t Harvard Law School’s moot court, this isn’t an exercise in, in debating.  If you were to vote for him, you’d have to live with the consequences.  And, by the way, Republicans are not going to reward you 20 years down the road anyway.” So the interesting thing is here, here’s a guy who wants to be unconventional, who actually wanted to right with his party; in the end votes, for political reasons, against John Roberts.  But the postscript is that he goes on Daily Kos, this very activist, progressive Web site, and says, “Stop castigating Democrats who voted for, for John Roberts, because”…

MR. GREGORY:  Mm-hmm.

MR. WOLFFE:  …”you know, we’re all in this together.” And I think, you know, he picks fights because he’s struggling with that tension between being a renegade and being a conventional politician who can get things done.

Actually, versions I have read, his aide strongly advised him it would not benefit him in a Democratic primary to have voted for Roberts. They may brandish fig leaves, but Roberts and Alito are unequivocally against abortion.  Lordy.  Obster might have been asked about that… if his pro-choice and pro-single payer and labor and other stances were just done to win votes with the tedious liberals of Hyde Park.

He is a conservative. He is a self professed born again.  What more do people need to know?

Pity people miss it, don’t want to know, are happy to believe in fictions all the while claiming, somehow or other without ever reading much about him, to know of substantiated (in their minds) non-fictions to do with him and his…  as they cling to vaporous dreams of nothing.

No war obsessed nation is going to put up with abortion rights, it just is not.

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1. marisacat - 1 June 2009

This is actually just plain funny! Sell one load of bullshit crap here and a different one over there.

(BEIJING) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sought to assure America’s biggest creditors on Monday that the Obama administration is committed to attacking soaring budget deficits.

Facing skeptical students at China’s prestigious Peking University, Geithner said that once the current recession and financial crisis are over, the administration will get America’s fiscal deficit in order.

“As we recover from this unprecedented crisis, we will cut our fiscal deficit, we will eliminate the extraordinary government support that we have put in place to overcome the crisis,” Geithner said in a speech to students at the university, which Geithner attended nearly three decades ago.

The speech was the first stop on a two-day trip to China — Geithner’s first as Treasury secretary — and the students let the Obama administration’s chief economic spokesman know through a series of tough questions that they wanted an accounting of the money that China has invested in Treasury notes and bonds.

Responding to one question, Geithner said, “Chinese financial assets are safe. We have the deepest, most liquid financial markets in the world.”

Later in the day, Geithner and other Treasury officials met at the Great Hall of the People with a team of economic officials from China led by Vice Premier Wang Qishan for discussions about the upcoming high-level talks scheduled for this summer between the two nations in Washington.

At the start of the session, Geithner said, “The world has a huge stake in our two countries working closely together to lay a foundation for recovery.” …snip…

Hope he is still using Botox on his lower forehead, where his eyebrows used to knit together. Sure did make him look like the high strung neurotic he most likely is……. Of ocurse now his eyebrows just bunch up in place like two caterpillars being forced apart.

who are these lousy people?

wu ming - 2 June 2009

i’m not surprised he got laughed at openly at one point, BeiDa (peking university) students are some of the most rabid nationalists in the country.

this whole situation has got to be privately freaking the chinese government out. on the one hand, i’m sure they’d love to be in a position to lecture the americans on irresponsibility, given the deeply internalized narrative of 19th century national shame as a fallen great power.

on the other, their default policy position and inherited economic wisdom for 3 decades now has been basically “trust the neoliberal washington consensus (but make sure foreigners don’t get their hand on vital industries), and invest in the dollar,” and now they’ve got this fuckton of dollars and treasuries to try and spend before they (we) go weimar. like the japanese before them, they were dumb and plugged all that money into an american bubble. at least right now they’ve gotten smarter about spending it in the 3rd world on tangible assets.

i wonder what it would take to get geithner fired to spend time with his family. ope obama has a plan b when the alt-a and the state of california finally come unglued.

marisacat - 2 June 2009

I say Ob keeps Timmy. And Summers.

Meanwhile the market is UP! UP! UP! (Don’t look around or read any warnings! Just look UP!)

However the red line in the second graph must have Oblings stressing. Rev that PR machine.

2. marisacat - 1 June 2009

So entertaining … Fleet St and the Telegraph vs Gibbs. The last four graphs are juicy. I hope this keeps up. Cuz the Guardian and the Independent are MIA. Completely. what wusses.

3. marisacat - 1 June 2009

Taking the tour of the slobberliberal blogs. The ONLY reason some of them are the least interested in the Tiller murder is to use it to go after O’Reilly.

Certainly true of Sully and Americablog, Talking Points Memo — and others.

For shame. They resent his viewership numbers.

Oh and to excavate that mess of a report/warning on terrorism out of the DHS/Napolitano. Niether she nor Ob could rescue it at the time. they FELL APART, it (and they) were such a mess..

More shame.

4. NYCO - 1 June 2009

Ugh. Ahnuld closing 220 California state parks? (how many are there? the website says 278; is he really closing 3/4 of them?)

marisacat - 1 June 2009

well we will see what he actually does. It is impossible to close, really close, most of them. But cut care and maintenance, etc.,… well that he can do.

I don’t know.. we will see how it all shakes out. One thing is for certain, DiFi isn’t running for governor anymore. Not that she OR Boxer is evidencing much interest in the state’s problems.

Oh yes, Fuck them all.

:twisted;

wu ming - 2 June 2009

it’ll get a lot worse than that, is my guess. we could see the whole goddamned state closed down if this next budget goes late and the bond market doesn’t want to buy our junk bonds. like “no school today, no DMV, no nothing” closed.

what a mess.

marisacat - 2 June 2009

Well no one noticed when the BushCheney forces, with Arnold aligned and meeting secretly, went to war against Cali.

Then the Dems facilitated Arnold’s entrance into the governor’s office. Lst I saw of DFi she was shaking her finger, that we don’t want to pay for anything. It has NEVER been that simple. And her CofS moved over to be Arnold’s. Reverse that 20 pt drop he experienced. So fucking cosy.

hey I hear Boxer is spending her time winning some big slice of a mil contract for some new F-whatever plane for Cali.

The wars shall save us. As they kill us off.

Sounds like that plan we perfected about villages doesn’t ti?

5. mattes - 1 June 2009

One can hope this is a first step. A good sign is that Bibi has to read it in the news….and the hot phone to the Whitehouse seems disconnected:

‘U.S. may limit support of Israel to force settlement freeze’

The Obama administration is considering a series of symbolic measures to force Israel to halt all construction in West Bank settlements, the New York Times has reported.

Administration officials said that measures under discussion include dropping the U.S.’ near uniform support of Israel in the United Nations and withholding its usual veto on resolutions critical of Israel, according to the New York Times.

Among other pressure points, Washington could review loan guarantees to Israel, diplomats said, or share and coordinate with less alacrity on security matters, while the European Union could get tough on trade terms for produce from settlements.

“There are things that could get the attention of the Israeli public,” The Times quoted a senior administration official as saying. Nevertheless, the official also said, “Israel is a critical United States ally, and no one in this administration expects that not to continue.”

Israeli officials said Monday that the U.S. has made no mention of any such plans. The Obama administration has insisted on a total settlement freeze, but Jerusalem has balked at this demand claiming that existing communities in the West Bank deserve continued government attention.

6. marisacat - 1 June 2009

You have to marvel at how the looney tunes religious keep on winning. From a mess of a TIME piece on the aftermath of the Tiller killing

[Cardinal] Mahoney said he will be interested to see how President Obama handles the attack; on numerous occasions, including at a recent speech at Notre Dame, the President has stressed the importance of finding common ground on the issue by focusing on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. After Gunn’s 1994 murder at the hands of Michael Griffin, then President Clinton “spent millions on investigations. It had a real chilling effect on pro-life groups.” Financial contributions went down and churches became skittish about hosting pro-life speakers, Mahoney said.

“If you demonize the messenger you undermine the message.” …snip…

The irony just drips.

7. marisacat - 1 June 2009

Glenn Greenwald:

[T]he White House is actively supporting a new bill jointly sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman — called The Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009 — that literally has no purpose other than to allow the government to suppress any “photograph taken between September 11, 2001 and January 22, 2009 relating to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States.” As long as the Defense Secretary certifies — with no review possible — that disclosure would “endanger” American citizens or our troops, then the photographs can be suppressed even if FOIA requires disclosure. The certification lasts 3 years and can be renewed indefinitely.

The Senate passed the bill as an amendment last week.

Just imagine if any other country did this. [No, imagine if BUSH did this.. and not our ‘only begotten son’… –Mcat] Imagine if a foreign government were accused of systematically torturing and otherwise brutally abusing detainees in its custody for years, and there was ample photographic evidence proving the extent and brutality of the abuse. Further imagine that the country’s judiciary — applying decades-old transparency laws — ruled that the government was legally required to make that evidence public. But in response, that country’s President demanded that those transparency laws be retroactively changed for no reason other than to explicitly empower him to keep the photographic evidence suppressed, and a compliant Congress then immediately passed a new law empowering the President to suppress that evidence.

What kind of a country passes a law that has no purpose other than to empower its leader to suppress evidence of the torture it inflicted on people? Read the language of the bill; it doesn’t even hide the fact that its only objective is to empower the President to conceal evidence of war crimes. …snip…

Madman in the Marketplace - 1 June 2009

Chris Floyd comments on this piece:

What kind of country passes such a law? Why, a cheap, corrupt, third-rate junta state, which has elevated war and militarism into its supreme value, its “ultimate concern,” its divinity — that’s what kind of country. What other kind of country did you think was skulking there between Mexico and Canada these days?

But the perniciousness of the act doesn’t lie merely in its immediate goal — suppressing war crimes evidence to protect the Terror War machinery that Obama has inherited and is expanding. After all, Obama has been working overtime from the beginning to suppress war crimes evidence against his predecessor, whom he treats more and more as a revered elder, not the despised leader of a discredited faction. No, it is, as they say, the principle of the thing: the enshrinement in law of the notion that anything that could be construed as “harmful” to American troops and operatives abroad — or even the sad sacks back home — can be suppressed by the government.

Adopting the principle of potential “endangerment” as a justification for government repression is not just an open door to tyranny — it kicks the door down and brings the rest of the front wall crashing with it. But of course, that edifice crumbled a long time ago. The only thing remotely surprising about this latest Banana Republic Act is that is so blatant in its gutless abandonment of even the slightest pretense that the United States is anything other than a militarist empire. And yet so many people — including Greenwald at times — continue to praise the new imperial manager whenever he makes a “good decision” or implements a “good policy” — presumably with the idea that you can tame or train the president by rewarding him for good deeds and sternly admonishing him when he does wrong.

But almost every leader in history has made some “good decisions” or implemented some “good policies” in one respect or another, even in the worst regimes. For example, both the Nazis and the Stalinists provided unprecedented programs of recreation and self-improvement for ordinary, long-denigrated, long-ignored workers. Hitler designed and promoted one of the world’s most efficient and affordable cars, which after the war provided millions of ordinary people with new freedom and mobility. Soviet communism brought literacy, electricity, education and modernity to millions of people mired in a brutal, brutish existence. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq did much the same.

It is very easy to pick through the record of any leader in any system and find things worthy of praise. But when the system itself is pernicious, when by its very nature it produces terrible evils on a vast scale — as, for example, a militarist empire is bound to do — then such praise, however piecemeal, hedged or nuanced, becomes a kind of unwitting support, or justification, or legitimization of the system.

And the system we are dealing with here is not a constitutional republic — one gone awry, perhaps, but still a basically sound system that can be put to rights with the proper behavior training of its leaders. No; what we have here is a militarist empire: devoted to war, driven by war and by the constant exercise and growth of authoritarian power that every state of war (and state at war) produces. It seems to me that the best reaction to such a system is the one offered by Thoreau, and quoted many times here before:

“How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.”

The Graham-Lieberman War Crimes Shielding Act is just one more disgrace in a long train.

8. mattes - 1 June 2009

May 27, 2009

Administration blocks helicopters for Israel due to civilian casualties in Gaza

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has blocked Israel’s request for advanced U.S.-origin attack helicopters.

Government sources said the administration has held up Israel’s request for the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter. The sources said the request was undergoing an interagency review to determine whether additional Longbow helicopters would threaten Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

“During the recent war, Israel made considerable use of the Longbow, and there were high civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip,” a source close to the administration said.

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2009/ss_israel0424_05_27.asp

marisacat - 1 June 2009

World Tribune?

Judging from this link which I followed from their left hand column “What Rush says”, they are part of what I call fake media that exists to keep a hyper vigilant ‘fight or flight’ sensation going, w/r/t our world wars and the “right to exist” of Israel. And is somebody shorting her on bullets. Lots of sites like that, mattes. They all portray Ob and Oblings as dedicated to the Palestinians.

Wake me when he speaks of his smile box children as lying under our missiles and bombs sold to Israel and dropped from bombers we sold them.

He won’t be.

mattes - 1 June 2009

This sure take the pressure off of Israel:

Kristol and Hume Call for Targeted Air Strikes on North Korea

As you probably know, a certain number of people are down-the-line pacifists. They believe that war is wrong, no matter what the cause. And as you’ve probably realized, none of them are major newspaper columnists or television pundits focusing on national security issues. Nobody takes the views of someone who’s a pacifist in general seriously on a specific question of war and peace. But if you’re Bill Kristol, and every time an issue comes up your idea is that we should launch a war, then you get to a Washington Post columnist and a constant TV presence. Here he is with Brit Hume calling for “targeted air strikes” against North Korean missiles:

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/06/kristol-and-hume-call-for-targeted-air-strikes-on-north-korea.php

marisacat - 1 June 2009

Nobody takes the views of someone who’s a pacifist in general seriously on a specific question of war and peace.

I can’t think why Yglesias is not supporting targeted strikes on N Korea. He was FINE with Iraq invasion. Like every other Pundits 2.0 post 9/11. Support for war is mandatory. One may bitch and fume over the “management” of the war(s)

Here a war there a war, war all over the place.

More pictures of Ob golfing are sure to show up.

9. marisacat - 1 June 2009

The “reporter” on The News Hour covering the killing of Dr Tiller is from RELIGIOUS NEWS SERVICE (Kevin Extrom). There is no counterpoint. Suarez is the interviewer and he has always been made of mush.

Call it over. Theocracy is the Voice of the Nation… the tip of the spear and they claim innocence in the public square.

What was that drool about the conservatives in some state of collapse?

Where?

WICHITA, Kan. — Women’s Health Care Services, the clinic that has been bombed, blockaded and vandalized for more than 20 years because late-term abortions are performed there, will be closed this week to mourn the slaying Sunday of founder George Tiller.

But the clinic will resume normal operations next Monday, said LeRoy Carhart, a Nebraska physician who has been coming to Tiller’s clinic on a rotating basis for more than 10 years now.

“What people need to know is… the women’s services that we provided for 30 years are not going to change,” Carhart said. “The same abortion services will remain available in Wichita.” ….

10. marisacat - 1 June 2009

Too funny. I see that Ehud Barak also says there is ”no humanitarian crisis in Gaza”. Well no one was starving in the Warsaw Ghetto either. What ever were those silly people complaining about… etc.

[B]arak’s visit comes just two weeks after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held his first meeting with Obama in Washington, revealing deep divisions over ways to move forwards towards Middle East peace.

The hawkish premier sparked international criticism over his repeated refusal to endorse the creation of a Palestinian state, a bedrock principle of international peacemaking efforts over the past two decades.

Tensions have intensified, with Israel rejecting repeated US calls to halt all settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, the major part of the proposed Palestinian state.

Barak, a former prime minister and head of the centre-left Labour party, aims to use his personal ties to avert a crisis between Washington and Netanyahu’s right-leaning government, a senior official told AFP.

But it remains unclear whether Barak will be able to ease the tensions as he himself has said that Israel must maintain its right to continue building within the boundaries of large settlement blocs.

“It seems that the prime minister made Israel’s positions and needs clear to the US administration. The dialogue will take time and it will have many ups and downs,” the Labour leader has told reporters. …snip…

And it all is pantomime for the respective domestic political markets.

11. marisacat - 1 June 2009

hmmm game plan not working?

Settlers seek takeover of East Jerusalem area

Joseph Nasr
Reuters Life! Online Report

Jun 01, 2009 04:36 EST

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli settlers are waging court battles to evict dozens of Palestinians from homes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood, a move threatening to widen Israel’s rift with U.S. President Barack Obama over settlements.

They are trying to reclaim plots of land in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood which they say were owned by Jews before Israel’s creation in 1948. They have already won property rights to six Arab homes, whose residents were subsequently evicted.

Palestinians and an Israeli rights group say settlers are trying to evict a further 27 Arab families from 28 buildings.

“Stop ethnic cleansing,” reads a sign erected outside the home of Maher Hanun, a 51-year-old father of three, who faces a July 19 deadline to evacuate the structure in Sheikh Jarrah, near the walled Old City of Jerusalem. …snip….

12. marisacat - 2 June 2009

more

LINK


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