Food 20 July 2011Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, AFRICOM, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Somalia, WAR!.
Internally displaced Somali women wait for food at a camp in the capital Mogadishu [REUTERS/Omar Faruk]
Y’all be relieved to know Michelle is on. the. job.
Via Mike Allen, courtier to the ever-more-petty bureaucrats, he is on the job too, with this:
BREAKING: First Lady Michelle Obama announcing big commitments by Walmart, Walgreens, Supervalu (Save-a-Lot), and regional retailers to make more health, affordable food available in underserved communities — 2:15 p.m. in the East Room, per a White House official:
“The commitments … will include opening or expanding over 1,500 stores to serve communities throughout the country that currently do not have access to fresh produce and other healthy foods. … Supervalu is committed to opening 250 new Save-A-Lot stores over the next five years in areas with limited or no access to healthy foods … Walgreens – Committed to expanding its food offering to include whole fruits and vegetables, and other healthy options in at least 1,000 stores … Walmart is committing to opening or expanding 275 to 300 stores which will serve more than 800,000 people in rural and urban areas with limited or no access to grocery options. Walmart also estimates that more than 40,000 associates will work in these stores.”
Now that almost all food, whether they slap “Organic” on it or not, has little taste, smell or appeal they in their infinite greatness work their smooth, emollient-enriched fingers to the bone to shovel it out to the poor and underserved…. Or so it would seem.
I see it is called “Breaking”. I’d vote for “B R O K E N”.
The European news services are filled at the moment with images and stories of the starving and displacement in Somalia and the border region with Ethiopia…. more of our fomenting of chaos and death, as I see it. Proxy wars are good business. Of course the reporting, at least some of it, in Europe is gratuitous and self-serving.
How could it not be.
Yes, they die so beautifully for us… and, photographed by artists, seem already to be a “museum quality” art installation.
A girl looks out of her makeshift hut on the outskirts of the Dagahaley refugee camp [Oli Scarff/Getty Images]
Sitting pretty 13 July 2011Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, AFRICOM, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Somalia, Total fucking lunatics, WAR!.
A green tree frog sits on a water lily, Central Florida, United States, 2010 [Joanne Williams / Rex Features]
Winning the Future!
Was there ever a worse joke?
Democracy NOW had Jeremy Scahill on, about a new prison in Mogadishu that is in plain site, but also a sescret CIA facility. Certainly the ICRC did not know of it…
[A]s far as the interrogations go inside of this basement prison, the U.S. official that was made available to me for this story said that the U.S. does not directly interrogate prisoners, we jointly “debrief” suspects with Somali agents present—again, it’s all a semantic game—and insisted that it’s only happened a few times in the past year.
AMY GOODMAN: And what is the significance of this?
JEREMY SCAHILL: In January of 2009, President Obama signed a series of executive orders that were intended to end the practices that President Bush and Vice President Cheney had implemented in the war on terror that candidate Obama had denounced on the campaign trail: torture, secret prisons, renditions. And CIA Director Leon Panetta said in April of 2009 that the U.S. was in the process of decommissioning all of its secret prison sites. Two months later, Hassan is rendered to a secret prison in Somalia. . . . .
Drum roll, please – and let’s hear that oh-so-energetic exhortation to the voter, about the “lesser of two evils”…
And the wars go on… 14 April 2010Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, Afghanistan War, AFRICOM, Border Issues, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Mexico, Pakistan, Somalia, South America, Venezuela - Chavez, WAR!.
A bird perches on razor-wire at the US army’s Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi, Iraq [Ben Curtis/AP]
I don’t see them ever ending. Simply expanding, moving, shifting.
Why would they ever end? They never have, in the past. Vietnam seems an anomaly frankly.
Must really piss us off to be shut out of Iran. Bolivia. Venezuela…and so on…
Where there is a will there is a way…
Suffer the little children… 13 July 2009Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Afghanistan War, AFRICOM, Border Issues, Chile - Bachelet, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Europe, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Italy, Mexico, NORCOM, Pakistan, Somalia, Venezuela - Chavez, Viva La Revolucion!, WAR!.
Islamist insurgents and Somali government forces engage in running battles in Mogadishu: More than 200,000 people have been displaced in the past two months, while hundreds of civilians are believed to have been killed and wounded [AFP/GETTY]
… and we do cause them to suffer, in our job as Gawd.
Let’s see… Centcom is happy as clams… they are focus war one, 27 countries under their command and hot beds a plenty. No end of mischief and murder, for decades. Mercy is on hold. WMD abound, Iran wants a bomb… ? Hell, I want one! Or, at the least, a gun.
Southern Command salivates to bring “restive” S and C America under control. Bill C to do bed checks in Haiti.
Africom bubbles along. “Somalia has not had a government in 18 years”.. oh surely we can help? That is what we do. Goodness and Kindness and Mercy. We follow people all of their days.
Did you know that Ob visited a slave embarcation point? (How could you miss it?) Yes he did. And a pregnancy clinic in Ghana. Yes he did. Took Michelle along. Optics.
Who can keep track of the wars? I cannot. Who can keep track of the Pretzel Global Tours? I cannot.
And then there is Norcom. That is us. And Canada and Mexico. Big plans there, you can feel it.
Stories all over the place… from Tora Bora, new ones.. to CIA looking odd… are they trying to say they are new at this? Why, I think they are! Hell, in that story, everybody is lying. Panetta and Nancy.. and everyone else. We are total fictions, that is what we are. Ghosts with guns and bombs and planes loaded down with bombs, pack mules of a sort, we send forth to kill and kill and kill again. Drones run out of Nellis Air Force Base, in Nevada.. It’s like video games, they say that as recruitment tactics.. and, it really is. Optics.
Nellis sits in a ”Federal Preserve”, of sorts, encompassing Area 51… and, over all, larger than Switzerland. Classifed.
Sasha wore not one but two – count them if you can – one two buckle your shoe – peace symbol t-shirts in Italy. Here, have some peace, rub their noses in it.
Peeking out at the world… 12 June 2009Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Somalia.
Paranaque City, Philippines: Filipino police investigators examine the body of a suspected kidnapper killed in a shootout with police [Dennis M. Sabangan/EPA]
What next I wonder…. Roeder phones from Wichita jail, it seems once a day or so… complains of this or that and speaks darkly of acts to come. Some abortion providers have been offered protection, others not. Apparently one of the criteria is that you must be the visible face for abortion rights in your area or a nationally known provider… and even then, not all of those are given a visit, from city, state or federal law enforcement.
I asked moiv if Emily Lyons had been the visible face for abortion care in her area, before being bombed and blinded by Eric Rudolph… Well, no… she was not, til he nearly took her face off…. then she was nationally known.
von Brunn is undergoing heroic efforts to save his life (which is fine with me I prefer to hear from these sorts, than for them to be neatly put down as though they have nothing yet to give up) and of the Arkansas shooter? He seems to have slipped beneath the waves.. Supposedly under surveillance by the EFF BEE EYE – for a year, following, they say, radical conversion to Islam and a trip to Yemen, where he was arrested for traveling on a Somali passport. (I did not know Somalia was together enough to issue passports, apparently so.)
But whoops.. where was that surveillance?
Someone in the government is very happy von Brunn came along to help sink the ARK shooter..him.. just a guess on my part.
In the quick meantime… the ptb have been like pigs for the truffle.. He had connections, connections you say! to the BNP, the ultra nationalist British party that just managed to scam a few seats in the election. His ”connection”? He attended Northern VA meetings designed to raise money for the BNP. A beleaguered (if loaded with ugly opinions and beliefs, earlier acts) pensioner living with his son and claiming, so his supremacist friends say, that his Social Sec had been “slashed” and, he believed, it was due to his beliefs.
Yes … what next.
Tuesday… 21 April 2009Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, AFRICOM, Germany, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Israel/AIPAC, Somalia, UK, WAR!.
Jerusalem, Israel: A Palestinian girl walks in an alley in the Silwan neighbourhood. Eighty-eight homes in Silwan are set for demolition by the Israeli government, which claims they were built illegally [Photograph: Muhammed Muheisen/AP]
So. I read Monday that Germany joined our boycott of the Durban II conference in Geneva… and the UK walked out at Ahmadinejad’s speech.
The atmosphere at the Geneva meeting was tense even before the Iranian president began speaking, with pro-Israel protesters chanting “shame” from the other side of the chamber’s doors and a Jewish student group from France infiltrating the hall. Some countries, led by the US and Israel, had already declared a boycott, Others, including Britain, took their seats, but were braced, with their “shoes on”, to walk out if Ahmadinejad’s oratory was to prove offensive.
When he did speak, he was even more vitriolic than they had feared.
We’ll always have friends. To the death.
WE can be as disjointed, delusion ridden, insulting, propagandistic and demagogic as we wish. And our friends, too. But let anyone else steal our looney deadly thunder… well, just watch.
In other cartoons… have we finally found one simple (tho deadly) enough for us? From the new Tom Dispatch:
In the comic books, bad guys often team up to fight the forces of good. The Masters of Evil battle the Avengers superhero team. The Joker and Scarecrow ally against Batman. Lex Luthor and Brainiac take on Superman.
And the Somali pirates, who have dominated recent headlines with their hijacking and hostage-taking, join hands with al-Qaeda to form a dynamic evil duo against the United States and our allies. We’re the friendly monsters — a big, hulking superpower with a heart of gold — and they’re the aliens from Planet Amok.
In the comic-book imagination of some of our leading pundits, the two headline threats against U.S. power are indeed on the verge of teaming up. The intelligence world is abuzz with news that radical Islamists in Somalia are financing the pirates and taking a cut of their booty. Given this “bigger picture,” Fred Iklé urges us simply to “kill the pirates.” Robert Kaplan waxes more hypothetical. “The big danger in our day is that piracy can potentially serve as a platform for terrorists,” he writes. “Using pirate techniques, vessels can be hijacked and blown up in the middle of a crowded strait, or a cruise ship seized and the passengers of certain nationalities thrown overboard.”
Someone, stop us. And our melded into looney toons Texas Chicago Hawai’ian rancher with metrosexual cow boy boots. Someone stop the cartoon leadership. The swagger and the pecs. All of it.
Just the killing of the three pirates morphed thru several stages. The first animation, showed a small flat window – easy for a rapt public to forget or not know it was at the forefront of a pop up in the life boat cover – thru which 3 shadow heads were shown. A little triple burst of star like shapes was to indicate the sniper kills. Little shadow heads go away! Magic! Ok………………..
Later animations showed one head shot thru the [again] little flat panel window… with two heads popping up out of a hole in the top of the bump up.
Over the weekend Evan Thomas tried to say that the two heads popping up and out, were vomiting pirates. Sick on the sea.
Oh that so sounds like fishermen to me.
The reality? The front of the bump up is peaked, with two small windows, each angled.
Yeah, get a new cartoonist.
As we madly story board the cartoon weapons. Such fun for the “reformers”:
And of course, no new mission should lack its preferably expensive, high-tech weaponry: in this case, the Littoral Combat Ship, a mighty pile of money in a relatively small package. A third the size of a destroyer, this $500 million craft is meant to patrol the planetary shallows, even if it has so far proved a production-plagued nightmare. Nonetheless, Secretary of Defense Gates has just modestly upped the craft’s production — and there’s more to come from Navy “reformers.” Count on a new array of smaller, shallow-water vessels that could be formed into little armadas already termed by one naval officer “Influence Squadrons.”
It’s bigger than Grenada… 13 April 2009Posted by marisacat in AFRICOM, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Somalia, WAR!.
In Galcaio, the state capital, pirates from Hobyo even have a store named after their village: it sends a lorry laden with food, drink, cigarettes and khat to them three times a week [Veronique de Viguerie – Daily Mail – October 2008]
BUT!, Is it a small enough war for us to win?
[O]n Sunday night, one of the crew members said Phillips had gone with the pirates as a good-faith gesture. But the pirates did not follow through on their promise to let him go, and his ordeal began.
On Saturday afternoon, two U.S. helicopters buzzed over the pirate stronghold of Harardhere on the Somali coast, residents said. One helicopter landed for about 10 minutes, bewildering locals and scattering herds of goats and cows.
“I have no idea what is happening,” said Laila Arale, a local farmer who sent her sons to sleep elsewhere Sunday night, fearing that the United States might attack Somalia from the air. “I’m scared.”
The Bainbridge had offered to tow the lifeboat to calmer waters as the seas grew rougher, and the pirates, seeming worn down, agreed, said military officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity. One pirate with a hand injury effectively gave himself up.
Phillips was by then tied up, having been bound and occasionally beaten by pirates after he tried to escape by jumping off the boat.
The rescue occurred at 7:19 p.m. local time Sunday, the Navy said, and involved dozens of SEALs. With one of the pirates pointing an AK-47 straight at Phillips’s back, an on-scene commander gave the SEAL snipers authority to fire.
John Reinhart, president and chief executive of Maersk Line, the ship’s owner, spoke with Phillips by phone. Reinhart quoted Phillips as saying that “the real heroes are the Navy, the SEALs, those who have brought me home.” [mmm three head shots in a “bobbing water” condition, at night, no less… hmm –Mcat]
“It’s a great day for all of us,” Reinhart said at a news conference in Norfolk. “It is truly, truly a wonderful moment.”
What, other than elections, have we ”won” lately?
Today on The News Hour the reading of the dead from Afghanistan and Iraq was 14. And there was just a similar reading toward the end of last week. Two today were from California alone. Years later… is that “winning”?
So, is waging war on Somaliland (I imagine the war mongers in the WH have worse names for Somalia) something to make us tall and strong again?
Goldman Sachs had a bang up first quarter… will that, mixed with shelling and air bombing Somalia, do it?
Poking around today I saw that the cheese eating surrender monkeys sent in a ground force of French special ops a few months ago, to free the hostages taken from a pleasure yacht… following that, crews from that town returned to spending their nights out at sea, while on pirate work and hostage holding…
We must not be outdone. Can you imagine if that short shrimp of a French Pretzel outdid our tall Amazons.
A Somali girl leads camels, tied head to tail and carrying all of her family’s household goods, as the family moves from the pirate stronghold of Haradhere to Adado in south-central Somalia on Friday last week. Somali pirates dominate the towns of Haradhere, Hobyo and El-Hur, forcing most people to flee in fear of military action against the pirates. [PHOTO: EPA – October 2008]
Arcturus linked to Moon of Alabama in the last thread, this is their most recent post and thread on the incidents…
I fear that Obama’s ‘victory’ here will turn out to be like Bush’s ‘victory’ at Tora Bora. The starting point of a very costly and bloody campaign in which will no one will win.
And from the thread [my bold]:
open questions re this setup
# how many hijackers were involved in the initial boarding? media reports indicate four hijackers involved in this incident – how unusual was it for only four hijackers to attempt to commandeer a vessel of this size? was it flying a u.s. flag at the time?
# media reports state that the hijackers sank their own skiffs after boarding. has this behavior occurred previously? what was the purpose? how did they sink them?
# are there any cases of somali pirates holding an individual, and not a ship, hostage? how did the hijackers end up in the ship’s lifeboat? did they commandeer it? were they enticed? was it through a process of negotiation?
# why were the negotiations w/ the somali elders unable to move forward? who controlled the negotiations for the u.s. side – the fbi or military?
# what was the purpose of the use of the commando boat? to draw fire to guage the hijackers weapon capacity? to draw fire to shape a narrative and justify escalation?
# how did the one hijacker end up on the uss bainbridge to negotiate w/ u.s. officials?
# how did the bainbridge end up towing the lifeboat prior to the assassinations?
# media reports state that the maersk alabama was orginally scheduled to arrive at the port in mombasa on april 16th. was that date correct? and, if so, what accounts for the gap from the date it left the port at djibouti?
# why did the maersk alabama make a stop in djibouti? did it load or unload any containers? if so, what was that cargo? were there military supplies for delivery to the security forces in mogadishu?
# where did the maersk alabama load the cargo of reported humanitarian supplies? when will it offload this reported cargo in mombasa?
Posted by: b real | Apr 13, 2009 11:00:47 AM | 3
Adding this from the close of the last thread:
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?
Africom 7 December 2008Posted by marisacat in AFRICOM, Congo, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Somalia, UK, WAR!, Zimbabwe.
Last week soldiers walked into Safari Muhindo’s house and hacked to death his wife and four children with machetes. He holds a photo of himself with two of his sons. He fled to Goma, North Kivu
[Photograph: Robin Hammond]
Robert Mugabe Must Be Toppled…
I noticed this headline across all the UK papers, as I was wandering in the media pool over night… slight variations between headline writers… but they all loved “toppled” (this is not an endorsement of Mugabe) as they presented the opinion piece from John Sentamu, the Bishop of York…
When Jesus Christ wanted people to know what he was doing, he chose a passage from the Old Testament to describe his mission. It was a passage from the prophet Isaiah, written to encourage a disillusioned and demoralised people. It looked forward to a new day when there would be justice for people being treated unjustly and in poverty and release for the oppressed. It promised new life for the present and hope for the future.
President Robert Mugabe was right when he said only God could remove him. That’s exactly what happens. No tyrant lives for ever. No cruel regime lasts. God acts. And he is acting. An international chorus is at last being raised to bring an end to Mugabe’s brutal regime.
He has courage, this priest does, almost boundless, as he invokes the words of Martin to bolster his cause:
We look for leaders of resolution and courage to lead the people of Zimbabwe out of their suffering. The late Dr Martin Luther King Jr said: ‘We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.’
… he invokes others as well, from Lord Acton to Africans, ones who fought against Mugabe more than 20 years ago. And of course, Jesus.
Here is an instance of convoluted hypocrisy for you: the fabled “international community”, many of its constituents both benefiting from and deeply involved in the genocidal mass murder in the Congo, decided to apply sanctions on Zimbabwe for its role in the war. […]
The vagueness of his [Sentamu] appeal, padded out as it is with lovely pieties, can only inspire a yawn. Sentamu will have to do more than chop up his dog collar this time if he wants to have an impact.
And noted that the bishop and the president agree on homosexuality. Consensus…
I followed this link as it was about an African, now a priest formerly an Archbishop, Pius Ncube, silenced by the Vatican.
And lo, what do I behold:
One of the most outspoken opponents of Robert Mugabe has been silenced by the Vatican just as the regime in Zimbabwe is at its weakest and his leadership would be most valuable.
Pius Ncube resigned as Archbishop of Bulawayo and left Zimbabwe in September 2007 after he was filmed sleeping with a married woman who was employed by the regime as a “honeytrap”. He returned last month after spending a year in exile in Rome and Britain, but the Roman Catholic Church has forbidden him from making any political statements.
In the first interview he has given since his fall Mr Ncube told The Times that he would obey the Vatican order, but added: “I am very upset about it. I believe in speaking out for the people at a time of distress. This country is in the worst situation – worse than when I left.”
He agreed that the gagging order meant that the Mugabe regime had succeeded in neutralising one of its most prominent critics. As archbishop, Mr Ncube repeatedly denounced Mr Mugabe’s misrule, championed nonviolent opposition to the Government, and defied death threats. […]
Let the people go… just let them go. Speak as they will. From the Vatican to the Mugabes of the world, those people should break. The Sentamus as well.
The NYT took a look at Somalia.. peeked around their notebooks.. but the article is more useful than one might expect…
And now, with the government on the brink and the Islamists seeming ready to seize control for the second time, the operative question inside and outside Somalia seems to be: Now what?
“It will be bloody,” predicted Rashid Abdi, a Somalia analyst at the International Crisis Group, a research institute that tracks conflicts worldwide. “The Ethiopians have decided to let the transitional government sink. The chaos will spread from the south to the north. Warlordism will be back.”
Mr. Rashid sees Somalia deteriorating into an Afghanistan-like cauldron of militant Islamism, drawing in hard-core fighters from the Comoros, Zanzibar, Kenya and other neighboring Islamic areas, a process that seems to have already started. Those men will eventually go home, spreading the killer ethos.
“Somalia has now reached a very dangerous phase,” he said. “The whole region is in for more chaos, I’m afraid.”
Most analysts predict that the war-weary people of Mogadishu would initially welcome the Islamists, out of either relief or fear. In 2006, Islamist troops teamed up with clan elders and businessmen to drive out the warlords who had been preying upon Somalia’s people since the central government first collapsed in 1991. The six months the Islamists ruled Mogadishu turned out to be one of the most peaceful periods in modern Somali history.
Yes but we could not stand it… they had to go.. rather than wait, allow the people on the ground to breathe and regroup. See what happens. It’s their country… isn’t it? (Not in our opinion, is my guess.) No, we were pre-emptive. The Biggest War Lord of Them All. ( God Bless America!)
Anyway… the article continues, the next bunch of Islamists to come in may be, or are, harder and tougher.
Then of course there is us.
Chris Floyd took a look, too, at the NYT article. And had some things to say about the warnings from ICG
Here we see the logic of militarism on full display: the only way to prevent the rise of terrorism in a country is by invading that country and occupying it with a foreign military force — which, of course, only gives rise to more terrorism in that country. This circular reasoning seems absurd on its face, but it is in fact the highly efficient dynamic that drives and sustains the ideology of militarism in practical power.
Militarism — either in its overt, unashamed form as espoused by the neo-cons and their outriders, or in the more subtly packaged, sugar-coated (and often self-deluding) version of the “humanitarian interventionists” — is the ruling ideology of the American state. Like all ideologies, it comes in different shadings, different emphases, different factions, and so on, but the national power structure is firmly committed across the board to the use of violence — and the ever-present threat of violence — to advance a bipartisan agenda of American hegemony on the world scene. Some factions take great pains to present this hegemony as benevolent and altruistic; other factions don’t care how it comes across (“Let them hate us as long as they fear us,” was a sentiment frequently voiced in high circles at the beginning of the Terror War). But all factions are willing to kill people — either directly or by proxy — to maintain that hegemony.
And that’s why, for the militarist mindset, situations such as the hell in Somalia — or in Iraq — or in Afghanistan — are always win-win scenarios. If the application of brute force in Somalia had “worked” — i.e, if the “regime change” invasion and subsequent repression had produced a quiescent client state willing to open up its resources to foreign exploitation and to jail, torture and kill any of its own citizens who threatened the profitable status quo — then the militarists would have claimed it as a template that could and should be applied over and over around the world. It would have “justified” the militarist path.
Chris Floyd updates with this link to the Boston Globe on the thriving war industry…
[B]ut here in the Merrimack River Valley, and over the state line at several industrial sites around Massachusetts, defense contractor BAE Systems is hoisting “Help Wanted” signs.
BAE develops technology in fields like electronic warfare and cybersecurity, sophisticated systems that are key to combating a new wave of threats around the globe. At a time when 1.7 million jobs have been lost in the United States this year, the company is hiring 200 engineers and manufacturing workers in Nashua, Hudson, and Merrimack, N.H., and Burlington, Lexington, and Marlborough, Mass.
Other defense electronics contractors, such as Waltham’s Raytheon Co. and General Dynamics Corp.’s communications systems center in Taunton, also continue to ramp up. Such companies remain awash in orders from the Pentagon and American allies increasingly worried about terrorism and missile proliferation. They are also facing the pending retirement of many baby boomers in their labor force, a factor lending greater urgency to their hiring efforts.
“We’re acting very aggressively when we find a good match,” said Christopher Sherman, engineering manager at BAE’s Electronics & Integrated Solutions division here. […]
As long as the party goes on.
Hypnotic Lullabye – for some… 28 January 2008Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Abortion Rights, Afghanistan War, AFRICOM, Border Issues, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Pakistan, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health, Somalia, The Battle for New Orleans, WAR!.
Senator Kennedy’s Endorsement Address
On Endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for President
January 28, 2008
Thank you, Caroline. Thank you for that wonderful introduction and for your courage and bold vision, for your insight and understanding, and for the power and reach of your words. Like you, we too “want a president who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again.” Thank you, Caroline. Your mother and father would be so proud today.
Thank you, Patrick, for your leadership in Congress and for being here to celebrate and support a leader who truly has the power to inspire and make America good again, “from sea to shining sea.”
Thank you, American University.
I feel change in the air.
Every time I’ve been asked over the past year who I would support in the Democratic Primary, my answer has always been the same: I’ll support the candidate who inspires me, who inspires all of us, who can lift our vision and summon our hopes and renew our belief that our country’s best days are still to come.
I’ve found that candidate. And it looks to me like you have too.
But first, let me say how much I respect the strength, the work and dedication of two other Democrats still in the race, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. They are my friends; they have been my colleagues in the Senate. John Edwards has been a powerful advocate for economic and social justice. And Hillary Clinton has been in the forefront on issues ranging from health care to the rights of women around the world. Whoever is our nominee will have my enthusiastic support.
Let there be no doubt: We are all committed to seeing a Democratic President in 2008.
But I believe there is one candidate who has extraordinary gifts of leadership and character, matched to the extraordinary demands of this moment in history.
He understands what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “fierce urgency of now.”
He will be a president who refuses to be trapped in the patterns of the past. He is a leader who sees the world clearly without being cynical. He is a fighter who cares passionately about the causes he believes in, without demonizing those who hold a different view.
He is tough-minded, but he also has an uncommon capacity to appeal to “the better angels of our nature.”
I am proud to stand here today and offer my help, my voice, my energy and my commitment to make Barack Obama the next President of the United States.
Like most of the nation, I was moved four years ago as he told us a profound truth—that we are not, we must not be, just red states and blue states, but one United States. And since that time I have marveled at his grit and his grace as he traveled this country and inspired record turnouts of people of all ages, of all races, of all genders, of all parties and faiths to get “fired up” and “ready to go.”
I’ve seen him connect with people from every walk of life and with Senators on both sides of the aisle. With every person he meets, every crowd he inspires, and everyone he touches, he generates new hope that our greatest days as a nation are still ahead, and this generation of Americans, like others before us, can unite to meet our own rendezvous with destiny.
We know the true record of Barack Obama. There is the courage he showed when so many others were silent or simply went along. From the beginning, he opposed the war in Iraq.
And let no one deny that truth.
There is the great intelligence of someone who could have had a glittering career in corporate law, but chose instead to serve his community and then enter public life.
There is the tireless skill of a Senator who was there in the early mornings to help us hammer out a needed compromise on immigration reform— who always saw a way to protect both national security and the dignity of people who do not have a vote. For them, he was a voice for justice.
And there is the clear effectiveness of Barack Obama in fashioning legislation to put high quality teachers in our classrooms—and in pushing and prodding the Senate to pass the most far-reaching ethics reform in its history.
Now, with Barack Obama, there is a new national leader who has given America a different kind of campaign—a campaign not just about himself, but about all of us. A campaign about the country we will become, if we can rise above the old politics that parses us into separate groups and puts us at odds with one another.
I remember another such time, in the 1960s, when I came to the Senate at the age of 30. We had a new president who inspired the nation, especially the young, to seek a new frontier. Those inspired young people marched, sat in at lunch counters, protested the war in Vietnam and served honorably in that war even when they opposed it.
They realized that when they asked what they could do for their country, they could change the world.
It was the young who led the first Earth Day and issued a clarion call to protect the environment; the young who enlisted in the cause of civil rights and equality for women; the young who joined the Peace Corps and showed the world the hopeful face of America.
At the fifth anniversary celebration of the Peace Corps, I asked one of those young Americans why they had volunteered.
And I will never forget the answer: “It was the first time someone asked me to do something for my country.”
This is another such time.
I sense the same kind of yearning today, the same kind of hunger to move on and move America forward. I see it not just in young people, but in all our people.
And in Barack Obama, I see not just the audacity, but the possibility of hope for the America that is yet to be.
What counts in our leadership is not the length of years in Washington, but the reach of our vision, the strength of our beliefs, and that rare quality of mind and spirit that can call forth the best in our country and our people.
With Barack Obama, we will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion.
With Barack Obama, we will close the book on the old politics of race against race, gender against gender, ethnic group against ethnic group, and straight against gay.
With Barack Obama, we will close the door on the old economics that has written off the poor and left the middle class poorer and less secure.
He offers a strategy for prosperity—so that America will once again lead the world in better standards of life.
With Barack Obama, we will break the old gridlock and finally make health care what it should be in America—a fundamental right for all, not just an expensive privilege for the few.
We will make the United States the great leader and not the great roadblock in the fateful fight against global warming.
And with Barack Obama, we will end a war in Iraq that he has always stood against, that has cost us the lives of thousands of our sons and daughters, and that America never should have fought.
I have seen him in the Senate. He will keep us strong and defend the nation against real threats of terrorism and proliferation.
So let us reject the counsels of doubt and calculation.
Let us remember that when Franklin Roosevelt envisioned Social Security, he didn’t decide—no, it was too ambitious, too big a dream, too hard.
When John Kennedy thought of going to the moon, he didn’t say no, it was too far, maybe we couldn’t get there and shouldn’t even try.
I am convinced we can reach our goals only if we are “not petty when our cause is so great”– only if we find a way past the stale ideas and stalemate of our times – only if we replace the politics of fear with the politics of hope – and only if we have the courage to choose change.
Barack Obama is the one person running for President who can bring us that change.
Barack Obama is the one person running for President who can be that change.
I love this country. I believe in the bright light of hope and possibility. I always have, even in the darkest hours. I know what America can achieve. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it—and with Barack Obama, we can do it again.
I know that he’s ready to be President on day one. And when he raises his hand on Inauguration Day, at that very moment, we will lift the spirits of our nation and begin to restore America’s standing in the world.
There was another time, when another young candidate was running for President and challenging America to cross a New Frontier. He faced public criticism from the preceding Democratic President, who was widely respected in the party. Harry Truman said we needed “someone with greater experience”—and added: “May I urge you to be patient.” And John Kennedy replied: “The world is changing. The old ways will not do…It is time for a new generation of leadership.”
So it is with Barack Obama. He has lit a spark of hope amid the fierce urgency of now.
I believe that a wave of change is moving across America. If we do not turn aside, if we dare to set our course for the shores of hope, we together will go beyond the divisions of the past and find our place to build the America of the future.
My friends, I ask you to join in this historic journey — to have the courage to choose change.
It is time again for a new generation of leadership.
It is time now for Barack Obama.
He is Jesus, Joseph and Mary too.. the Holy Spirit hovers in Him. We have not sinned, No, Never!, but we seek Redemption and in His elevation it shall come to pass that we are in the river, in the river with St John the Baptist, Yes!, we shall be blessed! And washed new!… [not that we sinned, O No!]
Benediction [War Whupdates :: SIlber update] 23 June 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Abortion Rights, AFRICOM, DC Politics, Democrats, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Sex / Reproductive Health, Somalia, The Battle for New Orleans.
Don’t worry black massa, white massa is pleased…
Obama has given another one of those siren calls to the e-van-geli-cals. And to remind supposed moderate Republicans, that they, only they, matter:
Come on OVER! Let’s made a Deal! Open for Bidness!
Religion built the nation:
But my journey is part of a larger journey – one shared by all who’ve ever sought to apply the values of their faith to our society. It’s a journey that takes us back to our nation’s founding, when none other than a UCC church inspired the Boston Tea Party and helped bring an Empire to its knees. In the following century, men and women of faith waded into the battles over prison reform and temperance, public education and women’s rights – and above all, abolition. And when the Civil War was fought and our country dedicated itself to a new birth of freedom, they took on the problems of an industrializing nation – fighting the crimes against society and the sins against God that they felt were being committed in our factories and in our slums.
Oh and TD Jakes and Rick Warren: they matter. Jim Wallis too, all friends…. and, get this, SBC. Yes Southern Baptist Convention.
That’s why pastors, friends of mine like Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes and organizations like World Vision and Catholic Charities are wielding their enormous influence to confront poverty, HIV/AIDS, and the genocide in Darfur. Religious leaders like my friends Rev. Jim Wallis and Rabbi David Saperstein and Nathan Diament are working for justice and fighting for change. And all across the country, communities of faith are sponsoring day care programs, building senior centers, and in so many other ways, taking part in the project of American renewal.
Prattle prattle spit spit: moan for the poor. Funny how the poor get less and less… the poor are sacrificed. It is moral. It is religious. It’s politics.
I’m hearing from evangelicals who may not agree with progressives on every issue but agree that poverty has no place in a world of plenty; that hate has no place in the hearts of believers; and that we all have to be good stewards of God’s creations. From Willow Creek to the ‘emerging church,’ from the Southern Baptist Convention to the National Association of Evangelicals, folks are realizing that the four walls of the church are too small for a big God. God is still speaking.
I’m hearing from progressives who understand that if we want to communicate our hopes and values to Americans, we can’t abandon the field of religious discourse. That’s why organizations are rising up across the country to reclaim the language of faith to bring about change. God is still speaking.
More of that Jesus phoned me stuff.
A white rubber ONE campaign bracelet and a religious, deep kiss with holy saliva relationship with Bono and Clooney (endorsed him) and Pitt and Damon and and and and and and … just ain’t enough.
Our conscience can’t rest so long as 37 million Americans are poor and forgotten by their leaders in Washington and by the media elites. We need to heed the biblical call to care for “the least of these” and lift the poor out of despair. That’s why I’ve been fighting to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and the minimum wage. If you’re working forty hours a week, you shouldn’t be living in poverty. But we also know that government initiatives are not enough. Each of us in our own lives needs to do what we can to help the poor. And until we do, our conscience cannot rest
That is where he delivered the political hook: I am the light and the way. Did no one learn from Bush? And! the privatisation sneak.
Our conscience cannot rest so long as nearly 45 million Americans don’t have health insurance and the millions more who do are going bankrupt trying to pay for it.
I have made a solemn pledge that I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premiums by up to $2500 a year. That’s not simply a matter of policy or ideology – it’s a moral commitment.
A hook hanging from the cross. But first vote for him. Or just slobber for him.
I checked to see how much was said about Iraq (this is a moral pound cake, remember) ONE LINE.
OH Pardon ME, a line and a HOOK! And a security hook.
But we also know our conscience cannot rest so long as the war goes on in Iraq. It’s a war I’m proud I opposed from the start – a war that should never have been authorized and never been waged. I have a plan that would have already begun redeploying our troops with the goal of bringing all our combat brigades home by March 31st of next year. The President vetoed a similar plan, but he doesn’t have the last word, and we’re going to keep at it, until we bring this war to an end. Because the Iraq war is not just a security problem, it’s a moral problem.
Darfur gets more. I recently read that Darfur is getting less media attention than at any time since 2004… Well, time in the sun passes, even if you won the Global Lottery, to be the elevated charity story…
And until we stop the genocide that’s being carried out in Darfur as I speak, our conscience cannot rest. This is a problem that’s brought together churches and synagogues and mosques and people of all faiths as part of a grassroots movement. Universities and states, including Illinois, are taking part in a divestment campaign to pressure the Sudanese government to stop the killings. It’s not enough, but it’s helping. And it’s a testament to what we can achieve when good people with strong convictions stand up for their beliefs.
The country that needs to be the object of a divestment program is the United States of America.
He met February 28th with BONO, hence the ONE campaign bracelet soon seen in NH. I am sure they prayed together (yeah right, the slobber is GOTV) and discussed the Prada il papa wears. And the custom Versace (not kidding, Donatella is a bud) Ratz-zinger’s constant companion wears. Oh, of course, he’s the secretary – an Opus Dei, Msgr. Ganswein. [we are so skrewed]
Oops right, all about the poor. Someone tell Ratz-zinger.
Oh my. But ”they” are dying all over. So if the media sun moves on from Darfur, there is dying elsewhere.
Ooops, but it’s not death and dying in the abattoir of Iraq. No rape, nor poverty, nor military that come in the night… No: al Qaeda is “on the run”, with 25 dead in 4 days and how many hundreds of Iraqis??
Not. to. worry!
Darfur is different. Sure it is, dying, desperate black people, caught in the cross fire, far away… they die so photogenically, wearing bright colors, against the red earth… they die for us so very beautifully. It’s a sacrifice. The cross of sacrifice is once again appeased… We are washed clean in their blood.
Can we get more fucked?
Wait! “God is still speaking”:
He’s still speaking to our Catholic friends – who are holding up a consistent ethic of life that goes beyond abortion – one that includes a respect for life and dignity whether it’s in Iraq, in poor neighborhoods, in African villages or even on death row. They’re telling me that their conversation about what it means to be Catholic continues. God is still speaking.
I would not vote for the Pharisees on Parade if it were the last election on earth. No matter which one floats to the top of the porcelain bowl. Or was that, blow.
Oh right! there was one graf, the big finger shake… but you see, he gathered in so many Lead Pharisees as his FRIENDS, first — what’s a little teensy-weensy scold between deep kiss friends…
But somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us. At every opportunity, they’ve told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their Church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage; school prayer and intelligent design. There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its number one legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich. I don’t know what Bible they’re reading, but it doesn’t jibe with my version.
Yeah. Biiig finger shake. This … speech … is one of the most homogenised things I have ever read. No urgency, no spirit, no passion. Don’t even think of Jesus at the Temple… throwing out the money changers. Of course not, no politician will throw out the money changers. Get real.
Moral? No. Simple slop:
At every opportunity, they’ve told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their Church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage; school prayer and intelligent design.
Bene-DICK-tion. Squeezing up against religion makes him happy. Over and over he equates absence of religion with being alone. (He has written very differently of his mother’s scepticism than in this speech.) Fine. Keep it away from the those of us who want real results and not Holy Water trickle.
Did you notice what was missing * from his pabulum, massa’s white bread bullshit dressing on sliced bullshit? Read it again.
So doing the Lord’s work is a thread that’s run through our politics since the very beginning. And it puts the lie to the notion that the separation of church and state in America means faith should have no role in public life. Imagine Lincoln’s Second Inaugural without its reference to “the judgments of the Lord.” Or King’s “I Have a Dream” speech without its reference to “all of God’s children.” Or President Kennedy’s Inaugural without the words, “here on Earth, God’s work must truly be our own.” At each of these junctures, by summoning a higher truth and embracing a universal faith, our leaders inspired ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things.
We’ve been trickled on, it does nothing but get us wet and mad.
Here is a little reality. Sunglasses needed, against the bright light that has no jesus inside it – as contrast to slobberification (from the lastest Gallup poll):
The Church or Organized Religion
The 46% confidence rating for the church/organized religion is within one percentage point of being the lowest in Gallup’s history:
Ratings for the church fell significantly in the wake of revelations surrounding the priest abuse scandal in 2002, and before that had dropped in the wake of the television evangelism scandals of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Confidence in the church or organized religion is particularly low among Catholics compared to Protestants. Confidence in the church or organized religion among Catholics was at 53% in 2004, and has dropped to 39% today. Among Protestants, confidence went from 60% in 2004, to 63% in 2006, to 57% today.
I am so fucking tired of the religious sneezing on me. They remind me of an elephant at the SF Zoo when I was a child, right, you guessed it, Sneezy.
Finally, back in the good old days of Terri Schiavo, we get the answer:
If it is above our pay grade to opt to terminate life in the womb—and, for the record, I think it is—then it is also wrong to decide when inconveniently comatose spouses or brutal murderers should be “terminated.’’ Either life and death is up to us or it is not. [emphasis added]
“inconveniently comatose”? Spare me. BTW, it was reported that JPII refused a feeding tube. In the last days… Gosh, he coulda lived longer. How dare he decide. Did he think he was Gawwwd?
The dear lady is fully fully anti abortion. But full of the fucked (and self-aggrandising) holy grace of Gawwd. Another Sneezy. Sneeze in reverse please.
In other religious news (Bene-DICK-tion):
Blair might, just might, dance closer to the pope. My guess, it will come down to whose hymns he likes better. He always struck me as one of the showy members of the choir.
Finally who gives a shit. He has done his damage. If there were a god, s/he/it would kick Blair in the teeth. And kick him again, when he ws down. And again.
At least I am honest, if there be a god, I want one that is utterly vengeful, to suit me.
Madman sent me a fun, silly little diversion, you put in your blog url and it spits out a movie rating.
My NC-17 rating ws based on:
This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
- abortion (10x)
- fucking (7x)
- sex (6x)
- shit (3x)
- ass (2x)
- dangerous (1x)
Think the last is the salient word.
Here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own… he quoted Jack Kennedy. Shot and shot again.
“all of God’s children.” He quoted Martin, a second, two man team was in Memphis that day. Shot and shot again.
“the judgments of the Lord.” He quoted Lincoln in the Second Inaugural Address… Right, shot.
In a graf that opened: So doing the Lord’s work is a thread that’s run through our politics since the very beginning.
And was followed with this subversive line:
And it puts the lie to the notion that the separation of church and state in America means faith should have no role in public life.
He left out New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Katrina. Entirely.
UPDATE, 1:39 am Sunday
Resign your commission, refuse to return:
I’ll be honest – I think it was kind of like brainwashing. You start wanting to believe that you’re going there to help. When I was a kid, I was one of those guys that threw rocks at the Israelis, and I was really good at it. I became so good at it I became famous for it. Seriously, the only thing that got me out of trouble was my American passport.
In the summer of 2004, we were in the city of Haditha in Iraq, in a convoy tippy-toeing around. We were so scared, it wasn’t funny. I was shaking. As we passed the Haditha Middle School, we got a shower of rocks. They were flying off my flak jacket and my helmet. I felt so tiny, and so fogged-up with emotion. Because that kid throwing rocks used to be me. A rock hit me at the heart. I kept it.” (thanks Hichame)
UPDATE, 9:45 am — Sunday morning on the Pacific Coast
Oh I feel sure this was AQ, don’t you? Or Iranians… or Syrian financed militias or or or…. whatever the fuck suits our need for a big bang Wargasm.
Four Spanish UN peacekeepers patrolling in southern Lebanon have been killed after their vehicle hit a mine or suspected booby trap.
For more details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news
Whatever the device, it was a trap.
Somali fighters: Somali Government Forces breat apart, clash in port city [McClatchy]
Surprise surprise. People want to live, they have seen our “feeding missions” (Somalia, Bush 1, Clinton 1):
North Africa Reluctant to Host U.S. Command
Algeria and Libya Reject Pentagon’s AFRICOM Proposal; Morocco Signals Its Lack of Enthusiasm
By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, June 24, 2007; A16
RABAT, Morocco — A U.S. delegation seeking a home for a new military command in Africa got a chilly reception during a tour of the northern half of the continent this month, running into opposition even in countries that enjoy friendly relations with the Pentagon.
Algeria and Libya separately ruled out hosting the Defense Department‘s planned Africa Command, known as AFRICOM, and said they were firmly against any of their neighbors doing so either. U.S. diplomats said they were disappointed by the depth of opposition, given that the Bush administration has bolstered ties with both countries on security matters in recent years.
Morocco, which has been mentioned as a possible site for the new command and is one of the strongest U.S. allies in the region, didn’t roll out the welcome mat, either. After the U.S. delegation visited Rabat, the capital, on June 11, the Moroccan foreign ministry strongly denied a claim by an opposition political party that the kingdom had already offered to host AFRICOM. A ministry statement called the claim “baseless information.” [snip]
Yes, I do believe now that the mil wrote the opinion piece from Bill Nelson (D-FL) in Monday’s Orlando Sentinel.
[E]ven worse, we face the challenges of poverty and starvation in Ethiopia, where millions of children are chronically malnourished. In addition, the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan has left hundreds of thousands of refugees homeless, and the violence is spilling across the border into Chad.
Against this backdrop, terrorist groups seek to expand. As we combat al-Qaeda’s support and sanctuary in the Middle East, its members must find other places to operate.
We cannot allow terrorism to fester in parts of Africa because of poverty and anarchy. We have to prevent that continent from becoming a fertile ground for terrorists.
But, but b-b-b-but… there is this in the WaPo piece:
People on the street assume their governments have already had too many dealings with the U.S. in the war on terror at the expense of the rule of law,” said Tlemcani, who is also a scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“The regimes realize the whole idea is very unpopular.”
As they search for a place to put a headquarters for the new command, U.S. officials have tried to allay concerns in Africa that the Pentagon has warlike designs in the region.
Ryan Henry, leader of the U.S. delegation and principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, said the main mission for the command would be to stabilize weak or poor countries by training local security forces and doling out humanitarian aid.
“It’s mostly a headquarters and planning focus,” he said after meeting with Moroccan officials.
“AFRICOM doesn’t mean that there would be additional U.S. forces put on the continent.”
We have gone insane. We think no one has seen us, that no one sees us in action.
The North African counterterrorism partnership is headed by the State Department and also includes economic and humanitarian aid programs delivered by civil affairs units. But Tlemcani, the Algerian political scientist, said the U.S. government needed to do much more on those fronts before taking a more prominent military role in Africa.
“The best way to build a strategic relationship is with socioeconomic programs, which haven’t been funded very well,” he said by telephone from Beirut.
We care so much.
UPDATE, 11:25 am Sunday
Silber has a new one up:
The entire governing class, and virtually every national politician in both parties, believes in American world hegemony. Hegemony needs bases, baby!
So about the Democratic leadership of the House: either they don’t understand what this language means and what its effect will be, in which case they are too stupid to be on the city council of Flat Ass, Alabama — or they know exactly what it means, in which case they belong in jail.
I vote for jail. Of course they know.
UPDATE, 11:50 am
Does anyone say anything that means anything real, at all, in this country? Any more?
Is there no one coherent?
FORD: I think there’ is a concern, as well, that what we’re trying to do, which is win, we’re not achieving all that we want.
HANNITY: The war is lost?
FORD: No, no, no. That’s not the point. The point is I think we all want a stabilization of Iraq.
HANNITY: I’m not saying you said that, but Harry Reid said that.
FORD: Right. I mean, I don’t associate myself with…
HANNITY: I don’t blame you.
FORD: I think — I think the country has a right to be concerned. And almost equally repulsed when the president makes comments. And then you hear Democrats making comments.
As you know, I sat on your show after the South Carolina Democratic debate, asked the president to convene the leaders at Camp David, to pull them all away from the press and the spotlight and say…
FORD: … “Look, I want this as much as you do. I want these kids to come home as much as you do. Let’s develop a new policy. Let’s develop a 21st century containment policy.”
Oh I am sure that is a transcription error. You know, “clerical error”. He meant to say:
21st century entertainment policy.
Gibberish, we gibber our way thru our insanity.