Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Home at Last!

by BB2

I've been following the story of the wayward whales here since they made their appearance at the Port of Sacramento two weeks ago.

At times it seemed they would not make it as their health was dwindling. Many attempts to get them to head back to the ocean were met with frustration even as they became a huge spectator attraction.

They hung out at the port, some 90 miles from the ocean, eventually heading back downstream on their own. Finally reaching salt water two days ago they rapidly showed signs of improving health.

Last night they were spotted about 5 miles from the ocean and it was hoped they would proceed on into the ocean. This morning there was no sign of the whales. Boats and helicopters were dispatched to try and find them in San Francisco bay.

I am pleased and excited to announce that at 11:26 this morning they were sited about 1 mile outside of the Golden Gate swimming free in the ocean!

Update: 5/30/07 4:30 pm Well It looks like my message may have been a little premature. It turns out that the whales spotted outside the Golden Gate this morning were Gray Whales instead - BUT the two humpbacks have not been spotted all day and it is believed they headed out to sea over night and have joined a pod of humpbacks which currently are feeding offshore.
I will keep following the news and update this article as needed.

Update: 5/31/07 7:30 am There were no sightings of the whales yesterday so it is presumed they have in fact joined the pod of humpbacks currently feeding near the Farallon Islands about 27 miles off shore. Research teams currently studying whales in the open Pacific will be keeping a watch for them using photos of their tail flukes taken during their stay in West Sacramento.

Update: 6/01/07 6:30 pm Since last Wednesday evening there has been no sign of the whales and it has become widely accepted that they have indeed left the area.

It has also become a story dropped like a hot potato - nothing to be found at any of the local news outlets unless one digs into the archives.

The rescue mission is expected to end up costing about $1 million. But hey, I think it was worth it. Too bad we can't get such help for other issues that require as much if not more attention. Polar Bears, Grizzly Bears and Delta Smelt are a few that come to mind.

If and when I get information confirming the whales position I will post another update.

Update: 6/09/07 It has been nearly 2 weeks now with no sightings so it is now obvious that they have left the area.

But then Will Durst has the last say!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tuesday Topic Week 11

by BB2

Today marks the eleventh week of the One Million Blogs for Peace Tuesday Topic campaign.

During this week we have seen the Democrats fold to the Bush War Machine, giving him even more money than he had asked for and dropping demands for a withdrawal time line while throwing us a bone in the form of some aid for Katrina Victims amounting to about 7% of the war budget along with some other domestic pork totaling another 10% of that budget.

These are the Democrats that we voted in during the last election based on their promises to put an end to the war.
These are the Democrats who are, with the exception of less than a handful, merely trodding along the same slimy path we've been going down the last 6 1/2 years.

We have also seen Cindy Sheehan, an outspoken personality in the peace movement become disgusted with the Democrats, writing them a scathing letter as she quit the party and then days later resigning from the peace movement itself.

So, with all that in mind, here is today's Tuesday Topic.

Eleventh Tuesday Topic
Tuesday, 29 May 2007
Cindy Sheehan, perhaps the most famous personality in the effort to end the Iraq War in America, announced yesterday that she is leaving the peace movement.

She cites extreme disillusionment with both American politicians and the peace movement in general, as well as personal exhaustion and strife, as her reasons for the departure.

What do you think of this decision and its reasoning?

What impact, if any, do you think her announcement will have on the peace movement?

What parts, if any, of her frustration do you relate to?

Hurdy Gurdy Men

Just in case you always wondered what Donovan was talking about....

Monday, May 28, 2007

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

What is Peace?

by BB2

What is peace?

When will peace happen?

When we stop the clash of civilizations?

How many tears must we cry?

Stop the war!

Urgent Assistance Required

by BB2


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Historically Pathetic

by BB2
Keith gives the Democrats a much needed slap in the face and Bush a long awaited punch in the nose!

Dems and Bush - Historically Pathetic indeed!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Walk for Peace

by BB2

Originally inspired by Peace Pilgrim, a woman who walked for peace for 28 years.

What More Can I Say?

by BB2

Since George Bush became President in 2001, the top five oil companies in the United States have recorded profits of $464 billion through the first quarter of 2007:

ExxonMobil: $158.5 billion
Shell: $108.5 billion
BP: $89.2 billion
ChevronTexaco: $60.9 billion
ConocoPhillips: $46.9 billion

The energy bill that President Bush signed in 2005 does nothing to address the U.S. factors that are driving oil and gas prices to record highs. Congress and the White House explicitly rejected efforts to improve fuel economy standards for our cars and trucks (which account for 60% of our oil consumption) or adequately fund fossil fuel alternatives.

Meanwhile, gas prices continue to go up up up - and no oil company is reinvesting their profits into the things that will benefit motorists. For example, in 2006 ExxonMobil spent $37.2 buying back its stock and paying dividends - at the same time, the company spent only $3.3 billion on capital investment in the U.S. So there is a direct correlation between record prices paid by consumers and record profits enjoyed by oil companies. As Americans shell out more dollars at the pump, the profit margin by U.S. oil refiners has shot up 158% since 1999 (the year Exxon and Mobil merged).

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tuesday Topic Week 10

So another week has gone by but nothing has changed regarding Iraq. In fact it seems the Democrats are turning into a bunch of whimpering puppies.

We find that as an Agreement Nears On Iraq Funding Bill they have
confirmed they will abandon plans to include a troop withdrawal timetable in the war supplemental spending ....
We also find that the Bush administration has been sneaking in plans to double force by Christmas

With that in mind, here is the tenth Tuesday Topic from the One Million Blogs for Peace:

Tenth Tuesday Topic
Tuesday, 22 May 2007
Over 1,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since three US soldiers were kidnapped in Iraq.
During that time, the predominant focus of thousands of US troops has been to locate those three soldiers.
What does this say to you about the priorities and ethos behind the Iraq War?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tuna Not Bombs

by BB2

During my college days, back in the late 60's, a friend of mine put together a treatise on the theory that if we fed the Vietnamese, giving them all the food they needed, they would stop fighting. Full bellies would satisfy their most basic need and they would no longer have a reason to fight over a piece of land.

He was known as Tony Tuna and could always be found carrying around a sign at the anti-war protests and political events - a simple picture of a fish on a parachute. He also passed out buttons bearing the same design.

His message was "Drop tuna not bombs."

While his theory was quite simplistic, it was also brilliant.

Now I see, in a post at Agent 99's wonderful site, that the Japanese seem to have come to a similar conclusion.

And now, 5 years after I originally posted this I see the Spanish have a modified approach.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Whale Watching in West Sacramento

by BB2

Yesterday afternoon this pair of humpback whales, mother and calf, arrived in the turning basin at the Port of Sacramento, eighty-nine miles inland from the Golden Gate Bridge. They were first sighted mother's day in the Sacramento River at Rio Vista, some 30 miles south of Sacramento. They have now found their way into the deep water shipping channel and are drawing a huge crowd along the shore.

Unfortunately both have been injured, apparently by a boat propeller. These injuries are not deemed life threatening although the calf has the worst injuries.

KCRA Channel 3 in Sacramento reports:
The director of veterinary science at the center says the injury to the mother is about 2 feet long and 6 inches deep, and it has sharp edges typical of a propeller wound.

The calf's wound appears to be deeper but was difficult to assess because it is on the whale's underside, below the water line.

Researchers say they have less than three weeks to rescue the whales. They are not sure how long the whales can last in fresh water without food.

Tomorrow morning the Marine Mammal Center will begin to transmit whale songs in the river in an attempt to lure them back to the ocean.

Back in 1985 another humpback ventured as far as Rio Vista and became quite a celebrity. Given the name Humphrey, he found his way back to the ocean with some help and returned to San Fransisco bay five years later.

Sea lions are often seen in the river, but for the whales to come this far is very rare.

Update: 5/17/07 This morning at 6:30 AM the crew from the Marine Mammal Center set out to begin the attempt to lure the whales back to the ocean where the salt water will help them heal faster. May they have good luck in their endeavor.

Update: 5/18/07 Yesterday's attempts to lure the whales back towards the ocean were met with frustration as outlined in this Times Online report.
This morning they are once again going out to try using whale songs to get them on their way. An alternate plan, to use a flotilla of boats to herd them along, is being held in reserve in hopes that eventually they will follow the sounds.

Update: 5/19/07 This morning the whales are still here and they have now been officially named "Delta" and "Dawn". Hmm ya, well...
Anyway, attempts yesterday to lure them were once again met with frustration. At one point the whales entered back into the deep water channel only to turn around and come back to the port.
They are going to give the whales a break over the weekend in hopes they may move out on their own. Then another attempt to lure them will begin Monday.
The next step beyond that will be to have a flotilla of boats with people banging on pipes extended into the water to force them downstream. (Kind of like my neighbors with their 105 decibel car radio at 11:30 at night!)

Update: 5/20/07 Despite pleas to the public to stay away and give the whales some peace, over 10,000 people showed up yesterday to view the whales. Similar crowds are expected today.
Now they have vendors hawking bottled water and soda etc. It is turning into quite a spectacle.
Tomorrow they will try again with whale sounds. They may even try using Killer Whale sounds to try and drive them back to the sea. Killer Whales being a predator of Humpbacks.
They also are asking that boating be stopped in the delta until the whales are moved out.

Update: 5/21/07 Yesterday afternoon around 2:00 PM two tugboats headed out of the port to assist a ship. To everyone's surprise the whales began to follow the tugs. At times moving about 6 miles an hour they made their way back towards San Francisco Bay and the ocean beyond.
They were last spotted last night around 10:30 some 20 miles south of Sacramento still heading towards the bay. The Coast guard had been observing them with night vision equipment but stopped for fear of running into them.
As of 7:00 this morning they have yet to be sighted so their current location is unknown.

Update: Noon 5/21/07 The whales are now out of the deep water shipping canal and in the Sacramento river about 1/2 mile north of the Rio Vista bridge. They swam under the bridge several times this morning but have paused in their journey back to the ocean. The rest of the journey will be more difficult as there are many tributaries in the delta where they could become further lost. Boats are being positioned at these tributaries to try and prevent them from taking a wrong turn.
Also they are going to try and tag the mother whale with a satellite tracking device to follow their journey.

Update: 5/22/07 This morning the whales are still at Rio Vista. Last evening they started swimming north again, back towards the port of Sacramento. The flotilla of boats tried to stop them with people banging on pipes, but the whales dove under the boats. Fortunately they are preferring to swim in circles just upstream of the Rio Vista bridge. One success was had when they were able to corral the whales long enough for a ship to pass. Due to 40 mph winds and choppy waters the attempt to tag the mother whale was called off, although they were able to obtain a small tissue sample to check the whales health and determine which pod they are from.

Update: 5/22/07 6:45 PM In this report from KRCA we recieve some unwelcome news:
Experts say there are indications that the health of the whales may be deteriorating. It appears that the whales' exposure to fresh water is affecting the tissue below the blubber layer.
Dr. Frances Gulland of The Marine Mammal Center said veterinarians are continuing to monitor the health of the whales, as well as changes to their wounds and skin condition."The wounds appear to have worsened over time and their skin has changed from smooth and shiny to irregular and pitted," said Gulland.

This is not what we wanted to hear. The whales are still in the Sacramento river about two miles north of the Rio Vista bridge.

Update: 5/23/07 No new news this morning. The whales are still north of Rio Vista and their wounds are beginning to take a toll. They seem to prefer to swim into a current so the hope is that this morning, during the incoming tide, they can get them to move down river. If they can get them to move another 15 miles to Antioch they will be in salt water which will help their wounds heal. The situation is getting desperate and time is of the essence.

Update: 5/24/07 There has been no progress in getting the whales to move today. Recorded sounds of humpbacks feeding, Orcas attacking and pipes banging failed to get a response. A recording of "unnatural" sounds did cause them to move away some, but the biologists decided to give them a break for the rest of the day so as not to distress them any more. Also they don't want the whales to become accustom to the sounds.

Update: 5/25/07 Attempts yesterday to force the whales downstream were counterproductive as the whales have now moved 3 miles further upstream. Today they are going to try spraying them with fire boats, although a number of specialists believe the whales will only think it is raining. On the positive side a compounding pharmacist form Placerville, one of only three such pharmacists in northern California, has been enlisted to blend an antibiotic for the whales. This in hopes it will stem the degradation of their wounds.

Update: 5/25/07, 5:48 pm There seems to be conflicting information regarding the use of the fire hoses to move the whales. Contra Costa Times this morning tells us:

11:45 a.m. Fire boat efforts met little success

Rescuers have temporarily abandoned efforts to lure the whales down river using a city of Vallejo fire boat.

The marine experts started the hosing experiment at around 10:40 a.m. in the Cache Slough area more than seven miles north of Vallejo-Times Herald reporter Matthias Gafni, who was aboard the fire boat, called the efforts a cat-and-mouse game as the whales avoided the rescuers by repeatedly slipping out of sight.

"The whales were able to outflank us," he said, noting the hosing was called off because it was only marginally successful.

But then later they reveal:
3:35 p.m. Fire boat efforts promising

Using fire hose streams to get the whales' attention proved promising and officials said they hope to expand the number of boats involved to as many as five by Tuesday.

Five times the whales reacted to the streams by turning away. Officials said they are encouraged by the "aversion" reaction and hope the use of more streams and boats will help herding efforts as they try to drive the whales down river.

I would hate to think that even this kind of news is now getting run through the spin cycle like everything else, but then we get a statement like this:
Meanwhile, officials said they continue to work on a plan to medicate the whales for boat propeller wounds.
Whether they are spinning or not remains to be seen, but we do know that they aren't listening!

In this report from two days ago it is reported that:
Scientists initially believed that the humpbacks had been wounded by a boat's propeller. But a comparison of injuries with photographs of other wounded whales suggested the pair had been more likely been sliced by a boat's keel or skeg, a fin jutting below a boat's outboard motor, Gorman said.
Here's hoping for the best outcome for these whales.

Update 5/27/07 Yesterday the veterinarians working with the whales were able to inject both with antibiotics which they hope will keep the whales wounds from worsening. Today they took swaps of the blisters on their skin and samples of their breath. These samples will be sent back to the lab to try and assess the whales condition. Attempts at trying to get them to move are on hold until Tuesday to avoid the boat traffic in the delta during this holiday weekend.

Update: 5/27/07 8:30 pm Excellent news tonight! The whales have moved another 15 miles downstream on their own and are near the town of Pittsburgh. This puts them within a few miles of salt water which can start healing their wounds. The International Herald Tribune Reports.

Update: 5/28/07 More good news - As of early this morning the whales had moved even further downstream and were hanging out at the Benecia bridge near the entrance to the Carquinez Straight. Eight miles long, the Carquinez Straight connects Suisun Bay with San Pablo Bay, the northern lobe of San Francisco Bay.
In the last 24 hours they have moved 24 miles and are now in brackish water which should begin helping their wounds to heal.

Update: 5/29/07 This morning the whales have moved into the Carquinez Straight and are swimming just upstream of the Carquinez bridge. Once past this bridge they will enter San Pablo bay. At that point only two more bridges remain between them and the Pacific ocean - the Richmond/San Rafael bridge and the Golden Gate bridge. Their behavior yesterday was encouraging as they seem to be more active with the baby breaching a number of times. This is being viewed as an improvement in their health. With the exception of another dose of antibiotics the specialists are leaving the whales alone as long as they continue to make progress on their own towards the ocean.

Update: 5/29/07 5:30 pm The whales are now frolicking in San Pablo bay having avoided wrong turns into the Napa and Petaluma rivers. Their activities are returning closer to normal and the lesions the had developed, along with an algae coating are sloughing off. They are still on the move heading towards the Richmond/San Rafael bridge. Once into San Francisco bay proper it is hoped they take the right hand turn that will take them to the Golden Gate and Pacific beyond, rather than heading south beyond the Bay Bridge where many hazards await.

Update: 5/30/07 7:30 am This morning the search is on for the whales. They were seen last night in the area of Tiburon Point about 5 miles from the Golden Gate and Pacific Ocean. Once around the point it is a direct shot under the Golden Gate Bridge and out into the ocean. It is hoped that is the direction the whales will follow.

Update: 5/30/07 Noon The whales were reported about 1 mile west of the Golden Gate in the open ocean at 11:26 this morning! More Here!

Slide Show
Interactive Map
Wiki - Humpback Whale

department of justice completely rotten

Yesterday I was digging through the entire goddammit-all-to-hell net for this -- there was, of course, more, but this is the crux of the matter -- and today it shows up on PoliticsTV. Bloggers being the media. Think of the millions of oblivious couch potatoes who don't even own a computer, and the millions who do own one but use it only to trade jokes with everyone they know. This was the testimony that made me actually miss Ashcroft.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tuesday Topic Week 9

When I first read today's Tuesday Topic I was thrown by the author's use of the phrase "foreign soldiers". The image which first came to mind was one of the Iraqi soldiers who had been killed. But certainly many more than 3,000 Iraqi soldiers had died a long time ago. Then I thought about the British soldiers and other coalition troops, but I didn't think there had been that many deaths among them.

I was confused, stuck in the thinking of "Us" and "Them".

So I posed the question at One Million Blogs for Peace:
I'm confused by your term "foreign soldiers".
Do you not mean "American" or "Coalition" soldiers?
Or does it refer to our troops as in foreign to Iraq?

Blog Master Storey Clayton replied:
Yes, it means foreign to Iraq. It's in the same sense that "foreign combatants" appears in the OMBFP pledge.

In my opinion, one of the best ways to engage people to change their perspective about this war (and other similar issues of political compassion) is to challenge them to shed their natural nationalistic biases. Americans have a shocking tendency to assume everything from an American perspective, and if they see it as "us" in Iraq, it's hard to understand that the Americans and others are actually foreign occupiers.

Using consistent language to illuminate what's really going on helps get people to confront the realities they might rather oversimplify.
So here is today's Tuesday Topic. Remember we are "Them"!

Tuesday, 15 May 2007
Well more foreign soldiers have now been killed in Iraq than were killed in the 9/11 attacks.
While there are obvious distinctions in the manner of death and status of the dead (civilian vs. military), the fact remains that each dead person leaves a gaping and torturous hole in the world of the people they leave behind.
Could you imagine politicians leveling the same rhetoric against the Iraq War that was leveled against 9/11?
Do you feel that those responsible for perpetrating the war have any sense of this responsibility they bear?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bang Your Pots and Pans!

by BB2

Nuefneuf has asked that we pick up our pots and pans.

Here are some folks who have:

Even when the going got rough:

And even today they continue to beat those pans.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Coming soon to a browser near you!

Although in its fledgling stages at this point, I can't wait to see where this project goes.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

America is Waiting

by BB2

Received today:
Dear Mr. .... :

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.Res.333, a resolution to impeach Vice President Richard B Cheney. I appreciate hearing from you.

Our Constitution requires that impeachment proceedings begin in the House of Representatives. The House must vote for impeachment before presenting its case to the Senate. The Senate then holds a trial to consider the case for impeachment.

H.Res.333 is currently being considered by the House Judiciary Committee. Should H.Res.333 reach the Senate, please know that I will fulfill my Constitutional duty to the best of my ability by considering all of the facts in the case - and there certainly are many!

Again, thank you for writing to me. Please do not hesitate to contact me again about this or any other issue of concern to you.

Babara Boxer
United States Senator


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tuesday Topic Week 8

by BB2
Today marks the eighth week of the One Million Blogs for Peace Tuesday Topic series.
The questions this week address the new government for Iraq.

While we may feel we know the answer, we must ask ourselves on what basis do we judge? Is it based on our culture and perceptions of our own government, or do we feel we understand the Iraqi culture to the point where we can make that choice?

Obviously Bush and Company think they know, but look at the damage they have done. Just this evening on the CBS Evening News there was a report on the orphans in Iraq begging in the streets of Baghdad, selling trinkets to passersby in hopes of getting something to eat. No schooling, no hopes for the future. These will be the next generation of recruits for the militants.

Here is todays Tuesday Topic:

Tuesday, 8 May 2007
Describe the political and governmental format for Iraq that you feel gives Iraq its best chance at long-term peace.
What do you see as potential pitfalls of other systems?

I cannot judge what type of government they need, nor will I try beyond saying it must be one negotiated by the people which works to benefit the people.

It certainly is not the "Democracy" George Bush is trying to ram down their throats.
A Democracy built on the foundation of oil theft by American and British oil companies under the proposed Iraqi Oil Law.

As for the second question the pitfalls in ALL forms of government are Greed and Corruption.

RFK Jr.: Rove And Rove’s Brain, ‘Should Be In Jail,’ Not In Office

by BB2

Today Greg Palast, author and political commentator, brings us news of Robert F Kennedy Jr.s interview on Ring of Fire in which he lays out the reasons that Karl Rove should be imprisoned for felony election tampering:
Voting rights attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has called for prison time for the new US Attorney for Arkansas, Timothy Griffin and investigation of Griffin’s former boss, Karl Rove, chief political advisor to President Bush.

“Timothy Griffin,” said Kennedy,”who is the new US attorney in Arkansas, was actually the mastermind behind the voter fraud efforts by the Bush Administration to disenfranchise over a million voters through ‘caging’ techniques - which are illegal.”

Kennedy based his demand on the revelations by BBC reporter Greg Palast in the new edition of his book, “Armed Madhouse.” On one page of the book, Palast reproduces a copy of a confidential Bush-Cheney campaign email, dated August 26, 2004, in which Griffin directs Republican operatives to use the ‘caging’ lists.

In his book Palast wrote:
“Here’s how the scheme worked. The Bush campaign mailed out letters,” particularly targeting African-American soldiers sent overseas. When the letters sent to the home addresses of the soldiers came back “undeliverable” because the servicemen were in Baghdad or elsewhere, the Republican Party would, “challenge the voter’s registration and thereby prevent their absentee ballots being counted.”

To read more please vist Greg's site HERE

And listen to an mp3 of the interview HERE

Sunday, May 06, 2007

controlled demolition, the short version

by 99

If you want to go more in depth, here's the video archive of the day-long Lifting The Fog Conference at UC Berkeley last November. You will want to pay particular attention to Steven Jones's lecture (two hours) to understand the mechanism of destruction of the WTC buildings better.

Friday, May 04, 2007

MacArthur Park

by BB2

Forty years ago a popular song referred to MacArthur Park, describing a lost love as a melting cake which had been left out in the rain.

This past May Day MacArthur Park was again the scene of something lost. This time it was the freedoms of speech and assembly. It is our Constitution which has been left out in the rain and instead of green icing flowing down it is red blood!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

emergency cioppino

by Agent 99

Cioppino, as you can see, is darn ingredient-intensive fish stew, with many intrinsic qualities that make it a pretty good metaphor for our world today... if, that is, we're talking about a kettle-full that's been left out on the kitchen counter for, say, two weeks. Then you have the right combination of factors -- number of ingredients; condition; digestibility; various textures; messiness; flavor; aroma; and things growing from all these -- to be able to compare the tackling of our problems to the consumption of such a cioppino. Forget palatability! When life gives you extremely unpleasant cioppino, you make lemonade? How do you begin to make a silk purse out of this sow's ear?

The people who care enough to give it a try are, as ever, spread far and wide, tending to be secretly or frankly alienated from most of their should-be compatriots, many too set in their alienation to pool their efforts effectively once given a forum for it, and how many of them agree on the priority of this pot full of rotting emergencies anyway? There is the problem of which bit of mutating spoilage needing to be addressed in which order, and the problem of where such a band of ciphers would put this seething apocalypse in the context of their personal priorities. Very hard time making this work pay, and so what about the freakin' mortgage, man? My kid's got the measles. My car broke down. I can't stay awake another minute. My eyes are going to drop out from screen glare.... No, better to strike out on your own and hope to attract enough readers to your blog to begin having some measurable effect on the collective consciousness.

The kettle of fish is metastasizing out across the counter, invading the sink and the stove, dangerously near both the drain and the fire -- down irretrievably and up in flames -- and you're set up at the chopping board almost fainting from the putrescent air. So much for the effectiveness of your personal bit to save the world. You're moments from splitting your head open on the tiles as gravity has its way with your fumes-insentient form.

* * * * * * *

Still, there are some very successful blogs that really do have some clout. Which of them with a coherent exposition of the problems, let alone positive solutions, the ability to give policy to the institutions we have for problem-solving that very clearly all are too narrowed in favor of special interests to accomplish the successful resolution or even accommodation of the dire emergencies harming life on earth already and threatening ongoing dispositively-lethal levels of harm to most or all of it?


Each settles into the mediocrity of attracting crowds, a Newsweekishness that really can only deliver votes for one party or the other... as distinct from solving problems of global proportions. It doesn't seem to be possible for it to evolve any other way. It probably is, but the personal sacrifice involved in breaking through the entrenched power structures of global politics doesn't seem to interest any but the very greediest humans. Look how long the current criminal power movers have been at it. I'm not sure, but I think Karl Rove is among the youngest of them, he's 56, and been at it hard, to the exclusion of everything else, for forty of his years. We don't have forty years, or thirty, or ten, or two.

Spend a little time reacquainting yourself with the deeper implications of the word "emergency" to get a feel for the veracity of my words. You can't simply call this fetid kettle of cioppino a mess that can wait to be cleared, and you can't really think that letting entropy solve it for us is going to be anything less than a mass extinction event. So. It seems we've ordered our society such that there is no mechanism for emergency management that does not involve the staking of your credit rating, if not indeed your very home and entire livelihood.

For boomers this probably just means an increasingly uncomfortable old age. For our kids, and their kids it means far, oh yes so very far, worse.

* * * * * * *

Stamp this message with a label, a tag, a keyword -- negative, passionate, clever, unreasonable, nagging, crazy -- figure out what to call it so you can file it and move on from this dank and dim revelation and get in some billable hours or go for a run or walk the dog... pay your bills.

When the President Speaks to God

Impeachment On the Table

by BB2
At a dinner this past Saturday honoring Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi these placards were placed on the tables by pro-impeachment activists.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Call for Impeachment from the Capitol Steps

A very special thanks to my sister blog in Sydney, AU for finding this.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tuesday Topic Week 7

by BB2
This marks the seventh week in the One Million Blogs for Peace Tuesday Topic series.

In this past week we have seen calls for impeachment of Bush and Cheney from many corners. From protests on the beach to the introduction of an impeachment resolution in the Senate aimed at Cheney for the false pretenses of the Iraq war and threats to Iran.

We've seen a subpoena issued for Condi Rice to testify before the justice department and her refusal to appear.

The Gonzales affair continues to gain steam with Monica Goodling receiving limited immunity to testify, more incriminating email logs and Deputy Attorney General James Comey also under subpoena.

And finally Bush once again ignoring the will of the people and Congress as he vetoes the Iraq War funding bill which contained a timetable for the withdrawal of the troops.

With Bush's veto in mind, here is today's Tuesday Topic:

Tuesday, 1 May 2007
The United States Congress passed a bill last week limiting war funding and calling for substantial withdrawal by next March.
President Bush is expected to veto. It is also expected that there are insufficient votes to override this veto, and this will lead to negotiations on a compromise bill.
Do you trust those who are against the war in the US Congress to stick to their policies and stand up for peace? If not, do you find any wholly political solutions likely or viable for the short-term in ending the Iraq War?

Mission Not Accomplished

by BB2

An evaluation prepared by the Office of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, 4/30/07

Facts Tell a Very Different Story

On May 1, 2003, President Bush spoke on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln in front of a banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished.” Four years later, it is clear that the President’s speech was a political photo-op that ignored the reality on the ground:
• U.S. troops killed in Iraq since “Mission Accomplished”: 3,196 [DoD, 4/30/07]
• U.S. troops wounded in Iraq since “Mission Accomplished”: 24,370 [DoD, 4/30/07]
• Civilian casualties in Iraq: estimated 54,000 – 76,500 [Brookings Institution, 4/16/07]


“In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.”
• A report issued today by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction shows that rebuilding in Iraq has not made much progress. It states that “the U.S. project to rebuild Iraq remains far short of its targets, leaving the country plagued by power outages, inadequate oil production and shortages of clean water and health care.” [The Washington Post, 4/30/07]

“We're bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous.”
• A human rights report by the United Nations mission in Iraq declared that Iraq is suffering a “breakdown in law and order.” [The Washington Post, 4/26/07]

“We've begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons and already

know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated.”
• No weapons of mass destruction were found.

“We're helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of
hospitals and schools.”
• “Only 15 of 141 primary health-care centers have been completed -- and only eight of those are open to the public.” [The Washington Post, 4/30/07]

“And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by,
and for the Iraqi people.”
• The Iraqi Parliament is deeply divided by sect, and “there has been little or no progress in achieving three key political benchmarks set by the Bush administration: new laws governing the sharing of Iraq's oil resources and allowing many former members of the banned Baath Party to return to their jobs, and amendments to Iraq's constitution.” [The Washington Post, 4/26/07]