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Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for December, 2008

Joao Gilberto = Bliss

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Finally tracked down this gem, and have been entranced:


Brazilian guitarist Joao Gilberto’s “White Album”. Its one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever hear.

Guess who’s the third most popular Russian?

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Stalin Voted Third Most Popular Russian

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Soviet dictator Josef Stalin was voted Russia’s third most popular historical figure in a nationwide poll that ended on Sunday, despite the famine and purges that marked his rule.

The “Name of Russia” contest run by Rossiya state television channel over more than six months closed on Sunday night with a final vote via the Internet and mobile phones. It drew more than 50 million votes in a nation of 143 million.

He would have scored even higher if he hadn’t killed millions of potential voters parents back in the day. Talk about a group of people who completely hate themselves, geez.

Criticize us? No crackers and grape juice for you

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Bishop Bans Outspoken Sex Abuse Advocate from Church

PORTLAND, Maine — The leader of Roman Catholics in the northeastern state of Maine has taken the unusual step of threatening to punish an outspoken advocate for people who were sexually abused by priests, possibly by denying him communion.

Paul Kendrick of Freeport has been banned from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, and warned in a letter that if he tries again to contact Portland Bishop Richard Malone he risks losing any right “to participate fully in the sacramental life of the church.”

Kendrick, a co-founder of the Maine chapter of the lay reform group Voice of the Faithful, has been a vocal critic of how church leaders have responded to abuse claims and treated victims.

The Rev. Tom Doyle, a Virginia priest and advocate for victims who is representing Kendrick, said the church has threatened to prevent Kendrick from receiving Holy Communion if he doesn’t comply.

Doyle said he can’t find any basis for the diocese’s actions, but he said church leaders have been angered by the aggressive tactics of some activists. Doyle said his work with abuse victims cost him a promising career as a canon lawyer in the church.

“One of the biggest sins in the Catholic Church is to criticize a bishop,” Doyle said.

A bigger sin than assaulting children?

Freddie Hubbard, RIP

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Freddie Hubbard, jazz trumpeter, dies at 70

Freddie Hubbard, widely regarded as the most gifted jazz trumpeter of the post-bebop ’60s and ’70s, died Monday at Sherman Oaks Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 70.

The cause of death was attributed to complications from a heart attack he suffered Nov. 26, according to Dave Weiss, his longtime manager.

From the beginning, Hubbard’s playing was characterized by its strength and assurance, its capacity to roam confidently across the trumpet’s entire range, and his gift for spontaneous melodic invention.

For the last year or so I’ve been subscribed to a Blue Note Records reissue series of early titles pressed on 45 RPM LPs, and one of the recent shipments included this one:


Gonna spin it again soon. Such a loss.

Tanks in the streets, baby. Tanks in the street…

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Unrest caused by bad economy may require military action, report says

EL PASO — A U.S. Army War College report warns an economic crisis in the United States could lead to massive civil unrest and the need to call on the military to restore order.
Retired Army Lt. Col. Nathan Freir wrote the report “Known Unknowns: Unconventional Strategic Shocks in Defense Strategy Development,” which the Army think tank in Carlisle, Pa., recently released.

“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities … to defend basic domestic order and human security,” the report said, in case of “unforeseen economic collapse,” “pervasive public health emergencies,” and “catastrophic natural and human disasters,” among other possible crises.

The report also suggests the new (Barack Obama) administration could face a “strategic shock” within the first eight months in office.

First stop? Blow up the Federal Reserve. I’m just sayin’…

Now they’re ramming aid ships?

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008


Israel accused of ramming Gaza aid ship

Activists trying to bring aid to Gaza today claimed their boat had been rammed by Israeli gunboats in a “criminal attack” in international waters.

The Free Gaza Movement said its vessel, the Dignity, was intercepted by several Israeli vessels as it was heading to the Gaza Strip, which has been under Israeli aerial bombardment since Saturday.

One gunboat rammed the Dignity on the port bow side, causing heavy damage, although no one was hurt, the group said.

The Dignity is still in international waters, 40 miles off Haifa, and is making its way slowly to Lebanon. The ship flies the flag of Gibraltar, is piloted by an English captain and its passenger list includes Cynthia McKinney, a former US congresswoman.

Kudos to Congresswoman McKinney, for actually attempting to make a difference, unlike our current President, who, with less than three weeks left on the job, takes yet another vacation.

The utter crap we’re fed

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Gaza complicates Obama’s policy in Mideast

The deaths of hundreds of Palestinians in Israel’s deadliest-ever air assault on Hamas further complicate President-elect Barack Obama’s challenge to achieve a Middle East peace – something that eluded both the Bush and Clinton administrations.

The Bush administration has blamed the renewed violence on the militant Islamic group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, saying it broke a cease-fire by firing rockets and mortars deep into Israeli territory. The Arab world, however, has reacted with rage to the aggressive Israeli counterattacks, which have left at least 290 Palestinians dead and more than 600 wounded.

It’s unclear whether Obama will be as supportive of Israel as President George W. Bush has been.

Of course he will be, he already went and knelt before AIPAC, groveling and sniveling about “our” Israel situation.

I personally don’t have a “situation” with Israel, other than I find it repugnant that my money is taken from me, converted into cluster bombs and whatnot, and dropped on families in Gaza. Other than that, I have no issue with Israel.

In a perfect world, Obama sits down in the Oval Office, first day, and terminates all aid to Israel. Both sides are going to fight to the last man standing, nothing we can do will lessen that by a day, so why enrage the rest of the region by paying for it? As I said, thats in a perfect world. Unfortunately, the world we live in is mighty fucked up- in large part to this very easily remedied (at least for the US) issue.

Obama should read this, and move on to other matters.

A monument to a lie

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Flight 93 families ask Bush to OK land seizure

PHILADELPHIA — Relatives of those who died aboard United Airlines Flight 93 want the Bush Administration to seize the land needed for a memorial where the plane crashed in Shanksville, Pa., in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Families of Flight 93 sent a letter earlier this month asking President George W. Bush to empower the Secretary of the Interior to take the land in dispute from a homeowner who had been in negotiations with the National Parks Service, said Patrick White, vice president of the families’ organization.

The group says ground must be broken early next year in time for a memorial to be build for the 10th anniversary of the crash in 2011.

Svonavec Inc. owns one of the last large chunks of land needed for the 2,200-acre memorial, including the area where the plane crashed Sept. 11, 2001. Svonavec’s treasurer Mike Svonavec has said the park service has not done enough to negotiate a deal.

“I think the rest of the family members and I feel there is no point at which we will stop,” White said. “Whatever it takes. As long as it takes. Whoever it takes. To do anything less would be doing a disservice to those that we love.”

Hmm. Let’s ponder what a memorial to the Flight 93 victims would include. First, it would be a lot bigger than 2000+ acres, since the debris field was over five miles long. Would it include the statement of the coroner on the scene? “I stopped being coroner after about 20 minutes, because there were no bodies there.” Or perhaps an explanation of cell phone technology, circa 2001, or would that make the “Let’s Roll” skee ball lanes a bit silly?

Seizing land to make a memorial to a lie is as grotesque as hanging a rifle out a window over Dealey Plaza and offering tourists five shots for a dollar, playing “Hit the Motorcade”- and about as historically accurate.

Sounds like 2010 will be a doozy…

Monday, December 29th, 2008

As if Things Weren’t Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.

MOSCOW — For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument — that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. — very seriously. Now he’s found an eager audience: Russian state media.

Prof. Panarin, 50 years old, is not a fringe figure. A former KGB analyst, he is dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s academy for future diplomats. He is invited to Kremlin receptions, lectures students, publishes books, and appears in the media as an expert on U.S.-Russia relations.

Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces — with Alaska reverting to Russian control.

Take that, Comrade Palin!

They really like that shoe throwing guy

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Father offers daughter to shoe-thrower

CAIRO (Reuters) – An Egyptian man said on Wednesday he was offering his 20-year-old daughter in marriage to Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who threw his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush in Baghdad on Sunday,

The daughter, Amal Saad Gumaa, said she agreed with the idea. “This is something that would honor me. I would like to live in Iraq, especially if I were attached to this hero,” she told Reuters by telephone.

Her father, Saad Gumaa, said he had called Dergham, Zaidi’s brother, to tell him of the offer. “I find nothing more valuable than my daughter to offer to him, and I am prepared to provide her with everything needed for marriage,” he added.

Zaidi’s gesture has struck a chord across the Arab world, where President Bush is widely despised for invading Iraq in 2003 and for his support for Israel.