World News Section

Connecticut Man1
Monday, July 5, 2010 - 3:38pm

Via DemocracyNow!, news that "Toronto police were secretly given new powers" right before the G20 meetings to arrest people simply because they refused to identify themselves while protesting and other unsettling news in what has been described as a "brutal crackdown" on protesters has civil liberties advocates mulling over their next moves:

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says it is looking into suing the Toronto police department following mass arrests at the G20 summit last week. It is now estimated that 1,000 people, including many journalists, were arrested. On Thursday, protest rallies were held in Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg against the brutal police crackdown.

Video Below the fold.

This is not the first time that police actions at Canadian protests have been beyond questionable:

Quebec Provincial Police Blink on Montebello

the Sûreté du Québec Blinks:


Quebec provincial police admitted Thursday that their officers disguised themselves as demonstrators during the protest at the North American leaders summit in Montebello, Que., denied allegations its undercover officers were there on Monday to provoke the crowd and instigate violence.

"At no time did the police of the Sûreté du Québec act as instigators or commit criminal acts," the police force said in French in a news release. "It is not in the police force's policies, nor in its strategies, to act in that manner."

"At all times, they responded within their mandate to keep order and security."

Here is the video again so you can decide if the police were being disruptive before their fake arrest:

 

The earlier post on this can be found here...

{update] Les Enragés adds in comments at my previous post:

Two Members of Parliament from the New Democratic Party have called for an inquiry.

Gotta go write a new post. And surprisingly, it won't be Friday Night Cat Blogging. ;)

Great! Now, what the heck are the cats going to do? And now you can see what a third party can do when you aren't stuck in a failing two party system.

Connecticut Man1
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - 3:15pm

Steven D at the BooMan Tribune pointed out this interesting video on a campaign to raise awareness concerning the grave situation in the Congo:

Profiting from the worst war on the planet that no one in America knows anything about by purchasing "conflicts minerals" from the Congo for their products:

Also from Steven D, and after some nudging from readers, later added a diary covering what you can do about it.

One of the things I have always loved about Blogging is the fact that not only can we start to look at things that are wrong, pick apart stories, facts and ideas... But we can work together on solutions for them when we see these problems for what they are.

Below the Open Thread fold is the same story unfolding with a different name to the region affected, IMHO, as Jon Stewart and the Daily Show crew give us the "Ore on Terror":

Ore on Terror

Afghanistan will never not know war after tons of incredibly valuable natural resources are found underneath its surface.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Ore on Terror
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Connecticut Man1
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - 6:20pm

And just take a guess which semi-epsilon-moron-minus of a Senator wants to do this?

A new bill introduced to Congress calls for a new government body to oversee the internet as well as provide emergency powers to a “director of cyberspace policy” as well as the President.

The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (PCNAA), introduced by Senator Joe Lieberman, would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and extend the already-broad definition of “critical infrastructure” to the Internet.

A little more wasted spotlight on the Nutmeg neocon child desperate for attention below.

Despite Senator Lieberman’s position as chairman of the Senate's Homeland Security Committee, this Bill will be gutted or shelved altogether following active lobbying by those that run the internet’s infrastructure, as well as the countless US companies that rely on the internet for their business, US government civil servants, the White House, and any and all elected officials asked to review it.

It is not the first time Senator Lieberman has used his position on the Committee to promote a headline-grabbing double-whammy of internet and security fears.

In 2008, he piggybacked on a Terrorism Prevention Act (that was subsequently dropped) to voice his concern that terrorists were using the internet to promote their views. He made headlines by castigating YouTube, produced a report called “Violent Islamist Extremism, the internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat” and threatened to introduce a Bill to give the US government powers over the internet. As soon as the headlines dropped, so did the proposed legislation.

I am guessing Joe Neocon Lieberman would be talking about My Left Nutmeg when he talks about "Homegrown Terrorists" and YouTube? /snark

Anyways... Way to bluster and blow, Joe!

GreyHawk
Monday, June 14, 2010 - 2:50am

Here's Jimmy Dean singing one of his most famous hits: "Big John."

May he rest in peace.

GreyHawk
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 - 5:06am

An article by Yossi Sarid over on Haaretz.com, entitled Seven idiots in the cabinet, makes a well-stated commentary on the recent deadly encounter between Israeli forces and floating peace flotilla. In his piece, he states

Had we simply let the flotilla reach Gaza - an option that was proposed - a cry of victory would indeed have erupted from the other side, but it would have died out in a day or two. But the Israel of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Barak, of ministers Moshe Ya'alon and Benny Begin, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and Eli Yishai and even Dan Meridor, is vying with Hamas and Hezbollah over who can produce the most resounding demonstrations of strength - which amount to nothing but humiliating evidence of weakness.

There's more, and over the fold I'll share the thought that I had with regard to a possible alternative course of action. It won't undo the current mess, but perhaps it could provide a viable option toward preventing future ones.

He continues with a passionate and plaintive cry:

What ought to come next is a demand for a probe, but it seems pointless. Stupidity knows no bounds, and it is a ministerial prerogative. And what is boundless is also unfathomable.

So the septet will persist in its evil ways, endangering us more than any ship could, for madness will rule us. That gang in Jerusalem will insist on drowning us again and again, for there is no courage to change even after all the disasters.

While his last bit about "courage to change even after all the disasters" reminds me of the current GOP incarnation's unwillingness to help clean up the mess left behind by their previous Administration and majority control here in the US, it also sparked a thought that pertains to the Israel/Gaza situation on the whole, and specifically how this incident may have enabled both major parties to claim victory.

Here's the scenario I'd propose:

  • Israel's navy meets the flotilla and performs a perfunctory search for any "contraband" as part of their claim of self-defense and due diligence;
  • The flotilla, ideally carrying no contraband, willingly allows the search;
  • The Israeli navy then withdraws troops from the ships but provides an escort to a point at Gaza that is mutually agreed upon.

If the overall intent wasn't to simply prevent aid of any sort from reaching the women and children of Gaza under any circumstances, then this could have been a win-win situation for both.

And now, since I've oversimplified the potential complexities, let's hear why my proposal may or may not be a good idea, and whether it would have better served Israel to show restraint in this way. Please comment in light of Mr. Sarid's article and add your thoughts on that, too.

It's a touchy situation all around, and I've seen a lot of differing opinions with various contrasting opinions, so please keep it civil.

Hat-tip to my friend Lesley for pointing out the article.

Connecticut Man1
Friday, May 28, 2010 - 10:40am

Ok... Maybe standingup isn't quite a Financial Weapon of Mass Destruction and only contributed a bit to that loss in productivity when posting the "Sunday Morning Photo and Open Thread" on the playable Google Pacman logo:

And a happy 30th birthday to Pac Man! Google stirred up quite a response yesterday when they replaced their logo with a google doodle celebrating the anniversary of one of the most popular video games ever. The twist on this doodle is the "Insert Coin" button which transforms the doodle into a live version of the video favorite. See for yourself, while it lasts at google.com.

Via the BBC we find out that a firm making software that tracks what workers do online, Rescue Time, estimates millions of hours wasted on playing the game:

Extrapolating this up across the 504 million unique users who visit the main Google page day-to-day, this represents an increase of 4.8 million hours - equal to about 549 years.

In dollar terms, assuming people are paid $25 (£17.50) an hour, this equates to about $120m in lost productivity, the firm said.

That amount of money also adds up to about 6 weeks of Google's payroll. FYI: The game proved to be so popular that  Google gave Pacman a permanent page where you can play it whenever you want - but don't tell your boss I sent you there from this Open Thread....

Connecticut Man1
Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 8:50am

I am at the point where I can choose to live in a half empty house with only a computer and a lot of furniture (minus the drawers of "stuff" that are already moved) or live in a half empty house with a TV and no furniture inside (though we do have our patio furniture moved so we can sit outside). We load up the van and take it over every night and so far we have moved most of the small things we have. We rented a small moving truck to move the big things figuring on doing it in two loads but with so much already done we may just get everything left to fit in that one small truck for one last load.

Below the fold is some open thread stuff that is moving in the traditional and new media.

gjohnsit takes a look at what has so many people getting off their butts and doing something, doing a lot of things, around the world:

The peasants are getting restless

Strikes and protests from Greece to Spain to Slovenia to Ireland to Romania have followed riots and bloodshed.

Via BooMan we get a look at extremist cross-eyed visions of Libertarians at Forbes:

A week after a come-from-behind victory over the GOP's establishment candidate in a Kentucky Senate primary, Rand Paul is facing a possible challenge by the Libertarian Party and is shaking up his staff after comments he made about racial segregation caused a firestorm.

Despite his pedigree as the son of former Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul, Libertarian Vice Chairman Joshua Koch said Rand Paul has betrayed the party's values with stands he's taken, and they were considering finding a candidate to run for the seat.

Via TPM:

The campaign of embattled South Carolina gubernatorial frontrunner Nikki Haley says Haley will address claims of an affair at the gubernatorial debate next Tuesday.

Haley's campaign has gone to radio silence over the last two days and Haley herself avoided reporters today at the state House.

--Josh Marshall

MinistryOfTruth just added another piece to the puzzle covering the wackytudes of Rand Paul and his extremist supporters. And Pen points out the obvious that the media seems to miss whenever they shine that bright old spotlight on BP, because now is way too late to pick out BP's stupid.

And despite "supposedly" putting his own foot in his mouth last week, Dick Blumenthal still manages to put a good old fashioned WWE Smackdown on Linda McMahon, where Blumenthal keeps a formidable lead, 56-31, over the McMahon in the most recent Quinnipiac polling.

Pages