Two Belgian tanks ram each other on Dutch motorway
21 hours ago
Jay,Check out the news stories for 28 June at ANGLICANS ONLINE for coverage of the just completed GAFCON meeting in Jerusalem.
Completely off topic, again(!):
Could you weigh in on the impending Anglican schism (the BBC used that term last night!) arising from the boycott of the upcoming Lambeth by some bishops angry over Bishop Robinson of NH...Do you know the Bishop, since he is quite close by? How is he taking it? Do you have a thought as to how to preserve the Communion, or do you believe it should fracture at this point? Also, any word from the bishop of my hometown, J.S. Spong, on this?....
So it's a split. The final communique from the "GAFCON" conference of in Jerusalem has set up alternative structures within the church. It's a complicated document and clearly needs more unpacking that that! But over the long term, the aim must be to seek to impose a rigid and exclusive understanding of scripture on the rest of the Communion. In the short term it provides a safe space for those who embrace that particular view of scripture. The theology of GAFCON owes more to Calvin than to Anglicanism. However it does mean that those of us who celebrate the historic breadth, inclusivity and welcome of Anglicanism can now continue to communicate our message of Christ's unconditional love. We look forward to a healthy and creative Lambeth conference. [I]f you want to keep up to date on developments in the Communion, Thinking Anglicans is always good to visit.I was present at Gene Robinson's ordination as Bishop of New Hampshire and have heard him preach, but I don't know him personally.
On top of the 4 large poles at the intersections of Church Street and each of its cross-streets are 4-8 security cameras. Many people love this, I'm sure, as it probably makes them feel safe. It is seen only as more eyes for the cops.It's really worse than that. At a recent Neighborhood Planning Assembly in my ward, the local Burlington Police officer assigned to our area gave a run down of the usual summer house and car break ins ("keep your doors and windows locked") and encouraged the law abiding citizenry to report to BPD any questionable activity on our streets and in our neighborhood parks. Even if it turns out harmless, he told the Assembly, the police would find out what's up. It's the same old shitty fear mongering argument in this post 9/11 Amerika. If the person is not doing anything wrong, he continued (I'm paraphrasing), a good citizen won't mind being asked a few questions by the officer. What's next? Block Wardens? And I ain't talking about the Civil Defense block leaders from WWII; as you walk around the corner, could your activites soon be reported by your Blockleiter? Let's be real, the cop was encouraging the same sort of importunate and dangerous snooping prevalent in Nazi-occupied countries during the same WWII era. In 2008-Burlington, this kind of behaviour can be called an expanded Neighborhood Watch.
"This is not about vindictiveness and partisan politics. The acts committed by the Bush administration rise to the level of "high crimes and misdemeanors" that our founders said justifies the impeachment of public officials. And if the Democrats refuse to act upon the articles of impeachment, they are no better than the administration in upholding their oaths of office. They are co-conspirators, and history will not judge them kindly for putting politics above the Constitution."
For non-comatose Vermonters, we know that Pollina is running for governor (again) under the banner of the Progressive Party, the folks who have sometimes, kind of, maybe (depending on the day and the circumstances) tried to make the case that Vermont needs a viable third party because the Democrats and Republicans are hopelessly and ruthlessly protecting a political status quo that isn’t serving the rest of us very well. Can you say “Iraq War,” “health care,” “global warming,” “alternative energy,” “economic justice,” “corporate oligarchy”? I knew you could.
But the problem with Pollina and the Progs is that they only spew that rhetoric – or even pretend to believe in it – when it appears to be politically convenient. And they’ll just as soon say that there’s no hope in getting anything substantive done within the Democratic Party before announcing that they’re either cutting a deal with Dems over which electoral races to sit out or, in the case of Pollina, endorsing a Dem for the highest of political offices: president. Go figure.
My Dutch friends think this will give a boost to the national psyche and will reunite "us" - has anyone ever done a study on how sports does that?
Holland exploded (ejaculated, more like it) four times yesterday evening!! The Dutch Lion Roared! From underdog to favourite at Euro2008! Two brilliant performances so far, the dwarf beating football giants Italy and France!
Even I have mixed feelings about watching sometimes boring football. I was jumping out of my chair 4 times!! It's the best thing which could happen to a depressed country!
Leila Fadel reports that Shiite lawmakers in Iraq told her that the US has requested 58 bases from the Iraqi government as part of the security agreement now being negotiated. The US also is said to want the authority to decide when Iraq has been attacked, and when and how to respond. The lawmakers are afraid that Washington will use that provision to drag them into the middle of a war between the US and Iran.
On being informed by McClatchy of some of these details, the campaign of Senator Barack Obama demanded that any such stipulation of 58 bases be submitted to the US Congress for approval, and that the Iraqis be told that the US does not seek permanent bases in that country. The McCain campaign had no comment.
Ohio Congressman and former Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush Monday evening, stating the commander-in-chief is guilty of numerous crimes, including launching a war on false pretenses, and spying on American citizens, and should be removed from office.DENNIS THE MENACE is on his own on this one. This story will probably only be a one-day story on the MSM wires, as Eli at Left I writes.
"The House is not in order," Kucinich said to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who has said impeachment "is off the table."
Pelosi pounded her gavel. Kucinich then began to read the impeachment articles.
One interesting thing about the speech was that, although this was nominally "Articles of Impeachment," it was actually "Articles of Impeachment" plus all the evidence needed to back up the charges within, with citations from speeches by Bush and Cheney and Rice and Powell all the way to citations from books by George Tenet and articles by Scott Ritter and Seymour Hersh. Hearings shouldn't be necessary, just a vote!
Actually the question isn't how quickly the Democrats will bury this; that's pretty much a given. The question is how quickly the media will bury the fact it even happened. There are articles up on the web now from various sources (AP, Reuters, etc.), so it will be reported, but the thing with American media (and the American public) is that a one-day story, even a one-day front-page story (which I doubt this will be), means nothing. Only the stories which get hammered on repeatedly, and talked about by all the talk shows and written about by the columnists make any kind of dent. And the chances that that will happen with this story are pretty much nil.
And just as Appalachian stereotypes developed in tandem with the beginnings of economic exploitation in the region, the same stereotypes continue to serve the interests of capitalism and U.S. political and cultural imperialism. Appalachian politicians such as WV’s Governor Manchin “sell” Appalachian poverty to outside companies by advertising the region’s low wages, “docile” work force, low unionization rates, etc. The “throw away people” of Appalachia also continue to bear the burden of environmental injustice such as the ongoing practice of mountaintop removal mining, all for the “common good” of America’s energy needs.
And not only are a disproportionate number of Appalachian bodies exploited, generation after generation, to serve in the U.S. military, Appalachian stereotypes are invoked as part of the mythological narratives that drive U.S. imperialism, especially the War on Terror, as Carol Mason demonstrated in a recent journal article. Mason provides a fascinating analysis of two female soldiers from West Virginia, Jessica Lynch and Lynndie England, who made headlines over the last few years and who embodied the two contradictory hillbilly images we referred to earlier, Lynch representing the good country girl rescued from barbaric Iraqis, and England representing the barbaric savage who was photographed torturing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Attending to the role of class, gender, and race in the two stories, Mason showed how each used Appalachian hillbilly stereotypes either to inspire support for the war on terror or to explain away U.S. torture tactics by blaming them on a “gender-bending hillbilly.”
In Burlington, New England, where a tiny city-owned broadcaster with a few thousand subscribers carries Al-Jazeera, complaints from locals prompted the company to announce that it will be taken off air, but a local Republican representative is supporting its continued presence, Burman claims, and that decision could be reversed.Hmmm, I wonder who the Repub is. Any guesses?
Channeling Free SpeechCiting the Valley News editorial, the KEENE (NH) SENTINEL writes
Al-Jazeera English on TV
Given what passes for television “news” programming in America these days, it's not astonishing that some viewers would like to banish a channel or two from the satellite or cable menu. That, however, seems quite different from what's going on in Vermont’s largest city, where Burlington Telecom is under pressure to drop the English language service of Al-Jazeera, the Arab-owned network based in Qatar.
As it happens, Burlington is one of the few places in the United States where Al-Jazeera English can be seen, others being Washington, D.C., Houston and parts of Ohio (figure that one out). It is largely invisible in this country because, in the words of the International Herald Tribune, “the reputation of its Arabic sibling as the preferred outlet for videos from Osama bin Laden has made the English-language version too hot to handle for some U.S. cable operators.”
Urging the municipally-owned Burlington Telecom to join the blackout is something called the Defenders Council of Vermont, whose 15 or 20 members conceive it as their mission to “educate the citizens of Vermont about the nature, reality and threat of radical Islam.” It seems not to have occurred to the Defenders that pulling the plug on an Arab-owned news service might not be the best way to educate Vermonters about the political and social perspectives of the Islamic world. Or that anyone offended by the programming has recourse to the TV viewer's ultimate trump card -- the remote.
This is not the only irony involved in this story, though. As the Associated Press reported earlier this week, the executive director of Burlington Telecom, Chris Burns, was only too happy to oblige the Defenders Council. He announced that the channel would be removed, but Mayor Bob Kiss put on the brakes until public reaction could be more thoroughly gauged. Perhaps in the meantime, the mayor will introduce the telecom director to the First Amendment, which, after all, is not only about the right to voice unpopular opinions but also about the right to hear them. If democracy is based on the notion that citizens best govern themselves by sorting through conflicting opinions in the marketplace of ideas, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for a government entity to restrict the range of ideas about public affairs that are offered in that marketplace. It wholly contradicts the nation's democratic faith to believe that Americans are unable to distinguish between ideas that have merit and those that are spurious.
Beyond that, it seems to us that one of the gravest threats to national security in the 21st century is the extent to which America remains ignorant of the world and of how that world views this country. It is perhaps telling that BBC World, the BBC's round-the-clock news channel on which Al-Jazeera English was initially modeled, is also largely unavailable in the United States. In a dangerous world, Americans live in isolation at their own peril.
It is also worth noting that the English language service of Al-Jazeera recently hired as its new managing director Tony Burman, a former editor in chief of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. He plans to increase coverage of news in the United States heading into this fall's presidential election; invest in more news bureaus; and present “more provocative” news programming and investigative journalism. In short, Al-Jazeera English proposes to do what major American broadcast news organizations used to do.
What Al-Jazeera says
[I]t seems to us that one of the gravest threats to national security in the 21st century is the extent to which America remains ignorant of the world and of how that world views this country. It is perhaps telling that BBC World, the BBC's round-the-clock news channel on which Al-Jazeera English was initially modeled, is also largely unavailable in the United States. In a dangerous world, Americans live in isolation at their own peril ...
"... playing footsie with neo-Confederates has cost SVR, as several members have left the group or distanced themselves from it in recent years. Former executive director Jane Dwinel quit the group in 2006, telling the Report later that she had had sharp disagreements with Naylor. John McClaughry, a supporter of decentralization, told the Report that SVR has "shaded over to hating America." According to the Vermont Secession blog, Dan Dewalt, a former SVR advisory member, was dismissed from the group for merely raising irksome questions about Naylor's connection to groups including the league.
Even many of those who remain Naylor's colleagues are worried by SVR's new Southern friends. "You've got to watch whose conference you go to. There's no doubt about it," SVR advisor Frank Bryan told the Report. Added longtime SVR ally Jim Hogue, "If [Naylor] was very flattering toward the League of the South, and they're racist, that was probably a bad idea."
In the face of these criticisms, Naylor remains defiant. "I don't give a shit what you write," he told the Report. "If someone tells me that I shouldn't associate with the League of the South, it guarantees that I will associate with the League of the South."
Some of the nation’s biggest banks have closed their doors to students at community colleges, for-profit universities and other less competitive institutions, even as they continue to extend federally backed loans to students at the nation’s top universities.And TMiss comments:
Imagine, if you will, if you went to a doctor and she said: “Yep, it’s cancer.” And then she left the room. Better yet, she got on the public address system in the office and announced: “This patient has cancer.” And everyone on staff and everyone in the waiting room just nodded about the horrors of it, called some folks they knew to repeat the horrors, emailed their list-serve about it, and then just carried on with their day and their lives.
We’d call that medical malpractice. Because in medicine, we don’t just expect a diagnosis, we also expect one hell of a good faith effort at treatment or, if you will, an activist remedy.
Oh, if modern-day citizenship only carried the same kind of expectations. You know, a simple kind of expectation that would follow the medical lineage between diagnosis and cure. And if we, the citizens, simply acknowledged the problems without effectively addressing them, we’d be accused of citizenship malpractice – a most serious dereliction of duty that has betrayed our ideals, our future, our health, our safety and the very foundation of our democracy that requires citizen leadership.
Consider ourselves charged – on several counts – of citizenship malpractice.