Lefty Blogs
williampfaff ++ ++
Russian News ++
seaton-newslinks. USA expat in Europe ++
bilegrip Asu spleen ++
us-rockstroh a rant, not a blog ++
aboutmyplanet eco ++
sfgate ++
crookedtimber ++
onthecommons ++
sjlendman ++
abutamam freeiraq ++
airamericaradio +
amygdalagf +
angryarab ++
annezook +
antiwar ++
billmon ++ whiskeyB
consortiumnews ++
dailywarnews ++
drforbush +
english +
halcyondays ++
hereticalideas ++
boxspinning boxes

jamaicaobserver newspaper
jameswolcott +
lefarkins +
liberalgirlnextdoor ++
lonehighlander Libya, not lefty
mahablog +++ solid
maruthecrankpot +
indymedia melbourne
messopotamian +7Apr06
monkey ++
motherjones ++
nocapital +
norightturn +NZ
peakoil ++
pilger +
politicalhumor +
rafahtoday Feb05?
rense w= wacko conspiracies
rigorousintuition x
hegemon ++
ruckus ++
rudepundit ++
satiricalpolitical +
scaramoucheblog ++
secretsinbaghdad ++15Ap06
aliveinbaghdad ++
riverbendblog ++
sideshow +++
signs-of-the-times +++
slashdot ++techy
talkleft ++
thinkprogress ++
thismodernworld +++
uncapitalist ++
velorution ++ bicycles
org ++Brazil peasants
warandpiece +
warfare.ru +russia military
alternet ++
gbruno ++YT
axisoflogic ++
bobharris +
bradblog +
buckfush +funnies
buggery +
buzzflash ++
counterpunch +++
crooksandliars ++?
grist ??
huffingtonpost ++
infoshop +
inthesetimes x
iranmania x
juancole ++
kuro5hin ++ notlefty
kurtnimmo ++
lrb ++ Iraqi?
lewrockwell ++
marklynas climate change
mnftiu get your war on comics
rall ++ Ted Rall cartonist
selvesandothers ++
theleftcoaster +
thepoorman +
tnr ++ magazine
tompaine ++ mag
traprockpeace ++
truthout +
boondocks ++
. . . helix
rain radar
worldtribunal +
worldwatch ++ $ required
zaman + Turkish news
youcantmakeitup + ?
youngfox ????????????
bareknucklepolitics videos?
popdrain videos??
discovery videos??
cs videos??
aegisIraq video??
mariyaguchi video??
iwilltryit video..
ahram cairo newspaper
jfaughnan 28/04/2006 10:25AM
shrillblog +
thinkprogress +
marchforjustice + pictures
messopotamian + Iraqi not so radical, but scared (also see IraqTheModel which was a USA front, but is now also scared)
scaramoucheblog +
blogads liberal blogs by CPM $ per view
malakandsky ++ stolid?
republicoft + black gay parent??
dailykos ++
rawstory ++
democraticunderground ++
atrios ++
workingforchange +
leftinthewest +
dembloggers +
talkingpointsmemo +
firedoglake ++
vastleft ++
pamspaulding +
americablog +
washingtonmonthly ++
mydd +
politics1 +
bartcop ++
politicalwire +
sisterstalk black lesbian?
culturekitchen ++
wonkette +++
billstclair +
freefreedomtoldhere ++ pipe bomb

almuajaha defunct
whynot defunct
winstonsmith defunct
samadams dormant
mquinn02 defunct
iraqblogcount ++14Apr06 suspended
iraqicomments most recent: jan2005
iraqidoctor most recent: Aug2005
georgemustgo + moved?
vialls ++Dormant (joe is dead)
warblogging Defunct
hammeroftruth quiescant?
mediastorm quiescant? +
bushwhackedusa defunct
hamasonline defunct

22 September 2006

Baghdad, Clinton, Lovelock, JPEPA

BAGHDAD — On a recent Sunday, I was buying groceries in my beloved Amariya neighborhood in western Baghdad when I heard the sound of an AK-47 for about three seconds. It was close but not very close, so I continued shopping.
As I took a right turn on Munadhama Street, I saw a man lying on the ground in a small pool of blood. He wasn't dead.
The idea of stopping to help or to take him to a hospital crossed my mind, but I didn't dare. Cars passed without stopping. Pedestrians and shop owners kept doing what they were doing, pretending nothing had happened.
I was still looking at the wounded man and blaming myself for not stopping to help. Other shoppers peered at him from a distance, sorrowful and compassionate, but did nothing.
I went on to another grocery store, staying for about five minutes while shopping for tomatoes, onions and other vegetables. During that time, the man managed to sit up and wave to passing cars. No one stopped. Then, a white Volkswagen pulled up. A passenger stepped out with a gun, walked steadily to the wounded man and shot him three times. The car took off down a side road and vanished.
No one did anything. No one lifted a finger. The only reaction came from a woman in the grocery store. In a low voice, she said, "My God, bless his soul."

the good guys talking in the Upper West Side
..designed to inspire action. Every participant must pledge to take a specific action in one of our focus areas. These commitments have ranged from $100 million to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa, to a donation of 20,000 bicycles in disaster-torn Sri Lanka, to 100 hours volunteered in an interfaith youth group.
Energy & Climate Change
Global Public Health
Poverty Alleviation
Mitigating Religious & Ethnic Conflict

Well I have just come back from the barrio, a million people on the side of a hill with no jobs, and no prospects.
I can report that shabu (methamphetamine) has fallen from popularity, cheap alcohol is still big, cheap cigarettes have left me with cloudy sputum and a shorter life. (I know you've been dying to learn that).
Having babies is still the main diversion. There is nowhere to grow food - I expect my dozen banana trees will be cut down and shacks built there any day now. Fat frogs in the bathroom indicate that toxins haven't yet totally permeated the scene.
It is true that urban poor are atomised, apolitical and apathetic about change. The kids are doing surprisingly good at school. One of the chief reasons that people desert the countryside and settle in barrios/favelas is security. When the state offers only venal police, isolated houses are in danger. To crowd together offers the security of many eyes and many voices to shout. A couple of weeks ago a guy was garrotted and stabbed to death a stones throw away. men carrying guns pass my door at night. Obviously crowding is not total protection, but its the best you can do when the police are just another gang. I have deadlocks and bolts, steel grills on the windows, an uncle who is a Major in the NBI. So far I'm still alive. Uncle Buboy, the Major, is making noises about a loan. I hope he will be satisfied with $5K, I'm not a rich man. So thats it folks, its not so much jobs that sucks people into slums, its the security offered by the proximity of many others. And when the Urea ( petrochemical) runs out on the farm, the nutritious septic tank seepage on our hillside will run to waste in streams lined with colourful plastic bags. 2 out of 3 Nitrogen molecules in the proteins in a Chinese child come from industrial Haber-Bosch natural gas. Hard to ship the stuff to Malibu when the movie stars wont allow a port.

But I an increasingly with Lovelock, Oil+coal induced climate chaos is about to perturb our crops. Our deluded sense that we have transcended the organic world is about to descend into world-wide Rwanda-Darfur. Perturbing our crops aint no joke.
Nothing now can prevent this, even if we abandoned our oil fired 100kph chariots and our coal-fired ducted heating, its too late.
My prediction for the successor intelligent species: bats. I reckon that in a few million years smart bats will be building radio telescopes to announce to the galaxy that intelligent life has arrived on Earth

"Our global furnace is out of control. By 2020, 2025, you will be able to sail a sailboat to the North Pole. The Amazon will become a desert, and the forests of Siberia will burn and release more methane and plagues will return."

oops it looks like Jim Lovelock was 14 years off in that "sailing tho the North Pole"

AFP September 20 ..
..Arctic ice cover had disappeared so much last month that a ship could sail unhindered from Europe's most northerly outpost to the North Pole.
..images were acquired from August 23 to 25 by ..Envisat and EOS Aqua..
Perennial sea ice – thick ice that is normally present year-round and is not affected by the Arctic summer – had disappeared over an area bigger than the British Isles, ESA said.
Vast patches of ice-free sea stretched north of Svalbard, an archipelago lying midway between Norway and the North Pole, and extended deep into the Russian Arctic all the way to the North Pole..


March 22nd, 2006 in VOIP.
China is a wonderful country where everything can just happen without a reason (well, apparently they do have a reason, read on). In order to protect its fixed telephone line business, the Chinese government has imposed a ban on free Internet telephone services for at least two years, the Financial Times reports.

Japanese garden IMG_0556
"Japanese Garden" Luzon
Bilateral "Free Trade" agreement the neo-neo-imperialism?
Japan-RP economic pact brings dubious gain
IBON Foundation 9/10/2006
The Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) will bring dubious gain to the local economy while severely limiting government’s policy options to develop domestic industries.
..under negotiation away from public scrutiny for the last four years. Officials provide few details but it is reported that the agreement will cut import tariffs on industrial goods by 90% within 10 years and provide concessions for Japanese direct investment in the domestic automobile and electronics industries.
The Philippines will abolish tariffs on at least 60% of its steel imports from Japan. Tariffs on Japan-made cars will also be fully eliminated in 2010. In exchange, Japan will lower tariffs on Philippine bananas and pineapples,..
.. the dangerous first step towards complete government renunciation of developing the Philippine economy.. . . the country’s first full-fledged bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), the benchmark it sets for liberalization will determine the shape of all FTAs to come...Japan has already signed or is negotiating FTAs with Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Vietnam.

20 September 2006

Luang Prabang, Luzon, Martin Jacques, India Suicides

Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang panel  Picture 058
Breakfast at Satri House, Prince Souphanouvong's villa
Satri House Luang Prabang picture 023
crackled green ceramic plates
lizards sunning by the pool
$85, next day move to Soutikone $7
Bagong Silang Luzon
duty free Jose Cuervo Especial gone in a night
Big Frog keeps the bathroom ipis free
Frog Phase 9 IMG_0739
light green racing stripes
waddles into kitchen
like a grumpy grandfather
wont leave through the drain hole,
I'm prodding but he pushes back
feels not pleasant like a snake muscles
but a squishy sack of guts.
no warts or secretions,
hes a big frog
but if hes not poisonous
snakes may come after him
into our bathroom
to Robinson, hardware for the house
Shakey Shaolin prancing
on the ride, gets a shock when I drop a peso
and the ride vibrates.

concrete path
vinyl, bed table & chairs
- now thats a cultural lift from the floor
hopefully helpful for homework
5 or 6 children now live in my house.
Picture 051
Bus to Sta Cruz
Laguna del bay
there is a map
a fine flat place to bicycle
rich & poor, all have yards
even the rich use their yard for fighting cocks
up the hill to the perched hydro lake
riding scooters down in the sunset
the gold gleam on 50km of Laguna del Bay
cumulus anvils frame the sun
suddenly Luzon is as magic as Aotearoa
but we cant stop, the lead scooter knows the way home.
Sun City IMG005
night swimming in Sun City
every family member is in the hot pool
huge pot of spaghetti
Sun City IMG_0642
Batangas ferry to Sabang
Jeagan IMG025
Snorkeling over slowly dying coral in shallow water
the day after Steve Irwins weird death
stingray barb to the heart
tiny invisible jellyfish sting my melancholy flesh
3 urchins per square metre are required for reef health
or so they say, I hate them, but maybe we need more.
no cleaner station this year,
no crown of thorns - saw one last year
cant judge
back in Bagong Silang
Ann IMG011
Maryann  IMG0030A
M phonecam
Maryann IMG0090A
4:30 Louisa & Annette get up for school
most days
6:30 the neighbours pigs squeal
as they get the remnants of spaghetti
from the Olongapo trip
Olongapo IMG_0695
Olongapo IMG_0715
another expensive jeepney
ferris wheel, gambling,
everyone in the water
back at 4:30 am
Karapatan said Victor Olayvar was the 748th leftist killed by death squads since GMA in 2001
in Danao Bohol
..a provincial leader of the left-leaning Alyansang Makabayan
LA cafe, the last free bar in Asia, threatened with closure? As we passed I saw a door guard, maybe its still open.
The desperate incessant chatter with his solitude begins again immediately the plane doors close.

Martin Jacques Monday August 14, 2006
OK I've just landed back from a no-newspaper zone, so
Martin J's piece on the Leb war may not be news anymore, but it appealed to me,
[RP TV barely mentions the outside world]
it is regarded as an honorary member of the west in the same way that Australia still is, or apartheid South Africa used to be...
Israelis aspire to be treated on a par with westerners - that is, of course, white westerners; by the same token they have contempt for Arabs, including those who are citizens of Israel, whom they look down on as less civilised than themselves. Israel behaves in the manner of a settler colony whose people do not believe they are of the region but who none the less think they have every right to be there.

17,107 farmers committed suicide in 2003, the most recent year for which government figures are available. Anecdotal reports suggest that the high rates are continuing.
Monsanto, ..genetically modified seeds that Mr. Shende planted..can cost nearly twice as much as ordinary ones..
Virtually every cotton farmer in these parts, for instance, needs the assistance of someone like Chandrakant Agarwal, a veteran moneylender who charges 5 percent interest a month.
Business has boomed with the arrival of high-cost seeds and pesticides. “Many moneylenders have made a whole lot of money,” Mr. Agarwal said. “Farmers, many of them, are ruined.”

is Landline the best program on TV in Australia?

400 tons fish oil imported from Norway - I had thought it was Southern Ocean clean
Most eucalyptus oil mostly imported from China...

18 September 2006

Torture, Pope, Lebanon, Syriana

The Stranger in the Mirror
Thursday, September 14th, 2006
By Bob Herbert
...Brig. Gen. James Walker, the top uniformed lawyer for the Marines. Speaking at a Congressional hearing last week, he said no civilized country denies defendants the right to see the evidence against them. The United States, he said, “should not be the first.”
And Senator Lindsey Graham, a conservative South Carolina Republican who is a former military judge, said, “It would be unacceptable, legally, in my opinion, to give someone the death penalty in a trial where they never heard the evidence against them.”

How weird is it that this possibility could even be considered?

The character of the U.S. has changed.

I read this in the International Herald Tribune while in SEAsia. Great to see a liberal paper still flying.
grabbed a "Wall St Journal" while walking through 1st class to 'economic'. Appalled but not surprised to see an un-attributed opinion piece proposing legalising of torture. Lets not kid ourselves, the USAEmpire has and will commit barbarous torture while it can. Often by proxy, death squads trained in Georgia. Ask Rigoberta Menchú. What is under debate is the legalising of torture, ie an in your face, "we will do what the fuck evil we like, you have no recourse"
Well I'm here to say that one recourse is to drive your fucking USAnian planes into your fucking WhiteHouse, lets roll!

Manuel II Paleologu, c/o Benny16
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached".
..Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats..

Well now, imagine how Bruno felt as the flames reached higher... One of the charges against him was the denial of transubstantiation - a totally unreasonable concept.

"Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

That Sunni-Shi’a civil war in Iraq?

That’s not a flaw. It’s a feature. And it’s going to be exported to the rest of the Middle East.

Current and former officials said the Pentagon's Iranian directorate has been headed by Abram Shulsky. Shulsky also was the head of the now-defunct Office of Special Plans, whose role in allegedly manipulating Iraq intelligence is under investigation by the Pentagon's inspector general.

Some officials say they fear the office, whose existence was first reported by the Los Angeles Times, is being used to funnel intelligence from Ghorbanifar, the arms dealer, and an Iranian exile group known as the Mujahedeen Khalq.

A Pentagon spokeswoman didn't return two phone calls seeking comment about the office.

Bill Murray, a retired CIA station chief in Paris who met with a Ghorbanifar associate and found his claims about Iran to be bogus, called the office's establishment "a big bell ringer."

"That is outright manipulation of information to suggest a predetermined policy," Murray said.

Col. Pete] Devlin reports that there are no functioning Iraqi government institutions in Anbar, leaving a vacuum that has been filled by the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has become the province's most significant political force . . . Another person familiar with the report said it describes Anbar as beyond repair; a third said it concludes that the United States has lost in Anbar.

[while idling about in the Barrio drinking cheap rum, for the last month , Billmon was one of the things I missed most about the West
- my cellphone often got the internet, Yahoo news Y! detected a phone browser and showed a compact list of news items.
now if only there was a 'true news' site for cellphones - hint to Aljazeera]

While in the 3rd world, caught up on some movies c/o your local copy shop Pantip or Patpong
WTC & Flight93 failed to attain any drama, as noted in NYRB faux reality tv
Syriana told a bit to much truth to go down easy. Onya, GC

The NYRB also noted the Hezbollah victory in Lebanon.
The very reason Israel waged this war—to reestablish its power of deterrence— has been one of its unquestionable casualties. Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, and Syria all feel that their fortunes are rising. For much of the Arab world, the war damaged the myth of Israeli invincibility. At this point, the most serious peril for Israel is to cease being seen as a dominant force and start being perceived as an exhausted one

and how thin the Merk tanks were.
I wonder which rockets HA used? The general belief is they didnt even use Kornets, of which the Syrians have plenty.
Instead HA may have used Metis a 2nd string device. The NYRB even suggests they used 1980 vintage USA wireguided ATMs.
Whichever, the IDF had no cover, neither in their Merks, nor in concrete buildings, so they were forced back after only a few km.
It seems that Syriana never gave any decent rockets to the Baathists, who are reduced to burying artillery shells, killing only 2 or 3 yanks per day.
Gaza also seems bereft of decent rockets, despite their Egypt tunnels.
Looks like a land war, even in Syri, let alone Iran, may be bloody hard on USAnian infantry.
. But the uncomfortable fact for Israel is that whereas Hezbollah killed two Israeli soldiers for every Israeli citizen it killed, Israel's ratio in inflicting "collateral damage" was, at best, exactly the reverse.

[nyrb has always had a soft spot for HA, even saying that the 83 barracks blast was before HA was formed]

I will put some words together about SEAsia, Laguna del bay, the Barrio, Bangkok, Aus on planes, soon.