Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Republicans Are Fans of Killing Reporters Again, Always

First Draft

Well, all that concern for the health and safety of the press didn’t last long, did it?

We are going to use auctions to set the price on the head of each journalist we take down. Think a kickstarted for bounties. #GotNews

But hey, they’re in good company.


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Norton Fights for Initiative 71

DC Marijuana Lawyer Blog

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is urging Republicans in Congress to let the will of D.C. voters stand when it comes to pot policy. via WAMU

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Origins of AFRICOM

Crossed Crocodiles

I wrote this for the African Loft in January 2008. It is no longer available there so I am republishing it here. It contains links to documents key to the creation of AFRICOM. Since 2008 AFRICOM has morphed and expanded both size and mission. There has been a mission surge rather than a mission creep. I’ve included links to some crucial documents. For more information on the origins of AFRICOM please read the superb essay: Understanding AFRICOM: A Contextual Reading of Empire’s New Combatant Command part I , part II and part III, or the full version in PDF.

AFRICOM website April 2014   Ghana and US Maritime Forces Complete Combined Maritime Law Enforcement Operation:  For the past 3 weeks, Ghanaian and US maritime forces have carried out AMLEP operations in support of maritime security in Sekondi, Ghana AFRICOM website April 2014
Ghana and US Maritime Forces Complete Combined Maritime Law Enforcement Operation:
For the past 3 weeks, Ghanaian and US maritime forces have carried out AMLEP operations in support of maritime security in Sekondi, Ghana

The Origins of AFRICOM

Early in 2007 Nigeria surpassed Saudi Arabia as the…

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Why I’m Not Signing the UMC Petition

Pfarrer JSD

There is currently a petition circulating urging United Methodist Bishop Peggy Johnson not to bring formal charges against clergy in her conference who perform same-sex marriages. While many of my friends, who I respect and honor,  are signing the petition, I will not.

I believe the petition is misguided for several reasons. First, simply ignoring those parts of the Book of Discipline which regard homosexuality as incompatible with Christian scripture and living, does nothing to eliminate this homophobic language from the Book of Discipline. Even if one bishop is convinced to not charge clergy in same-sex relationships or clergy who perform same-sex marriages, clergy in other conferences will continue to be held accountable to the standards of the Book of Discipline. Clergy will still be at the behest of a bishop who may or may not share their views on sexuality.

As long as the current language is in the…

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News Corps’ OTHER hacking scandal

Murdoch’s Pirates: Before the phone hacking, there was Rupert’s pay-TV skullduggery

The inside story of the skullduggery at the heart of one the Murdoch empire’s subsidiaries, NDS.

What happens when one of the biggest media groups in the world sets up its own private security force? What happens when part of this operation goes rogue?

News of the World is not the first Murdoch company to be accused of skullduggery. Murdoch’s Pirates is about the dark deeds of a secret division of News Corp, based in Jerusalem, operating in a combustible world of ambitious ex Scotland Yard men and former French and Israeli secret service agents, who have one thing in common – they have all left their previous employment under controversial circumstances.

NDS produces smart cards for use by pay TV operators; this is a fiercely competitive field and one of the ways you get business is to demonstrate that the smart cards produced by your rivals can be easily pirated. Unless you are very careful, sometimes those pirated versions make their way out into the real world, where they can really damage your competitors’ businesses.

Murdoch’s Pirates reads like a thriller, set in the arcane world of hackers and pirates. There are mysterious deaths, break-ins and wild chases. Some of the individuals involved may well be amongst the brightest minds on the planet, but sometimes their rivalry can get out of hand and their impulsive behaviour can defy logic.

Chenoweth recounts this clandestine war with his customary lucidity, drollery and brio.

National Protest Against Freddie and Fannie


Actions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to win principal reduction, a halt to all evictions and slum conditions, right to rent, and transfer of vacant properties to communities not investors.
1525 Newton St, Washington DC
(St. Stephens Episcopal Church)

Meet at the church and caravan to Fannie Mae’s national headquarters, Freddie Mac’s national headquarters and a surprise stop at end! Bring a car or a van if you can.

For more information contact: email

We also need breakfast food for the 100 folks coming in from out of town. Can you call La Caprice today and order a jug of coffe and a dozen pastries for Occupy Our Homes DC to pick up at 8am on 9.27? Dial: 202-290-3109
You can also tweet support: 100 FreddieMacFannieMae fighters need breakfast 8am 9/27. Call 202-290-3109, order coffee/pastries for OccupyHomes. cc@thefoodcaptain #ows

Occupy Washington, DC

Mark Steel on the Brittish Queen’s Jubilee

Shorter Mark Steel: Bah, humbug. And frankly, I see his point. I am surprised that he did not mention the unpaid River Pagent workers. Presumably that story emerged after he wrote his post. Of course, slavery has nothing to do with monarchy, a republic can be perfectly happy to steal labor.

So, while we are on the subject of Mark Steel, might as well make a thorough job of it. Take this article about David Cameron’s refusal to enter the Euro. Cameron may be doing the right thing for the wrong reason, but he is still doing the right thing. A fiat currency is a huge plus for the UK and they would be crazy to give it up. If Steel knew anything about Modern Monetary theory, or at least do some occasional reading, he would know better.

To make a complete job of it, lets talk about Mark Steel on Oliver Cromwell. It is an entertaining look at Cromwell, full of all sorts of personal tid bits you don’t get from Christopher Hill. But like most people, and almost all atheists, Steel can’t get his mind around the fact that the whole quarrel was about religion. I think in a post-Jefferson world, where we have wisely agreed to disagree, it is difficult to comprehend that religion could ever have been the central organizing principle of life. Even those of us old enough to live through the civil rights movement, and seen it in action, still have difficulty. But in the 17th Century, organizing your life around your religious beliefs was as natural as breathing.

Readers of this blog know that I am no fan of Charles I, but Oliver Cromwell is why British Monarchy survives. The revolt against Charles I started over abuse of power that the power to tax. But when Cromwell seized power with Pride’s Purge he began an era of arbitrary rule that Charles I could have only dreamed of. Instead of setting up a committee to write a constitution to establish a permanent Republic, Cromwell simply set up shop as a military dictator. So, after his death it was only natural that the British reverted to the monarchy, and why they remain monarchist to this day. Cromwell botched the best chance to dump monarchy.


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