Wednesday, May 24, 2006

ramblins of buddy don: news, news n good news

most of the news on inny given day aint sumthin to make me happy, but today thays at lease one story that gives me a smile.

but furst, how will mr bush reack to this? ifn tiz true he bleeves in eggzawstin all diplomatick opshuns furst, he wood half to anser n talk, no?
Iran has followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent letter to President Bush with explicit requests for direct talks on its nuclear program, according to U.S. officials, Iranian analysts and foreign diplomats.

The eagerness for talks demonstrates a profound change in Iran's political orthodoxy, emphatically erasing a taboo against contact with Washington that has both defined and confined Tehran's public foreign policy for more than a quarter-century, they said.
mayhap by now sum of them neocon kin see whar they dun been 'mugged by reality,' witch thats whut one of em claimd switched im frum librul to cunservativ:
Bolsheviks in the cause of their vaporous intentions, so bent on ignoring reality that they dismissed and suppressed all intelligence that prophesied the bloody complexities of the post-Hussein landscape, they [the neocons] conjured from nowhere and guaranteed the world an idealized postwar Iraq.

The sharpest irony was their stunning indifference to the need for civic order. When the Army chief of staff, Gen. Eric Shinseki, said that the occupation would require many hundreds of thousands of troops to establish and maintain the peace, he was publicly rebuked by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, the administration's foremost neocon, and quickly put out to pasture. When the first U.S. official to take charge in post-invasion-Iraq, Jay Garner, called for a massive effort to train Iraq's police and restore order, he was summarily dismissed. When looting far more widespread than anything the United States had ever known swept Iraq's cities after Hussein's fall, Don Rumsfeld shrugged and said, "Stuff happens" -- a two-word death sentence for the possibility of a livable Iraq.

And now, just as middle-class Americans fled the cities in the wake of urban disorder, so middle-class Iraqis are fleeing, too -- not just the cities but the nation. In a signally important and devastating dispatch from Baghdad that ran in last Friday's New York Times, correspondent Sabrina Tavernise reports that fully 7 percent of the country's population, and an estimated quarter of the nation's middle class, has been issued passports in the past 10 months alone. Tavernise documents the sectarian savagery that is directed at the world of Iraqi professionals -- the murders in their offices, their neighborhood stores, their children's schools, their homes -- and that has already turned a number of Baghdad's once-thriving upscale neighborhoods into ghost towns.

Slaughter is the order of the day, and the police are nowhere to be found. "I have no protection from my government," Monkath Abdul Razzaq, a middle-class Sunni who has decided to emigrate, told Tavernise. "Anyone can come into my house, take me, kill me, and throw me into the trash."
how bad is thangs in iraq? so bad ye caint tell witch side them in uniforms is really on:
Even in a country beset by murder and death, the 16th Brigade represented a new frontier.

The brigade, a 1,000-man force set up by Iraq's Ministry of Defense in early 2005, was charged with guarding a stretch of oil pipeline that ran through the southern Baghdad neighborhood of Dawra. Heavily armed and lightly supervised, some members of the largely Sunni brigade transformed themselves into a death squad, cooperating with insurgents and executing government collaborators, Iraqi officials say.

"They were killing innocent people, anyone who was affiliated with the government," said Hassan Thuwaini, the director of the Iraqi Oil Ministry's protection force.
Forty-two members of the brigade were arrested in January, according to officials at the Ministry of the Interior and the police department in Dawra.

Since then, Iraqi officials say, individual gunmen have confessed to carrying out dozens of assassinations, including the killing of their own commander, Col. Mohsin Najdi, when he threatened to turn them in.

Some of the men assigned to guard the oil pipeline, the officials say, appear to have maintained links to the major Iraqi insurgent groups. For months, American and Iraqi officials have been trying to track down death squads singling out Sunnis that operated inside the Shiite-led Interior Ministry.

But the 16th Brigade was different. Unlike the others, the 16th Brigade was a Sunni outfit, accused of killing Shiites. And it was not, like the others, part of the Iraqi police or even the Interior Ministry. It was run by another Iraqi ministry altogether.

Such is the country that the new Iraqi leaders who took office Saturday are inheriting. The headlong, American-backed effort to arm tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and officers, coupled with a failure to curb a nearly equal number of militia gunmen, has created a galaxy of armed groups, each with its own loyalty and agenda, which are accelerating the country's slide into chaos.

Indeed, the 16th Brigade stands as a model for how freelance government violence has spread far beyond the ranks of the Shiite-backed police force and Interior Ministry to encompass other government ministries, private militias and people in the upper levels of the Shiite government.

Sometimes, the lines between one government force and another — and between the police and the militias — are so blurry that it is impossible to determine who the killers are.

"No one knows who is who right now," said Adil Abdul Mahdi, one of Iraq's vice presidents.
but thay wuz sum good news! thanks to a tip frum anne johnson, who shes the one that rites one of my favert blogs, the gods are bored, i found this story:
A group of Philadelphia investors will return the region's largest daily newspapers to local control, ending 36 years of corporate ownership under Knight Ridder Inc.

Philadelphia Media Holdings L.L.C. will pay $515 million in cash - most of it borrowed from banks - to Knight Ridder's successor, the McClatchy Co., and assume $47 million in pension liabilities, to take over The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News,, and related publications and Web sites.

The investors, who include some of Philadelphia's most prominent business people, were brought together by advertising and public-relations entrepreneur Brian P. Tierney, who promised they would not interfere with the news and editorial sides of the business.

"The next great era of Philadelphia journalism begins today," an ebullient Tierney told employees at the papers' Broad Street headquarters in one of several meetings. "No one thought we could do this." But, he added, "there's a real jewel here." He shuddered theatrically when publisher Joe Natoli repeated the price tag.
Tierney said the investors intended to continue publishing the Daily News, and would honor labor agreements and had no plans for job cuts.
corse, twood even be better ifn the addministrayshun wuz to deecide it wood do its job of pertecktin the constitushun n enforcin the laws:
But in any case, Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Bush have not shown the slightest interest in upholding constitutional principles or following legislative guidelines that they do not find ideologically or politically expedient.

Mr. Gonzales served as White House counsel and as attorney general during the period Mr. Bush concocted more than 750 statements indicating that the president would not obey laws he didn't like, or honor the recorded intent of those who passed them. Among the most outrageous was Mr. Bush's statement that he did not consider himself bound by a ban on torturing prisoners. Mr. Gonzales was part of the team that came up with the rationalization for torture, as well as for the warrantless eavesdropping on Americans' e-mail and phone calls.

If Mr. Gonzales has developed a respect for legislative intent or a commitment to law enforcement, he could start by using his department's power to enforce the Voting Rights Act to protect Americans, rather than challenging minority voting rights and endorsing such obviously discriminatory practices as the gerrymandering in Texas or the Georgia voter ID program. He could enforce workplace safety laws, like those so tragically unenforced at the nation's coal mines, instead of protecting polluters and gun traffickers.
i almost fergut bout a nuther cuple stories, hurricane al:
OK, so no one's going to be surprised that Al Gore is sincere and earnest, or that he's well informed about the scientific mechanisms behind global warming. But viewers of "An Inconvenient Truth," the new documentary about Gore's personal crusade to educate the world about its warmer future -- especially those of us who declined to vote for him in 2000 -- may be surprised by the man's soulfulness, sense of humor and professorial charisma.

"An Inconvenient Truth" is directed by Davis Guggenheim, a longtime TV director and the producer of HBO's fine western series "Deadwood." His film was received warmly here at Cannes, where it premiered last weekend, but the real honors went to Gore himself, who (like his former boss) is understood in much of Europe as representing a completely different America from that of the Bush-Cheney administration.

European critics have wondered whether Guggenheim's film did enough to explicate Gore the man, but this may reflect a misunderstanding of American politics in general and the former vice president in particular. Guggenheim spent many months with Gore and interviewed him repeatedly, while traveling around the world with Gore's wonky but highly effective lecture-demonstration on global warming. More than anything I've ever seen or read about Gore, "An Inconvenient Truth" brings this notoriously awkward politician into focus as a human being, both warm and guarded, intellectually curious but not especially introspective. Guggenheim gets Gore, for instance, to discuss the two central emotional events in his life: his sister's death from lung cancer, and the near-death of his son, who was run down by a car, at age 6, in 1989. In both instances, it's clear that Gore is being as emotionally open as he can, and that behind his stilted, almost clichéd language lies a universe of painful meaning. His sister's death turned him into a fervent campaigner against Big Tobacco, and his son's accident, he says, made him determined to focus his work on the damaged planet we are leaving for future generations. The fact that Gore simply isn't capable of speaking in the canned, confessional Oprah-isms of our culture -- the sort of thing that comes as second nature to Bill Clinton -- only made me like him better.
n "Global warming kills":
Think you've been hearing a lot about global warming lately? If a new climate-focused group hatched by Al Gore has its way, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

After nine months of behind-the-scenes planning and wrangling, the Alliance for Climate Protection is now nearly ready for prime time. In a recent interview, Gore said the group aims to raise big bucks for a single goal: "To move the United States past a tipping point on climate change, beyond which the majority of the people will demand of the political leaders in both parties that they compete to offer genuinely meaningful solutions to the crisis."

Practically speaking, this means launching a massive media and grass-roots education campaign trumpeting the urgency of global warming and targeted at all manner of Americans -- "NASCAR fans, churchgoers, labor union members, small-business men, engineers, hunters, sportsmen, corporate leaders, you name it," said Gore -- on the assumption that "where public opinion goes, federal policy will follow."

With a leadership team that includes Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor to presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford; Carol Browner, head of the U.S. EPA under Bill Clinton; and other heavies, the alliance could considerably pump up the volume of the green movement's barely audible public outreach on global warming. It plans to raise "tens of millions at least," Browner said. The group's official launch date is not confirmed but will likely be in the coming weeks. The search for a CEO is under way, and board meetings have already commenced.

By all accounts, the alliance was Gore's idea, but he is choosing not to take a spot on the board of directors or participate in the governance of the group -- in the interest, he said, of avoiding confusion about its political objectives.
have ye a grate day! look fer sum good news. make sum!

ifn ye wonta comment, click on 'link' n tell me bout sum good news. thankee!

1 comment:

Anne Johnson said...

Furst paper in local hands in 40 years. No more havin to answer to Wall Street! N heck, th new owner actully reads the produck, wich is moren we cood ever say bout Tony "slash n burn" Ridder.

I do wish all union folks wuz so lucky. Of course we'll haveta see what the new boss is reely laak, but at least we gots the paycheck.