Saturday, March 08, 2008

Restore the rule of law

The Open Thread and Diary Rescue post this evening at Daily Kos includes several diaries on the theme of torture.

One of them is titled "Distasteful Diary on Torture" and is brought to us by sailmaker.

What sorts of things does Bush not want to eliminate from his repertory?
a. Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees;

b. Threatening detainees with a charged 9mm pistol;

c. Pouring cold water on naked detainees;

d. Beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair;

e. Threatening male detainees with rape;

f. Allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell;

g. Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick.

h. Using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.

(T)he intentional abuse of detainees by military police personnel included the following acts:

a. Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet;

b. Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees;

c. Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing;

d. Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time;

e. Forcing naked male detainees to wear women’s underwear;

f. Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped;

g. Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them;
Trust me, there's worse.

Died as a result of asphyxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) due to strangulation as evidenced by the recently fractured hyoid bone in the neck and soft tissue hemorrhage extending downward to the level of the right thyroid cartilage. Autopsy reveleaved bone fracture, rib fractures, contusions in mid abdomen, back and buttocks extending to the left flank, abrasions, lateral buttocks. Contusions, back of legs and knees; abrasions on knees, left fingers and encircling to left wrist. Lacerations and superficial cuts, right 4th and 5th fingers. Also, blunt force injuries, predominatnly recent contusions (bruises) on the torso and lower extremities. Abrasions on left wrist are consistent with use of restraints. No evidence of defense injuries or natural disease. Manner of death is homicide. DOD 003329 refers to this case as "strangulation, found outside isolation unit." 6/6/2003 A03-51 Whitehorse Detainment Facility, Nasiriyah, Iraq Strangulation Homicide
What does Bush have to say about things like this?
"...we're doing smart things to get information to protect the American people," the President said. "I've said to the people that we don't torture, and we don't."

Remember that the Geneva Conventions are part of the supreme law of this land. They have something to say about torture:
Article 13

Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.

Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.

Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.
I completely agree with sailmaker's conclusion.
We should never have had to have this conversation, had to have this bill, or had to have this vote. This veto is contrary to the Constitution, and contrary to the Geneva Convention, and this veto is an impeachable offense.

Go, read it all. Read it and be sickened. Read it and be enraged. Read it and give your elected representatives NO REST until they undo this.
--the BB

Saturday in Lent 4

I obviously fell down on my Lenten discipline yesterday also. Such is life. I'm back.

After a long time the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them. (Exodus 2:23-25)
This evening I looked at these verses with the experience of slaves in the United States in mind. Those who had been kidnapped in their own land, hauled across the Atlantic Ocean, and treated as property in stead of people. They and their descendants. They heard these Bible stories and took them to heart in a way their pale overlords did not and could not.

They heard the plight of the Israelites in Egypt and knew what that was like. They heard of a God who listened to the groanings of slaves and took heart. They heard in these verses a gospel the oppressor knew not. God cared about them--the uprooted and abandoned, the captured and the beaten, the chained and the despised, the mistreated and oppressed.

God took notice of them.

What powerful words. Hope to the oppressed. And serious judgment upon the oppressor. A slave owner, upon hearing or reading these words, should have trembled with mortal fear.

We who benefit from the oppression of others should read them with fear and trembling. And seek to mend our ways and the systems by which some live in comfort and plenty because others live in torment and want.

‘I believe; help my unbelief!’ (Mark 9:24b)
We all take comfort in these words of the desperate parent of a desperate child. This father was at his wit's end as he came pleading to Jesus, hoping for a cure, an end to his son's torment. Jesus asked if he believed.

[Excursus: It should be noted that there is great variety in the healing miracles of Jesus. Sometimes people came to him for help, or cried out for help, or were brought by friends. Sometimes Jesus noticed people or took the initiative, before there was any prompting. Sometimes faith is mentioned and sometimes not. We should not try to fit the variety of ways Jesus healed into one mold.]

The frantic father answered Jesus in an honest expression of how we believe--a faith that holds back, a commitment that wavers.

More good news: Jesus does not condemn the man for this kind of faith. And he acts. The boy is healed. The father's honest faith, faith mingled with unbelief, is rewarded.

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,* but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly,* but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)
Anything I say will mar this. Let it stand on its own.

Yesterday's collect:
O God, you have given us the Good News of your abounding love in your Son Jesus Christ: So fill our hearts with thankfulness that we may rejoice to proclaim the good tidings we have received; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Mercifully hear our prayers, O Lord, and spare all those who confess their sins to you; that those whose consciences are accused by sin may by your merciful pardon be absolved; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

--the BB

The Progressive Patriot Award

Politics Plus has introduced a Progressive Patriot Award, prefacing it with this passage from Henry David Thoreau:
The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgement or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others -- as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders -- serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as the rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few -- as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men -- serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.
Tomcat, the author of that blog, describes himself as "just a retreaded activist from the 1960s trying to defeat the Bush regime on day at a time and remove the GOP stanglehold on our nation." Well, I made noises back then but wasn't much of an activist; as for the rest, sounds like me in my own little corner here. Tomcat goes on to write:
So, progressive patriots are who serves the state with their consciences.

Politics Plus introduced the Progressive Patriot Award to honor bloggers with the courage to stand up and oppose those in power when they abuse that power to the detriment of the people and fight for progressive ideals, such as human rights, tolerance, non-aggression, freedom and equity. If you receive this award from me or another blogger, please do the following to accept it. Display the award graphic of your choice (or both) proudly in your sidebar. Copy this paragraph (more, if you wish) into a post on your blog. In that post, pass the award on to a minimum of three and a maximum of five deserving bloggers. If you receive the award from another blogger, reply to this message HERE with a comment including the name and URL of your blog and the identity and date of the blogger who awarded it to you. I will then add you to a special blogroll of Progressive Patriots here.
Fran, aka FranIAm, was awarded the Progressive Patriot Award by Tomcat and notified me that I had been tagged by her. She writes on at least two blogs. One is the blog for her parish and her personal one--Fran I Am--is mostly political and cultural and whatever pops up, with a wide range of readers, many (if not most) of them not being of a religious bent. She tossed in a preface for the non-religious in discussing this site:
Paul's Byzigenous Buddhapalian blog is truly progressive and patriotic. I am going to go out on a limb here and say a few things that I think must be said.

Perhaps I have linked to BB and you might first see one of Paul's passionate spiritual posts. And maybe you think "uh-oh" and then click away. I certainly hope not. As far as I can tell, like me, Paul has no need and no plans to convert you.

It would be a mistake to not pass over those posts and miss out on his excellent political writing. Very excellent political writing.

As if the Thursday Constitution blogging were not enough (although he was sick this week and did not post one) there are so many searing and intelligent posts, like this this one on FISA are excellent. FISA, torture, abuse of the Constitution, Paul is on the case.

Paul's fierce sense of justice, his great intellect and his deft understanding of politics combined with his great expression of said thoughts are what lead me to include him here.
Fran is feisty, sweet, brilliant, and fun. She is quite generous here. When she speaks of "searing and intelligent posts" she mostly is referring to the extensive cutting and pasting I do. I put very little commentary or analysis of my own into the political material (whereas the spiritual stuff is mostly my own and off the top of my head).

She is quite right that I feel no need or desire to convert anyone to my religious beliefs. I try to be true to who I am and what I believe without pushing it on anyone. Saw too much of that in my fundamentalist youth and loathe it.

Fran missed my sneaky Constitution post this week.

For newcomers:
I was never very political until 2004 when I felt passionately that our Constitution and the democracy base on it was at stake (along with a lot of other things). Thanks to Molly Ivins and Lou DuBose, I already knew enough about GWB back in 2000 to know he was very bad news, but in 2004 I began donating money and educating myself and making noise. I still read political news online on a daily and addictive basis. Readers here can obviously see that I share that at the BB.

If you are new to this site, you are most welcome. The mix here is eclectic and reflects my interests.

I might do a movie or theatre review now and then, or tell stories. Most of what I put up currently is either political or spiritual. I toss in information (my small effort to help form an educated electorate) and whimsy. Thursday Constitution Blogging got started one week and I try to put something about the Constitution in to remind us all about our foundational governmental document. I enjoy being silly. I also get cranky.

I make no apology for being rude toward the current resident of the White House as what I publish here is mild compared to my actual emotions about him, his cronies, and his co-conspirators in the destruction of America. (No, I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I do believe he is systematically dismantling our Constitutional government for the sake of power and enriching his ilk.)

Much of what shows up here is related to The Episcopal Church. That is the community in which I live out my faith. It is going through turbulent times and I care a lot about it.

This site is friendly to followers of many faith traditions and those who adhere to none.

I call myself a world citizen and believe that deeply. I love celebrating different countries when a new nation shows up on the list of places from which visitors come here.

Back to the award:
I am loathe to tag folks for almost any reason and usually decline altogether. I am going to name just one person who, from a bit of a distance, calls the government of the United States to account, holding it to its ideals: Padre Mickey, who blogs from Panamá and is a fellow blogswarm March 19 participant.

Amid the loving descriptions of the communities in which he and his wife, the Lovely Mona, participate, the whimsy and humor that especially shows up in elaborate Friday night presentations, and his erudite postings on early saints, Mickey also comments on the stupidity and evil coming out of DC. The politics show up only occasionally but they are strongly felt.

Thank you, Fran! Thanks to all who inform themselves, speak out, stand up, and fight back!
--the BB

Holding each other in the Light

We have some requests today from folks in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. These fine people have suffered two decades of spiritual abuse and difficult and painful decisions are being made. Let's uphold them (and pray for the upcoming Special Convention on March 29).

Aghaveagh informs us of the following:
Today there is a meeting up in Oakhurst (in the foothills) of their faithful Episcopalians of Christ Church. They need your prayers and support. Pray also for safe travel for Father Keith and those traveling with him up to Oakhurst

Also, there is a key vote tomorrow at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Visalia on whether to follow the Bishop or stay with the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. Please keep them in your prayers as they face this difficult and (no matter how it ends up) heart-wrenching decision.

Of course, folks mentioned in earlier posts here and elsewhere don't stop needing prayer when they drop out of the headlines (even when we don't have updates).

I want to give thanks that Mimi's back blogging (and johnieb has posted after a hiatus as well).

O burning mountain, O chosen sun,
O perfect moon, O fathomless well,
O unattainable height, O clearness beyond measure,
O wisdom without end, O mercy without limit,
O strength beyond resistance, O crown of all majesty,
The humblest being you created sings your praises.

--Mechtild of Magdeburg

--the BB

NO cozying up to the GOP!

h/t to kos
--the BB

Miserere nobis

Israel - Palestine
Abbas demands peace after surge of Mideast killing
Reuters - 4 hours ago
By Mohammed Assadi RAMALLAH, West Bank, March 8 (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Saturday for talks with Israel despite a surge of violence and said that a just peace was his people's goal.
Across divided Jerusalem, a day of grief Los Angeles Times

Talk, but No Peace
New York Times - 1 hour ago
There are a few certainties when it comes to the Middle East. One is that Hamas militants will do anything to sabotage Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
Egypt discovers and destroys six smuggling tunnels International Herald Tribune
Gaza talks make no progress BBC News

Latin America
President Álvaro Uribe of Colombia, left, shook hands with President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela at a summit meeting as President Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic looked on.
Crisis Over Colombian Raid Ends in Handshakes
New York Times - 11 hours ago
By SIMON ROMERO and JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr. The leaders of four Latin American nations embroiled in a diplomatic crisis over a Colombian military raid in Ecuador ended the dispute on Friday with handshakes and warm embraces at a summit meeting that had ...
Chavez urges unity after summit BBC News
Latin American Crisis Resolved Washington Post

[Bush and Condi stayed away, so it got worked out!]

WRAPUP 1-Ecuador says not ready to restore Colombia ties
Reuters UK - 4 hours ago
QUITO, March 8 (Reuters) - Ecuador will take its time to restore diplomatic ties with Colombia, even though the two countries have resolved a week-long crisis over a Colombian military raid against guerrillas hiding in Ecuador, the president said on ...

Spain (domestic politics)
Spain Mourns Politician on Eve of Vote
The Associated Press - 1 hour ago
MONDRAGON, Spain (AP) - Weeping and clutching flowers, thousands of people mourned a small-town politician killed by a suspected Basque separatist in an attack that shocked Spain two days before a general election.
Spain Polarized Before Sunday Vote Washington Post
Zapatero, Rajoy Face Vote After Killing Blamed on ETA (Update1) Bloomberg

Germany - Russia - NATO - Kosovo
Merkel meets with Russian leaders, discussing NATO, Kosovo
Xinhua - 1 hour ago
MOSCOW, March 8 (Xinhua) -- As the first foreign leader to visit Russia since the country's March 2 presidential election, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and President-elect Dmitry Medvedev here on Saturday, ...
Putin warns his successor is no push-over United Press International
Putin Says Medvedev Will Be `Russian Nationalist' Too (Update1) Bloomberg

Malaysian politics turned upside down
Reuters - 1 hour ago
By Mark Bendeich KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysians awoke on Sunday to a vastly altered political landscape after voters suddenly and unexpectedly questioned five decades of political status quo and decided it was time for a change.

Iraq Seeks Partnership With Turkey
The Associated Press - 5 hours ago
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Iraq's president said Saturday he wants a "strategic" partnership with Turkey, including getting Turkish businesses to invest in his oil-rich but war-torn country.

Mass grave discovered in Iraq
Los Angeles Times - 8 hours ago
Sunni militants loyal to Al Qaeda in Iraq and its affiliates in 2006 declared the province the center of their self-styled caliphate, where they imposed their brutal version of Islam.
Mass grave containing 100 bodies found in Iraq Xinhua
100 decomposed bodies found in Iraq mass grave: US military AFP

Iraq Combat Veteran Says McCain is Wrong Choice - 4 hours ago
Roger Martinez, an Army ranger in Afghanistan and Iraq, said that Americans should not vote for Sen. John McCain in the November presidential election because McCain would continue the war in Iraq. Speaking on the Democratic Party's weekly radio ...

Vojislav Kostunica démissionne en raison du Kosovo
Le Monde - Il y a 2 heures
BELGRADE (Reuters) - Le Premier ministre serbe Vojislav Kostunica a annoncé sa démission, estimant que son gouvernement ne pouvait plus fonctionner normalement en raison des dissensions au sein de la coalition au pouvoir après la proclamation ...
Serbie: le président Tadic annonce de prochaines élections anticipées France Info
Démission du Premier ministre serbe France 2

Spain - Guantánamo
España retira su petición de extradición de dos ex presos de ...
Terra España - 6 Mar 2008
España ha retirado la petición de extradición de dos ex reclusos de la prisión estadounidense de Guantánamo (Cuba) que residen en el Reino Unido y que reclamaba por su supuesta pertenencia a una célula de Al Qaeda, según anunció hoy la abogada de los ...

Whaling - High Seas
Tentative steps to whaling peace
BBC News - 1 hour ago
By Richard Black Talks between pro- and anti-whaling countries on how to resolve their differences have ended with agreement to look for dialogue and common ground.
Ice thaws but little else moves at whaling meeting Reuters UK
Whaling campaigners condemned The Press Association

United Kingdom
England prepares for storm battering
Times Online - 2 hours ago
TRANSPORT chaos, power failures and building damage may strike southern England, according to weather forecasters who are warning that the strongest storm of the winter could hit the country on Monday.

The Apologist's Evening Prayer

From all my lame defeats and oh! much more
From all the victories that I seemed to score;
From cleverness shot forth on thy behalf
At which, while angels weep, the audience laugh;
From all my proofs of thy divinity,
Thou, who wouldst give no sign, deliver me.

Thoughts are but coins. Let me not trust, instead
Of thee, their thin-worn image of thy head.
From all my thoughts, even from my thoughts of thee,
O thou fair Silence, fall, and set me free.
Lord of the narrow gate and the needle's eye,
Take from me all my trumpery lest I die.

--C. S. Lewis

--the BB

A legacy of dismantling civilization

The NYT informs us:
WASHINGTON — President Bush on Saturday further cemented his legacy of fighting for strong executive powers, using his veto to shut down a congressional effort to limit the Central Intelligence Agency’s latitude to subject terrorism suspects to harsh interrogation techniques that are prohibited by the military and law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Bush vetoed a bill that would have explicitly prohibited the agency from using such interrogation methods, which include waterboarding, a technique in which restrained prisoners are threatened with drowning and that has been the subject of intense criticism at home and abroad.
Senator Feinstein and I disagree on many things and I protested to her office on several occasions when I lived in California. On this I agree with her:
“This president had the chance to end the torture debate for good,” one of its sponsors, Senator Diane Feinstein of California, said in a statement on Friday evening when it became clear Mr. Bush intended to carry out his veto threat. “Yet, he chose instead to leave the door open to use torture in the future. The United States is not well-served by this.”
The bill Bush vetoed would have restricted American interrogators to terms and methods set forth in the Army Field Manual, conditions that have served us quite adequately.

Bush, however, does not believe in regulation of almost any kind, especially if it might limit what he may or may not do (unless HE gets to regulate our rights, such as limiting free speech to "free speech zones").

I look forward to the day when the United States rejoins the company of civilized nations. In the meantime, impeach his sorry ass!

The Constitution makes it clear that, because we ratified them, the Geneva Conventions are among the supreme laws of this land. George Bush has willfully and knowingly violated them. It constitutes a high crime when the Chief Executive of this nation violates our supreme laws.
--the BB

Le Sénégal fait 74

Quelqu'un(e) du Sénégal nous a visité et je veux lui donner la bienvenue!

I have no Senegalese stories to tell, alas, though, as with the Cote d'Ivoire, I do have fabrics from Senegal that I have used in making banners and hangings for church. Beautiful textiles!

Senegal is located on the westernmost part of mainland Africa.

Senegal is unusual in that it is a predominantly Muslim country with very strong Sufi influence. (More info here)
Mural on a wall in Dakar, Senegal, Showing leaders of the Mouride Sufi sect, including Ahmadu Bamba (right, in white) and Ibrahima Fall (right, blue), and El Hadj Malick Sy (left), or Mouhamadou Fadilou Mbacké (Photo by T. L. Miles, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License)

Here is a fascinating video (over ten minutes) on Sabar dancing in Senegal by a Dutch researcher, Sophie Schouwenaar. Lots of visuals, lots of dancing and color, lots of percussion, and interesting commentary. She speaks in Dutch but there are English subtitles. It is the preface of her master's thesis.

The following is a very well done (3.5 minute) video of images from Senegal with great choral music. At the tail end you get a Bible verse and image of three crosses but no preaching during the slide show. Beautifully done and I recommend it for a visual sense of Senegal.

And, finally, some contemporary music by Youssou N'dour:

--the BB

Presidential power

I saw this in a comment at Daily Kos.
--the BB

Let us pray for the House of Bishops

Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel at Camp Allen for the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach them in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide them to perceive what is right, and grant them both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God, through the grace of your Holy Spirit, you pour your best gift of love into the hearts of your faithful people: Grant unto us health, both of mind and body, that we may love you with our whole strength, and that today we may do those things which please you to your entire satisfaction, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
--the Sarum Rite

Friday, March 07, 2008

Be informed

If you'd like to do a crash update on Gaza, spend a few minutes with Professor Juan Cole at Informed Comment. He is also an excellent daily source for news on Iraq, including information from international and (most especially) Arabic-language sources.

--the BB

Congressional ping pong: FISA

I just got home from seeing a play and too tired to report or cut and paste. So, here is the link to mcjoan's latest article on FISA and what the House is evidently sending to the Senate. We need to keep pressure on Pelosi and Reyes not the screw this up.

Glenn Greenwald has a lot more, though some of it is disputed by a House aide.

You too can stay reasonably well informed on these issues and be an activist to protect the Constitution and the rights of the American People.
--the BB

Friday Prince Blogging

Today we make a stop in Montenegro for HRH Boris Petrović-Njegoš, Hereditary Prince of Montenegro, Grand Duke of Grahovo and Zeta.

HRH Hereditary Prince Boris of Montenegro, Grand Duke of Grahavo & Zeta, Deputy Grand Master of the Montenegrin Dynastic Orders and HRH Princess Veronique of Montenegro, Grand Duchess of Grahavo & Zeta with HH Princess Milena of Montenegro [Original photo courtesy of the Order of Prince Danilo I website]

Montenegro (SW, lower left) and Serbia

Wikipedia informs us that Prince Boris was born 21 January 1980 in Les Lilas, France (which makes me feel ancient). He is the only son and heir of Prince Nikola of Montenegro and his wife Francine Navarro.
Prince Boris graduated in June 2005 from the "École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratif" (Paris, France), one of the most famous French school in decorative arts. During his studies, he was particularly involved in the creation of computerised typography.
Wikipedia adds:
Boris is married to Véronique (née Haillot Canas da Silva) (b. 27 July 1976 in São Sebastião da Pedreira, Lisbon, Portugal), the daughter of António Canas da Silva, engineer, and Anne Haillot. They have one child: Her Highness Princess Miléna Petrovic-Njegoš of Montenegro, born at Maternité des Lilas, Seine-Saint-Denis, France on 11 February 2008.
This means the photo above is very recent (within the last month). It is also the only one I found on the internet.

Congratulations to the princely couple on their new daughter.
--the BB

That speech in 2002

Senator Clinton has, of late, belittled a speech of Senator Obama made six years ago, contrasting it with her ability (and Senator McCain's!) experience.
"I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002," Clinton says.

I rather wish she had read, learned, marked, and inwardly digested Obama's speech before she cast her vote in favor of the AUMF in Iraq.

Remarks of Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama Against Going to War with Iraq
October 2, 2002

Good afternoon. Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil. I don't oppose all wars.

My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain. I don't oppose all wars.

After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration's pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again. I don't oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism.

What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income - to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Now let me be clear - I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.

So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the President today. You want a fight, President Bush? Let's finish the fight with Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings. You want a fight, President Bush?

Let's fight to make sure that the UN inspectors can do their work, and that we vigorously enforce a non-proliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe. You want a fight, President Bush?

Let's fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells. You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil, through an energy policy that doesn't simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil. Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.

The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not -- we will not -- travel down that hellish path blindly. Nor should we allow those who would march off and pay the ultimate sacrifice, who would prove the full measure of devotion with their blood, to make such an awful sacrifice in vain.
--then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama

I commend to your attention Gary Hart's comments from Huffington Post and the concluding remarks by John Aravosis at Americablog.

h/t to Americablog for Obama's speech.
--the BB

How's that Iraq invasion working for ya?

"...if you murder the innocent to achieve a political objective, you're evil."
--George W. Bush
March 6, 2008

Res ipsa loquitur

You can't make this shit up.
--the BB

Senhor, tem piedade de nos

"Let us pray for the Church and for the world."
--Prayers of the People, Form IV (BCP)


Bishop of Swaziland speaks truth to power
Bishop Meshack Mabuza, of the Diocese of Swaziland, has come out strongly in opposition to the new government in his country. Mabuza is critical in particular of the new constitution put in place by King Mswati III, the last absolute ruler in Africa. The Diocese of Swaziland is part of the Anglican Province of South Africa.

According to an article in Religious Intelligence by Canon George Conger:
"On Feb 6, 2006 a new constitution went into effect granting parliamentary government. However, it forbad candidates from forming political parties, effectively giving the King the sole authority to appointment ministers and squelching organized dissent.
The new constitution was being used by royalists as a ‘fig-leaf to cover the international shame of 33 years of rule by decree’ by the King, Bishop Mabuza charged. It was a ‘piece of paper that is not being promoted or even defended by the government,’ he said, and its guarantees of the rule of law had been ignored.

The Episcopal Church
House of Bishops spring meeting begins
The House of Bishops begins its spring meeting today with a number of items on the agenda. A primary focus of the meeting will be faith-based reconciliation training as part of the preparations for this summer's Lambeth Conference. The reconciliation workshops will be led by Canon Brian Cox, a nationally known figure in reconciliation work, and one of the two priests appointed as interim pastoral presence in the Diocese San Joaquin.

Employment in the United States (noted by an unemployed blogger)
Employers Slash Jobs by Most in 5 Years
Forbes - 55 minutes ago
By JEANNINE AVERSA 03.07.08, 1:03 PM ET Employers slashed 63000 jobs in February, the most in five years and the starkest sign yet that the country is heading dangerously toward recession or is in one already.

Israel - Hamas
Analysis: seminary attack highlights Jerusalem's vulnerability
Times Online - 1 hour ago
After weeks of empty rhetoric and very little active diplomacy, America’s peace efforts in the Middle East have now come to a crossroads.
Hamas Claims Responsibility for Jerusalem Shooting Voice of America
Gunman in Jerusalem Attack Identified New York Times

Latin America
Uribe Tears Into Correa at Summit With FARC Charges (Update1)
Bloomberg - 59 minutes ago
By Joshua Goodman March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe tore into his Ecuadorean counterpart Rafael Correa during a regional summit, accusing the socialist leader of receiving campaign money from Colombian guerrillas.
Ecuador, Colombia fight for border crisis support Reuters UK
Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela leaders face off AFP
"Iván Rios" - FARC guerrilla leader
Muere 'Iván Ríos', uno de los jefes de la cúpula de las FARC
Terra España - hace 1 hora
José Juvenal Velandia, alias 'Iván Ríos', uno de los jefes de la cúpula de la guerrilla de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), murió en un enfrentamiento con el Ejército. 'Iván Ríos' falleció en una operación del Ejército contra las ...

Eta blamed for murder of Socialist Party councillor Isaías Carrasco
Times Online - 1 hour ago
Spain's election campaign was thrown into disarray today by an apparent act of terrorism, when a politician was gunned down in front of wife and daughter just two days before the vote.
Killing in Spain Curtails Campaign New York Times
Killing halts Spanish poll rallies

Thailand - Global Arms Trade
Thai Inquiry Set in Arms Sales Case
New York Times - 3 hours ago
By SETH MYDANS and DAVID JOHNSTON BANGKOK - The Thai police said Friday that a Russian businessman regarded as one of the world’s most notorious arms dealers would be held here for investigation even as the United States seeks his extradition.
'Merchant of Death' arrested in Thailand Christian Science Monitor
Int'l weapon trafficker to face trial in Thailand before extradition Xinhua

Japan - High Seas - Activists
Activists, Whalers Clash in Antarctic
The Associated Press - 2 hours ago
TOKYO (AP) - The Japanese coast guard said Friday that anti-whaling activists threw rotten butter and other objects at a Japanese whale-processing ship, the latest high seas clash over the country's annual hunt.
Anti-whaling activist says whaler shot him United Press International
Anti-whalers claim Japan opened fire on them

Palestine - Israel
Gaza talks make no progress
BBC News - 4 hours ago
A Hamas delegation has returned to Gaza after talks with Egyptian mediators about a possible truce with Israel. A Hamas official, Ahmed Youssef, said on Thursday his group could not consider a ceasefire while Palestinians were being attacked on a daily ...
ANALYSIS: Jerusalem attack deals another blow to peace process Monsters and
Diplomacy: War and piecemeal Jerusalem Post

United States - Mexico
Border Patrol expands zero tolerance zones in Texas, New Mexico
Houston Chronicle - 3 hours ago
By ALICIA A. CALDWELL AP EL PASO - A US Border Patrol effort aimed at prosecuting more illegal immigrants is being expanded to include parts of far West Texas and southern New Mexico. Mosier said illegal immigrants caught in the zone will either face ...

Iraq: Shiite Stronghold Is Not Safe
The Associated Press - 41 minutes ago
The death toll from twin bombings Thursday night rose to 68 killed, 120 wounded on Friday and showed just how tough it will be to rejuvenate Iraq's capital when bombers still hit one of its safer and more vibrant neighborhoods regularly.
Bombs Reported to Kill 4 in Mosul The Associated Press
Iraq attacks kill dozens, funerals begin Wollondilly Advertiser

Repeated Iraq deployments raise mental health risks for soldiers
Los Angeles Times - 11 hours ago
The findings of a new Army report on the behavioral health of soldiers in Iraq are the first to quantify the stress of repeated deployments on combat soldiers.

Iraq - Turkey
Le président irakien en visite en Turquie
La - Il y a 21 minutes
Le président irakien Jalal Talabani est arrivé vendredi à Ankara à la tête d'une délégation de haut niveau, une semaine après la fin de l'incursion de l'armée turque contre les rebelles kurdes dans le nord de l'Irak. La visite de M. Talabani, un Kurde, ...

Tchad : la grâce pour Zoé effective d’ici un mois
France Info - Il y a 6 heures
Idriss Déby l’a assuré hier soir, la procédure suit son cours. Reste tout de même à régler l’indemnisation des familles. Qui va payer les quelque 6 millions d’euros, se demande à voix haute le président tchadien ? Plutôt bien disposé, Idriss Déby. ...

Odinga sees speedy Kenya progress
BBC News - 15 hours ago - Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has said he expects a new government to be formed in two to three weeks. Mr ...

God, whose Holy name defies our definition, but whose will is known in freeing the oppressed, make us to be one with all who cry for justice; that we who speak your praise may struggle for your truth, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
--Janet Morley

You sharp-eyed readers will note that I am using Google News from more than the U.S. site, checking headlines from the U.K., France, Spain, Mexico, Russia (to a lesser extent, just learning that language), Switzerland, Germany, etc. I think it is important to look at the world through more than American eyes and this allows me to pick up tidbits that I otherwise would not see. I am assuming that if I add a link in French, German, or Spanish, there is a fair chance that some of you can read it and might pursue it.

--the BB