Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Unresolved New Year Resolutions

Unresolved New Year resolutions
Abhishek Singhvi/Hindustan Times/December 31, 2003

"---On New Year’s Day, my personal resolutions remain the same and as unachieved as a decade ago...By any yardstick, I am a dismal failure, since I have achieved none of these...Let me see if I can do better by itemising some New Year resolutions for others....At the most important level of the nation, let us collectively adapt Gandhiji’s simple test before evaluating any act or omission: does it improve the lot of this nation or does it diminish it?.....Every year in the last week of December, I try to dedicate myself to the laudable activity of ‘doing nothing’.....
.....Robert Louis Stevenson..wrote a forceful apology for idlers:
Idleness... has as good a right to state its position as industry itself... Many make a large fortune who remain underbred and pathetically stupid to the last... Extreme busyness, anywhere, is a symptom of deficient vitality; and a faculty for idleness implies a catholic appetite and a strong sense of personal identity... As if a man’s soul were not too small to begin with, they have dwarfed and narrowed theirs by a life of all work and no play...”

Iraq Quake

Good News Can Come From Bad-
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting: Global sense of solidarity with quake victims has 'injected spirituality' into the world

Note: The translation here is certainly not perfect, but the universal message is clear.
"--The touching situation of the quake victims and the tears shed over the loss of the beloved ones by the grief-stricken survivors deeply impresses anyone, whether present in the scene or anywhere else watching footage on the disaster.
--The catastrophe almost left the entire world in deep grief, touched the hearts of human beings around the world and materialized the most touching poem of the renowned Iranian poet Saadi quite applicable to the current situation as if versed particularly to this same occasion.
According to the poem composed by Sheikh Mosleh al-Din Saadi Shirazi, the 13th century Iranian poet,
`The sons of Adam are the limbs of one another, having been created of one essence.'
When the calamity of time afflicts one limb, the other limbs cannot remain at rest.'

"Of one Essence is the human race,
Thusly has Creation put the Base;
One Limb impacted is sufficient,
For all Others to feel the Mace."

Saadi poem

Top News 2003

Scripps News Service: Top News Stories of 2003

1. The United States attacks Iraq with shock and awe weapons, easily overpowering Saddam Hussein's troops.

2. The space shuttle Columbia crashes as it returns to Earth, killing all seven astronauts aboard.

3. A huge blackout spreads across the Northeast and some Midwest states, leaving 50 million people in the dark.

4. California recalls its Democratic governor and elects Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

5. Hurricane Isabel knocks out power to 6.5 million households and causes damage in excess of $2 billion. The hurricane is blamed for more than 30 deaths.

6. Gay rights come front and center: The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down laws in 16 states that criminalized sodomy. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court gives gays and lesbians the right to marry and the Episcopal Church ordains its first openly gay bishop.

7. A jury recommends the death penalty for convicted sniper John Muhammad while his teenage companion Lee Malvo stands trial with an insanity defense.

8. Wildfires in California set a record, burning 989,000 acres and surpassing the last record set in 1987 when 780,000 acres burned.

9. The U.S. Supreme Court upholds affirmative action in college admissions.

10. The U.S. Catholic Church agrees to pay millions of dollars to victims of sexual abuse and ousts a number of high-ranking individuals.


1. Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein is quickly knocked out of power and captured eight months later. Hundreds of soldiers are killed by guerrilla attacks following the major battles.

2. Al Qaeda-linked terrorist bombings strike in Turkey, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.

3. The White House's "road map to peace" in the Middle East collapses as violence escalates.

4. An outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) spreads from China to more than 30 countries, infecting 8,000 people and killing more than 800.

5. A heat wave in Europe kills an estimated 35,000 people.

6. North Korea and Iran are found to be far ahead on making nuclear weapons.

7. China launches a manned spacecraft into Earth orbit in October, becoming the third country to put humans in space.

8. Strongman Charles Taylor is forced out of Liberia after 25 years of bloodshed.

9. Canada confirms a case of Mad Cow disease in a slaughtered animal, triggering a quarantine of Canadian beef and soaring beef prices at U.S. supermarkets.

10. Russian President Vladimir Putin jails a top oil executive and Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze is driven from office by popular demand.

Conservative News 2003

From the Conservative Corner: readers pick their top stories of 2003

Media Research Center: Best Notable Quotables of 2003


Moving out of the righthand corner of the room.....

Their Media War and Ours in 2004
A Call to Educate, Organize and Mobilize

2003 -- The Year We Almost Lost Honest News
A Look Back and Ahead at the Year in Media

Howard Dean in South Carolina

Howard Dean to Georgetown, S.C.:
"We want jobs in America. If you want jobs in America, you don’t run a $500 billion deficit. You can’t trust the Republicans any more.”

Here's a shame: National [USWA] union leaders told the local chapter it could not let Dean come to its hall since the union has endorsed Democratic presidential rival Dick Gephardt.
Although the national Steelworkers Union has endorsed Dick Gephardt for the Democratic nomination, local union leaders endorsed Dean.

And this is an example of how false media punditry effects real-time electoral processes:

“[Dean's] already been labeled as too liberal,” said Solomon, former director of the state’s Department of Social Services [Gerogetown, S.C.]. “He’s not going to be able to shake that.”

We need to start fighting falsehoods in the media before they have chance to snowball into these iceheaps of ugly fantasy-turned-real.

Richard Perle Wants More War

Richard Perle is longing to see more endangered troops, more insecure foreign places, fewer American allies, and far more broken American-family hearts....
His poorly-planned security-disaster in Iraq just isn't enough to sate his gnarly appetite for more of the same. I can't help but think Perle is somehow relieved there will be 50,000 fewer citizens in the city of Bam
to have to worry about when we move in on Iran.

"You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch Perle.
You're a nasty, wasty skunk.
Your heart is full of unwashed socks
Your soul is full of gunk.
Mr. Grinch Perle.

Your soul is an apalling dump heap overflowing
with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable
rubbish imaginable,
Mangled up in tangled up knots..."

James Zogby Trashed by World Net Daily

World Net Daily Trashes Pollster James Zogby for Giving Straight Facts to Foreigners
They claim the Saudi population never gets the truth from their own, based upon this curiously odd reasoning, why would they deserve the truth from James Zogby?

Jimmy Breslin-Our Fallen Troops

Our Fallen Troops-
Jimmy Breslin: Their Photos Tell the Story

"....The Army Times, a civilian newspaper that is sold mainly on military bases and thus reaches the prime wartime audience, uses eight pages of its year-end review, out now, to run photos of all those who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, except 35.....There were 506 killed by the time the newspaper closed last Friday. Since then, another seven have died. The newspaper has said this is the deadliest year for the U.S. military since 1972, when 640 were killed in Vietnam....The chilling photos run at a time when the government tries to describe the war as a civic venture, and nearly all of the news industry doesn't know how to object. This probably is the worst failure to inform the public that we have seen. The Pekingese of the Press run clip-clop along the hall to the next government press conference...."


ATRIOS blog has more information about the Cher phonecall mentioned in the article.


Please see my own Honor Roll website.
Although incomplete at present, I am working so you may see the faces and stories of each man and woman who have given their lives in Iraq.

Howard Zinn: Logic of Withdrawl

Howard Zinn: The Logic Of Withdrawl
This is in the January 2004 issue of The Progressive. Howard Zinn has written his own speech intended for the hoped-for use of whichever candidate emerges as Democratic Party nominee for President.