I was slicing a pear and sliced my finger. On a night when Blogger's going down. Now I've got less than 20 minutes to pull together a post and I've got seven working fingers. (Plus two thumbs. My eighth finger is attached and fine. I just can't press a key with it.) Please visit Mikey Likes It! for Mike's commentaries which I'm sure will be more informed than mine.
"Land Dispute on Mohawk Land in Ontario Intensifies" (Democracy Now!):
In Ontario, a standoff between Mohawks from the Six Nations Territory has entered its 56th day. On Thursday, Canadian police arrested 16 people in a pre-dawn raid. Over the weekend the Mohawks decided to maintain a blockade of a local highway and to keep occupying land that is being developed into a new housing subdivision. The Six Nations Confederacy has been called the oldest living participatory democracy on earth.
They have used tasers on these protestors. At a time when everyone's quite aware that tasers aren't the same as mace. (People have died from being tasered.)
"Army Suicides Reach Highest Total Since 1993" (Democracy Now!):
In military news, the Pentagon has revealed 83 soldiers in the Army and National Guard committed suicide last year -- it marks the highest total since 1993.
The climate for these deaths was created from the top. When you have a Bully Boy living in denial (or at least pushing it), you have this huge gulf between reality and fantasy. When this gulf exists, the pressure added is even greater. One of my patients who is a vet and knows I do this site asked that I put in: "If you are a returning vet and you are suffering, do not tell yourself you'll get over it, tomorrow will be fine. Get help before it gets worse." I fully support his statement.
"Rumsfeld OKs Expansion of SpecialOps Forces Across Globe" (Democracy Now!):
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has approved plans to greatly expand the use of elite Special Operations forces to secretly take part in missions outside of war zones as part of the so-called war on terrorism. According to the Washington Post, the Pentagon has already dispatched teams of Army Green Berets and other Special Operations troops to U.S. embassies in about 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America. The secret forces are instructed to carry out clandestine military activities including hunting down wanted individuals, gathering intelligence, attacking sites believed to be terrorist training camps and partnering with foreign militaries. The secret operations will be run off the books and largely free from Congressional oversight and legal restrictions imposed on the C.I.A.
And I'm out of time. Let me add one thing and post.
"Democracy Now: Roger Toussaint, DN!, goes to a FEMA trailer park" (The Common Ills):
The Associated Press notes that on Sunday "at least three U.S. soldiers and 31 Iraqis were killed, including seven who died when mortars hit just outside the heavily guarded Green Zone." The Chicago Tribune reports that private contractors in Iraq have been confiscating passports from labor brought in (from outside Iraq) and that General George Casey has ordered that all passports must be returned by May 1st. Reuters notes that Iraqi firefighters are fighting "a large blaze" at an oil center between Kirkuk and Baiji. Australia's ABC notes that John Howard, that country's prime minister who is saying the illegal war is not "a disaster," stated today that the prospect of US troops was conditional (and didn't appear optimistic it would happen). Ian Bruce, with the UK Herald, reports that Carle Selman, James Cooke, Joseph McCleary and Martin McGing will stand trial (court martial) in Colchester, Essex for their actions in the death of Iraqi Ahmed Jabber Kareem. Seventeen-year-old Kareem was beaten along with three others and then ordered "into the Shatt al Basra waterway." Kareem, who could not swim, drowned. Bruce notes that an estimated 30 British soldiers "have either been convicted, are awaiting court-marital, or are being investigate" for their actions in Iraq. China's People's Daily Online reports that the costs of the (illegal) Iraq war are rising to one trillion in US dollars. Meanwhile, New York Daily News notes that costs for Iraq and Afghanistan will hit $117.9 billion and that the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments is predicting the cost could reach 660 billion dollars by the year 2016.
In Tikrit, four Iraqi police officers were killed during a gun battle and two more were killed after the attack on the police station. In Mosul, Sandra Lupien noted, three corpses were found and
Al Jazeera notes that at least seven car bombs have gone off in Baghdad ("two of them at a Baghdad university"), CNN reports eight (a more recent report). The Los Angeles Times (going with the figure of seven) reports the death of at least 14 civilians and the wouding of at least 139 -- Sandra Lupien noted that the 139 included "a ten-year-old boy."
Seventeen corpses were found in Iraq today, the Associated Press reports. Sandra Lupien (a more recent report) noted at least 20 from secratarian violence with many, if not all, showing signs of torture.
Sandra Lupien does newsbreaks on KPFA in the early half of the day, including during one of Ruth's favorite programs: The Morning Show. Please note audio reports whenever one stands out -- not all members have the same abilities -- and Lupien has four news breaks in the now archived broadcast of The Morning Show, click on the links in the previous paragraphs and you'll be taken to today's two hour broadcast -- Lupien comes in on the hour and half hour. Lloyd has reminded me to add a radio show to the permalinks -- added last night. It's not showing up. But as I dictate this, nothing is showing up. Hopefully members are using the mirror site where this morning's entries (thanks to Jess) are up and VISIBLE.