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Longwood Gardens. April, 2012 by joanneleon
I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.

~Henry David Thoreau  

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'Bye-bye, Miss American Pie' – then US helicopter appears to fire on Afghans
Video released on internet appears to show US helicopter crew singing before blasting Afghans with a missile

A video has surfaced online that appears to show a US helicopter crew singing "Bye-bye Miss American Pie" before blasting a group of Afghan men with a Hellfire missile.

[ ... ]

If it is proved to be authentic, it could further undermine the image of foreign forces in a country where there is already deep resentment owing to civilian deaths and a perception among many Afghans that US troops lack respect for Afghan culture and people.

The posting says the video was recorded in Wardak province, which lies south-west of the capital, Kabul, in September 2009. The caption refers sarcastically to a group of "innocent farmers planting poppy seeds in the middle of the road".

Protesting through music and lyrics
The group, calling itself Occupy Guitarmy, traveled from Center City to Falls strumming guitars and singing protest songs along the way.

“The theme of this march is that they have money for war but not for school music programs,” said Tony Bates, one of the organizers. “Learning music expands spatial intelligence.”

The Guitarmy takes pop songs and protest songs and reworks them to fit the issues of the Occupy movement during the marches.

“Music moves you and pulls you into change,” said Mary Spokane, 65, of Olympia, Wash. “Without music, people like John Lennon, we would not have had a revolution. It was the music that made me join this group.”

Today the marchers have made their way to central New Jersey and will walk from Princeton to New Brunswick.  They are getting close.  The arrival in Zuccotti park is planned for Wednesday. A message and picture around the campfire of the #99milemarch'ers:
People are having nice political conversations.Guitars deliver such a nice sound, fire is crackling ‪#smell‬ ‪#99MileMarch‬
Twitter link
Keep your eye on this situation.  Very bad news.
Syria crisis: Deadly cross-border shelling hits Lebanon
At least three people have been killed and nine injured in northern Lebanon in shelling from across the Syrian border, local officials and residents say.

The attacks took place in the Wadi Khaled region, where both Syrian armed rebels and civilians have taken refuge from the violence at home.

There have recently been clashes between armed men on the Lebanese side and the Syrian military.

There are fears the Syrian conflict will spread to neighbouring countries.

Note the focus on Iran.
Report: UN envoy Annan says efforts for peaceful political solution in Syria have failed

BEIRUT - Special U.N. envoy Kofi Annan acknowledged in an interview published Saturday that the international community's efforts to find a political solution to the escalating violence in Syria have failed.

Annan also said that more attention needed to be paid to the role of longtime Syrian ally Iran, and that countries supporting military actors in the conflict were making the situation worse.

Egypt’s President Orders Return of Parliament

CAIRO — President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt on Sunday unexpectedly ordered the country’s Islamist-led Parliament to reconvene, challenging earlier decisions by Egypt’s most powerful generals and judges to dissolve the legislative body.

[ ... ]

The speaker of the Parliament said it would meet within “hours.” Military officers, judges and political parties all announced emergency meetings. Beyond that, there was no immediate response from the military council, which took power in Egypt after former President Hosni Mubarak was forced from office last year.

Hillary Clinton declares Afghanistan a 'major non-Nato ally' of US
Declaration on eve of donor conference allows for streamlined military co-operation including access to weapons and training

The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has declared Afghanistan a "major non-Nato ally" of the US in a strong show of support before a conference that aims to raise billions of dollars of aid for the war-ravaged country.

The announcement by Clinton during a brief visit to Kabul means Afghanistan will join a small, rather disparate group of 14 countries, including Israel, Japan, the Philippines, Bahrain and Pakistan, which hold the privileged status. This status allows for streamlined military co-operation with the US, with access to weapons and training among other advantages.

[ ... ]

"We see this as a powerful commitment to Afghanistan's future," she told a joint news conference, after a breakfast meeting with the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai. "We are not even imagining abandoning Afghanistan."

Six Nato troops killed in Afghanistan blast
Deaths bring to eight the number of Nato soldiers killed in the country over the weekend

A bomb in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday killed six Nato service members, on a day where a total of 29 people died from roadside bombs and insurgent attacks.

Nato said the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device but provided no further details about the attack and did not identify the dead service members. The statement said Nato's policy is to allow "national authorities" to give details about the soldiers.

[ ... ]

In addition to the six Nato deaths, bombs and attacks killed 16 Afghan civilians, five policemen and two members of the US-led coalition in southern Afghanistan, Afghan and Nato authorities said.

Afghans greet upbeat Clinton remarks with deep skepticism

KABUL, Afghanistan — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton painted a positive picture of Afghanistan’s fledgling security forces in a visit Saturday and promised Afghans that the United States would never abandon their country, but several Afghans weary of the U.S. presence expressed doubt.

[ ... ]

Reza said Clinton’s enthusiastic remarks about the Afghan security forces were at odds with reality. “We have an army, but it’s an army in name only,” he said. “The military we have is not capable of defending the country.”

Qadir, a 22-year-old shopkeeper, who like many Afghans uses only one name, said he did not think the U.S. would abandon Afghanistan after 2014 “because they have invested a lot here. They will stay here for their own interests.”

But he described Clinton’s claims about the security situation as “absolute lies.”

Small tribes get locked out in Indian casino wars

WASHINGTON — As the great-great-grandniece of Chief Seattle, Cecile Hansen got a $64 check in 1971, her share of a long-delayed settlement after the Duwamish Tribe ceded nearly 55,000 acres of land to the federal government more than a century earlier.

[ ... ]

While 565 tribes are formally recognized by the federal government, more than 200 are not. Over the years, tribes have won recognition through treaties, acts of Congress, presidential orders or court rulings. In 1978, the Interior Department set up its “federal acknowledgement process,” which has most cases now going through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. But Congress is still a player and retains the sole power to restore status to a “terminated” tribe such as the Duwamish.

Duke Energy CEO To Receive $44 Million Payout Despite Resigning On His First Day

Hours after new Duke Energy CEO Bill Johnson assumed his new position following the Duke/Progress Energy merger this week, he resigned his post. But Johnson can still qualify for up to $44.4 million for his time and effort

Blog Posts of Interest

Ask Your Local Paper to Cover the Bradley Manning Trial

New York Botanical Garden: Monet's Garden on DailyKos by rservern

Petition on the White House site:
Urge Passage of "Life Without Parole" as the penalty for financial crimes exceeding $10m or affecting 10,000+ people (h/t to Earth Bear)

Acting Against Their Own Interests: Appalachian Coal Miners on DailyKos by Ian Reifowitz

Rupert Murdoch and the Invisible Hand Job of Capitalism by emptywheel

Go read this one. What's going on there?  Strange things lately with SCOTUS:
Withholding the Tax Decision: SCOTUSblog on the ObamaCare Decision by emptywheel

Coming soon... a new cooperative site with content and discussion that focuses on the real issues of the day.  

More signal, less noise.

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
~ Winston Churchill

Originally posted to DFH writers group on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 05:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Team DFH and DKOMA.

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