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bigtree

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Maryland
Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
Number of posts: 55,866

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Clinton family at it again . . . typical of them

__________________

From July 31 to August 8, President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton are visiting Clinton Foundation projects in Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, and South Africa. Follow their journey Facebook, on https://twitter.com/ClintonFdn and on http://instagram.com/clintonfoundation.


Bill Clinton ‏@billclinton 31 Jul
Just touched down in Africa with @ChelseaClinton. Excited to travel for next 10 days to @ClintonFdn projects. #Africa2013

Chelsea Clinton ‏@ChelseaClinton 31 Jul
Excited to be in Malawi with @billclinton! #Africa2013

CGI ‏@ClintonGlobal 31 Jul
President @BillClinton & @ChelseaClinton travel throughout Africa over the next week: http://cgilink.org/afr2013 #Africa2013



Clinton Foundation
23 hours ago

Yesterday, President Bill Clinton visited Barclays Clinton Global Initiative commitment, Banking on Change, in Ukonga Ward, Tanzania where he met with community members who have benefited from the program. President Clinton also met with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, where they discussed the Clinton Foundation's work with the government of Tanzania, and increasing opportunity for local farmers through the Foundation's programs.

Today, President Clinton and Chelsea will travel to Zanzibar and learn how the Clinton Health Access Initiative is increasing awareness for malaria testing and visit with Zapha+. ‪#‎Africa2013‬

Read more: http://wjcf.co/16lu9vc





Clinton Foundation shared Clinton Foundation's photo.
Yesterday

On August 3, 2013, President Clinton visits with Zainabu Rashid, the owner of a local beauty salon in Tanzania, and sees how she has been able to expand her business through Barclays CGI Banking on Change commitment. Banking on Change promotes savings-led community finance; community members work together in self-governing groups to save regularly and access small loans from a group fund.

Photo credit: Max Orenstein / Clinton Foundation





On August 3, 2013, President Clinton walks with community members who participate in Barclays CGI Commitment Banking on Change to see how they've benefitted through the program. The project is a microfinance partnership between Barclays and two charities, Plan UK and CARE International UK, that uses a community-led savings model to help people in underserved regions of the world manage their money, access loans, start or expand small businesses, and develop innovative banking products.





Chelsea Clinton shares her thoughts on our blog about her visit with Community Health Assistants yesterday in Zambia. http://wjcf.co/1b2fGXY ‪#‎Africa2013‬





Clinton Foundation
August 1

President Clinton and Chelsea learn Climate Smart Agriculture farming techniques today while visiting our Anchor Farm Project in Malawi. ‪#‎Africa2013‬





The Clinton Foundation runs the Anchor Farm Project in Malawi, which operates five commercial farms that partners with 21,000 neighboring smallholder farmers, providing them with access to quality inputs for maize and soy production as well as training and market access.





Clinton Foundation
July 31

President Bill Clinton reflects on Africa's progress since his first visit to the continent in 1998 and shares stories of how our work is improving
lives today. ‪#‎Africa2013‬

Read the story: http://wjcf.co/12GAUL9





How One Community Health Assistant Impacts A Village

Today while in Zambia, President Clinton and Chelsea met Benny Siinyisa, a Community Health Assistant, who is one of two people providing care for a rural community of 6,000 people. Clinton Health Access Initiative Human Resources for Health Program Manager Emily Heneghan Kasoma shares with us what it is like for Benny and other Community Health Assistants to provide care to some of the most rural communities in Zambia.

read more: http://www.clintonfoundation.org/main/clinton-foundation-blog.html/2013/08/02/how-one-community-health-assistant-impacts-a-village/





President Bill Clinton and Malawian President Joyce Banda greet people outside of Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi on August 1, 2013. President Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and President Banda toured the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) clinic at the hospital, which is providing HIV testing and treatment including Point-of-Care Testing and Early Infant Diagnosis and Treatment.





Following a tour of the Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi, President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton meet with expert clients on August 1, 2013. Expert clients are HIV-positive patients who use their experiences to teach others in their community who are recently-diagnosed with HIV how to care for themselves and for their children. Through the Clinton Health Access Initiative's Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission program, these expert clients' children are HIV-negative.





President Clinton and Chelsea visit the Manyemunyemu Clinic, a health post for Community Health Assistants, in Sialwiindi, Zambia on August 2, 2013. The Health Post is a key part of Zambia’s National Community Health Assistant Strategy, in which all of the country’s existing and planned new health posts will be staffed by Community Health Assistants. Over the next five years, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, with financial assistance from DFID, will support the training of approximately 3,000 Community Health Assistants, totaling about 60% of the total government target of 5,000.

Photo credit: Barbara Kinney / Clinton Foundation





Yesterday in Zambia, President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton visited a health clinic in the Sialwiindi village with Community Health Assistants, who are trained through the Clinton Health Access Initiative and bring health care to some of the most remote communities in Zambia. Later, President Clinton and the delegation visited the Starkey Hearing Foundation, a Clinton Global Initiative commitment maker that is providing hearing-impaired children with hearing aids. Today, President Clinton and Chelsea will be in Tanzania visiting a CGI commitment.

Read our Day 2 recap: http://wjcf.co/14qoW9z





President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton participate in helping the Community Health Assistant give a baby a check-up at the Manyemunyemu health post in Sialwiindi, Zambia on August 2, 2013. The Manyemunyemu health post is a newly built but unfinished structure, where health services have been provided for the past year. The population this health facility serves is over 3,000 people. The two-room health post provides maternal and child health services, administration of vaccines, treatment for non-severe malaria, respiratory infections, & diarrhea, as well as a range of other basic health services to the community.

Photo credit: Barbara Kinney / Clinton Foundation












President Bill Clinton visits Victoria Falls at sunset. ‪#‎Africa2013‬





more photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.412935458827901.1073741830.389051904549590&type=1&l=dd2239fae2

Bush wanted FISA law changes to cover his own illegal spying

from Ron Fullwood (bigtree), 7/29/2007:


Bush's FISA Duck and Cover
Just like the Torture Bill pardoned his tortures, Bush want(ed) FISA law changed to cover his illegal spying

The recent Sixth Circuit court dismissed an ACLU wiretapping suit on the bizarre, Kafkaesque grounds that the organization couldn't sue because they couldn't prove they had been harmed. Even though the records which could answer the question remain classified, the court ruled that a “reasonable expectation” their organization's name would be found in the domestic warrantless surveillance program's target lists didn't give them enough 'standing' to claim injury and advance their lawsuit.

It's not just the ACLU who has reason to believe their communications were intercepted by the NSA. The intelligence agency was running a 'data-mining' program under the authorization of a presidential order signed by Bush in 2002. For three years, without informing Congress, Bush and the NSA had been monitoring telephone calls and e-mail messages of thousands of United States citizens without warrants.

The sixth Circuit's ruling, while stifling ACLU attempts to crack the domestic spying program open for inspection, did not get as far as deciding the issue of whether the program had actually violated the FISA Act; or ruled on it's constitutionality under the First and Fourth Amendments. The reason Bush is so eager to have Congress pass a series of accommodations to the Justice Dept's questionable exercise of the surveillance law is to preempt any other legal challenge which might force them to end the practice.

More important to the Bush administration is to have Congress join them in codifying their warrantless spying by merely agreeing to modify it; instead of pressing forward with their determination that Bush actually broke the law they already had in place. In his radio address today, Bush complains that the FISA law he ignored for the three years he was sneaking around it, is "out of date," despite his neglect in saying anything at all to Congress in that period about 'updating' it.

He preferred, instead, to hide his actions from Congress and the American people; even today with his continued refusal to provide the public (or Congress) with the knowledge of which of our citizens' private communications was subject to NSA intercepts.

Bush's sudden interest in pressing Congress to pass his FISA revisions "before they leave town," has to also be seen as an attempted insulation of his embattled Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. Repeatedly forced into perjurious contradictions as he's defended Bush's surveillance programs before congressional committees, Congress is demanding Gonzales explain his previous testimony that his late-night dash with the FBI chief into Ashcroft's intensive care ward in 2004 had nothing to do with the data mining operation. Democrats are especially interested in FBI Director Mueller's testimony this week, in which he clearly contradicted Gonzales, saying that the conversation at Ashcroft's bedside was, in fact, all about the "much discussed" surveillance program.

Bush quoted Mike McConnell, the Director of National Intelligence, in his address, as he complained of being "significantly burdened" because Congress hasn't given his agency the absolution he demands from the legal restraints FISA provides that he's already ignored. While giving lip-service to 'civil liberties' and 'privacy' interests, one of the provisions Bush mentioned would change the law to allow them to "work more efficiently with private-sector entities like communications providers" -- much like the administration did when they secretly conspired with nation's telecommunications giants to get them to the point where they could manipulate the transmissions so that their intercepts would be technically legal.

Today's report in the NYT, quoting 'current and former officials' who witnessed a near mutiny over the data-mining program in it's inception, suggests a spying effort which was even larger than previously disclosed. Despite the vain, transparent attempt by the paper to provide Gonzales cover by suggesting the existence of some other program Mueller could have been referring to -- parsing the difference between 'eavesdropping' and 'data-mining' -- there should be no question that the entire effort by the administration was to subvert the requirements of the FISA, especially the warrants.

On July 26, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy sent a letter to Gonzales giving him a chance to avoid perjuring himself further, giving him an August 3 deadline to change his tune. But it looks like the WH is intent on standing their ground on their convoluted explanation that Mueller couldn't have contradicted Gonzales because, in doing so, he would have to reveal national security secrets; so desperate to avoid having their their tacky, despicable attempt to steamroll the sedated Ashcroft devolve into a full-blown perjury investigation that they were willing to (partially) reveal yet another one of their illegally operated, domestic spying schemes.

It just makes sense that, before we even consider allowing this administration (or any other) to unravel the protections provided under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act , that we demand and ensure -- through the courts as well as in the legislature -- that there is enough of an incentive to comply by tightening review and enforcement provisions. At the very least, we should continue to demand that this administration be held accountable in court for the FISA laws (and others) they've already admitted breaking.


read: http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_ron_full_070729_bush_s_fisa_duck_and.htm

related:

5/9/2006
Relying on 'Reasonable' Beliefs of Bush and Hayden (bigtree article)

The reasonable test. Reasonableness. That's the threshold test Bush and his lawyer Gonzales use to determine whether to spy on Americans. 'Reasonableness' is also the standard that Bush's nominee for the CIA, Gen. Hayden, has used to defend the warrant-less wiretapping and data-mining of U.S. citizens, in blatant disregard for the FISA law set in place by Sen. Kennedy and others in response to unwarranted surveillance in the '60's and the '70's.
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_ron_full_060509_the__reasonable__bel.htm

The Lincoln Memorial is such a beautiful and spiritual monument - So much important history there

. . . Marian Anderson, MLK . . . not to mention the myriads of other protests, marches, and rallies in my lifetime that I participated in on those grounds.

Then there's Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address and the Gettysburg Address etched majestically on the wall adjacent to that towering statue of Abe. Reading those words; standing there, you can actually guage the depths of our nation's tumultuous history and revel in the changes which our democracy has brought about since those immortal words were spoken.

This is just a shame . . .

tweeted by, Stephanie Cutter ‏@stefcutter 5m
This is so unbelievably sad and disgusting. Wash Post: Lincoln Memorial shuts down after vandals splash paint on it. http://wapo.st/14gc6Dm



Ever go and read the comments made to you from posters here during past elections?

. . . here's one that hit me right between the eyes (from a really nice guy, at that).


Ah, bigtree....

My favorite creepin' duMP'r.



The one thing I know about you, figtree, is that you have never served in the military.

I think you are the perfect Hillary supporter:

Blind to the truth about the bitter Half truths, lies, bullshit, intellectually corrupt wheedling, blaming, prevaricating, confabulating, foot stomping, pouting, fake tear generating, coattail riding, non-security clearance possessing Lewinski blaming position stealing Demo/neocon....ad infinitum.....

You really earn your keep, though, don't you.

Do they pay you by the post or the word??



. . . I dunno, maybe that response to me isn't as interesting as I think, but, the thing is, DU, I'm just a dedicated Democrat who will advocate as forcefully and as diligently as I am able for our Democratic candidates in these elections. It should have been obvious, but most folks couldn't see beyond the advocacy of their own candidate in that primary to imagine that I might, eventually, support theirs.

I'm just a fellow who stocks shelves at night, not a political operative, by any means. I 'belong' to DU, and I 'belong' to the Democratic Party. Outside of that, I'm just a working class slob living paycheck to paycheck. I make some strident defenses of our Democrats, no doubt, but, I've never felt I've done any big harm in posting here. All of the talk about how relevant DU can be ignores the fact that the bulk of our discussions; most of our venomous back and forth; doesn't usually amount to spit outside of this board. It has mattered, to me, though.

Hillary Clinton was my third choice in that campaign, I believe, followed by Barack Obama, when he got the nomination.

I hope we can keep sight of the fact that, while we may well disagree on issues and candidates here, most of us will continue to be strong advocates for our Democratic party and principles long after the votes are cast and the choice is made by the electorate.

Yes, I read more than a few of my own insults and accusations and I've found more than a few that were directed toward folks who I consider strong allies on this board today. There needn't have been a divide with some of my fellow DUers, on my part, if I'd kept that eventuality in mind during the heat of the campaign.

I'm looking forward to the congressional midterms with excitement and enthusiasm for the fight to regain the House and retain the Senate. I'm also mindful that the next presidential election is already being prepared for by folks who intend to make a serious run. I hope we can continue to find ways to elevate the issues and concerns that are important to us - and, to eventually unify in these upcoming elections; for the good our party - and for the good of the nation.


And, . . . that should just about do it. ('by the word' )

Prez makes some moves :)



tweeted by, Doug Mills ‏@dougmillsnyt 1h
Obama makes some moves with Aviwe Mtongana, aka Katmeister, a rapper at the Desmond Tutu HIV Youth Centre #Katmeister pic.twitter.com/0G6fogvUlN
Retweeted by Team Barack Obama


watch:


President Obama says "we are all more free," in reaction to DOMA ruling

BBC Breaking News ‏@BBCBreaking 2m

President Obama says "we are all more free" in reaction to historic US ruling on gay marriage http://bbc.in/11NxErt


The Caucus ‏@thecaucus 4m
President Obama's statement on the #SCOTUS gay marriage rulings http://nyti.ms/17Cumiw

Nerdy Wonka ‏@NerdyWonka
President @BarackObama's statement on the #SCOTUS ruling #DOMA unconstitutional.


Obama (NATO) ENDING U.S. Control of Combat Operations in Afghanistan Today

BBC Breaking News ‏@BBCBreaking 5h
Nato-led troops hand over full control of combat operations in #Afghanistan to Afghan forces http://bbc.in/18UybA6


BuzzFeed News ‏@BuzzFeedNews 5h
BREAKING: Afghan president says his armed forces now taking the lead for security around the country, @AP reports


The Associated Press ‏@AP 5h
BREAKING: Afghan president says his armed forces now taking the lead for security around the country.



. . . the symbolic impact is profound. For the first time since the departure of Soviet forces in 1989 and the years of civil war that followed, security across the whole of Afghanistan is now the responsibility of forces led by the Afghan government.

more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22942013

Obama-Era 'Regime Change'



The New York Times ‏@nytimes 36m

Iran’s President-Elect Says He Wants Better U.S. Ties http://nyti.ms/11tn090


related:

"To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq," Obama said . . . regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat . . .
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/03/28/remarks-president-address-nation-libya

Who Built This Garden?




Looking out this year at the magnificence of my garden yard, it's tempting to take an undue share of the credit for its vigorous and unprecedented growth. It's lushness that's developed over the 13 years I've been working on it betrays very little of the trials and deaths of countless would-be companions and allies I tried to mesh with this glad and busy assortment of perennials, shrubs, trees, vines and other volunteers gathered so close together in this well-established 'woodland' habitat.

Gone forever, from the front of the house, is that marvelously perfect lawn that I had maintained with pride at the highest height that I could set my favorite lawnmower. It was a gratuitous and patronizing notice in the mail from the neighborhood association that my lawn needed cutting (my favorite lawnmower had died) which gave me the resolve to eliminate it altogether; and fill the space with anything but the short, butchered grass which so improbably makes up the vast majority of the flora which is grown on the long, sloping front yards in our nature-filled community and is polluting our signature lakes like they were farmlands- with their excesses of nitrogen, potassium, and other grass-growing chemicals.

In place of my vanquished trophy lawn is a refuge of plants of like and different varieties; daylilies; hostas; iris; campamula; black-eyed susans; Asian lilies; snakeroot; sundrops; loosestrife; euonymous; lamium; strawflower; butterfly bushes; ferns; clematis; lirope; trumpet vine; oakleaf hydrangeas; climbing hydrangeas; hydranga-hydrangeas; kerria; Japanese maple; forest-pansy redbud; witch-hazel; Harry-Lauder walking stick; diverse assortment of viburnums; astilbe; virginia creeper; phlox; poppy; ajuga; sweet flag; sunflowers; monarda; comphrey; mint; perennial geraniums; vinca; sedum; mondo grasses; other ornamental grasses of various sizes; peonies; barberry; bayberry; beautyberry; oxalis; assortment of perennial hibiscus; chinese lantern; crepe myrtle; azaleas; firebushes; goldenrod; ballonflower; hechuera; dianthus; lobelia; and the rest of my rescued annuals which were fortunate enough (or, not) to spend the winter inside - all of this suburban habitat opportunistically assembled for my big and little animal friends to congregate and propagate amongst the tangle of leaf, flower, berry, and branch.





My new neighbor asked me how much water his yard would need to grow and prosper. I told him that plants will send up new growth to match the nourishment and sustenance you're able to provide. More water and food means more growth, so, you're then obliged to continue to nurture that growth at the risk of withdrawing that support and abandoning your sprouts to the ravages of the elements.

Are we actually caretakers in this menagerie, or, are we merely antagonists bent on shuffling and scrambling nature about for our own edification? In mostly all of the natural world, we find most species adapted to an almost routine pattern of survival which advantages itself of every other instinct and expression of the environment - taking a bit of nature for themselves, here and there; giving another bit back, in return.

Does that nature manifest itself in the fox who found refuge for the majority of the day last winter (and warmth) on top of the pile of composting leaves at the back of my yard?

Or is that nature the providence of the family of rabbits who live (and, presumably, are killed) in the burrows under the bank of day lilies facing our driveway - the rabbit family that was the subject of the fox's intense hunt that I witnessed one night from an upstairs window; the garden predator weaving back and forth through the dense growth of foliage to find his innocent quarry?





Are the deer who also time-shared the same cramped but accommodating space of refuge during the winter days - who now migrate through the yard and forage on every bit of nutritious foliage and flower they can find - friends or ultimate enemies of this arranged habitat?

Is the hawk less welcome atop the heights of the dead pine in back than the chipmunks who perform their death-defying feats of seeming mischief and frivolity with little visible worry or fear of the threat from above?

Would that we could all be as enthusiastic and grateful for nature as the lowly caterpillar which has suddenly been transformed from a grub into a fluttering butterfly - able, at last, to explore and take advantage of the riches of nature from one garden to the next.

Maybe the ephemeral life of a butterfly wouldn't be such a smart trade-off. There's nothing at all which will ever completely ingratiate the former leaf-eater on a forced, slimmed-down diet with his nurtured, pollinated hosts. Yet, nature, by its own design, attracts and invites the obliging butterfly to become a vital and integral partner in the perpetuation of an important bit of what we call life on this planet.





Poet, John Ashbery ('Some Trees'), describes the accommodating mix of menagerie and flora as an arrangement of chance and opportunity:

These are amazing: each
Joining a neighbor, as though
Speech were a still performance.
Arranging by chance

To meet as far this morning
From the world as agreeing
With it, you and I (and others)
Are suddenly what the trees try

To tell us we are:
That their merely being there
Means something; that soon
We may touch, love, explain.

And glad not to have invented
Some comeliness,
we are surrounded:
A silence already filled with noises,
A canvas on which emerges

A chorus of smiles . . .
Place in a puzzling light,
and moving,
Our days put on such reticence
These accents
seem their own defense __


It is hard, but, not impossible, to imagine that all of this magnificence around us would occur without some hand in singling out new sprouts and nurturing, protecting, refereeing among their neighbors, and helping them take full advantage of the light, water, and nourishment that nature obligingly provides. Caretaking and nurturing them is as intimate as we humans can be with these miracles of nature, unable as we are to just root ourselves in the dirt and prosper like they do; plant our own feet that firmly in the ground and we would surely rot away with time.



Last year

32-Year Vigil in Front of the White House Informs and Inspires Generations




Connie Picciotto has kept vigil near the White House for 32 years. Why, and at what cost?


____ The historic vigil began officially on June 3, 1981, when Connie joined William Thomas, a protester who had positioned himself outside the White House gates with a hand-lettered sign: “Wanted — Wisdom and Honesty.”

Connie, a former embassy secretary in New York who was working as a part-time nanny for a local family, had come to Washington to plead for the government’s help with a family crisis. Thomas (he was known to everyone by his last name) was a self-described philosopher, a wanderer who had dropped out of high school, pilgrimaged overseas and held odd jobs in New York and New Jersey before winding up in Washington . . .

She sat down beside him. Within hours, they were arrested for illegally camping in Lafayette Square. When they were released, Thomas told her, “Since we are both seeking peace and justice, we should become a team.” So they did.



William Thomas in 2006. (Kevin Clark)


Connie had read about nuclear issues and had been horrified by photographs of the aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. She adopted Thomas’s message as her own: They were pro-peace, anti-nuclear proliferation and anti-government deception. They dedicated their lives to their cause, which mostly meant that they would sit across the street from one of the most powerful buildings in the free world and talk to the visitors who came by, hand out literature and display their signs. They would do this night and day, in freezing cold and scorching heat, through rains that soaked their clothes and winds that scattered their pamphlets across the pavement. They had only their flimsy umbrella-shelter for protection; actual tents had been banned in the park___

Connie and Thomas believed that changing even a handful of minds through their signs, their words was enough. Their endurance alone would be a powerful testament, an ever-pre­sent symbol of the need for change . . .


read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/feature/wp/2013/05/02/connie-picciotto-has-kept-vigil-near-the-white-house-for-32-years-why-and-at-what-cost/?tid=ts_carousel


Connie in her basement apartment at Peace House. (Bill O’Leary)


( . . . I was just a naive and idealistic teen when I first saw Connie out in front of the WH waking up protestors who, at that time, had their protest signs arranged as a lean-to shelter against the White House gates - offering them coffee and food that she had brought. I was in awe of this incredible lady then; in awe of her throughout every WH protest that I bothered to go down and attend; and very proud to see her still standing there. Thanks, Connie, for all you do!)
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