Kinship Circle: Animals In The Crossfire – Hamas/Israel War

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Kelly’s note: If you’d like to take further action on this issue – for example, by encouraging your Congresspeople to join the call for a ceasefire – here are some additional, human-centered action alerts to get you started:

Amnesty International: Civilians must be protected in Gaza and Israel

Citizens for Justice in the Middle East: Action Alerts

CREDO Action: We need a ceasefire now in Gaza.

J Street: Stop the violence in Gaza

MercyCorps: Help Ensure Aid Reaches Gaza’s Families

Oxfam: Urge an immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Peace Action West: For peace in Gaza, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan – we need cooperative, not military solutions.

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA): Stop the Gaza Massacre–Enforce the Law

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Jan 12, 2009 6:11 PM
Subject: Animals In The Crossfire – Hamas/Israel War

VOLUNTEER FORM: Officially register in Kinship Circle’s Disaster Aid Network of volunteers,

1/12/08: Animals In The Crossfire – Hamas/Israel War


1. Donations Needed For Animals Left In Gaza Streets
2. Israel To Fund Medical Care For War-Injured Animals
3. Donkeys, Mules, Horses In The Holy Land
4. Middle East Animal Welfare Groups

Whatever your opinion about the present war between Hamas and Israel, one fact remains: Animals are innocents in the crossfire. PLEASE NOTE: There is not much animal rescue news related to the Hamas/Israeli war at this time. Most photos below are from the 2005 Gaza evacuation. When we learn more ways to help animals, we’ll post updates. KINSHIP CIRCLE

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Kinship Circle: October-December 2008 Updates (Parts 1 & 2)

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Dec 24, 2008 12:08 AM
Subject: Part 1/ UPDATES: OCT-DEC 2008


YEAR END WRAP UP – Victories * Setbacks * Progress For Animals


1. Donna Karan Announces Fur-Free 2009 Lines
2. Dragged Pit Bull Is Healing And Soon Adoptable
3. Cat Killing Boyfriend Walks Free
4. Records Show Big Industry Planned AETA All Along
5. Obama Picks: The Good & The Not So Good
6. L.A. Assistant Fire Chief Charged In Karley’s Killing
7. Netherlands Ban Products Made Of Cape Fur Seals
8. Prempro Maker, Wyeth, Pays For Fake Articles
9. Report On Hallmark/Westland Downer Scandal
10. Eddie Lama’s Oasis Sanctuary Closes
11. Michael Vick: Early Release & Back To NFL?

RESEND PART #2 TO ME: kinshipcircle [at]

12. Hero’s Plan To Save Wild Horses Moves Forward
13. Until Export Is Banned, More Horses Killed
14. Rodeo “Horse Tripping” Outlawed In Phoenix
15. Houston: Biggest Dogfight Bust In U.S. History
16. Activists Vow To Overturn Navy’s Use Of Sonar
17. Oxford Univ. Lab To Use Thousands Of Animals
18. Prop 2 Passes For Calif. Farmed Animals
19. EU Proposal To Ban Great Apes In Experiments
20. Ringling Bros. Big Fat Federal Lawsuit
21. Alaska Whales: 1 vs. Gov. Sarah Palin: 0

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Book Review: Iraq Through A Bullet Hole: A Civilian Returns Home, Issam Jameel (2008)

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Jameel promises a boom, but delivers a snooze.

one out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program.)

Iraqi playwright Issam Jameel spent twelve years in exile from Iraq, due to his anti-Saddam activities with an opposition radio station. Eventually he settled in Australia, only to return to Iraq in the summer of 2005, in order to attend a nephew’s funeral. IRAQ THROUGH A BULLET HOLE is a sort of “diary,” written by Jameel after he safely returned home.

I signed up for a review copy of IRAQ THROUGH A BULLET HOLE through Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program, and was thrilled to be one of the “winners.” As a self-described liberal/progressive who is opposed to the war, I was interested in reading an Iraqi’s take on the American invasion and occupation. In particular, I was hoping to get an idea of what everyday life is like for Iraqis, especially in relation to living conditions under Saddam’s rule.

While we do get a brief sketch of the daily routines of many Iraqis – the threat of bombings by insurgents, seemingly random and unprovoked military attacks, chronic unemployment, a lack of steady electricity – I felt that Jameel’s “diary” only scratched the surface. For example, the author spends a disproportionate amount of time discussing the ordeal he undertook in order to sell a house he’d been awarded by Saddam’s government; as a result, large chunks of the book read like “Iraqi Real Estate for Dummies.” He also drones on, ad nauseam, about seemingly endless theological arguments he engaged in with his family during the visit. After his exile, Jameel and his wife converted to Christianity, while his family of origin increasingly embraced a fundamentalist strain of Islam in the face of American occupation. Put a devout Christian and devout Muslim in cramped quarters, and hijinx is bound to ensue, no? By the end of the book, this atheist infidel want to shake the self-righteous piousness out of every last Jameel brother.

I committed to reading a chapter of IRAQ THROUGH A BULLET HOLE a night, so I could post a review in a timely manner. However, I had trouble getting through a whole chapter without falling asleep. I’ve read academic and theoretical texts that are more exciting! Though I do understand and appreciate that English is not Jameel’s native language, some sections of the book are extremely difficult to read: poor grammar, odd word choices, even missing words. Here, I blame Jameel’s editor; but even the most adept of editors couldn’t possibly make this diary-in-retrospect an exciting read. (Jameel calls it a “diary,” but it 1) was written after the fact and 2) doesn’t read like a diary, i.e., with short, blow-by-blow entries.) It’s not just a lack of emotion (which, as some reviewers have mentioned, may be a cultural difference) which bothers me; I don’t necessarily want Jameel to blame Bush, the United States, or God or Allah for the current state of Iraq. Cultural differences aside, this is a dry volume, written about an engaging topic.

In another author’s and/or editor’s hands, IRAQ THROUGH A BULLET HOLE might have been an interesting, insightful read. Unfortunately, *this* read is anything but.

(This review was originally published on Amazon and Library Thing, and is also available on Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you think it so!)

Kinship Circle: Updates, August-October 2008

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 2:27 PM
Subject: Part 1/ UPDATES: AUG-OCT 2008


Victories * Setbacks * Progress For Animals

1. Dogfighting Don’s First Day In Louisiana Court
2. Ringling Goes To Federal Trial October 20, 2008?
3. Dog Poisoner Gets 30 Jail Days + Counseling
4. HSUS Sues United Egg Producers
5. Bush Admin Objects, But Polar Bears Get Habitat
6. Our Visit To The Vice Prez Debate, St. Louis, MO
7. After AETA: Another Law To Silence Activists
8. Prop 2 Looks Good As Nov. 4 Elections Approach
9. Bush Admin VS. Gray Wolves: GOP Losing
10. Politics Trumps Mercy: Still No Downer Ban

PLEASE RESEND ME PART #2: kinshipcircle [at]
11. Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Obama
12. Police Sgt. Acquitted In Dog’s Death In Locked Car
13. Who Dumped HLS Animal Killers Lately?
14. Shooting Mayor’s Dogs Is “Justified.” Huh?
15. Freedom For Unlawfully Jailed Austrian Activists
16. 8 Little Lambs Left A Lab – To Live At A Sanctuary
17. New Development Proves: IAMS Kills
18. Nepal Bans Monkey Export To Research Labs
19. Korea to Classify Dogs as Livestock
20. NJ: Landmark Legal Victory For Farm Animals
21. EU Proposes Total Ban On Some Seal Goods
22. Calif. Law Bans Slaughter Of Downers
23. Hits & Misses For Animals

RE: 10/10/08: Don’t Let Soldiers Kill Beloved Dog In Iraq

NO ANSWERS YET, BUT SEE: Puppy love denied by U.S. army rules

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: ACT NOW/ Don’t Let Soldiers Kill Dog In Iraq

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Update, 10/20/08, via Care2:

Great news! Thanks to you and the hard work of the good folks at SPCA, Operation Baghdad Pups, M.A.R.S. Safe Haven and M.A.R.S. Productions, Ratchet, the adopted Iraqi puppy, is now on a plane en route to the United States!

Here’s the wonderful story as told by M.A.R.S. Safe Haven, the sponsors of the Clemency for Ratchet petition:

“Operation Baghdad Pups program manager, Terri Crisp, and Ratchet met at the Baghdad airport tonight and boarded a plane bound for the U.S. After SPCA International received military clearance on Wednesday, October 15, for Ratchet’s travel, the organization set this final rescue plan into action. Last week, the world got behind Ratchet and Spc. Beberg’s plight; an online petition collected over 65,000 signatures pleading for Ratchet’s release.

“Crisp and Ratchet are scheduled to arrive at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC on Monday afternoon. Ratchet will be cleared by the Center for Disease Control and given a thorough medical evaluation by a local Virginia veterinarian. As long as Ratchet receives a clean bill of health, he will fly to his final destinations, Minneapolis, MN, on Wednesday.

“Northwest Airlines, a Minnesota base company, generously donated Ratchet and Crisp’s flights from Kuwait to Minneapolis, MN.

“You can receive future updates on continued efforts to help our men and women in the Armed Forces adopt their pets and bring about change to the military’s policies on this issue: info [at]

“Saving Private Ratchet has wonderful gifts with all proceeds going to the SPCA:

“Read more from the SPCA:

Also, I’ve posted an update from Kinship Circle after the original KC alert.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle – July Digest (Parts 1 & 2)

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

UPDATE, 7/30/08: Regarding item #2, ‘Race Track Closing. Don’t Let Greyhounds Die’, please also check out this post I wrote about Woodland’s soon-to-be-ex-racing dogs for the Kansas City Freecycle blog.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 11:05 PM
Subject: #1/ KC DIGEST: Jenny, Greyhounds, Gas Chambers, Prop. 2…


Every 1 to 2 months, Kinship Circle forwards alerts from supporters in KC Digest. We did not write or research any of these alerts. Please DO NOT HIT REPLY. Respond directly to contacts in each alert.

PART 1: JULY KC DIGEST – Alerts From Kinship Circle Supporters

PART 1: JULY KC Digest

1. Jenny Still Needs Your Voice
2. Race Track Closing. Don’t Let Greyhounds Die
3. NC Gas Chambers: Explosion With 10 Dogs Inside
4. Help Proposition 2 Win Relief For Animals In Calif.
5. Brutal Torture Of Dog At JNU Campus
6. Help End The Namibian Seal Slaughter

PART 2: JULY KC Digest
PLEASE RESEND ME PART #2: kinshipcircle [at]

7. Please Post Our Carriage Horse Flyer
8. U.S. Government Sends Tigers to a War Zone
9. Help Animals In EU Laboratories
10. Ask PetSmart to Stop Selling Live Animals
11. Brazil: End Animal Tests – Federal Univ. Of Goias

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Army Shoots Pigs To Teach Lifesaving Skills

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Wed, Jul 23, 2008 at 4:06 PM
Subject: Army Shoots Pigs To Teach Lifesaving Skills


7/23/08: Army Shoots Pigs To Teach Lifesaving Skills

A pig at rest; photo via JB/John

Easily modify letter and copy/paste it into an email or print out to fax or mail.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: UPDATE/ Marine Who Tossed The Puppy

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

NOTE: You can find previous action alerts – related to this case – on here.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 10:40 AM
Subject: UPDATE/ Marine Who Tossed The Puppy


UPDATE/ Marine Expelled For Tossing Puppy Over Cliff

In This Alert:

1. UPDATE: Lance Cpl. David Motari “Being Processed For Separation” From Marine Corps
2. ENOUGH? What About Prosecution For Crime Of Animal Abuse?
3. ACTION: Ask Military To Overhaul Its Policy On Animals In War Zones




6/11/08: The Marine Corps expels one Marine and disciplines another for their roles in a video showing a puppy tossed over a cliff to his death. Both soldiers were on patrol on Iraq at the time. In the video a man identified as David Motari dangles a black and white dog by the scruff of the neck, cooing: “Cute little puppy.” Sgt. Crismarvin Banez Encarnacion baby-talks: “Ah, so cute, so cute…little puppy.” Motari then hurls the animal over a cliff into a rocky gulch. The dog, who looks about 12 weeks old, squeals while flying through the air. A thud is heard far below…

The 17-second video posted on YouTube drew sharp condemnation from animal rights groups when it came to light in March. “That’s mean. That’s mean, Motari,” an off-camera Encarnacion is heard telling the Marine who tossed the black and white dog. The off-camera Marine snickered slightly afterward.

Lance Cpl. David Motari, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment at Kaneohe Bay, is “being processed for separation” from the Marine Corps… He also received unspecified “non-judicial punishment.”

The second Marine, Sgt. Crismarvin Banez Encarnacion, also received unspecified “non-judicial” punishment. Encarnacion is assigned to the Weapons and Field Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego…

(More below the fold…)

Not-So-Random Friday Activist Music: DOG loves “appeasers”

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Since Memorial Day is this weekend, for this week’s lineup, I’m posting a few classic anti-war songs: I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag by Country Joe McDonald; War by Edwin Starr; and Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols (Is this the m.p.l.a / Or is this the u.d.a / Or is this the i.r.a / I thought it was the u.k or just / Another country).

While you’re out there soaking up the sun and Boca Burgers, remember:

On Memorial Day we’ll hear about men who gave their lives for their country, but many lives were not given, they were taken, and taken stupidly and carelessly. And there has been great public piety about those men and their “sacrifice” on the part of politicians who blithely sacrificed them.

Enjoy your three-day weekend.

Wur n Piece lolz after teh jump:

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Kinship Circle: May Digest, Parts 1 & 2

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

If you decide to take action on issue #6, “Stop Korea From Legalizing Dog Meat”, please edit out the third paragraph in the sample letter. In particular, I take objection to the following sentence: “South Korea does not want to be seen by modern nations as a culture that is backward, barbaric or uncivilized…” Eating dog meat is no more uncivilized than eating cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, lamb, etc. All are sentient beings capable of feeling joy, sorrow and pain. However, to vilify an entire culture for eating an animal we regard as special is inherently racist; in the United States, we treat “food” animals no better. The push should be towards a vegetarian (or, better yet, vegan!) diet for all, not towards outlawing specific species of meat that we find objectionable due to cultural reasons.

And do I really need to explain how offensive the “modern nations” remark is?

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Thu, May 22, 2008 at 8:55 AM
Subject: #1. KC DIGEST: Roo Bloodbath, Buffalo Fate, Caddo Kills, Korea Dog Meat…

Please DO NOT HIT REPLY. Respond directly to the author of each alert.
KC Digest is brought to you, courtesy of Kinship Circle.

PART 1: MAY KC DIGEST – Alerts From Kinship Circle Supporters

PART 1: MAY KC Digest
1. Australia: Kangaroo Bloodbath Begins
2. URGENT ACTION: 9 Bulls In Trap at Duck Creek Face Slaughter
3. Stop The Killing At Caddo Parish, Louisiana
4. UK: “Healthy Eating” Trend Means More Animal Experimentation
5. Email/Call New Huntingdon Life Sciences Shareholder
6. Stop Korea From Legalizing Dog Meat

PART 2: MAY KC Digest
PLEASE RESEND ME PART #2: kinshipcircle [at]
7. Join Post Card Campaign For NYC Carriage Horses
8. Stop Ohio Bill To Ban And Euthanize All Pit Bulls
9. Egypt: Tragedy At Esma (Sakkara) & Request For Support
10. GUESS Brand Sponsors Bullfighting In Algarve, Portugal
11. 14- and 15-Year-Olds Hunt Big Game? Stop This Now.
12. Officers’ Role In Death Of Black Lab Questioned

(More below the fold…)

Friday Activist Musak: Cursing the two-party system

Friday, May 9th, 2008

This week, I’ve only got one video for y’all, since it’s my birthday and I really shouldn’t be wasting it on the internets. My lone offering is Spoon’s The Underdog, which has always reminded me of Dennis Kucinich. Whenever it’s on the xm, I just close my eyes and imagine it’s his theme song, blaring in the background while he’s sworn into office on a copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. Then I snap out of it and curse the two-party system.

Oh, and if you’re feeling generous and looking to shower me with birthday gifts, why don’t you send some cash BETA’s way? BETA = Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and they could sure use it more than moi:

Hezbollah fighters, their guns blazing, seized control of west Beirut on Friday after three days of deadly street battles with pro-government foes pushed Lebanon dangerously close to all-out civil war.

Convoys of triumphant Shiite opposition gunmen firing into the air and flashing victory signs took to the streets after routing Sunni militants loyal to the Western-backed government of the divided nation.

As the fighting eased, the army and police moved across areas now in the hands of Iranian- and Syrian-backed opposition forces which have been locked in an 18-month power struggle with the ruling coalition.

(More below the fold…)

Book Review: Imperial Life in The Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone, Rajiv Chandrasekaran (2007)

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Broken Promises & Missed Opportunities

five out of five stars

Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s IMPERIAL LIFE IN THE EMERALD CITY: INSIDE IRAQ’S GREEN ZONE is an important piece of investigative journalism; indeed, it should be required reading for every politico on Capitol Hill. IMPERIAL LIFE IN THE EMERALD CITY is an account of what went wrong in Iraq – politically and practically speaking – in the aftermath of the American military invasion. It’s a story of broken promises and missed opportunities, nepotism and cronyism, bureaucracy and incompetence. The Green Zone, much like the Bush administration’s vision of a post-war Iraq, is a fantasyland, a veritable Oz, subject not to the realities of the times but only to the whims of its creators. Day-to-day life in Iraq’s Green Zone, then, is emblematic of our failure in Iraq.

But let’s start at the beginning. After the invasion of Iraq, American forces set up shop in the Green Zone, a 4-square-mile gated area of villas and palaces in central Baghdad which had previously been occupied by select government officials, ministries, and Saddam Hussein and his family. From here the so-called “coalition of the willing” (read: America) tried to rebuild and restructure Iraq via a transitional government called the Coalitional Provisional Authority (CPA), which was formed on April 21, 2003 and disbanded on June 28, 2004. By chronicling the CPA’s exploits in the Green Zone, Chandrasekaran explains how our utter lack of post-war planning stretched a war that was supposed to last “weeks rather than months” into an occupation that recently passed the five-year mark.

The CPA was doomed from the start. Instead of sending out best and brightest minds to help the Iraqis build a democracy in their newly-liberated country, the Bush administration vetted recruits for loyalty and partisanship. Rather than cooperating with the Iraqi people, CPA eggheads tried to foist changes upon them – and radical changes, at that (e.g., a shift from a socialist to capitalist economy…in a period of months, not years). Programs were underfunded, or not funded at all. Sectarian differences were stressed and reinforced by clueless newbies, leading to a highly fractured and contentious interim government. Meanwhile, de-Ba’athification purged the Iraqi government of all experienced politicians.

Bush loyalists, charged with recreating Iraq in America’s image, had little or no knowledge of Iraqi culture and society – an oversight that was not corrected once CPA employees arrived in Iraq, as they were rarely allowed to leave the Green Zone and experience Iraq first-hand. Instead, they remained sequestered in the Green Zone, which had been remade into a “little America”, a “bubble”, an “American subdivision”. Though many of the cafeteria workers in the Green Zone were Muslims, CPA employees expected them to serve pork dishes with a smile. (Even this secular atheist is aghast at the religious and cultural insensitivity!) Whereas the economy of Iraq could have benefited by providing for the CPA’s needs in the Green Zone, much of the work was outsourced to American companies, and most of the supplies were imported. All the while, essential services (for the Iraqis, that is) suffered; water, electricity, food, jobs – to date, Saddam has proven more able to provide the necessities for the Iraqi people than have the occupying American forces. This is perhaps why we have lost their hearts and minds – and why America is still engaged in warfare with militia groups five years after the invasion.

Watching the Senate Armed Services hearings on Iraq on the teevee today, it’s striking how quickly the Democrats and Republicans alike are to blame our current problems on the Iraqis themselves. It’s almost like listening to a spousal abuser blame his wife for her beatings. We invaded Iraq – and then we failed to help them rebuild a country, a government, that was already in rough shape to begin with; one that we further decimated by waging war upon it. Afterwards, we tried to ram our version of a democratic, free society down their throats, instead of working hand-in-hand with the Iraqi citizens to build a viable and stable country. The problems that we face today are our own, as is illustrated in IMPERIAL LIFE IN THE EMERALD CITY.

Whether you believe that the war in Iraq was a justified pre-emptive strike or an impeachable offense, there is no denying that America has a responsibility to the people of Iraq. By showing us the many ways in which we have failed to fulfill these obligations, Rajiv Chandrasekaran also gives us an important roadmap for change and success.

(This review was originally published on Amazon and Library Thing, and is also available on Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you think it so!)

Sigh. The animals, they be shocked and awed too.

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Since I posted about the Iraq War over on my other blog today (blogging it over there so we don’t have to blog it over here; and oh yeah, today is Shock & Awe’s 5-year anniversary, donthcha know?), I wasn’t planning on a second post for you guys and gals. Then I saw that Elaine (of Elaine Vigneault fame) blogged about war’s toll on non-human animals, specifically pointing to Kinship Circle’s Animals: War’s Unseen Collateral Damage factsheet, a thumbnail of which I often come across as I crosspost most of KC’s email alerts.

Kinship Circle - Collateral Damage 1

You can read the entire two-page factsheet (and download a high-res copy) here. Please do, and forward a it on to your friends and family as well. It’s important that we remember the human and non-human victims of dubya’s War on Terror war on terra, today and always.

And if you need an lol, check out my anniversary post at Smite Me!: Shocked and Awed and LOLed WTFed all over. And then check out some of the actions you can take to help end dubya’s war. Or at least let him know how naughty he’s been. Not that her cares either way, but still.



Book Review: The Translator by Daoud Hari (2008)

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

I received a copy of The Translator: A Tribesman’s Memoir of Darfur, by Daoud Hari through Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program a few months ago. Given the huge lag between the release date and when I reviewed it, I figured I’d hold on to the review until the book is actually available in stores. Which would be…today!

Although…I almost sat on it a bit longer, at least until the international Darfur Awareness Week. According to a recent email I received from Oxfam, the commemoration is “approaching,” but I’ll be damned if I couldn’t find an actual, firm date for it this year (FAIL!). Anyone? *Shrug*

The only point I’d like to add to my (earlier) review is that, to this atheist, all the god-praise got really frustrating, really fast. In the face of such horrors, the god that Daoud exalts is, at best, either cruelly indifferent to all the violence and suffering “his” creations are perpetrating on one another, or he does care but is powerless to stop it (which would call into question that whole omnipotent thing). Or he’s a sick sadistic bastard. None of these options really merit unquestioning obedience and the subservience of one’s entire worldview now, do they?

But if you can get around the blind faith, it’s a good read. (If not, there’s always Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel, which is an even better read.)

The Translator by Daoud Hari (2008)

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: UPDATES: JAN-MAR 2008 (Parts 1 & 2)

Monday, March 17th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Sat, Mar 15, 2008 at 8:01 PM
Subject: Part 1/ UPDATES: JAN-MAR 2008


Victories * Setbacks * Progress For Animals: ONLY PUBLISHED TRI-MONTHLY

1. Hallmark Meat Exec Admits Downed Cows Enter Food Supply
2. Juvenile Arrested In Edna’s Disappearance Found Guilty
3. Dog Attacked With Drill Gun – Updated
4. Canada’s New Rules For “Humane Seal Hunt” (oxymoron of the year?)
5. Mississippi Legislators Snub Buddy’s Law
6. Puerto Rico Faces Suit Over Roundup/Kill of Animals
7. Official Investigation Of Puppy Killer Is Underway, Marines Say
8. In Shadow Of Vick Case, Virginia Toughens Dogfighting Laws
9. Landmark Crate Ban On Way To Nov. 2008 Calif. Ballot
10. Los Angeles: Spay-Neuter Proposal Becomes Law
11. South Africa To Resume Elephant Culling After 13 Years
12. Three U.S. Agencies Aim To End Animal Testing
13. Animals Lose A True Friend With Congressman Lantos’ Death

PLEASE RESEND ME PART #2: kinshipcircle [at]
14. Tammy Grimes To Appeal Unjust Sentence In Doogie Case
15. Companies Prosecuted In Poisoned Pet Food Recall
16. Report Calls For Prosecution Of Pet-Killing Dogcatcher
17. Judge To Bush Admin: You Can’t Exempt Navy In Sonar!
18. FDA OKs Food Sales From Animal Clones
19. NIH Tells UCONN Primate Experimenter To Return $65K
20. Dr. Anteneh Roba Earns Circle Of Compassion Award
21. USA: Killing Dogs In Training Of Doctors To End
22. SF Zoo Attack Victim Admits Taunting Tiger
23. Premarin Maker Wyeth Faces Over 5,300 Lawsuits
24. Denny’s Stop Sponsorship Of Ringling Bros. Circus
25. Boys Sentenced In Toby’s Brutal Death
26. The Dogs That Vick Hurt

(More below the fold…)

Corporate Accountability International: Online Polls Open for the Corporate Hall of Shame

Friday, March 14th, 2008

As much as I loathe animal abusers such as Wendy’s, I might just vote for Blackwater this year. Probably because I recently read Imperial Life in the Emerald City.

Blackwater actually didn’t play a prominent role, but Haliburton did make several cameos, including one in which they culled all the feral cats in the Green Zone – including those adopted and vetted by CPA staffers – in order to prevent a rabies outbreak. Which the resident biologist called scientifically unsound, as there was no risk of rabies.

Just another chain in the link. Errr, link in the chain. You know what I mean.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Sara Joseph
Date: Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 8:49 AM
Subject: RELEASE: Online Polls Open for the Corporate Hall of Shame

Online Polls Open for the Corporate Hall of Shame

Annual Voting Crowns the Worst Corporations of the Year

Candidates include ADM, Blackwater, Countrywide, Mattel, Nestlé, Toyota, Wal-Mart and Wendy’s

BOSTON— This year’s election is all about the issues — global warming, war-profiteering, predatory lending — or at least that is the case in the annual Corporate Hall of Shame. On Thursday, March 20, the online polls open at for people to vote for the most abusive corporations of the year.

This year’s nominees made headlines for breaking the law, influencing elected officials, undermining democratic decision-making and outright endangering the environment and public health. They include ADM, Blackwater Worldwide, Countrywide, Wal-Mart, Mattel, Nestlé, Toyota, and Wendy’s.

The Hall is a creation of Corporate Accountability International, a membership organization that has worked to protect people from irresponsible and dangerous corporations for the last 30 years.

“Make no mistake, we believe all of the nominees deserve this infamous dishonor, but we look forward to seeing which corporations the voting public selects as the worst of the worst,” said Kelle Louaillier, executive director of Corporate Accountability International. “The ballot box is a way toc all politicians to task. The Hall is now a way of calling corporations to account for major abuses of the public interest.”

Last year, more than 20,000votes were cast to induct ExxonMobil, Haliburton and Wal-Mart. Other past inductees include Philip Morris/Altria, Columbia/HCA and waste disposal giant Waste Management.

The Hall has kept continuous pressure on inducted corporations to curb their abuses. In 2006,Waste Management worked its way out of the Hall by drastically reducing its national lobbying and political expenditures.

Hall organizers expect record turn-out this election season before polls close on July 4th. The new inductees will be announced later that month.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Soldiers Coping In Iraq? Animal Abuse Is A Crime

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Sat, Mar 8, 2008 at 2:12 PM
Subject: Soldiers Coping In Iraq? Animal Abuse Is A Crime


3/8/07: Soldiers Coping In Iraq?
Tell DOD & Congress Animal Abuse Is A Crime

Was Killing the Puppy a Way of Coping for One Marine? Stressful Environment May Have Contributed to Marine Apparently Tossing a Dog to His Death

Pam Leavy, tundraleap [at]
sheilamahon22 [at]
Brenda Shoss, kinshipcircle [at]


It’s bigger than the puppy, bless his precious soul. The mass outrage over the YouTube video depicting Marine David Motari tossing a puppy to his death…has unearthed OTHER incidents of soldiers torturing animals [SEE BELOW]. Please write your elected officials in Congress and Dept. of Defense leaders, asking them to overhaul policy on animals in war zones.

Kinship Circle - 2008-03-07 - Soldiers Coping In Iraq 01

Soldiers taunt & kill crippled dog in Iraq

US Soldier shoots dog with M203 training round

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Dog Shot In The Ass
This video has been removed. Stills extracted from video are here:

Soldiers detonate an insurgent IED that has been set inside the carcass of a dog

Lions Fed Donkeys In Iraqi Zoo, US Soldiers Film, Laugh & Jeer 6407&aid=19

US Soldiers Shoot A Shepherd’s Flock In Iraq,22049,23317978-5006003,00.html

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Soldier tosses puppy over cliff to his death

(More below the fold…)

LCA: Puppy Thrown Off Cliff – Statement from Chris DeRose

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Last Chance for Animals – campaigns [at]
Date: Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 8:56 PM
Subject: Puppy Thrown Off Cliff – Statement from Chris DeRose 3.4.2008

LCA has been notified of a very disturbing video showing a smiling U.S. Marine in Iraq throwing a puppy off a cliff. LCA fully supports U.S. troops and believes this situation does not reflect on U.S. soldiers that are doing their best and putting their lives on the line. However, the act of a U.S. soldier committing animal cruelty is completely unacceptable under any circumstances.

“This video that everyone has seen is atrocious. U.S. Marine David Mortari and the unidentified Marine in the video are absolute cowards and a disgrace to the men and women of this country who valiantly defend the U.S. There is absolutely no excuse for this behavior. These two men shouldn’t be wearing the uniform. I demand that these individuals be held responsible for such a despicable and cowardly act.

When a U.S. soldier is representing America overseas and during war time, it is crucial for any heinous act to be fully investigated. LCA demands for elected officials to put pressure on the military to do a complete and thorough investigation. The correlation between cruelty to animals and cruelty to humans has been proven time and time again. These Marines must be punished.” states LCA President Chris DeRose.

View Chris DeRose’s YouTube reaction here.

Last Chance for Animals | 8033 Sunset Blvd. #835 | Los Angeles | CA | 90046



Kinship Circle: ACT/ The Marine Who Tossed The Puppy

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 8:48 PM
Subject: ACT/ The Marine Who Tossed The Puppy


Be counted. Send a letter. E-petitions don’t work…

3/4/08: The Marine Who Tossed The Puppy

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The Moron

Kinship Circle - 2008-03-04 - The Marine Who Tossed The Puppy 02

His Accomplice

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A Fatal Toss…

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Marine Who Did It?


Easily modify letter and copy/paste it into an email or print out to fax or mail.

(More below the fold…)

The Spoils of War (A review of The Kingdom, 2007)

Monday, February 18th, 2008

The Kingdom (2007)

The Spoils of War


THE KINGDOM opens with a bang – literally. A group of Saudi Arabian terrorists attack an oil company’s housing compound during a softball game, in what is obviously a highly planned and coordinated series of attacks. Once the day is over, over 100 people are dead, with another 200+ injured. While most are employees of the oil company and their families, first responders to the initial attack – including Saudi police forces, health care workers, and one FBI agent – are killed in a larger, secondary bombing.

Because “the FBI is the lead agency whenever US citizens are attacked abroad,” as the film’s opening helpfully informs us, Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) implores his bosses to let him take a team to the scene in order to investigate the crime – and the sooner, the better, as evidence starts to degrade after the first 36 hours. Wary of the political ramification, his higher-ups resist, so Fleury circumvents the system with a little international blackmail. Once Fleury and his team (Jennifer Garner as Janet Mayes, Chris Cooper as Grant Sykes, and Jason Bateman as Adam Leavitt) arrive in Saudi Arabia, the rest of the film alternates between diplomatically frustrated investigation and a suspenseful race to catch the terrorist mastermind behind the bombings before the team’s five allotted days run out.

Aside from the initial suicide bombing scenes, the first third of the film moves at a snail’s pace. It’s front-loaded with dialogue and very little action – just a lot of mind-numbing bureaucracy and miles of red tape. Indeed, many of the deleted scenes featured on the DVD were obviously cut from this section of the film, while much of the end of the movie apparently remained intact. Even with these changes, the opening scenes still tend to drag.

Once the action picks up, THE KINGDOM is a gut-wrenching ride. The special effects are incredible, and the two major action sequences – a car wreck and a subsequent apartment shootout – will have you gripping the edge of your seat. The realism, I think, makes the “terror” scenes much more painful and horrific to watch. As I’m writing this, Google’s headlines scream at me: “The jihadi and the beheading plot,” “New Afghan suicide attack kills dozens,” “Death toll in Afghan suicide blast tops 100.” THE KINGDOM may be a work of fiction, but the images are all too familiar.

In addition to the standard “making of” featurettes, the DVD has one really cool and unusual extra that makes it worth the price of a rental, even if you’ve already seen the movie in the theater. You can replay the apartment shootout four times, viewing it from the different perspectives of the various groups of characters (Fleury and Al-Ghazi; Mayes; Leavitt; and Sykes and Haytham). One action-packed scene, four vantage points. It’s one of the most inventive extras I’ve encountered in awhile. Yay DVDs!

While the action sequences take center stage, the acting is superb as well – with the sole exception of Foxx, who mumbles his way through the movie. Ashraf Barhom and Ali Suliman are excellent as the Saudi policemen who assist in the investigation, and I just wanted to squeeze Jason Bateman’s baby cheeks by the end of the movie. Jennifer Garner, in particular, kicked arse as Special Agent Janet Mayes (welcome back to the genre, Syd! – err, Jen). Personally, I think Congress ought to pass a resolution limiting her to action/adventure movies, at least until she hits 60. When they’re done breaking the whole steroids in baseball scandal, that is.

Aside from being a gripping action/adventure/suspense flick, THE KINGDOM also delivers a surprising message on the nature of war and peace – and the human condition. Far from being another “git the brownies,” xenophobic, imperialist, neocon wet dream, the film’s conclusion stresses that we aren’t really so different after all, especially in our lust for revenge and our intolerance of the “Other.” War, violence, oppression – all are a never ending cycle, as old as humanity itself. “An eye for en eye” isn’t true justice; doubly so when neither side can remember who poked out whose eye first. An unexpectedly progressive “war on terra” movie, perfect for hawks and doves alike.

Once the film was over, I turned to my husband and asked, “A Department of Peace* doesn’t seem so silly after all, does it?” He the libertarian (small “l”, thankyouverymuch) didn’t bother arguing, as is his normal knee jerk reaction. Hell, he couldn’t even muster a bit of mockery for Kucinich’s hippie idealism. Given the vicious and oppressive nature of our species, a department devoted solely to studying and promoting peace, cooperation, and human rights and dignity is just what we need, I think.

And I suspect that he might finally think so, too.

* As proposed by Congressman and two-time former Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the vegan woodland elf of hippie lore. Yeah, I voted for him. Twice.

Crossposted from You know the drill – go give me a gold star over there, so you don’t have to give me a gold star over here. Or something like that.