Saturday, October 24, 2009



Kinobe singing

Kinobe & Soul Beat Africa ~ a musical ensemble from Uganda
Uploaded by kinobeherbert

As I say in my
About Me section on my sidebar: I love my life and I love where I live. And I am passionate about my passions.

I live in Rhode Island. And I love music and dance. And tonight in my little town in the Common Fence Point section I went to a concert that was fantastic.

I love this kind of music from the start. And this band is very talented on their instruments, which include Ugandan instruments.

And they are cute, too.

Kinobe & Soul Beat Africa ~ a musical ensemble from Uganda
Uploaded by kinobeherbert


Kinobe & Soul Beat Africa ~ a musical ensemble from Uganda
Uploaded by kinobeherbert

Thanks to Tom Perrotti, musical director of Common Fence Music who puts the entire concert schedule together and presents us with this little gem of an experience every year. It is ten minutes away. You can bring a picnic basket of food and wine. Many bring tablecloths and candles. It is a very unpretentious place... just a room with folding metal chairs placed at long tables, a little stage and darkness. Volunteers help set up and break it down.

Tonight was an off-and-on rainy night, and I am quite certain that weather kept some people home. Too bad, for two reasons: 1) this band deserved a full house and 2) those who let the weather keep them from venturing out missed a really outstanding evening of grrreat rhythm and music.

From the first song's beginning I was mesmerized. I just closed my eyes and let the music enter my body and spirit. Within in two songs I left my seat for the back of the room and danced with one other person there. Until the end when about 20 people joined us.

I just can't stay seated when music makes me want to move.

The members of the band signed my CD. They head for a concert in Montreal, Canada tomorrow. Then off to Maine's Unity College. Here is their website: www.kinobemusic.com And here is their channel on Youtube: Kinobe Herbert

Tonight, was just

And so simple....right here in my little town.


About Uganda

Pictures of Uganda

More pictures of Uganda

Uganda in Pictures from the BBC - Uganda's Changing Climate

March to raise awareness of conflicts in Northern Uganda, Sudan and Congo to be held in Regina

REGINA — Students from Notre Dame College in Wilcox and other Regina volunteers will take part in a peaceful march Saturday morning in downtown Regina to raise awareness of the conflicts in Northern Uganda, Sudan and the Congo.

“We want to bring awareness to the fact the conflict has shifted into the eastern Congo and raise funds for northern Uganda for a Gulu Cultural Centre that the GuluWalk Foundation is going to be building,’’ said organizer Joshua Campbell, who spent a year teaching in Uganda in 2006.

“Now that there is more peace and stability in the region, they can actually get involved in building centres for sports, and arts and help the youth out there.’’

Campbell said meeting former child soldiers and hearing their stories is probably the thing that impacted him most and motivated him to continue participating in the GuluWalk, He participated in his first walk in Calgary in 2005.

For more than 22 years, the people of northern Uganda have endured a war between the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army and the government of Uganda.

Nearly two million people have been forced into displacement camps that lack even the most basic of services, and tens of thousands of children have been abducted and forced to fight as soldiers or act as rebel wives and sex slaves, according to information released by the walk organizers.

Peace negotiations currently being hosted by the government of South Sudan have brought new hope to achieve an end to the war. However, a significant investment is needed to help facilitate the return of displaced citizens to their homes of origin.

The GuluWalk in Regina, which starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Victoria Park cenotaph, is one of 98 taking place in 15 countries around the world.

Participants are also encouraged to lobby the federal and provincial governments to increase financial aid and diplomatic resources to support the peace process.

Click my post's title to go to African News links


My Youtube Channel

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A spirit that stays in our heart long after
the mortal body has left us

has a hold on us that only the depth of our feelings

Words are inadequate, although we try.

I cannot explain it.

I hadn't seen a Heath Ledger movie until after
he passed away.

And now I have. And now I am sad.

Watching the videos of his daughter last night,
I felt my heart sink into my body.

The weight was strong.
The tears coming up with no warning, surprised me.

I pushed hard against them.

Why I cry over someone I had nothing but
distant observance of

is a mystery.

It is just that I feel a connection to life through him ~

I don't know why and it doesn't matter

I don't have to have a reason.

Here is to the connection that is welcome
and enriches me

as SPIRIT of LIFE never dies.

Heath Ledger ~ Gone Too Soon
Uploaded and text by lucierose04
"Tribute to an unforgettable actor and an unforgettable man. He's now the most beautiful angel."


Matilda Rose Ledger ~ October 28, 2009 ~ 4th Birthday
Born October 28, 2005
Uploaded by mpires2009
Heath asked his friend Ben Harper to write this song as a lullaby for his beautiful Matilda. It's called "Happy Ever After In Your Eyes"

A Look Back at Heath Ledger as a Father

Vogue October 2009 ~Michelle Williams


Happy Ever After Is In Your Eyes
written by Ben Harper at Heath Ledger's request for Matilda Rose Ledger


The morning sunrise spread her wings
While the moon hung in the sky
Held the sea in your hands
And happy ever after in your eyes

Couldn't leave you to go to heaven
I carry you in my smile
For the first time my true reflection i see
Happy ever after in your eyes

Every star in the night
Promises the dawn
I will be there if you fall
To ever so heavily rest upon

All that I can give you
Is forever yours to keep
Wake up every day with a dream
And happy ever after in your eyes

Happy ever after is in your eyes


Click this post's title for song Here Comes the Sun
Text with this video by the poster, alexg1985:

Heath Ledger ~ His Favorite Song

"The body of Heath Ledger was cremated in Australia on Saturday and his remains were laid to rest.

Michelle Williams read Shakespeare at the service and some of Ledger's favorite songs were played, including the Beatles' Here Comes the Sun.

After the service, mourners gathered at a beach side restaurant and many, including Williams, went fully clothed into the ocean as they watched the sunset."

A another video from my Heath
Favorites playlist at youtube

Dedication to Heath at We are the Masses

Sweet Heath Ledger and his dog

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009


How do we live and breathe our lives? Do we walk around with the fear of what others think of us? Are we justified in feeling others are judging us? And unfairly?

It happens all of the time.

The Bible tells us not to judge others. And yet, has a day gone by that you haven't felt judged by a parent, a child, a friend, a clerk in a store? A stranger?


I amaze myself at times, that I care what a stranger will think of me. It happened yesterday when I was at the movies. I wanted to move back in the theatre because I had sat down too close for comfort to the screen. I hesitated, and hesitated some more. Then I waited for the movie to be at a place that was dark and made the move. I was letting it bother me what the other two people in the theatre would think of me for moving. A little absurd, perhaps. But I admit it to make the point that I let others' possible opinion of me affect me way too much. Unnecessary energy spent. But, probably conditioned to behave this way since I was born.

I always seem to manage to do what is right or what I want to do in spite of the angst inside, but it would be freeing to stop the internal dialogue going on and liberate myself.

I just went out to the kitchen to get some quotes that I have there that are relevant to this.

"Our own heart, and not others' opinions of us, forms our true honor." Friedrich von Schiller

" I am painfully conscious of my imperfections, therein lies all the strength I possess." Mahatma Gandhi

I saw Glenn Close and her sister, Jessie today on a show I don't watch. I skim by it sometimes. This skim by was worth it for the public service announcement alone. It is posted just below . Jessie has the bipolar condition, something she has suffered with since her teenage years. She only was diagnosed at 47.

In August, sisters Jessie and Glenn filmed the psa for Bring Change 2 Mind with the help of director Ron Howard. Glenn explained to The View audience why she decided to do this announcement and why you should not be ashamed to be diagnosed with this disease.

Bring change 2 Mind
1 in 6 adults and almost 1 in 10 children suffer from a diagnosable mental illness. Yet, for many, the stigma associated with the illness, can be as great a challenge as the disease itself. This is where the misconceptions stop. This is where bias comes to an end. This is where we change lives. Because this is where this will happen: Bring Change 2 Mind.

U.S. RI Representative Patrick Kennedy

Below find text taken from Patrick Kennedy's website

Mental Illness

"We as a Nation have long neglected the mentally ill and the mentally retarded. This neglect must end, if our Nation is to live up to its own standards of compassion and dignity."
- President John F. Kennedy
Congressman Kennedy is a staunch advocate for mental health reform. He strongly believes that we must end the pervasive stigma that continues to be associated with mental illness and which plays a large part in preventing those who need treatment from attaining it. An estimated 26 percent of Americans — about one in four adults —suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Yet 67% of adults and 80% of children who need mental health care are not receiving it. Tragically, this translates into individuals with serious mental illness having a life expectancy of 25 years less than general population.

According to the Institute of Medicine, together, mental and substance-use illnesses are the leading cause of combined death and disability for women of all ages and for men aged 15–44, and the second highest for all men. When appropriately treated, individuals with these conditions can recover and lead satisfying and productive lives. Conversely, when treatment is not provided or is of poor quality, these conditions can have serious consequences for individuals, their loved ones, their workplaces, and the nation as a whole. In order to effectively combat this, our health care system must approach health as a whole body initiative. Health should be viewed not merely as the absence of disease or infirmity, but the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Kennedy is committed to continuing to work to integrate mental health treatment and prevention into the health care system.

Mental Health Parity

A profound obstacle to public understanding of mental health stems from the artificial, centuries-old principle of separation of mind and body. Yet, breakthrough discoveries in brain science show that this antiquated split between mind and body is simply inaccurate. As emerging technologies make it increasingly possible for researchers to demonstrate the extent to which mental disorders and their treatment are connected to physical changes in the brain, public policy must follow suit by eliminating the historical discrimination in insurance coverage for mental health compared to physical health care.

That is why Congressman Kennedy was proud to introduce The Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act. This landmark legislation became law in 2008. On that day, a monumental victory was achieved for the over 25% of Americans who no longer have to face discrimination from their insurers when it comes to their mental health care. That day was a victory for Americans everywhere, as a civil rights gap was closed in this country, and a long standing form of discrimination was ended. The Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act ensures that mental health benefits are offered at parity with medical benefits, providing access to mental health services for approximately 113 million Americans.

Personal, Again

My brother was diagnosed with bipolar when he was in his thirties.

My family is full of anxious people, but I chalk that up to the volatile nature of our home environment. I know it affects me to this moment. When you never know when an explosive emotional, irrational outburst is going to happen as a child, you get conditioned to be on alert. It is, at least, unsettling. And in childhood, you don't know words such as irrational. So, you don't know it is not normal in everyone's household. I just realized this in the last few years - that having difficulty... feeling secure and knowing my own perceptions and intuition are right - are my reality. You see, I question my own perceptions many times because I was never mirrored in a healthy way by my mother. This may come as a surprise because I write here often with what seems like I own my own thoughts so thoroughly. Like I am my own authority. But I am admitting to you that I am human. I have flaws. And I consciously know it. I also have strong opinions and I find it therapeutic to express them. I love to write. And maybe that is why I love to blog. And write in my journals. It helps me feel more. It helps me feel balanced. It helps me process through the mind's mine. It helps me find words that bring me comfort in knowing what I am feeling. But, I believe too that writing is simply an expressive and rewarding activity that I love - just because I do.

I have been told that I have what is commonly referred to as PTSD or PTSS. Post traumatic stress disorder/syndrome. I never thought of that. But I can see why. I researched this phenonenon, years back because when I brought a child into my life from an extremely neglectful, abusive and disruptive background who was diagnosed with PTSD/PTSS I wanted to be able to help him. I didn't know I was researching my own life, too.

How many emotionally happy, balanced people do you know? And if we scratched the masks and facades that most people wear, we would find even those people on that list, probably aren't all that balanced and normal.

What is normal, anyway?

And what do we use to measure it?

And those who say what is normal, just may not be all that truly normal themselves.

This all makes me think of my college days, when I first realized that what I had been taught as the black and white way of looking at the world and people's behavior, isn't reliable. That anyone can move the line anywhere they choose to right and wrong or good and bad. Or normal and not normal.

I know the most important thing for me is to trust my own perception. Because most always it has been right. For me. Trusting others' perceptions has led me to a path of doubt of my own abilities, my own gifts. And why do that? Why give that away?

I bought a poster with these words in the early 1970s:

Friend, don’t be a perfectionist.

Perfectionism is a curse and a strain.

For you tremble lest you miss the bull’s-eye.

You are perfect if you let be.

Friend, don’t be afraid of mistakes.

Mistakes are not sins.

Mistakes are ways of doing something different,

Perhaps creatively new.

Friend, don’t be sorry for your mistakes.

Be proud of them.

You had the courage to give something of yourself.

It takes years to be centered; it takes more years

to understand and to be now.

Until then, beware of both extremes,

perfectionism as well as instant cure, instant joy, instant sensory awareness.

Until then, beware of any helpers.

Helpers are con-men who promise something for nothing.

They spoil you and keep you dependent and immature.

Frederick S. Perls

The following quote is on my refrigerator. I need to read it more often.

"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." Audre Lorde

Inspirational Speech by Dr. Randy Pausch on the Oprah Show: The Last Lecture. Dr. Pausch passed away on July 25, 2008

If you click this post's title it will take you to the song

If We Only Have Love

If we only have love
Then tomorrow will dawn
And the days of our years
Will rise on that morn
If we only have love
To embrace without fears
We will kiss with our eyes
We will sleep without tears

If we only have love
With our arms open wide
Then the young and the old
Will stand at our side
If we only have love
Love that's falling like rain
Then the parched desert earth
Will grow green again

If we only have love
For the hymn that we shout
For the song that we sing
Then we'll have a way out
If we only have love
We can reach those in pain
We can heal all our wounds
We can use our own names

If we only have love
We can melt all the guns
And then give the new world
To our daughters and sons
If we only have love
Then Jerusalem stands
And then death has no shadow
There are no foreign lands

If we only have love
We will never bow down
We'll be tall as the pines
Neither heroes nor clowns

If we only have love
Then we'll only be men
And we'll drink from the Grail
To be born once again
Then with nothing at all
But the little we are
We'll have conquered all time
All space, the sun, and the stars.

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I wanted to see this film the first week it was out, but I was busy painting my interior trim.

So, I went today at the 4:30 p.m. showing. Okay, it was Tuesday afternoon, but still. There were 3 of us in the 500 seat theatre. Our own private screening, unintentionally. Happens I knew the other two people, although I didn't speak to them. I had met Richard Hatch years ago before he won the first season of Survivor on television, then didn't pay taxes on his winnings, then went to prison, now he is free. I had met his son, before he was Richard's son and before they both went on the Dr. Phil show because Richard was having difficulty raising Chris. I had Chris as a student where I was the music teacher. He was in second grade and in foster care at the time with Boys Town.

They were across the aisle. And a pleasant exchange of a conversation was being had. I just didn't tune into what exactly they were talking about.

Then the movie started.

While walking out of the theatre, I asked the owner how attendance had been for the film and she hesitated and then said the first week was good, but it fell off a bit after that.

Of all the Michael Moore films - and I have seen them all - this is a must see for everyone who cares. About being human. In the USA. I am serious. Michael always has some humor mixed in. But how can you not believe some of the credible people in this movie? I know a lot of people don't like Michael Moore. And I suppose there can be arguments made about him from two sides. But, what is being allowed in this country with our tax money and the foreclosures, job losses and the "little" people is wrong.


Did I say, WRONG?!

If for no other reason, see it and have a reference point about what you can say about it.

Double click the videos and it will take you to a bigger screen.

Capitalism: A Love Story Trailer
Uploaded by mmflint

U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio's 9th district is my favorite person in the movie.

Have you ever heard of the Second Bill of Rights
I admit, I hadn't until Michael Moore talks about it in this movie. You can check it out here:

The Second Bill of Rights was a proposal made by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944 to suggest that the nation had come to recognize, and should now implement, a second bill of rights. Roosevelt did not argue for any change to the United States Constitution; he argued that the second bill of rights was to be implemented politically, not by federal judges. Roosevelt's stated justification was that the "political rights" guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had "proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness." Roosevelt's remedy was to create an "economic bill of rights" which would guarantee:

Roosevelt stated that having these rights would guarantee American security, and that America's place in the world depended upon how far these and similar rights had been carried into practice.

Excerpt from President Roosevelt's January 11, 1944 message to the Congress of the United States on the State of the Union[1]:

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.

Lost Footage

Roosevelt's January 11 address was delivered via radio, due to the President's illness at the time. During the last portion dealing with the Second Bill of Rights, he asked news cameras to come in and begin filming for later broadcast. This footage was believed lost until it was uncovered in 2008 in South Carolina by Michael Moore while researching for the film Capitalism: A Love Story.

The footage shows Roosevelt's Second Bill of Rights address in its entirety, as well as a shot of the Five Rights printed on a sheet of paper.[2]

The references of the numbers in the text above can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights

Michael Moore on Countdown with Keith Olbermann
Uploaded by mmflint

imdb lists who is in Capitalism: A Love Story


About the Auto bail-out
Uploaded by mmflint



Tonight the author,
Andrew Ross Sorkin, of Too Big To Fail was making the rounds on television promoting his book. Currently (these videos don't stay up forever) you can see Andrew Ross Sorkin on Charlie Rose: www.charlierose.com

I wonder how much money Andrew Ross Sorkin was paid to write this book. Just watching this guy's face makes me suspicious.


Andrew Ross Sorkin is The New York Times’s chief mergers and acquisitions reporter and a columnist. Mr. Sorkin, a leading voice about Wall Street and corporate America, is also the editor of DealBook (nytimes.com/dealbook), an online daily financial report he started in 2001. In addition, Mr. Sorkin is an assistant editor of business and finance news, helping guide and shape the paper’s coverage.

Mr. Sorkin, who has appeared on NBC's “Today” show and on “Charlie Rose” on PBS, is a frequent guest host of CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” He won a Gerald Loeb Award, the highest honor in business journalism, in 2004 for breaking news. He also won a Society of American Business Editors and Writers Award for breaking news in 2005 and again in 2006. In 2007, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader.

Mr. Sorkin began writing for The Times in 1995 under unusual circumstances: he hadn’t yet graduated from high school.

Mr. Sorkin lives in Manhattan.

Source: http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/s/andrew_ross_sorkin/index.html

The following is taken from wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Ross_Sorkin

He was embroiled in a controversy when he argued for a government-sponsored bankruptcy for General Motors in a November 18, 2008, Times column. Sorkin wrote: "At General Motors, as of 2007, the average worker was paid about $70 an hour, including health care and pension costs." MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann disputed that figure, calling Sorkin the "World's Worst Person," stating that the figure was "mathematically and intellectually dishonest" because the cited wage includes health and benefit costs paid to retired workers and their surviving spouses, which are unrelated and not paid to current workers.


Andrew on Chris Matthew's Hardball tonight

Tuesday, October 20, 2009



Barack Obama spoke more like the leader we need when he was a U.S. Senator, not running for President. It must be easier to sound strong and resolute when you are not in the driver's seat. Bring back Barack. We voted for the man that promised us leadership. Where oh where has he gone?

Too much compromising on prinicples will get us mush (definition: a soft pulpy mass or consistency).

I put in an order for "a spine with principles".

How about it Mr. President?

Link to the video (since the embed isn't being accepted here at blogspot)
Charlie Rose - Efraim Halevy / Sudan Panel

56:24 - posted 3 years ago
Segment 1: Guest host Brian Ross of ABC News talks to Efraim Halevy, former director of Mossad and author of "Man in the Shadows". Segment 2: A discussion about the situation in Sudan with guest host Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), Jan Egeland of the United Nations, and Ken Bacon of Refugees International.
Check out especially what Senator Barack Obama says about the engagement of USA citizens regarding Darfur at 31:40. And interesting what he says at at 41:00 - 42:42. Very

At 45:17 Barack steps in again and volunteers to speak about needing strong international support. Particularly with African, Middle Eastern and Muslim nations.
Ken Bacon follows Barack with an extremely important point until 47:40.

Jan Egeland states that Khartoum is
"Enjoy(ing) impunity at the moment".

At 51:10
Kristof asked Senator Obama about how many emails elected officials need to get to get action done for the Darfur issue. Senator Obama's answer is priceless considering his 7 months of not being engaged in this issue as the leader of the free world, as President Obama. Or so, the USA used to be the leader of the free world, anyway.
Not so sure anymore.

The Darfur section of this Charlie Rose show starts at 24:40
and goes to 56:24. Well worth a listening.

I was on a national conference call with Jerry Fowler, President of Save Darfur Coalition, Sam Bell, spokesperson for Genocide Intervention Network and John Norris of the Enough Project.

The subject was the Sudan Policy Review and what we as activist concerned citizens must do now. I asked no questions, but listened to other activists from across the USA asked questions.

Unfortunately, yesterday due to not reading my email invitation until too late, I missed a Whitehouse invitation to listen in to a conference call held in the afternoon about the Sudan Policy. I regret this immensely.

President Obama needs to hear from U.S. citizens that if he wants Khartoum to take us seriously, he must get directly engaged.

We must contact our U.S. Senators and Representatives and ask them what they plan to do to make sure this Sudan Policy that we have waited 7 months for is implemented and how soon. And also to educate them if necessary to understand this is not just an isolated issue in Darfur, but includes southern Sudan as well as the effects on Chad the bordering country to the west of the largest country in Africa, Sudan.

It is simple, you can make the call...or you can email them.

Information is below, to make it easy for you.

Don't be afraid.

Democracy doesn't work without democratic actions by our citizens.


You can help by calling the following number and be put through to the Whitehouse


Genocide Intervention Network has created the first anti-genocide hotline. Call 1-800-GENOCIDE and enter in your zip code and be connected directly to your elected officials for free.

The hotline will provide you with up-to-date talking points related to current Darfur legislation and other actions your elected officials can take to help end the genocide. Call today and make Darfur a top priority for your representative, senators and the White House.

Click on a link below to view talking points for the appropriate elected representative:

President Obama

The President's Official Comment Phone line

You can also write to the President at:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Please include your e-mail address

Each state has two

Everyone has one Representative for your area or district,
but has a number of Representatives for each state

President Obama

This op-ed originally appeared in today's Guardian.

After a lengthy internal battle, the Obama administration has formally rolled out its new Sudan policy. The policy spells out some ambitious goals: a definitive end to conflict and genocide in Darfur, implementation of the 2005 North-South peace deal and peaceful moves toward a 2011 referendum that will likely result in South Sudan becoming independent.

Like many such policy reviews, this one looks good enough on paper. But how will we know if this policy is actually working? These are the practical measures by which Obama's new policy will ultimately be judged a success or a failure.


In Darfur, there is probably no better barometer for the relative success or failure of the international community than the almost 3 million people who remain displaced or refugees after having been forced to flee from their homes by the government-backed janjaweed militias.

Refugees and the displaced vote with their feet. They are almost universally desperate to return to their former homes, but will only do so if security is sufficient for them to do so. To date, the UN force on the ground in Darfur has been largely ineffective, there has been no credible effort to disarm the janjaweed militias that caused such havoc and peace talks for Darfur have moved forward fitfully. Refugees and displaced persons know full well that their lands and villages are still occupied by armed thugs responsible for some of this century's most horrific war crimes.

Under such conditions it would be madness for these families who have already suffered so much to return home. The answer: a far more effective and robust peacekeeping force on the ground (with Khartoum's de facto veto power over UN operations taken away), practical steps to disarm the janjaweed and a solid peace agreement between the government and rebel forces brokered with international oversight and guarantees.

The White House policy review places a lot of emphasis on a peace deal in Darfur. However, there have been few signs Washington or European capitals are willing to tackle the tough choices required to improve security on the ground, and officials have often been overly eager to portray a recent lull in fighting in Darfur as a sign that the fundamentals are improving.

Click here to continue reading about the other fronts on which Obama’s Sudan policy will be tested.


John Prendergast
Enough/Sudan Now Policy Brief
October 19, 2009

Read at

Something For Everyone - Why Implementation Matters

Activist Groups Cautiously Praise New Policy


October 20, 2009
Security forces attack Darfur students in the University of Khartoum. Radio Dabanga reported that about 23 students were injured and 2 were missing. A student told Radio Dabanga that the assault occurred when Darfur students were protesting peacefully the University Administration's decision to deprive students from education due to not paying the new high fees for registration. According to the peace agreement signed on 2006, the Darfuri students are exempt from fees payment due to the on going war in Darfur.

Sudan's Bashir Skips Kampala Visit

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Monday, October 19, 2009


OKAY, it's no secret that I admire Heath Ledger's acting. And I still have moments where I feel sad he died. And yes, that makes me wonder about myself. But, if you type in Heath Ledger at youtube, you will find many people just can't let go of Heath.

It is like we want a miracle. To wake up one day, and learn that Heath didn't die. He just finally got that sleep he so desperately needed. And he got over the walking pneumonia that he had while filming The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus



Photos in black and white of Heath Ledger
Uploaded by occhiblucolbato

This takes my breath away...hard to breathe while going through these Heath photos.

I feel like I have been some sacred place.

The music suits Heath, a soul man.

Saxophone is so emotional, so sensual, so soulful… it fills your every hidden place.

Now, this is a case where I hear music on Youtube and I buy the song. If I could just find it. It isn't at itunes or amazon.

Music - Soul Man by Nuvola Rossa


A short interview, scenes and pictures of Heath from

Venice September 2007. With music by Edenbridge. Uploaded by jopicca



Heath Ledger - Earth

Uploaded by jopicca

and I love this one - The Beautiful One

by jopicca

If you click my post's title, it will take you to another favorite - Desert - by jopicca

Link to my latest Heath Ledger tribute with The Four Feathers movie at www.youtube

and at facebook which I think is a bit better quality.

Rafa Nadal

And now if you are a Rafa (Nadal) fan, and you hate his tennis attire in 2009, read this, it is Funny and true

You, too, can wear those pants we saw on court in Shanghai for $55 at tennis-warehouse

Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a shot to Nikolay Daveydenko of Russia during the final on day eight of the 2009 Shanghai ATP Masters 1000 at Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on October 18, 2009 in Shanghai, China
Photo credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images AsiaPac

More pictures of the Final

Rafa picking up as many tennis balls as possible in 30 seconds

The International Olympic Committee's The Best of Us Challenge, where Olympic athletes are challenging YOU to compete against them in some truly unique events. Go to thebestofuschallenge to take your best shot. The Challenge runs from 14 October to 28, 2009
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When Barack Obama was campaigning for the job he now has, I watched him closely. I worked (volunteered) for the first political candidate in my life - Barack Obama. I went outside my zone of comfort and went door to door in New Hampshire for a week and also in Rhode Island. I was shoved done the road by one citizen in New Hampshire after knocking on his house's door. I phone banked in New Hampshire and New Jersey. I sent in many checks for his campaign even though I really couldn't afford to do so. I remember him saying if we thought he was wrong, once President, that he wanted us to tell him. I remember him saying " I will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear".

He has morphed into something other than what he presented to us as a candidate.

I am a community activist leader to prevent and stop genocide and have been since 2004. When Barack Obama was a U.S. Senator he said all the right things about Darfur. Now, that he is President, he has not.

He has not told us what we need to hear, but more what we want to hear. Too many times.

Leadership is more than getting people into a room, which he has said repeatedly is his strength. I believe he needs to be a leader that is directly involved regarding Darfur and Sudan. Not just someone in the room with others. He needs to Be The Leader in this defining issue. He kept saying "this is our defining moment". Well, I believe there is no more defining issue than what we will and won't say and do regarding genocide. It says a lot that he has let seven months go by and has said very little about Darfur. And he has done even less. And that little he has done because we activists have pressured him. He only appointed the U.S. Special Envoy because we pressed him to appoint someone. And U.S. Special Envoy Scott Gration has been a huge disappointment.

General Gration’s explanation of his incentives-heavy approach:

"We've got to think about giving out cookies," said Gration, who was appointed in March. "Kids, countries, they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement. Source: cookies-khartoum

I also think that Mr. Obama's whole life has been about being conciliatory. And now, since President, I think it can be his weakness. He needs to lead. And by that, I mean he needs to take stronger stands, the kinds he said he would take while running for President.


Sudan's state-sponsored pyromania
Militias burn rebellious villages in southern Sudan.
What will the U.S. do?
Link to article
Los Angeles Times Opinion
"For the past seven months, President Obama's special envoy to Sudan, Maj. General Scott Gration, has led the U.S. response to Sudan's multiple challenges - ongoing humanitarian crisis and political deadlock in Darfur, growing tension between North and South over a 2005 peace deal that is largely unimplemented, and increasing violence in the South in which Khartoum seemingly has a hand. Absent an official policy line, General Gration has had the leeway to implement an approach that many longtime Sudan watchers, including Enough, feel is inappropriately soft on Khartoum.

Today, at 9 a.m. EST Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, and General Gration unveiled the official U.S. policy toward Sudan. They called for a mixture of 'incentives and pressures,' enabling the U.S. to take a more conciliatory stance toward Khartoum if verifiable progress is made toward tackling its various challenges."

Text from an email received today from: http://www.enoughproject.org/

I'm not sure why the embed isn't working here. If you go to the following link, it will take you to the video: See the announcement from today, October 19, 2009
of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration, talked about U.S. policy toward Sudan. The Obama administration began a policy review of policy in March.

The transcript: Sudan Updates: Remarks on the Sudan Strategy

from http://blogfordarfur.org/

Please call the White House and ask President Obama to lead for peace in Sudan.

Here's how:
  1. Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1111. The White House number is frequently busy—please keep trying, as it is critical to getting our message to President Obama.
  2. Tell the person who answers the phone:
    • My name is ______________ and I wanted to thank President Obama for releasing his plan to bring peace to Darfur and Sudan.
    • I am calling to ask that President Obama stick by his word and maintain his commitment to generate multilateral support for both incentives and pressures on Khartoum to create concrete and lasting progress towards peace in Darfur and Sudan.
    • I expect President Obama will exhibit personal leadership and take an active role in seeing this policy through by bringing up Sudan with Chinese President Hu Jintao during his trip to China, as well as with other heads of state.

  3. Let us know how your call went by clicking here—it's an important step for our efforts, so please don't forget!
The success of the plan depends on Presidential leadership. Please make your call today and afterwards let us know how the call went.
Thanks again for all you do to bring peace to Darfur and all of Sudan.

You can also call the following number and be put through to the Whitehouse


Genocide Intervention Network has created the first anti-genocide hotline. Call 1-800-GENOCIDE and enter in your zip code and be connected directly to your elected officials for free.

The hotline will provide you with up-to-date talking points related to current Darfur legislation and other actions your elected officials can take to help end the genocide. Call today and make Darfur a top priority for your representative, senators and the White House.

Click on a link below to view talking points for the appropriate elected representative:


More links regarding this important step:

Sudan: A Critical Moment, A Comprehensive Approach: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/oct/130672.htm
White House Statement: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Statement-of-President-Barack-Obama-on-Sudan-Strategy/

Background briefing for reporters after the press conference: http://www.state.gov/p/af/rls/spbr/2009/130696.htm
From Congress:
Senator Feingold’s Statement: http://feingold.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=319084
Save Darfur Coaltion has commentary and updates on their blog at www.blogfordarfur.org


On October 19, 2009, the Obama administration released is policy toward Sudan. This is a video response and call to action from Genocide Intervention Network Executive Director Sam Bell.
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From genocideinterventionchannel


Regarding President Obama's leadership

Source: www.nytimes.com
President Obama’s legislative career offers cautionary tales about the toll of constant consensus building.

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