Conflict in Congo

From The Big Picture:

In the eastern mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), a rebel army led by Laurent Nkunda – a former General of the DR Congo armed forces – recently launched attacks and captured territory after a peace treaty had failed with the government. Nkunda’s forces are Tutsi rebels, fighting against the DR Congo government forces and U.N. peacekeeeping forces. The U.N. has over 17,000 troops in the Congo right now, but they are widely dispersed, and have been unable to fully protect civilians or even defend their own bases. Nkunda’s rebels forced government soldiers to retreat from intense battles up to the edges of the provincial capital of Goma. The biggest losers in this conflict are the hundreds of thousands of civilians caught in the middle – forced to relocate repeatedly, many victims of looting, rape and murder by both advancing rebels and some government soldiers – looking to thinly-spread U.N. forces for help. The humanitarian crisis and threat of further regional destabilization, has made this conflict a top U.N. priority recently.

Election Email

I get email!

Hey Chris,

I am one of the lucky ticket holders for the Obama rally tomorrow night. I expect it to be a mix of madness, excitement, and history with a little bit of body odor sprinkled in. I may set up a dedicated Twitter account so I can “phone in” my thoughts of the night’s events as they unfold. That is, if there is enough Sprint coverage available in the area for text messages tomorrow night. If you’d like, I can link you to the Twitter. Just in case anyone is interested in the event.


Erin has set up a Twitter page here for those who want to follow the Obama Rally by somebody who is actually there.

I was trying to think of a way to cover the election tomorrow night and I think Erin has made me think that the best thing I can do is to publish pictures and experiences of my readers as they are at the polls or at election parties. What do you Cynics think?

Hindus Urged to Vote Against Prop. 8

From The Advocate:

Navya Shastra, the international Hindu reform organization based in Troy, Mich., sent out a press release Friday urging California voters to reject Proposition 8, which would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry under California law.

The organization notes that Hinduism has never classified homosexuality as a sin. While some ancient law codes have been critical of homosexual acts, the denomination has never called for the persecution of gays. In fact, there is ample evidence that alternative lifestyles have been accepted throughout Hindu history. Several modern Hindu leaders have also spoken positively of gay rights; however, many American Hindus remain uncomfortable with homosexuality.

“According to the Hindu contemplative tradition, we are all manifestations of the one universal spirit, straight or gay, and worthy of the same respect and rights” said Jaishree Gopal, chairman of Navya Shastra, in the release. “We urge American Hindus in California to remember this central insight of their faith when they vote on November 4.”

(via Joe My God)

Joe the Plumber Ambushed by Real Plumbers


The man known to the country as Joe The Plumber was ambushed at a campaign event in Ohio Sunday.

“Hey, Joe, get a license. Joe, get a license! Joe, get a license! Pay your taxes. Pay your taxes,” the man yelled as a couple dozen people looked on.

A Chabot supporter ended up shoving the yelling protester out of the way and the two had to be separated by others, WLWT reported.

No one was hurt or arrested.

Court documents show Wurzelbacher owes nearly $1,200 in back taxes. Wurzelbacher, who questioned Obama during a campaign stop on Sunday, acknowledged he doesn’t have a plumber’s license, saying he doesn’t need one because he works for someone else. But a city building inspection official says Wurzelbacher still would need to be a licensed apprentice or journeyman to work in Toledo, and he’s not.

And as a bonus, Joe the (Unlicensed) Plumber calling Obama disloyal and anti-democratic on Fox News.