Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In My Mother's Arms

Posted by John Ballard

I got the link from Issandr El Amrani's blog.

This is a documentary. It's about three-quarers of an hour. It does not have a happy ending.
Anyone who supports war needs to take time to watch this film.

In Sadr City, Baghdad, 32 football-crazy boys live, eat, study and sleep together in a rented two-bedroom house which functions as an unofficial orphanage.

The orphanage receives no government or NGO support. It exists only because of the dedication and energy of Husham and his small team of helpers who felt they had to do something - anything - to tackle a problem that threatens to undermine Iraqi society.

The children who are Sunni, Shia, Kurdish and Turkuman are representative faces of contemporary Iraq, and their lives sum up one of the deepest issues facing Iraqi society today.

The boys are just a handful of the five million children, who according to Iraqi government figures, have been left parentless in successive waves of violence since 2003.

Husham and his workers spend their days trying to cope with the practical and psychological fallout from the trauma that has shattered Iraq in the past decade.

Young Saif lost both his parents in a bomb blast and it has taken a great toll on him. He feels alone in the world and fights with everyone and anyone.

And there is also a new threat: the landlord of the house wants to sell the property, leaving the boys and their carers with nowhere to go.

Filmed over the course of several months, In My mother's Arms presents an astonishing portrait of life in the orphanage. The children laugh, squabble and cry together and take uncertain steps on the road back to a normal future. And Husham and his colleagues face up to the ongoing struggle to support the boys under their care with humour, resilience and unwavering determination.

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