Iraq Moratorium Almost Live Blog

Hi All,

I just wanted to let you know that we have the almost live blog up and running.  After your event please come submit a piece at Iraq Moratorium  You can get to the submissions page by clicking on the Read what others have been doing!And don’t forget to add your news!Click here! link.

We would love to hear what you did, how many people were at your event, if you got any media coverage, and of course your pictures, and videos.

Once you submit, one of us will check it over to make sure you aren’t a war monger posting to annoy everyone, and publish it to the blog.


Benign Neglect vs. Strict Control

levitra senza ricetta Sicilia A little Context

There has been a lot of talk on Political Fleshfeast (PFF) about bannings and the rules/enforcement here at Docudharma. Buhdy, joined in this diary and was besieged. As you can imagine, the comments got pretty harsh. If you can’t handle harsh criticism of this site, I suggest you don’t follow the link.

Personally, I have fond feelings for this site, as many of you are people whose DKos writings I appreciated. I have also come to enjoy the … er … free-for-all at Political Fleshfeast. The depth of difference in administrative approach of these two sites is immense, to say the least.

I do not write this from malice, but from the viewpoint of a well-intended outsider. Some of the Docudharma disciplinary warnings quoted at PFF sounded … almost theocratic. Control of expression by contributors must allow a wide breadth of dissent, else full discourse is impossible.

At PFF, the startup was horrendous in that the posing, name-calling and general crap-spewing between lefties and righties was uncontrolled. Since, the level of discourse has improved (you only have to duck now and then) and a few very unlikely truces have been declared. That has come about without a single banning that anyone knows of.

I do not wish to get into a finger-pointing contest, nor will I. Your comments are invited, though I may or may not participate. Honestly, I write this only because I feel it needs to be said, not for any other purpose.

enter site So, I wrote a comment to Buhdy. I’d like you to read it.

I said in an earlier comment that, you are building your own cage. That is not meant as a put-down, just as an observation. I’ve been around the block (a few times too many) and know the signs. Please, take some deep breaths and read what I’m saying with an open mind and take it as heart-felt, sincere advice.

The cage you are building is too small for the breed of animal you wish to preserve.

I was happy to see your site come up. It was gratifying to see a site with a purpose that went beyond raising more lucre to elect the next not-as-bad-as-the-other-guy politician. As a bonus, it sounded as if there would be a more open exchange of views.

Having started up a few web sites myself, I know how frustrating and draining it can be. In fact, the hardest part is remaining focused on the original intent. Giving in to the press of details and extinguishing brush-fires and losing sight of that overarching intent guarantees failure.

You are fighting alligators, here in this comment thread, and there on your site. Stop that. Step back. Take a walk. Talk to yourself. Picture your actions from others’ viewpoints.

You’ve written much that I have liked and agreed with. You have also written much that I have liked and disagreed with.

You are now beset by attacks from all sides. What is your reaction? The reaction I am seeing is that you are injuring and banishing your attackers to go back to their villages and inflame their friends and family. You have multiplied your attackers.

What is the harm your attackers inflict on you to begin with? In my view? No harm. They attack and draw no real, only virtual blood.

Your village, your supporters, will react as they will and your attackers will be marginalized, not as quickly as you might like, but ultimately marginalized. Your supporters need to understand that approach also, lest they become overzealous in their defensive tactics. This way you avoid creating additional enemies, and you avoid a reputation as a village to be avoided.

How do you experience Iraq?

I wrote an essay yesterday titled, Collateral Damage. In it I opened with the same photograph reproduced three times of a pre-teen Iraqi girl mouthed ope’d in horror, clinging to herself, with the image of spattered blood puddled and dripping on the wall to her right and her father’s dead, bare feet to her left.  Someone’s hand is seen reaching to touch her father.  The little girl is alone in her own world of horror.

An astute reader alerted me to the need to place advance warnings on images of this type to allow people not to look, should they be disturbed.

Of course, I will honor that request, as I wish never to inflict pain or distress of any kind on anyone.

But I also have very mixed feelings about this.  Is it moral to be able to distance oneself from what is happening in Iraq?  Is it acceptable not to know and to experience what is being inflicted on victims of violence, whoever they may be, and for whatever societal sanctioned reason?

On this first Iraq Moratorium day, I’d like us to discuss the morality of immersion of and identification with the victims of violence.

To reiterate, for the purposes of this blogging community,on one hand, yes, I don’t want anyone to be shocked and unduly upset, and as I said, personally, I will be careful to give advance notice.

On the other hand, as one who has been in the trenches with blood on my hands, spattered on my clothes, flicked into my eyes and into my nose, and comforting and cleaning up the horror of violence as a part of my job and professional practice, I think it’s my duty to share what that experience is like, to the best of my ability, so that people make INFORMED decisions about supporting violence – whether that be war, police action (tasering, billy clubs, shooting, etc) or any type of societal sanctioned violence.

It is not acceptable for voters to turn their heads any longer, to avoid the landscape of blood and dying and death, to plug their ears to the cries of the victims, to close their noses to the stench of loosened bowels and bladders, and to close their hands and withdraw when the hands of victims are reaching out for comfort and for rescue.

What do you (collectively) think about this?

The New York Times finally came to its senses

and opened its website to anyone and without charge.

Back when the NYT decided to charge $49.95 (or some figure) for access to its most often read columnists, I thought it a moronic journalistic move and an even stupider business move. Obviously, the journalist want the widest audience possible to read their words of wisdom. There was no journalistic justification to limit that audience. Unfortunately, the business wieners gained the upper hand and shut of the reference source.

Undoubtedly, the Times CFO looked at all that money banks rake in by charging $2.00 (now $3.00 if Bank of America can make its increase stick and other banks follow suit) to use a self-service ATM instead of stepping up to a teller for service, and said why can’t the newspaper do the same. Unfortunately, for the Times, not all newspapers were inclined to cut out such a large slice of their respective readership. Researchers were able to go elsewhere and find the substance of what the opinion writers based their opinions upon. There were many other free sources.

I don’t have the facts, but you can be certain that hits on the Times website fell sharply. With a reduced audience, advertisers demanded lower rates. At some point the Times financial people discovered that a break-even point was crossed over and the subscription fees from the few gullible subscribers became less than the lost advertising revenue. The CFO taketh away and the CFO is forced to give back.

It’s great to have Krugman, et al available again to those of us who squeak when we walk. Much like writing to a forum such as this, it is a privilege that someone read one’s opinion writings, even for the professionally opinionated.

Reid and Schumer’s secret FEC deal? (it’s not good) Note: Action item down at the bottom of this diary

I haven’t seen this posted anywhere, and with the focus no longer being on the US attorney firing scandal and the relationship between many of the US attorneys and election integrity issues, I think it bears pointing out.  The deal involves the reconfirmation of Hans von Spakovsky, a hyper partisan republican who has many MANY shady ties to voter suppression tactics over the past couple of decades, as one of six members of the Federal Elections Commission.

Back in May, Ice Just Ice wrote a great diary called “Keep Yer Vote Thievin’ Hans Off the Federal Election Commission: Action Alert!”, and I followed it up (with much help from the ePluribus Media folks) with the three-part series on Hans von Spakovsky that is linked above.  Needless to say (as I will highlight yet again below), von Spakovsky is quite possibly the worst person to serve as one of the FEC Commissioners, and his recess appointment was protested by Senator Kennedy as well as a number of other legal scholars.

Additionally and more recently, von Spakovsky was implicated in a voter suppression flap in Missouri, where he shot down a lawsuit that would more fairly represent the voters and representation for local elections.  Of course, the lawsuit would have allowed more minority board members as a result of the district being a largely minority district, and probably would have resulted in less republicans being elected. All of this being said, Senators Reid and Schumer are ready to cut a deal that would allow him to be reconfirmed for a full term, despite his large role in voter suppression, controversial and illegal voter ID laws, sockpuppetry and the illegal TX redistricting that was engineered by Tom DeLay.

According to a recent post at the Campaign Legal Center blog, Reid and Schumer are looking to cut a deal that would allow one of Schumer’s choices to be confirmed at the FEC in exchange for not challenging the reappointment of von Spakovsky (original article is at Roll Call (behind a subscription wall):

“Senate Democrats are expected to name a top lawyer for Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (D-NY) to fill a vacancy on the Federal Election Commission (FEC), a potentially safe selection that would avoid a brewing showdown with Republicans over a controversial GOP commission pick.

“Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) office plans to ask the White House to nominate Cynthia Bauerly, Schumer’s legislative director, to replace Democratic-nominated commissioner Ellen Weintraub, whose term expired last spring. Weintraub has said she will continue to serve on the commission until her successor is confirmed.”


And if Senators on both sides of the aisle were willing to take their partisan hats off for just a split second, they would agree, both with regard to von Spakovsky’s unfitness for the Commission and the need to fix the structure of this ineffective agency.

Now, some would argue that the FEC really doesn’t have much sway or much influence, but isn’t that one of the major reasons why the campaign finance laws and the election laws are in the shape they are in, and isn’t that one of the major reasons why there is such a cloud over our electoral system and so many people don’t trust the election system?  And isn’t that what was a major contributing factor to the fact that there is such a question over the 2000, 2002 and 2004 elections?

Just as a bit of a refresher, here are just some of the egregious things that von Spakovsky has done over the course of his “career” that have contributed to the state of our current electoral system:

Of course, that is only a quick list of some pretty major things.  And many people in this country know how bad the electoral system is, and have little faith that their vote will be counted – that is if they are even allowed to vote.

Hans von Spakovsky has proven over and over that he has the “permanent republican majority” in mind with all of his actions, and is one of the last people in this country that should be involved in the election system.  Oh yeah, and when he appeared before Congress back in June, he damn near perjured himself with his testimony.

Unfortunately, election integrity, the potential of three stolen elections and the entire election system being gamed from the inside isn’t important enough for Senators Reid and Schumer.  They would rather fold on a man who may have done more than any single person to ruin election integrity in the United States than do what it takes to try and take some relatively minor steps in order to potentially help the electoral system significantly.

******************** Take action!!

At the bottom of this diary by Ice Just Ice are the phone numbers of the Senators who should be contacted, including Reid and Schumer.  Please please please call them, especially if they are your Senator and let them know that von Spakovsky will set back voting rights by decades – even more than he already has.

PONY PARTY… a little bit raw

I have to share some of what happened last night whilst writing in the raw

This is from fatdave. and every time i read it, it blows me away.

propecia tablets prescriptions I stared at where the ripples spread

and waited for you to rise and rise you did. Not where I had anticipated , but calling and waving joyfully from the island across the blackshine. I chuckled at your triumph and the chestnuts shook their overhanging arms to let you know they’d seen your feat, a fog of woody specklets settled still and silent on the taut skin of the dark water. Leaning back onto and into the jettypost I thought of bygone waters. Deeper than any pit I ever stumbled through – my soul darkening to match the surroundings. Dharma Chameleon. Colder than the ice which forms in our hearts sometimes if we let it – and it’s getting easier these days. Where dwells the ancient monster fish of memory and snaps from nowhere. And I think of Paris. Not the one in France. The one which at it’s every accidental waft puts a sting in my eyes. Where no sting ought to be.And because it’s an open thread, I don’t actually need to be here with you.


it’s pfiore8 with you at noon… pULease: don’t rec the pony party… do talk, play, have a laugh, shed a tear, and remember to be excellent to each other.

vardenafil senza ricetta Sicilia take action: Iraq Moratorium Day… remember the despair, death, and destruction… be vigilant against those who continue to promote it… speak up… stand up

PONY PARTY… a little bit more raw

it’s 6pm and i hope when you read this, i’ll be waiting for my plane at Newark airport… and not stuck somewhere else… heaven’s love!

Here’s an excerpt from a comment by KrisC, just reacting, just writing in the raw

I want to hand my children a world that I can proudly say, “The world was on the brink, we worked hard, we exchanged ideas and came up with solutions, for you…for my grandchildren and the next 7 generations…”

order cialis on line I have to tell my children that I did something to try and change what happened.


Overheard in the Senate Shitter

I’d been sitting in a dive In Washington DC all day drinking slow-gin fizzes and eating boiled eggs out of a big jar on the bar.  No matter how much I drank, the waitress never got any prettier so I decided I’d tour The US Senate.

I had to go through a magnometer and it must have somehow affected my bowels because no sooner than I had entered, I felt (and heard) a rumbling in my gut that damned near brought me to my knees.

It got worse and I started farting.  Since the aroma would have knocked a buzzard off the carcass of menstruating skunk, the tour group distanced themselves from me. I was moving kinda slow because I was holding my knees together tighter than a 12 year-old Alabama girl sitting on her Uncle’s lap.  Soon I had been left behind.  I ducked down a corridor, saw a restroom, and dashed in even though the door said “Members Only”. 

It was all over in a flash (I thought) and as I reached for the asswipe (yes, The Constitution is printed on it) two guys came in and started to take a piss.  I’ve never understood the term “take a piss”, seems like it should be “leave a piss”, but any way they started talking.

Now I don’t want to see any fuckin’ comments about “My Stance”.  I don’t have “A Stance” because I always shit in the lotus position.  Since we are all Buddhists here, I know you understand. They didn’t see me.

I couldn’t see them either, but you should’ve heard what I heard.

Pisser #1:  Damn I’ve been busy.  My constituents are calling, emailing and faxing me night and day.

Pisser #2: I know, it’s this fucking Internet Blog thing.  I talked to some of my folks back home and I’ll be damned if they don’t understand Parliamentary Procedure and Senate Rules.

P1:  Mine too.  They’re also aware of current events.  I miss the good old days when they didn’t know cloture from a dirt clod.  I don’t know about your Party, but all of us are worried.

P2: Yep, same same.  Many in our Party actually want us to force you to filibuster when you obstruct our programs.

(They both started laughing hysterically)

P1: You know it’s amazing that here we are from different political parties and we are both pissing together as equals. You’re a Democrat, I’m a Republican, and we’re here pissing together as brothers.
But what I really want to know is… why is your peeing so much louder than mine?

P2: It’s simple.  I’m pissing on your briefcase.

This, my friends, sent my bowels into another spasm.  I laughed so hard that I fired off another shit-salvo of rotten eggs and slow-gin that reeked so bad, I could actually see the ass-funk as it spread through the Senator’s Washroom. 

I had just enough time to wipe and run out the door faster than a scalded dog.  As I ran out of the building, I could hear all kinds of alarms going off and noticed other people fleeing the building as well.

Most of them thought it was a Iraqi terrorist gas attack.  I went back to the bar, but laid off the eggs for the rest of my stay in DC.

Pony Party: Moratorium On the Third Friday of every month, starting this Friday, Take Action! Iraq

The Iraq Moratorium will be an escalating monthly series of actions demanding an end to the war. Starting on Friday, September 21 and on the third Friday of every month thereafter, we will take the time to show our President and Congress that our troops must be brought home, now!

will fail drug test clomid pregnancy Sign the pledge, DONATE!!, find an event in your area…..other suggestions

Observe Moratorium Day By Yourself!

source You can break with your daily routine and take action to end the war by yourself on Moratorium Day. Here are things some of the folks who signed on plan to do!

Call your Representative and your Senators! Tell their staff what you think. Let them know that you expect them to do everything possible to end the war and bring the troops home! [The Capitol Hill switchboard number is 202-224-3121.]

Write your Representative and your Senators! A handwritten letter has even more impact than a phone call.

Wear a black ribbon or armband!

Hand out ribbons or armbands to others.

Don’t buy gas.

Don’t shop at all.

Drive 10 MPH under the posted speed limit.

Write a letter to your local newspaper.

Hit your elected officials where it hurts, with a voided campaign contribution check. [edit dead link]

Write “Stop the War” or other slogans on the sidewalk in chalk.

Put a sign on your lawn or in your window

Buy toy soldiers, put tags on them that say “Bring Me Home” and leave them in stores, parks, libraries, laundromats, anywhere people will find them.

Email friends and family and urge them to sign the Iraq Moratorium pledge and to one of these steps, too.
STOP the War * Bring Our Troops Home

(quoted from “suggestions” link above)

Once you’ve done your part, treat yourself to some ‘Peace Pie’

…but please Don’t Feed the Ponies!!

Without further ado, the floor is yours…

~73v, over and out


The NYTimes runs another fawning “America’s Mayor” piece on Rudy. The idiocy of trumpeting Rudy’s “leadership” is made manifest by this part:

Here is the rich irony for those who look askance at Mr. Giuliani’s myth-making moment. His march uptown should not have been necessary, many experts say.

Mr. Giuliani insisted in 1997 on placing his state-of-the-art emergency command center at 7 World Trade Center, mocking critics who warned that it was too close to a terror target. On Sept. 11, that building collapsed. Had the center been placed in Brooklyn, as a mayoral aide had suggested, the cameras might not have made a legend of a dust-shrouded mayor.

But there were other lapses of leadership amongst New York politicians that people forget. More.

I have had many a battle about racism in the Democratic Party and how it effected Freddie Ferrer’s chances to be the first Latino mayor of New York. I believe that Mark Green’s attempted exploitation of the racist stereotypes about the competence of non-whites in 2001 campaign should and will forever tarnish his reputation.

And his behavior, along with Mike Bloomberg’s after 9/11 should also be remembered. They both behaved disgracefully:

Even as the fires burned at ground zero, Democrats and Republicans campaigned in a mayoral election. In late September Mr. Giuliani summoned Mr. Green, who was running in the Democratic primary, to his command post.

Mr. Giuliani, as Mr. Green recalled, was blunt: I want to remain in office three more months. I have a great team, I can lobby Washington. I’m being reasonable, he cautioned; my supporters want me to run for a new term.

Oh yes, he added, I need your answer tonight.

Mr. Green was taken aback. Yom Kippur, the holiest of Jewish holidays, was hours away. His closest advisers, many of whom were Jewish, would not pick up the phone.

“He made it clear he would invest his Churchillian popularity in hitting whomever did not go along with him,” Mr. Green said in an interview.

That many wanted the mayor to stay on is undeniable. But American electoral democracy rarely pauses. Abraham Lincoln held elections in 1864. Franklin D. Roosevelt stood for re-election as World War II raged.

“It was a very dangerous idea,” said Mr. Schwarz, the former corporation counsel. “The knight on the white horse is always indispensable in his own mind.”

Five days after the attacks, anonymous leaflets urged Mr. Giuliani to run. The governor had postponed the Sept. 11 primary. But when a mayoral aide inquired about pushing back other election dates, Mr. Pataki refused.

A few advisers cautioned the mayor against draining his vast reservoir of good will. The mayor spoke at first against the idea of serving beyond his term. But many in his tightly held circle at City Hall urged him on, as did talk show hosts. World leaders lionized him; he would soon be knighted. You are needed to put the city back on its feet, advisers said.

“This wasn’t about ego; it was about recovery,” said Joseph J. Lhota, a former deputy mayor, referring to Mr. Giuliani’s effort to stay on. “It just lasted four days, maybe a week.”

In fact, the mayor’s campaign lasted nearly a month. Mr. Giuliani warmed to the task, jabbing at potential rivals as disaster neophytes. He wrote of a charity fund-raiser in October: “I got a kick out of Adam Sandler” who “managed to rhyme ‘Giuliani’ with ‘why must you be gone-ee?’ “

Mr. Giuliani tried to persuade the candidates, Mr. Green and Fernando Ferrer of the Democrats and Michael R. Bloomberg, the Republican, to support a term extension.

Mr. Green gave in, to his regret. Mr. Bloomberg acceded; Mr. Ferrer refused.

“In retrospect, I was wrong,” Mr. Green said.

Wrong? Yes indeed. Horribly wrong for even considering it. You should have done what Ferrer did when he was asked – immmediately without a thought said no. You needed to realize what he did – that in a democracy, we do not appoint dictators. You do not get to agree to that. Even if you are such a coward that you do.

You failed as a leader Mr Green, As you did when you allowed your campaign to race bait. Mark Green showed his colors in the moments of truth. No one should ever forget that. Just like Rudy did.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Most Popular, Most Recommended

1 Rather: Government influencing newsrooms
By SAMANTHA GROSS, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 21 minutes ago

NEW YORK – Dan Rather said Thursday that the undue influence of the government and large corporations over newsrooms spurred his decision to file a $70 million lawsuit against CBS and its former parent company.

“Somebody, sometime has got to take a stand and say democracy cannot survive, much less thrive with the level of big corporate and big government interference and intimidation in news,” he said on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”

“They sacrificed support for independent journalism for corporate financial gain, and in so doing, I think they undermined a lot at CBS News,” he told King.

2 Pentagon probes $6 billion in contracts
By RICHARD LARDNER, Associated Press Writer
Thu Sep 20, 9:17 PM ET

WASHINGTON – Federal investigators are examining allegations of criminal misconduct related to $6 billion worth of contracts for equipment and services needed in Iraq and Afghanistan, a senior Pentagon official said Thursday.

The financial scope of the inquiries was provided during a congressional hearing at which Defense Department representatives were criticized for moving too slowly to deal with a growing number of cases of contract fraud and abuse.

Following the testimony from Thomas Gimble, the Pentagon’s deputy inspector general, members of the House Armed Services Committee questioned whether a “culture of corruption” had consumed the military’s system for buying the gear the troops need to fight.

From Yahoo News Most Popular, Most Viewed

3 Democrats proceed with Iraq legislation

By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 19 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats defiantly charged ahead Thursday with legislation ordering troops home from Iraq, still lacking the votes to win but armed with the mantra that Republicans, along with President Bush, now own the war.

“They want this war more than they want to protect our soldiers,” Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters. “When I say they want the war, they want to protect their president more than they want to protect our troops.”

Reid spoke minutes after Republicans successfully pushed through, by a 72-25 vote, a resolution condemning an advertisement by the liberal activist group Displayed in The New York Times, the ad taunted Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, as “General Betray Us.”

From Yahoo News Top Stories

4 FBI tapes Stevens calls as part of sting
By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer
59 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – The FBI, working with an Alaska oil contractor, secretly taped telephone calls with Sen. Ted Stevens as part of a public corruption sting, according to people close to the investigation.

The secret recordings suggest the Justice Department was eyeing Stevens long before June, when the Republican senator first publicly acknowledged he was under scrutiny. At that time, it appeared Stevens was a new focus in a case that had already ensnared several state lawmakers.

The recorded calls between Stevens and businessman Bill Allen were confirmed by two people close to the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still under way. They declined to say how many calls were recorded or what was said.

5 Bush defends Iraq troop plan, slams Democrats
By Matt Spetalnick, Reuters
Thu Sep 20, 2:20 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President George W. Bush on Thursday defended his plan for limited U.S. troop cuts in Iraq and denounced Democrats for not taking a stronger stand against an anti-war group’s attack on the credibility of his top Iraq commander.

Bush was speaking at his first news conference since delivering a televised address backing Gen. David Petraeus’ proposal to withdraw about 20,000 troops by July. But as in his speech last Thursday, he defied calls for a dramatic change of course in Iraq.

“Progress will yield fewer troops (in Iraq),” Bush said. “In other words, return on success is what I said.”

From Yahoo News World

6 Why the Tough Talk on Iran?
By TONY KARON, Time Magazine
2 hours, 13 minutes ago

President Bush must serve up a pretty convincing hamburger: Ever since his Kennebunkport cookout with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, the French have been rattling sabers at Iran with a ferocity that must please even the most Francophobe hawks within the Administration.

Recent tough talk by Sarkozy was ratcheted up last weekend by his foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, who urged the world to prepare for war against Iran. He later insisted that he meant simply that war was the worst possible outcome but that the failure of diplomatic pressure to dissuade Iran from enriching uranium would make war inevitable. To underscore the point, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon added Monday, “The Iranians must understand that tension has reached an extreme point … in the relationship [with] its neighbors.”

7 Kurds denounce U.S. detention of Iranian
By Jay Price and Yaseen Taha, McClatchy Newspapers
Thu Sep 20, 6:42 PM ET

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq – U.S. troops arrested an Iranian man during an early morning raid on a hotel in this northern Iraqi city Thursday and accused him of helping to smuggle a deadly type of roadside bomb into Iraq .

But the Kurdistan Regional Government in a statement called the arrest “illegitimate,” said the man was a member of a trade delegation that had been invited to Sulaimaniyah by the local government and demanded that he be released.

“Actions like these serve no one,” the statement said.

8 U.S. calls meeting to prepare new sanctions against Iran

By Matthew Schofield, McClatchy Newspapers Thu Sep 20, 5:45 PM ET

VIENNA, Austria – After 18 years of concealing a nuclear program from the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency and four years of fruitless talks with the international community, Iran has pledged to come clean with facts to back up its claim that it isn’t seeking to build a nuclear weapon.

But the Bush administration, wary of any Iranian moves short of an immediate halt to its nuclear enrichment program, will attempt to convince other major powers Friday to impose tougher United Nations sanctions on Tehran .

The question of whether Iran will have the time it seeks to clear the air over its nuclear program will be central at the Washington talks, which the State Department announced even as the International Atomic Energy Agency announced a “work plan” to reconstruct Iran’s past activities.

9 Myanmar under international pressure over protests
1 hour, 38 minutes ago

YANGON (AFP) – Myanmar’s military junta came under growing international pressure Friday as it faces the most sustained challenge to its rule in nearly two decades, led by Buddhist monks.

Britain and the United States said they were “appalled” at its handling of peaceful protests which have spread across the country.

More than 1,300 monks took to the streets Thursday in Myanmar’s main city Yangon, drawing thousands of supporters in the largest anti-junta rally there since the protests first erupted.

10 Pakistani Islamists rally against Musharraf
14 minutes ago

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Hundreds of Islamic hardliners chanting “Al-Jihad” protested outside Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday against President Pervez Musharraf’s plan to be re-elected in uniform.

Around 800 members of opposition fundamentalist parties, waving green and white flags and banners with Islamist slogans, called on military ruler Musharraf to step down.

Several dozen supporters of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan held a separate protest outside the court, a day after the election commission set October 6 as the date for the presidential election.

11 Iraq’s Maliki to look into Sunni political demands
56 minutes ago

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has agreed to look into political demands of the main Sunni Arab political bloc which pulled out of his Shi’ite-led government last month, his office said.

Maliki held “positive” talks late on Thursday with members of the Sunni Accordance Front, led by Deputy Prime Minister Salam al-Zobaie, an official in Maliki’s office said.

“The prime minister ordered the formation of a committee to look into the demands of the Accordance Front regarding the government,” the official said.

12 French soldier dies in attack in Kabul
By Sayed Salahuddin, Reuters
3 minutes ago

KABUL (Reuters) – A suicide car bomber targeted a convoy carrying NATO troops on Friday in the Afghan capital, killing one French soldier of the alliance and wounding several Afghan civilians, police said.

The attack in the western outskirts of Kabul city came hours after some 40 militants were killed in Garmsir district of southern Helmand province in an operation by Afghan government and U.S.-led troops, according to the U.S. military.

In Kabul, senior police official Ali Shah Paktiawal said of the convoy blast: “It was a suicide car attack against NATO, and one of its French soldiers has been killed.”

13 Afghan general cautious on peace talks
By BRIAN MURPHY, Associated Press Writers
1 hour, 15 minutes ago

BAZARAK, Afghanistan – An anti-Taliban general who fought alongside U.S. forces during the 2001 invasion predicted Thursday that a proposal for peace talks will be snubbed by the Islamic militia’s hard-liners and foreign fighters but may entice some insurgent factions.

Gen. Bismillah Khan, now chief of the Afghan general staff, said efforts to bring about negotiations would be a “long and complex process.”

His comments, made during a visit by the most senior U.S. military chief for the region, appeared to reflect a more cautious view by some in the Afghan military toward a push by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to open talks with the Taliban.

14 Survivor recalls Blackwater shootings
By BUSHRA JUHI, Associated Press Writer
22 minutes ago

BAGHDAD – Lawyer Hassan Jabir was stuck in traffic when he heard Blackwater USA security contractors shout “Go, Go, Go.” Moments later bullets pierced his back, he said Thursday from his hospital bed.

Jabir was among about a dozen people wounded Sunday during the shooting in west Baghdad’s Mansour neighborhood. Iraqi police say at least 11 people were killed.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki described the shooting as a “crime” by Blackwater, a N.C.-based company that guards American diplomats and civilian officials in Iraq.

15 Bin Laden urges Pakistanis to rebel
By LEE KEATH, Associated Press Writer
Thu Sep 20, 4:35 PM ET

CAIRO, Egypt – Osama bin Laden called on Pakistanis to wage holy war on their president Thursday, saying in a new recording that it was their religious duty to overthrow Gen. Pervez Musharraf for his alliance with the U.S. against Islamic militants.

The message was the third from bin Laden this month after a long lull, coming in a flurry of al-Qaida propaganda marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States.

Joining in, bin Laden’s chief deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, issued a video Thursday seeking to galvanize Islamic fighters from North Africa to Afghanistan.

From Yahoo News U.S.

16 FEMA chief touts agency’s progress
By F.N. D’ALESSIO, Associated Press Writer
Thu Sep 20, 9:04 PM ET

CHICAGO – The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now prepared to handle a disaster the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina, and those seeking evidence need look no further than catastrophes that hit the nation this year, agency Administrator R. David Paulison said Thursday.

Proof of FEMA’s reforms were in its rapid response to a killer tornado in Kansas, its preparedness for Category 5 Hurricane Dean and its efficient processing of disaster declaration requests after torrential rains in Illinois, said Paulison, making his remarks in an interview with The Associated Press as he visited Chicago as part of National Preparedness Month.

“We’re trying to deal with 30 years of bureaucracy that’s been built up and to streamline all the processes,” said Paulison, a former Miami-Dade fire chief named to the FEMA post after his predecessor, Michael Brown, resigned following the agency’s bungled response to Katrina two years ago.

17 Bush, Dems draw battle lines over health care
By Donna Smith, Reuters
Thu Sep 20, 3:46 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President George W. Bush vowed on Thursday to veto a plan to expand health insurance for children in low-income families, drawing criticism from Democrats and some fellow Republicans and setting the stage for a major battle with Congress.

Democratic leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives are moving toward agreement on a bill that would increase funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program by $35 billion and raise tobacco taxes to cover the cost. The federal tax on cigarettes would rise by 61 cents a pack to $1.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, accused Bush of “going back on his word” on a campaign promise to enroll millions of kids in the program.

18 The Dems’ Best Chance on Iraq?
1 hour, 29 minutes ago

Can five times be the charm?

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin and Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed certainly hope so. In this week’s congressional tug of war over Iraq policy, their amendment to the defense spending bill – the latest version of one they’ve introduced four times before – has the best chance of ultimately winning the 60 votes required to give it a fuller Senate consideration. Finding 60 votes this time around is unlikely. But it is steadily gaining support.

Levin-Reed, which reached the Senate floor Thursday afternoon, is the most carefully engineered measure designed by Democrats to limit the scope of the war. It directs the Secretary of Defense to reduce the number of U.S. combat troops in Iraq and alter the remaining forces’ mission to three smaller roles: force protection, training of Iraqi forces and counter-terrorism operations against al-Qaeda.

From Yahoo News Politics

19 McCain to criticize Giuliani on guns
By LIBBY QUAID, Associated Press Writer
Thu Sep 20, 11:05 PM ET

WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate John McCain lobbed a thinly veiled attack at fellow rival Rudy Giuliani, describing the former mayor’s “devious” attempt with a lawsuit “to bankrupt our great gun manufacturers.”

Giuliani said he preferred to focus on the lion’s share of issues on which he and the National Rifle Association agree.

Sen. McCain, R-Ariz., and the former New York mayor are among several officials speaking Friday at a National Rifle Association conference.

20 Thompson shrugs off Dobson criticism
By PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press Writer
Thu Sep 20, 9:00 PM ET

DALLAS – Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson on Thursday shrugged off harsh criticism from James Dobson, saying he has friends who likely know the influential Christian leader and they hold him in high regard.

In a private e-mail obtained by The Associated Press, Dobson accuses the former Tennessee senator and actor of being weak on the campaign trail and wrong on issues dear to social conservatives.

“Isn’t Thompson the candidate who is opposed to a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage, believes there should be 50 different definitions of marriage in the U.S., favors McCain-Feingold, won’t talk at all about what he believes, and can’t speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail?” Dobson wrote.

From Yahoo News Business

21 House prices to drop much lower: Greenspan
5 minutes ago

VIENNA (Reuters) – A big overhang of property will bring U.S. house prices down further, but it is too early to say if the economy will plunge into recession, former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan was quoted as saying on Friday.

Greenspan said in an interview with Austrian magazine Format that low interest rates in the past 15 years were to blame for the house price bubble, but that central banks were powerless when they tried to bring it under control.

“It’s a difficult situation, there is an enormous overhang on the real estate market,” Greenspan was quoted as saying. “Many buildings which just have been finished can’t be sold …”

22 GM, UAW to resume talks later Friday
By Jui Chakravorty, Reuters
2 hours, 1 minute ago

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Corp (GM.N) and the United Auto Workers union broke off negotiations early on Friday and agreed to return to the bargaining table later in the day, as 73,000 GM workers returned for another day of work without a new contract.

Talks adjourned around 12:45 a.m. EDT on Friday, GM spokesman Tom Wickham said, as the two sides adjourned a bargaining session of more than 14 hours.

The largest U.S. automaker and its major union have been locked in intensive labor negotiations since last Friday, when the UAW’s past contract expired.

23 Canadians find better bargains in US
By ROB GILLIES, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 10 minutes ago

TORONTO – Canadians are expressing pride in their economy but might be more inclined to go on shopping sprees in the U.S. after the Canadian dollar reached parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time since 1976.

Thanks to a sinking U.S. dollar and soaring commodities prices that benefit oil-rich Canada, the “loonie” – named for the Canadian bird depicted on the one-dollar coin – could be exchanged 1-for-1 with the greenback Thursday.

“It makes me feel very proud. It’s a signal that our economy is doing well,” said Toronto freelance writer Ayah McKhail. “Everywhere you go in the world, the American dollar is just seen as the strongest one (currency). So to feel that, as a Canadian, our dollar is finally there, it’s very exciting.”

From Yahoo News Science

24 ‘Jurassic Park’ dino had feathers: study
2 hours, 29 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The velociraptor, the fierce scaly-skinned dinosaur made popular by the film “Jurassic Park,” actually had feathers, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.

Scientists have long been aware that many dinosaurs had feathers, but scientists who made a fresh examination of a collection of velociraptor bones found indications of quill knobs where feathers may have been anchored.

Paleontologists from the American Museum of Natural History and the Field Museum of Natural History made the discovery while examining fossils of a forearm bone that was dug up in Mongolia in 1998.

25 Chinese seabird on verge of extinction
By ALEXA OLESEN, Associated Press Writer
Fri Sep 21, 12:05 AM ET

BEIJING – The Chinese crested tern, a rare sea bird whose eggs are prized by some as a delicacy, is likely to be extinct in five years if authorities do not step up protection efforts, a conservation group said Friday.

The bird looks set to be the latest ecological victim of China’s rapid 30-year economic expansion and industrialization, which has raised the standard of living for hundreds of millions of Chinese but ravaged the environment. Late last year, scientists declared that a rare Chinese river dolphin was effectively extinct after conducting a fruitless six-week search for the creature in its Yangtze River habitat.

26 Astronomers: Neptune’s south pole warmer
Associated Press
Fri Sep 21, 12:46 AM ET

PARIS – Scientists say that Neptune, one of the coldest planets in the solar system, has a surprising warm spot – relatively speaking. An international team of astronomers has found that Neptune’s south pole is warmer than other parts of the planet.

Temperatures at its south pole are about 18 degrees warmer than elsewhere on the planet – not much for a planet with an average temperature colder than 320 degrees below zero.

The apparent reason is that the south pole has been in the summer sunlight for about 40 years.

From Yahoo News Travel

27 Gettysburg Cyclorama getting facelift
By MARTHA RAFFAELE, Associated Press Writer
Thu Sep 20, 3:36 PM ET

GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Slowly but surely, a 123-year-old oil painting designed to place viewers in the middle of the climactic, ill-fated Confederate assault on Union Army troops during the Battle of Gettysburg is returning to its former glory in a new home.

A team of conservators has begun installing the 14 original sections that comprise French artist Paul D. Philippoteaux’s 360-degree canvas inside a museum and visitor center under construction at Gettysburg National Military Park.

The canvas has been cleaned and is being mended before each section is hoisted into place with a system of ropes and pulleys. The conservators work atop a temporary platform in the gallery, kneeling on rubber mats and leaving their shoes off to protect the material.

Michael Medved And Genocide Denial

(Bumped, 7:30 am – promoted by ek hornbeck)

“Few opinions that I will express” are more certain that Michael Medved denies genocide. No, it is not an opinion, he literally denies genocide.

Reject the Lie of White “Genocide” Against Native Americans

Few opinions I’ve expressed on air have produced a more indignant, outraged reaction than my repeated insistence that the word “genocide” in no way fits as a description of the treatment of Native Americans by British colonists or, later, American settlers.

I’ve never denied that the 400 year history of American contact with the Indians includes many examples of white cruelty and viciousness — just as the Native Americans frequently (indeed, regularly) dealt with the European newcomers with monstrous brutality and, indeed, savagery. In fact, reading the history of the relationship between British settlers and Native Americans its obvious that the blood-thirsty excesses of one group provoked blood thirsty excesses from the other, in a cycle that listed with scant interruption for several hundred years.

Crossposted at Progressive Historians

Michael Medved’s genocide denial needs no commentary from me –

But none of the warfare (including an Indian attack in 1675 that succeeded in butchering a full one-fourth of the white population of Connecticut, and claimed additional thousands of casualties throughout New England) on either side amounted to genocide. Colonial and, later, the American government, never endorsed or practiced a policy of Indian extermination; rather, the official leaders of white society tried to restrain some of their settlers and militias and paramilitary groups from unnecessary conflict and brutality.

– just the facts will do.

Professor of Philosophy Henry Theriault Discusses Comparative Dimension of Genocide Denial

Nevertheless, denial of the genocide of Native Americans is still very strong. It works primarily through omission; people just refuse to talk about the issue. There was a strong backlash to newspaper editorials urging free discussion of this topic, which were published in 1992, the fifth centenary of the European discovery of the Americas. That denial has continued in the past decade, and deniers try to explain the extermination of the Native Americans as just an unfortunate event.

Even when Native Americans sue the government to reclaim their lands on violated treaty grounds, the courts usually throw these cases out. Moreover, when uranium was discovered in the 20th century in Native American reservations, the US claimed the uranium in the name of national security, without proper compensation.

Instead of a rant by me, I’d like to support this solution. Which is, to get Genocide Education into the classrooms and everywhere, far and wide.

Education As A Tool For Combating Armenian Genocide And Holocaust Denial

Bartrop discussed some of the challenges of dealing with denial in the classroom – to what extent should students be exposed to deniers, how teachers can help students understand and question the motives of genocide deniers, and how to combat denial.  At a minimum, he asserted, students should know that deniers exists, recognize their motives and be prepared to answer questions of opposition.  These are lessons in social responsibility.

Bartrop went on to discuss the various forms and processes of denial, including either rationalizing or trivializing genocide, how deniers falsify research findings, misquote or dismiss the veracity of the evidence to the contrary.  “Teaching about genocide is a matter of self-interest if we wish to live in a civilized society which elevates humanity and denigrates barbarism of the kind the perpetrators of genocide have practiced,” concluded Dr. Bartrop.

I said no rant, and I meant it. I’m grateful for caring people like Dr. Bartrop. Enough said.

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