Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Subject: Confirmed PROTESTS This Weekend: STOP the STONING of Sakine Mohammadi!LONDON, England: Friday July 2, 18:00-21:00 outside the Islamic Republic Embassy, 16 Prince’s Gate, London SW7 1PT, تلفن اطلاعات: 07515732665
KÖLN (Cologne), Germany: Sunday July 4, Mourning Mothers will gather at the Church Door in the City Center at 11am to protest the threatened executions of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani and Zeinab Jalalian.
TORONTO, Canada: Sunday July 4, Community Fair at the Toronto Pride Week festivities; activities will consist of handing out flyers and talking to the community about stopping the stoning of Sakine. (more details forthcoming)
WASHINGTON DC, United States: Friday July 2, 6:00pm outside the Islamic Republic Interests Section of the Pakistani Embassy, 2209 Wisconsin Ave NW. Walk to DuPont Circle to read demands and share information with the community about Sakine Mohammadi, Zeinab Jalalian, and removing the Islamic Republic from the UN Commission on the Status of Women
You too can set up an event on Friday in your town.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Update: From Michael Tomask's take at The Guardian,
To me it's like this. Any society is full of competing values and interests. Here, we have the value of individual liberty competing with the value of overall social health. I have big trouble taking seriously the idea that making fast-food joints post their nutritional information is fascism. However, I have a hard time seeing how any sane person could deny that a largely fast-food diet will kill a person.Eat as we wish is an inalienable right. I'd hate to think it would be otherwise.
It'd be nice if conservatives showed an ounce of interest in this problem, instead of acting as if a person's right to live on triple bacon-cheeseburgers is as inalienable as free speech. And it's interesting once again that McDonald's and Wendy's and the rest are not just junk-food purveyors but also major international corporations and the GOP just happens to be on their side.
Tamara Holder: Crazy Or Reasonable Belief: Blagojevich Appointed to Ambassador of India In Exchange For Valerie Jarrett Senate Appointment
Holder blogs on the appointments of Louis Susman aka"The Vacuum" as Ambassador to Britain, John Roos to Japan, and Charles Rivkin to France and concludes,
I am not suggesting Obama engaged in quid pro quo appointments. But, instead, I am suggesting that before we laugh at Blagojevich for what appears to be, on the surface, completely delusional ideas, we must look at the entire appointment process as a whole.
It is becoming more and more clear that Blagojevich sought the counsel of many of his staff members. Thus far, we have not heard one advisor tell him, "No, you cannot seek something in exchange from Obama. That is illegal and you will go to prison." Not once.
Maybe that's because his desire for an exchange is not illegal...
No kidding, it seems the weakest of the cases. Now, the deal for that power plant in Iraq, or what in the world was the Guv doing with Nadhmi Auchi and Ayhim Alsammarae at the Four Seasons? Now those seem like the potential for deals coming down 'cause these aren't the kinda guys who just exchanged appreciation.
Subject: ATTENTION: Friday July 2nd: Global Protest Against the Stoning Verdict of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani
Global Protest Against the Stoning Verdict of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani!
Those responsible for stoning should be prosecuted in an International court.
In response to the plight of the children of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Campaign to Save Sakine calls upon you to protest against this verdict in any possible way.
Sakine’s life and her children’s future are in danger. How could a child witness its own mother’s death by stoning and live a normal life? What is this savagery and barbarity which interferes in the most private matters of an adult individual’s life then judges and condemns that individual to a most violent death by stoning? This act of savagery must be confronted by a wave of opposition by everyone who has heard this horrendous news.
Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani is confined in Tabriz prison, her two applications for pardon have not been answered, and her stoning verdict has been transmitted to Tabriz prison to be executed. The only way to save Sakine is through intensive global protest.
An appeal from Sakine’s children has so far been translated into 12 languages and published in hundreds of blogs. Numerous Farsi sites have echoed their letter and the interview with Sakine’s lawyer, Mr. Mohammad Mostafayi. During the past 24 hours, the Islamic regime’s officials have received 600 letters of protest with copies addressed to us.
We once again call upon all women rights organizations, advocates of human rights, and everyone across the world to assist us to save Sakine’s life. We must prevent this human catastrophe from happening.
Join us in protest on Friday, everywhere – in Iran, in Europe, Canada and the USA – everywhere in the world join us against stoning, this pure barbarity. We can not allow them to torture Sakine to death by stoning. This is savagery and should be stopped by any means possible.
Save Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani Campaign
June 28th 2010
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States is accepting help from 12 countries and international organizations in dealing with the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The State Department said in a statement Tuesday that the U.S. is working out the particulars of the help that's been accepted.
The identities of all 12 countries and international organizations were not immediately announced. One country was cited in the State Department statement -- Japan, which is providing two high-speed skimmers and fire containment boom.
More than 30 countries and international organizations have offered to help with the spill. The State Department hasn't indicated why some offers have been accepted and others have not.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Judge James Zagel denies a defense request to gain access to the FBI report summarizing then President-Elect Obama's 2008 interview with federal investigators.That's sorta Blago's point Judge Zagel: there's nothing there. And covering the interview up certainly creates the impression there very well is something there.
Defense lawyers argued in a filing last week that the government minimized Obama's knowledge of the then-Governor's attempts to horsetrade for the Senate seat appointment. They said that testimony by government witness John Harris contradicted that portrayal by federal prosecutors.
Harris testified last week that Blagojevich believed Obama knew about Blagojevich's request for a presidential cabinet appointment in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the Senate seat.
Zagel said there was nothing relevant concerning Harris's testimony that would allow the defense access to Obama's interview.
"There's just nothing there," Zagel said.
"Sakine Mohammadi Ashtiani is a forty-three year old mother of two children, ages 16 and 20. The Islamic Republic has charged Sakine with adultery while married, which carries the sentence of execution by stoning. Despite her denial of the charges, and despite the desperate efforts by her children and her lawyer to free Sakine, her sentence has been upheld and finalized by the Islamic Republic's court. Sakine is in Tabriz prison facing imminent execution by stoning." [note this paragraph replaces the original per first comment below.]
Both Sakine's children and her lawyer tried everything they could to stop the sentence however her stoning is finalized by the Iran's court. Sakine is in Tabriz prison awaiting her imminent stoning sentence.
The barbaric act of stoning must stop now!
Do not allow our nightmare become a reality,
Protest against our mother’s stoning!
June 26, 2010
Plea to the world by Skanie's Children
Do not allow our nightmare become a reality,
Protest against our mother’s stoning!
Today we stretch out our hands to the people of the whole world. It
is now five years that we have lived in fear and in horror, deprived
of motherly love. Is the world so cruel that it can watch this
catastrophe and do nothing about it?
We are Sakine Mohammadi e Ashtiani’s children, Fasride and Sajjad
Mohamamadi e Ashtiani. Since our childhood we have been acquainted
with the pain of knowing that our mother is imprisoned and awaiting
a catastrophe. To tell the truth, the term "stoning" is so horrific
that we try never to use it. We instead say our mother is in danger,
she might be killed, and she deserves everyone's help.
Today, when nearly all options have reached dead-ends, and our
mother's lawyer says that she is in a dangerous situation, we resort
to you. We resort to the people of the world, no matter who you are
and where in the world you live. We resort to you, people of Iran,
all of you who have experienced the pain and anguish of the horror
of losing a loved one.
Please help our mother return home!
We especially stretch our hand out to the Iranians living abroad.
Help to prevent this nightmare from becoming reality. Save our
mother. We are unable to explain the anguish of every moment, every
second of our lives. Words are unable to articulate our fear…
Help to save our mother. Write to and ask officials to free her.
Tell them that she doesn’t have a civil complainant and has not done
any wrong. Our mother should not be killed. Is there any one hearing
this and rushing to our assistance?
Faride and Sajjad Mohammadi e Ashtiani
Disseminated by the International Committee Against Stoning
Mina Ahadi +49 177 569 2413
Letter Translation: Mission Free Iran
Thursday, June 24, 2010
A top aide to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he believed Barack Obama knew of Blagojevich's plot to win himself a presidential Cabinet post in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the U.S. Senate.
John Harris, Blagojevich's former chief of staff, testified Wednesday in the former governor's corruption trial that three days after the Nov. 4, 2008, presidential election, the ex-governor told Harris he felt confident Obama knew he wanted to swap perks.
[***]Defense lawyers say Harris' testimony contradicts the government's previous public statements that Obama knew nothing about deal-making involving the Senate seat appointment.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The information on the Benefit's website was INCORRECT. The correct information is 430 S. Michigan Avenue. It is outside of this building that we will be holding the protest.
Please join Reform Chicago Now for this important protest and spread the word by inviting at least one friend to come with you. Let’s send a strong message that terrorism will not be tolerated – even if the terrorist is a friend of Barack Obama’s.
Here’s the link to the protest information:
events#!/event.php?eid= 133676199985487Or for non-Facebookers:http://kellytruthsquad2. wordpress.com/2010/06/23/ thursday-activists-protest- bomber-bill-ayers-at- roosevelt-university-in- chicago/
In any case, here are the details: There will be a protest THIS THURSDAY at 5:45 pm of terrorist-turned-university professor Bill Ayers. Weatherman bombing terrorist and friend of President Barack Obama is holding a fundraiser this Thursday at Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. The benefit is for the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. The admitted bomber and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn planned multiple terrorist bombings in the late 1960s, bombings that resulted in the murder of a San Francisco police officer, the blinding of another with nail shrapnel, and other murders and the injury of many others.
Ayers, a bomb designer, has boasted publicly that he participated in the bombings of New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, of the Capitol building in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972. In all, the Weatherman claimed responsibility for more than 25 other bombings in its infamous reign of terror.
Currently, Ayers is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
gmail.comfor information and to coordinate.
Rod Blagojevich's lawyers say they should be privvy to remarks that President-Elect Obama made to FBI agents in December, 2008.Yep, and what about Obama's most recent visit to Chicago just before the start of the trial? Tell me there was no meeting between DOJ and the Prez then too.
The defense team has filed a motion asking for written reports of Obama's two-hour interview with prosecutors and the FBI, saying that testimony by key government witness John Harris has opened the door to possibly new information concerning Obama.
They say that testimony contradicts the government's previous public statements that Obama knew nothing about deal-making involving the Senate seat appointment.
"Testimony elicited by the government from John Harris and wiretaps played in court raise the issue of President Obama's direct knowledge and communication with emissaries and others regarding the appointment to his senate seat," lawyers wrote in the filing.
As we should slam them.
WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a measure condemning MoveOn.org for a newspaper ad it ran last week attacking Gen. David Petraeus. The move came as President Bush accused Democrats of cowering to the liberal political action group.
The measure passed in a 72-25 vote, with none of the Democratic presidential candidates supporting it. Sponsored by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, never one to shy away from forcing Democrats to go on record on politically sticky issues, the amendment to the defense authorization bill did win the backing of 23 Democrats.
Sens. Joe Biden and Barack Obama were absent from the vote, though Obama had voted 20 minutes earlier on a Democratic effort to circumvent the amendment. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Chris Dodd voted against the measure.
The amendment did not specifically name MoveOn.org, but expressed "the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, commanding general, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn(s) personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces."
But supporters made clear the measure was about MoveOn, and was aimed at giving senators "a chance to distance themselves from the notion that some group has them on a leash, like a puppet on a string."
"Who would have ever expected anybody to go after a general in the field at a time of war, launch a smear campaign against a man we've entrusted with our mission in Iraq?" Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asked on the Senate floor. "Any group that does this sort of thing ought to be condemned. Let's take sides. General Petraeus or MoveOn.org. Which one are we going to believe? Which one are we going to condemn?"
Partisans also took the opportunity to slam Clinton and Obama for not voting on the amendment.
Whether the jury will finds a crime here, the tragedy is the making-the-deal thinking. It is all these Progressive Democrats from Chicago knew how to do. It's why Obama seems so incompetent now. Unable to lead our nation in containing a spill or waging a war. No deals to be made there so the administration's stalled.
They think of America as a giant Metropolitan Water Reclamation district. A guv machine that brings in cash that can be let in contracts to friends and family to cement political dynasties. That's the only way they can think.
If only America could help the whole crew get the f*** out of here.
Maybe some UU bloggers should rethink all the Tea Party racism frames?
Nikki Haley may will be showing America's multi-cultural future in ways UU's should be showing it but we can't because we're stuck in a 70's style liberalism.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
There was one particularly striking moment in President Obama's widely panned Oval Office speech on the Gulf oil disaster. About midway through his talk, Obama acknowledged that he had approved new offshore drilling a few weeks before the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion on April 20. But Obama said he had done so only "under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe."Wanna bet it's an old Amoco contact from Chicago?
Absolutely safe? Even before the Gulf spill, few defenders of offshore drilling would go that far. And when the president announced his drilling plan, on March 31, he said it was "not a decision that I've made lightly" and that he and his advisers had "looked at [it] closely for more than a year." Surely he was told of the possible risks.
"If you can find anything that's absolutely safe, I sure want to find out about it," says Robert Bea, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. "There is no engineering system that I am aware of that has zero likelihood of failure.
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Who-told-Obama-drilling-is-_absolutely-safe__-96603724.html#ixzz0rIzLV3i3
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Ezra Klein has an interesting long piece in Newsweek about the fact that Congress is broken (which should come as a surprise to no one) and that it's pushing off a great deal of its work onto the agencies and other bodies:The architects of the health-care-reform bill, for instance, couldn't bring themselves to propose the difficult reforms necessary to assure Medicare--and the government's--solvency. So they created an independent panel of experts who will have to propose truly difficult reforms to enable the Medicare system to survive. These recommendations would take the fast track through Congress, protected from not just the filibuster but even from revision. In fact, if Congress didn't vote on them, they'd still become law. "I believe this commission is the largest yielding of sovereignty from the Congress since the creation of the Federal Reserve," says Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, and he meant it as a compliment.
Cap-and-trade, meanwhile, is floundering in the Senate. In the event that it dies, the Environmental Protection Agency has been preparing to regulate carbon on its own. Some senators would like to block the EPA from doing so, and may yet succeed. But those in Congress who want to avert catastrophic climate change, but who don't believe they can pass legislation to help do so, are counting on the EPA to act in their stead.
One thing I would be interested to know, however, is whether Ezra sees discernibly different outcomes when these issues are given over to the agencies. In other words, do bureaucrats make different decisions than lawmakers would if they were pursuing this work? And are those decisions demonstrably worse? No matter the answer, it's obviously still a problem that Congress isn't particularly functional, but I would be curious to see the results.
IBD on the leaked HHS/IRS report.
Internal administration documents reveal that up to 51% of employers may have to relinquish their current health care coverage because of ObamaCare.
Small firms will be even likelier to lose existing plans.
The "midrange estimate is that 66% of small employer plans and 45% of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfathered status by the end of 2013," according to the document.
In the worst-case scenario, 69% of employers — 80% of smaller firms — would lose that status, exposing them to far more provisions under the new health law.
The 83-page document, a joint project of the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the IRS, examines the effects that ObamaCare's regulations would have on existing, or "grandfathered," employer-based health care plans.
Draft copies of the document were reportedly leaked to House Republicans during the week and began circulating Friday morning. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., posted it on his Web site Friday afternoon.
While opposition to domestic policies got her elected, the imperatives of military preparedness absorbed Sumner’s attention in Congress. After World War II erupted in September 1939, Sumner opposed amending the Neutrality Act to lift the arms embargo in favor of a “cash and carry” policy, whereby belligerents could buy American war materials and transport them in their own ships. In the fall of 1940 she opposed the Burke– Wadsworth Selective Service Bill, which established the first peacetime draft in the country’s history. A year later she voted against its extension and against the arming of American merchant ships ferrying war materials to Europe. She also rejected direct American aid to the British, expressing grave reservations that the President was nudging the country to war, having struck a secret alliance with London. Sumner laced her speeches with anglophobia and subtle admiration for Nazi Germany’s militarization.9 In 1939, she introduced a joint resolution to prevent U.S. participation in foreign combat without congressional consent. “We have more to fear from an American invasion of Europe,” Sumner declared, “than from a European invasion of America.”10
President Roosevelt was Sumner’s target of opportunity, but her attacks also sought to rouse Congress to preserve its oversight powers and prerogative to shape American foreign policy. Sumner hoped to rein in FDR’s powers by using the House’s authority to originate and pass appropriations, even over the President’s veto. “Today when the White House endeavors to control your votes as Representatives, by promising to approve or threatening to withhold projects for your district, they are using a power which you delegated to the Executive very recently,” Sumner warned colleagues. “It is an abuse of that power. It robs you of your right and duty to vote your convictions.”11
Sumner’s isolationism mirrored that of her constituency. In her first bid for re-election in 1940, Sumner again defeated Meeks with 53 versus 47 percent of the vote. She won against two other candidates by even wider margins in 1942 and 1944, with 62 percent and 57 percent, respectively.12 Increasingly, however, the Illinois Congresswoman found herself moving against the current in Washington.
Sumner’s strident attacks on the FDR administration were only amplified after America joined the war. Most significantly, she opposed opening a Western Europe front to relieve pressure on the Soviet Union. In March 1944, Sumner took to the House Floor to declare that it made no difference whether Hitler or Stalin dominated Europe and warned an invasion might cost a million lives. “The difference between these two ambitious tyrants is not worth the life of a single American boy,” she declared.13 That spring Sumner offered an amendment to postpone the long anticipated D-Day, calling the proposed invasion a “quixotism.” Simultaneously, she submitted a bill to enlarge the Pacific campaign, vesting all military authority in General Douglas MacArthur.14
According to Hofmeister, oil supertankers could be used to suck up massive amounts of oil--possibly millions of barrels at a time.
In an interview with FastCompany.com, Hofmeister explained that a little-known Saudi oil spill from an offshore platform in the early 1990s dumped more crude into the sea than any spill in U.S. history (think hundreds of millions of gallons). But the government and local press kept it quiet. And that's why one of the big fixes in the Saudi oil spill--the oil-skimming supertanker--hasn't been publicized.
"[They] figured out how to deploy supertankers that had the ability to both intake and discharge liquids in vast quantities with huge pumps," Hofmeister explained. "The supertankers could simply suck in seawater and oil simultaneously--they can hold millions of barrels--and when full, they could discharge oil at a port into tanks where they could separate oil from water. The idea is novel in that you can get massive of oil amounts quickly." Once the supertankers make it to to the port, water can be treated and discharged, and oil can either be used or destroyed.
Pozzi saw the technique used in the Middle East, where it recovered 85% of the oil from the Saudi spill. And he thinks it could work in the Gulf of Mexico. "The only downside is that you tie up oil tankers. That's why we think that BP won't listen to us. They don't want to spend that extra money."
Why are so many liberal intellectuals, social democrats and feminists so silent on the more noxious features of Islam – the fierce intolerance toward unbelievers, the repression of individual freedom, the routine abuse of children, the misogyny, the forced subservience of women? “It’s the seduction of totalitarianism,” she says. In her view, Western defenders of Islam are the intellectual heirs of those highly intelligent men and women who used to heap praise on Comrade Stalin. “It’s a blind spot that left-wing intellectuals have always had.”
Bacha Khan was a political prisoner for 12 years under the British and 15 years under Pakistan. In 1947, his wisdom and moral courage stood firm. He refused to be part of the referendum in the NWFP, arguing that agitation would lead to violence and bloodshed. On the creation of Pakistan he took the formal oath of allegiance, but the NWFP government was dismissed and Bacha Khan and his followers were branded as “friends of Gandhi” and “traitors to Pakistan.” Bacha Khan and his followers felt a sense of betrayal by both Pakistan and India. Bacha Khan's last words to Gandhi were: “You have thrown us to the wolves” (Banerjee, p. 189).I hope the US and our allies don't pitch Liberalism away like this too.
In honour of Ghaffar Khan, the Indian government offered him a future resting place next to Gandhi's mausoleum. Vilified in Pakistan, Bacha Khan understandably wished to be buried in the garden of his house in Jalalabad in Afghanistan, where he had spent most of his later life. Born in 1890 in village Utmanzai, Charsadda, he died in 1988 in Peshawar. An estimated 20,000 attended his funeral, including Rajiv Gandhi and some other world leaders.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Friends help each other when one of them is in trouble. Israel of course is a close friend of America, and yes, our dearest ally in the Middle East. If you want to help out a friend, then show up at 111 E. Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago on Thursday at 5:00pm. The Israeli Consulate is located there, and strangely enough, so is the Turkish Consulate.
Bring your American and Israeli flags, but don't worry about signs. You can pick one out at the rally site.
Most of the Chicago establishment media is located within walking distance of East Wacker Drive--let's give them something to shout about.