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Saturday, January 24, 2009
Of Cereal and Coloring Books
The wrenching reality of many Gaza victims of Israeli attacks is made evident in a brief, matter-of-fact list in Dr. Mona El-Farra's CD "Views" piece, " Gaza Needs Many Years to Heal . " A Palestinian physician and rights activist, Dr. El-Farra thanks the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) for donations made to Gaza residents still living under siege. Along with the gift of three ambulances, 20 tons of medicine and 50 wheelchairs, she lists 30 tons of powdered milk and baby cereal, and thousands of kids' coloring books and crayons. She also gives thanks for thousands of meals hand-delivered, sometimes under fire, to displaced families taking shelter at UN schools. To help MECA send more aid to Gaza go here
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Howard Zinn Turns Playwright: 'I Just Wanted To Do It.'
Today's Boston Globe reports: Years after serving as a bombardier in the US Army, after earning his Ph.D. at Columbia University, teaching at Boston University, and writing the best-selling book "A People's History of the United States," Howard Zinn decided he wanted to write a family drama.
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An Open Letter to President Obama: Support Peace for the People of Gaza and Israel
Please add your name to this letter , and then ask your like-minded friends to do the same. Jewish Voice for Peace and Just Foreign Policy are aiming to deliver this letter on February 23.
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The Next War
There are troubling signs things are heating up in the volatile region thought to harbor Al Qaeda and Taliban militants: the missile strikes by suspected American planes in northwest Pakistan, the reported killing of militants and civilians in eastern and southern Afghanistan, and President Obama's oft-repeated intent to build up American forces in Afghanistan. For why this is a bad idea, check out The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel's recent post...
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Friday, January 23, 2009
It's Obama's War Now: US Drones Fire on Pakistan Tribal Area
Al Jazeera is reporting: At least 19 people have been killed in two missile attacks by suspected US drones flying over northwest Pakistan. In the first assault, three missiles were launched on a house in North Waziristan close to Afghanistan, intelligence officials and witnesses said on Friday.
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Yes We Can Drink Fructose and Caramel Coloring, but Toward What End?
In the midst of the country's current wave of optimism comes Capitalist Trick #6,427: a new, slick, impossibly entertaining ad from the folks at Pepsi. Using quick cuts and iconic images, it fast-forwards through a century of fads, from flappers to James-Dean-era car races to mosh pits to hip hop before flashing the punch line: "Every generation refreshes the world...Now It's Your Turn." So okay. Historically, the Captains of American Industry have been good at this, at harnessing cultural moments and meanings to their own profitable ends. Still, the ad raises some questions. Among them: Our turn to do what, and who will benefit?
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Human Rights Group: Obama Left Wiggle Room On Torture
The Washington Post blog whorunsgov.com is reporting tonight: Did President Obama’s executive order today banning torture leave wiggle room for the possibility of reverting to coercive techniques that the current exec order outlaws? Michael Ratner, the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, tells me he thinks the answer is Yes.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009
Now (Or At Least Soon) To Gaza, Please
Al Jazeera English had a dramatic human-interest story out of Gaza today. It's a potent reminder, if we needed one, that the suffering of the Palestinians under the Israeli occupation in Gaza continues, and has yet to be addressed by the new administration. Soon, we hope. Read the full story here
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Light in the Tunnel
We welcome President Obama's directive, only hours into his first day in office, to suspend military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay. The order is widely viewed as the first step toward fulfilling his campaign promise to close the atrocity that is Guantanamo, a move long overdue. The motion, which will suspend cases against 21 men, represents the same mix of symbol and substance that for now is Obama's presidency. For the hopeful among us, it is also what the American Civil Liberties Union called "the first ray of sunlight in what has been eight long years of darkness."
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Take 2: Obama Retakes the Oath of Office
McClatchy News is reporting : WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John G. Roberts was ushered into the Map Room of the White House on Wednesday night to re-administer the oath of office to President Barack Obama because the original oath on Tuesday had a word out of sequence.
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