Thursday, October 26, 2006

everything you need to know about republicans running this year

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Shorter list of articles

articles about republican opponents

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

--AZ-01: Rick Renzi

--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

--CA-04: John Doolittle

--CA-11: Richard Pombo

--CA-50: Brian Bilbray

--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

--CO-05: Doug Lamborn

--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell

--CT-04: Christopher Shays

--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

--FL-16: Joe Negron

--FL-22: Clay Shaw

--ID-01: Bill Sali

--IL-06: Peter Roskam

--IL-10: Mark Kirk

--IL-14: Dennis Hastert

--IN-02: Chris Chocola

--IN-08: John Hostettler

--IA-01: Mike Whalen

--KS-02: Jim Ryun

--KY-03: Anne Northup

--KY-04: Geoff Davis

--MD-Sen: Michael Steele

--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht

--MN-06: Michele Bachmann

--MO-Sen: Jim Talent

--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns

--NV-03: Jon Porter

--NH-02: Charlie Bass

--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson

--NM-01: Heather Wilson

--NY-03: Peter King

--NY-20: John Sweeney

--NY-26: Tom Reynolds

--NY-29: Randy Kuhl

--NC-08: Robin Hayes

--NC-11: Charles Taylor

--OH-01: Steve Chabot

--OH-02: Jean Schmidt

--OH-15: Deborah Pryce

--OH-18: Joy Padgett

--PA-04: Melissa Hart

--PA-07: Curt Weldon

--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick

--PA-10: Don Sherwood

--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee

--TN-Sen: Bob Corker

--VA-Sen: George Allen

--VA-10: Frank Wolf

--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick

--WA-08: Dave Reichert

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Libraries were this girl's best friends

An initiative will be launched today to nudge policymakers away from seeing successful book lending and the encouragement of reading as the prime goals of Britain's public library service.

Instead the emphasis should shift to whether libraries help governments promote their wider health, educational and social objectives.


Huh?

When I was a kid, we moved 11 times in 10 years. Each year, we'd land, fresh in some town where I knew nobody, usually in the middle of summer, and those long summer months with nothing to do would stretch before me. Because we moved so often, my mother was the anti-packrat. I mean, she kept nothing if it could be helped. We were not a family that schlepped boxes and boxes of books from state to state.

But, my mother loved to read. So, one of the first things we would do in a new town is find the library. As soon as we had received our first piece of mail (proof of our home address), my brothers, mother, and I would walk (my mother didn't drive) to the library and sign up for cards. Once I had access to books, I could survive another summer by myself. Curled up on a couch, I would plough through several books a week, lost in worlds of others' making, and distracted from the distress of knowing that I faced another "first" day of school where I would be the "new kid."

I understand that libraries are not getting the usage they once did. But the plan in Great Britain to turn libraries into clearinghouses of government information, to turn the libraries themselves into places of indoctrination--well that gives me the creeps.

It's bad enough here in the U.S., where until recently, library records were the super-secret decoding ring of the Patriot Act. The USA has a proud history of censoring what can and cannot go into a library. From the Comstock Laws, which banned "obscene" material (and by obscene, we mean material that contained information about contraceptives) from the mails and thus, distribution, to the regular outbreaks of community hysteria about debauchery in the stacks, libraries have found themselves the battleground for the suppression of dangerous ideas.

But access to ideas is the first principle of education. Education includes exposure to things outside your ken. And I spent summers reading everything from Roald Dahl novels to biographies of queens to Judy Blume to the history of science and beyond. I didn't need to spend a lot of time in the real world. By the time I was 12, I had seen more of the United States than most adults. I needed books, not more hours in a moving van.

Libraries were my theme parks. And while we obsess that children no longer read because they're too busy playing video games, truth is, there are a lot of kids--and adults--out there for whom libraries are the Midway the Roller Coaster and the Tunnel of Love all rolled into one.

The answer to rejuvenating libraries is not to turn them into government promotion centers. Libraries will be relevant again when education is allowed to do what it does best. Not to breed career-track automatons, but to awaken the hunger for self. The library fed me. I grew fat on its riches. I would have starved to death in an indoctrination camp.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Just Sayin' ...

On July 4th, 2005

I wish they'd take
themselves
seriously, I mean
like abstinence.

Can't they abstain
from
misapplied war,
weaving mistakes
into -isms,
faulting me, you,
instead?

Can't they abstain
from
telling me, you,
what to do,
in privacies,
in concert

& telling me, you,
that we are free,
of course,
if only we'd
abstain?

Friday, July 01, 2005

1,000 Women

Will the world sigh, "ho-hum," or will the world, startled, sit up and listen when the Nobel Peace Prize is announced in October?

Innovation might win the prize.

One Thousand Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005 seeks to recognize women as peacemakers. And like the roles they play, the number 1,000 reflects the small but sustaining efforts of women. The names were announced just days ago.

In January, the official nomination letter was signed. Three women represent the 1,000, to conform with the rules of the Nobel Prize Committee, but all 1,000 names are listed.

The project originated in Switzerland in March 2003, when Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold, a member of the Swiss Parliament and the Council of Europe, visited refugee camps in Bosnia, Chechnya and other war-torn countries.

"Everywhere I meet courageous and resolute women who perform reconstruction and peace work in extremely dangerous circumstances," she told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Yet their work leaves scarcely any trace. I wanted to render visible the work of these women."

During 2004, a Swiss team and 20 international coordinators -- influential women from all continents -- searched the globe and collected thousands of candidates for the final 1,000 nominees. They include farmers, teachers, activists, artists and politicians from more than 150 countries working at all levels of society.

You can find out more about them at the Web site:

http://www.1000peacewomen.org/index.html

Since 1901, when the Nobel Peace Prize was first awarded, only 12 women have won.

In the worldwide search for candidates, 114 women were named in the United States; 40 were selected. Among them, Grace Paley, poet and peace activist, and Reps. Grace McKinney and Barbara Lee. (The full list is on the Web site).

The project is not solely about the Nobel Peace Prize. Whether or not these women win the prize, their efforts will become known, thanks to the project itself . It will publish a book -- a way of bestowing "summa cum laude" -- in November, listing the efforts of these women.

Now you've just gotta love it!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Not In Our Name

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Want to help? Contact the Center for Constitutional Rights

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Make Him Tell Their Stories

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This is Robert Raymond. He died in 1916, in the trenches of France. He was my great-grandfather. His daughter, Hilda, will be 89 this year. She was born after he died. My great-grandmother, Edith, Hilda's mother, died at the age of 37, leaving my grandmother an orphan.

I have this photo of Robert, and I stare at it, trying to imagine what his life was like. I can't ask my grandmother; she never met him. And I try to picture the day that Edith received the news that the man whose child she was carrying had died in the war.

World War I was a colossal waste of life. It was a war that had no purpose, no planning, no meaning. It was The Great War. It cost Europe a generation of young men.

As far as I know, Robert Raymond's story has not been told. He has vanished; I'm not even sure where he is buried. Three generations later, all I have is this tiny photograph. I search his face for clues. What made him laugh? Cry? What were his dreams? What was his childhood like? When he was in the trenches, did he have a chance to reflect on what he was doing, why he was there; did he know he'd never get home to England again?

I wish that someone would sit down with George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney and make them look at the photographs of the 1700+ American dead in this war. I'd like them to have to talk to someone who loved each of those men and women, hear a story from his or her childhood, or what he or she liked to do, what he or she wanted to be, what made him or her laugh. I think the price for being Commander-in-Chief is to be haunted by the people you have sent to their deaths. I think the fact that you told lies in order to start this war should be the kind of black spot on your soul that all the invocation of God and country and Jesus cannot erase. I think you should have to wear a letter "M" for murderer, that in your wallet, when people ask to see photographs of your children, you should be forced to bring out a picture or two of soldiers you sent to their deaths. You should have to tell their stories.

"These are my children," you should have to say. "These are my kids, and I am responsible for their deaths."