December 29, 2007

The January newsletter of the Dayton Peace Museum is out, and from reading it you would never know that there are wars going on in the Middle East that have claimed thousands upon thousands of Iraqi, Afghani and American lives, and crippling, maiming and orphaning even larger numbers.

I’ve struggled with trying to understand this non-perspective ever since first touring the “Peacemobile”, when it was set up at the Webster Street Farmers Market before the actual Museum opened. Nothing about the Iraq war. Not even a US Out of Iraq bumper sticker. The museum, as constituted, is the same way. Nothing on the war’s of Today.

Now we have Newsletter from a Peace Museum promoting peace education events that makes no mention one of todays biggest threats to world peace, the Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Clearly there are well meaning people who support and operate the Peace Museum,  and, that is appreciated. On the other hand, to willfully refuse to make opposition to current wars a significant focus of a Peace Museum agenda is to ignore the central, most fundamental reason for such a Museum’s existence: it divorces history from reality. A Peace Museum that does not actively oppose the wars of today is, unfortunately, just a museum…
The January 2008 Peace Museum Newsletter is available at the web site and following web address:

Tom Hanks Tells Hollywood Whopper in ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’

December 29, 2007
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By Melissa Roddy, AlterNet
Posted on December 21, 2007, Printed on December 28, 2007

“We just can’t deal with this 9/11 thing. Does it have to be so political?” from an anonymous source at Playtone Productions

There are true stories, and then there are true-ish stories. It is a given that, in creating Charlie Wilson’s War which purports to be the true story of a hard-partying U.S. congressman from Texas who engineered the defeat of the Soviet Union by the Afghan Mujahiddin, sometimes the truth gets a little bent, but it’s against the rules to change facts that change the outcome of history. When telling the story of Antony and Cleopatra, they gotta die at the end, n’est pas. It’s inappropriate, for example, to tell the story of World War II and pretend that, because the United States might have given a box of guns to the French Underground, there was no Holocaust. That’s a pretty good analogy for what’s been done in Charlie Wilson’s War. (more…)

The Freedom to Starve: Why the Left Should Reject Ron Paul

December 27, 2007
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By SHERRY WOLF12/26/07 “Counterpunch‘ — — “POLITICS, LIKE nature, abhors a vacuum,” goes the revamped aphorism. Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s surprising stature among a small but vocal layer of antiwar activists and leftist bloggers appears to bear this out.

At the October 27, 2007, antiwar protests in dozens of cities noticeable contingents of supporters carried his campaign placards and circulated sign-up sheets. The Web site antiwar.com features a weekly Ron Paul column. Some even dream of a Left-Right gadfly alliance for the 2008 ticket. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, liberal maverick and Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich told supporters in late November he was thinking of making Ron Paul his running mate if he were to get the nomination.

No doubt, the hawkish and calculating Hillary Rodham Clinton and flaccid murmurings of Barack Obama, in addition to the uninspiring state of the antiwar movement that backed a prowar candidate in 2004, help fuel the desperation many activists feel. But leftists must unequivocally reject the reactionary libertarianism of this longtime Texas congressman and 1988 Libertarian Party presidential candidate.

Ron Paul’s own campaign Web site reads like the objectivist rantings of Ayn Rand, one of his theoretical mentors. As with the Atlas Shrugged author’s other acolytes, neocon guru Milton Friedman and former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan, Paul argues, “Liberty means free-market capitalism.” He opposes “big government” and in the isolationist fashion of the nation’s Pat Buchanans, he decries intervention in foreign nation’s affairs and believes membership in the United Nations undermines U.S. sovereignty. (more…)

The Torture Tape Fingering Bush As a War Criminal

December 24, 2007
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The Torture Tape Fingering Bush As a War Criminal

by Andrew Sullivan
Almost all of the time, the Washington I know and live in is utterly unrelated to the Washington you see in the movies. The government is far more incompetent and amateur than the masterminds of Hollywood darkness.1224 02There are no rogue CIA agents engaging in illegal black ops and destroying evidence to protect their political bosses. The kinds of scenario cooked up in Matt Damon’s riveting Bourne series are fantasy compared with the mundane, bureaucratic torpor of the Brussels on the Potomac.

And then you read about the case of Abu Zubaydah. He is a seriously bad guy – someone we should all be glad is in custody. A man deeply involved in Al-Qaeda, he was captured in a raid in Pakistan in March 2002 and whisked off to a secret interrogation, allegedly in Thailand. (more…)


December 21, 2007
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Israel is in state of strategic paralysis. Its longstanding policy on Iran — depict Tehran as a global threat, pressure Washington to prevent Iran from going nuclear, and evade an American-Iranian dialogue — has been dealt a severe blow by the recently released National Intelligence Estimate.

The Iran policy Israel has pursued to date must now be put aside and a genuine effort must be made to develop a Plan B that recognizes the new strategic realities in the region. A broad diplomatic opening between Washington and Tehran is increasingly likely, and it is a distinct probability that an American-Iranian deal will entail some level of enrichment on Iranian soil. Arab states can be expected to step up efforts at rapprochement in order to avoid lagging behind the United States in warming up to Iran, making a policy of containing and isolating Tehran more and more difficult to pursue.

Israeli interests, therefore, would best be served by Jerusalem throwing its weight behind genuine diplomacy with Tehran in order to ensure that it is not left out of an American-Iranian deal. (more…)


December 19, 2007
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This comes from a friend of mine, a reporter at the Dayton Daily News [also known as Damn Dumb News] and concerns efforts by the Dayton Newspaper Guild to negotiate a contract with the Cox Publishing Companies Dayton newspaper. The link will take you to a YouTube video of a Newspaper Guild picket line in front of the DDN’s new headquarters on So Main Street: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdLb1npylA4

this link will take you direct to the Dayton Newspaper Guild’s informational website:



December 18, 2007
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Congressional Directories
Recent Senate Votes
CLEAN Energy Act of 2007 – Vote Agreed to (86-8, 6 Not Voting)

The Senate passed a pared-down version of the energy bill that the House passed last week.

Sen. George Voinovich voted YES……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Sherrod Brown voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

FHA Modernization Act of 2007 – Vote Passed (93-1, 6 Not Voting)

The Senate passed legislation to ease the burden of mushrooming interest rates on homeowners by allowing them to transfer their finances into federally insured loans.

Sen. George Voinovich voted YES……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Sherrod Brown voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

National Defense Authorization Act, FY2008 – Vote Agreed to (90-3, 7 Not Voting)

On Friday, the Senate gave final approval to this bill authorizing defense spending for fiscal year 2008.

Sen. George Voinovich voted YES……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Sherrod Brown voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 – Vote Passed (79-14, 7 Not Voting)

The Senate approved this $288 billion, five-year bill that sets agricultural policy and authorizes funding for agricultural related programs such as commodity support, conservation, and nutrition.

Sen. George Voinovich voted NO……send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Sherrod Brown voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

Recent House Votes
Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act – Vote Passed (303-116, 12 Not Voting)

The House passed this bill that would help the insurance industry cover costs in the event of a terrorist attack, after making slight revisions to the Senate version that passed last month.

Rep. Michael Turner voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

National Defense Authorization Act, FY2008 – Vote Passed (370-49, 12 Not Voting)

The House passed this bill to authorize defense appropriations.

Rep. Michael Turner voted YES……send e-mail or see bio

AMT Relief Act – Vote Passed (226-193, 13 Not Voting)

The House passed this measure to patch the alternative minimum tax that would be financed by a pay-as-you-go plan.

Rep. Michael Turner voted NO……send e-mail or see bio

Intelligence Authorization Act, FY2008 – Vote Passed (222-199, 10 Not Voting)

This bill authorizing intelligence spending would also ban waterboarding, mock executions, and other severe methods of interrogation.

Rep. Michael Turner voted NO……send e-mail or see bio

Making further continuing appropriations for FY2008 – Vote Passed (385-27, 21 Not Voting)

On Thursday the House passed this continuing resolution to fund government programs through Friday, December 21.

Rep. Michael Turner voted YES……send e-mail or see bio



Senator Chris Dodd Beats Back Bush FISA Spying Bill

December 18, 2007
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Dodd Beats Back Bush Spying Bill

Mon Dec 17, 10:50 PM ET

The Nation — After waging an all-out battle against the Bush administration and leaders of his own party, Senator Chris Dodd achieved a legislative victory on Monday, halting President Bush‘s attempt to rush a Senate vote on a bill granting retroative amnesty to companies accused of illegally spying on American citizens.

“Today we have scored a victory for American civil liberties and sent a message to President Bush that we will not tolerate his abuse of power and veil of secrecy,” Dodd said in a statement distributed by his presidential campaign. “The President should not be above the rule of law, nor should the telecom companies who supported his quest to spy on American citizens,” he added. (more…)


December 18, 2007
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A year ago, due to the hard work of people like you, Ohioans turned Ohio blue by electing Ted Strickland to lead our state, Jennifer Brunner to restore fair elections, Marc Dann as our top law enforcement officer, Rich Cordray to manage our state’s finances, and selecting me to serve in the U.S. Senate.

During the campaign, I promised I would put the middle class first as Ohio’s U.S. Senator. I have honored that commitment.

To date, I have held 71 roundtables from Toledo to Marietta, from Ashtabula to Cincinnati. I have held legislative conference calls with Ohioans on issues ranging from agriculture to education to job creation. (more…)


December 13, 2007
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It’s another cold day in December

Will Iraq’s Great Awakening Lead to a Nightmare?

Washington Dispatch: U.S. casualties are down in Iraq. But a retired Army Colonel argues that the surge and American payoffs to Sunni tribal leaders may eventually backfire—producing more instability and possibly a regional war.



Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize By Al Gore December 10, 2007





Huffington Post: Lawrence O’Donnell was Right About Mormonism


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