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Online Distributed Action

Saturday, October 28, 2006
I'd want to highlight an online effort at distributed action.

It is an attempt to highlight and link to news stories from main stream news sources on Republicans prior to the election. Distributed blog attention and discussion of these news stories will bring them higher into various search engines results, and in theory help more people be more fully informed as they research their vote online.

Paul Rosenberg of My Left Wing, describes the effort this way: “Chris Bowers of MyDD has initiated a campaign to raise the visibility of solid, mainstream stories about GOP candidates that they’d rather not have people reading. He explained the concept in detail here
It’s easy for you to join up. Go here, copy the source code and put it into a diary on your blog. … As an extra added bonus, you can click on the links yourself, and learn lots of juicy stuff.”

Here is the links to the mainstream press articles bloggers think everyone should check out prior to the election:

–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

Back Alive with a quick link...

Thursday, October 05, 2006
I know I've been gone forever, but I have not forgotten this blog, but have been moving to DC actually...

Quick post, try out this tool to quickly volunteer time and knowledge to some of the Senate campaigns this blog supports... Promise more real posts soon.

You can add a badge like this to your blog here...

More information

The Public Good: "seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you"

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
The idea of working and praying for the Common Good, as expressed by the prophet Jeremiah...I'm particularly touched by the expression of the private good in the context of the larger common good -- as the city prospers, so will you...

"This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: "Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters....Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."

Jeremiah 29:3-7

Bush and Congress Approvals Drop

Monday, July 03, 2006

Obama's Speech Part I

Friday, June 30, 2006
E.J. Dionne Jr reviews Obama's must read speech:

"Well, yes, Obama, the senator from Illinois who causes all kinds of Democrats to swoon, did indeed criticize "liberals who dismiss religion in the public square as inherently irrational or intolerant." But a purely electoral reading of Obama's speech to the Call to Renewal conference here misses the point of what may be the most important pronouncement by a Democrat on faith and politics since John F. Kennedy's Houston speech in 1960 declaring his independence from the Vatican. (You can decide on Obama's speech yourself: The text can be found at http://www.obama.senate.gov/speech .)

Here's what stands out. First, Obama offers the first faith testimony I have heard from any politician that speaks honestly about the uncertainties of belief. "Faith doesn't mean that you don't have doubts," Obama declared. "You need to come to church in the first place precisely because you are first of this world, not apart from it."

In an interview yesterday, Obama didn't back away. "By definition, faith admits doubt," he said. "Otherwise, it isn't faith. . . . If we don't sometimes feel hopeless, then we're really insulating ourselves from the world around us."

On the matter of church-state separation, Obama doesn't propose some contrived balancing act but embraces religion's need for independence from government. In a direct challenge to "conservative leaders," he argued that "they need to understand the critical role that the separation of church and state has played in preserving not only our democracy, but the robustness of our religious practice."

"Folks tend to forget," he continued, "that during our founding, it wasn't the atheists or the civil libertarians who were the most effective champions of the First Amendment," but "persecuted minorities" such as Baptists "who didn't want the established churches to impose their views."

Like most liberals who are religious, Obama finds a powerful demand for social justice embedded in the great faith traditions. He took a swipe at those who would repeal the estate tax, saying this entailed "a trillion dollars being taken out of social programs to go to a handful of folks who don't need and weren't even asking for it."

But he insisted that social improvement also requires individual transformation. When a gang member "shoots indiscriminately into a crowd . . . there's a hole in that young man's heart -- a hole that the government alone cannot fix." Contraception can reduce teen pregnancy rates, but so can "faith and guidance" which "help fortify a young woman's sense of self, a young man's sense of responsibility and a sense of reverence that all young people should have for the act of sexual intimacy."

And if you think this sounds preachy, Obama has an answer: "Our fear of getting 'preachy' may also lead us to discount the role that values and culture play in some of our most urgent social problems."

Obama's talk will inevitably be read as a road map for Democrats struggling to speak authentically to people of faith. It's certainly that, but it would be better read as a suggestion that both parties begin to think differently about the power of faith.

"No matter how religious they may or may not be," Obama said, "people are tired of seeing faith used as a tool of attack. They don't want faith used to belittle or to divide. They're tired of hearing folks deliver more screed than sermon."

I think I hear some rousing "Amens!" out there -- from Republicans no less than from Democrats."

Donate Now: Key Fundraising Date for 2006 Elections this Friday

Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Good advise from MyDD:

"These are the final days where fundraising totals matter to the overall narrative. The Q2 fundraising deadline ends at midnight on Friday. That is only 75 hours away. The next quarter will end on September 30th, and the reports on that quarter won't be out until mid-October. Buy then, all targeting and media attention will already be in place. That makes this the final deadline where totals will signal to the media and to the political establishment that a candidate is for real. To make that national difference, you need to donate now."

My actblue donation page is here...

And the netroots listing of candidates is here...

Do what you can!

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"Why We Should Care"

Monday, May 29, 2006
From Alberto J. Mora, the retired Navy general counsel last year, who wrote a memo to the Pentagon 2 years prior to Abu Ghraib warning against US violation of national and international agreements of torture and detainee abuse:

"Our forefathers, who permanently defined our civic values, drafted our Constitution inspired by the belief that law could not create but only recognize certain inalienable rights granted by God -- to every person, not just citizens, and not just here but everywhere. Those rights form a shield that protects core human dignity. Because this is so, the Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel punishment. The constitutional jurisprudence of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments outlaws cruel treatment that shocks the conscience. The Geneva Conventions forbid the application of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment to all captives, as do all of the major human rights treaties adopted and ratified by our country during the last century.

Despite this, there was abuse. Not all were mistreated, but some were. For those mistreated, history will ultimately judge what the precise quantum of abuse inflicted was -- whether it was torture or some lesser cruelty -- and whether it resulted from official commission or omission, or occurred despite every reasonable effort to prevent the abuse. Whatever the ultimate historical judgment, it is established fact that documents justifying and authorizing the abusive treatment of detainees during interrogation were approved and distributed. These authorizations rested on three beliefs: that no law prohibited the application of cruelty; that no law should be adopted that would do so; and that our government could choose to apply the cruelty -- or not -- as a matter of policy depending on the dictates of perceived military necessity.

The fact that we adopted this policy demonstrates that this war has tested more than our nation's ability to defend itself. It has tested our response to our fears and the measure of our courage. It has tested our commitment to our most fundamental values and our constitutional principles.

In this war, we have come to a crossroads... Will we continue to regard the protection and promotion of human dignity as the essence of our national character and purpose, or will we bargain away human and national dignity in return for an additional possible measure of physical security?

Why should we still care about these issues? The Abu Ghraib abuses have been exposed; Justice Department memoranda justifying cruelty and even torture have been ridiculed and rescinded; the authorizations for the application of extreme interrogation techniques have been withdrawn; and, perhaps most critically, the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, which prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, has been enacted, thanks to the courage and leadership of Sen. John McCain.

We should care because the issues raised by a policy of cruelty are too fundamental to be left unaddressed, unanswered or ambiguous. We should care because a tolerance of cruelty will corrode our values and our rights and degrade the world in which we live. It will corrupt our heritage, cheapen the valor of the soldiers upon whose past and present sacrifices our freedoms depend, and debase the legacy we will leave to our sons and daughters. We should care because it is intolerable to us that anyone should believe for a second that our nation is tolerant of cruelty. And we should care because each of us knows that this issue has not gone away."