Tuesday Morning Open Thread

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    I am sick and tired (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 08:24:44 AM EST
    of the sanctimonious hypocrisy of the pundit class...even those so called ones on the left.  Maybe it is because they are not really being affected by the economy; maybe because they are essentially power hungry, greedy egomaniacs....but I just get so irritated.  

    WHY the heck do these people get away with this crap.
    Brian Williams spinning about his emotional reaction to the inauguration while STILL defending W as the defender of the people ......making us safe all these years.
    None of them calling the GOP on their talking points.....how many times do these rethugs get away with their spin and lies and the pundits sit there and say nothing and yet challenge the dems on any and everything.  Matthews got all uppity about how dare the democrats put anything in the stimulus about contraception....

    If we cannot have a press that is honest, what's the point?

    Just ranting.......

    And of course (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 08:33:23 AM EST
    it looks like the Chris Matthews of the world and the GOP got their way again.  The Family planning part in the stimulus is dropped.

    Well it only affects and marginalizes women, especially poor women.  Can't be that important especially when it irritates paternalistic pundits and legislators who believe they and their god should be the only ones to decide on what affects a woman's body, a woman's right to protect herself from unwanted pregnacy.


    I went ballistic (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by BernieO on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:42:35 AM EST
    watching Morning Joe today. Tucker Carlson was on, which was enough to get me going. Then he started spewing right wing anti-government talking points, claiming the government never picks winners in the economy. (Guess Tucker doesn't like the government created internet). Next he said he could relate to what people who have lost their jobs are going through because he has been there, conveniently omitting the fact that he is a heir to the Swanson Foods fortune.

    But the last straw was Mika repeating one of the right's new big lies, that the New Deal did not create jobs. Does this woman not read? She should be aware that this claim is based on data that omits all the jobs that were directly created by FDR's programs (WPA, CCC, etc.) and counts only private sector jobs as if those people did not contribute to the economy with the things they built and the services they performed. Mike "The Fabulist" Barnicle defended FDR saying he increased people's confidence but did not contradict Mika's crackpot claim. Needless to say they got a blistering email from me.

    Democrats may have temporarily won the hearts of the American people but they make no attempt to win their minds. Once again they are failing to correct right wing propaganda that the only effective thing government can do is give tax cuts to the rich and to businesses or expand the military.


    Because the pundit class (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:55:54 AM EST
    even the ones who pretend to be "liberal" defend and protect plutocracy at all costs.

    Matthews trashed Wexler implying dems are trying to make the USA become China.  No matter how many so called progressives delude themselves by believing Matthews was against the war, the truth is in the tapes.  Matthews ADORED and DROOLED over W.  And still suffers CDS so bad it is pathetic.......
    and in fact his "did Hillary work against Caroline Kennedy" lead speaks volumes.

    Brian Williams is STILL DEFENDING BUSH.

    David Gregory still spews right wing talking points....
    and these are all people from the so called "liberal leaning" network.

    Maddow spent more time on Blago than on the stimulus...and I refuse to listen to Olberman any more.

    At one time, the press, the fourth estate was the leading force in defending the people against power grabs from the rich, the powerful and the corrupt.  NOW, the press corps is in the pockets of the corporate masters, working to remain apart of the ruling class.  


    Consider....... (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by mogal on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:10:48 PM EST
      "the press corps is in the pockets of the corporate masters, working to remain apart of the ruling class."

    And that "press corps" put President Obama in office. Then ask why the dem's are acting so timid.    


    I agree but (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by BernieO on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:07:21 PM EST
    a lot of times they are just ignorant and lazy. They hear something repeated a few times and just  can't be bothered questioning it or looking up the facts. It's like a massive case of group think. And the Republicans take full advantage of it. Even many conservative economists want the government to stimulate the economy as do corporate execs, so they are not the reason this propaganda is going unchallenged.

    And that does not explain why Democrats are so pathetic at responding to outright, easily disproved lies. Heck they won't even defend their own candidates(or didn't until Obama came along). How hard would it have been to defend Gore when he was accused of claiming to have invented the internet? Weirdly enough the only pol I heard dispute this was NEWT GINGRICH who said Gore got a raw deal and actually deserved a lot of credit for hounding Congress until they put up the money. Newt said Gore had annoyed the heck out of Senators who just didn't have the vision to see how right Gore was about the potential of having the internet available to the public. I never once heard a Democrat point that out. It should have been touted far and wide as proof of Gore's smarts and vision. Instead Democrats stood by and let the Republicans spin it as a liability. They know they can get away with it because Dems just roll over and play dead when these bullies attack. This was repeated with the despicable attacks on John Kerry's war record. Dems have played the roll of enabler for guys like Karl Rove.

    Speaking of the media on Diane Rehm today David Denby, film critic for the New Yorker was on talking about how snark is ruining our public dialogue. He trashed Maureen Dowd saying she was irresponsible, mean-spirited, superficial (or words to that effect) but then called her a GENIUS!!!ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH! (Did you read she that the fanciest thing she served at her inauguration pary was pigs in a blanket? Weird)


    They like those emails....it means people are (none / 0) (#70)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:25:10 PM EST
    watching and listening.  You can be sure that the % of fans who are able to separate fact from fiction is fairly low.

    Ratings are only based on number of viewers. It has no way of breaking them down between the fans and the ones who are just there to challenge their bloodpressure levels.


    This Stinks (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by daring grace on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:06:32 AM EST
    I can accept that the stimulus package may not be the place for this program, but I'm impatient for the Dark Ages to end on this kind of basic provision of services.

    Ambinder is reporting:

    "A Democrat familiar with the administration's reasoning said that while Obama and the House still considered it "good policy" and did "save money," it became "an easy target for critics who said it would not help the economy, so better to take it out and keep focus on the bill creating jobs."

    "The provision will likely return in later legislation."

    It better. And soon.


    Not to mention (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:02:18 PM EST
    that the entire planet is screwed unless we tackle (finally) overpopulation. Yes, family planning is so unimportant. Sigh.

    Hey Doc, don't be such a stranger, ok? (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 07:47:01 PM EST
    Some of us want to hear from you a lot more often!

    The planet is fine... (none / 0) (#101)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 08:45:16 AM EST
    it is the human race that will likely be screwed by overpopulation, no doubt.

    Frankly though, I don't know how you tackle it without getting tyrannical and invading people's bedrooms.  Best we can do is educate people and hopefully they, for the most part, make good choices.  


    Geithner (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:58:59 AM EST
    Congrats to Sens. Byrd (D-WV), Feingold (D-WI), Harkin (D-IA), and Independent Sanders (I-VT) for having convictions and voting nay on Geithner, as we deserve a Treasury Secretary who actually pays taxes without waiting for a cabinet position to open up.

    I heard Harkin on the Senate floor (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:03:05 AM EST
    explaining why he was not voting to confirm Geithner, and it was very convincing - to me, anyway.

    I have a feeling there will be more troubling news about Geithner, news that is going to further damage his already-damaged credibility, and keep us from making the kind of progress we need on the economic front.

    And I wish I could stop thinking that Obama is not so much going to lead on the economy as he is going to defer to someone like Geithner, who really was at the center of the things that led to this meltdown.  Combine that deference with Obama's deference to Republicans, and I think we are in more trouble than we know.

    I just do not have a good feeling about all of this.


    I know (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:26:51 AM EST
    And now the bar has been lowered for future nominees.  Are the Dems really going to holler and complain in a future Republican administration when a nominee has actually broken the law (no matter if it was fixed or not)?  Is it now acceptable for future EPA chiefs to be CEO's of major polluters?  Is it now ok for future Attorney Generals to be dis-barred?

    Paul Krugman (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by BernieO on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:10:13 PM EST
    on ABC's This Week talked about this nomination. He admitted that the tax thing was bad but said there really are very few people with the background knowledge to take this post. Krugman is the most objective, knowledgeable economist I have ever read (I have a very rusty degree in the subject) and he is not afraid to speak his mind, so I am going to hold my nose on this one. It's hard to do, though.

    India (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:59:07 AM EST
    The indispensable Laura Rozen has a very sharp pair of posts on India's intense lobbying efforts to ensure Richard Holbrooke would NOT be a special envoy for India, the way he is for Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Important stuff for those seeking to keep on top of that volatile region.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#25)
    by Maryb2004 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:40:06 AM EST
    Very interesting.  

    India gets so little (none / 0) (#59)
    by BernieO on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:11:37 PM EST
    attention in our media. I was really surprised to read that their economy is still going strong. (I think I read it a Foreign Policy's new website - which is really good.)

    Yeah (none / 0) (#61)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:39:25 PM EST
    Foreign Policy has lined up a real all-star team of bloggers - Laura Rozen, Marc Lynch, Tom Ricks, and many others.  Lots of must-read stuff for Democrats with an interest in foreign policy.

    A Productive Phone Call (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:09:51 AM EST

    The high-flying execs at Citigroup caved under pressure from President Obama and decided today to abandon plans for a luxurious new $50 million corporate jet from France...

    ABC News has learned that Monday officials of the Obama administration called Citigroup about the company's new $50 million corporate jet and told execs to "fix it."

    He shoulda told Citi... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:16:43 AM EST
    to get their name off my teams stadium...ther certainly are not in the economic position to shell out millions for vain naming rights.

    The local joke is we they should rename it "Taxpayer Field".


    That makes it a wash (none / 0) (#43)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:02:53 PM EST
    in that without selling the naming rights, taxpayers would be on the hook for the additional expenses due to less income from the naming rights (unless of course New York was silly enough to give the Mets the naming rights property as part of their lease agreement in which case call it Taxpayer Field "times two")

    You're right... (none / 0) (#50)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:34:05 PM EST
    and that is a sin unto itself.  Sun god forbid the Wilpons pay for their own venue for their own team.  They have the cash, or did until they invested with Madoff.

    There was a time when sports owners were able to pay the freight on their own office space...a simpler time I guess.


    I suspect the kind of obscene (none / 0) (#29)
    by SOS on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:48:22 AM EST
    displays of wealth we've witnessed this past 8 years won't be popular much longer.

    and Umpqua Bank just offers (none / 0) (#52)
    by ding7777 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:48:38 PM EST
    free ice cream after getting its share of TARP

    Pay or Die (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by SOS on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:12:29 AM EST
    BAY CITY, Mich. - A 93-year-old man froze to death inside his home just days after the municipal power company restricted his use of electricity because of unpaid bills, officials said.

    Schur owed Bay City Electric Light & Power more than $1,000 in unpaid electric bills, Bay City Manager Robert Belleman told The Associated Press on Monday.

    That is sinful.... (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:33:38 AM EST
    I understand people have to pay their bills and all...but when it is a matter of life or death like heat and electric, the utilities should be prevented from cutting people off.  They should be allowed to try and collect the debt in any legal way up to, but not including, terminating the heat/power.

    Sh*t like this is how we got the name "capitalist pigs."  I still think it is the best, yet flawed, system...but it is easy to lose your humanity and we simply can't let that happen.


    What's the matter with Michigan? (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 04:01:17 PM EST
    In most states, electric utilities are not allowed to turn off the power to the elderly or handicapped or people in poverty.

    Especially in the winter, regardless of income (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by DFLer on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 05:38:46 PM EST
    I wonder that this man fell between the cracks....92, living alone, perhaps not able to take care of paying his bills and running his checking account because of dementia or something...where's his family?  

    At 92 there's a fair (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 06:10:41 PM EST
    chance much of his "close" (siblings, cousins, children) could be dead or out of contact.  There are people who end up alone because their younger family members died off before them.

    Read the story; he had the money (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:33:06 PM EST
    all ready, with the bill, on his kitchen table.

    And Michigan, like my state, has the law about not cutting off power in winter.

    This story suggests that a municipal utility is exempt or something.  Doubtful.  I suspect some bureaucrat screwed up, and there is more to this.


    and a veteran too (none / 0) (#78)
    by jedimom on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 03:26:50 PM EST
    Is this the WWII vet?

    Letter to US FDA Commissioner Dr. (none / 0) (#3)
    by SOS on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:28:49 AM EST
    Andrew C Von Eschenbach

    I understand from articles written by current and ex-US FDA civil servants and posted on Thoreau-FDA.com:

    There is evidence presented to the US Congress that shows some instances of Undocumented Top Down "Approve" Directives or Requests, by FDA upper managers that interfere with the independent decisions of lower level drug reviewers.  Writers on Thoreau-FDA.com assert that reviewer independence is necessary to ensure objective science based outcomes, accountability, transparency and legitimate risk versus benefit decisions throughout any line of drug product review at US FDA.  I ask that you ensure the independent decisions of drug reviewers at each level in the US FDA.  This will ensure that drug pre-approval reviews are free from biased manipulation by US FDA upper managers, who sometimes direct lower level drug approval decisions via undocumented top down directives or requests.

    And, Thoreau-FDA.com presents news reports where some US FDA upper managers retaliated against subordinate staff who attempted to carry out the US FDA's mission to protect the public health safety.  These subordinate staff's ordeals occurred when they brought to public awareness, dangerous and deadly products that had made it to market.  In summary, it seems that some US FDA upper managers have resisted staff alerts intended to mitigate, by label revisions or marketplace removal, the effects of harmful and deadly products.

    The pre- and post-approval drug review processes are under your control.

    Please do all you can to stop :

    · Instances of undocumented top down approve directives and requests by US FDA upper managers, in the drug approval program at US FDA
    · Any change in any lower level regulatory action decision, that fails to document the name of the higher level US FDA manager, who actually directs the change in the lower level decision.
    · US FDA upper managers from hiding behind their subordinates, when those managers direct them to alter their decisions, so that professional disagreements are not recorded in the public record.
    · Retaliation by US FDA upper managers against FDA staff who alert the public to dangerous and deadly products already on the market.

    Please answer the below question about your Values and Vision program and how it will stop what amounts to FDA management oppression of professionals and the suppression of truth.  Future questions will be submitted to you periodically by Thoreau-FDA.com for your answers.  Please answer those questions starting with the following -

    How does your Values and Vision effort, as initially announced to US FDA staff in the September 19, 2007 Webcast and subsequent March 2008 updates, prevent future Undocumented Top Down Approve Directives or Requests and more retaliation against US FDA staff who publicly expose deadly human and veterinary products?


    [Your Name]
    [Your Address]
    [City, State ZIP]

    and . . . . . (none / 0) (#4)
    by SOS on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:34:57 AM EST
    WASHINGTON - "In an unusually blunt letter, a group of federal scientists is complaining to the Obama transition team of widespread managerial misconduct in a division of the Food and Drug Administration.

    "The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the scientific review process for medical devices at the FDA has been corrupted and distorted by current FDA managers, thereby placing the American people at risk," said the letter, dated Wednesday and written on the agency's Center for Devices and Radiological Health letterhead....."



    Anti-war protest (none / 0) (#5)
    by MD on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:39:04 AM EST
    Where can I go for the local one?

    We should protest, right?  I mean, our President is ordering the bombing of villages.  Where are the protests?

    We should protest... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:53:23 AM EST
    we should tax revolt, we should do a lot of things.

    But we don't, and I'm as guilty as anybody.  I fear it is a lost cause, and I don't do cages very well.  Ya really can't beat 'em....


    Super Bowl Week.... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:59:30 AM EST
    you know what that means...war on prostitutes.

    Good luck dodging the chains and cages ladies and gents:)

    I think I saw a poster... (none / 0) (#27)
    by EL seattle on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:46:45 AM EST
    ... that indicated that there was something like this in D.C. last week.  Maybe it's the sort of thing that's "all the rage" this year among the organizers of big city mega-events.

    It's not new.. (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:56:52 AM EST
    A yearly thing at the Super Bowl, and every 4 years at the political conventions....the local police always say they won't tolerate the increased prostitution, and they ramp up the arrests...yet the prostitutes keep coming and the johns keep buying.

    What a waste of time and money...not to mention the slap in the face to liberty.  The oldest profesion ain't going nowhere...may as well accept it and make sure the sex workers aren't being abused, the johns ain't getting shaken down, and it as safe as possible for all involved.

    Putting our heads in the sand and driving this huge industry undergound serves no one except criminal enterprises and sex traffickers.


    Ted Stevens (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:03:59 AM EST
    Normally, I would think this is a bit of chicanery, but since the prosecution screwed up several times in this case, and still managed to get a conviction, this makes me go "hmmmmmm...."

    Attorneys for former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) have accused an FBI agent involved in the Stevens corruption investigation of having an inappropriate relationship with a key witness in the case.

    Progressives (none / 0) (#11)
    by bocajeff on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:04:41 AM EST
    There is a war going on between two countries over a land dispute. Neither one is right and neither one is wrong.

    One country is a democratic, capitalistic reliable ally. They support women's rights and gay rights. This country has the military might to completely destroy their enemy but do not. They have made peace with countries that recognize their right to exist and have returned land in order to gain peace. They are not perfect, but no country is.

    The other country is ruled by a government not recognized by the U.S. or European Union, don't support women's rights and gays are routinely jailed. They have zero problem with killing civilians to obtain their goals. This country has it written that they wish to eliminate the other country entirely.

    Why do most progressives support the second example?

    "they are not perfect" (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:07:56 AM EST
    That's about the only part of your comment worth reading.
    I'm not sure whether you're offering more of a red herring, or a red heifer.

    You didn't answer the question... (none / 0) (#14)
    by bocajeff on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:11:12 AM EST
    The two main problems with your (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:19:03 AM EST
    hypothetical which don't correspond to reality  are the assertion of near blamenessness to the Israelis, and the notion that progressives prefer the Palestinians. I don't think that being opposed to slaughter and ghettoization of the Palestinians is such a bad thing. In fact, many Jews agree with me.

    I don't exonerate the Israeli's (none / 0) (#35)
    by bocajeff on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:07:39 AM EST
    However, Israel's type of government is more in tune to what a progressive would support rather than the tyranny in West Bank and Gaza (and nearly most Arab countries).

    Yes, except for the little (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:25:01 PM EST
    fact that their treatment of the Palestinians is a monumental outrage, sure.
    You cannnot separate the part from the whole.

    Your question doesn't correspond (none / 0) (#17)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:16:17 AM EST
    to any conflict I am aware of. So I guess it's a red herring after all.

    I'm not a "progressive"... (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:15:20 AM EST
    but my sympathies lie mainly with the Palestinians simply because their suffering is greater.  Yes, the Israelis suffer from indiscriminate bombs going off, and that is awful.  But the Palestinians suffer bombings, checkpoints, tyranny, and de-facto apartheid.

    Plenty of blame to go around, the Palestinians are certainly not blameless by any means...but there is no doubt whose suffering is greater.  


    couldn't agree with you more (none / 0) (#33)
    by bocajeff on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:06:17 AM EST
    which is why I don't blame the Israeli's as much as I blame the Palestinian leadership as well as the leadership from other Arab countries.

    If Arafat would have taken the Peace suggested by Clinton in 2000 then the conditions would have (barring any infighting amongst Palestinians) been vastly improved. Furthermore, I'm certain that Arab oil money could do more to lessen the plight of the Palestinians.

    Can you imagine the Israeli's agreeing to Peace and then oil money being used to build up the West Bank and Gaza instead of Hamas wanting to irradicate Israel?


    I don't know.... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:14:16 AM EST
    who to "blame more"...all I know for sure is that Palestinians need papers to move around like blacks in S. Africa used to, and their are walls being built between farmers and their land...and this isn't happening to Israelis.  And I know that Palestinians indiscriminately shoot rockets at Israelis.  And I've got nothing nice to say about the Arab tyrants who play the Palestinians like pawns.

    I wish I knew how to slap some sense into the leaders on all sides...though I guess ultimately the people are responsible for their leaders.


    A p*ssing contest (none / 0) (#41)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:44:26 AM EST
    about suffering is a waste of time and energy.

    We could go all around the world, designate groups and play who has suffered more, are suffering more?

    Does ONLY the suffering of NOW matter or is it a matter of time....do you include women and children suffering at the hands of their own countrymen for the last decade, last century, last millenium?  Does the fact that the JEWS suffered for thousands of years at the hands of Christians worldwide matter now....or ever?  Or how about the women and children of the world, of all societies who have sufferend forever and a day and still do?

    This is not a simplistic...Israel is bad because they have bigger bombs....therefore they should be labeled the bad ones.    
    This complicated mess of mankind has plenty of blame for everyone.....from the Israelis to the Muslims extremists to the makers of weapons who profit from conflict.

    If we want to blame by triage, I suspect there are places outside of Palestine where the suffering is even greater.


    I'm not trying to make... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:30:31 PM EST
    it a pissing contest of suffering, just making an observation of which people are suffering more right now at this point in history, and it is indisputable it is the Palestinians.  Both peoples are dealing with violence, the Palestinians get tyranny on top of the violence...double whammy.

    And who is talking about jews?...I'm talking about Israel the country, the supposed democracy...their army and their government.  Of course jews have been persecuted throughout history, no one is ignoring or denying that.  Palestinians are living under apartheid right freakin' now though..the evil of the holocaust was half a century ago.  Let us never forget, but lets deal with the evil going down as we type.


    Again you are simplifying (none / 0) (#62)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:42:49 PM EST
    a situation that is complicated by history, religion and the thirst for power.  No one is right...not the Israelis, not the Palestinians.  

    You are making this into some absolutist stance of either, or...


    Did I say the Palestinians... (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:53:00 PM EST
    are right?  I don't think I did...I said the Palestinians are suffering more.  Partly because they allow violent morons to operate in their midst, and partly because the Israeli government is tyrannizing them.  

    I agree...it ain't a simple situation...the history, the complications of superstitions and people who believe god chose them or prefers them or is on their team.  All tough nuts to crack, to be sure.


    Please, not today (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:29:01 AM EST
    on Holocaust Memorial Day, the anniversary of the day that our troops entered Auschwitz to find the horror that still haunts many Israelis and others who were in the camps, lost family in the camps.

    The plight of all in the disputed Gaza is a horror, too.  But let's not take sides against Jews today, okay?


    Agree with your sentiment (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by gtesta on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:46:54 AM EST
    and don't mean to nitpick, but I do like historical accuracy and as we were reminded of in the Fall, Auschwitz is in Poland and was liberated by the Soviet army marching west to Germany.

    Patton was coming from the east.


    Sorry; thanks (none / 0) (#36)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:13:45 AM EST
    I was remembering another camp liberated by U.S. troops, a unit from my state.  I have talked with some of those great old guys (as well as with Holocaust survivors, in a neighborhood with many).  They also found more than 100 American POWs in the camp -- or actually, their corpses, as they were among many slaughtered in the last hours. . . .

    Dachau (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 03:59:25 PM EST
    not far outside Munich.

    I'm against Israeli policy... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:36:07 AM EST
    and Hamas policy...I'm not against Jews or Muslims or Christians...their superstitions make no difference to me, it is their behavior that is of concern.

    We should be able to talk about Israel and Palestine without it deteriorating into a religous argument...its about governments and their policies.


    And you are not really paying attention (none / 0) (#63)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:43:42 PM EST
    to reality.

    It is way more complicated than two governments.


    I never bought the (none / 0) (#65)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:00:45 PM EST
    Emma Goldman = Moshe Dyan = Lenny Bruce line of thinking myself.

    Sigh. (none / 0) (#20)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:25:22 AM EST
    Talk Left was nice while it lasted.

    Hmmm (5.00 / 0) (#69)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:18:03 PM EST
    We have always had a handful of GOP agitators here. Nothing new about that.

    I agree with kdog, that the PUMA's are worse. Neither fish nor fowl and WATBs 24/7.


    aww really? (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by jedimom on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 03:30:22 PM EST



    Seriously (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by sj on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 04:24:27 PM EST
    (sigh) It's the PUMAs I say!!

    Also, it's a little odd.  I don't recall kdog being a puma hunter.  Or would that be a puma poacher?  I'm not sure.


    It's all dolpnin-safe PUMA here. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 06:48:21 PM EST
    I don't know why squeaky is bothered.

    heh (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 10:30:27 AM EST
    It's nicer than during the primaries:).... (none / 0) (#67)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:12:06 PM EST
    I don't know about you guys, but talking about this sh*t doesn't make me uncomfortable...I believe 99% of our aims are true in this little community we have here.

    Lets talk and lets learn from each other.


    I've learned one thing at least (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by CST on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 04:07:28 PM EST
    from you that speaks volumes to me today.  No matter how bad it gets, it could always be worse right?

    Not everyone is so fortunate.  Like the 93 year old who's power got cut.  Among others.


    Right sister... (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 06:04:12 PM EST
    even I need a reminder once in a blue.  Thanks...and keep your chin up kid:)

    Thanks (none / 0) (#93)
    by CST on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 06:56:09 PM EST
    I'm trying... got the worst kind of news yesterday about an old friend.  Looking hard for the brightside today, life's too short.

    Sorry to hear that... (none / 0) (#94)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 07:22:04 PM EST
    The Roots are playing the Roxy Thursday night if that might cheer you up...

    I'll be hoping for better days for you my friend.


    With this I can agree (none / 0) (#75)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:53:26 PM EST
    We can only even attempt to solve complicated problems if we talk.  Even then, all we can do is hope there are really smart people, people with great skills talking to other smart people with really great skills and that they all have the interest of better lives for all as a goal.

    What drives me crazy and always has is the notion that there are absolute solutions, no absolute truths.  Most reality is somewhere in between.

    During the primary wars I was accused of being a repug sympathizer for saying Saddam Hussein was a despot.  I never said that I agreed with the invasion of Iraq because I didn't.  But just because Bush and Company were stupid, war mongering bullies did not make Hussein (and his heirs) any less war mongering, rapists thugs and despots of the worst kind.  Just because Bush was a stupid dolt with no understanding of reality and with greed as a part of his motive, did not lessen the fact that Saddam indiscriminately killed thousands and thousands of innocents, waged wars against the weak and impoverished.

    I disagree with Israel's bombing of Gaza but it does not lessen my frustration with Hamas and the many extremists supplying them with arms to kill innocents, with their use schools and hospitals to hide their launch sites; with their recruiting of young people to be suicide bombers.

    There is no absolute bad or absolute good on either side........and the suffering endured over the years that this battle has been waged in the middle east is unacceptable for either side regardless of the numbers.


    It is very simple (none / 0) (#86)
    by eric on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 04:52:39 PM EST
    It is because we are anti-Semitic and secretly love death and destruction.  Oh, and it is also because we are stupid and really hadn't realized the problem was as simple as your hypothetical.

    NY has a new Senator officially (none / 0) (#39)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:36:52 AM EST
    Joe Biden had an oath flub today, though: he didn't ask KG to raise her right hand.

    Ah Joe (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 11:39:56 AM EST
    Maybe he'll feel bad about making a joke about Robertson now....

    Speaking of flubs. . . n/t (none / 0) (#46)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:16:22 PM EST
    Chief Justice Roberts (none / 0) (#49)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:33:09 PM EST
    is bringing this up himself. As he installed, in his role as Chancellor, the new secretary of the Smithsonian, G. Wayne Clough, with a ceremonial brass key, Roberts joked that he did not know who decided on use of the key, but that he was happy about it.  Ok to make light of your own gaffs, but not always nice when others do it to you.

    It was Gillibrand's fault. . . (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:16:06 PM EST
    she couldn't figure out whether to raise her right hand or her left.

    John Updike dies (none / 0) (#51)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:41:51 PM EST
    The NY Times is now reporting that author John Updike is dead, at age 76.

    I was just reading an interview with Updike the other day.

    John Updike... (none / 0) (#53)
    by desertswine on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:53:17 PM EST
    This ought to bring out the right-wingers.... (none / 0) (#54)
    by ding7777 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:54:42 PM EST
    Barack Obama Grants First TV Interview as President to Arabic Network (link)

    Saw that this morning on every news broadcast (none / 0) (#74)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:49:33 PM EST
    I watched (local). No one seemed to bent out of shape when reporting on it.

    Maybe he thinks we've all seen enough of him over the past year to not be overly concerned if he gave the Middle East a little personal airtime.

    Let's hope that people have learned a lesson in picking their battles with this latest election season. To get mired down in who got his first TV interview post-inauguration would only be a distraction from the really important things every single person needs to focus on right now.


    There will be no strike.

    Thank God.

    The Bob Simon 6 Minutes Piece. (none / 0) (#56)
    by cpa1 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:06:17 PM EST
    What a mess.  However, I am tired of so many Democrats taking sides for the poor Palestinians and easily forgetting what Israel has gone through.  I also think it's unfortunate that those settlements were allowed to be built but Israelis aren't only stubborn they are also pissed off, as they should be.

    Life in the Palestinian territory isn't any worse than life on most of the Arab streets.  Jews all over the world have sent tons of money to Israel to build hospitals, schools and industry.  What have other Arabs done to help the Palestinians besides give them guns and bombs so they can blow up school buses, restaurants and supermarkets?  Where is the responsibility of an Arab nations or any Arab sheiks benefiting from the wealth of their oil?

    A friend of mine is an Israeli.  He says one of the main arguments is who gets the water from Mt. Hebron.  The Palestinians get plenty of water but their pipes are so broken and rusted and not taken care of, they lose too much of what they get.  What have they done to make their lives better?  What could they have done if they used the money they got for guns and bombs and instead used it to fix their own infrastructure, like those dirt roads that Bob Simon mentioned in his piece.

    You cannot blame Israelis for being paranoid as they have been beaten up by the Arabs for millenia.  The land they gained was taken after they were attacked in two wars and they didn't want to give any of it back because they knew they could not trust the Arab fundamentalists or Assad or Qaddafi, Khomeini or Arafat. They finally gave back Gaza ad where did it get them?

    Children get killed when you are such lowlife scum that you have your Hamas headquarters and munition storages in schools and in the middle of housing projects.  Arabs kill Israelis for the fun of it.  Look at what happened on 9/11.  What was the problem with those Arab SOBs who should rot in hell that they had to attack the United States and kill almost 3,000 people.  When the hell are they going to take responsibility for their own lives in their own respective countries instead of living on hate.  If the Israelis lived only on the hate brought to them by the Pharos they should be bombing and shooting Egyptians ever day.  Until the Arabs get themselves out of the middle ages and stop the hating, there will never be peace and if that means Palestinians have to wait on endless lines at checkpoints, that is a lot better than Jews would get from them.  It is time they clean their own house first.

    The Palestinian territory is a sh__hole and Israel can't be expected to fix it up for them and open all the checkpoints so that Hamas could do more damage than they already do.  Imagine 5 school bus bombings a day if there were no checkpoints and searches.  

    I know that Israel hasn't been perfect either but how do you deal with maniacal radicalism when you know nobody is doing anything to civilize these people? The Arab street hates Jews instead of their leaders who steal all their oil and provide no industry.  This is a huge huge problem with responsibility everywhere, but especially with the Arab noble class.

    You make good points.... (none / 0) (#60)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 01:25:03 PM EST
    I just have a hard time getting past the tyranny these people live under...it only fuels more violence and makes the people easily exploitable by the anti-semite Arab tyrants all too happy to use the Palestinians to their own evil ends.  The Israeli government seems to be the Israeli people's own worst enemy sometimes.

    I know if I had to go through multiple checkpoints to go about my daily business...if I came home from work and soldiers were camped in my living room...I'd get violent right quick. And if a shady cat from outta town offered to arm me to give me a fighting chance, I'd probably take it.

    It's an impossible situtation...the original f*ck up was not forming the nation of Israel out of a slice of Germany, imo.  Like we saw in N. Ireland, this stuff takes centuries to resolve...and its only been around 60 years.


    Someone, maybe its Obama, (none / 0) (#66)
    by cpa1 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:07:16 PM EST
    has to bring this to the world, for Arabs to begin taking care of their brothers and for the Sheiks to build economies not just monstrously large Swiss Bank Accounts funded from the oil they steal.

    If not Obama, I don't know who could do it.  That might be his greatest chance for immortality.

    If the Arab street weren't so decrepit and they had jobs and careers then Israel would not be as threatened.  Now these people have nothing, so they have nothing to lose.  Every other word out of their mouths is kill the Zionists.  That would make me keep the checkpoints too!

    Arabs need to get lives!

    A nice big fertile piece of Germany would have been justifiable, especially following WWII but England gave Israel a garbage tract of land that was a sh__hole until the Israelis developed it.  Look at what the Arabs have done with their land...outside of Dubai and a few other places, it's all empty desert and just a place to get oil.


    A lot of people (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 03:04:28 PM EST
    wanted and still want that garbage tract of land more than other land The Holy One (Blessed Be He) created. And the tens of billions in development aid didnt hurt either.

    "The Arabs" hadnt really thought of themselves as the Arabs (alot of them still dont), until fairly recently. And they've never had the kind of overriding, unifying body of mythology relating to homelands, diasporas and returns that the Jews have had. What the collection of clans and religious sects lumped under the category Arabs have had -- particularly in the last 200 years -- is Turks, Persians and most recently Western Europeans invading their traditional teritories, subduing them at the barrel of a gun, propping up warlords, tinpot dictators, pitting clan against clan etc all in the effort to squeeze the land and people like a sponge and get the most for the least.

    Lets not be too harsh regarding what the Arabs wont do for their people when the West has thrown the full weight of sponsorship behind one vicious, backward tyrant after another in the name of short term self interest. And we also shouldnt be shocked if the Arabs are looking at a client-state like Israel through the lense of their experience with Western Imperialsim.


    Homeland Mythology? (none / 0) (#84)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 04:20:11 PM EST
    I went to Hebrew school and never heard that we were supposed to get a tract of biblical land until the Messiah came. Still waiting.....

    In terms of mythology some jews the line, not sure of the biblical ramifications but if god is running things he sure is not happy about it.

    The issue is political not religious.  


    As a firm believer in self-determination... (none / 0) (#71)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:25:20 PM EST
    I can't argue with much of what you say, the Palestinians can and should do more for themselves...put down the rocket launchers and build something...I hear that.  Though I'm sure the billions of dollars we have given to Israel surely has helped them build their country, compared to the relative pittance we have given to the Palestinians.  If they were equally armed and financed from the get go, they may have already tired of killing each other...who knows.

    Until we get more even-handed in our dealings in the conflict, we're not helping.  And when prominent American leaders like Jimmy Carter show the Palestinians a little love, they are villified for it....called anti-semites and terrorist sympathizers and the like.

    The tyrants running the Arab countries are hopelessly corrupt...I don't know what the people in those countries are waiting for, they need revolution stat.  Then again, we could use one ourselves, the Israeli people could use one...and all around the world we just accept it and pay our taxes and fund the atrocities.


    Anyone else think (none / 0) (#68)
    by NJDem on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:13:18 PM EST
    this was not necessary?  First the basketball coach, now this?  Enough with the apologies already--we saw enough of that during the primary.  

    Aren't there more important things to do these days than worry about hurt feelings?  Time this country toughened up--it's a form of PC'ness out of control.

    (Just a general rant here, I have no idea if Roberts was really offended)

    The basketball thing... (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:30:10 PM EST
    I was thrilled the school apologized and they held the coach accountable.  An emphasis on sportmanship is long overdue.

    Nobody is saying don't give your all, just that you shouldn't humiliate your opponent when victory is assured.  Win with class and lose with class...don't shoot 3-pointers like crazy when up by 100 in the 4th, and don't throw bombs when up by 35 in the 4th, and you don't steal bases in the 9th when your up by 10...that is sportsmanship and it is about time somebody stood up for it.  Kudos.


    I hear you about sportsmanship (none / 0) (#73)
    by NJDem on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 02:44:12 PM EST
    I hate that tennis fans now boo when a player misses a serve.  But I just don't know that a generation of coddled kids is working out so great.  

    I mean, loosing sucks, but that's what happens when you play sports.  I know in academia students now expect to hear all these nice, positive aspects about their cr*ppy papers before you can tell them that it's unacceptable and they need to re-write it.  I think that's ridiculous!  (not that one should be rude about it)

    My basic point is that I don't care for the general focus on feelings, but the problem is who gets to draw the line at what offends??  


    I'm so on the same page.... (none / 0) (#76)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 03:00:11 PM EST
    I love going to my nephew's and my niece's sporting events...they coddle these kids something awful.  Everybody gets a trophy, not even keeping score sometimes...wtf?  They will suffer for it later when they grow up and don't know how to handle losing or adversity...when they realize they aren't a special snowflake that people will walk on eggshells around.

    But in this instance of humiliating your opponent...that has never been kosher, and it never should be.  The losing team has nothing to be ashamed of, they played hard I'm sure and lost, no biggie.  The winning team should be ashamed...not for being better, but for victory not being enough for them, they were out to humiliate and embarass.  It says nothing of their opponent and everything about them.


    Got kids? (none / 0) (#83)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 04:11:16 PM EST
    I love going to my nephew's and my niece's sporting events...they coddle these kids something awful.  Everybody gets a trophy, not even keeping score sometimes...wtf?  They will suffer for it later when they grow up and don't know how to handle losing or adversity...when they realize they aren't a special snowflake that people will walk on eggshells around.

    This has been going on for a lot of years. My 26 & 30 year old kids were trophied beyond earnings in their youth sporting days. They grow out of it. It is much like recess in elementary school. They love it while they are there, but once they hit the big time (Middle School) they are more intrigued with their maturing status and begin to enjoy more the need to earn their rewards.

    That practice hurts absolutely no one. IMHO


    Encouragement.. (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 06:17:16 PM EST
    within reason is good, but we may be swinging to far towards over-sensitivity.  My bro-in-law coaches his daughter's basketball team, 1st-2nd grade level...one of the parents had words for him when he raised his voice when there snowflake refused to listen.  They shoulda seen some of my old coaches, they woulda called the cops on 'em.  I couldn't believe it...felt bad for the kid.

    I'm just a hair older than your kids...I remember a big trophy for first, small one for second, better luck next year for the rest.  I remember that joy when you were on the first place team and brought that trophy home...that sense of accomplishment.  I fear we are robbing kids of that opportunity to achieve, and the character-building of failure.

    Like everything else, I guess it's a fine line.


    bah, i'm 42... (none / 0) (#96)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 07:58:50 PM EST
    ...and i remember always getting a trophy for playing.  you got a nicer one for coming in first or second or third, but everyone got a little one regardless.  also, in little league we all knew that coming in first meant you went to larger regional playoffs, as well as the all-star teams that also went on to play in larger regional tournaments, hopefully winding up at the Little League World Series.

    My 8 year old son played two years of baseball, decided not to this year.  He played in what is considered the most competitive league in San Diego pretty much, and lemme tell you, it was ridiculous.  They didn't even keep score for most of the games last year, but it was still way too much pressure, way too many coaches, literally, arguing with the umpire four or five times a game, way too much screaming on every play: "Run!  Stop!  Run!!  Go!!  What're you doing???  Run!!  Go back!!"  We had a parent kicked out for calling the ump an f'ing idiot.  For my kid anyway, like I said, the biggest problem was the pressure of having all those adults screaming at you.  It's just not good for, I'd say, at least half the kids out there I saw playing.

    As for the life lessons, from my own experience, I learned zero from losing baseball games except how it seemed adults took the games way too seriously.


    You ought to try competing on the (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 08:22:01 PM EST
    horse show circuit; even at the local level, the competition, the criticsm, the agony of defeat, can be brutal.

    I have to say, though, that it was a much better learning experience for my daughter than the everyone-gets-a-trophy softball/soccer she played at one point.

    It used to slay me to hear parents moaning about their kids' soccer games; horse-showing is a commitment of time and money that defies comparison.  While some of my friends were moaning about the one-hour soccer games, I was up before dawn, in the barn with my daughter, and at horse shows until after dark.  And some weekends, there were no ribbons - she just had to gut it out and work harder to get them.

    Best experience of her life - and maybe of mine, too.


    There is an Arabian horse (none / 0) (#99)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 08:25:14 AM EST
    competition in Perry GA when my dog club is also there holding a cluster show.  The facility is large enough to handle all of us fine.  The prize money in the horse world is pretty meaty. People have virtual living rooms set up in stalls and they also compete for the best mobile living space, bedouin costumes that cost thousands of dollars for both horse and rider.....we find ourselves sneaking off to the other part of the facility in the afternoons and not looking at dogs at all.  The horse people even had arranged to have a cash bar available, and we have learned from them :)

    you know what i learned the most from? (none / 0) (#100)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 08:42:49 AM EST
    normal life, not the manufactured b.s. of compettitons and sports and adults living THROUGH their children in an unhealthy manner, which is, IMO, about 75 percent of kids sports and activities.  Without the undue influence of adults pushing them, kids would simply, like in more primitive cultures, explore and learn and discover on their own in an environment not posioned by the notion that if your horse looks bettter or your kick goes straighter, that somehow you deserve some kind of pedestal to be placed on.  I just have no time for most of kids sports and the way they are structured, be it trophies for everyone or only the winners.

    Maybe we should just eliminate (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 09:05:57 AM EST
    the academics, too, since there are hordes of parents who are living through their kids, pushing them from Day One for the A's, insisting they be in the gifted classes, who pester teachers and administrators to give their kids the best grades - even if the kids don't deserve them - all so little johnny or little Mary can go to an Ivy League school.

    We live in the country, next to a horse farm.  My kids begged and pleaded to take lessons, and my younger daughter spent every waking moment she was not in school in the barn.  She'd feed and groom, throw hay, muck stalls, exercise ponies - anything to be in the barn.  Weekends, she was there from early morning to well after dark.

    She happened to be good at the riding, and wanted to show.  Me?  I maybe rode one other time in my life, so it was never a case of her living some old dream of mine.

    She loved it.  I love her.  Horse-showing gave us an opportunity to share something at a time when most other girls her age were running as fast and as far away from their parents as they could.  when other girls were roaming the malls, my daughter was in the barn with her friends.  When other girls were out partying on a Friday night, she was in the barn, giving her horse a bath and cleaning her tack.  

    Did she miss out on something?  Not according to her.  And since you clearly know nothing about the equestrian world, about what it takes to train a horse, or what it takes to learn how to work in sync with your horse and look good doing it, or how hard it is to jump a horse over a 3-foot fence, I will let that snide comment about being on a pedestal go.

    But I can't help but read a lot of bitterness into your comments, and that makes me wonder about your own childhood experience with sports...


    Agree to disagree Dadler... (none / 0) (#102)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 09:01:40 AM EST
    as much as many knuckleheaded adults and parents seem to do their best to ruin youth sports and youth competition, I still think on the whole it is much more positive than negative.

    A few reasons...a constructive outlet for what I believe to be our natural competitive instincts.  Instead of competing over food and water, and assorted matters of life and death, we direct those instincts to athletic competition, ideally while stressing sportsmanship and fair play.  The skills athletics help teach the youth...teamwork, perseverance, hard work, commitment...all valuable lessons to learn.

    I love competing and putting myself to the test against my fellow man on the football field or the b-ball court, or the poker table or the chess board.  It's a great release of my competitive instincts...I sure as hell don't wanna use those instincts to better my fellow man in the quest for survival...and they need to be released somewhere.


    for anyone in southern cal (none / 0) (#87)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 05:09:50 PM EST
    Two SDSU students from Albania threatened with deportation

    SAN DIEGO - Seeking to halt the deportation of two sisters who have lived in San Diego most of their lives, clergy leaders and the faith community will hold a rally and press conference tomorrow in front of the federal building downtown. Over the past year, the sisters have been supported by local members of a faith-based sanctuary movement.

    Rally in Support of Releasing Zace Sisters!
    11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28
    880 Front Street, San Diego 92101

    At 6 a.m. Friday, January 23 Aluisa and Ledia Zace were woken by flashlights shining in their bedroom window and banging on their front door.  The two sisters are now detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Otay Mesa Detention Center, pending deportation.  

    The sisters came to the United States at ages 8 and 9, when their family sought political asylum from their native country of Albania.  In 2007, after ICE deported their father to Albania, they turned to the New Sanctuary Movement (NSM) for support.  

    The NSM is a national movement of faith communities committed to supporting immigrant families and advocating for comprehensive reform of unjust immigration laws.  In San Diego, three families, including the Zace sisters, have been given sanctuary.

    John Joyce met the sisters when they began attending his church 12 years ago, and said he considers himself a part of their family.

    "We are simply heartbroken that Aluisa and Ledia have been taken away," said Joyce, an employee with San Diego City Schools.  "My wife and I have watched these two sweet girls grow up to be amazing young ladies with beautiful hearts.  Losing them would be a real travesty; the pain of such a loss cannot be described in word. "

    Both sisters have excelled in academics and graduated from Serra High School with 4.3 and 4.6 GPAs, respectfully.  They currently are enrolled at San Diego State University, and both volunteer at their church and at a local hospital.

    Nearly 100 people are expected to participate in tomorrow's rally.  Faith leaders, elected officials, community leaders and many people of faith will express their support for the Zace sisters and ask for a review of their case.  

    This rally has been postponed (none / 0) (#95)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 07:50:56 PM EST