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To all people of good will of all nations and religions.
I propose following:

1) Each day at 5 pm by your time I propose to spent 5 minutes for pray for peace beetween arabs and people of Israel.

2) Let's fire a candle each evening.

3) Let's post this message in your LiveJournal.

P.S. All rasists messages will be removed.

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It has been so very quiet here.  I know the world hasn't stopped, but it sure has lost it's breath a couple times.  I just thought people here my find this of interest. 

Please click the link at the end, and read Andrew's last post. Even if you never read his stuff, or are a Babylon 5 fan, you'll wish you'd known him.
I sure wish I had.

Do you read posts by people on blogs? People you've never met, maybe never even commented to directly, but the things they write touch you, and make you think? Then you find out they are a huge B5 fan, just like you are, even though you have differing views, different politics, a different life. You look forward to their quotes and references, feeling like you're on the inside track with them, understanding things other readers may not get. Your paths would never ordinarily cross--he's from Colorado, you're from Maryland. He's a conservative, you're a liberal. You just read his stuff, and then one day he announces he's re-upping, and you get what that means. You admire him, cause you know he's not whole-heartedly in favor of the war, but he believes in his country, and the military tradition, and he's willing to put his life on the line for his beliefs. You remember his great post on 'illegal orders' and all the Sheridan quotes he threw in, and why he thought most situations in Iraq wouldn't fall under that rubric. You send him the President's speech about Sheridan from Rising Star as a good-bye.

He posted under the pseudonym G'Kar when the military asked him to stop his blogging.

And then one Friday, you come home and open up Obsidian Wings, the group blog he wrote for, a moderate political blog in the USA, and there it is, in black and white, written so quiet and straight that you can't avoid it, no matter how much you want to click it away:
Andy's dead.
He left a message for his co-blogger to post, like he knew it might happen, like we all knew it might happen, but of course it wouldn't, couldn't, not to a good guy like him.
He was the first 2008 casualty in Iraq. And a small part of Maj. Andrew Olmsted likely would've chuckled at that fact. It would be droll and play into his sense of self-deprecation.

Amanda Wilson, his wife of 10 years, could barely talk Friday. The notifying officers came to her door in Colorado Springs on Thursday to tell her that Olmsted's unit had been ambushed and that he was dead. Also killed was Cpt. Thomas J. Casey, 32, of Albuquerque.

Obsidian Wings:Andy Olmstead
Current Mood:
numb numb
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Hi everyone,

I work for the American Refugee Committee in Chicago, and this year we're holding a fundraising luncheon in Chicago in support of the refugee camps we run in Darfur and other places around the world.  Speakers will include ARC's country director from Sudan and John Prendergast, a Senior Adviser on Africa at the International Crisis Group in DC.  Barack Obama is an honorary co-sponsor and may show up as well.  The luncheon is being held November 3rd at the Hilton Chicago, and tickets are $150 each (with at least 90% of that going directly to refugee support).  If you're interested in learning more about what's going on in Darfur and supporting refugee camps there, please email me and I'll get you an invitation.

Thanks for your support!

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I'm posting this.. in the event that you hadn't seen John Stewart's post 9/11 speech.
Current Mood:
melancholy melancholy
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I remember when the Dixie Chicks were reallllllllly popular a few years back. I pretty much chalked them up to "more country music. Yuck." However, i was occasionally exposed to the three women who are the Dixie Chicks, and they struck me as pretty cool, smart, talented, etc. A nice change from celebs like Britney & Ashley and Jessica. No offense, but of course.

Then, "it" happened. One of the Dixie Chicks said that she was ashamed that President Bush was from her home state of Texas. I thought it was an interesting thing...a country music star coming out and saying that, and at a concert, no less. But I never really thought much of it.

But now, with the release of their new album, there is a lot of talk about the Dixie Chicks. In fact, listening to NPR both to and from work on Thursday, I was exposed to what the Dixie Chicks have gone through since that little comment escaped. And I thought to myself, "What the heck is going on???"

Now, brush aside, if you might, the fact that I am not the President's biggest fan. Let's just analyze what was said. "I'm ashamed that the President is from the same state I'm from." Is this really THAT offensive? I mean, I know that the audience that made the Dixie Chicks #1 in the charts tends to be more conservative. They also, in many cases, tend to be from Texas. That's fine. But STILL. The Dixie Chicks were shut out of the radio stations nation-wide and had their careers pretty much ruined because of this one comment, made on English soil, no less.

I remember when I first learned about Communist Russia in grade school. It was explained to me that one of the reasons Communism was bad and we were good was because in Communist Russia, you couldn't say anything negative about the government. Literally. The newspapers, the media, everything was controlled by the government. If you tried to say something negative, you would be ruined.

How is what was done to the Dixie Chicks any different?

Even if you think that what was said was totally out of line, and one of the worst things a country music star could say about a world leader, can you really support shutting the whole group down and burning their CDs like what was done with the Beatles records in 1965? I mean, let's not even look at the fact that presidents from Gerald Ford to the current president have been lampooned repeatedly on shows like Saturday Night Live. How come that show hasn't been shut down?

I can't say that I just adore all things Dixie Chick now. I still don't really think their music is my cup of tea, and they could be total assholes. But I'm tempted to buy their CD just to make my own little point that I think it's ok to speak your mind about politics, whether you're a celebrity or not. I mean, that's what democracy is all about, right? So isn't it kind of hypocritical to say that we support everything this country is about, then stifle the freedom of speech? I dunno. Somebody help me out.
Current Mood:
confused confused
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I tend to complain about this country a lot - after all, freedom to complain is my right, and one of the things that make the U.S. great. And I'm exposed, through Livejournal, to comments and opinions from people all over the world, and many of them also criticise the U.S. for recent actions/inactions, and I will sometimes hop on that wagon (because I can, it's my right).


I've been thinking I would like to make a list of what's right about this country.

1) The first thing that usually comes to mind is shopping freedom of speech. I love that saying of, um, whoever said it (I see it's attributed to Voltaire, not unequivocally), "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". Of course, there are other countries in which one can exercise freedom of speech, but I think that America really celebrates that and puts it to the test as well.

What would you add to the list?

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I have been thinking what an incredible media coup the first 2 weeks of September are going to be for American media. The 1-year anniversary of Katrina and the 5-year anniversary of 9/11. God, what could be better? The only real question for network television will be which chilling audio and video tapes to play to get the best reaction.

Tough choice, that.

Sadly enough, the media is going to have to tread carefully, even during this gilded age of media bliztzens and vixens. You see, it seems that when people experience tragedies like 9/11 or Katrina, well...I know this will be difficult to believe, but they swear. This, apparently, is a serious problem.

The CBS documentary on 9/11, featuring the work of French brothers Gedeon and Jules Naudet, was the first documentary about 9/11 that I forced myself to watch. I don't recall hearing any uncouth language, quite frankly. I remember the stories, definitely. Oh, and the sound of bodies thudding onto the ground because people were jumping from a slow death to a quick one. I kind of remember that. But that doesn't need to be censored, as disturbing as that is. It's just, maybe when someone, I don't know, saw a plane flying above his head and straight into the World Trade Center, he may have said "oh shit!" Wow. The least he could have done was monitored his speech so that it would be family-safe.

So, just be warned, for the sake of the media and any documentarians out there. If you witness something horrifying or tragic or unbelievable, you cannot say "holy fuck" or "holy fucking shit on a cracker" or "oh shit." Say, "wowzers" or "well I'll be." Because if you use dirty language -- your story just won't make it to the 6:00 news.
Current Mood:
aggravated aggravated
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Wire tapping is illegal. Who knew?

Now what?

Current Mood:
amused amused
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I was interested in reading exactly what this Cease Fire agreement is all about. For posterity (and curiosity) here is the text:

UN Security Council Cease-Fire AgreementCollapse )

All in all, if I can comb through the legal mumbo jumbo at least in part, I am highly optimistic about this deal. Of course, what is implied is that there is a metric shit-load of work to do. You cannot just randomly work out a permanent solution. I am also wondering how Lebanon will manage all of the things they are supposed to do when their infrastructure has been ruined and their people are seething with anger. I'm wondering if Hizbollah counts as a foreign force that will have to leave (I realize many of them are Lebanese citizens, but my take is that there are possibly some Iranian members there as well).

Unfortunately, both sides had an orgy of bombing all through today, trying to get the last word. Does a cease-fire really have a chance when both sides are rushing to get as many missiles shot as possible before they are due to go to their respective corners?

We shall see. Let us pray. For now...I got what I was hoping for.
Current Mood:
hopeful hopeful
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My local paper had a little poll on their website... do you think the resolution being offered for peace between Lebanon and Israel will "work"? And I wonder really what that means. Do I think fighting can stop for a few days? Sure. Do I think the two countries will find a lasting peace? Probably not, at least yet. What do you guys think? Do we need to start a petition to send Jimmy Carter over there?!
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