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So let me see if I’ve got this whole Iraq, middle east, foreign policy thing straight.

Islam is split into two main branches, Sunni and Shiite. Saudi Arabia is Sunni and Iran is Shiite. Iraq is split between the two. All three have lots of oil.

Under the Shah Iran was a US ally but the Iranian revolution ended that. Iran has been one of our top enemies ever since the revolution and the hostage crisis. The US appears to have never gotten over that particular national embarrassment.  The Saudi Arabians meanwhile have remained allied business partners. Emphasis on business partners.

Iraq under Saddam Hussein was an ally against Iran but an enemy when they invaded little Kuwait which has lots of oil. Then Iraq became a major enemy and we invaded, defeated, but didn’t conquer.

Meanwhile, bin Laden, a Yemeni whose family lived and became rich in Saudi Arabia, was an ally when he went to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet invasion. Bin Laden and the Taliban became radical Islamists under the influence of the extremist Wahhabi Islam supported and exported by our allies in Saudi Arabia to other Muslim countries.  The US became an enemy of bin Laden when we placed troops in Saudi Arabia to defend the Saudi’s and defeat Iraq.

Meanwhile, Iran was a secret, and illegal, ally with Reagan and his people during the whole Iran-Contra affair.

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As you know the Working Families Party toyed with the idea of running their own candidate for Governor instead of cross-endorsing the Democratic candidate as they have always done in the past. At the last minute their leadership cut a deal with Andrew Cuomo and they voted to give him the endorsement despite it being obvious the overwhelming majority of their members supported challenging him with their own progressive candidate. That candidate was the Dean campaigns own Zephyr Teachout.

Zephyr, a Democrat, has since been looking into running a challenge in the Democratic primary. A few minutes ago, via buzzfeed, she officially announced that it is on.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/...

She has a website up here:

http://zephyrteachout.com/

And an Actblue page here:

https://secure.actblue.com/...

Poll

Who do you support for NY Governor?

9%7 votes
85%63 votes
4%3 votes
1%1 votes

| 74 votes | Vote | Results

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The following is an account my father wrote upon his return to Chicago from his first Civil Rights trip to Mississippi which was for Medgar Evers funeral. It was scanned and OCR'd several years ago. I have done very slight editing to fix typos/ocr errors where I saw them. I have made a few very minor additions of my own. These are found in brackets, [ ]. I have also added links to some of the many people (or other interesting items) named in this account. This is long and I decided against editing for brevity as I think the unpolished stream-of-remembrance style of its writing gives one a strong feeling of the experience. It is also very interesting to read many of the little comments that might get edited out but that tell a little story of their own.

Account of the Trip of [Reverend] Warner C. White to Jackson, Mississippi, over the weekend of June 15, 1963.

I am a member of the Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity [ESCRU] and have been for several years. Up until now about all I have done is to be a dues-paying member and then to organize a local group in the area around the Church of the Redeemer [Hyde Park - Chicago, Il]. But a month or so ago John Morris, the Executive Secretary of the Society asked for volunteers among both clergy and lay people —  that is, priest-layman teams — who would be willing to go South in any emergency situation to do what we might be able to do in those situations. I volunteered. I had lay people willing to go, but we were not able to find times when both parties would be able to go, so I was down at the time this came up as a single priest member or volunteer. Sometime in the late afternoon of Thursday, June 13, I received a long-distance call from John Morris asking me if I would be willing to go to Jackson, Mississippi, to attend the funeral of Medgar Evers, the local secretary for the NAACP, who had been murdered several days earlier [the day before] — it must have been Tuesday. John said he was asking clergy from various parts of the country if they would be willing to go and represent the Church at the funeral Saturday and then to stay over Sunday and Monday to listen and to talk to people in the area to see what we might be able to do. I called Rufus Nightingale, who helps me at the Church of the Redeemer to see if he would be able to take services for me that weekend, then called various other people, then later that evening phoned John Morris to say that I would be willing to go.

I made arrangements to take a plane to Atlanta, got my affairs in order Friday morning, and took a plane out of O’Hare Field to Atlanta, arriving there in Atlanta at 6:00 p.m. Atlanta time. There I went by pre-arrangement to the Air Host Inn to stay and found in the room reserved for me the Reverend David Gracie of Rodgers City, Michigan. We had some coffee  in the room — there was a special device for that — got acquainted. Shortly thereafter we received a phone call from John Morris, who was in the Motel. We went to his room and talked some more . Then little by little various of the participants arrived — I don’t remember the order I am afraid. These included the Rev. Rowland Cox of Princeton, New Jersey, where he is the Episcopal Chaplain at the University; the Rev. John Snow of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the assistant at Christ Church; the Rev. Brian Kelley of Boston, Massachusetts — I realize I do not know what parish he is from; and the Rev. Loren Mead from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Loren has a parish just outside in a sort of suburb of Chapel Hill in which there are quite a number of University people. John Morris told us he had just learned from Ruby Hurley, one of the secretaries for the NAACP who works out of Atlanta, and who had asked us to come represent the Episcopal Church at the funeral, that we would be honorary pallbearers. I have to confess for my own part that though I went to sleep that night without too much difficulty, I wasn’t sure I would — I was quite nervous — Nevertheless I did not get a great deal of sleep because in the morning I woke earlier than the time for which I had set the alarm, and after I woke I found I was unable to get back to sleep. I had two other clergy in the room with me —  we had two beds and a roll-in cot. When I got up I tried to move around very quietly so I wouldn’t wake them, but I soon discovered that I need not have bothered since they were both awake themselves. We all admitted to a considerable amount of tension. We ate a very hasty breakfast, and then boarded a plane for Jackson.

One of the things of interest that happened was that our plane was being used by Martin Luther King and other workers in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference so we had a chance to meet and talk to these men on the plane and on the ground when we stopped in Montgomery, Alabama, and Meridian, Mississippi, on our way. When we arrived in Jackson — I might say it was very hot all along the way — temperatures were in the 80’s and 90’s at our various stops — when we arrived in Jackson the temperature was, if not then in the hundreds, it soon got up into the hundred’s. At the airport there were newsreel cameras and reporters waiting to speak to Martin Luther King. There were also two helmeted motorcycle policemen who did not look terribly friendly —  or at least I didn’t think they did — and who were waiting to escort Dr. King to the funeral. Meeting us at the airport was the Reverend Cornelius Tarpley from the National Council of the Episcopal Church, who had been there for a day or so earlier. With him were the Rev. John Thompson from Mobile, Alabama, and the Rev. Wofford Smith, who is the Episcopal chaplain at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

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From Zephyr Teachout's Facebook page a short while ago...

"Its official. I'm planning to run for Governor if the WFP endorses me. Just think of what we could do!"
She included a link to her nascent campaign website:

http://zephyrteachout.com/

It includes an Actblue donate link (hint, hint, hint). Hit the bat for Zephyr!

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Tue Oct 15, 2013 at 02:07 PM PDT

Naming names...

by Andrew C White

Naming names... who is holding the feckless GOP "leadership" hostage and through them the nation?

Who are the 80 House representatives that signed the Rep. Mark Meadows letter demanding the shutdown?

Who are the people behind these people?

Bill Moyers provides the background on who is pulling the strings. You'll recognize most of the names of the 10 hardline conservatives in the background and their 10 puppets in the House and Senate Tea Party minority.

Moyers provides and excellent interactive on these "leaders"

Below the fold the infamous 80 holding our nation hostage.

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Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:45 PM PDT

Goodbye Kasha Girl

by Andrew C White

Last December I lost my Sheba to cancer. She was 13 but it came as a surprise as she was apparently healthy and happy and active up until near the very end.

At the same time, my older dog Kasha...

... had a variety of problems and I'd been watching her deteriorate for awhile. I thought I was going to lose her about a year and a half before. So I had lots of time to prepare for today. When Sheba was dying she was so depressed that I thought she would go within a couple days. I even had a talk with her in which I told her it was ok if she was ready. But she came out of it after a week or so and went on living.

Today it was her turn. She's been having strokes and has had neurological problems where she was losing control of rear hind quarters. Recently she went into canine cognitive disorder... dementia in simpler terms. Anipryl helped with that. But last night she had another stroke and it was time. We've done everything we could to keep her going but to do more at this point would simply be prolonging the suffering. It was time.

If you don't mind, I'd like to introduce you to my 16 year old guard dog on her last day.

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I'm currently on a binge of reading biblical era history and research. One of the books I just started is John Dominic Crossan's The Historical Jesus - The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant in which Crossan begins by setting the table of mediterranean peasant life during the time period.

In doing so, in chapter 3, Slave and Patron, he talks about research of sociologist Gerhard Lenski in his book Power and Privilege: A Theory of Social Stratification (PDF preview). I've not read the book so what I am going to be quoting below is Crossan's take on Lenski.

What struck me in reading these few pages is the striking resemblance to where we appear to be heading in our devolution of the middle class of our capitalist-industrial society. I also now know the proper name for my role in this society as a surviving member of the middle class...

Retainer

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The following is an account my father wrote upon his return to Chicago from his first Civil Rights trip to Mississippi which was for Medgar Evers funeral. It was scanned and OCR'd several years ago. I have done very slight editing to fix typos/ocr errors where I saw them. I have made a few very minor additions of my own. These are found in brackets, [ ]. I have also added links to some of the many people (or other interesting items) named in this account. This is long and I decided against editing for brevity as I think the unpolished stream-of-remembrance style of its writing gives one a strong feeling of the experience. It is also very interesting to read many of the little comments that might get edited out but that tell a little story of their own.

Account of the Trip of [Reverend] Warner C. White to Jackson, Mississippi, over the weekend of June 15, 1963.

I am a member of the Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity [ESCRU] and have been for several years. Up until now about all I have done is to be a dues-paying member and then to organize a local group in the area around the Church of the Redeemer [Hyde Park - Chicago, Il]. But a month or so ago John Morris, the Executive Secretary of the Society asked for volunteers among both clergy and lay people —  that is, priest-layman teams — who would be willing to go South in any emergency situation to do what we might be able to do in those situations. I volunteered. I had lay people willing to go, but we were not able to find times when both parties would be able to go, so I was down at the time this came up as a single priest member or volunteer. Sometime in the late afternoon of Thursday, June 13, I received a long-distance call from John Morris asking me if I would be willing to go to Jackson, Mississippi, to attend the funeral of Medgar Evers, the local secretary for the NAACP, who had been murdered several days earlier [the day before] — it must have been Tuesday. John said he was asking clergy from various parts of the country if they would be willing to go and represent the Church at the funeral Saturday and then to stay over Sunday and Monday to listen and to talk to people in the area to see what we might be able to do. I called Rufus Nightingale, who helps me at the Church of the Redeemer to see if he would be able to take services for me that weekend, then called various other people, then later that evening phoned John Morris to say that I would be willing to go.

I made arrangements to take a plane to Atlanta, got my affairs in order Friday morning, and took a plane out of O’Hare Field to Atlanta, arriving there in Atlanta at 6:00 p.m. Atlanta time. There I went by pre-arrangement to the Air Host Inn to stay and found in the room reserved for me the Reverend David Gracie of Rodgers City, Michigan. We had some coffee  in the room — there was a special device for that — got acquainted. Shortly thereafter we received a phone call from John Morris, who was in the Motel. We went to his room and talked some more . Then little by little various of the participants arrived — I don’t remember the order I am afraid. These included the Rev. Rowland Cox of Princeton, New Jersey, where he is the Episcopal Chaplain at the University; the Rev. John Snow of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the assistant at Christ Church; the Rev. Brian Kelley of Boston, Massachusetts — I realize I do not know what parish he is from; and the Rev. Loren Mead from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Loren has a parish just outside in a sort of suburb of Chapel Hill in which there are quite a number of University people. John Morris told us he had just learned from Ruby Hurley, one of the secretaries for the NAACP who works out of Atlanta, and who had asked us to come represent the Episcopal Church at the funeral, that we would be honorary pallbearers. I have to confess for my own part that though I went to sleep that night without too much difficulty, I wasn’t sure I would — I was quite nervous — Nevertheless I did not get a great deal of sleep because in the morning I woke earlier than the time for which I had set the alarm, and after I woke I found I was unable to get back to sleep. I had two other clergy in the room with me —  we had two beds and a roll-in cot. When I got up I tried to move around very quietly so I wouldn’t wake them, but I soon discovered that I need not have bothered since they were both awake themselves. We all admitted to a considerable amount of tension. We ate a very hasty breakfast, and then boarded a plane for Jackson.

One of the things of interest that happened was that our plane was being used by Martin Luther King and other workers in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference so we had a chance to meet and talk to these men on the plane and on the ground when we stopped in Montgomery, Alabama, and Meridian, Mississippi, on our way. When we arrived in Jackson — I might say it was very hot all along the way — temperatures were in the 80’s and 90’s at our various stops — when we arrived in Jackson the temperature was, if not then in the hundreds, it soon got up into the hundred’s. At the airport there were newsreel cameras and reporters waiting to speak to Martin Luther King. There were also two helmeted motorcycle policemen who did not look terribly friendly —  or at least I didn’t think they did — and who were waiting to escort Dr. King to the funeral. Meeting us at the airport was the Reverend Cornelius Tarpley from the National Council of the Episcopal Church, who had been there for a day or so earlier. With him were the Rev. John Thompson from Mobile, Alabama, and the Rev. Wofford Smith, who is the Episcopal chaplain at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

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Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:54 AM PDT

Rep. Mike Honda for Congress

by Andrew C White

Currently top of the rec list is a diary talking about the Obama campaign machine kicking into gear to help take back the House of Representatives. I think that's a great idea. But I am very disturbed by their "test case" which is supporting an Obama staffer named Ro Khanna in a primary against sitting Democratic Representative Mike Honda.

If the plan is to take out Republicans why would you test your plan against a sitting Democrat? Why wouldn't you test your plan in South Carolina District 1 where a Democrat is running against an actual Republican?

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Growing up the youngest of five my middle brother was a bit of an idol of mine. Still is... but don't tell him I said so.

Next Thursday, March 28, he will be joining over 75 other business and community leaders in Burlington, Vermont sleeping out to raise awareness and money for homeless youth. This is at least the second year in a row he has done this.

His facebook message says...

"I'm sleeping out in downtown Burlington, VT on March 28th (regardless of how cold it is!) to bring attention to the plight of homeless youths. There are too many in Vermont. I'm going to be uncomfortable for only one night - while homeless youths may be out in the bitter cold for many... I'm doing this along with more than 75 other business and community leaders. Please sponsor my sleep-out by clicking on the link. Your donation will support the efforts of Spectrum Youth and Family Services in providing housing, counseling, education, a jobs program and more for homeless and at-risk youths. I can personally attest to the very effective work Spectrum does. Thanks!"
And he asks for our support for this worhty cause. I likewise ask for your support for him in this worthy cause.

Spectrum's Sleep Out

As David says, there are too many young homeless kids in Vermont. As I'm sure you know this is not a problem isolated to Burlington or to Vermont nor to youth. This is just opportunity to make a real difference.

Vermont is a very small state but he says...

Homelessness is on the rise in Vermont. According to the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness, it is estimated that Vermont has 4,000 homeless individuals and families.
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"You will no doubt be asking me, Gratius, why I feel such an affection for this man," begins Marcus Tullius Cicero in the middle of his speech defending the poet Aulus Licinius Archias in the year 62 BCE.

The setting is the dying days of the Roman Republic. Gaius Julius Caeser and Cnaeus Pompeius are building towards their take-over of Rome along with Crassus 2 years later in 60 BCE. Pompey has finished the war in Asia against Mithridates VI of Pontus and is returning home. A law has been passed to evict all non-romans from the city of Rome. The idea was to remove various gangs of thugs but Pompey's agents have tried to use it to evict the poet Archias who is allied with the house of Lucius Licinius Lucullus, a rival of Pompey's that had been the Roman General that preceeded Pompey in the war against Mithridates.

Cicero has long allied himself with Pompey and in fact argued in the Senate in favor of Pompey replacing Lucullus as General of the east following a disasterous defeat of one of Lucullus' Lieutenants. But he occasionally disagrees with Pompey and crosses him and this is one of those occasions.

After defending the facts of the case in a fairly straightforward fashion he then moves on to defending the poet as a poet by defending the role of poets and literature in general.

And this is what I wish to in turn share with you...

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Cuomo wanted to be first in the Nation...

http://www.timesunion.com/...

"You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and with reason and with common sense," Cuomo said just before signing the bill at 5:10 p.m.

After passing the state Senate 43-18 late Monday night, the bill cleared the Assembly 104-43 at the conclusion of an almost five-hour debate.

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