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Is it just me, or are the hearings of Doan and Sampson just begging to be expressed through musical comedy? Something themed on the curious lack of memory available to today's GOP.  Costume suggestions, set design, casting etc. for MEMORYGATE THE MUSICAL! all gratefully accepted in the comments.

(curtain rises on Sampson's Big Solo)

"The Files There Weren't" (tune: Barbra Streisand's Memries(The Way We Were)

Dusty  corners of my mind
Foggy water-colored memories
Of the way we were
(dances, shifts uncomfortably)

Did I say "Dusty"?
Or Foggo? No, I can’t bring to mind
Any meetings with him either
Or the files there weren't...

(blinking, more dancing)
Could they have been in my bottom drawer?
I only aggregated all the lines
If I had the chance I’d do it differently
Or I should have...Or, I...would have...

No Memries, No Karl Rove, I never met
Too illegal to remember?
I've been advised  to forget
So I have no memory
I don’t remember
No I just can’t remember
The files there were...
(I mean) The files there weren't..."

(scroll down for Lurita's big number)


Kyle and Lurita should be played by...

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8%2 votes
4%1 votes
16%4 votes
54%13 votes

| 24 votes | Vote | Results

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The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'survive.' The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes... But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn."—Sophie Scholl

It takes courage to change the world. There are those who will do anything to silence the voices of peace and justice. Yet we desperately need men and women who are willing to do more than "get by."

Today I'm celebrating three women of the 20th century who gave their lives for a cause: Sophie Scholl, who struggled against Nazism, Viola Liuzzo who worked for civil rights, and Kudirat Abiola, who pursued democracy in Nigeria. Follow me below the fold and honor Women's History Month and Mothering Sunday by pondering their example.

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You might be spending some time in Irish pubs this weekend, where it's not uncommon to see photos and drawings of Irish notables, usually heavily weighted towards the heroes of the Anglo-Irish war. You might even play the North American Irish Pub Drinking Game: Take a drink every time you see a picture of  W.B. Yeats or Michael Collins or Eamon de Valera. Take two drinks every time you see a photo of Padraig Pearse or James Connolly. Take three drinks if you see any pictures of Protestants (yes, Bono counts). And if you see Brendan Behan's picture, don't bother. His ghost has finished your drink already.

But special drinks all around if you see a picture of this lady: Constance, Countess Markiewicz. Street fighter, crack shot, suffragist, imprudent politician, organizer, aristocrat, and passionate socialist—but if you're living on the North American side of the Big Pond, she's probably the most interesting Irish Republican you've never heard of. Follow me below the fold for an introduction to this remarkable woman

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Did you know I am dangerous? Well, I am. I am so dangerous that the Georgia Legislature must reign me in from my regularly appointed rounds of evil. The "Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education Act" (which looks a lot like David Horowitz's Academic "Bill of Rights) is aimed at college professors and keeps us from committing the following crime:

Teachers should not take unfair advantage of the immaturity of students by indoctrinating them with their own opinions before the students have had an opportunity to examine other opinions;

Since I can't "indoctrinate" my LEGALLY ADULT  students into believing that they really  need to do the assigned  reading for every class, I very much doubt I can "indoctrinate"them into Islamocommiefascism or whatever other brainwashing this bill is supposed to prevent. But if this bill passes, then my private political beliefs can be used as evidence that I am doing just that. Please follow me below the fold for more and see what you can do to help stop this bill, and why.

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Another myth of good wars versus bad wars is that only the combat veterans from Vietnam suffered lasting adjustment problems; the 1945 vet came home to enjoy prosperity, satisfied with a job well done, and with few qualms about the war...But some suffered an anguish that damaged their lives and that of their families. For some, the stress continues even today.–Michael C.C. Adams, The Best War Ever: America and World War II

When do we let go of the myth that only in "bad" wars do combat veterans suffer from mental wounds? When do we let go of the idea that only weak people are affected by the overwhelming mental stress of combat? Because, as Illona's powerful diary bears witness, that myth is killing America's young veterans today. The justness or injustice of the cause does not cause PTSD; if it did, then the "Greatest Generation," fighting in the Second World War,  would have had no problems, right? Yet they did. Below the fold is a look at how PSTD affected combat veterans in "the Best War Ever."

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket When I was 4 years old, I beat up the class bully. Apparently I wasn't normally an aggressive girl, but on that particular day I'd had enough. So I took a swing at the (very) big boy who was always trying to take away toys and candy from the rest of us. That swing worked pretty well, so I took another. And another.  And continued to hit the now-crying bully until the teacher separated us. You can see why I've never bought that girls are all sugar and spice. In fact, I love reading about women who buck the prevailing trends and assumptions of their day--and who does that more than a woman who dons a uniform to serve in military combat?  Dr. Raina Pennington's  Wings Women and War: Soviet Airwomen in World War II Combat is one of the most complete and exciting histories of the female combat fighter pilots, night bombers, and dive bombers who served at the Eastern Front 1941-1945.

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Thomas Peters: slave, millwright, soldier...and politician.  His voyage from slavery to freedom began in Part One, when he was kidnapped from Africa and sold into slavery; at the onset of the American revolution, he seized the opportunity to reclaim his freedom fighting with British forces. A talented craftsman, he became a leader of men on the fields of battle.
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The war’s conclusion found him traveling once again, hoping to redeem the British promise of freedom in Nova Scotia. In the 1780s and 1790s, the former sergeant found himself fighting in unfamiliar territory: the world of British politics. From New Brunswick to London, he tirelessly pursued freedom and justice for his community.

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The man was African, African-American, Afro-Nova Scotian. A son of Nigeria and a father of Sierra Leone, his freedom was ripped from him by slavery, and then by the brutal racism of "free" societies. He fought to take it back on the battlefields of the American Revolution and in the salons of British politicians. An engineer, a soldier, a leader of men,  he left behind no autobiography and no portrait. (Perhaps he looked like the man above, who lived in the same time and places.)  What he does leave us are the fragmentary records of a man who, in an era of inequality, consistently refused to bow to overwhelming  injustice.

His name: Thomas Peters. His story? Freedom.

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Greetings from the home of Anne of Green Gables, Cavendish, Prince Edward Island! We're shaking things up here at News of the North, moving our community feature to the front and then following with our usual roundup of dKos Canadiana posts–--this week ranging from BushCo follies, environmental lies to outright travesties of justice. There are also tasty tidbits from Canadian blogs to tempt you. So herd yourself  below the fold and enjoy our hard-hitting analysis (and shameless pootie pic pandering!)
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St. Valentine (depending on whom you ask) was a priest. No, he was a bishop. No he was an African martyr.... An African martyr? Ahhh, listen to the wingnut heads explode as we consider the possibility that good old St. Valentine (patron of a thousands trysts!) might not have been a blue-eyed blonde-haired European, but a Berber, a Semite, or an Ethiopian.

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This Saint Valentine lived in the multi-ethnic, multi-colored world of later Imperial Rome, where Africans played key roles in the development of  "Western" Civilization. Whether it’s founding monasticism, writing literature, developing theology, or sitting on the Imperial Throne of Rome itself, Africans were everywhere in this world.  Join me for a joint Valentine's Day-Black History Month special, as we try to re-imagine the world of Saint all its colors.

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Welcome back! This week we're coming to you from Canada's Energy City, Estevan, Saskatchewan! As usual, there are Daily Kos Canada diaries, a roundup of posts from the Canadian blogosphere, and plenty of pointless puppies-n-pooties! Feeling trapped at your desk? Take a break and come on down below the fold for your weekly dose of  News from the North!
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Yesterday, two American women died suddenly.  One you've heard about to the extreme. Apparently, we cared about her because:

"She was a celeb who always seemed on the verge of disaster," said Matthew Felling, media director at the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C. That was part of her appeal.---San Mateo Times

Without belittling Anna Nicole Smith, it seems somehow unjust that the public we will spend this much air time mourning someone whose fame came from ditziness, disaster and the miracles of silicon implants, while the death of this  young Marine goes almost unnoticed. Jennifer is on the front page of Daily Kos right now but she sure isn't on CNN. It's just another day of bread and media circuses in the Empire Americana.

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