Archive for August, 2010

Thank you for your support on insurance scam

August 31, 2010
votevets.org

Dear VoteVets.org Supporter,

As a veteran of the Iraq war and as an American citizen, I shared your outrage to learn that life insurance companies were banking millions of dollars in profit off the death benefits paid to military families. Rather than paying the benefits directly to families as requested, insurance companies kept the money in their own accounts and earned a much higher interest rate than was paid to the families of the deceased. It’s wrong, and they need to stop.

I’ve called on these companies to end these deceptive practices and return any profit they made off these arrangements to the families. As we speak, I’m working with my colleagues on legislation to end this practice and ensure military families get their rightful benefits.

That families who have lost so much – who have already made the ultimate sacrifice -  deserve better. I thank all of you at Vote Vets for joining with me to fight to end this practice and stand up for our brothers- and sisters-in-arms.

Sincerely,
Patrick Murphy
Iraq War Veteran
Member of Congress

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Tomorrow Evening, President Barack Obama

August 30, 2010
The White House, Washington
 

Good evening,

Tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. EDT, I will address the nation from the Oval Office about the end of the war in Iraq.

We are at a truly historic moment in our nation’s history.  After more than seven years, our combat mission in Iraq will end tomorrow.

As both a candidate and President, I promised to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end.  Now, we are taking an important step forward in delivering on that promise.  Since I took office, we’ve brought nearly 100,000 U.S. troops home from Iraq, millions of pieces of equipment have been removed, and hundreds of bases have been closed or transferred to Iraqi Security Forces.

Our combat mission in Iraq is ending, but our commitment to an Iraq that is sovereign, stable and self-reliant continues.  As our mission in Iraq changes, 50,000 U.S. troops will remain in Iraq to advise and assist the Iraqi Security Forces as they assume full responsibility for the security of their country on September 1.  We will forge a strong partnership with an Iraq that still faces enduring challenges.

For nearly a decade, we have been a nation at war.  The war in Iraq has at times divided us.  But one thing I think all Americans can agree on is that our brave men and women in uniform are truly America’s finest.  They have put their lives on the line and endured long separations from their family and loved ones.

All Americans owe our troops, veterans and military families a debt of gratitude for their outstanding service to our nation. Over the past few days, thousands of Americans have taken part in our Saluting Service in Iraq effort on WhiteHouse.gov, sending their messages of thanks and support to our troops.

Take a minute right now to see what your fellow Americans have to say and add a message of your own:

<a href="http://links.whitehouse.gov/track?type=click&enid=bWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTAwODMwLjE2MDQxMSZtZXNzYWdlaWQ9TURCLVBSRC1CVUwtMjAxMDA4MzAuMTYwNDExJmRhdGFiYXNlaWQ9MTAwMSZzZXJpYWw9MTI3NjYwOTA2NiZlbWFpbGlkPVBlcmV6NjFAd2luZHN0cmVhbS5uZXQmdXNlcmlkPVBlcmV6NjFAd2luZHN0cmVhbS5uZXQmZmw9JmV4dHJhPU11bHRpdmFyaWF0ZUlkPSYmJg==&&&100&&&amp;http://www.whitehouse.gov/salute?utm_source=email73&utm_medium=image&…“>

Supporting our troops and military families is the responsibility of all Americans.  My Administration is doing everything in its power to ensure that our troops, veterans and their families have the support they need as they serve, and the care and opportunities they need to realize their dreams when they return home.

I hope you will join me in welcoming our troops home and showing your gratitude for their heroic service.

Sincerely,

President Barack Obama

 

 
 

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Fw: Palin-Beck 2012: (Your slogan here)

August 30, 2010
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Sept. 2 (7pm): Yemeni Activists & CCR Attorney Address Human Rights Violations & “War on Terror”

August 27, 2010
center for constitutional rights logo
   

Dear CCR supporter,

On September 2, 2010, at 7pm, please join us at the Brecht Forum in New York City for Confronting State Violence, Targeted Killing, and Human Rights Abuse in the U.S.-Yemen partnership to fight the “War on Terror,” a public discussion featuring renowned Yemeni activists and a CCR human rights attorney. (The Brecht Forum is located on 451 West Street between Bank and Bethune Streets. For directions, please see: http://brechtforum.org/directions.)

The U.S. government describes Yemen as “an important partner in the global war on terrorism” while at the same time characterizing it as an Al-Qaida stronghold. The Yemeni government has taken advantage of the U.S. partnership and increasing military aid to justify its domestic “anti-terror campaigns” which have resulted in egregious human rights violations, including mass arrests, illegal abductions, enforced disappearances, torture, and killings. The victims of this violence are not only alleged militants and their families, but Yemeni dissidents and journalists critical of their government. The “war on terror” has served as a cover for the Yemeni state to increase repression and militarization in response to its own internal political crises — all with the tacit approval of the international community.

Visiting Yemeni human rights activists will discuss what they are doing to resist this mounting repression and to create a meaningfully democratic and peaceful future. Learn about the political climate in Yemen, and together think through what ethical solidarity with Yemeni people might look like. Also hear from a CCR lawyer who is trying to stop a “targeted killing” by the United States in Yemen and who represents men detained at Guantánamo — where Yemeni men constitute the largest group of remaining prisoners, all declared by the Obama administration to be indefinitely detainable without charge based solely on their nationality.

Developing an understanding of this political reality is crucial to ending the U.S. government’s complicity in more human rights abuses, and to stopping the creation of a boundless war without end that threatens our collective safety.

Sincerely,

Annette Warren Dickerson
Director of the Education and Outreach Department

List of Panelists:

  • Tawakkol Karman is chairwoman of the Yemeni non-government organization Women Journalists Without Chains, which campaigns for freedom of the press in Yemen and against human rights violations. She is a very prominent young activist, and Reporters Without Borders chose her in 2009 as one of the top seven women who have led change in the world. Karman is among the activists who in 2007 launched the “Phase of Protests and Sit-ins” in Yemen, holding regular sit-ins in the capital’s Freedom Square to demand democratic reforms and an end to human rights violations — including the harassment and imprisonment of journalists and dissidents, closure of critical newspapers, and censorship of news articles. She is one of only 13 women on the legislative Shura Council of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Islah), the leading opposition party. Her outspoken condemnation of the government’s human rights abuses has inspired scores of other women activists to similarly resist injustice. Karman has helped write numerous reports on freedom of expression, corruption, extremism, and violent repression of dissidents in Yemen, and has called for political reform and dialogue.
  • Ezz-Adeen Saeed Ahmed Al-Asbahi is the president of Human Rights Information & Training Center (HRITC), a non-governmental organization which seeks to enhance human rights in Yemen and the Arab World, focusing on the Gulf States in particular. HRITC has consultative status with the United Nations, offers training courses and forums on human rights, publishes a quarterly human rights magazine called Our Rights, and has published 30 books on law and human rights. Al-Asbahi is also the coordinator of a large regional network of human rights activists in the Gulf States and the Peninsula, and the president of a Yemeni network of human rights organizations which includes six Yemeni NGOs. A journalist and researcher, he has published eight books on literature and human rights. He is also the head of the civil society sector of the Supreme National Authority to Combat Corruption.
  • Pardiss Kebriaei is a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York City. She joined the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at CCR in July 2007, and provides direct representation to several of CCR’s clients at Guantánamo. She is also working on a lawsuit to challenge a U.S. government kill-list and the targeting of a U.S. citizen now in Yemen and far from any armed conflict with the United States.
  • Leili Kashani (moderator and discussant): is the Education and Outreach Associate for the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York City. She advocates for a just closure of the prison at Guantánamo, resettlement for the men still detained, and against illegal detentions more broadly. She has written about and advocated against the Obama administration’s policy of indefinitely detaining all the Yemeni men who remain in Guantánamo.

*This event is co-sponsored by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Brecht Forum.

 

August 25, 2010

Molecular Gastronomists Don’t Sear Their Steak

Wylie Dufresne
Chef

Chef Wylie Dufresne believes in playing with his food—but not in the usual sense of the phrase. In his Big Think interview, Dufresne explains the oft-misunderstood field of molecular gastronomy. It isn’t just experimentation for experimentation’s sake, he says: knowing about food chemistry will make anybody a better cook. Dufresne says that thanks to recent applications of science to the culinary world, we’ve learned more about cooking in the past 15 years than we had in the previous 15,000 years. One famous misconception, for instance, is that searing a piece of meat seals in the juices, when in fact molecular gastronomy has shown that making a slab of meat too hot will begin to draw the moisture out rather than seal it in.

Dufresne also weighs in on the great foam debate in cooking, saying that foam has gotten a bad rap. “Engaging something in a new way, whether it be vinegar or butter or a flavor, but carrying it in a new form, is often very exciting to me.” He also says that the “farm to table” movement is “like smoke and mirrors for the diner”—in fact, all good restaurants should be using good ingredients without needing to scream that fact from the top of a soap box.

Finally, Dufresne says Scandinavia is the next big culinary hot spot. “They’re introducing us, the culinary world, to a whole new group of ingredients that we are unfamiliar with. They’re exposing us to a an approach, to a style of cooking, that has been around for a long time, but we’re seeing it come back into vogue.”

Click here to download:

4430744637_2901115437_b.jpg?1282668395 (97 KB)

Public Citizen Is Doing Good Work on Our Behalf

August 25, 2010
Public Citizen is keeping an eye on Washington — and beyond — for us.
Sign up to receive their activist newsletter, Citizen Direct, and their regular action updates:
http://action.citizen.org/signUp.jsp. You’ll find out how we can take back our democracy.

 
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Us!
CCR donate button

Glenn Beck vs. Dr. King?

August 27, 2010

Dear MoveOn member,

Ending the filibuster starts here

August 27, 2010
The campaign to reform the filibuster has begun.  Please take action by following this link:

http://campaigns.dailykos.com/action/reformthesenate

The Bitter Truth

August 27, 2010

August 25, 2010

Molecular Gastronomists Don’t Sear Their Steak

Wylie Dufresne
Chef

Chef Wylie Dufresne believes in playing with his food—but not in the usual sense of the phrase. In his Big Think interview, Dufresne explains the oft-misunderstood field of molecular gastronomy. It isn’t just experimentation for experimentation’s sake, he says: knowing about food chemistry will make anybody a better cook. Dufresne says that thanks to recent applications of science to the culinary world, we’ve learned more about cooking in the past 15 years than we had in the previous 15,000 years. One famous misconception, for instance, is that searing a piece of meat seals in the juices, when in fact molecular gastronomy has shown that making a slab of meat too hot will begin to draw the moisture out rather than seal it in.

Dufresne also weighs in on the great foam debate in cooking, saying that foam has gotten a bad rap. “Engaging something in a new way, whether it be vinegar or butter or a flavor, but carrying it in a new form, is often very exciting to me.” He also says that the “farm to table” movement is “like smoke and mirrors for the diner”—in fact, all good restaurants should be using good ingredients without needing to scream that fact from the top of a soap box.

Finally, Dufresne says Scandinavia is the next big culinary hot spot. “They’re introducing us, the culinary world, to a whole new group of ingredients that we are unfamiliar with. They’re exposing us to a an approach, to a style of cooking, that has been around for a long time, but we’re seeing it come back into vogue.”

Click here to download:

4430744637_2901115437_b.jpg?1282668395 (97 KB)

Molecular Gastronomists Don’t Sear Their Steak

August 25, 2010

Molecular Gastronomists Don’t Sear Their Steak

August 25, 2010
Big Think

Big Think