Saturday, April 28, 2007

Juan Cole Article on Iraq

Beginning of article by Juan Cole:

Both houses of Congress have now backed a timeline for withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq in 2008, which George W. Bush has vowed to veto. He gives two major rationales for rejecting withdrawal. At times he has warned that Iraq could become an Al Qaeda stronghold, at others that "a contagion of violence could spill out across the country--and in time, the entire region could be drawn into the conflict." These are bogeymen with which Bush has attempted to frighten the public. Regarding the first, Turkey, Jordan and Iran are not going to put up with an Al Qaeda stronghold on their borders; nor would Shiite and Kurdish Iraqis. Most Sunni Iraqis are relatively secular, and there are only an estimated 1,000 foreign jihadis in Iraq, who would be forced to return home if the Americans left. .............

This article can be found on the web at:

Please read and take some action!

Take Action

Say "No" to Veto

Friends Committee on National Legislation: Legislative Action Message:
Read this alert online at:
Take Action: Tell the president to change course in Iraq.
Congress has just approved the first legislation requiring the U.S. to begin withdrawing its troops from Iraq by a date certain. The president has said he will veto this legislation, because he disagrees with the provision for eventual withdrawal. We believe that the president is not in touch with reality. Please write to President Bush today to appeal to him to face reality and to urge him to reconsider his promised veto. Give him a dose of reality today. He should know that the people of this country insist on a change in U.S. policy in Iraq and will mobilize popular opposition to this awful, failed war, until the last U.S. troops have left Iraq.
Next Tuesday, May 1, is the fourth anniversary of the president’s declaration of “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. The weekly death toll in Iraq – for both Iraqis and U.S. soldiers – is growing. Not one more dollar, not one more drop of blood should be spent on this war. The U.S. should not send more soldiers off to Iraq to die.
As is often the case, we at FCNL don’t like the vehicle Congress has chosen to make this policy change. The bill containing the U.S. troop withdrawal provision also provides over $100 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we oppose any funding for war. But a majority in Congress isn’t there yet. We believe insisting that new funding, at least, should be contingent upon a date certain for the withdrawal of U.S. troops is an important step along the road to changing U.S. policy. Congress rarely, if ever, takes radical measures; it is an incremental institution. We have to move members of Congress by increments through continuing, assertive, legislative action to turn them around. Your grassroots work is indispensable. A great deal of work remains to change U.S. policy towards Iraq, especially if the president vetoes the legislation because of the troop withdrawal provisions. The president needs to hear, again and again, that people in this country want a change in policy, members of Congress needs to hear that you expect them to act, and more people need to speak out in favor of troop withdrawal. Writing to the president today helps advance our strategy for this change process.
Take Action
Please send an urgent message to President Bush today. Let him know that you want a change in U.S. policy towards Iraq, beginning with a date for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Send copies of your letter to your senators and representative. Encourage them to keep working on this provision, even if the president vetoes the bill. And, thank you for your steadfast work on this issue.
The U.S. presence in Iraq is the problem, not the solution. The U.S. military presence and occupation of Iraq fuels the armed insurgency, prevents political solutions, and, as the National Intelligence Estimate reported last year, has been a boon to al Qaeda recruiters. President Bush is doing just what the violent extremists want him to do. We need to get him off their team; he’s shooting baskets in the opponents hoop.
Read updates on the FCNL’s Iraq Peace Campaign
Read more about what FCNL’s chief Iraq lobbyist Jim Fine believes will happen
Urge Five Friends to Act
Congress has just approved the first legislation requiring the U.S. to begin withdrawing its troops from Iraq. The president has said he is going to veto this legislation. Please ask your friends to join in writing to President Bush today and urge him to reconsider. It’s time to let the White House know that the people of this country insist on a change in U.S. policy in Iraq and that we will mobilize popular opposition to this awful, failed war, until the last U.S. troops have left Iraq.
Contact Congress and the administration.
Friends Committee on National Legislation245 Second St. NE, Washington, DC * http://www.fcnl.orgphone: (202)547-6000 * toll-free: (800)630-1330
We seek a world free of war and the threat of warWe seek a society with equity and justice for allWe seek a community where every person's potential may be fulfilledWe seek an earth restored.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Diplomacy to end Iraq War

Dear friends,
The nightmare in Iraq worsens daily. It is make-or-break time -- but next Thursday in Egypt, we could start to turn the tide. Because on May 3rd – for the first time ever - top US and Iraqi leaders will meet with Iran and Syria plus international powers. They can agree on negotiations to end the war -- or escalate their bloody conflict. Avaaz is launching a major advertising and text-message campaign inside Iraq this week to bring Iraqi voices to this decisive meeting . As citizens around the world, let us join our voices with theirs to end this war -- sign the petition calling for negotiations and a withdrawal of US troops here: To make sure we are heard, we will hand-deliver our petition to the leaders conference in Sharm El-Sheikh on May 3rd, and project Iraqi text-messages on to a huge wall near the US Capitol building in Washington. Thousands of Iraqi Avaaz members have supported our N.E.W. plan -- for all-party "Negotiations", "Empowering" international mediators and the responsible "Withdrawal" of US troops. Please read the personal email below from Khalid, an Iraqi Avaaz member. Khalid and our other Iraqi members need a show of global support from the rest of us. The campaign is already supported by over 75,000 people as well as key international experts -- let us gather a massive, united voice of Iraqis and citizens round the world to tell our leaders to do the right thing in Iraq: With hundreds of thousands dead and 4 million made refugees, just criticising the US government for this catastrophe is not enough. It is now the responsibility of all of us to help save Iraq, and the only solution is a political solution.Khalid Jarrar and his mother Faiza Jarrar have been wonderful supporters of Avaaz in Iraq. We asked Khalid to write a message to Avaaz members, here is what he emailed us yesterday:alright:)feel free to edit it if its too long.and just for the record, i am not a drama queen, these were written for real, and tears in my eyes are my witness...Dear AVAAZ,I want to introduce myself, and tell you a story, but i do not know how to start, and where to stop. My name is Khalid, i am an environmental engineering student and i am 24, but this is the least important to know about me, what is really important for me to tell, and for you to know, is that I am Iraqi, and that I have a deep, deep wound in my soul, that has been bleeding for over four years now. Iraq, my soul, is bleeding. And i had to leave it against my will, because of the incredibly bad security situation that led to me getting kidnapped and my family paying a huge ransom, which made me leave immediately after i was released in fear that i would be kidnapped again. I left Iraq one month before my graduation and had to come to Jordan, which made me lose two years of my university time and life, but even worse, made me lose the company of the Tigris and the Euphrates. I had to travel, leaving Iraq behind me, to live like a refuge, one of a million other refuges, in a country of less than five millions people, that already has its own financial problems without needing our additional burden to add to it. I am an Iraqi refuge in Jordan.Since I left in July 2005, things have exponentially deteriorated in every possible aspect, now people hardly get 1 hours of electricity a day, they have water problems, regular lack of gas that its prices multiplied about 20 times since the war. Let alone the main and real problems of the actual presence of an occupation that is leaching on the country and causing the destruction to its people, unity, sovereignty, infrastructure and economy. Iraq is the loving mother, that gave birth to thinkers and builders, people that enriched humanity with their contributions in all aspects of life, people that their civilization accumulated for over 7000 years till now. Iraq, the noble wisdom, the land of the two flowing rivers, the land of the mosques and churches, is in crises, and needs your help. needs your help.Iraqis need the support of the world, of every human being that believes in the values of justice and peace, of every person that cares about the judgment of history on what the world did when Iraq needed its support the most. Iraq, needs your voice, to support the voices of its own people, to help remove that injustice, and help it rise up again and stand on its feet. Help us demand to give Iraq back to Iraqis, and to prove to the future generations once more, that occupations do not last, that occupations are wrong, and that the will of people is invincible. Help us clear to them that our hearts and minds, our values and sense of justice, are stronger than any tank, battleship or rocket. Help us by singing AVAAZ petition that will be presented to the politicians discussing the future of Iraq security, help by asking your friends to do so, let our voices be louder than the roars of weapons and the madness of greeds, help us, sign AVAAZ petition now, let our voice be heard, support Iraq today, and once the last occupying soldier leaves iraq, and once we rebuild our country with out own hands, we will reciever you in Baghdad, and you will see the love and gratitude competed by nothing but Iraqi hospitality. Together we can prove that our brotherhood is strong, together we can prove that our bonds are real, I can see that day coming, really soon.Khalid Click below to join Khalid in telling US, Iraqi and international leaders to do the right thing for Iraq:

With hope, Ricken, Graziela, Paul, Tom and the whole Avaaz team. is a global organization with almost 1million members all over the world. Our goal is to use technology and the internet to make the values and view of the world’s public opinion heard by global decision makers on important world issues.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Science and the Environment-New Website

A dream has finally come true. After four years of hard work, the first of what will someday be thousands of the most trustworthy portals on the Web, is about to launch. It will be free of corporate/commercial bias, and FREE to the public forever! is the result of 650 of the world's top scientists in 49 countries (so far) coming together to produce the highest quality, non-commercial, non-profit resource for information about our planet anywhere in the World.
Please go there and enjoy the vision video announcing the official launch this Friday.
Tomorrow, we will webcast, the press conference in Washington DC at the Press Club beginning at 1 p.m. featuring Jane Goodall , Robert Corell, and Ambassador Richard Benedick among others.
And after the launch, please go back and register there to show your support for this breathtakingly ambitious effort.
Our children deserve no less. Our planet deserves no less.
Please also pass this on to everyone you know who cares about science and the environment.
The Earth Portal is a non-commercial destination on the Web for news, learning and debate about the state and future of our environment. There will never be any advertising on Digital Universe websites and it will always be free.The Earth Portal will facilitate the emergence of a new community to emerge, directly connecting scientists, journalists, policy makers and you.Join us and bring your children on April 27th at
More soon and thanks!
Cliff LyonThe Digital UniverseManyOne NetworksSalt Lake City Office801.274.0882
You may also view the Vision Video at:

Letter to the Editor

Sent the following letter to the Editor of the Liv. Cty. Press and Argus-April 25, 2007 7:45pm
Dear Editor,

After reading Dan Meisler's column: "Coulter speech still on" and the Guest Column April 22nd by Tom Sullivan explaining the executive committee of the Cleary University Board of Trustees deciding not to intercede to uninvite Ann Coulter to speak, the following thoughts occured to me:

Ann Coulter's speech is not "free speech." She is being paid $30,000.00 to speak.
200 tickets have been sold as part of the $150.00 speaker series of 3 speakers which includes lunch. An individual ticket to hear one speaker costs $60. The speaker venue at the new Johnson Center on Oct 1st allows between 400-500 available tickets to be sold. After subtracting the cost of lunch, the Livingston Economic Club? or Cleary University? will make a sizable economic gain. $50 X200= $10,000.00 and $60 X 200=$12,000.00. Total monies spent: $30,000 (speaker fee) + $22,000.00 (ticket sales)=$52,000.00-(cost of the lunches at $10 x 400=$4,000.00). That is around $48,000.00.

A person, institution, company, business, etc. spends its time, money, and energy on what it values. Cleary University and the sponsors of its speaker series are demonstrating that they value Ann Coulter's commentaries. Since there isn't any topic associated with her speech, I'm concluding they value the way she speaks and her critical analysis of the issues? I've gone to her website: to read her March 14th column about the Walter Reed Veteran's Hospital. I invite the reader to go and read that column and evaluate the rhetoric for yourself. I would suggest to those persons, institutions, companies, businesses that have already purchased the series tickets to contact Cleary University by phone, 734-929-9107, or by e-mail: and ask for an individual refund for this particular speaker. I was assured by the polite and helpful woman there that if a purchaser of the series ticket wanted a refund that she would take it up with the Advisory Committee as to what the university could do in that regard. If unable to get a refund, there is still the possiblity of asking those who want to hear the speaker and have not yet bought their ticket to sell them yours. Donating the money from the ticket refund or resale, to Military Moms of Livington Cty would be a good way to show that you value their sons and daughters sacrifice, that you care about their medical care, and that you're putting your money where Ann Coulter's mouth is not.


Mares Hirchert
2641 Sun Terrace
Hartland, MI 48353

"We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us, and make us kinder. We always have the choice."--Dalai Lama

Bill Moyers "Buying the War" PBS 9pm 4-25-07

Today, April 25th, rebroadcast at 2:30am if you miss at 9 pm tonight.

"PBS newsman Bill Moyers, 72, examines the media's shortcomings in 'Buying the War,' a 90-minute Bill Moyers Journal special at 9 p.m. today on PBS. ..... Moyer said the Bush administration was aided by vocal talkshow hosts and an organized network of Web loggers. ...."

"After Wednesday's special, in its time-slot premiere at 9 p.m. Friday, Bill Moyers Journal talks to Daily Show host Jon Stewart and political blogger Josh Marshall of"
Catch that on PBS 4-27-07 at 9pm.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Detroit News Yellow Journalism

For some perverse reason the editors and staff at the Detroit News are operating under the delusion that the group that created the Michigan budget crisis are the ones best equipped to fix it. They allege that the only serious players in this budget debacle are the republicans, specifically Senator Bishop.

Over the last several months the News has named republicans as the source for real budget reform and slyly bolster their argument in an April 20 article implying that Michigan is in worse shape than most other states because of the Governor’s poor management, citing a National Conference of State Legislators report as evidence.

The News is misleading its loyal readers as they appeal to the zero government lunatic fringe in our society. The NCSL summary points out that all States are facing the same dilemma Michigan is currently experiencing, declining sales tax revenues despite better than expected tax collections from income and business taxes.

Sounds like Michigan in 1999 before autos went bust. Some States are behaving prudently, putting money away or using their windfall to offset pension and health care costs, and others are preparing to adopt the 1999 republican strategy, reductions in taxes just like Engler did.

It is so unfortunate that citizens relying on the News for reporting with integrity and clarity are being manipulated as a way to assert republican power and conceal social, political and personal agendas.

Yellow journalism is alive and well!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Adopt a Highway

Please join Paul and Pat Perosak in Adopt A Highway this Sunday, April 22.

We will be meeting at Iron Wood Golf Course, located at 6902 E. Highland (M-59) in Howell (click here to see a map) at 7 am.

All are welcome and encouraged to join us! This is a great chance to show the county that we care about the environment. Remember, many hands make light work!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Keep The Pressure Off (Our Earth)

Can you help raise awareness about energy conservation this weekend
for a few hours?

The Crossroads Group Sierra Club, All Saints Lutheran Church and
Recycle Livingston are joining together this weekend to offer to
check tire pressure for people coming to recycling this Saturday
April 14th, from 9 am – 1 pm. We will also be offering additional
tips on energy reduction and encouraging folks to sign a postcard to
Congressman Rogers to urge him to sponsor legislation which will
reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050.

We will be one of over 1300 Step It Up events happening all over the
country that day! To see what is happening go to and join with your fellow Americans to call
attention to one of our greatest challenges, global warming.

Free T-Shirts to the first 10 who sign up to help!

Email or call if you can help out.
Sue Kelly or
(810) 227-9563

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

24th Annual Winans Dinner - featuring Senator Hansen Clarke!

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

(click image for full view - note: the April 10 deadline has been extended to May 5)

Saturday, May 5 6:00 pm

Hamburg VFW Post #1224

8891 Spicer Rd, Hamburg click to see a map

Contribution: $60 in advance or $75 at the door

With Special Guest Speaker: Michigan District #1 State Senator Hansen Clarke

Senator Clarke will be speaking on the hate crime legislation he is sponsoring in the State Senate.

Please click here for more information!