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February 09, 2009

A Liberal Revival of Americanism

A Liberal Revival of Americanism - washingtonpost.com
Woody Guthrie, a sometime columnist for the Daily Worker, wrote "This Land Is Your Land" to make the case that his beloved country ought to be governed for the benefit of its least fortunate people. One verse, routinely omitted when "This Land" is performed in elementary schools, expressed the anger of many Americans who had lost their jobs during the Great Depression: "In the squares of the city -- In the shadow of the steeple/Near the relief office -- I see my people/And some are grumblin,' and some are wonderin'/If this land's still made for you and me." Surprisingly, the 87-year-old Seeger -- Guthrie's old friend and comrade -- rasped out a variant of those lines when he and Springsteen appeared on the frigid steps of the Lincoln Memorial. To my knowledge, no prominent conservative lodged a protest. If a former communist can get away with singing a verse frequently considered too radical for schoolchildren at an event to honor a popular new president, something has definitely changed in the politics of patriotism.
Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen - "This Land is Your Land" - Obama Inagural Celebration Concert

February 08, 2009

McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Rod Blagojevich Writes 25 Things About Himself on Facebook

McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Rod Blagojevich Writes 25 Things About Himself on Facebook.
5. I understand power. No one is going to give you power. Power is something you take. 6. Most people don't get this. 7. The hair. If I had to name my most attractive quality, I would say it's the hair. 8. The hair has never let me down and I know it never will. 9. The thing about the hair is that it always looks good, even in a strong wind. 10. You can't teach that. It's like Obama's halting cadence or Bill Clinton's thumb gesture. You either have it or you don't. 11. OK, here's what happened during those phone conversations. See, I was joking. We kid around a lot in Chicago. That's the kind of place it is. We're not like those uptight people on the East Coast. We know how to take a joke, see? That's how it was. 12. Before the indictment, I was intensively focused on positioning myself to run for the United States Senate after the conclusion of my term as governor. 13. That's what's so ironic about all of this. 14. That Senate seat belonged to me. 15. It was mine.

Obama administration pro medical pot

Whiff of change in US medical marijuana policy
California law permits the sale of marijuana for medical purposes, though it is still against federal law. Thirteen states have laws permitting medicinal use of marijuana. California is unique among them for the presence of dispensaries, businesses that sell marijuana and even advertise their services. Legal under California law, such dispensaries are still illegal under federal law. "Anyone possessing, distributing or cultivating marijuana for any reason is in violation of federal law," Sarah Pullen, a DEA spokeswoman in Los Angeles, said Thursday. That may be the law, but it contradicts the medical marijuana position of the new president. "The president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws, and as he continues to appoint senior leadership to fill out the ranks of the federal government, he expects them to review their policies with that in mind," said White House spokesman Nick Shapiro, repeating past statements. So on Friday, DEA officials in Washington declined to comment at all on the subject. As a presidential candidate, Obama repeatedly promised a change in federal drug policy in situations where state laws allow use of medical marijuana. "I think the basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors, I think that's entirely appropriate," Obama told the Mail Tribune of Medford, Ore., in March.

February 05, 2009

Action Figure Fights On Despite Loss Of Dragon Sword

Action Figure Fights On Despite Loss Of Dragon Sword | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

SETH'S BEDROOM—With the dreaded skeleton people closing in on him and the carpet suddenly turning into red-hot lava before his very eyes, local action figure Huntarr the Warrior vowed to fight on Thursday despite the loss of his cherished dragon sword.

"I won't surrender!" shouted the 8-inch plastic toy, before bobbing across the bedroom floor, stopping to perform the splits for no discernable reason, and continuing on toward a nearby chair. "I'm Huntarr! You skeleton people will never make a slave out of me!"

"Swoosh-swoosh-swoosh," the action figure added while carrying out nearly 20 consecutive back flips.

Huntarr—known for his superhuman strength, his unrelenting courage in battle, and his ability to fly and then become invisible and then turn into like a ball so that nobody can see him—has faced similar challenges in the past.

Suicide Bomber mastermind caught in Iraq

Iraqi woman had 80 women raped to recruit suicide bombers | Herald Sun

A WOMAN suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers has confessed to organising their rapes so she could later convince them that martyrdom was the only way to escape the shame.

Samira Jassam, 51, was arrested by Iraqi police and confessed to recruiting the women and orchestrating dozens of attacks.

In a video confession, she explained how she had mentally prepared the women for martyrdom operations, passed them on to terrorists who provided explosives, and then took the bombers to their targets.