This week I will be featuring photographs from streetside memorials that have been created at the scenes of some of the recent killings in Richmond.

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October 7, 2006

What the Amish are Teaching America
by Sally Kohn  

On October 2, Charles Carl Roberts entered a one-room schoolhouse in the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. He lined up eleven young girls from the class and shot them each at point blank range. The gruesome depths of this crime are hard for any community to grasp, but certainly for the Amish ų who live such a secluded and peaceful life, removed even from the everyday depictions of violence on TV. When the Amish were suddenly pierced by violence, how did they respond?

The evening of the shooting, Amish neighbors from the Nickel Mines community gathered to process their grief with each other and mental health counselors. As of that evening, three little girls were dead. Eight were hospitalized in critical condition. (One more girl has died since.) According to reports by counselors who attended the grief session, the Amish family members grappled with a number of questions: Do we send our kids to school tomorrow? What if they want to sleep in our beds tonight, is that okay? But one question they asked might surprise us outsiders. What, they wondered, can we do to help the family of the shooter? Plans were already underway for a horse-and-buggy caravan to visit Charles Carl Roberts‚ family with offers of food and condolences. The Amish, it seems, don‚t automatically translate their grieving into revenge. Rather, they believe in redemption.

Meanwhile, the United States culture from which the Amish are isolated is moving in the other direction ų increasingly exacting revenge for crimes and punishing violence with more violence. more...

October 6, 2006

WE OWN THE INTERNET

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 QUOTE OF THE DAY
"It's vile....It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction." -- Rep. Mark Foley, September 1998, speaking about Bill Clinton

October 5, 2006

Just Say No to War in Iran
by Phyllis Bennis  

A new U.S. intelligence report, representing the consensus of all 16 intelligence agencies, comes to the same conclusion many have known for a long time: The Iraq War isn‚t making us safer. It‚s putting us all at greater risk. It's making another terrorist attack more likely. The report is another piece of evidence that the Bush administration is lying about the war.  

And now they‚re telling more lies to justify another possible war – this time in Iran. Everybody – even the Bush administration – admits that Iran doesn‚t have a nuclear weapon. Everybody agrees that even if Iran wanted a nuclear weapon it would be years before it could build one. Of course, it would be great if Iran stopped enriching uranium. Actually, it would be great if ALL countries stopped enriching uranium, including our own! But in the meantime Iran is producing nuclear power, not weapons. 

And yet the Bush administration and its supporters in Congress continue to lie about an Iranian „threat.š A recent Senate report on Iran, drafted by a top former assistant to U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, claimed that Iran is enriching uranium at the level of 90 percent – the level needed for nuclear weapons. It was such an egregious lie that even the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, responded with a harsh rebuke. It reminded Washington that it is watching Iran‚s enrichment, and that Iran‚s enrichment is in the 3.5 percent range, the level needed for nuclear power. It‚s nowhere close to 90 percent. more...

October 4, 2006

Rice More Sordid Than Foley
By Robert Scheer    

They are such liars. And no, I am not speaking only of the dissembling GOP House leaders led by Speaker Dennis Hastert who, out of naked political calculation, covered up for one of their own in the sordid teen stalking case of Rep. Mark Foley.    

Call me old school, but I am still more concerned with the Republicans molesting Lady Liberty while pretending to be guarding the nation's security, an assignment which they have totally botched. The news about the Foley coverup, while important as yet another example of extreme hypocrisy on the part of the Republican virtues police, should not be allowed to obscure the latest evidence of administration deceit as to its egregious ineptness in protecting the nation.   

On Monday, a State Department spokesman conceded that then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice had indeed been briefed in July 2001 by George Tenet, then-director of the CIA, about the alarming potential for an Al Qaeda attack, as Bob Woodward has reported in his aptly named new book, "State of Denial."  more...

October 3, 2006

Bad news has been coming like rain...
The author, Iraqi blogger Baghdad Treasure, has asked that his identity be protected in order to protect his family and friends in Baghdad.

It's been a month since I arrived in the United States. It was very hard for me to leave my country and especially my family and friends. I've been thinking of them every single day. They are going through the hardest times of their lives.

Since I arrived, I've managed to keep in touch with them. To keep my family posted though emails and internet chats. We set up a time in which they can call me--there is a 9-hour time difference.

However, nothing is reliable in Iraq. Last week the cell phone network was blocked and the land lines were disabled which made it impossible for them to use their dial-up internet connection. For a whole week I didn't know what happened to them. Nobody I emailed replied to me.

Reading the news in the papers and websites every day makes me more worried about them. Killings and kidnappings are far worse than they were before I left.

A few days ago my father called me. I was so happy to hear his voice -- to know he was alive. I asked him about the situation there. He was silent for a moment. I could tell that he didn't want to make me worry. more...

October 2, 2006

The John McCain Charade
by Robert Kuttner  

Watch out for this fellow, John McCain. He manages to be both the anti-Bush within the Republican Party, and also Bush's enabler. This schizophrenic role, which his bipartisan fans somehow miss, happens to position McCain perfectly for 2008 as the guy untarnished by all the bad stuff Bush brought us, but who continues the same regime.

Consider the two disgraceful pieces of extra-constitutional legislation that the Bush loyalists are ramming through Congress, first over McCain's objection, then with his help:

One is a law prompted by a Supreme Court ruling in June holding that the government could not set up kangaroo courts at Guantanamo and elsewhere, depriving defendants of all normal rights. (Lest you be reassured, the vote was 6-3, and since then moderate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has been replaced by Samuel Alito.)
---snip---

Meanwhile, in the other ring of the extra-constitutional circus, the House passed legislation Thursday to legalize the secret NSA spying on Americans that violates the very Patriot Act written by the Bush administration. The Senate has not yet acted. McCain criticized the spying when it leaked out last December, but is not fighting the bill. more...

October 1, 2006

In tents and with purpose: Peace
By Karl Fischer

protesters
Sherry LaVars/Contra Costa Times
Protesters "Snake," left, and Dennis Walker look over photos of friends who have lost their lives to street violence at a tent city on Fourth Street in Richmond on Thursday.

Across Richmond, people fed up with street violence bedded down for the week in places many would not normally go: drug corners, killing scenes, the infamous "hot spots" referenced by police and politicians.

What began as small gesture for peace at the corner of Fourth Street and Macdonald Avenue on Monday evening has mushroomed, with another camp appearing in Shields-Reid Park in North Richmond, and more organizing Thursday.

Community leaders now say they will live in a lot across from Fourth Street Park for 30 days.

"There has not been a shooting since we have been here," said the Rev. Charles Newsome, president of the Richmond chapter of the NAACP. "Right now, brothers and sisters are being very respectful. This is holy ground." more...
(Click on icons to see larger images.)

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October 7, 2006


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October 6, 2006


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October 5, 2006


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October 4, 2006


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October 3, 2006


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October 2, 2006


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October 1, 2006


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