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They blacked out the media. Poor Iran
Author: Raine    Date: 06/22/2009 12:40:15

Like many others, I have been watching the events in Iran unfold over these past few weeks. It is frightening, terrifying, fascinating and exhilarating. It's dangerous, though. People are dying. More people you can safely assume, than is being reported. This green revolution is growing and morphing into something else, but it started with a simple idea: Count Our Vote. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
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73 comments (Latest Comment: 06/23/2009 12:13:17 by TriSec)

Enquiring minds.
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 06/21/2009 13:52:26

Why would I want single-payer health care? I don’t want to be single!

No you will not necessarily be single. Single payer is a term used to describe the payment of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers from a single fund. According to the National Library of Medicine's Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) thesaurus, a single-payer system is:

An approach to health care financing with only one source of money for paying health care providers. The scope may be national, like the Canadian system, state-wide, or community-based. The payer may be a governmental unit or other entity such as an insurance company. The proposed advantages include administrative simplicity for patients and providers, and resulting significant savings in overhead costs.

Single-payer health care does not necessarily mean that the government or some government agency delivers or controls health care services; it could be similar to a public utility that provides electricity for example, to everyone.

More info can be found here.
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19 comments (Latest Comment: 06/21/2009 22:13:30 by Mondobubba)

Wakey, wakey!
Author: TriSec    Date: 06/20/2009 11:14:07

Good Morning!

Well, let's dive right in with a subject that's near and dear to most listeners of Ms. Miller's audio offerings....the PSA!

That's right, we've gotten our heads stuck in a vase, poison ivy near our eye, and been serenaded by the Love Walrus singing about babies and boobs.

I have mixed feelings about the PSA; I suppose they serve some public good, but any station that's relying heavily on them to fill paying ad space can't be making any money. (are you listening, WWZN? [Boston]).

Anyway, there's one that's been making the rounds on the ol' teevee machine. Perhaps you've seen it.

Maybe it's a good idea; maybe not. But I've got a beef with it, at least locally. Our cable news outlet (NECN) plays this ad incessantly, often back-to-back, during the morning wakeup rush. My soon to be 8 year old son knows the ad word for word, and has been known to recite the script right along with the ad.

Which has led to the question, "Papa, what are nude pics?"

Nice going. Thank you NECN.

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12 comments (Latest Comment: 06/21/2009 02:24:03 by livingonli)

Feeding the Beast - Violent Extremism
Author: BobR    Date: 06/19/2009 12:31:57

The recent DHS report that warned of possible violence from right-wing extremists created an uproar from the right-wing community. They seemed unable to distinguish between their right-wing views and extreme views. Yet recent violence seems to indicate that the report was accurate. Could the report have been worded differently to get the message across more effectively? Author Chip Berlet thinks so.

I heard an interview with him on NPR last night discussing his new report "Toxic to Democracy: Conspiracy Theories, Demonization, and Scapegoating". He describes the common characteristics of those that commit the violence and the language used to describe them. He also describes how these people are driven to act out in violent ways.
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64 comments (Latest Comment: 06/20/2009 02:50:56 by trojanrabbit)

Jumped the Shark -Big time.
Author: Raine    Date: 06/18/2009 12:37:05

I have nothing today. When I read stories like this, I don't even know what to say.
The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants the flyswatter in chief to try taking a more humane attitude the next time he's bedeviled by a fly in the White House.

PETA is sending President Barack Obama a Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher, a device that allows users to trap a house fly and then release it outside.

We have 2 wars, We have a record setting recession. Our economy is still teetering on the brink. People can't find jobs. We have people in America fighting for basic civil rights. Iran is going thru a major revolution. We have journalists being held captive in NOrth Korea. Gitmo is still open and PETA is worried about a FLY?

It is no wonder it is hard to take things seriously sometimes. Being passionate about a cause-- whatever it may be -- is wonderful and critical to ensuring that cause comes to fruition. You want to make people aware, and to sway opinion, but when you are protesting the death of a fly-- you lose credibility.

Maybe I am getting a little middle of the road these days but I would rather try to maintain some rationale for the things that upset me, lest I lose my credibility. PETA might want to remember that.

A fly-- and I am supposed to take them seriously? No longer. I hope this isn't the beginning of a faux outrage trend or anything.

:peace: and

90 comments (Latest Comment: 06/19/2009 03:48:05 by clintster)

Deep Breath Time
Author: BobR    Date: 06/17/2009 12:39:18

Considering that we are about halfway through Gay Pride month, it seems Obama has gone 1 for 3 in opportunities to put same-sex couples on the same footing as straight couples. The Justice Dept's analysis of DOMA has been reviled; the political football that is "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" has been kicked around. The one bright light in this is that he is extending benefits to same-sex partners for federal employees. Expect bigots' heads to explode with cries of "not with MY tax dollars!".

But are all of these as one-sided as they seem? People have a tendency to simplify anaylsis, and take a pro/con position, where it may require a more nuanced approach. After 8 years of Stupid in the White House, perhaps we've swung the other way, where the President assumes Americans are able to see things in shades of gray, and we're failing.
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72 comments (Latest Comment: 06/18/2009 08:04:43 by Scoopster)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 06/16/2009 10:30:48

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,281st day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from Iraq and Afghanistan, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4313
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4174
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3852
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3454
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 85

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 704
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 478
Journalists - Iraq: 138
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,306

We find this morning's cost of war passing through:

$ 868, 774, 200, 000 ,00

Here at "Ask a Vet", we often tend to focus on political issues, the machinations in Washington or Baghdad, or more often than not, the challenges facing our men and women in uniform and what they can expect upon their return. "Ask a Vet" in its original incarnation back on 'Unfiltered' was just that...a returning soldier from Iraq would go on the air and take questions from the listeners.

Although we have no way of doing that on the blog, here we often tend to lose focus on than human element. So today, I have a story that might take us back to our roots just a little bit. The GOP has made hay out of how unpatriotic and subversive we all are up here in the 'liberal northeast'....but we send soldiers overseas to fight and die too. Here's one family's story from Cape Cod.

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67 comments (Latest Comment: 06/17/2009 02:43:28 by Raine)

Change is in the Air.
Author: Raine    Date: 06/15/2009 12:36:23

Iran is in a state of turmoil right now. The state media and Ahmadinejad have declared victory, but - well you see, it seems as those results are being highly disputed. It is heartbreaking to see what is happening over there right now.
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86 comments (Latest Comment: 06/16/2009 03:14:36 by livingonli)

We Have no Sense of Humor!
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 06/14/2009 13:23:24

"You liberals just don't know how to tell a joke", I heard recently from a fellow blogger/acquaintance. "That's why Letterman is in such truouble". I really did not know how to respond to this, especially on the heels of yesterdays news from SC about a GOP activist and former State Senator who likened Michelle Obama to an ape.

Yes, it seems Mr. Rusty DePass, friend of comedian George W. Bush, made this witty retort in the comments on one of his FaceBook friends after the friend had posted an update on an escaped ape from the zoo: "I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors — probably harmless,” DePass mused.
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11 comments (Latest Comment: 06/15/2009 01:42:29 by Raine)

The Day After....and other news
Author: TriSec    Date: 06/13/2009 12:13:03

Good Morning!

Well, the elections have come to a close in Iran and naturally there's a disputed result. According to the official state media (funny how that works) the incumbent Ahmedinijad has won in a landslide victory with 62% of the vote. Given the intense coverage and speculation leading up to the election, many in Iran are disappointed that the results weren't closer. But then again, they may have been. Iran didn't allow outside observers, and there were many stories of voter intimidation and election thuggery in the days leading up to the election. We'll have to wait and see....but I don't think there's going to be any real change coming just yet.

Iran tense in wake of election

TEHRAN, Iran—Iran's government says incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the winner of the election with a landslide 62.63 percent of the vote. Top opposition contender Mir Hossein Mousavi takes only 33.75 percent of vote in a result disputed by his supporters.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Anti-riot police guarded the offices overseeing Iran's disputed elections Saturday with the count pointing to a landslide victory by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while his opponent denounced the results as "treason" and threatened a challenge.

The standoff left Tehran in tense anticipation. Many people opened shops and carried out errands, but the backdrop was far from normal: black-clad police gathering around key government buildings and mobile phone text messaging blocked in an apparent attempt to stifle one of the main communication tools of the pro-reform movement of Mir Hossein Mousavi.

A statement from Mousavi posted on his Web site urged his supporters to resist a "governance of lie and dictatorship."

Outside the Interior Ministry, which directed Friday's voting, security forces set up a cordon. The results had flowed quickly after polls closed showing the hard-line president with a comfortable lead -- defying expectations of a nail-biter showdown following a month of fierce campaigning and bringing immediate charges of vote rigging by Mousavi.

But an expected announcement on the full outcome was temporarily put on hold. A reason for the delay was not made public, but it suggested intervention by Iran's Islamic authorities seeking to put the brakes on a potentially volatile showdown.

Ahmadinejad had the apparent backing of the ruling theocracy, which holds near-total power and would have the ability to put the election results on the slow track.

There were no immediate reports of serious clashes or mass protests, and the next step by Mousavi's backers were unclear. Mousavi, who became the hero of a powerful youth-driven movement, had not made a public address or issued messages since declaring himself the true victor moments after polls closed and accusing authorities of "manipulating" the vote.

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6 comments (Latest Comment: 06/13/2009 22:38:00 by Mondobubba)

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