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Andisheh Nouraee

Atlanta Writer

Andisheh was a writer for Creative Loafing from Jan 2000 thru Jan 2008. His "Don't Panic" column was a hit for the paper following the terrorist attacks in 2001.

Articles By This Writer

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  string(45) "Opinion - The Declaration of Independence Day"
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  string(100) "Fourth of July has devolved into a mindless national block party. Here's what we should do about it."
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  string(8044) "Meat and explosions. Meat, beer, and explosions. Meat, sunburn, beer, and explosions.

If you have time away from work for Independence Day, chances are one of these noun combos is an accurate summation of your holiday activities. Sure, there are variations. No doubt some of you will choose Boca burgers or drink wine, liquor, or soft drinks instead of beer. And some of you are smart enough to lather up with SPF 50 and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

Menus and melanomas aside, my bigger point is this: Independence Day isn't the national day of historical commemoration or celebration it's supposed to be. Instead it's an "I found $40 in these old jeans"; a bonus day during which we're allowed to start fires and detonate explosives without ending up on a Homeland Security watch list. It's our national Sabado Gigante that, six out of seven years, isn't even on a Sabado.

The day's original meaning is now so obscure that not even self-described America-loving patriots call it Independence Day anymore. Instead we/they call it the Fourth of July or, more often, simply "the Fourth." It's not "What are you doing for Independence Day," it's "What are you doing for the Fourth?"

How did that happen? Not even the "War on Christmas" jackboots marching across Sean Hannity's damp fantasies would think to defrock Christmas by dubbing it "the 25th." Yet Independence Day has somehow become the only major holiday we effectively deny by refusing to call it by its given name. Calling it "the Fourth" is dismissive and insulting, like when an elderly homophobic relative refers to your longtime same-sex spouse as your "friend." The words we choose to describe things convey our intentions, regardless of whether we understand or acknowledge those intentions.

When I consider how Independence Day has devolved into a mindless national block party, I can't help but think about how the pace and priorities of modern American life discourage us from being mindful of much of anything. We live in a city, in a country, where quasi-police agents need to be stationed at crosswalks every morning to keep commuters from mowing down children on their way to school. If we're too busy not to kill schoolchildren without explicitly being told not to, we're too busy to consider the meaning of our civic holidays. We're too busy to consider much of anything.

The demands of work make us hurried and self-centered. Americans work very long hours compared to our peers in other wealthy nations. In 2008, the average American had only 18 annual vacation days and used just 14 of them. If you add up public holidays plus statutory requirements for paid time off work, our peers in Europe usually have at least five or six weeks paid time off annually.

Vacation time is only part of the "free" time formula. Our laws and traditions reinforce the message that workplace productivity (translation: profit) is our primary purpose for being. Everything else is distraction. Consider this, in the U.K., the country from which the U.S. declared independence, mothers get one year off of work to stay at home with a new baby. Nearly 10 months of that is paid. Anyone who has a child or knows someone with a child knows that time off work is anything but "free" time. By comparison, in the U.S. some women get three months off, unpaid, thanks to the Family Medical Leave Act. If new American mothers get paid during their parental leave, it's because they work for one of the just 10 percent or so of American employers that offer paid time off to new parents. More likely they're getting paid because they have an insurance policy through their employer that cuts checks to new mothers in the form of "short-term disability" payments. We're so obsessed by short-term profits, we view babies as distractions from workplace productivity. Even if you're a heartless major shareholder who hates babies, you should welcome them as future labor to exploit. By treating family as a disability, we're eating our own seed corn. A country that doesn't have time to raise its babies is a country that certainly has no time to think about things like the meaning of a holiday. So let's just chillax on our free day and try to be sober when we go back to work tomorrow, OK?

Independence Day's civic meaning is further devalued by the shallow way we choose to celebrate it. I'm not talking about meat and explosions. That's fellowship and fellowship is a wonderful thing. I'm talking our unhealthy urge to turn every civic event into a reason to genuflect to the U.S. military. It happens all over the country. It's just worse here in the South.

Being thankful for and honoring the sacrifices made by the women and men of our armed forces is important. We quite rightly have two days on our civic calendar set aside for honoring people of the military (Memorial Day to honor our military dead and Veterans Day to honor everyone who has served in the armed forces). One could argue that it's more important than ever to honor the servicewomen and men since the U.S. moved to a volunteer military after Vietnam. (Remember, as great as the Greatest Generation was, remember they were conscripted; the people who got Bin Laden volunteered for that job.) But that's not what we do on Independence Day. At Lenox, Centennial Olympic Park, or wherever you gather for the holiday, there's going to be some cursory hand-clapping for veterans while Hootie (or your event's equivalent) downs a Dasani between sets. This is not thoughtful. This is not civic-mindedness.

We can widen and deepen Independence Day's appeal by expanding our working definition of patriotism beyond hand-clapping and "America, fuck yeah." Instead of being a third military holiday, but with fireworks, Independence Day should put the significance of our armed forces into a meaningful context.

Remember: Independence Day doesn't commemorate a battle or a war. It commemorates the day a bunch of politicians clicked "Like" on a 1,300-word missive by a radical public intellectual. July 4, 1776, was a thinking, talking, and writing day, not a fighting day. It's not the day we won the battle for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It's the day a clutch of influential people agreed these were good ideas; the day they decided Americans should be citizens instead of subjects.

So just as people declare their intention to put the "Christ back in Christmas" and revive the spirit of that holiday by reclaiming it from consumer goods manufacturers and retailers, I urge my fellow Atlantans and Americans to begin making an effort to put the Independence Day back in the Fourth of July.

Here are a few simple things you can do. Read the Declaration of Independence. It's shorter than this essay. Pick up a book about the Declaration's primary author, Thomas Jefferson. Screw that. I know you're busy. Just read his Wikipedia page on your phone in the bathroom at work. Knowing a little bit about Jefferson is a soothing experience. If you're the type of person who watches the news and laments that our country is a scary, freaky, mixed-up place, you will find something like solace in knowing confusion and contradiction is in our DNA — courtesy of American Baby Daddies like Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was/is a confusing and contradictory man. He was a man of letters, but a lousy public speaker. He was a theologian who distrusted contemporary religion so much he assembled his own version of the Bible. He tried to limit and abolish slavery as a government official, but kept slaves. Enormously heroic and deeply flawed, he was a complicated man; he was the John Shaft of his day. No one understood him but Sally Hemings.

You don't have to celebrate Independence Day my way. You can celebrate it your way or not at all. Do it however you'd like. It's a free country, after all. All I ask is you take a few seconds to consider that. 

Andisheh Nouraee is the author of Americapedia: Taking the Dumb Out of Freedom. Find him and the book at twitter.com/andishehnouraee."
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If you have time away from work for Independence Day, chances are one of these noun combos is an accurate summation of your holiday activities. Sure, there are variations. No doubt some of you will choose Boca burgers or drink wine, liquor, or soft drinks instead of beer. And some of you are smart enough to lather up with SPF 50 and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

Menus and melanomas aside, my bigger point is this: Independence Day isn't the national day of historical commemoration or celebration it's supposed to be. Instead it's an "I found $40 in these old jeans"; a bonus day during which we're allowed to start fires and detonate explosives without ending up on a Homeland Security watch list. It's our national Sabado Gigante that, six out of seven years, isn't even on a Sabado.

The day's original meaning is now so obscure that not even self-described America-loving patriots call it Independence Day anymore. Instead we/they call it the Fourth of July or, more often, simply "the Fourth." It's not "What are you doing for Independence Day," it's "What are you doing for the Fourth?"

How did that happen? Not even the "War on Christmas" jackboots marching across Sean Hannity's damp fantasies would think to defrock Christmas by dubbing it "the 25th." Yet Independence Day has somehow become the only major holiday we effectively deny by refusing to call it by its given name. Calling it "the Fourth" is dismissive and insulting, like when an elderly homophobic relative refers to your longtime same-sex spouse as your "friend." The words we choose to describe things convey our intentions, regardless of whether we understand or acknowledge those intentions.

When I consider how Independence Day has devolved into a mindless national block party, I can't help but think about how the pace and priorities of modern American life discourage us from being mindful of much of anything. We live in a city, in a country, where quasi-police agents need to be stationed at crosswalks every morning to keep commuters from mowing down children on their way to school. If we're too busy not to kill schoolchildren without explicitly being told not to, we're too busy to consider the meaning of our civic holidays. We're too busy to consider much of anything.

The demands of work make us hurried and self-centered. Americans work very long hours compared to our peers in other wealthy nations. In 2008, the average American had only 18 annual vacation days and used just 14 of them. If you add up public holidays plus statutory requirements for paid time off work, our peers in Europe usually have at least five or six weeks paid time off annually.

Vacation time is only part of the "free" time formula. Our laws and traditions reinforce the message that workplace productivity (translation: profit) is our primary purpose for being. Everything else is distraction. Consider this, in the U.K., the country from which the U.S. declared independence, mothers get one year off of work to stay at home with a new baby. Nearly 10 months of that is paid. Anyone who has a child or knows someone with a child knows that time off work is anything but "free" time. By comparison, in the U.S. some women get three months off, unpaid, thanks to the Family Medical Leave Act. If new American mothers get paid during their parental leave, it's because they work for one of the just 10 percent or so of American employers that offer paid time off to new parents. More likely they're getting paid because they have an insurance policy through their employer that cuts checks to new mothers in the form of "short-term disability" payments. We're so obsessed by short-term profits, we view babies as distractions from workplace productivity. Even if you're a heartless major shareholder who hates babies, you should welcome them as future labor to exploit. By treating family as a disability, we're eating our own seed corn. A country that doesn't have time to raise its babies is a country that certainly has no time to think about things like the meaning of a holiday. So let's just chillax on our free day and try to be sober when we go back to work tomorrow, OK?

Independence Day's civic meaning is further devalued by the shallow way we choose to celebrate it. I'm not talking about meat and explosions. That's fellowship and fellowship is a wonderful thing. I'm talking our unhealthy urge to turn every civic event into a reason to genuflect to the U.S. military. It happens all over the country. It's just worse here in the South.

Being thankful for and honoring the sacrifices made by the women and men of our armed forces is important. We quite rightly have two days on our civic calendar set aside for honoring people of the military (Memorial Day to honor our military dead and Veterans Day to honor everyone who has served in the armed forces). One could argue that it's more important than ever to honor the servicewomen and men since the U.S. moved to a volunteer military after Vietnam. (Remember, as great as the Greatest Generation was, remember they were conscripted; the people who got Bin Laden volunteered for that job.) But that's not what we do on Independence Day. At Lenox, Centennial Olympic Park, or wherever you gather for the holiday, there's going to be some cursory hand-clapping for veterans while Hootie (or your event's equivalent) downs a Dasani between sets. This is not thoughtful. This is not civic-mindedness.

We can widen and deepen Independence Day's appeal by expanding our working definition of patriotism beyond hand-clapping and "America, fuck yeah." Instead of being a third military holiday, but with fireworks, Independence Day should put the significance of our armed forces into a meaningful context.

Remember: Independence Day doesn't commemorate a battle or a war. It commemorates the day a bunch of politicians clicked "Like" on a 1,300-word missive by a radical public intellectual. July 4, 1776, was a thinking, talking, and writing day, not a fighting day. It's not the day we won the battle for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It's the day a clutch of influential people agreed these were good ideas; the day they decided Americans should be citizens instead of subjects.

So just as people declare their intention to put the "Christ back in Christmas" and revive the spirit of that holiday by reclaiming it from consumer goods manufacturers and retailers, I urge my fellow Atlantans and Americans to begin making an effort to put the Independence Day back in the Fourth of July.

Here are a few simple things you can do. Read the Declaration of Independence. It's shorter than this essay. Pick up a book about the Declaration's primary author, Thomas Jefferson. Screw that. I know you're busy. Just read his Wikipedia page on your phone in the bathroom at work. Knowing a little bit about Jefferson is a soothing experience. If you're the type of person who watches the news and laments that our country is a scary, freaky, mixed-up place, you will find something like solace in knowing confusion and contradiction is in our DNA — courtesy of American Baby Daddies like Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was/is a confusing and contradictory man. He was a man of letters, but a lousy public speaker. He was a theologian who distrusted contemporary religion so much he assembled his own version of the Bible. He tried to limit and abolish slavery as a government official, but kept slaves. Enormously heroic and deeply flawed, he was a complicated man; he was the John Shaft of his day. No one understood him but Sally Hemings.

You don't have to celebrate Independence Day my way. You can celebrate it your way or not at all. Do it however you'd like. It's a free country, after all. All I ask is you take a few seconds to consider that. 

''Andisheh Nouraee is the author of'' Americapedia: Taking the Dumb Out of Freedom''. Find him and the book at [http://twitter.com/andishehnouraee|twitter.com/andishehnouraee].''"
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  string(8456) "   4th of july 2020 Fourth of July has devolved into a mindless national block party. Here's what we should do about it.   2012-07-02T14:14:00+00:00 Opinion - The Declaration of Independence Day ben.eason@creativeloafing.com Ben Eason Andisheh Nouraee 1223716 2012-07-02T14:14:00+00:00  Meat and explosions. Meat, beer, and explosions. Meat, sunburn, beer, and explosions.

If you have time away from work for Independence Day, chances are one of these noun combos is an accurate summation of your holiday activities. Sure, there are variations. No doubt some of you will choose Boca burgers or drink wine, liquor, or soft drinks instead of beer. And some of you are smart enough to lather up with SPF 50 and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

Menus and melanomas aside, my bigger point is this: Independence Day isn't the national day of historical commemoration or celebration it's supposed to be. Instead it's an "I found $40 in these old jeans"; a bonus day during which we're allowed to start fires and detonate explosives without ending up on a Homeland Security watch list. It's our national Sabado Gigante that, six out of seven years, isn't even on a Sabado.

The day's original meaning is now so obscure that not even self-described America-loving patriots call it Independence Day anymore. Instead we/they call it the Fourth of July or, more often, simply "the Fourth." It's not "What are you doing for Independence Day," it's "What are you doing for the Fourth?"

How did that happen? Not even the "War on Christmas" jackboots marching across Sean Hannity's damp fantasies would think to defrock Christmas by dubbing it "the 25th." Yet Independence Day has somehow become the only major holiday we effectively deny by refusing to call it by its given name. Calling it "the Fourth" is dismissive and insulting, like when an elderly homophobic relative refers to your longtime same-sex spouse as your "friend." The words we choose to describe things convey our intentions, regardless of whether we understand or acknowledge those intentions.

When I consider how Independence Day has devolved into a mindless national block party, I can't help but think about how the pace and priorities of modern American life discourage us from being mindful of much of anything. We live in a city, in a country, where quasi-police agents need to be stationed at crosswalks every morning to keep commuters from mowing down children on their way to school. If we're too busy not to kill schoolchildren without explicitly being told not to, we're too busy to consider the meaning of our civic holidays. We're too busy to consider much of anything.

The demands of work make us hurried and self-centered. Americans work very long hours compared to our peers in other wealthy nations. In 2008, the average American had only 18 annual vacation days and used just 14 of them. If you add up public holidays plus statutory requirements for paid time off work, our peers in Europe usually have at least five or six weeks paid time off annually.

Vacation time is only part of the "free" time formula. Our laws and traditions reinforce the message that workplace productivity (translation: profit) is our primary purpose for being. Everything else is distraction. Consider this, in the U.K., the country from which the U.S. declared independence, mothers get one year off of work to stay at home with a new baby. Nearly 10 months of that is paid. Anyone who has a child or knows someone with a child knows that time off work is anything but "free" time. By comparison, in the U.S. some women get three months off, unpaid, thanks to the Family Medical Leave Act. If new American mothers get paid during their parental leave, it's because they work for one of the just 10 percent or so of American employers that offer paid time off to new parents. More likely they're getting paid because they have an insurance policy through their employer that cuts checks to new mothers in the form of "short-term disability" payments. We're so obsessed by short-term profits, we view babies as distractions from workplace productivity. Even if you're a heartless major shareholder who hates babies, you should welcome them as future labor to exploit. By treating family as a disability, we're eating our own seed corn. A country that doesn't have time to raise its babies is a country that certainly has no time to think about things like the meaning of a holiday. So let's just chillax on our free day and try to be sober when we go back to work tomorrow, OK?

Independence Day's civic meaning is further devalued by the shallow way we choose to celebrate it. I'm not talking about meat and explosions. That's fellowship and fellowship is a wonderful thing. I'm talking our unhealthy urge to turn every civic event into a reason to genuflect to the U.S. military. It happens all over the country. It's just worse here in the South.

Being thankful for and honoring the sacrifices made by the women and men of our armed forces is important. We quite rightly have two days on our civic calendar set aside for honoring people of the military (Memorial Day to honor our military dead and Veterans Day to honor everyone who has served in the armed forces). One could argue that it's more important than ever to honor the servicewomen and men since the U.S. moved to a volunteer military after Vietnam. (Remember, as great as the Greatest Generation was, remember they were conscripted; the people who got Bin Laden volunteered for that job.) But that's not what we do on Independence Day. At Lenox, Centennial Olympic Park, or wherever you gather for the holiday, there's going to be some cursory hand-clapping for veterans while Hootie (or your event's equivalent) downs a Dasani between sets. This is not thoughtful. This is not civic-mindedness.

We can widen and deepen Independence Day's appeal by expanding our working definition of patriotism beyond hand-clapping and "America, fuck yeah." Instead of being a third military holiday, but with fireworks, Independence Day should put the significance of our armed forces into a meaningful context.

Remember: Independence Day doesn't commemorate a battle or a war. It commemorates the day a bunch of politicians clicked "Like" on a 1,300-word missive by a radical public intellectual. July 4, 1776, was a thinking, talking, and writing day, not a fighting day. It's not the day we won the battle for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It's the day a clutch of influential people agreed these were good ideas; the day they decided Americans should be citizens instead of subjects.

So just as people declare their intention to put the "Christ back in Christmas" and revive the spirit of that holiday by reclaiming it from consumer goods manufacturers and retailers, I urge my fellow Atlantans and Americans to begin making an effort to put the Independence Day back in the Fourth of July.

Here are a few simple things you can do. Read the Declaration of Independence. It's shorter than this essay. Pick up a book about the Declaration's primary author, Thomas Jefferson. Screw that. I know you're busy. Just read his Wikipedia page on your phone in the bathroom at work. Knowing a little bit about Jefferson is a soothing experience. If you're the type of person who watches the news and laments that our country is a scary, freaky, mixed-up place, you will find something like solace in knowing confusion and contradiction is in our DNA — courtesy of American Baby Daddies like Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was/is a confusing and contradictory man. He was a man of letters, but a lousy public speaker. He was a theologian who distrusted contemporary religion so much he assembled his own version of the Bible. He tried to limit and abolish slavery as a government official, but kept slaves. Enormously heroic and deeply flawed, he was a complicated man; he was the John Shaft of his day. No one understood him but Sally Hemings.

You don't have to celebrate Independence Day my way. You can celebrate it your way or not at all. Do it however you'd like. It's a free country, after all. All I ask is you take a few seconds to consider that. 

Andisheh Nouraee is the author of Americapedia: Taking the Dumb Out of Freedom. Find him and the book at twitter.com/andishehnouraee.       0,0,10    "4th of July 2020"  13068840 5696723                          Opinion - The Declaration of Independence Day "
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Monday July 2, 2012 10:14 am EDT
Fourth of July has devolved into a mindless national block party. Here's what we should do about it. | more...
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  string(3399) "During the week prior to Labor Day, the leading edge of the 9/11 10th anniversary media storm began pelting my DVR. So far, I've managed to stay dry. I'm making a point of avoiding the coverage.

The 9/11 anniversary TV coverage has little value to offer. If you find comfort in dwelling on that horrible day with the help of well-produced, for-profit television programming, I say go ahead and do your thing.

But honestly, other than a tiny bit of catharsis, what does this weekend's TV terrorpalooza do for us? Do we need reminding? At this point, who among us can't play back the events in our minds with Blu-ray clarity?

Are we going to learn something new about the 9/11 attacks this weekend that we don't already know or think we know? Are any of the so-called "truthers" who think the attacks were carried out by the U.S. government going to watch footage of the towers collapsing one more time and think, "You know, now that I think of it, maybe the towers collapsed because al-Qaeda operatives crashed those planes into them. I owe an apology to all those people I've been pestering with my bullshit email forwards since October 2001."

Are any of the people who still erroneously believe Saddam Hussein worked with al-Qaeda to carry out the attacks going to watch an anniversary retrospective this weekend and think, "I now see that Mr. Sean Hannity is a serial liar. My bad."

If I were Lord of Television, my news department's 9/11 anniversary retrospective would consist of a couple hours of low-key coverage honoring the attack's victims and their loved ones. And I'd put it on C-Span so the solemnity of the event wouldn't be ruined by vacuous punditry and Levitra commercials.

If I caved to my ad department and decided to create a full weekend of 9/11-themed programming, I wouldn't bore viewers with shows examining the political, military, financial and moral cost of the War on Terror™. Why bother?

First, Americans already know where they stand on all that. Another televised reminder isn't going to change minds. If you're the sort of person who thinks the War On Terror™ has been a good thing for the country, but that health care reform, labor unions and Clinton-era top marginal income tax rates are bad for us, there's nothing anyone is going to say to you that's going to wake you from your 2+2=5 dream world.

Secondly, I've already had my personal fill of "Look how bad this war screwed up America" introspection. Enough with the self-pity already. Instead, I think everyone could stand a few hours of TV devoted to the war's civilian victims abroad. How about a TV special devoted simply to figuring out how many Iraqi noncombatants died as a result of the U.S. invasion? Is it 122,000, as the website Iraq Body Count suggests, or is it more than 600,000, as the British medical journal the Lancet contends.

I don't know the answer, but that's point. I'd like to watch a 9/11 show that teaches me something.

More importantly, it's about time we stopped treating innocent foreign victims of our wars as if they're nothing more than eggs in our freedom omelette. They were real human beings with families who loved them as much as our families love us. We would be a better and safer nation if we could learn that lesson. 

Former CL staffer Andisheh Nouraee is the co-author of Americapedia: Taking the Dumb Out of Freedom. He blogs at AmericapediaTheBook.com."
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The 9/11 anniversary TV coverage has little value to offer. If you find comfort in dwelling on that horrible day with the help of well-produced, for-profit television programming, I say go ahead and do your thing.

But honestly, other than a tiny bit of catharsis, what does this weekend's TV terrorpalooza do for us? Do we need reminding? At this point, who among us can't play back the events in our minds with Blu-ray clarity?

Are we going to learn something new about the 9/11 attacks this weekend that we don't already know or think we know? Are any of the so-called "truthers" who think the attacks were carried out by the U.S. government going to watch footage of the towers collapsing one more time and think, "You know, now that I think of it, maybe the towers collapsed because al-Qaeda operatives crashed those planes into them. I owe an apology to all those people I've been pestering with my bullshit email forwards since October 2001."

Are any of the people who still erroneously believe Saddam Hussein worked with al-Qaeda to carry out the attacks going to watch an anniversary retrospective this weekend and think, "I now see that Mr. Sean Hannity is a serial liar. My bad."

If I were Lord of Television, my news department's 9/11 anniversary retrospective would consist of a couple hours of low-key coverage honoring the attack's victims and their loved ones. And I'd put it on C-Span so the solemnity of the event wouldn't be ruined by vacuous punditry and Levitra commercials.

If I caved to my ad department and decided to create a full weekend of 9/11-themed programming, I wouldn't bore viewers with shows examining the political, military, financial and moral cost of the War on Terror™. Why bother?

First, Americans already know where they stand on all that. Another televised reminder isn't going to change minds. If you're the sort of person who thinks the War On Terror™ has been a good thing for the country, but that health care reform, labor unions and Clinton-era top marginal income tax rates are bad for us, there's nothing anyone is going to say to you that's going to wake you from your 2+2=5 dream world.

Secondly, I've already had my personal fill of "Look how bad this war screwed up America" introspection. Enough with the self-pity already. Instead, I think everyone could stand a few hours of TV devoted to the war's civilian victims abroad. How about a TV special devoted simply to figuring out how many Iraqi noncombatants died as a result of the U.S. invasion? Is it 122,000, as the website Iraq Body Count suggests, or is it more than 600,000, as the British medical journal the ''Lancet'' contends.

I don't know the answer, but that's point. I'd like to watch a 9/11 show that teaches me something.

More importantly, it's about time we stopped treating innocent foreign victims of our wars as if they're nothing more than eggs in our freedom omelette. They were real human beings with families who loved them as much as our families love us. We would be a better and safer nation if we could learn that lesson. 

''Former'' CL ''staffer Andisheh Nouraee is the co-author of'' Americapedia: Taking the Dumb Out of Freedom''. He blogs at [http://www.americapediathebook.com/|AmericapediaTheBook.com].''"
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The 9/11 anniversary TV coverage has little value to offer. If you find comfort in dwelling on that horrible day with the help of well-produced, for-profit television programming, I say go ahead and do your thing.

But honestly, other than a tiny bit of catharsis, what does this weekend's TV terrorpalooza do for us? Do we need reminding? At this point, who among us can't play back the events in our minds with Blu-ray clarity?

Are we going to learn something new about the 9/11 attacks this weekend that we don't already know or think we know? Are any of the so-called "truthers" who think the attacks were carried out by the U.S. government going to watch footage of the towers collapsing one more time and think, "You know, now that I think of it, maybe the towers collapsed because al-Qaeda operatives crashed those planes into them. I owe an apology to all those people I've been pestering with my bullshit email forwards since October 2001."

Are any of the people who still erroneously believe Saddam Hussein worked with al-Qaeda to carry out the attacks going to watch an anniversary retrospective this weekend and think, "I now see that Mr. Sean Hannity is a serial liar. My bad."

If I were Lord of Television, my news department's 9/11 anniversary retrospective would consist of a couple hours of low-key coverage honoring the attack's victims and their loved ones. And I'd put it on C-Span so the solemnity of the event wouldn't be ruined by vacuous punditry and Levitra commercials.

If I caved to my ad department and decided to create a full weekend of 9/11-themed programming, I wouldn't bore viewers with shows examining the political, military, financial and moral cost of the War on Terror™. Why bother?

First, Americans already know where they stand on all that. Another televised reminder isn't going to change minds. If you're the sort of person who thinks the War On Terror™ has been a good thing for the country, but that health care reform, labor unions and Clinton-era top marginal income tax rates are bad for us, there's nothing anyone is going to say to you that's going to wake you from your 2+2=5 dream world.

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I don't know the answer, but that's point. I'd like to watch a 9/11 show that teaches me something.

More importantly, it's about time we stopped treating innocent foreign victims of our wars as if they're nothing more than eggs in our freedom omelette. They were real human beings with families who loved them as much as our families love us. We would be a better and safer nation if we could learn that lesson. 

Former CL staffer Andisheh Nouraee is the co-author of Americapedia: Taking the Dumb Out of Freedom. He blogs at AmericapediaTheBook.com.             13062776 3947494                          Opinion - What can we learn from the 9/11 anniversary? "
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Wednesday September 7, 2011 04:30 am EDT
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My favorite foreign policy column cliché of the previous decade is, without a doubt, the Friedman Unit.

It’s a reference to New York Times foreign policy columnist Thomas Friedman. Fair and Accuracy in Reporting noted that, between November 2003 and May 2006, Friedman used some form of the phrase “the next six months is crucial in Iraq” at least 14 times in print and on radio and television.

Inspired by FAIR’s amusing/annoying compilation of Friedman’s bad habit, blogger Atrios coined the phrase Friedman Unit, or F.U. Literally, a Friedman Unit means six months. Figuratively, it’s a sarcastic jab at every middle-of-the-road so-called foreign policy expert who peddled glib, superficial and completely wrong “analysis” of the Iraq war. “Gosh, you mean events that occur in the near future will determine the course of the, um, near future. Cool. Hey can I have a Pulitzer Prize, too? “

Indeed, my writing is more superficial and glib than most. I’m basically a comedian riffing on the latest issue of The Economist. But unlike all the “serious” pundits who predicted the Iraq war’s rightness and ultimate success, my prognostication was largely correct.

I said the war was a stupid idea and wrote about how disastrously it was progressing way before the idiots on the Sunday news shows were willing to acknowledge it. I’m not psychic. I just happen to understand the difference between a goal and a workable plan. “Let’s topple Saddam Hussein and install a democracy in Iraq” is a goal, not a plan. Bush and his neo-conservative brain trust were all goal and no plan.

I mention the F.U., because I have my own cliché. I’ve lost count of the columns I’ve written about Pakistan’s impending collapse. I honestly don’t know if Pakistan’s government will disappear, but I do believe Pakistan will lose meaningful control of an ever-growing portion of the country during the next several Friedman Units."
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My favorite foreign policy column cliché of the previous decade is, without a doubt, the Friedman Unit.

It’s a reference to New York Times foreign policy columnist Thomas Friedman. Fair and Accuracy in Reporting noted that, between November 2003 and May 2006, Friedman used some form of the phrase “the next six months is crucial in Iraq” at least 14 times in print and on radio and television.

Inspired by FAIR’s amusing/annoying compilation of Friedman’s bad habit, blogger Atrios coined the phrase Friedman Unit, or F.U. Literally, a Friedman Unit means six months. Figuratively, it’s a sarcastic jab at every middle-of-the-road so-called foreign policy expert who peddled glib, superficial and completely wrong “analysis” of the Iraq war. “Gosh, you mean events that occur in the near future will determine the course of the, um, near future. Cool. Hey can I have a Pulitzer Prize, too? “

Indeed, my writing is more superficial and glib than most. I’m basically a comedian riffing on the latest issue of The Economist. But unlike all the “serious” pundits who predicted the Iraq war’s rightness and ultimate success, my prognostication was largely correct.

I said the war was a stupid idea and wrote about how disastrously it was progressing way before the idiots on the Sunday news shows were willing to acknowledge it. I’m not psychic. I just happen to understand the difference between a goal and a workable plan. “Let’s topple Saddam Hussein and install a democracy in Iraq” is a goal, not a plan. Bush and his neo-conservative brain trust were all goal and no plan.

I mention the F.U., because I have my own cliché. I’ve lost count of the columns I’ve written about Pakistan’s impending collapse. I honestly don’t know if Pakistan’s government will disappear, but I do believe Pakistan will lose meaningful control of an ever-growing portion of the country during the next several Friedman Units."
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My favorite foreign policy column cliché of the previous decade is, without a doubt, the Friedman Unit.

It’s a reference to New York Times foreign policy columnist Thomas Friedman. Fair and Accuracy in Reporting noted that, between November 2003 and May 2006, Friedman used some form of the phrase “the next six months is crucial in Iraq” at least 14 times in print and on radio and television.

Inspired by FAIR’s amusing/annoying compilation of Friedman’s bad habit, blogger Atrios coined the phrase Friedman Unit, or F.U. Literally, a Friedman Unit means six months. Figuratively, it’s a sarcastic jab at every middle-of-the-road so-called foreign policy expert who peddled glib, superficial and completely wrong “analysis” of the Iraq war. “Gosh, you mean events that occur in the near future will determine the course of the, um, near future. Cool. Hey can I have a Pulitzer Prize, too? “

Indeed, my writing is more superficial and glib than most. I’m basically a comedian riffing on the latest issue of The Economist. But unlike all the “serious” pundits who predicted the Iraq war’s rightness and ultimate success, my prognostication was largely correct.

I said the war was a stupid idea and wrote about how disastrously it was progressing way before the idiots on the Sunday news shows were willing to acknowledge it. I’m not psychic. I just happen to understand the difference between a goal and a workable plan. “Let’s topple Saddam Hussein and install a democracy in Iraq” is a goal, not a plan. Bush and his neo-conservative brain trust were all goal and no plan.

I mention the F.U., because I have my own cliché. I’ve lost count of the columns I’ve written about Pakistan’s impending collapse. I honestly don’t know if Pakistan’s government will disappear, but I do believe Pakistan will lose meaningful control of an ever-growing portion of the country during the next several Friedman Units.             13054842 2076921                          The last-ever Don't Panic!: Is Pakistan on the verge of collapse? "
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Tuesday September 7, 2010 09:11 am EDT

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andishehnouraee/4966908103/

My favorite foreign policy column cliché of the previous decade is, without a doubt, the Friedman Unit.

It’s a reference to New York Times foreign policy columnist Thomas Friedman. Fair and Accuracy in Reporting noted that, between November 2003 and May 2006, Friedman used some form of the phrase “the next six months is crucial in Iraq”...

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The last U.S. combat troops left Iraq on August 19. War over. Woohoo!

Take that, you stupid 9/11 terrorists who had absolutely nothing at all to do with Saddam Hussein or Iraq. Boo ya! 

No. Wait. Upon further review, it turns out the war isn’t exactly over.

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(Pause for you to Google).

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Thursday August 26, 2010 02:42 pm EDT


The last U.S. combat troops left Iraq on August 19. War over. Woohoo!

Take that, you stupid 9/11 terrorists who had absolutely nothing at all to do with Saddam Hussein or Iraq. Boo ya!

No. Wait. Upon further review, it turns out the war isn’t exactly over.

The combat troops are out, but there are still roughly 50,000 non-combat troops in Iraq. Iraq still has the third largest foreign...

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The Associated Press:

ATLANTA — Federal agents are seeking to hire Ebonics translators to help interpret wiretapped conversations involving targets of undercover drug investigations.

The Drug Enforcement Administration recently sent memos asking companies that provide translation services to help it find nine translators in the Southeast who are fluent in Ebonics, Special Agent Michael Sanders said Monday.

Ebonics, which is also known as African American Vernacular English, has been described by the psychologist who coined the term as the combination of English vocabulary with African language structure.             13054554 2024233                          DEA seeks Ebonics translators "
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Tuesday August 24, 2010 12:04 am EDT

As someone who had to turn on the closed captioning during The Wire, I totally get this.

The Associated Press:

ATLANTA — Federal agents are seeking to hire Ebonics translators to help interpret wiretapped conversations involving targets of undercover drug investigations.

The Drug Enforcement Administration recently sent memos asking companies that provide translation services to help it find...

| more...
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  string(1116) "A U.S. District Court judge in Macon refused to block enforcement of the Georgia law banning gun permit holders from bringing guns to places of worship.

The suit to block the enforcement law was brought by GeorgiaCarry.org and a church in Thomaston. It followed the June U.S. Supreme Court ruling stating the Second Amendment right of individuals to have guns applied to state and local laws.

However case isn't over by a long shot (ha!). The judge hasn't issued his final ruling on the case. He may very well say the state law is unconstitutional. Judges can be judgmental that way.

In recent years, the Georgia legislature has increased the number of places Georgia gun permit holders are legally allowed to bring weapons. Strangely enough, the legislature still hasn't made it legal for permit holders to bring guns into the state Capitol. If they love guns so much and think they're so awesome to have around, you'd think they'd put allow the public to pack heat in their presence.

(NOTE: For those of you who didn't grow up with a subscription to Guns & Ammo, the subject header of this post refers to this)"
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  string(1236) "A U.S. District Court judge in Macon [http://www.ajc.com/news/judge-refuses-to-block-597481.html|refused] to block enforcement of the Georgia law banning gun permit holders from bringing guns to places of worship.

The suit to block the enforcement law was brought by GeorgiaCarry.org and a church in Thomaston. It followed the June U.S. Supreme Court ruling stating the Second Amendment right of individuals to have guns applied to state and local laws.

However case isn't over by a long shot (ha!). The judge hasn't issued his final ruling on the case. He may very well say the state law is unconstitutional. Judges can be judgmental that way.

In recent years, the Georgia legislature has increased the number of places Georgia gun permit holders are legally allowed to bring weapons. Strangely enough, the legislature still hasn't made it legal for permit holders to bring guns into the state Capitol. If they love guns so much and think they're so awesome to have around, you'd think they'd put allow the public to pack heat in their presence.

(NOTE: For those of you who didn't grow up with a subscription to ''Guns & Ammo'', the subject header of this post refers to [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_Single_Action_Army|this])"
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The suit to block the enforcement law was brought by GeorgiaCarry.org and a church in Thomaston. It followed the June U.S. Supreme Court ruling stating the Second Amendment right of individuals to have guns applied to state and local laws.

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In recent years, the Georgia legislature has increased the number of places Georgia gun permit holders are legally allowed to bring weapons. Strangely enough, the legislature still hasn't made it legal for permit holders to bring guns into the state Capitol. If they love guns so much and think they're so awesome to have around, you'd think they'd put allow the public to pack heat in their presence.

(NOTE: For those of you who didn't grow up with a subscription to Guns & Ammo, the subject header of this post refers to this)             13054543 2022577                          Blessed are the Colt Peacemakers "
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Monday August 23, 2010 03:04 pm EDT

A U.S. District Court judge in Macon refused to block enforcement of the Georgia law banning gun permit holders from bringing guns to places of worship.

The suit to block the enforcement law was brought by GeorgiaCarry.org and a church in Thomaston. It followed the June U.S. Supreme Court ruling stating the Second Amendment right of individuals to have guns applied to state and local laws....

| more...
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  string(40) "Atlanta Housing Authority rebuts CL post"
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  string(786) "Atlanta Housing Authority's blog features a post taking issue with an August 13 Fresh Loaf post I wrote about Congressional testimony from three Georgia State University sociology professors noting the death of several elderly public housing residents relocated from senior high-rises. AHA says there's no evidence linking the deaths to the moves.

Creative Loafing's report, "Public Housing Demolition and Premature Death," concluded: "It appears the stress and unhappiness associated with unwanted moves may be shortening the lives of local seniors who rely on public assistance for a place to live." Sorry, Creative Loafing, but it just isn't true — the phrase "it appears" in this case means "we're guessing."

Read it all.

Thank you Catherine Smith for the heads up via Twitter."
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  string(1110) "[http://atlantahousingauthority.blogspot.com/2010/08/no-ahas-senior-residents-arent-dying-at.html|Atlanta Housing Authority]'s blog features a post taking issue with an August 13 Fresh Loaf [http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2010/08/13/public-housing-demolition-and-premature-death|post] I wrote about Congressional testimony from three Georgia State University sociology professors noting the death of several elderly public housing residents relocated from senior high-rises. AHA says there's no evidence linking the deaths to the moves.

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[http://atlantahousingauthority.blogspot.com/2010/08/no-ahas-senior-residents-arent-dying-at.html|Read it all].

Thank you [http://twitter.com/CSmithAtl|Catherine Smith] for the heads up via Twitter."
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Read it all.

Thank you Catherine Smith for the heads up via Twitter.             13054489 2013147                          Atlanta Housing Authority rebuts CL post "
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Friday August 20, 2010 12:47 pm EDT

Atlanta Housing Authority's blog features a post taking issue with an August 13 Fresh Loaf post I wrote about Congressional testimony from three Georgia State University sociology professors noting the death of several elderly public housing residents relocated from senior high-rises. AHA says there's no evidence linking the deaths to the moves.

Creative Loafing's report, "Public Housing...

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  ["title"]=>
  string(29) "Opinion - Dealing with racism"
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  string(2224) "The day after he defeated Karen Handel for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, I called Nathan Deal a racist on CL's Fresh Loaf blog because of his active participation in the so-called "birther" movement.

It didn't surprise me when the post generated online rancor. I was surprised, however, when my CL colleagues pushed back, arguing it's not fair to call Deal a racist when we aren't privy to his private thoughts.

Because of those concerns, and because "racist" is only marginally less damning than "child-molester" on the official list of epithets, it's worth explaining why I wrote what I did.

For those lucky enough to remain isolated from right-wing political talking points, "birther" is political shorthand for the broad segment of the public that incorrectly believes President Barack Obama is not a natural-born American.

Ample, unassailable and long-available records make Obama's birth clear. Birtherism is a paranoid fantasy that persists because some people are apparently incapable of accepting that American-ness has no link to skin color, ethnicity or religion. It's bigotry, plain and simple.

Unfortunately, overt wrongness hasn't stopped the right-wing media and GOP politicians from propagating birtherism since the 2008 presidential campaign. A recent CNN poll showed that 41 percent of Republicans said Obama was "definitely" or "probably" not born on U.S. soil.

At the end of 2009, Deal loudly and proudly jumped on the birther bandwagon, alerting reporters that he'd co-signed a letter demanding Obama produce his birth certificate. Deal was already a candidate for governor by then, so it's safe to assume he acted, as politicians do, knowing his actions would be noticed by GOP primary voters — aka the party base.

If I had simply written that Deal's birtherism was a coded message to racist voters who refuse to accept Barack Obama as American, I would have offended many fewer people than I did. But I think that's a cop-out that lets Deal off easy.

When a man plays bass guitar in public to further his career, no one minds when you call him a bassist. When a man blows his bigoted dog-whistle in front of reporters to further his career, I think it's appropriate to call him a racist."
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  string(2320) "The day after he defeated Karen Handel for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, I called Nathan Deal a racist on [http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2010/08/11/georgia-republicans-embrace-the-racist|''CL'''s Fresh Loaf blog] because of his active participation in the so-called "birther" movement.

It didn't surprise me when the post generated online rancor. I was surprised, however, when my ''CL'' colleagues pushed back, arguing it's not fair to call Deal a racist when we aren't privy to his private thoughts.

Because of those concerns, and because "racist" is only marginally less damning than "child-molester" on the official list of epithets, it's worth explaining why I wrote what I did.

For those lucky enough to remain isolated from right-wing political talking points, "birther" is political shorthand for the broad segment of the public that incorrectly believes President Barack Obama is not a natural-born American.

Ample, unassailable and long-available records make Obama's birth clear. Birtherism is a paranoid fantasy that persists because some people are apparently incapable of accepting that American-ness has no link to skin color, ethnicity or religion. It's bigotry, plain and simple.

Unfortunately, overt wrongness hasn't stopped the right-wing media and GOP politicians from propagating birtherism since the 2008 presidential campaign. A recent CNN poll showed that 41 percent of Republicans said Obama was "definitely" or "probably" not born on U.S. soil.

At the end of 2009, Deal loudly and proudly jumped on the birther bandwagon, alerting reporters that he'd co-signed a letter demanding Obama produce his birth certificate. Deal was already a candidate for governor by then, so it's safe to assume he acted, as politicians do, knowing his actions would be noticed by GOP primary voters — aka the party base.

If I had simply written that Deal's birtherism was a coded message to racist voters who refuse to accept Barack Obama as American, I would have offended many fewer people than I did. But I think that's a cop-out that lets Deal off easy.

When a man plays bass guitar in public to further his career, no one minds when you call him a bassist. When a man blows his bigoted dog-whistle in front of reporters to further his career, I think it's appropriate to call him a racist."
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  string(2426) "       2010-08-19T08:00:00+00:00 Opinion - Dealing with racism   Andisheh Nouraee 1223716 2010-08-19T08:00:00+00:00  The day after he defeated Karen Handel for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, I called Nathan Deal a racist on CL's Fresh Loaf blog because of his active participation in the so-called "birther" movement.

It didn't surprise me when the post generated online rancor. I was surprised, however, when my CL colleagues pushed back, arguing it's not fair to call Deal a racist when we aren't privy to his private thoughts.

Because of those concerns, and because "racist" is only marginally less damning than "child-molester" on the official list of epithets, it's worth explaining why I wrote what I did.

For those lucky enough to remain isolated from right-wing political talking points, "birther" is political shorthand for the broad segment of the public that incorrectly believes President Barack Obama is not a natural-born American.

Ample, unassailable and long-available records make Obama's birth clear. Birtherism is a paranoid fantasy that persists because some people are apparently incapable of accepting that American-ness has no link to skin color, ethnicity or religion. It's bigotry, plain and simple.

Unfortunately, overt wrongness hasn't stopped the right-wing media and GOP politicians from propagating birtherism since the 2008 presidential campaign. A recent CNN poll showed that 41 percent of Republicans said Obama was "definitely" or "probably" not born on U.S. soil.

At the end of 2009, Deal loudly and proudly jumped on the birther bandwagon, alerting reporters that he'd co-signed a letter demanding Obama produce his birth certificate. Deal was already a candidate for governor by then, so it's safe to assume he acted, as politicians do, knowing his actions would be noticed by GOP primary voters — aka the party base.

If I had simply written that Deal's birtherism was a coded message to racist voters who refuse to accept Barack Obama as American, I would have offended many fewer people than I did. But I think that's a cop-out that lets Deal off easy.

When a man plays bass guitar in public to further his career, no one minds when you call him a bassist. When a man blows his bigoted dog-whistle in front of reporters to further his career, I think it's appropriate to call him a racist.             13054393 2004736                          Opinion - Dealing with racism "
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Article

Thursday August 19, 2010 04:00 am EDT

The day after he defeated Karen Handel for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, I called Nathan Deal a racist on CL's Fresh Loaf blog because of his active participation in the so-called "birther" movement.

It didn't surprise me when the post generated online rancor. I was surprised, however, when my CL colleagues pushed back, arguing it's not fair to call Deal a racist when we aren't privy to...

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The cover of Time magazine’s August 9, 2010 issue is a portrait of an 18-year-old Afghan woman named Aisha. A Taliban gang amputated Aisha’s nose and ears with a knife as punishment after Aisha had the temerity to run away from her husband’s house to escape her abusive in-laws. Left on a mountain to bleed to death, Aisha survived. She’s now a beautiful woman with a hole in the middle of her face where her nose should be.

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I shouldn’t say if. It’s really a when. American generals and politicians have for years been saying that the ultimate solution to the Afghan war will be political rather military. In plain English, that means American leaders have accepted that we will not eliminate the Taliban or Talibanism with military force. The initial success of Bush’s Operation Enduring Freedom was a single victorious battle in a long war. Every year since their overthrow, the Taliban have gained strength. There will never be a World War II-like surrender ceremony where Mullah Omar or some other Talibastard sits at a table with Gen. David “Don’t Call Him Betray Us” Petraeus to sign a surrender treaty denouncing all things Taliban. The best we can hope for is a political settlement that allows the Taliban control of certain parts of Afghanistan, as well as representation in the Afghan government."
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The cover of Time magazine’s August 9, 2010 issue is a portrait of an 18-year-old Afghan woman named Aisha. A Taliban gang amputated Aisha’s nose and ears with a knife as punishment after Aisha had the temerity to run away from her husband’s house to escape her abusive in-laws. Left on a mountain to bleed to death, Aisha survived. She’s now a beautiful woman with a hole in the middle of her face where her nose should be.

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Article

Wednesday August 18, 2010 10:24 am EDT


The cover of Time magazine’s August 9, 2010 issue is a portrait of an 18-year-old Afghan woman named Aisha. A Taliban gang amputated Aisha’s nose and ears with a knife as punishment after Aisha had the temerity to run away from her husband’s house to escape her abusive in-laws. Left on a mountain to bleed to death, Aisha survived. She’s now a beautiful woman with a hole in the middle of her...

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Article

Tuesday August 17, 2010 05:22 pm EDT

John Lennon once sang "God is a concept by which we measure our pain."

The placard below is on the wall of the office of Buckhead Towing. Probably not what he had in mind, but still.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andishehnouraee/4902508754/

| more...
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Prayers answered, Atlanta.

While we're on the subject, have you tried this yet?"
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Prayers [http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2010/08/16/daily20.html?ana=from_rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed: bizj_atlanta (Atlanta Business Chronicle)&utm_content=Google Reader|answered], Atlanta.

While we're on the subject, have you tried [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AeroPress|this] yet?"
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Prayers answered, Atlanta.

While we're on the subject, have you tried this yet?             13054263 1998777                          Great idea "
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Article

Tuesday August 17, 2010 11:00 am EDT

Have you ever said to yourself "I would like Starbucks bitter-n-burnt drip coffee even more if it were more expensive,"?

Prayers answered, Atlanta.

While we're on the subject, have you tried this yet?

| more...
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Does this mean we can look forward to Neal Boortz explaining how California Gurlz are ghetto trash because they spend their welfare checks on bikini tops and Daisy Dukes? And maybe Clark Howard can have Travie McCoy in-studio to talk about how listeners should keep their fives, tens and Bens separate?!?!?

Or maybe not.

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Boo!

My idea is better."
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Does this mean we can look forward to Neal Boortz explaining how California Gurlz are [http://mediamatters.org/research/200603310005|ghetto trash] because they spend their welfare checks on [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwE-SLnLkqY&feature=av2e|bikini tops and Daisy Dukes]? And maybe Clark Howard can have Travie McCoy in-studio to talk about how listeners should keep their [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aRor905cCw|fives, tens and Bens] separate?!?!?

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My idea is better."
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Does this mean we can look forward to Neal Boortz explaining how California Gurlz are ghetto trash because they spend their welfare checks on bikini tops and Daisy Dukes? And maybe Clark Howard can have Travie McCoy in-studio to talk about how listeners should keep their fives, tens and Bens separate?!?!?

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My idea is better.             13054181 1996076                          Boortz to 95.5 The Beat?!?! "
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Article

Monday August 16, 2010 02:03 pm EDT

WSB talk radio is moving to 95.5 The Beat!!

Does this mean we can look forward to Neal Boortz explaining how California Gurlz are ghetto trash because they spend their welfare checks on bikini tops and Daisy Dukes? And maybe Clark Howard can have Travie McCoy in-studio to talk about how listeners should keep their fives, tens and Bens separate?!?!?

Or maybe not.

Turns outs WSB is taking over...

| more...
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  ["title"]=>
  string(34) "Potty-mouthed Ramadan Don't Panic!"
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  string(1182) "I don't often re-read my old Don't Panic columns. It feels like looking at old yearbook pictures. But the beginning of Ramadan on Wednesday prompted a bit of satisfying self-Googling:

So for those of you who want to know what Ramadan is, here's my fatwa-worthy explanation:

Fasting during Ramadan is intended to instill in Muslims self-control and patience. It's training, just in case God ever has a difficult test for you. It's also a great opportunity for Muslims if they ever decide to commercialize Ramadan like the West has done with its holidays. In a country obsessed with weight loss, I can easily imagine the Ramadan Diet taking its rightful place in the pantheon on fad diets, somewhere between Dr. Atkins and Herbalife.

In reality though, fasting is just part of the ritual self-denial that makes up Ramadan. Sexual activity also is restricted during Ramadan. Nookie between married people is not allowed during the day. If you and your spouse are unable to control your impulses and, for example, engage in a lunch-hour quickie, you're required to make up for it by either fasting for an additional 60 days or by feeding 60 poor people one meal each.

Read the rest."
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So for those of you who want to know what Ramadan is, here's my [http://clatl.com/atlanta/dont-panic/Content?oid=1239291|fatwa-worthy explanation]:

Fasting during Ramadan is intended to instill in Muslims self-control and patience. It's training, just in case God ever has a difficult test for you. It's also a great opportunity for Muslims if they ever decide to commercialize Ramadan like the West has done with its holidays. In a country obsessed with weight loss, I can easily imagine the Ramadan Diet taking its rightful place in the pantheon on fad diets, somewhere between Dr. Atkins and Herbalife.

In reality though, fasting is just part of the ritual self-denial that makes up Ramadan. Sexual activity also is restricted during Ramadan. Nookie between married people is not allowed during the day. If you and your spouse are unable to control your impulses and, for example, engage in a lunch-hour quickie, you're required to make up for it by either fasting for an additional 60 days or by feeding 60 poor people one meal each.

[http://clatl.com/atlanta/dont-panic/Content?oid=1239291|Read the rest]."
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So for those of you who want to know what Ramadan is, here's my fatwa-worthy explanation:

Fasting during Ramadan is intended to instill in Muslims self-control and patience. It's training, just in case God ever has a difficult test for you. It's also a great opportunity for Muslims if they ever decide to commercialize Ramadan like the West has done with its holidays. In a country obsessed with weight loss, I can easily imagine the Ramadan Diet taking its rightful place in the pantheon on fad diets, somewhere between Dr. Atkins and Herbalife.

In reality though, fasting is just part of the ritual self-denial that makes up Ramadan. Sexual activity also is restricted during Ramadan. Nookie between married people is not allowed during the day. If you and your spouse are unable to control your impulses and, for example, engage in a lunch-hour quickie, you're required to make up for it by either fasting for an additional 60 days or by feeding 60 poor people one meal each.

Read the rest.             13054107 1989286                          Potty-mouthed Ramadan Don't Panic! "
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Article

Friday August 13, 2010 03:45 pm EDT

I don't often re-read my old Don't Panic columns. It feels like looking at old yearbook pictures. But the beginning of Ramadan on Wednesday prompted a bit of satisfying self-Googling:

So for those of you who want to know what Ramadan is, here's my fatwa-worthy explanation:

Fasting during Ramadan is intended to instill in Muslims self-control and patience. It's training, just in case God ever...

| more...
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  string(45) "Public housing demolition and premature death"
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  string(1410) "In April, three Georgia State sociology professors testified to Congress about preserving public housing.

The most disturbing portion of their testimony concerns the plight of seniors relocated from senior high-rise public housing. It appears the stress and unhappiness associated with unwanted moves may be shortening the lives of local seniors who rely on public assistance for a place to live.

We have found that the relocation process for seniors is especially difficult and stressful and many feel isolated in their new locations. In addition, only 29 percent of the seniors we interviewed prior to relocation expressed the desire to move. Relocation has been particularly hard on the seniors with chronic health conditions. Twelve seniors in our study have died since moving compared to only two in our comparison non-relocating public housing senior high rise. There were also needed community supports in the senior high rises that are not as readily accessible to the relocated seniors. As one 90 year-old lady who was relocated far from her social support networks and needed services told us, “This is the nicest apartment I’ve ever lived in and I can’t wait to get out. I just want to go back to Palmer House.”   

If you've followed the story of Atlanta's demolition of its public housing, the entire report is worth reading.

oakley_testimony_4_28_10.pdf

(H/T Atlanta Progressive News)"
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  string(1663) "In April, [http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwsoc/5756.html|three Georgia State sociology professors] testified to Congress about preserving public housing.

The most disturbing portion of their testimony concerns the plight of seniors relocated from senior high-rise public housing. It appears the stress and unhappiness associated with unwanted moves may be shortening the lives of local seniors who rely on public assistance for a place to live.

We have found that the relocation process for seniors is especially difficult and stressful and many feel isolated in their new locations. In addition, only 29 percent of the seniors we interviewed prior to relocation expressed the desire to move. Relocation has been particularly hard on the seniors with chronic health conditions. Twelve seniors in our study have died since moving compared to only two in our comparison non-relocating public housing senior high rise. There were also needed community supports in the senior high rises that are not as readily accessible to the relocated seniors. As one 90 year-old lady who was relocated far from her social support networks and needed services told us, “This is the nicest apartment I’ve ever lived in and I can’t wait to get out. I just want to go back to Palmer House.”   

If you've followed the story of [http://clatl.com/atlanta/public-housing-on-the-chopping-block/Content?oid=1269735|Atlanta's demolition of its public housing], the entire report is worth reading.

[http://clatl.com/images/blogimages/2010/08/13/1281709384-oakley_testimony_4_28_10.pdf|oakley_testimony_4_28_10.pdf]

(H/T [http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/|Atlanta Progressive News])"
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The most disturbing portion of their testimony concerns the plight of seniors relocated from senior high-rise public housing. It appears the stress and unhappiness associated with unwanted moves may be shortening the lives of local seniors who rely on public assistance for a place to live.

We have found that the relocation process for seniors is especially difficult and stressful and many feel isolated in their new locations. In addition, only 29 percent of the seniors we interviewed prior to relocation expressed the desire to move. Relocation has been particularly hard on the seniors with chronic health conditions. Twelve seniors in our study have died since moving compared to only two in our comparison non-relocating public housing senior high rise. There were also needed community supports in the senior high rises that are not as readily accessible to the relocated seniors. As one 90 year-old lady who was relocated far from her social support networks and needed services told us, “This is the nicest apartment I’ve ever lived in and I can’t wait to get out. I just want to go back to Palmer House.”   

If you've followed the story of Atlanta's demolition of its public housing, the entire report is worth reading.

oakley_testimony_4_28_10.pdf

(H/T Atlanta Progressive News)             13054071 1988370                          Public housing demolition and premature death "
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Article

Friday August 13, 2010 10:28 am EDT

In April, three Georgia State sociology professors testified to Congress about preserving public housing.

The most disturbing portion of their testimony concerns the plight of seniors relocated from senior high-rise public housing. It appears the stress and unhappiness associated with unwanted moves may be shortening the lives of local seniors who rely on public assistance for a place to...

| more...
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  string(36) "White House slaps Nathan Deal around"
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  string(1964) "Birther Nathan Deal's GOP gubernatorial win came up at yesterday's daily White House press briefing with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Be proud, Georgia:

Q: In the Georgia Republican gubernatorial primary, the winner in that race, Representative Deal, has actually dabbled in birther conspiracies.  I don’t know if he is an avowed birther, but he certainly has pushed the notion that the President wasn’t born in this country.  And I’m wondering if you — upon reflection, what do you think of the fact that the Republican Party has put forth someone to run a state who doesn’t believe in the President’s birthplace?

MR. GIBBS:  Well, I think if you look at what Nathan Deal is probably going to have to explain over the course of this primary, that might be some of the least of his concerns — in terms of some ethics investigations that are currently ongoing. 

I think having — the last I checked, the results in that race were within a few thousand votes, which means even as you’re hoping to find a nominee, you have a very divided party, with somebody in Roy Barnes who has a track record that Georgians can be proud of.

Q    Handel conceded.

MR. GIBBS:  But you still have a very splintered party.  Again, I think you are hard-pressed to see, whether it is gubernatorial races in Georgia, Connecticut, Denver — I’m sorry, Colorado — and Senate races in Connecticut and Colorado, where Democrats didn’t have an extraordinarily good night and are faced with I think, quite frankly, candidates that are largely out of step with the states and areas that they wish to ultimately represent.

The White House clearly thinks the best angle of attack against Deal is to go after his alleged ethical issues rather than his bigot-baiting. 

As a member of the professional left, I would have preferred Gibbs threaten to pound and slice Deal with a hammer and sickle, then dance on his remains while singing the Internationale.

Oh, well."
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Be proud, Georgia:

Q: In the Georgia Republican gubernatorial primary, the winner in that race, Representative Deal, has actually dabbled in birther conspiracies.  I don’t know if he is an avowed birther, but he certainly has pushed the notion that the President wasn’t born in this country.  And I’m wondering if you — upon reflection, what do you think of the fact that the Republican Party has put forth someone to run a state who doesn’t believe in the President’s birthplace?

MR. GIBBS:  Well, I think if you look at what Nathan Deal is probably going to have to explain over the course of this primary, that might be some of the least of his concerns — in terms of some ethics investigations that are currently ongoing. 

I think having — the last I checked, the results in that race were within a few thousand votes, which means even as you’re hoping to find a nominee, you have a very divided party, with somebody in Roy Barnes who has a track record that Georgians can be proud of.

Q    Handel conceded.

MR. GIBBS:  But you still have a very splintered party.  Again, I think you are hard-pressed to see, whether it is gubernatorial races in Georgia, Connecticut, Denver — I’m sorry, Colorado — and Senate races in Connecticut and Colorado, where Democrats didn’t have an extraordinarily good night and are faced with I think, quite frankly, candidates that are largely out of step with the states and areas that they wish to ultimately represent.

The White House clearly thinks the best angle of attack against Deal is to go after his alleged ethical issues rather than his bigot-baiting. 

As a member of the [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/11/gibbs-stands-by-his-profe_n_678811.html|professional left], I would have preferred Gibbs threaten to pound and slice Deal with a hammer and sickle, then dance on his remains while singing the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Internationale|Internationale].

Oh, well."
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Be proud, Georgia:

Q: In the Georgia Republican gubernatorial primary, the winner in that race, Representative Deal, has actually dabbled in birther conspiracies.  I don’t know if he is an avowed birther, but he certainly has pushed the notion that the President wasn’t born in this country.  And I’m wondering if you — upon reflection, what do you think of the fact that the Republican Party has put forth someone to run a state who doesn’t believe in the President’s birthplace?

MR. GIBBS:  Well, I think if you look at what Nathan Deal is probably going to have to explain over the course of this primary, that might be some of the least of his concerns — in terms of some ethics investigations that are currently ongoing. 

I think having — the last I checked, the results in that race were within a few thousand votes, which means even as you’re hoping to find a nominee, you have a very divided party, with somebody in Roy Barnes who has a track record that Georgians can be proud of.

Q    Handel conceded.

MR. GIBBS:  But you still have a very splintered party.  Again, I think you are hard-pressed to see, whether it is gubernatorial races in Georgia, Connecticut, Denver — I’m sorry, Colorado — and Senate races in Connecticut and Colorado, where Democrats didn’t have an extraordinarily good night and are faced with I think, quite frankly, candidates that are largely out of step with the states and areas that they wish to ultimately represent.

The White House clearly thinks the best angle of attack against Deal is to go after his alleged ethical issues rather than his bigot-baiting. 

As a member of the professional left, I would have preferred Gibbs threaten to pound and slice Deal with a hammer and sickle, then dance on his remains while singing the Internationale.

Oh, well.             13054047 1985419                          White House slaps Nathan Deal around "
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Article

Thursday August 12, 2010 02:20 pm EDT

Birther Nathan Deal's GOP gubernatorial win came up at yesterday's daily White House press briefing with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Be proud, Georgia:

Q: In the Georgia Republican gubernatorial primary, the winner in that race, Representative Deal, has actually dabbled in birther conspiracies. I don’t know if he is an avowed birther, but he certainly has pushed the notion that the...

| more...
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