Help Send Karl Rove to Jail!
Promoting Progressive/Liberal Ideals and Change in American Politics.
The pictures were captured by the European Space Agency's Mars Express Probe - a spacecraft the size of a large fridge-freezer that has been circling Mars since Christmas 2003....Over the last five years its stereo, high resolution camera has taken thousands of images of the surface, revealing the planet's awe inspiring beauty in unprecedented detail.
Photo from Reuters
The latest images show the Echus Chasma, a vast valley just north of Mars equator around 62 miles long and six miles wide. The feature is cut into a high plateau and its steep-sided cliffs - some 12,000 feet high - bear a striking resemblance to the canyons of North America.
The images were created by combining pictures taken from different orbits. The images can be viewed from different angles in three dimensionsStill it's quite incredible to see this images. The second one really resembles the cliffs of several Earth coastlines, and/or the Grand Canyon. Kudos to the European Space Agency for getting this incredible imagery and for sharing it opening with the world!
Mars Express launched in June 2003. The craft is a cube around 5ft by 6ft by 5ft with two 60ft long radar antennae. It is photographing the entire surface of Mars in high resolution, producing a detailed colour map of the minerals on the surface, mapping the atmosphere and probing beneath the surface using radar.
Three big things happened on Iraq this week. They could mean the beginning of the end of the war.
But since the media have mostly ignored them, I wanted to make sure you saw what's going on.
Here's the scoop:
Iraqis want U.S. Troops out. No one was expecting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to speak up in favor of withdrawal—after all, he's close with the Bush administration. But with elections in Iraq coming up, and a great majority of Iraqis opposed to a prolonged U.S. occupation, Maliki can't afford to toe the Bush line. So he's surprised everyone by standing up this week for a timetable for troop withdrawals and a date certain to end the war. The LA Times headline reads, "Iraqi prime minister advocates withdrawal timeline."1
As a result, the "endless war agreement" Bush has been pushing fell through. Since January, hundreds of thousands of us pushed Congress to stand up to President Bush's proposed treaty with Iraq, which would have tied the next President's hands and made it much harder to get out. This week, the Washington Post reported that that agreement has fallen through—Iraqi leaders are putting their feet down and demanding a much shorter agreement.2
And now even the Pentagon is considering faster timelines. According to reporter Michael Hirsh at Newsweek, "a forthcoming Pentagon-sponsored report" will recommend a big drawdown of troops—suggesting "that U.S. forces be reduced to as few as 50,000 by the spring of 2009, down from about 150,000 now."3
In other words, it's now clear: Most Americans are for a timeline, and so are most Iraqis. And even experts in the Pentagon agree.
For his part, Barack Obama is using these developments to hammer home the point that John McCain and President Bush are now isolated in their resistance to any kind of timeline for withdrawal. He wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times yesterday that reaffirmed his commitment to a timeline that would have all combat troops out of Iraq in 16 months.
It concludes, "Unlike Senator McCain, I would make it absolutely clear that we seek no presence in Iraq similar to our permanent bases in South Korea. . . [F]or far too long, those responsible for the greatest strategic blunder in the recent history of American foreign policy have ignored useful debate in favor of making false charges about flip-flops and surrender. It's not going to work this time. It's time to end this war."4
It's important that we all work to get the word out about these developments. You can even start by just forwarding this email. Most Americans still don't know that the Iraqis want us out. And that may be the single most important fact to share at this point in time.
I'm always shocked when someone points out that it's been six years since we first started working together to prevent an Iraq war. This week, we're turning a corner in that fight. Bush's permanent war agreement has fallen through. The Iraqi politicians are speaking up. And if we keep working together, we just might see the remaining holdouts in Washington coming around as well.
Thanks for all you do,
PS. Minutes ago, Barack Obama finished making a major speech on Iraq and foreign policy. Here's how he described the Bush-McCain approach:
George Bush and John McCain don't have a strategy for success in Iraq—they have a strategy for staying in Iraq. They said we couldn't leave when violence was up, they say we can't leave when violence is down. They refuse to press the Iraqis to make tough choices, and they label any timetable to redeploy our troops "surrender," even though we would be turning Iraq over to a sovereign Iraqi government—not to a terrorist enemy. Theirs is an endless focus on tactics inside Iraq, with no consideration of our strategy to face threats beyond Iraq's borders.
You can read the speech HERE:
1. "Iraqi prime minister advocates withdrawal timetable," Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2008.
2. "U.S., Iraq Scale Down Negotiations Over Forces," Washington Post, July 13, 2008.
3. "Who Says Less Troops?," Newsweek, July 21, 2008.
4. "My Plan for Iraq," Barack Obama, New York Times, July 14, 2008.
July 10, 2008
Pelosi says House Judiciary may hold hearings on Kucinich impeachment resolution
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said this morning that the House Judiciary Committee may hold hearings on an impeachment resolution offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio).
Kucinich is expected to offer a "privileged resolution" this afternoon calling on the House to look at whether President Bush should be removed from office for lying to Congress and the American public when he sought congressional approval back in 2002 for taking military action to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein.
Pelosi has said previously that impeachment "was off the table," so her comments this morning were surprising, and clearly signaled a new willingness to entertain the idea of ousting Bush, although no one in the Democratic leadership believes that is likely since the president has only six months left in this term.
"This is a Judiciary Committee matter, and I believe we will see some attention being paid to it by the Judiciary Committee," Pelosi told reporters. "Not necessarily taking up the articles of impeachment because that would have to be approved on the floor, but to have some hearings on the subject." -Source
This year, LaborFest is commemorating the 75th anniversary of the New Deal and the many projects including the WPA that put millions of people back to work, as well as the 40th anniversary of 1968 and the movements that developed worldwide. Both these events were seminal events for people in the US and around the world.
This is also the year that for the first time in the post war period, May Day was commemorated not only by immigrant workers but also by the direct action of the ILWU to close US west coast ports to protest the war.
The deepening financial crisis is wrecking havoc on the lives of working people in Northern California and throughout the US. Working people are now being forced to choose between the rising cost of food and the cost of gasoline for the long commutes that many workers are forced to drive.
At the same time, the collapse in housing prices and the loss of homes to hundreds of thousands of working people is another catastrophe to workers, and the lessons of the past are of great urgency today. Many jobs today, including skilled jobs such as radiologists, transcriptionists, architects, reporters and engineers are being outsourced and the use of the Internet, which has revolutionized communication, has also threatened our livelihoods. Working people in America are being told that we and our children have no future. This is raising serious questions for all of us.
LaborFest will explore these issues in our 15th annual festival with music, films and theater. For the first time, we will also host a LaborFest book fair at the Mission Cultural Center. We have also established a LaborFest theater group and will be presenting two special theatrical readings with more planned in the future. We thank and appreciate the generous support of the labor movement to make this festival possible.
This year’s Laborfest, we also commemorate the lives of musician and trade unionist Earl Watkins, singer Utah Phillips and literary agent and LaborFest supporter Toby Cole. Watkins was a leader in the fight against segregation of the musicians union in San Francisco and eventually became one of the leaders of AFM Local 6. Phillips was a working class troubadour who sang about the fights for justice and workers’ power here and around the world. All will be missed.
LaborFest was established in 1994 to institutionalize the history and culture of working people in an annual labor cultural, film and arts festival. It begins every July 5th, which is the anniversary of the 1934 “Bloody Thursday” event. On that day, two workers Howard Sperry and Nick Bordoise were shot and killed in San Francisco. They were supporting the longshoremen and maritime workers strike. This incident brought about the San Francisco General Strike which shut down the entire city and led to hundreds of thousands of workers joining the trade union movement.
The Planning committee of LaborFest is composed of unionists and unorganized workers, cultural workers and supporters of labor education and history. We encourage all unions not only to support us with endorsements and contributions but also to include activities about their own union members, their history and the work that they do.
We support the establishment of LaborFests around the country and internationally. There are now LaborFests in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, every December. Laborfests have also taken place in Buenos Aires, Argentina and El Alto, Bolivia. In April of this year, the first LaborFest in Capetown, South Africa took place. In May, there were LaborFests in Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey. The need to build local, national and international solidarity is critical, if labor is going to face the challenges it faces on all fronts. LaborFests help bring our struggles together in art, film and music.
LaborFest Planning Committee