Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few

Wendell Phillips, 1852

The enemies of Freedom do not argue: they shout and they shoot.

W.R. Inge, 1935

....and the more things change, the more they stay the same...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Mayor Bloomberg takes his leadership role seriously, even when standing alone!
In his fiercest defense yet of the mosque proposed near Ground Zero, Mayor Bloomberg declared yesterday that it must be allowed to proceed because the government "shouldn't be in the business of picking" one religion over another.

"I think it's fair to say if somebody was going to try, on that piece of property, to build a church or a synagogue, nobody would be yelling and screaming," the mayor said.

"And the fact of the matter is that Muslims have a right to do it, too."

Placing the proposed mosque two blocks from the World Trade Center site has led to an outcry from opponents, including family members of 9/11 victims, who contend the holy place at 45 Park Place would defile the memories of those who perished in the worst terror attack in US history.

Community Board 1 approved the project Tuesday night by a 29-1 vote after a raucous four-hour hearing in which nine members abstained.

The meeting got so heated that one young girl, whose father is Muslim and mother is Jewish and who went to testify in favor, decided instead to sit silently.

The issue also continues to fuel an intense debate on the Internet. One commenter likened a mosque near Ground Zero to a convent established on the grounds of Auschwitz. Pope John Paul II ordered the nuns to move in 1993 after years of protests from Jewish leaders.

But Bloomberg argued that blocking the 13-story mosque and Islamic cultural center would violate the essence of America.

"What is great about America and particularly New York is we welcome everybody, and if we are so afraid of something like this, what does that say about us?" asked the mayor.

"Democracy is stronger than this. You know the ability to practice your religion was one of the real reasons America was founded. And for us to just say no is just, I think, not appropriate is a nice way to phrase it

". . . If you are religious, you do not want the government picking religions, because what do you do the day they don't pick yours?"

Even with Bloomberg on board, the project still has to win approval of the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission, because the current building on the mosque site dates to 1857-58 and would have to be razed.

The landmark application has been pending since 1989 and was recently reinstated. The commission is scheduled to hold a hearing and a vote in the early summer.

The mosque's proponents say they are prepared to raise $100 million and hope to accommodate up to 1,500 worshippers on Fridays. About 500 people already use the site for prayers.

Read more:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You either believe in freedom of religion or you don't.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Amnesty International USA

We are thrilled to report that earlier this week Congress passed the Tribal Law and Order Act as an amendment to H.R. 725, a groundbreaking and long-overdue piece of legislation that tackles violent crime against Native American and Alaska Native women.

A huge thank you to the thousands of Amnesty supporters like you who took action to make this human rights victory possible.

Because of you, Native American and Alaska Native women will no longer be trapped in a mindboggling, jurisdictional maze that allows perpetrators to rape with impunity.

Every Native American and Alaska Native woman will be given the chance to:

get a police response, have access to a rape kit,

have the opportunity to see her case prosecuted, and

see justice served for crimes committed against her.

Spurred by our hard-hitting 2007 report, Maze of Injustice, Amnesty's millions-strong, global human rights movement has worked tirelessly to ensure this legislation became a reality.

People like you have set the stage for reversing the devastating rate of sexual violence that Native American and Alaska Native women have endured for much too long.

This is what we can accomplish when we work together.

I want to thank you again for all you do. This is a truly amazing victory for women’s human rights and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Thank you,

Rachel and the rest of the Stop Violence Against Women team

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Do you believe the crisis in the Gulf is behind us? BP would like us to believe it is
But we don't believe it.
Government statistics still can't tell us about what happened to most of the millions of gallons of oil that gushed from the well, and even more importantly how it's damaged ocean life. To get a full picture of this disaster, we need to know what's going on in the Gulf
Today, we are getting set to launch our research expedition to find out. But we've got two months ahead of us and that equals a lot of fuel and supplies.

Please donate today to ramp up our expedition TODAY, and a generous supporter will match every dollar, up to $50,000 »

This mission is vital and we need your help. Your donation will support our team understand how sharks, sea turtles, corals and other marine life have been affected by the oil and what we need to do to protect them over the long term. With your help, we'll be able to extend our research and get the facts.

Getting the Facts on the Oil Spill

Today, we are beginning our two-month research expedition into the aftermath of the BP drilling disaster.

Help support this trip by August 31 and your gift will be doubled.

Make a Donation

Your gift goes twice as far when you donate today »

Thank you for your ongoing and dedicated support of Oceana.

For the oceans,

Jeff Wiedner

Director of E-Activism


PS. Please help spread the word - forward this email to 5 friends, post on Twitter, and share on Facebook.