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Planned Ron Paul rally blossoms into 3-day mini-convention due to unprecedented response, moves to larger venue at Target Center

Ron Paul


*Update*: Who is Dr. Ron Paul? Ron Paul was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Gettysburg College and the Duke University School of Medicine, before proudly serving as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s. He and his wife Carol moved to Texas in 1968, where he began his medical practice in Brazoria County. As a specialist in obstetrics/gynecology, Dr. Paul has delivered more than 4,000 babies. He and Carol, who reside in Lake Jackson, Texas, are the proud parents of five children and have 17 grandchildren.

(CNN)— Former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is moving forward with plans for his own rally during the Republican National Convention —and is moving his location to a larger arena to accommodate the unprecedented response.

The three day event called ‘Rally for the Republic’ will officially launch Paul’s new political action group: the ‘Campaign for Liberty.’ When planning for the event began earlier this year, it was originally scheduled to take place at the University of Minnesota, but due to a “strong initial response,” it was moved to The Target in Minneapolis, which can house up to 18,000 people. The GOP holds its convention across the river in St. Paul.

Ron Paul will hold his own Rally August 31 through September 1  read more »

EU, US and Iran to hold historical nuclear talks in Geneva; Iran open to US diplomatic talks

Senior official William Burns will sit at the same table as Iran's negotiator


GENEVA (Reuters) - Major world powers will sound out Iran's readiness to negotiate an end to the long dispute over its nuclear program on Saturday. The unprecedented participation of a senior U.S. official in the one-day meeting in Geneva, together with Iranian comments playing down the likelihood of an attack by the United States and Israel, have raised hopes of progress.

Arriving for talks with officials from the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany -- the so-called sextet -- chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said he had "positive intentions". Jalili has a mandate from Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to take any decision needed, a senior Iranian official told Reuters, adding that the meeting "will clarify the fate of the negotiations".

senior Iran diplomat Jalili will discuss Iran's nuclear program with Western officials over the weekend  read more »

Pope denounces 'insatiable consumption', urges all faiths to unite against violence, lauds Australia’s apology to Aborigines

Pope Benedict XVI and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd


Pope Benedict XVI recalled the natural beauty he observed during his 20-hour flight to Sydney, saying he felt "a profound sense of awe," and denounced "insatiable consumption" as a threat to the world's environment.

The pope made his first major appearance on his Australia tour Thursday before an estimated crowd of 150,000 people at World Youth Day. The event is believed to be the world's largest Christian gathering and dubbed "the Catholic Woodstock."

Pope Benedict XVI waves to pilgrims as he passes the Sydney Opera House in his Popemoblie after addressing thousands at Barangaroo on his first day of official duties during World Youth Day activities, July 17, 2008

He delivered his homily in several languages to people representing 70 countries, lamenting "erosion, deforestation, the squandering of the world's mineral and ocean resources in order to fuel an insatiable consumption." In his address, Benedict warned that mankind's "insatiable consumption" has scarred the Earth and squandered its resources, telling followers that taking care of the planet is vital to humanity — striking a theme that has earned him a reputation as the "green pope."  read more »

Rising Afghanistan death toll: monthly U.S. and NATO troop fatalities in Afghanistan surpassing those in Iraq

monthly death tolls of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan surpassed U.S. military deaths in Iraq in May and June


KABUL, Afghanistan - Insurgents armed with machine guns, mortars, and rocket-propelled grenades mounted a fierce assault on a remote, relatively lightly manned US outpost in northeastern Afghanistan on June 13, killing nine American soldiers. It was the largest loss of US troops' lives in a single assault in Afghanistan since June 2005, when 16 Americans died when a helicopter was shot down in the same province. Fifteen Americans and four Afghan soldiers were wounded. The province, Kunar, is a swath of mountainous terrain that borders Pakistan.

Although Afghanistan's south is the traditional heartland of the Taliban insurgency, the east has seen a sharp upsurge in attacks over the past few months. The 9 deaths accelerated what had been a rapidly rising fatality count among coalition troops. During May and June, the 65 deaths among US and other NATO troops killed in Afghanistan outnumbered American military fatalities in Iraq.

Afghanistan foreign troop deaths in May & June exceed those in Iraq  read more »

Cartoons - "Patriot", "Just Us Department", "Provinces of Iraq", "The pilot is extra", disaster response, scooters, GM, and more

Cartoon: 'You call yourself a patriot?!! Then where’s your flag pin?!! '

Cartoon: 'It used to be called the Justice Department'

Cartoon: 'If I could afford the gas, I’d chase him down and run him over'

Cartoon: provinces of Iraq

Cartoon: 'It’s a postcard from Europe'

Cartoon: 'Johnson, when I said I wanted to see a new concept that showed where GM is today I didn’t mean literally...'

Cartoon: 'The pilot is extra'

Images courtesy of Britt/State Journal-Register, Britt/The State Journal-Register, Sherttius / Boulder Camera, and CAM/Ottawa Citizen/Copley News Service, Mike Smith/Las Vegas Sun/King Features Syndicate, and Jones/Creators Syndicate

Original Source: Time

"These truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal". $656 bil. for Iraq War? or for 37 mil. Americans in poverty?

Mount Rushmore: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln


Today marks the birth of a notion as well as a nation

July 4, 2008

By Jerry Davich Post-Tribune metro columnist

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a pampered, privileged, and not-so-patriotic newspaper columnist to finally take the time to read his nation's most hallowed document, it must seem like a sad state of affairs, I agree. Yet here I am, a 46-year-old Yankee Doodle Davich who not once has read every word in the Declaration of Independence, arguably the most masterfully written political prose of Western civilization. Oh, sure, I can be a patriotic pretender and regurgitate its revolutionary highlights, such as "self-evident truths," "unalienable rights," and "all men are created equal." But what does that all mean in 2008, in a country that went from 2.5 million people in 1776 to 305 million today, with who knows how many here illegally or what that really means?

Portrait of President George Washington

In a country that riveted its global identity to become the economic leader, only to predictably lose that title to China. Or which has so far allocated $656 billion for the war in Iraq while millions of Americans go without food, health care, and proper education. And a country which only recently experienced its first "mountaintop moment" regarding civil rights, and possibly the not-so-self-evident truth that all men are created equal.

On June 28, 1776, Thomas Jefferson finished drafting the first version of the Declaration of Independence. On June 28, 2008, I began studying the final version in earnest. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the document, and it later served as an autographed preamble for the birth of a nation. On July 4, 2008, I'd like to use this space as a preamble for the birth of a notion: Between the cookouts, parades, and fireworks, how about we pause to reflect how the Declaration has stood the test of time. And what better time, on the nation's 232nd birthday, to spark a conversation of sovereign thought among free people.

What would they think?

I can't help but wonder what our founding fathers would think of America the Bountiful in the 21st century, in all its hope and hype, gore and glory, fakeness and flag-waving.

37 million: Number of Americans who live below the official poverty line - 12.6 percent of the total population. Millions more struggle to get by

Would they condemn, condone, or celebrate a racially mixed presidential candidate? Or a middle-aged woman for that matter? Would they embrace or be aghast over the proliferation of guns? Or the recent Supreme Court ruling on the right to bear arms? Would they be surprised or surly over our global trade agreements with other countries, including the $107 billion of trade each year with the United Kingdom, our adversary in 1776, but our sixth-leading trading partner today? These are the questions I asked myself while reading the Declaration and its 56-signature endorsement.

Also, it seems our founding framers' clear, concise, and candid public declaration in 1776 has been replaced by red, white and often untrue political decoration in 2008, an election year. Rhetoric has replaced reasoning. Sound-bites have replaced sound thinking. Image has replaced imagination. Maybe my star-spangled skepticism seems un-American, but I feel there's a thin line between how we praise a "patriot" versus how we torment a "traitor."

Isn't it still our duty to be the watchdog of government, to secure our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, and if necessary to indict our leaders, just as the Declaration indicted King George III? Isn't it our duty to question whether our personal freedoms are being protected, protracted, or politically pawned away? Isn't it our duty to reconsider exactly what defines our so-called unalienable rights? Two centuries later, does the term still adhere to our basic human rights, or do we view them as more national than natural?

The Prayer of George Washington at Valley Forge

Who's a patriot today?

And where does the "Creator" still fit into this 232-year-old marriage between church and state? A recent poll showed an overwhelming majority of Americans are "absolutely certain" that God exists, but many of them don't believe in worshipping on a regular basis. Is there a parallel with those same Americans who genuinely believe in democracy but are not absolutely certain about our government?

And what defines a patriot these days, "a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion," according to my dictionary. Or someone who must symbolically wear an American flag pin to prove it?

On the morning of July 4, 1776, church bells rang out when the Declaration was finally, and formally, adopted. But, I discovered, two statesmen ended up not signing it. John Dickinson clung to the idea of reconciliation with Britain, and Robert R. Livingston thought the Declaration was premature. Today I can only wonder about all the statesmen in 21st century America who would have joined Dickinson and Livingston, refusing to put their necks on the line for the birth of a notion, and a nation.


Images courtesy of Getty Images and Center for American Progress, and paintings by Gilbert Stuart and Arnold Friberg

Original Source: Post-Tribune and Center for American Progress

Livelihood. Alternative energy / commute when price is unaffordable? German man to give up job, torch own BMW in protest

To protest unaffordable fuel prices, man in Germany sets his BMW on fire


A man who said he had to give up his job because he couldn't pay for the gasoline required for his commute set fire to his own BMW car in front of the German city of Frankfurt's most iconic skyscraper Friday to protest soaring fuel costs. Police said the man, who identified himself only as Michael, parked the car in a grassy area near the tower, poured a canister of gasoline over it and set it alight. Lettering painted on the car said "Gas Profiteering" and showed the address of his protest site on the internet.

By the time police and fire crews arrived, the car had been gutted. Police detained the man, 30, who lives in neighboring state of Bavaria. They said the damage, including the loss of the car, totaled about 10,000 euros ($15,700 dollars). The man had said he had wanted to burn the car in Berlin, but it had been too far to drive.

He said he had left his job 23 days earlier because he had had to pay 250 euros ($394) a month for fuel to drive to his place of employment located 80 kilometers (50 miles) from his home. Police spokesman Karlheinz Wagner said the protester would probably be charged with pollution and would receive a hefty invoice from the fire brigade. "The guy was quite lucky because the gas tank did not explode," he added.


Original Source: Deutsche Welle

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