"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Amazing: Obama Helped Stranded Stranger 20 Years Ago,

Elect Charlotte Dennett Attorney General Of Vermont,

US Ranked 36th In The World For Press Freedom,

Election News 2008


Behind The Scenes

On Iran.

And A Serious Wake Up Call For Everyone In This Nation!

Amazing: Obama Helped Stranded Stranger 20 Years Ago

The Norwegian newspaper VG has reported a truly amazing story about a newly-wed trying to get to Norway to be with her husband, and the stranger who helped pay an unexpected luggage surcharge. The blog 'Leisha's Random Thoughts' has translated the story.

It was 1988, and Mary Andersen was at the Miami airport checking in for a long flight to Norway to be with her husband when the airline representative informed her that she wouldn't be able to check her luggage without paying a 100 surcharge:

When it was finally Mary's turn, she got the message that would crush her bubbling feeling of happiness.

-You'll have to pay a 103 dollar surcharge if you want to bring both those suitcases to Norway , the man behind the counter said.

Mary had no money. Her new husband had travelled ahead of her to Norway , and she had no one else to call.

-I was completely desperate and tried to think which of my things I could manage without. But I had already made such a careful selection of my most prized possessions, says Mary.

As tears streamed down her face, she heard a 'gentle and friendly voice' behind her saying, 'That's okay, I'll pay for her.'

Mary turned around to see a tall man whom she had never seen before.

-He had a gentle and kind voice that was still firm and decisive. The first thing I thought was, Who is this man?

Although this happened 20 years ago, Mary still remembers the authority that radiated from the man.

-He was nicely dressed, fashionably dressed with brown leather shoes, a cotton shirt open at the throat and khaki pants, says Mary.

She was thrilled to be able to bring both her suitcases to Norway and assured the stranger that he would get his money back. The man wrote his name and address on a piece of paper that he gave to Mary. She thanked him repeatedly. When she finally walked off towards the security checkpoint, he waved goodbye to her.

Who was the man?

Barack Obama.

Twenty years later, she is thrilled that the friendly stranger at the airport may be the next President and has voted for him already and donated 100 dollars to his campaign:

-He was my knight in shining armor, says Mary, smiling.

She paid the 103 dollars back to Obama the day after she arrived in Norway . At that time he had just finished his job as a poorly paid community worker* in Chicago , and had started his law studies at prestigious Harvard university.

Mary even convinced her parents to vote for him:

In the spring of 2006 Mary's parents had heard that Obama was considering a run for president, but that he had still not decided. They chose to write a letter in which they told him that he would receive their votes. At the same time, they thanked Obama for helping their daughter 18 years earlier.

And Obama replied:

In a letter to Mary's parents dated May 4th, 2006 and stamped 'United States Senate, Washington DC ', Barack Obama writes:

'I want to thank you for the lovely things you wrote about me and for reminding me of what happened at Miami airport. I'm happy I could help back then, and I'm delighted to hear that your daughter is happy in Norway .

Please send her my best wishes. Sincerely, Barack Obama , United States Senator'.

The parents sent the letter on to Mary.

Mary says that when her friends and associates talk about the election, especially when race relations is the heated subject, she relates the story of the k ind man who helped out a stranger-in-need over twenty years ago, years before he had even thought about running for high office.

Truly a wonderful story, and something that needs to be passed along in the maelstorm of fear-and-smear politics we are being subjected to right now.

UPDATE: Thanks for the recommends, folks! Also, remember this was 1988, when 100 dollars was quite a bit of money, compared to today's value.

By the way, this would be the perfect antidote to the Smear E-mails going around. If anyone has a good long email chain list, shoot it out, and let it be passed along.


Put this TV ad on more stations in Vermont to elect Charlotte Dennett!




By Steve Bhaerman
The McCain MUTINY: Why Republicans Are Jumping Ship
More and more Republicans with hearts and brains are jumping ship because they see a ship wreck ahead and don't think McCain will make a very good captain. Once the "brilliance" of choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate wore off, the stupidity and self-serving shortsightedness of it set in. As Obama began to look more and more like a President for the times, Palin began to look like a President for the End Times.

By Dave Lindorff
I'm Calling The Race For Obama
Obama has got the racist vote now, too. That's on top of the women's vote, the white male vote, the middle-aged vote, the working class vote, and the ferret-owners-who-sleep-late vote. I'm ready to make a prediction.

By Charles L. Riccillo
"The Torch Is Being Passed"
Leadership, foreign policy, wealth, taxes, employment, unemployment, job loss, Republican obstructionism, Republican lies, foreign policy, Darfur, Afghanistan, family, wealth,entertainment, optimism, Russia, Afghanistan, health care, health insurance, bail-out,new leadership, change

By W. Christopher Epler (Bill)
Bitter, Sadistic Old Men Frequently Compensate For Sexual Losses By Sending Virile Young Men Into Slaughterhouse Wars.
We should thank John McCain for reminding us that our country has been totally under the control of bitter and sadistic old men. Certainly, not all "old men" have lost their heath or potency (thanks to years of self discipline -- and a little luck), but many elderly men live with hateful resentment for what they have lost and compensate for it by sending sending vulnerable young mean into slaughterhouse wars. Sound familiar?

Though This May Seem A Bit High For The USA These Days Here The Report And Analysis.

United States Ranked 36th In The World For Press Freedom

The United States is ranked 36th in the world in terms of press freedom, up from 48th last year, according to a report released Wednesday by Reporters Sans Frontieres.

The US is tied with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde, South Africa, Spain, and Taiwan in the 36th spot. Iceland, Luxembourg, and Norway are tied for first. Iran, China, Vietnam, Cuba, and North Korea are all featured among the ten lowest-ranked countries.

According to the survey, the index "measures the state of press freedom in the world. It reflects the degree of freedom that journalists and news organisations enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom."

The ranking examines "every kind of violation directly affecting journalists (such as murders, imprisonment, physical attacks and threats) and news media (censorship, confiscation of newspaper issues, searches and harassment). And it includes the degree of impunity enjoyed by those responsible for these press freedom violations."

Self-censorship, financial pressure, the legal framework of the media, and the level of independence of the public media are also taken into account.

The report explains the United States' rise from 48th to 36th:

The release of Al-Jazeera cameraman Sami Al-Haj after six years in the Guantanamo Bay military base contributed to this improvement. Although the absence of a federal "shield law" means the confidentiality of sources is still threatened by federal courts, the number of journalists being subpoenaed or forced to reveal their sources has declined in recent months and none has been sent to prison.

But the August 2007 murder of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey in Oakland, California, is still unpunished a year later. The way the investigation into his murder has become enmeshed in local conflicts of interest and the lack of federal judicial intervention also help to explain why the United States did not get a higher ranking. Account was also taken of the many arrests of journalists during the Democratic and Republican conventions.

Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2008 How the index was compiled

Paris, 22 October 2008

The Reporters Without Borders index measures the state of press freedom in the world. It reflects the degree of freedom that journalists and news organizations enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom. A score and a position is assigned to each country in the final ranking. They are complementary indicators that together assess the state of press freedom.

A country can change position from year to year even if its score stays the same, and vice-versa. This ranking reflects the situation during a specific period. It is based solely on events between 1 September 2007 and 1 September 2008. It does not look at human rights violations in general, just press freedom violations. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders prepared a questionnaire with 49 criteria that assess the state of press freedom in each country.

It includes every kind of violation directly affecting journalists (such as murders, imprisonment, physical attacks and threats) and news media (censorship, confiscation of newspaper issues, searches and harassment). Ánd it includes the degree of impunity enjoyed by those responsible for these press freedom violations.

It also measures the level of self-censorship in each country and the ability of the media to investigate and criticize. Financial pressure, which is increasingly common, is also assessed and incorporated into the final score. The questionnaire takes account of the legal framework for the media (including penalties for press offenses, the existence of a state monopoly for certain kinds of media and how the media are regulated) and the level of independence of the public media.

It also reflects violations of the free flow of information on the Internet. Reporters Without Borders has taken account not only of abuses attributable to the state, but also those by armed militias, clandestine organizations and pressure groups. The questionnaire was sent to Reporters Without Borders’ partner organizations (18 freedom of expression groups in all five continents), to its network of 130 correspondents around the world, and to journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists.

A scale devised by the organization was then used to give a country-score to each questionnaire. The 173 countries ranked are those for which Reporters Without Borders received completed questionnaires from a number of independent sources. Some countries were not included because of a lack of reliable, confirmed data. Where countries tied, they are listed in alphabetical order. The index should in no way be taken as an indication of the quality of the press in the countries concerned.

47 rue Vivienne - 75002 Paris - Tel : 33 1 44 83 84 84 - Fax : 33 1 45 23 11 51

index6@rsf.org – More on www.rsf.org

By Cheryl Biren-Wright
Washington Think-Tank Cultivating 'Last Resort' Against Iran And Priming Next President
The likelihood of a military strike against Iran by the US or Israel has been debated for years waxing and waning with the geopolitical climate. What is not in question is the steady effort by some to lay the ground work for such an action. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy has drafted a blueprint for the next president's Middle East policy with preventive military attack on Iran as a vital policy option.



BurrDeming said...

You make a good point.

Republicans are indeed jumping ship. It is part of a larger picture, I think.

The GOP faces a structural problem that has profound implications carrying well beyond election day.

The Stark Raving Viking said...

I hope many Vermont voters find your blog and vote Charlotte Dennett in so Vincent Bugliosi can be her special prosecutor.

It is a dream come true if George W. Bush ends up serving time in a Vermont prison for the murders he is responsible for.

-Steven G. Erickson