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Showing posts from September 3, 2009

Why Kansas Matters -- In These Times

Why Kansas Matters -- In These Times: "The new documentary What’s the Matter With Kansas? is a funny, smart and important look at the intersection of religion and politics in America today. Loosely based on the 2004 book by Thomas Frank, it tells the stories of several conservative Kansans who care deeply about hot-button cultural issues like abortion and gay marriage. According to Frank’s polemical thesis, Republicans succeeded in getting poor whites to vote against their own economic self-interest by focusing on these issues.

However, filmmakers Laura Cohen and Joe Winston devote little of the film’s 90 minutes to Frank and his argument, focusing instead on the lives and motives of their subjects. The documentary begins by following a Democratic canvasser who visits the home of a Republican who explains that he could never support the Democrats because they’re “pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-gun control.” Then it shifts to a market where the Kansas Democrats booth can’t attra…

Al Jazeera English - Focus - Libyans await economic recovery

Al Jazeera English - Focus - Libyans await economic recovery: "Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, is in a celebratory mood as he marks his 40th year in power.

Not only has he fulfilled his promise to bring home Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence agent convicted of the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, but he is also strengthening trade ties with Europe and the US.

Since his 1969 coup which overthrew the monarchy, the former colonel in the military has applied his brand of socialism to Libya's economy in the 1970s, survived a number of military clashes – including the bombing of Tripoli, the capital – with the US in the 1980s, and endured two decades of crippling sanctions.

With Libyan oil now pumping into Western markets, however, Gaddafi is promising to focus his attention on combating corruption and improving the way the state bureaucracy operates.

But ordinary Libyans say they are yet to reap the benefits of their country's newly-restored internatio…

ei: Why Israel is after my son

ei: Why Israel is after my son: "The persecution of Palestinian citizens inside Israel is not a new phenomenon. Yet, for me, this time it hit home. The Israeli intelligence agency Shabak, also known as the Shin Bet, accuses my son Rawi Sultani of 'contact with a foreign agent' and 'delivering information to the enemy.' Both are grave security offenses in Israeli law. These and similar offenses were used against many Palestinian leaders and activists such as Azmi Bishara of the National Democratic Assembly (NDA), Raed Salah of the Islamic Movement and Muhammad Kanaaneh of Sons of the Land. At times, even Jewish political activists sympathetic to Palestinians like Tali Fahima are similarly accused.

Rawi, a 23-year-old law student and a political activist of the NDA, is being charged in the district court of Petach Tikva with having contact with Hizballah members in order to deliver information on the whereabouts of the Israeli army's chief of staff."