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I need advice and guidance on organizing fundraising for relief efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.  A graduate school friend originally from the Philippines has asked me to help organize fundraising, but I've never tackled this sort of thing before.  I'm turning to the dkos community for some help to get me moving.  There have got to be hundreds of people active here who have experience doing this sort of work, and, boy, could I use your help!

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There are news reports of a meteor airburst over the Chelyabinsk region of Russia about 1500 kilometers east of Moscow.  It is unclear what damage or casualties have resulted, but the office of the governor of the region are reporting many calls about injuries and damaged buildings.

Washington Post

Rueters

Updates to follow.

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Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:56 PM PDT

Binders Full of Women

by OtherDoug

That was fast!

http://bindersfullofwomen.tumblr.com/

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I'm interested in starting a DK4 group focused on sustainable nuclear power.  I know that there a handful of diarists here who have written extensively and from experience on nuclear power.  I am not one of those diarists, but I have great interest in the subject and I would like to help create a forum where ideas can be presented and discussed.

Update below the fold.

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New York City, like many older East Coast cities, has a very impressive urban forest.  It's made up of the many parks, street trees and yard trees that can be found throughout the City, even in Manhattan.  Many of these trees are nearly a century old, some even older.  They give many neighborhoods of the City a wonderful character.  They can shade neighborhoods, significantly reducing the temperature at street level on hot days.  They filter the air New Yorkers breathe.  They keep us connected to the natural world even in the heart of one of the world's major urban areas.

And they just took a massive hit.

At around 5:30 PM a major storm front passed through the New York City region.  Wind speeds were measured up to 100 MPH.  Visibility was reduced to zero for the early portion of the storm.  There are claims that a tornado touched down in Brooklyn, but no confirmation.  

Sadly there has been one person killed on the Grand Central Parkway by a falling tree.  My heart goes out to her friends and family.  We're fortunate that there have been so few deaths and injuries, though, considering the wide extent of damage to the City's forest.

(Edited for a bit more empathy and clarity.)

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The New York Times reports that the secret CIA program initiated after the September 11th attacks was intended to carry out assassinations of Al Qaeda leaders.  The report quotes unnamed intelligence officials saying the CIA "developed plans to dispatch small teams overseas to kill senior Qaeda terrorists, according to current and former government officials."

Questions of logistics, diplomatic impact and legality kept the program from being implemented.

The officials quoted say that the program would have been covered by existing Congressional authorizations for attacking Al Qaeda.  As the program was never put into operation it was never reported to Congress.

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This past weekend I was able to make a trip to Slidell, Louisiana to take supplies to Slidell High School and to some local residents who Barbara had worked with during her time there.  The diaries that Barbara posted about her experiences there struck me deeply and I wanted to be able to do something for some of the people who have been most impacted by the hurricane and its aftermath.  

I understand now, after returning from the trip, just how devastating the hurricane was and how inadequate the response.  Slidell is making great strides to recover, but there are many people there who will need a great deal of help to recover.  Perhaps this diary, along with the excellent work that Barbara has done, can help us figure out how to continue to help.  It is still desperately needed.

This is a long diary, and I hope you'll take the time to read it.  This is a topic we can't let slip away.  There's still far too much suffering happening and we can help lessen it through our efforts.

[There are some of Barbara's photos of Katrina's aftermath posted in comments - take a look]

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After reading Barbara's diaries about the needs of folks in Slidell LA I've decided to make a run down there this weekend with a truck load of supplies.  I'll be bringing school supplies, cleaning supplies, bedding, some packaged food and water.  

I need some help from Kossacks to make this happen, though.  If you're interested please take a look below the fold.

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According to am New York (Warning: slow to load PDF), one of our local free morning papers, a crackdown on a gun smuggling operation in Brooklyn has highlighted a long-running problem for law enforcement here in NYC: the smuggling of illegal weapons into New York from southern states with lax gun laws.

From the local ABC affiliate: Gun-Running Ring Busted

New York City police have busted a gunrunning ring that brought about 100 guns, including high-powered assault rifles from Virginia to Brooklyn.

...snip...

 Among the items they were caught with were AK-47 assault rifles, nine-millimeter handguns and at least one Mac .380-caliber submachine gun.

New York City is trying to combat this problem, but Republicans are thwarting efforts to control the problem, essentially aiding those who are smuggling illegal weapons into the City.

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From NYT, everyone's favorite Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell, is getting the support of a radical Christian group, the Ohio Restoration Project.  The OHP is trying to organize 2000 radical Christian leaders (referred to as Patriot Pastors) to take over the Ohip Republican party and then the government of the state itself.

Movement In The Pews Tries To Jolt Ohio

There are so many ways that this is just wrong, I don't even know where to begin.  We could start with the nearly transparent effort to use radical churches for political organizing.  Then we could move on to the political payback for Ken Blackwell's dirty work in '04.  Toss in some incendiary commentary about gay marriage and abortion and we're really cooking!

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David Brooks, a pundit of mediocre ability and questionable judgement in my opinion, has just penned an honest to goodness "speak truth to power" column.  He takes on the K street and the Republican class of 1995 referring to them as "sleazo-cons," a term I'll be happy to see added to the lexicon.

Back in 1995, when Republicans took over Congress, a new cadre of daring and original thinkers arose. These bold innovators had a key insight: that you no longer had to choose between being an activist and a lobbyist. You could be both. You could harness the power of K Street to promote the goals of Goldwater, Reagan and Gingrich. And best of all, you could get rich while doing it!
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Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 07:20 PM PST

No good deed goes unpunished.

by OtherDoug

Lt. Col. Lori Noyes of the Civil Air Patrol, Ramstein Cadet Squadron, has been organizing a donation drive of clothing and other essentials for wounded troops from Iraq and Afghanistan sent to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.  Last autumn she sent a request for clothing and monetary donations to assist these troops who often arrived at Landstuhl with nothing but a medical gown.  The response was very generous and she received over ninety packages of clothing and over $2000.

Of course, no good deed goes unpunished.

Because she had these packages and donations sent to her personal military postal address or to her squadron's address she is technically in violation of regulations for use of a military postal address.  In fact an IG complaint has been filed against her.  The email I received from her is below the fold.

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