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I based this letter on one my wife wrote. She hit all the high points but I took a different, complementary tactic. The bottom line for both of us is the fact that Governor Cuomo, the supposedly "Democratic" governor of New York, is making a horrible, vindictive attack on public school teachers, and if he succeeds, my son, as a child with a disability, will be severely hurt by his actions. The very actions by teachers at my son's school that have helped him the most would probably be punished by Cuomo's vindictive actions.

Understand that Cuomo's actions are consistent with his thuggish personality...he is deliberately attacking teachers because the teacher unions didn't endorse him.

And my son is collateral damage for Cuomo.

My son has ASD. He is brilliant, but over the years his social and academic difficulties became clear. My wife and I have done everything we can to help him, but we often desperately needed the insights from his teachers and guidance counselor to understand his difficulties. And honestly, without these teachers, my son would have been declared a "problem" and shunted towards the worst schools possible had it not been for the efforts of his amazing teachers.

Cuomo's actions directly threaten my son. And they threaten the very teachers who have made the most difference for my son. Below are the letters from myself personally as well as the letter from my son's teachers. Please help pressure Cuomo to abandon his nasty attack on New York teachers. My connections tell me that NY State Democrats strongly "REPUDIATE" Cuomo's attack on teachers. But we need to put more pressure on Cuomo. Please help. It really could be a critical point in my son's life!

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There is an image of Jews going tamely to slaughter in the Holocaust. And it is true, for various reasons, this did happen all too often. But some Jews stood up and fought, even at times defeating the Nazis at least for a time. Throughout the Nazi era, there were always Jews who stood up and fought, and we should not forget those fights.

Sobibor was one of the Nazi death camps. Not just a run of the mill, as it were, concentration camp. But a full out Death Camp whose sole purpose was the death of Jews.

Jews so thoroughly trashed the place that the Nazis did all they could to eliminate every memory of the place. I want to REMEMBER Sobibor, just as much as the Nazis want us all to forget it. In honor of the Jews who rebelled at Sobibor, here is a song written by someone in the Vilna Ghetto, inspired by the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, honoring those who stood up and fought. It is sung in this case by Paul Robeson, who does it full justice:

In 1943 Jews were responsible for the destruction of one of the worst Nazi death camps. You probably haven't heard of Sobibor. Sobibor was designed specifically and solely to kill. It wasn't a camp where they worked people to death. It was a camp where they killed people. Mengele in Auschwitz, sorting who died and who lived for just awhile longer, was kind compared to the brutality of Sobibor.

Two of the six Nazi death camps, Treblinka and Sobibor, were destroyed as a result of Jewish uprisings. These events were suppressed not only by the embarrassed Nazis, but also ironically by some Jews who felt ambivalent about resistance, and by some Israelis who, until the revelations of the Eichmann trial, felt those who remained in the Diaspora had, by not moving to Israel, been partly responsible for their fate. I think the memory of Jewish resistance against the Nazis is extremely important to keep alive. I think we all need to know in our gut that two Death Camps received fatal blows from Jewish rebels.

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I just got an email telling me I had just ONE DAY before it's too late...and they have a "pending" contribution WAITING for me to complete for $28.

Well, I am donating that $28...this election is too important to ignore the RNC call for action, so I am taking action and donating the $28 dollars. And I am asking you to JOIN ME and donate at least $28 to WIN in November.

Oh, but I am not donating to the RNC, of course. I am donating my $28 to some really great Democrats in close races around the country.

JOIN ME AND CONTRIBUTE AT LEAST $28 TO WIN IN NOVEMBER

If you can't donate, or if you can and want to do more, you can also donate at least 28 minutes of your time to phone banking.

You can do some phone calls to save the Senate through Democracy for America: http://act.democracyforamerica.com/...

You can also phone bank from home through MoveOn.org: http://pol.moveon.org/...

Whatever you do, heed the call of the RNC. They are right: this is a critical moment in a critical election and we all need to put in our $28 worth or more. Just make sure you donate it to the Democrats.

Some details about key races below...

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Last week I got an email from the GOP asking for money. Their latest BOLD move to raise money? George HW Bush's socks:

"President George H.W. Bush is legendary for his bold leadership — and even bolder socks.

Now is your chance to follow in his footsteps, with your own George H.W. Bush Socks."

Of course they can't mention issues because they have failed to do ANYTHING about any issues and have, in fact, done all they can to hurt America's interests for their own political and personal gain. They can't talk about values because the Republican Party is so rife with corruption and greed. So all they have left in their intellectual and moral tool kit are George HW Bush's socks...the foot wear of an unpopular (even among Republicans), one term President. Well, at least it is better than when they were campaigning on "I Miss 'W'" mugs.

Of course the most interesting part about this push is that George HW Bush is the person who coined the term "Voodoo Economics" to describe the trickle down economic policies the Republicans love so much.

Let's beat the socks (HW's or anyone else's) off the GOP in November!

Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/...

If you live in NYC do some phone banking: http://www.writenowny.com/...

If you live anywhere, you can do some phone calls to save the Senate through Democracy for America: http://act.democracyforamerica.com/...

You can also phone bank from home through MoveOn.org: http://pol.moveon.org/...

If they are raising money with George HW's socks, I am going to raise money in memory of a Socks I liked better:

Donate in honor of Socks!  (Last time I hoped to get over $4000. We pushed past that goal. Now maybe past $5000?)

Some of my favorite candidates this year below...

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Just got an email from the GOP asking for money. Their latest BOLD move to raise money? George HW Bush's socks:

"President George H.W. Bush is legendary for his bold leadership — and even bolder socks.

Now is your chance to follow in his footsteps, with your own George H.W. Bush Socks."

Of course they can't mention issues because they have failed to do ANYTHING about any issues and have, in fact, done all they can to hurt America's interests for their own political and personal gain. They can't talk about values because the Republican Party is so rife with corruption and greed. So all they have left in their intellectual and moral tool kit are George HW Bush's socks...the foot wear of an unpopular (even among Republicans), one term President.

Of course the most interesting part about this push is that George HW Bush is the person who coined the term "Voodoo Economics" to describe the trickle down economic policies the Republicans love so much.

Let's beat the socks (HW's or anyone else's) off the GOP in November!

Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/...

If you live in NYC do some phone banking: http://www.writenowny.com/...

If you live anywhere, you can do some phone calls to save the Senate through Democracy for America: http://act.democracyforamerica.com/...

If they are raising money with George HW's socks, I am going to raise money in memory of a Socks I liked better:

Donate in honor of Socks!

Some of my favorite candidates this year below...

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Sun Sep 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM PDT

What is a Justified War?

by mole333

I think just about anyone on this site would agree that our role in WW II was fully justified. I think the vast majority of people on this site would agree that Baby Bush's invasion of Iraq was NOT a justified.

To me there is a large space between these two and a large gray area. I also am not always sure where my view would fall at the time, without the benefit of hindsight. I don't feel our role in WW I was fully justified, but I don't know how I would feel at the time. Even my view of the Vietnam war is dominated by hindsight. I think I would have opposed it at the time, but it is easy for me to say now...

What wars and interventions WERE justified...and how about cases where we were criticized for NOT being involved. Would intervention have been justified...

I list a few below for discussion. I am curious where people fall on the following situations...

Poll

What makes a justified war?

5%4 votes
16%12 votes
4%3 votes
38%27 votes
4%3 votes
1%1 votes
0%0 votes
1%1 votes
5%4 votes
18%13 votes
1%1 votes
2%2 votes

| 71 votes | Vote | Results

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Fri Sep 26, 2014 at 03:20 PM PDT

Mole's Cool News Roundup

by mole333

I have been focused on teaching, job hunting and the like, so have kind of dropped the ball on my usual news roundup. BUT, there are a lot of things I can push this week, so I will do a short round up. Hope everyone finds it helpful.

First off, a reminder, I am largely freelance right now, other than teaching one class a week as an Adjunct Professor.

Anyone need help with editing, tutoring, college essay writing, resumes, etc. please contact me either directly or through University Tutor: http://brooklyn.universitytutor.com/...

Also, if you need to do some shopping, you can help me make ends meet by shopping through my Amazon Shop.

Sorry for the self-promotion, but need the help. Now, below is my weekly roundup...

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November is wide open. Republicans could win big...but they are messing up every step of the way. If the Democrats were more together, THEY could win big.

As it is, it is wide open. We sit on a knife edge.

We know what is at stake. More than a quarter of a million of us marched last Sunday here in NYC to illustrate the point. Fast food workers are striking over and over again to illustrate the point. We KNOW what is at stake.

Wide open election...a lot at stake. What are we going to do about it?

I am focusing on a LOT of races, both locally, here in NY State, but also nationally. Below are the races I MOST want to win. Can you help me fight these fights?

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One of the fundamental problems with Albany politics, whether it is in the past with the Four Amigos, or currently with the IDC, is that Dems don't act like Dems. This has meant that even when we control both houses of the legislature, incompetence and/or personal ego swings control back to the Greedy Oil Party.

From Senator Valesky earlier this year:

   The 29 current Republican senators share control of the upper house thanks to the five rogue IDC members who caucus with them. Another Democrat, who is unaffiliated with the IDC— Simcha Felder of Brooklyn—also caucuses with the Republicans, giving the coalition a 35-member voting majority....

    “For the Republicans this race is existential. They’re in a fight for their lives. They can’t afford to lose anything,” said Larry Levy, the dean of Hofstra’s National Center for Suburban Studies. “That adds a level of energy and effort on the Republican side that you may not see on the Democrats’ side. Even if they pick up seats, there is still no guarantee that they will control the house on the possibility that they would lose the Independent Caucus to the Democrats.”

So we HAVE to treat this as our best chance to defeat the Republicans and marginalize the IDC. THIS is the year that could bring the Dems back in power.

That is the bottom line. Whatever dancing the folks who are elected as Dems but caucus with the Repubs do, the bottom line is that there have been times when they could have given the majority to the Dems but refused to do so. They are currently saying they will now, but I am a cynic and doubt them, and I also figure they got something in a back room deal to entice them to switch. That kind of dealing didn't work well when it was the Four Amigos, and I am cynical about it working now. PLUS there are weird, potentially illegal deals going on to actually strengthen the Dems who caucus with the Republicans.

So,  the IDC is untrustworthy. I would love if if they did the right thing, but prefer not to rely on their integrity. We failed to defeat the IDC in primaries. Well, that is our failure and kudos to them.

But it leaves us with ONE AND ONLY ONE route to reforming Albany. And anyone who has complained about Albany has to get on board and fight. We have to flip some Greedy Oil Party seats to Dem. If we do that we marginalize the IDC, improve our position in Albany, and may well force the people elected as Dems who caucus as Repubs to caucus with the party that elected them.

Reform is not a magic word. It is a goal that takes a fuck load of effort to achieve. THIS is what we need to do RIGHT NOW if we want to talk reform. Make the IDC obsolete!

These are the race we need to win...and you can donate to them through my Reform Albany 2014 Act Blue site.

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Tomorrow I will be a poll worker in NYC's primary election. I spent a whole day getting trained. It was intense and tomorrow will be intense. I already have done one day as a poll worker helping residents in a nursing home vote absentee. I was very rewarding. But not too hard. It took patience and a good smile, but not too taxing. Tomorrow could be an 18 hour day...I will get up at 4 AM to be there at 5 AM ready to go. I won't be done until probably after 10 PM. In some years when the same machines were first being used people worked much longer. I have to be prepared for that.

All so you all can vote.

I have been pushing hard for some candidates I consider excellent. Once I go to bed tonight (very soon!) I will give up my advocacy, because for all day tomorrow I will not be advocating for any candidate. I will simply serve every voter, facilitating the democratic process. I am looking forward to it.

All New Yorkers, PLEASE VOTE. Turnout will be low and will be dominated by the wealthy and powerful unless we all go out and vote. So get out and vote, folks. It is as simple as that. GET OUT AND VOTE TOMORROW. No excuses. Period.

As my parting shot (Parthian shot...) I leave you, below the fold, with a reminder of the key endorsements I have gathered in key races.

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Next Tuesday is an important primary day in NY State. I have been following several key races (Gov., Lt. Gov., State Senate, Assembly, and one Civil Court race). There are a couple of other key primaries I have not been following, so I can try adding if people want. But below are key endorsements for these key races. I pick a variety of organizations: LGBT, Choice, education, environment, Howard Dean inspired clubs, ethnic papers and organizations, reform clubs (fighting corruption within the Democratic Party), etc.

I hope this helps people make choices. Please spread the word.

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I am "lucky." I am currently unemployed, so I have some time on my hands. But I also feel like everyone who spends any time posting here probably could be doing more towards winning for reform, progressive, liberal, democratic/Democratic victories in primaries and in the general election. What are you doing? Can you do more?

I am job hunting and being stay-at-home father for my son (age almost 10 and a handful with ASD but also wonderful). My main source of income is unemployment with occasional supplements from folk like you who buy from my Amazon Store, or from folk who hire me freelance for tutoring/resume writing/etc. or for science editing  (D. Michaelson). I am loving spending so much time with my son, but I also am dedicating time towards advancing reform and liberal politics both locally and nationally.

Below is what I am doing. What are you doing and how can people help? Can anyone help the efforts I am pushing? Arguing meta minutiae on Daily Kos is all very well, but ultimately, we need to win elections...including primaries! We have one week to reform Albany and about 2 months to win nationally...and I am sure you have some stuff to add. So add it here. We can all help eachother. See below for what I am doing and my challenge for you to beat me.

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