Sunday, August 16, 2009


Virginia's senior US Senator James Webb wins concessions in Burma. Here is a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Does your school district or state permit the use of corporal punishment?

Does your school district or state permit the use of corporal punishment? Here are ten (10) things the ACLU recommends to stop the teaching of torture:

1] Write to your Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and ask for a copy of your school’s discipline code and any policy that deals with corporal punishment and make certain that parents know about and understand these policies. Disseminate the policies and explain what they mean during PTA meetings, within informational brochures, newsletter articles, e-mail notices, or website postings.

2] Engage with your community to raise awareness of the dangers of policies that permit the use of corporal punishment in schools. Use Impairing Education as a resource. Take the lead with the PTA to change school policies to prohibit the use of corporal punishment and to make clear to students that violence in any form will not be tolerated in school.

3] Approach the local superintendent and the school board to discuss corporal punishment. Ask for a ban on corporal punishment and request a timeline for the ban to be considered.

4]Write letters to the local superintendent and school board strongly objecting to the use of paddling and in support of a ban on corporal punishment.

5] Become an advocate for alternative discipline systems (including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) that promote safe classrooms and academic success.

6] Find out if your school district permits parents to opt out of corporal punishment. If they do, opt out. If your school district does not have an opt-out form, send written requests to your child’s teachers and principal instructing them not to not to paddle your child. Unite with other parents in your efforts.

7] Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper expressing your concerns once you’ve learned about your school district policies.

8] Read the discipline policy with your children – make sure they understand and know when the school rules allow them to be paddled. Make it clear that you object to the policy and that you are working towards changing the policy.

9] Ask your child to tell you every time they are paddled. If your child is injured, take the child to an emergency room or a physician, have photographs taken of the injury, and ask the physician to report the injury to your local child protective agency.

10] Contact your local elected officials and ask them to support a ban on corporal punishment in the public schools in your state.

Friday, August 14, 2009

US Senator Confers With Burmese Junta

United States Senator James Webb, the senior Democratic senator from Virginia, and head of the foreign relations subcommittee on East Asia, has traveled to the Burmese regime’s isolated jungle capital, Naypyidaw. Webb supports a policy of engagement with the Burmese junta and an end to sanctions, will arrived in Burma on Friday [today] to see the country’s leader, General Than Shwe, in the first meeting of its kind. It comes days after the conviction and detention of the democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and an eccentric American who made an uninvited visit to her home. More from The Times of London, The Guardian, and The Washington Post.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

John Yoo: Where Are You?

'The government's compelling interests in wartime justify restrictions on the scope of individual liberty.' - Former United States Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo said in a secret 2001 memo just recently made public. Where is the war crimes tribunal for Yoo?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ray McGovern Seeks to Hold Our Leaders Accountable Through American Courage!

Many systemic challenges face the United States and the world, including a lack of accountability for American leaders for the crimes of the recent era, says former CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Monday, March 9, 2009

But it is the fault of the government itself ...

"Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil." - Henry David Thoreau on Civil Disobedience [video].