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Fellow Americans' suspicions frustrate US Muslims

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There is no simple way for American Muslims to move forward.
Top 10 Myths About Islam

Rachel Zoll, Associated Press, in Washington Examiner | DC

Nine years of denouncing terrorism, of praying side-by-side with Jews and Christians, of insisting "I'm American, too." None of it could stop a season of hate against Muslims that made for an especially fraught Sept. 11. Now, Muslims are asking why their efforts to be accepted in the United States have been so easily thwarted.

"We have nothing to apologize for, we have nothing to fear, we have nothing to be ashamed of, we have nothing that we're guilty of — but we need to be out there and we need to express this," said Imam Mohammed Ibn Faqih in a sermon at the Islamic Institute of Orange County in Anaheim, Calif., the day before the 9/11 anniversary.

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Top 10 Myths About Islam, Huda, About.com

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  • Introduction to Islam
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  • The Right's Shameful Muslim-Bashing
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  • Five myths about mosques in this country
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Misconceptions Behind the Immigrant Scare

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  • A major independent study shows that the actual number of illegal immigrants in America is declining, sharply.
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  • A brief history of immigration
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  • Stop the Militarization of the DREAM Act!
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Scott Horton, Harper's

America, we are told by breathless voices on the political right, faces a horrible crisis from illegal immigrants, particularly from Mexico. These histrionics recently helped drive Arizona legislators and Governor Jan Brewer to enact SB 1070, under which the state’s law enforcement officers are authorized to stop anyone they suspect of being “foreign” and demand to see their documentation. But how sound are the premises of the fear campaign that drives this movement? As the New York Times reports, a major independent study shows that the actual number of illegal immigrants in America is declining, sharply:

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The number of illegal immigrants in the United States, after peaking at 12 million in 2007, fell to about 11.1 million in 2009, the first clear decline in two decades, according to a report published Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center. The reduction came primarily from decreases among illegal immigrants from Latin American countries other than Mexico, the report found. The number of Mexicans living in the United States without legal immigration status did not change significantly from 2007 to 2009. Some seven million Mexicans make up about 60 percent of all illegal immigrants, still by far the largest national group, the Pew Center said.

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A brief history of immigration, Frances Symes, Congress.org

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  • Fights over immigration law have been going on in the U.S. since the 1790s.
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  • Democrats unveil immigration proposal
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Stop the Militarization of the DREAM Act! Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI), in Change.org
Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI) supports higher education for all students both documented and undocumented; however, we denounce the military component of the DREAM Act. Unfortunately, this deadly component is strategically excluded from the debate by many Democrats and organizations who support the DREAM Act.

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'Plan B' For Afghanistan Aims To Spark Long Overdue Debate

The report's most important contribution is to lay out a "consensus view" that the current strategy in Afghanistan is not working; that it's actually making things worse; that it's not making us safer; that it's coming at a staggering and wildly disproportionate cost in blood and treasure; and that there needs to be an alternative approach.

Dan Froomkin, Huffington Post

Nine long years into a war in Afghanistan that two out of three Americans no longer support, a group of disillusioned foreign policy experts is trying to kick-start an overdue national discussion about our goals in the region, and other ways that we might be able to achieve them.

Despite the growing opposition to the war outside the Beltway, there's been remarkably little serious debate about Afghan policy among those with the power to change it.

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A new report by the ad hoc Afghanistan Study Group, officially unveiled on Wednesday, aims to change all that.
Flatly declaring what has become increasingly obvious over time -- that our efforts in Afghanistan are not only failing, they are actually counterproductive -- the report provides something that some anti-war activists say has been sorely missing until now: A coherent alternative to the current approach.

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9 Shameless Warmongers Who Call Fox News Home

Some of the worst purveyors of misinformation about Iraq have been warmly embraced by Fox News.

Media Matters for America

During the run-up to the Iraq war, some of the worst purveyors of misinformation about Iraq had a home at Fox News, and their ranks have swelled considerably since then. Media Matters takes a look at the track record of wrong predictions and shoddy analysis about the war in Iraq by many of Fox News’ contributors and analysts.

1. Karl Rove White House Iraq Group was formed to “set [messaging] strategy” for going to war with Iraq. The Washington Post reported in 2003 (accessed via Nexis) that the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) was formed in August 2002 “to set strategy for each stage of the confrontation with Baghdad. A senior official who participated in its work called it ‘an internal working group, like many formed for priority issues, to make sure each part of the White House was fulfilling its responsibilities.’ ” Part of the WHIG’s mission, according to the Post, was to decide “what to demand of the United Nations in the president’s Sept. 12 [2002] address to the General Assembly, when to take the issue to Congress, and how to frame the conflict with Iraq in the midterm election campaign that began in earnest after Labor Day.” Rove was a regular participant in this group.

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Nobel Laureate Stiglitz Says EU Austerity Is Wrong Bet

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  • 'If that (austerity) happens I think it is likely that the economic downturn will last far longer and human suffering will be all the greater,' he said.
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  • The Myths of Austerity
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Reuters, in Common Dreams

The European Union will prolong the global downturn if policymakers in the bloc's big economies insist on austerity measures to cut budget deficits, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on Tuesday (September 7).

Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001, said austerity as a policy to end the global crisis was a 'disaster', adding that Europe was heading towards more economic difficulties if politicians meant what they say when they promised to cut back spending rather than just trying to calm down markets.

'If that (austerity) happens I think it is likely that the economic downturn will last far longer and human suffering will be all the greater,' he said.

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The Myths of Austerity, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

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  • The next time you hear serious-sounding people explaining the need for fiscal austerity, try to parse their argument. Almost surely, you’ll discover that what sounds like hardheaded realism actually rests on a foundation of fantasy, on the belief that invisible vigilantes will punish us if we’re bad and the confidence fairy will reward us if we’re good. And real-world policy — policy that will blight the lives of millions of working families — is being built on that foundation.
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  • This isn’t a recovery, in any sense that matters.
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Marijuana's true potency and why the law should change

The U.S. war against marijuana has failed and actually threatens public safety and rests on false medical assumptions.
The laws against marijuana should be changed.

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John McKay, Seattle Times | WA

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I don't smoke pot. And I pretty much think people who do are idiots.

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This certainly includes Marc Emery, the self-styled "Prince of Pot" from Canada whom I indicted in 2005 for peddling marijuana seeds to every man, woman and child with an envelope and a stamp. Emery recently pleaded guilty and will be sentenced this month in Seattle, where he faces five years in federal prison. If changing U.S. marijuana policy was ever Emery's goal, the best that can be said is that he took the wrong path.

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As Emery's prosecutor and a former federal law-enforcement official, however, I'm not afraid to say out loud what most of my former colleagues know is true: Our marijuana policy is dangerous and wrong and should be changed through the legislative process to better protect the public safety.

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Congress has failed to recognize what many already know about our policy of criminal prohibition of marijuana — it has utterly failed. Listed by the U.S. government as a "Schedule One" drug alongside heroin, the demand for marijuana in this country for decades has outpaced the ability of law enforcement to eliminate it. Perhaps this is because millions of Americans smoke pot regularly and international drug cartels, violent gangs and street pushers work hard to reap the profits.

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Law-enforcement agencies are simply not capable of interdicting all of this pot and despite some successes have not succeeded in thwarting criminals who traffic and sell marijuana. Brave agents and cops continue to risk their lives in a futile attempt to enforce misguided laws that do not match the realities of our society.

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These same agents and cops, along with prosecutors, judges and jailers, know we can't win by arresting all those involved in the massive importation, growth or distribution of marijuana, nor by locking up all the pot smokers. While many have argued the policy is unjust, few have addressed the dangerously potent black market the policy itself has created for exploitation by Mexican and other international drug cartels and gangs. With the proceeds from the U.S. marijuana black market, these criminals distribute dangerous drugs and kill each other (too often along with innocent bystanders) with American-purchased guns.

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'Our Troops Are the Steel in Our Ship of State'

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  • Breaking down the text and subtext of the president's address.
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  • More War Lies
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Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic

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Good evening. Tonight, I'd like to talk to you about the end of our combat mission in Iraq, the ongoing security challenges we face, and the need to rebuild our nation here at home.

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Three major topics in fifteen minutes, and the challenge will be to see if the President can knit them together. Oval Office addresses are throat-clearing opportunities. People listen. The President has an attentive, expectant audience.

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More War Lies, David Swanson, Global Research

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  • Lies aren't used just to start wars, but also to escalate them, continue them, and even reduce or end them. And we got a pile of war lies from the president Tuesday evening (August 31).
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  • US Forces in Iraq Shift to Long-term Occupation
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Building a Nation of Know-Nothings

It’s not just that 46 percent of Republicans believe the lie that Obama is a Muslim, or that 27 percent in the party doubt that the president of the United States is a citizen. But fully half of them believe falsely that the big bailout of banks and insurance companies under TARP was enacted by Obama, and not by President Bush.

Timothy Egan, New York Times | NY

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Marsha Aronson

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Having shed much of his dignity, core convictions and reputation for straight talk, Senator John McCain won his primary on Tuesday against the flat-earth wing of his party. Now McCain can go search for his lost character, which was last on display late in his 2008 campaign for president.

Remember the moment: a woman with matted hair and a shaky voice rose to express her doubts about Barack Obama. “I have read about him,” she said, “and he’s not — he’s an Arab.”

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McCain was quick to knock down the lie. “No, ma’am,” he said, “he’s a decent family man, a citizen.”

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