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World on Fire…

Atrios has a link to this Sarah McLaughlin video up this morning, and it was just what I needed on a day when headlines are screaming bad news from all over the globe.  (Huge hat tip to reader Moeman for pointing me to this video.)  I think we have all been inundated lately with war and nastiness and neocon blunders and foreign policy sinkholes and poor choices and constitutional inadequacies and Republican rubber stamping and every other mess that has been dragging all of us along in its wake.  (Kleenex warning:  this video made me weepy.  Thought I’d give everyone a heads up that it’s emotionally powerful.)

Atrios also links up a new video from Neil Young and his Living With War CD — this time using Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth as the visual medium for After the Garden.  Hearing the song when it is coupled with the visuals from the movie…quite effective.

You know things are just going swimmingly when you have Jack Cafferty saying that Iraq is sinking into a "subhuman nightmare" and that we have no plan, don’t you?  (H/T to C&L for posting this video.)  Juan Cole and Swopa have updates on the Middle East, and it’s not pretty.  (And I’m doing generic links to Informed Comment and Needlenose because there is so much information there in several threads.) 

And Digby is kicking ass and taking names.  Absolutely right — privilege isn’t a given, and neither is election support.  You have to earn the respect of voters every day.  Period.

Which leads me to this:  try helping out somewhere, somehow — either in your community, or through some organization that you think does a great job.  One group that I found through an interview with Susan Sarandon on Oprah (of all places!) is Heifer International.  It takes so little to make a huge difference in some areas of the world that sure do need some attention — a little bit of hope and respect can go a long way toward extinguishing the level of anger that fuels the violence we’ve been seeing.  That’s true internationally, and in your own community, so pick a direction and volunteer some time or whatever you can — pick a soup kitchen for Wednesday nights or bake up a batch of muffins for the guys at your local fire department or…whatever. 

But do something, you’ll feel better for it.

And speaking of doing something, the November elections are one day closer as of this morning.  Have you volunteered for a local campaign?  That can make such a HUGE difference, to have volunteers who can help stuff envelopes or make phone calls or who are willing to go door to door and talk to their neighbors about how important the election is. 

If you have progressive friends and relatives, are they registered to vote?  If not, you can pick up voter registration information at your local county clerk’s office (or whatever it’s called in your neighborhood), and then turn it back in for them once they have filled out the forms.  But registering to vote is only half the battle — they also have to go to the polls.  If you can do so, offer to give them a ride.  If we all take a couple of people to vote, imagine how many extra voters that could be…and then multiply that across the whole of the blogs. 

You want to see grassroots power, let’s put our minds to some GOTV efforts.  (And at a level that is way higher than any cheating on the margins could ever overcome — because for everyone who tells me that the Diebold factor can’t be beaten, I say phooey.  If Democrats turn out in droves and vote, whatever dirty tricks may be attempted can’t be overcome if we all do our jobs,sign up to monitor the polls, and get people’s butts there to vote.  Overwhelming numbers can’t be dismissed entirely, no matter how good the political trickster…)

Oh, and I found this at Lawyers, Guns and Money this morning…and it pissed me off beyond my ability to explain why.  Just go read it.  Appalling is only a starter word… 

UPDATEBob Geiger has the Saturday Cartoons up.  Some good stuff this weekend.

REMINDER:  George Soros will be here tomorrow in the FDL Book Salon to discuss his latest book, "The Age of Fallibility," at 5:00 pm ET/2:00 pm PT.  Hope everyone can join us for what will be a fantastic discussion.

UPDATE #2:  Wondering what President Bush is doing with his day today amidst all the bad news?  He’s at his faux ranch in Crawford, Texas.  Bet all the Americans still trapped in Lebanon wish they could have a vacation at a family compound.  Boy, this Presidentialing is hard work…anyone have a count on just how many vacation days Bush has had in office?  I lost count during Katrina…

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com