Hoodies For Trayvon

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Congregants bow their heads in prayer during a service at Middle Collegiate Church in New York, Sunday, March 25, 2012. Church-goers were invited to wear hoodies to services to show their support for justice in the case of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager who was wearing a hoodie on the night he was killed by a neighborhood watch captain in Florida. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

 

 

Can the U.S Assassinate an American?

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A few days ago I was discussing the accomplishment and shortcomings of the Obama administration with a dear friend. The subject of target assassinations by the U.S. intelligence came up and I found myself defending the practice. The next day I woke up bothered by my support of this directive — if such a directive exists. What was most upsetting to me was that I was willing to take a position opposed to everything I’ve believed up until now without really knowing all of the facts. In the heat of the argument I sided with the government.

I want to know more about this issue. I called my friend and told her I was retracting my statement and that I would have an informed position soon. I found the following discussion helpful:

Brunelli on Berrigan: Of Wars, Faith, and Poetry

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Daniel Berrigan

(Image from Wikimedia Commons, licensing info HERE).

From Guernica, via @sickjew:

Two years ago I bought a little browned book for twenty-five cents; it was published in 1968, and it was a war journal.This past Thursday, when my purse only allowed a thin, small something the size of a day planner, Daniel Berrigan’s Night Flight to Hanoi: War Diary with 11 Poems was the only book that would fit. I am not one for superstition; I usually laugh when someone speaks heartily of coincidence. Yet, in many ways, the happenstance of my reading this book has changed that–it has, if I may, made me believe.

Daniel Berrigan, who turned eighty-nine on May 9th, is a Roman Catholic priest who has spent his life protesting against violence, writing essays and poems that reflect his hope for societal and political change. He has been arrested many, many times for his peace protests, but also for more radical actions–he spent eighteen months in jail after burning draft notices during the Vietnam War. In Night Flight to Hanoi Berrigan describes his imprisonment, as well as his time spent in Vietnam, when, along with the late Howard Zinn, he accompanied three American prisoners on their release–this was an offering of peace from the Vietnamese–back to the United States.

There’s more…

An Army to Represent All of America

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Via NPR:

The Pentagon has made it more difficult for the military to dismiss gay service members, announcing a raft of changes for investigations and expulsions Thursday as Congress continues to debate the future of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he has raised the bar for what constitutes “credible” information to begin investigations that could result in a service member’s discharge. He also took steps to curb expulsions on the basis of hearsay in third-party outings, mandating that such statements be made under oath.

There’s more…

If You’re in Philly This Saturday

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Please check out the 2nd annual LimmudPhilly’s “Panoramic Jewish Learningfest”.

You can catch a screening of the documentary Praying With My Legs: The Radically Amazing Life of Abraham Joshua Heschel by Steve Brand, this Saturday, March 6 from 8:30 PM to 9:45 PM at Gershman Y, Classroom 408

Praying With My Legs is a work in progress documentary feature about the life, thought and transformative impact of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. The film explores Heschel’s religious thought and its direct connection with his human rights activism. The film will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker where you will have an opportunity to help shape the final direction of the film.

Steve Brand, President and Founder of Ways & Means Productions is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker currently working on a documentary on the life, thought and legacy of Abraham Joshua Heschel. His film about growing up as the child of a survivor, Kaddish, received a documentary award at Sundance and made David Edelstein’s “10 Best Films” list. Steve has been a producer for Now on PBS, 20/20 and Primetime. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

LimmudPhilly is at 401 South Street, Philadelphia, PA. You may reach them at (267) 235-4083

Steve Brand Photo by Michael Labbe