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  • July 24, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    A story in today's New York Times uses Providence as a peg for the question of whether some US homeland security resources would be better deployed against fighting local crime:

    Like most of the country’s more than 18,000 local law enforcement agencies, the Providence Police Department went to war against terror after Sept.

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  • July 16, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    The dangerous state of affairs in Afghanistan, which became an afterthought following the invasion of Iraq, is apparently off the radar of mass consciousness.

    From Rasmussen Reports:

    Nearly half of Americans (48%) now believe the United States and its allies are winning the War on Terror, as opposed to 20% who give the nod to the terrorists, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national survey.

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  • July 14, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    In 2004, Democrats tried using the national security argument -- not very successfully -- against President Bush.

    Now, with Obama taking Senators Jack Reed and Chuck Hagel with him to Iraq, Reed is once again getting the call to lend the respect that he commands in this arena.

    Will this issue play differently in 2008?

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  • July 10, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    A lame duck President Bush and the big telephone companies get their way on FISA (Senator Reed voted with the minority in opposition, Senator Whitehouse in favor).

    Closer to home, consumers are the ones who will bear the brunt of rising utility costs.

  • July 02, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    A prominent Rhode Island Democrat with whom I spoke yesterday expects Barack Obama to win the November election in a blowout.

    Dan Kennedy, however, writing in the Guardian, is not so sure.

    Be afraid. It's not just a warning - it's a campaign slogan. For Republicans, fear is a cudgel with which they've bludgeoned their way to victory since the Reagan era, and it's acquired an extra emotional wallop since 9/11.

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  • June 30, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Got $162 billion more for war? No problem.

    But what about that Osama guy?

    From today's New York Times:

    Intelligence reports for more than a year had been streaming in about Osama bin Laden’s terrorism network rebuilding in the Pakistani tribal areas, a problem that had been exacerbated by years of missteps in Washington and the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, sharp policy disagreements, and turf battles between American counterterrorism agencies.

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  • June 29, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Ted Widmer, director of the John Carter Brown Library and a member in good standing of the Phoenix' friends and family program, is a polymath and one of the great Rhode Islanders. Who else could offer such superlative quote in discussing the cultural ethos of Narragansett Beer in the old days?

    "It was really a whole way of life, and it involved loving the Red Sox .

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  • June 13, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    We've got trillions to spend on the war.

    And not enough to maintain a park with a pond, dedicated to WWII vets, in Woonsocket.

    Charlie Bakst offered some appropriate outrage yesterday:

    Sure, Rhode Island is financially pinched. But the state’s decision to turn its back on the park and let its pond, the city’s only public swimming area, fall into disuse — indeed, all but dry up — is an insult to low-income residents, especially kids.

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  • June 05, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    080606_iran_main

    To hear some tell it, an US attack on Iran has been imminent, well, for a few years. After most of the US media exhibited a lack of skepticism in the runup to the war in Iraq, Adam Reilly this week looks at whether the Fourth Estate has done any better in assessing the conflict with Tehran:

    This might seem like a bad time for the press to revisit Bush’s Iran policy, or parse Iran’s internal politics, implications of political flux inside Iran, or explore Iran’s internal politics, or parse hints of US bellicosity with renewed vigor.

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  • June 03, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    A lot of folks are not exactly surprised at former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's realization that the run-up Iraq war came with an excess of hype and salesmanship. As former Bush aide Andy Card said back then:

    ``From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August.''

    Dan Kennedy has browsed McClellan's book and he has a typically smart take.

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  • May 01, 2008
    By webteam

    The office of US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse just put out this release:

    “Five years ago, President Bush told America its mission in Iraq was accomplished. Today, four thousand American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars later, our country is mired in a war this Administration refuses to end, a war that has damaged our security, our prosperity, and our standing in the world.

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  • April 18, 2008
    By webteam

    This from the RI Community Coalition for Peace:

    Beneficent Church in Providence to bring the “Winter Soldier” testimony to Rhode Island. From March 13 thru 16, in Silver Springs, MD, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War(IVAW) spoke publicly and candidly of their service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although this remarkable testimony was typically ignored by the mainstream media, two RI video journalists, Paul Hubbard and Robert Malin, have produced a DVD that captures the spirit of the Winter Soldier event and allows voices of veterans to be heard.

    Read More

  • April 14, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Yes, kids, it's time for another installment of are we the butt of technology's cruel joke?

    What's worse: that there's a chain e-mail making the rounds, falsely claiming that Al Gore gave Oliver North a hard time when he tried to warn the world about (wrong again) Osama bin Laden?

    'Threatened? By whom?' the senator questioned.

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  • April 14, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    080314_iraq_cover

    As the price of gas hits a local high, a coalition of groups plans to make a point tomorrow -- April 15, of course -- about the high cost of the war in Iraq. We at the Phoenix have previously written about that subject here.

    Activists from American Friends Service Committee, the Campaign for Rhode Island's Priorities, Declaration of Peace Campaign RI, and Ocean State Action will speak out on the high cost of war to Rhode Island taxpayers.

    Read More

  • April 12, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Bob Herbert's view:

    The U.S. seems almost paralyzed, mesmerized by Iraq and unable to generate the energy or the will to handle the myriad problems festering at home. The war will eventually cost a staggering $3 trillion or more, according to the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. When he was asked on “Democracy Now!” about who is profiting from the war, he said the two big gainers were the oil companies and the defense contractors.

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