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Today marks the seventh anniversary of the opening of George W. Bush’s Guantanamo concentration camps, which have stained the image of America around the world. Today, in gatherings of people of faith across the United States, prayer will be joined for the end of the regime of torture that Bush introduced. This an initiative of the National Religious Coalition Against Torture, whose website now features a “countdown clock.” It will count down the hours until President Obama’s first workday in office, when we hope and expect he will sign an executive order ending torture. If President Obama does not issue an executive order by 9:00 am (EST) on January 21st, the clock will begin “counting up,” marking the hours that have passed without an executive order ending torture. Here is the NRCAT appeal:
While the clock is counting down, we call on everyone to join in our multi-faith prayer to end U.S.-sponsored torture by including the prayer in a worship service between January 11 and the inauguration. We have developed a 2-sided bulletin insert with the prayer printed on one side and information about the Declaration of Principles for a Presidential Executive Order on Prisoner Treatment, Torture and Cruelty on the other. This brief prayer could be included in regularly scheduled services or as part of special services marking the January 11th anniversary or celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to justice and human rights.
NRCAT will focus much of our media outreach in January on the participation of religious congregations in this interfaith prayer, so please let us know that you plan to participate by clicking here.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Amount by which a typical good-looking U.S. worker will out-earn a typical ugly one over a lifetime:
A Japanese inventor unveiled a new invisibility cloak that uses a material made of thousands of tiny beads called “retro-reflectum.”
A couple at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina, left their waitress a note telling her “the woman’s place is in the home,” in lieu of a tip.
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"She never thanked me, never looked at me—melted away into the miserable night, in the strangest manner I ever saw. I have seen many strange things, but not one that has left a deeper impression on my memory than the dull impassive way in which that worn-out heap of misery took that piece of money, and was lost."