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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 — 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.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”