Sunday, April 17, 2005

Wal-Mart Loses in Maryland

If Wal-Mart wants to stay in Maryland it's going to have to make at least an 8% contribution to the health care of it's workers. This comes as the blatantly anti-union, anti-health care giant sees the Maryland senate forces Wal-Mart and all other companies with more than 10,000 employees to do the right thing for it's employees. Katrina Vanden Heuvel of The Nation reported "Maryland's House of Delegates voted 82 to 48 to approve a bill that would require all businesses in the state with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least 8 percent of their payroll on health benefits for workers (or, alternatively, donate the funds to the state's Medicaid program). Wal-Mart, with its 15,000 employees, is the only such company that does not already spend 8 percent on health care for employees--and thus, the direct target of the bill. Spearheaded by Maryland for Health Care, the legislation was supported by a coalition of over 1,000 organizations representing Maryland's health, business, and community interests" This crafty manouver could be repeated in other states and send a strong message to other giant corporations who ignore the well-being of their most precious resource.....their workers. The Republican governor of Maryland threatened to veto the new law, but because of the lopsided victory(82-48) Governor Richard Erlich's veto would be meaningless.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

It Should be THE issue for Democrats but......

Without a doubt the single most important issue for Democrats should be the right to vote. After two questionable elections Republicans (for obvious reasons) ignore the issue, some go as far as to laugh about it. But what I find surprising is that there are many prominent Democrats who are very quiet about it. Sure Conyers, Boxer, Slaughter and a few others continue to raise the issue but many other Democrats, say little or nothing. Even the mainstream media is starting to focus on THE issue. Today there was an article by Robert Steinback of the Miami Herald which said the following "Nothing is more important, for the world's pre-eminent democracy, than assuring the sanctity of each vote."Steinbeck goes on to say: Worst of all, computer voting machines deny critics, reporters, attorneys general and historians the chance to recheck results -- which undermines the confidence any citizen can have in what are billed as free and fair elections." Miami-Dade County is seriously considering going back to the paper ballot. If this should happen several other counties throughout the nation will follow suit. I would love to hear a prominant Democrat just come out and say the truth "THE LAST TWO ELECTIONS WERE STOLEN...NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS".Yes Social Security is a major issue and the Iraq misadventure is also at the forefront but once you start to question the sanctity of the vote you start to question the existence of democracy.

Monday, April 11, 2005

No More Blood Money For Oil......A Message from THE PEN.

>> The People's Email Network ACTION Alert on Iraq appropriation>> Remember when the democratic presidential candidate referred to the cost of the Iraq war as 200 billion and they called him such a liar and exaggerator? Well guess what, we are there already and now they want ANOTHER 83 billion for corrupt no-bid contractors. There was an interesting development today as Iraq's new president, the Kurdish Jalal Talabani, suggested that they might need the protection of U.S. and other allied forces for as long as two years.>> Of course, the key word here is OTHER. We have been playing unilateral cowboy for the last two years when we should have been working with the rest of world in building real stability in Iraq. And we are moving yet furtherin the wrong direction with the nomination of John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador with his carpetbomb approach to diplomacy. Meanwhile the rest of the world deserts our so-called coalition as quietly as possible. At this critical time we can make a real difference by demanding that Bolton be rejected, and by demanding that the Senate require real international cooperation beforewe melt down another dime in Iraq>>>>>> Especially if you live in Rhode Island, please make your voice heard on the Bolton question as Republican Chafee has already expressed strong reservations and the White House is leaning on him as hard as they can. But both of these questions must come before the full Senate so it is important for each and every one of us to speak out NOW for we are the people.>> And please, if you have not already submitted your objections to the bankruptcy bill in the house, there is still time as that debate was mercifully delayed to this coming week. Whether you are outraged by its endorsement of usurous interest rates of over 30 percent, or its abandonment of our medical cost victims, our elderly on subsistance and our overdeployed military, we MUST take a strong stand on this to build a platform for 2006.With enough of your support we have a real shot at winning this one now.>>>> The other side has squandered their mythical political capital exploiting the tragedy of the unfortunate. They are weak, their violations of law are being exposed, and our strong voices can turn the tide. Their snake oilsalesman in chief has been in fulltime campaign mode trying to persuade any world banker who wants to listen that our goverment securities are nothing but worthless paper. And so it will be unless we all raise our voices to stop the insane policies that will mislead us to nothing but utter ruin. Please forward these links to everyone you know. It's up to us alone.>> Or if you want to hold your tongue from now on,

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Pope John Paul II 1920-2005

Though I may have disagreed with this Pope's stand on certain issues like giving priests the right to marry and abortion I must commend the pontiff's positions on two very relevant matters: his insistence on meeting as many people as possible from all parts of the world. This Pope has probably logged more miles than any other, making numerous trips south of the equator. I also commend the Pope for his steadfast opposition against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is something we don't hear much about in the mainstream media, but the pontiff was vehemently opposed to the war from the beginning and spoke out against it many times. When President Bush's image was shown on a screen during Pope John Paul's funeral huge numbers of people booed; showing the world the pontiffs influence on the opinions of his followers. He will be remembered as a man of peace.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Mugabe Wins Again

In a world where imperialism runs rampant world-wide it is comforting to see someone stand up to the lustfully avaricious corporate marauders. At 81 years of age Robert Mugabe's party is STILL in power in Zimbabwe after millions of foreign dollars were unsuccessfully spent to topple him. Just like Hugo Chavez, Mugabe continues to lead because he has the support of the majority of his people. Of course the opposition will claim that the election was not fair. We will here reports of violence and arm-twisting, but this time over seven thousand observers from all over the world witnessed the election process and all have said the election was orderly and peaceful. This time the opposition party was allowed to campaign openly. George W. Bush has made Robert Mugabe personna non grata because of Bush's relationship with Tony Blair. But what is the great crime of Robert Mugabe? He is vigorously moving on land reform and the former colonialist decendents don't like it and fear that this might become an example for other disenfranchised people all over the world who have the audacity to want their land back. It was the same Robert Mugabe, whose government detected a clandestine attempt to overthrow Nguema's dictatorship in Equatorial Guinea because of newly discovered oil. This coup was financed by none other than the son of the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Mugabe, Chavez and Castro continue to win battles but that doesn't necessarily mean the war is won. Jean Bertrand Aristide continued to win popular elections in Haiti but he was overthrown in a US engineered coup which the US media out of fear or out of compliance refuses to cover. These leaders are maligned because of their people centered policies which involve controlling their own natural resources and using them for the good of their people. There are so many freedom loving people in the United States who deplore the unbridled greed of the oil companies and other multinationals and what they are doing to the image of liberty and freedom so vigourously espoused by the United States, but these voices have been muzzled while the Constitution has been ignored. As US citizens who are proud of their "liberty" and "freedom" we must condemn the Bush administration for it's continuing efforts to destabilize and/or destroy popularly elected governments around the world. If you continue to turn a blind eye to these atrocities you are just as guilty as Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney et. al.