Wednesday, May 25, 2005

George W Bush's Greatest Hits

George W. Bush, if he is anything he IS consistent. He had never succeeded in anything from the Texas Rangers to the disastrous oil ventures (in which the Saudis bailed him out). Although brother Neil did compete with the Silverado savings fiasco W seems to be in a league of his own when it comes to consistent failure.....but what is his greatest faux pas. There have been so many that it is hard to select one as the biggest or worst. Could it be the time that he told us that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that Americans must go to war against a country that members of his own administration said was the weakest country in the region? or could it be when one of his most ardent supporters and one of the biggest contributors to his presidential campaign was accused of "stealing" money from the pension plans of its employees? Yes during the campaign W referred to Ken Lay as "Kenny Boy" but when Ken Lay was indicted all of a sudden Mr. Bush denied that they had a close relationship. Enron Corporation was found to be the principal culprit of the California Energy crisis and Mr. Bush could say close to nothing about the avarice of his old pal "Kenny Boy" But then again maybe that was not the crown jewel of this ethically challenged administration. Maybe it's the decision to cheat during the televised debates with John Kerry in which there were some reporters who actually admitted to seeing a big bulge in the president's back and what seemed to be a very small earphone in his ear. Most people would call this "cheating" but the vast majority of the so called "liberal" media chose not to spend too much time on this topic when we all know that if Clinton had done this it would be headline news. Then again maybe that isn't the crown jewel either, maybe it's the Gannon/Guckert affair, when a reporter without valid credentials has access to the presidential press corps and tosses softball questions to the President. This same reporter was discovered to be a male prostitute. Now I am certain that we all have some skeletons in our closet but doesn't this seem a little unusual for the administration that became the people's choice because of it's exceptionally high "moral" character? No, that's not the crown jewel..or it is? Maybe it when W gave 240,000.00 to Armstrong Williams to promote "No Child Left Behind" in the African-American community. Some of that money could have actually been given to the underfunded program instead of to Mr. Williams. To make matters even worse this administration was caught manufacturing news. Mr. Bush through his surrogates realized that his opponent John Kerry was a bona-fide war hero and waged a very effective campaign to smear Mr. Kerry's wartime accomplishments. Of course Mr. Bush said he had nothing to do with the Swift-Boat organizations. W embarrassed himself and especially Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice when he was in Brasil and he asked the question "Do you have black people here too?" This shows his worldliness. Before becoming president he seldom travelled outside of the U.S. and it showed. W once said "The problem with the French is that they have no idea of what the word "Entrepreneur" means" What a profound statement when you come to the realization that it IS a French word. Then again maybe the crown jewel of W's administration was his A.I.D.S policy?
Millions of dollars were donated to stop the spread of A.I.D.S as long as his buddies in the pharmaceutal industry were allowed to gain a buck or two. Maybe the real crown jewel is the way the administration punished those evil doers who were practicing GENOCIDE in Sudan. He really fixed them good..................he sold them weapons. The Iraq war has cost the American taxpayer 300 billion dollars and most of the Iraqis hate us. What about the Downing Street memo? For those of you who may not know what the Downing Street memo was because the U.S. press doesn't report it, or under reports it. Apparently Bush told his partner in crime Tony Blair well in advance that he intended to invade Iraq long before the suspicion of the existence of weapons of mass destruction, so this was an orchestrated illegal undertaking that costs over
100,000 Iraqi lives(mostly civilian) and over 1,600 U. S. lives. The New York Times doesn't not want to put this on the front page......maybe because of what happened to Newsweek? I don't know. One cannot leave out the Terri Schiavo case. President Bush got up at 2:00AM to promote legislation that would prolong the life of a patient whose doctors declared her terminally ill. Meanwhile in Minnesota a child went on a murderous Colombine-like killing spree, which Mr. Bush totally ignored in the beginning but finally responded to after public pressure. Mr. Bush presented himself as an opponent of affirmative action and indirectly supported it's demise even thorough Bush himself (and his family, going back 22 generations) was the beneficiary of a legacy set aside program at Yale. In this administration hypocrisy abounds.
It is so hard to pick the crown jewel misstep of the Bush administration so far because there are so many. What about forcing former New Jersey Governor and Environmental Protection Agency head Christine Todd Whitman
to tell New York City residents to go back to work at ground zero. He forced her to say that there were no problems after 9/11? when people today continue to complain about 9/11 related health issues.
The president is still criss-crossing the country promoting his Social Security privitazation plan, which is even turning off members of his own party, especially those who are up for re-election.
Then of course there is the issue of torture at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Our soldiers sent photographs to their love ones showing the atrocities that inflamed the Iraq people and the world. There are just so many memorable mess ups by this president and his deputies that is hard to single out one as being the worst. The sad thing is that although he may be a lame duck president he still has another 3 1/2 years left in office. When you look at all the damage he has caused so far he STILL has time to cause even more......and what happens after that.....do we get President Frist or President Giuliani...different name same policy. It seems hard to believe but we still have people out there (and I include Democrats) who are afraid to admit that the last two presidential elections were bogus. So it's very hard to pick just one mishap as THE crown jewel or greatest hit (as in damage or destroy) of George W. Bush because he has been so consistent.......consistently awful.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Filibuster Compromise No Victory For Democrats

Although the filibuster compromise is being portrayed in the press as a "bittersweet" victory for the Democrats the truth is it is another in a series of humiliating defeats because under this so called compromise ultra conservatives Pryor, Owen and Rogers Brown WILL be approved. The Democrats will have the filibuster preserved but will only use it in cases of "extreme" nominees, which means a nominee to the right of Pryor, Owen and Rogers Brown......is that possible? When the Democrats label a nominee "extreme" the Republicans can just state that they disagree. Democratic leader Harry Reid was applauded for at least giving the appearance that the Democrats were developing a spine, but unfortunately once again the Democrats snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. According to the Wall Street Journal( a prestigious right wing publication) only 6% of the American public support the actions of a Republican dominated congress. With the people solidly behind you what reason would you have to compromise? This is precisely the type of behavior that continues to infuriate "true" Democrats. The President's Social Security adjustment proposals are dead on arrival. It is obvious that the public rejects it, yet Democrats are still willing to discuss privitization instead of Medicare, where there is a real concern about it's future. New York Giant fans will remember an unpopular perceived policy called the "prevent offensive" well it looks as if the Democrats in congress have adopted a similar perspective. As a result of these nominees being appointed we can expect big business not to be held responsible for the damage their products cause. Ms. Owen always sides with
big business, so if a company's product gives you cancer and you can prove it pray that your
case is not heard by Ms. Owen. President Bush calls the lawsuits against paint companies as
"frivolous" when thousands of infants are victims of lead poisoning. A women's right to choose
will also be seriously threatened. When Newt Gingrich was the congressional Republican leader
the New York Daily News had a front page cartoon of Gingrich portrayed as an infant having a tantrum because he had to sit in the back of President Clinton's jet. This type of immature behavior was seen all over the right-wing blogs. They give the impression that they are the victims. They are actually the victors because once again we see that Democrats can be manipulated even when the public is on the side of the Democrats.
When I heard the reaction of President-select George W. Bush I knew progressive and centrist Democrats lost big time when it comes to the filibuster because Mr. Bush looked at the compromise as a "positive" event. It was no small wonder that Mr. DLC himself, Joe Lieberman was one of the first to praise the compromise. I suggest that anyone who reads this article contact your Democratic elected officials and let them know that you do not consider this compromise a victory and neither was it the best that they could do. This was a rare occasion when all Democratic members of a committee were united and now it has all resulted in yet another defeat (but this time it is disguised as a victory).

Saturday, May 21, 2005

"We The People" Do Have the Power to Control the Media by August Keso

'We the People' Do Have the Power to Control the Media - We only need make the choice to choose to use that power by August Keso, May 20th, 2005
Earlier this week CNN, sister company of TIME magazine, had boiled TIME's competitor, Newsweek alive. Did CNN bother to question whether or not the Pentagon, and by default then, the Bush administration had any responsibility whatsoever for the story, which had caused so many problems? Newsweek did after all have the piece vetted by the Pentagon beforehand, and they failed to point out the supposed Quran flaw. Why isn't CNN placing journalistic integrity and facts before their lynching of Newsweek? The answer is simple...profits.CNN is a prime example of what is wrong with America's so-called journalism media. They have no respect for their roll, as arbiter of information between the government and the people. They care not the least about their charge to ensure the people are well and accurately informed, so that they, in a free and democratic society, can make wise choices concerning their own governance. And it is the People's government, regardless of what Bush and Republicans might like the country to believe. No, for CNN and every other so-called news outlet, what matters well before...way before their duties and dare I say it, responsibilities in a democratic society, is their ratings and profits. Nothing else matters. Nothing!CNN's biased and brazen profit driven dragging of Newsweek through the mud instead of reporting the facts, highlights this prostitution posing as news that has engulfed the American media and threatens the nation's democracy. CNN doesn't care that their failure to confront the government on this issue and their refusing to fully report news, such as the Downing Street Memo are destroying America's democracy. They have a chance to score a few points for TIME, and if they are really lucky, destroy the competition. That is all they see and all that matters.That is why CNN isn't asking McClellan who he and the Bush administration think they are, when they try to tell editors of a supposed free-press, what they must and must not do. That is why they don't have a Bush lackey on their programs and asking how it is, that all America's perception problems can possibly be linked to one news story. That is why they aren't asking the White House how the inaccuracies -- if there really are any in the Newsweek story, as several organizations have reported Quran abuse in the past...dating back to March, 2003 -- which were vetted by Pentagon sources, could possibly be Newsweek's fault...they did their job as a news agency, they checked their facts with those that claim to know the truth. Profits, that is why CNN isn't doing anything other than destroying Newsweek and in the process, America's democracy.But there is more to this problem. Tim Russert on Larry King Live, admitted that NBC has withheld news, because the Bush administration had asked them not to run it. All in the name of national security of course. Russert even admitted that sometimes they had been duped by the government, and the reason for not wanting them to run the piece -- they found out later -- had nothing to do with national security. Still, Russert said, they remain the dutifull dupes themselves, and censor news whenever the administration tells them to do so. All in the name of national security of course. See, what even a supposed 'good' journalist, like Russert fails to understand, is that in a democracy they, the media, don't exist at the governments leisure. Their only function and purpose is to report the facts, as they are found, so the American people can make wise decisions and choices about their governance. That even Russert feels obliged to play the government lackey isn't at all comprehensible.Also, of late, the New York Times reporting of Galloway's Senate visit was buried deep within their 'International' section. Apparently, for the NYT, Washington DC is now, considered a foreign land. Not only did they bury the testimony of a foreign elected official before the Senate, they didn't even bother to report on most of Galloway's testimony. Perhaps the Bush administration thought and was able to persuade the Times that Mister Galloway's public testimony was a danger to America's national security? Fortunately, there is a simple answer to CNN, NBC and the NYT's prostitution and news censorship. Refuse to be their John or dupe. Don't watch them and don't read their papers! They want to dismiss their role as defender of America's democracy and instead play the whore, for profits or await government pats on the head for being good dogs? Then hit them the only place they know to look for news. Hit them in the bottom line. Turn them off, tune them out, don't buy or read their papers and simply don't view their programming. Here is the thing CNN and America's media in general, just don't get. We, as in We the People, don't need them anymore. We can collect, analyze and distribute news for ourselves. If American media won't tell the truth, we can find outlets anywhere on the planet that will and so we should. CNN and the rest of America's media want to play the prostitute and think only of profits, maintaining government secrecy and ignore their responsibility in a free society? Sounds good, because we don't need them anymore and we simply don't have to watch or read their rubbish. Let's see how that suits their profit driven insanity.Surely, as Americans, not watching CNN, NBC and not reading the New York Times is the least we can do to save our democracy. Certainly, not viewing or reading aren't that big of a sacrifice when compared perhaps, to those made by the Founding Fathers or the once jailed Solidarity Leaders in Poland. We, as in We the People, have to start somewhere and regain control over our democracy. Refusing to watch CNN, NBC or reading the NYT for willfully failing to perform their function within a democratic society is a good first step. Maybe, just maybe, if our protest -- our refusal to accept prostituted and compromised media -- were successful in these cases, CNN and all of America's media would learn a lesson. That lesson being, if nobody is watching or reading, there can be no prostituted profits because they have nobody to act as their Johns. Corporations might own the news in this country, but if We the People aren't tuning in, they have no demand and as any economist will tell you, without demand there is no need for supply. So let's decide today, that whenever and wherever a supposed news outlet, whether it is television, radio or print, refuses to uphold it's responsibilities in a free and democratic society, we will immediately cease to demand their product. And when our demand disappears so will their need to supply and therefore, their profits. We do have the power to control the media. We simply have to make the choice to choose to use that power.As for me, I am off to delete CNN from my television. It is a simple thing really, go to 'menu' and then 'channels' and with one little click, delete and then as I surf, CNN doesn't show up. Just like that, one bomb lobbed in the war for America's democracy. Surely, that isn't too difficult or require much sacrifice.
posted by karenaon May 21st, 2005 at 9:40AM
I agree, we cannot fight the problem if we continue to support the problem. It is like the joke about consultants, "If you are not part of the solution there is a ton of money to be made continuing the problem." You are part of the solution, and your boycott would end the problem.
Copyright © 2005 Progressive Daily BeaconPlease contact editor@progressivedailybeacon.com with any questions or comments

Monday, May 16, 2005

Buy Your Gas at Citgo: Join the BUY-cott by Jeff Cohen

Published on Monday, May 16, 2005 by CommonDreams.org


Looking for an easy way to protest Bush foreign policy week after week? And an easy way to help alleviate global poverty? Buy your gasoline at Citgo stations.
And tell your friends.
Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation's oil revenue to benefit the poor. The country is Venezuela. The President is Hugo Chavez. Call him "the Anti-Bush."
Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes to Venezuela -- not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. There are 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the US. (Click here http://www.citgo.com/CITGOLocator/StoreLocator.jsp to find one near you.) By buying your gasoline at Citgo, you are contributing to the billions of dollars that Venezuela's democratic government is using to provide health care, literacy and education, and subsidized food for the majority of Venezuelans.
Instead of using government to help the rich and the corporate, as Bush does, Chavez is using the resources and oil revenue of his government to help the poor in Venezuela. A country with so much oil wealth shouldn't have 60 percent of its people living in poverty, earning less than $2 per day. With a mass movement behind him, Chavez is confronting poverty in Venezuela. That's why large majorities have consistently backed him in democratic elections. And why the Bush administration supported an attempted military coup in 2002 that sought to overthrow Chavez.
So this is the opposite of a boycott. Call it a BUYcott. Spread the word.
Of course, if you can take mass transit or bike or walk to your job, you should do so. And we should all work for political changes that move our country toward a cleaner environment based on renewable energy. The BUYcott is for those of us who don't have a practical alternative to filling up our cars.
So get your gas at Citgo. And help fuel a democratic revolution in Venezuela.
Jeff Cohen is an author and media critic (www.jeffcohen.org)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

WARNING: Beware Of Rent-A-Center

Rent-A-Center is one of those companies that has been accused of preying on the poor. It's practices are perfectly legal in most states due to widespread support from congressional Republicans. Journalist Anya Schiffrin in the May/June 2005 edition of Mother Jones states "Situated in mostly poor neighborhoods, this chain's 2,000 stores offer big-ticket items like furniture and electronics to millions of people with no credit. Hiking up prices and charging exorbitant interest, using a scheme critics have called "pay now, pay later," the company racks up sales in the billions and is a key player in what one market research firm calls "the poverty market" This company targets credit-needy consumers with sales practices that inflate the actual cost of their merchandise. Their prices were inflated as much as 225 percent according to The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs in 2001. Damley Stewart is an attorney who is championing a class action suit against Rent-A-Center. According to Stewart "Rent-A-Center explicitly targets poor, largely minority neighborhoods and has no qualms about selling a cheap television for $700 to people who can't afford it. Stewart says the company uses a high pressure sales scheme. This is not the only time the company has been taken to court. Miraculousy Rent-A-Center has yet to be convicted. Even though the company has numerous lawsuits reaching as high as 256 million dollars, the company is in the red by a huge margin with earnings reaching 2.3 billion in sales and 183 million in profits. Only four states, Vermont, Wisconsin, Minnesota and New Jersey have shielded their citizens from Rent-A-Center with specific state laws that prohibit deceptive business practices, but Rent-A-Center with the help of former House Republican leader Dick Armey(who is a Rent-A-Center board member) is trying very hard to overturn the laws in those states. The African-American and Hispanic communities in poor areas are also victims of environmental racism, predatory lending in addition to unequal treatment in hospitals and increased housing discrimination. These predators thrive on the fact that the news media doesn't carry these stories and if you don't know that there is a problem how can you fight against it? The 109th Congress has been adept at looking the other way when it comes to these racist complaints of abuse, in fact many congress members (predominantly Republican, but not exclusively) have been identified as collaborators of those entities of alleged abuse. One name that immediately comes to mind are Representative Walter Jones (R-N.C). The sole purpose of this article is to make you aware. Tell your friends, neighbors and relatives to be very wary of "renting" or purchasing anything from this company until it can clear its name. Spread the word

Friday, May 13, 2005

Rep. John Conyers on the Nuclear Option

Over the past several weeks, we have seen unprecedented attacks on the independent judiciary by leading members of the Republican majority. Most of the public, however, may have missed earlier efforts of the majority to "capture" the courts through the arguable abuse of both legislative and executive authority. These attempts by the administration and Republicans in Congress threaten to debase permanently the courts and undermine the stability of our legal system for mere short-term political gain. As was apparent from the message of Justice Sunday - a nationally televised Christian conservative political rally, the right-wing of the Republican party has made the appointment of judges the latest battle ground in the raging "culture" wars. The telecast's participants accused Democrats of using the filibuster to keep judges of a certain faith off the bench and essentially tarred their opponents as the enemies of God. The participation of Senator Frist in this event is troubling because the implication that any party or any senator would impose a litmus test against people of faith is not only wholly inaccurate, but irresponsible.In reality, this debate is over the nature of our democracy and respect for the independent federal judiciary. For 200 years, the Senate has used the filibuster to protect the rights of the minority in Congress and prevent intensely divisive legislation from passing. The filibuster is part of a series of Senate rules designed to encourage compromise and protect our democracy from being captured by one party or faction controlling all the branches of government, precisely the situation we have today. With the administration's changes in longstanding consultative policies, the filibuster represents the final option in oversight by the legislative minority in the Senate. From the beginning, this administration closed the review process by eliminating pre-nomination review by the American Bar Association and consultation with the opposition party on appellate court nominations, as had been the policy of the Clinton administration. These decisions all but guaranteed controversy around certain nominations and politicized the process. When you evaluate the record, it would seem that the administration should have little complaint. Senators have used the filibuster to block only 10 of President Bush's most extreme nominees and 204 have been confirmed. President Clinton's nominees faced a far different fate at the hands of these same senators, who used the tactics that they today propose to abandon. As a result of Republican obstructionism, 81 vacancies were left unfilled at the end of the Clinton administration, including 26 vacancies on the courts of appeals. The heaviest weight of these tactics fell on women and minorities. By the close of 1999, every nominee who was subjected to obstructionist hurdles, such as multiple Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings, was a woman or person of color. The bipartisan Constitution project of Georgetown University revealed that minority candidates for federal judgeships were twice as likely not to be confirmed as their white counterparts. Senator Jesse Helms, for example, blocked each of the four African-American judges nominated to integrate the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Missouri Supreme Court Justice Ronnie White was the victim of a racial double standard by former Senator and Attorney General John Ashcroft. Moreover, several other highly qualified women and minority nominees waited up to four years for a vote by the Senate. In the face of this apparent discrimination, there was never a suggestion that Senate rules be changed to remedy this disparity. Arguments that the proposed modification of the filibuster rule would erase its tainted racial history completely lack credibility because those authoring the change lack clean hands with respect to the issue.The level of partisanship aimed at the federal courts over the last several years clearly threatens to undermine the institution. Judges already battered by controversies over pay, Congressional investigations and threats of impeachment over unpopular decisions have cried foul. Further, over 350 editorial boards, former Republican Senators, columnists and lawyers of every ideological stripe, and organizations from across the political spectrum have appealed to the Senate to step back from the "nuclear" brink on judicial nominations. The leaders in the Senate must come together to find a solution that will assure both that fair and responsible judges fill vacant judicial seats and that the filibuster remains available for use during the most extreme situations. If we expect people of integrity to lead our courts, the time has come for reason to prevail over partisanship. John Conyers, Jr.May, 2005
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL www.buzzflash.com

John Conyers, Jr., is the second most senior person serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is also the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on the Judiciary and a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
http://www.house.gov/conyers/index.htm

Monday, May 09, 2005

Velvet Revolution's "Divestiture For Democracy" Campaign

MAXINE WATERS SENDS LETTER WITH JOHN CONYERS TO COLLEAGUES URGING THEM TO SUPPORT VELVET REVOLUTION'S "DIVESTITURE FOR DEMOCRACY" VOTING MACHINE COMPANY RECOMMENDATIONS!
State "very strong position" that companies must adopt standards or be denied HAVA Government Funding!Support for VR's Campaign Gains Increasing Support from Politicians!
UPDATE 3/21/05: Twenty U.S. House Members Sign on to letter!Details and complete signed letter here...
Last week, in his endorsement of Velvet Revolution's "Divestiture for Democracy" Campaign, Congressman John Conyers, the ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, said: "I applaud Velvet Revolution's actions and recommendations with regard to election machinery firms. I believe it is critical that we take every action we can to encourage these companies to help us restore our people's trust in our elections. I look forward to working with Velvet Revolution on this effort."
Today, Mr. Conyers kept his promise by joining with Congresswoman Maxine Waters in sending a letter to their congressional colleagues asking them to sign onto a letter to all nine of America's Voting Machine companies urging them to immediately implement the recommendations made by VR in our February 21, 2005 letter to the companies.
Their letter to the companies restates the position that no government funding should be given to companies which do not voluntarily implement these standards!
Here is the text of the letter sent by Ms. Waters and Mr. Conyers this afternoon:
JOIN SIGN ON LETTER TO ASK VOTING MACHINES COMPANIES TO VOLUNTARILY ADOPT STANDARDS TO COUNT EVERY VOTE
March 16, 2005
Dear Colleague:
As a result of HAVA, many states replaced their paper ballots with electronic voting machines. However, during the November 2004 Presidential election, there were a number of incidents that raised concerns about the performance, reliability and security of the voting machines.
The voting machine problems have spurred many members of Congress to take action and introduce legislation to enhance integrity of our electoral process.% (Velvet Revolution 3-16-05)

Bush Administration Pursues "Some" Terrorists While Ignoring Others

Since the Bush Administration has been practically synonymous with the word "hyprocrisy" (i.e. denouncing the Sudanese government for genocide yet giving the nation arms,
firing a director of security when he makes recommendations for change and of course there's Gannon/Guckert) it comes as no surprise that hypocrisy abounds with regard to terrorism. The current Panamanian government was pressured to release alleged terrorist Luis Posada Carriles in 2003. Mr. Carriles is the prime suspect in the bombing of a Cuban commercial airplane that killed more than seventy people in 1976. Mr Carriles also admits to bombing tourist spots in Havana.An Italian visitor was killed in 1997. In spite of overwhelmingly strong evidence that Mr. Posada Carriles was involved in terrorism Roger F. Noriega, the top State Department official for Western Hemisphere affairs says "The United States government has no plan yet in place for handling the extradition request." Mr. Posada Carriles should be brought to justice in Venezuela, like any other person accused of murder. Is there a difference between Luis Posada Carriles and Zacarias Moussauri?(alleged mastermind of 9/11 attack) They are accused of the same murderous act. In both cases innocent lives were lost. If this administration is serious about stopping terrorism honestly Luis Posada Carriles would be an excellent starting point.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Rosa Parks Wins Lawsuit

Although advanced in years and periodically in ill health Rosa Parks continues to be a tower of strength. I remember when I was a boy my late father talking about the lady from Cleveland Avenue in Montgomery, Alabama in glowing terms, and this was long before she became famous. At 92 years of age Rosa Parks once again stood firm and let it be known that the same way she would not be disrespected by a white man on a bus who demanded her seat is the same way she would not be disrespected in the lyrics of a hip-hop icon. Ms Parks won a lawsuit against the popular group Outkast, BMG Entertainment Group and LaFace records because she
was offended by the lyrics of one of the Outkast songs which more or less said "Don't nobody make a fuss, EVERYBODY get to the back of the bus" Unfortunately to get a "laugh" a segment of the black community feels that there is nothing that is sacred and they continue to push the limits and they are convinced that there would be no repercussions. Ms Parks has shown otherwise. The dollar amount of the settlement was not announced but part of the agreement calls for the defendants to produce a video and or DVD that details the struggles of the civil rights movement and specifically the contributions of Ms. Parks. Previously we have seen this
outlandish disrespect for civil rights heroes by African-American characters in movies such as "Barber Shop 1". A DJ on New York's Hot 97 had the nerve to actually make fun of the victims of the tsunami tragedy in Asia.
Hip-Hop empresario Russell Simmons was at the forefront of a movement to eliminate the
onorous Rockefeller drug laws. He intended to attract inner city youth to this demonstration to not only oppose the Rockefeller drug laws but to encourage the members of the hip-hop generation to register to vote. It was obvious that Mr. Simmons did this out of the genuine concern for inner city youth. When a WBAI interviewer asked one of the young men why he
attended the rally his response was "I'm here to see my girl L'il Kim. I don't care about this political stuff" Now this young man may not represent the opinion of the vast majority of the young people present but there were quite a few people who nodded in agreement. The Reagan era popularized the "I'm gonna get mine and the hell with everybody else" attitude which leads to the excess "bling-bling" materialism so prevalent today even in so-called minority communities where children are attacked and robbed of their sneakers and jewelry. Many of the youth of this generation know surprisingly little of Martin Luther King, Thurgood Marshall, Fannie Lou Hamer or Rosa Parks. The sacrifices these people have made to make life better for all of us should not be trivialized for the sake of a cheap laugh. Rosa Parks( a mugging victim in her later years) has proven once again that she will not be disrespected, but this time she had to prove it to members of her own race.

Say No To CAFTA

Congress is about to consider the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)—called NAFTA’s twin brother. Please pick up the phone now and join the National Call-In Day by urging your U.S. representative to say “NO” to CAFTA and “YES” to good jobs.
Call toll-free 1-888-355-3588 to be connected to the office of your member of the U.S. House of Representatives. You must call today—this toll-free number will not work after today. Tell her or him that:
CAFTA is just like NAFTA—a failure of a trade deal. NAFTA supporters promised us it would help our economy and reduce poverty and inequality in Mexico. Instead, we lost nearly a million U.S. jobs, and Mexican workers earn less in real terms than they did before NAFTA.
CAFTA is more of the same—another flawed trade deal that will sell out America’s jobs and do nothing to pull people out of poverty in Central America and the Dominican Republic.
In fact, CAFTA is the Wal-Mart of trade deals. It gives big corporations all the breaks while good jobs, workers’ rights and decent wages are forsaken.
Please take one moment today only to call the following toll-free number and urge your U.S. representative to oppose CAFTA:
1-888-355-3588
Trade deals like CAFTA have devastated our communities, shutting down American workplaces, exporting our jobs and leaving skilled workers unable to find jobs that can support their families. Right now, we are losing jobs because of bad trade deals in every single sector open to trade competition, from lumber and aerospace to clothing. You name it, we’ve lost it—and CAFTA will only make things worse.
Your U.S. representative needs to hear from you that there are better ways to do trade. We need a fair relationship with Central America and the Dominican Republic that makes moral and economic sense for all workers. Please call your representative today and urge her or him to reject this CAFTA. Call toll-free 1-888-355-3588.
You must make this call today: To keep our opponents from getting and misusing this toll-free number, it will not work after today. Please call now.
Thank you for making your voice heard for workers here, and in Central America and the Dominican Republic.
Thank you for taking action today for working families.
In solidarity,
Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO April 13, 2005

PETITION TO SAVE BRAZILIAN RAINFOREST AT 272 .....AND GROWING!

P E T I T I O N "Be the change you want to see in the world?" Ghandi Dear friends, Please don't ignore this opportunity to do one of the most important things possible for the world!The Brazilian congress is now voting on a project that will reduce the Amazon forest to 50% of its size. It will take 1 MINUTE to read this. Read it please and then put your name at the end of the list. Don't just forward this email!----------------*PLEASE copy & paste the entire text into a new e-mail'.*----------------*NB DON'T JUST FORWARD IT - AS IT WILL THEN END UP WITH ROWS AND ROWS of '>'s' which discourages people from sending it on*----------------First, some facts: -The Amazon rainforest is responsible for the generation of 20% of the oxygen that we on this earth breathe, 30% of the world's freshwater is contained within the Amazon basin, 60% of the cancer fighting drugs used today are derived from plants that can only be found within the Amazon rainforest. -The area to be deforested is 4 times the size of Portugal and would be mainly used for agriculture and pastures for livestock. All the wood is to be sold to international markets in the form of wood chips, by large multinational companies. The truth is that the soil in the Amazon forest is useless without the forest itself. Its quality is very acidic and the region is prone to constant floods.- At this time more than 160,000 square kilometres deforested with the same purpose are abandoned and in the process of becoming deserts, meaning that this proposal is in the short-term interests of a few & in the long term interests of none.If you are the 400th person to sign please send a copy to:fsaviolo@openlink.com.br <>Thank you for your help!!!01 - Fernanda de Souza Saviolo - Rio de Janeiro - RJ02 - Nara Maria de Souza - Rio de Janeiro - RJ -03 - Julio Cesar Fraga Viana Rio de Janeiro04 - Monica Grotkowsky Brotto Sao Paulo05 - Mauricio Grotkowsky Br! otto Sao Paulo06 - Ricardo A.Corrallo - SP07 - S unn! y Jonathan - SP08 - Leonardo Larsen Rocha - SP09 - Evandro Sestrem -10 - Marco Aurlio Wehrmeister - Blumenau - SP11 - Angela Maria Gonalves - Blumenau -SP12 - Alessndra Bernardino- Blumenau - SP13 - Pedro Carstens Penfold - Rio de Janeiro - RJ -14 - Annelena Porto Delgado - S*o Paulo -15 - Erica Couto -S*o Paulo -16 - Elaine Couto- S*o Paulo - SP17 - Tatiana de Almeida Voivodic - S*o Paulo18 - Solange B Furlanetto - S*o Paulo / SP!19 - Marcos deSouza Mello - S*o Paulo / SP20 - Elian! eSantiago - S*o Paulo/SP21 - Francisca J. Bezerra Alves Ara*jo - S*oPaulo-SP22 - Carlos Alber to Dantas Junior - Rio de JaneiroRJ23 - Daniel Rodrigues da Cruz - Rio de Janeiro /RJ24 - Gabriella Gaida - Rio de Janeiro - RJ25 - Ceclia Silva Teixe ira Pinto - RJ - 03/06/7526 - Tania Santos Miguel27 - Celso Henrique! Diniz Valente de Figueiredo -RJ28 - Marcelo Lopes Rheingantz - Rio de Janeiro - RJ29 - Rodrigo Tassinari de Oliveira - Rio de Janeiro30 - Andr LobatoPinheiro - Rio deJaneiro - RJ31 - Ismael dos Santos Silva - RJ -32 - Gustavo Alexandre Caetano Correa - RJ -33 - Juana Varella Barca de Amorim - Rio de Janeiro34 - Nara Faria Silva Rio de Janeiro -RJ-35 - Isabella Jaggi S*oPaulo- SP -36 - Diana de Andrade Freitas - Rio de Janeiro -RJ37 - Karina Dourad! o - S*o Paulo -38 - Pablo Genuncio Garcia - Rio de Janeiro39 - Fabola Morais de Lucca - S*o Paulo -40 - Alexei Morais de Lucca - S! *o Paulo - SP -41 - Renata Regina Roxo - S*o Paulo - SP -42 - Fernanda Teixeira - S*o Paulo - SP -43 - Patr icia Freitas - S*o Paulo - SP44 - Cintia Regina K*rner -Alemanha - DE -45 - Wolfgang K*rner - Alemanha - DE46 - Roseani Viei! ra Roch a - San Francisco - CA47 - Angela Ichimura - ! S*o Paul o - SP48 - Assunta Viola - Sao Paulo - SP50 - Marina Amaral - Alemanha - DE51 - Fabian Rodrigu! es Caetano - Sao Paulo - SP -52 - Luciana Cabrera- Santa Barbara- Ca53 - Andrea Torres- Lahaina, Hawaii54 - Carla Duarte- New York, NY55 - Sergio Goes - New York, NY56 - Itaal Shur - New York, NY57 - Hiroyoku Sanada-New York, NY, US58 - Marianne Ebert-new york, NY, US59 - Gloriana M. Calhoun - New York,! NY60 - Roger Jazilek - New York, NY61 - Cheryl To - New York, NY62 - Judy Mercer - Paris, France63 - Evelyne Pouget- Woodstock, NY64 - Hera-Woodstock, NY65 - Nicos Peonides - Cy! prus - New York NY66 - Fiona Cousins - New York, NY67 - Alistair Millington - London, UK68 - Edgar Craggs - Bristol, UK69 - Chris Hastie - Nottingham, UK70 - Adam Barley - Bristol, UK71 - Dawn Morgan - B! ristol, UK72 - Lottie Berthoud - Bristol , UK73 - Julia Simnett - Bristol, UK74 - Lindsey Colbourne - Bath, UK75 - Wendy Lawton - Bath, UK76 - James Friel - Birmingham, UK77 - S! ylvia Magyar - Budapest, Hungary78 - Danco Uzunov - Budapest Hungary79 - Vladimir Jurukovski - New York, USA80 - LasteStojanovski - Auckland,New Zealand81 - Katerina Rusevska - Skopje, Macedonia82 - Snezana Pesic -Kragujevac, Yugoslavia83 - Sladjan Pavlovic - Beograd, Yugoslavia84 - Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailovic - Belgrade,Yugoslavia85 - Begoqa Arano-Brussels, Belgium86 - Brendan Kelly-Brussels, Belgium87 - Rafael Marquez-Madrid, Spain88 - Ignacio De la Riva-Madrid, Spain89 - A. Townsend Pe! terson - Lawrence,Kansas90 - Anita Gamauf-Vienna,Austria91 - Desmond Allen-Tokyo, Japan92 - Krys Kazmierczak, London, UK.93 - Anand Prasad, Denma rk94 - Pauline McLeod, Yo! rk, UK ? BR>95 - Lee Casey, Harrogate, United Kingdom96 - Sibylle Rhovier, Bournemouth, UK97 - Peter McCaig, London UK98 - Robert Vint, Totnes, UK99 - Hugh Warwick, Oxford, UK100 - Richard Madden, Brighton, UK101 - Am! anda Marks, Woodbidge, UK102 - Jane Laws, Woodbridge, UK103 - Joanna Hayes, London, UK104 - Julian Matthews - London UK105 - Anna Davies, London, UK106 - Darren Lucas, M! ansfield, UK107 - Nic Masters, Taunton, UK108 - Kate Dougal, London, UK109 - Richard Dolan, London, UK110 - Stacey Watson, London, UK111 - Shannon O'Brien, London, UK112 - Jigna Patel, London, UK113 - Lisa O'Brien, Malmo, Sweden114 - Johan Luyckx, Malmo, Sweden115 - John Dolecek, Malmo, Sweden11! 6 - Steven Huynh, Malmo, Sweden117 - Bodil Johansson, Malmo, Sweden118 - Anna-Maj Wandt, Dalby, Swed!en119 - Kajsa Nordstrom, Uppsala, Sweden120 - Anna Hillerberg, Stockholm , Sweden121 - Annika Jegbert, Stockholm, Sweden122 - Christer Jegbert, Stockholm, Sweden123 - Anna-Carin Collin, Taby, Sweden124 - Nadja von Kantzow, Stockholm, Sweden125 - Johan von kantzow, Stockholm, Sweden126 - Calle Rosengren! , stockholm, sweden127 - Daniel Achilles, Stockholm, Sweden128 - Cecilia Andersson, Stockholm, Sweden129 - Henrik Eriksson, Stockholm, Sweden130 - Pontus Holmgren, Stockholm,Sweden131 - J.B. Russell, Paris, France132 - S.D. Smith, Virginia, United States135 - January Harris, Virginia, United States136 - Tarki L. - Crook, Virginia, United States137 - Marcia L. Rutledge, Syracuse, NY, USA138 - Justin A. Cohen, Syracuse, NY, US139 - Stephen C. Shriber, Amsterdam, The Netherlands !140 - Laura I.Shriber!, Den Haag, The Netherlands141 - Rutje V. Gorissen, Amsterdam , The Netherlands142 - Floris Mansvelt Beck143 - Herbert A. Hauer144 - Dorien Culo, Denderleeuw, Belgium145 - Heidi De Glas , denderleeuw , Belgium146 - Van Wesemael Emily J., Nafraiture, Belgium147 - Nicola Monkhouse, Surrey, UK148 - Rowena Pickering, Barnsley, UK149 - Jonathan Exley, Birmingham, UK150 - Uwe Harck,south africa151 - Gisela Harck, Stellenbosch,South Africa152 - Garyth Bevan, Stellenbosch, South Africa153- Dorothee van B?l , Dreieich, Germany154 - Lena Agel, Dreieich, Germany155 - Larissa Agel, Dreieich, Germany156 - Katinka Gering, Dreieich, Germany157 - Julia Geisensetter, Dreieich, Germany158 - Alexandra Liede, Ruesselsheim, Germany159 - Jennifer A. Klein, Ruesselsheim, Germany160 - Danijela Kekic, R?heim, Germany161 - Sandro Boras, Frankfurt, Germany162 - Nicholas Niksic! , Windsor ON, Canada163 - Mike Marelic, Windsor On, Canada164 - Scott Scheirich, Windsor On, Canada165 - Chinedu Ezemenari, Toronto On, Canada166 - Ross Etherington, Toronto On, Canada167 - Kathryn Hodgins, Chatham, ON Canada168 - Jane Hodgins, Chatham, ON Canada169 - Sally Joyce, Chatham, ON Canada170 - Brigitte Davis, Chatham ON Canada171- Courtney Davis, Chatham ON Canada172 - Jenni-Raie Merritt, Windsor, ON Canada173-Crystal Quigley, Windsor, ON Canada174 - Shana Morneau, Amherstburg, ON Canada175 - Dawn Stickney, Windsor, ON Canada176. Jessica Gurske, Waterloo, ON Canada177. Maggie Couto, Wheatley, ON Canada178. Rachel Weigel, Kitchener, ON Canada179. Susi Scott, Kitchener, ON Canada180. Erin Stewart, Waterloo, ON Canada181. Laura Prevost, Waterloo, ON Canada182. Lauren Easson, St. Catharines, ON Canada183. Evangeline Medina, St. Catharines, ON Canada184. Melanie Lawrenc! e, Windsor, ON Canada185. Deborah Nazareth, St. Catharines, ON, Canada186. Kimberly Todd, Ottawa, ON, Canada187. Melissa C, Sudbury, ON, Canada188. Barb A., Sudbury, ON, Canada189. Dave Foster, Toronto, ON, Canada190. Kevin Howley, Toronto, ON, Canada191. Colin Kingsmore, Toronto, ON, Canada192. Kieran Adams, Toronto, ON, Canada193. Angela Wheeler, Halifax, NS, Canada194. Melissa Cameron, Vancouver, BC, Canada195. James Everett, Napanee, ON, Canada196. Josh Tustin, Deseronto, ON, Canada197. Tammy Everett, Toronto, ON, Canada198. Megan Kelly, Camden East,ON, Canada199. Jennifer Walden, Peterborough, ON, Canada200. Ashley Elliott, Mississauga, ON, Canada201. Jim Elliott, Mississauga, ON, Canada202. Hans Held, Midland, ON, Canada203. Jason Held, Toronto ON, Canada204. Yvonne Glagau, Toronto ON, Canada205. Dr. Chris Bunt, Kitchener, ON, Canada206 Mike Johns, Guelph, ! Ontario, Canada207 Tom Bartlett Guelph Ontario, Canada208 Anne Trzcinski Guelph Ontario, Canada209 Ralph Bennett, Ancaster, ON, Canada210 Millie Bennett, Ancaster, ON, Canada211 Stanley lamontagne Abbotsford BC Canada212 Jack and Ginny Watt, Dahlonega Georgia USA213 Don and Joy Kellett, Phenix City, AL. USA214 Jack & Joan Thompson Owen Sound ON. CAN.215 Lloyd & Gayle Bye Owen Sound Ont. Canada216 Kevin & Kathleen Quinn - Owen Sound, ON Canada217 Jim & Sheila Cummings -Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada218 Mary & Michael Morrison - Ponteland, England, U.K.219 Magda Carr - Dundee, Scotland, UK.220 Claire Turner - Newcastle, UK221 Alex Robb-Millar, Devon, UK.222 Noel Griffin, Southport, UK.223 Wolfgang, Weick AUT224 Thurner Evelyn, 1200 Vienna, AUT225 - Irene Prado, 1120 Vienna, Austria226- Monica Alvarez, USA227-limor sella,israel228-Amit sagiv,israel229 Samuel Young- Donald, Victoria, Australia230-Luke Pickett, Melbourne Victoria, Australia231- Tommy Simsek, Melbourne, Australia232 - Troy Arnott, Melbourne, Australia233 - Peter Storie, Melbourne, Australia234 - Ryan Smith, Melbourne, Australia235 - David Stapleton, Melbourne, Australia236 - Ashley Coutts, Nelson, New Zealand237 - Simon Tannock, Nelson, New Zealand237 - Bill Rucks, Picton, New Zealand238 - Kate Thurston, Wainui, New Zealand239 - Chris Thurston, Wainui, New Zealand240 - Warren Hoy, Wainui, New Zealand241 - Kirsty Richmond,Pohara,New Zealand242 - Juliet Shelley, Korokoro, New Zealand243 - Rachael Linton, Wellington, New Zealand244 - Andrea Bell, Melbourne, Australia245 - Gillian Bell Ohau New Zealand246 - Noel Bruce, Ohau New Zealand247 - Dale Johnston, Hamilton New Zealand248 - Olivia Johnston, CHCH, New Zealand249 - Amy Reason, CHCH, New Zealand250 - Penny van der Velde, Auckland, New Zealand251 - Lucy McKenzie, Auckland, New Zealand252 - Paul Baragwanath, Auckland, New Zealand253 - Barbara Baragwanath, Auckland, New Zealand254 - Dave Breuer, North Shore New Zealand255 - Louise Belcher, North Shore New Zealand256 - Melodie Breuer, North Shore New Zealand257 - Lindsey Britton, Manukau , New Zealand258 - Angela Dunn , Manukau , New Zealand259 - Marianne Macdonald, Auckland, New Zealand260 - Dave Botha, Auckland, new Zealand261 - Jennifer James, Auckland, New Zealand262 - Kath Forster, South Africa263 - Anthea Torr, South Africa_ _264 - Alex Du Toit, Cape Town, South Africa265 - Taryn da Canha, Cape Town, South Africa266 - Monique Anastasiou, Johannesburg, South Africa267 ? Chambis Kiatipis, Nicosia, Cyprus267 - George Kalligeros, Mount Clemens, Michigan, USA
268 - Pat Hastie, Harrison Township, Michigan, USA
269 - Paul Hastie, Harrison Township, Michigan, USA 270 - Claude Chaney, Somerset, New Jersey, USA
271 - Evette Chaney, Somerset, New Jersey, USA
272 - Joy Chaney, Somerset, New Jersey, USA

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Curse Of The Uninformed

United States foreign policy is at best tenuous and the average American doesn't have a clue because the corporate news media is running stories about how the American Idol contestant was allegedly seduced by one of the hosts (Paula Abdul) and we are bombarded with the most minute details of the Michael Jackson case. Which is why most Americans are not aware of what is happening in Mexico where the people's presidential choice, Lopez Obredor is jailed, primarily because supporters of current president and Bush buddy, Vicente Fox doesn't want any competition. Most Americans don't know about changes of government in Ecuador and Bolivia
either. In most cases the people from these countries have decided that the American Free Market ideas help American business and hurt their countries. Globalization is a one way street and they want no part of it. New leaders have come to power in Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brasil and Argentina all on this basic theme. Most Americans don't know about this. They also didn't know about the murder of Archbishop Romero and American nuns in Central America. These atrocious events and the murder of close to 50,000 Salvadorans and Hondurans all happened on the clock of John Necroponte, but he was never seriously challenged about his involvement by any of the senators during his confirmation hearings. Most Americans have no idea about the School Of The Americas(which had a name change so that it could be difficult to remember......something like the Organization of Hemispheric Peace and Cooperation.....well I guess it worked, I don't remember) that trains soldiers to kill their own people in defense of corporate interests.
Most Americans accept as gospel truth whatever passes as news on CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, MSNBC or CBS, which all have menus of government propaganda. It is absolutely ridiculous the claim of a left wing media bias when the exact opposite is the case. All major networks have a majority of conservative hosts(O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh et al.) Clear Channel controls the outdoor advertising business and almost 2,000 radio outlets. Sinclair Broadcasting is an overtly ultra-conservative outlet also with a huge number of affiliates. In addition to this we have the Right Wing Christian network of Pat Robertson and his 700 Club. We are inundated with conservative philosophy. The sole bastion of the center-left was PBS. Public Educational Television was originally conceived to independent, without commercials. That all changed in a flash. Now the new director Mr. Tomlinson is "concerned" about balance and now we will have an influx of more conservative commentators. The network that gave us Bill Moyers journal is now under siege, further proof that there is a concerted effort to stiffle free thought in this country. In the same manner that we were able to prevent Michael Powell at the FCC from giving corporate broadcast media 45% or more of our airwaves we must make our voices heard in regard to equal representation. On Rush Limbaugh's television show he put words into the mouths of people he disagreed with in his not-so-funny comedy routines. This were things these people never said in real life. The uninformed viewer would watch this and believe that it was true. WBAI of the Pacifica network does not screen calls. If a caller has a point of view contrary to that of the host he or she is encouraged to speak his/her mind. This is not the case with right wing pundits. Calls are carefully screened and if you have a contrary point of view you are not heard. A few years ago when US operatives assisted right-wing Venezuelans to overthrow Hugo Chavez the New York Times reported that 100,000 Venezuelans were in the streets demanding that Hugo Chavez step down. This was the truth and it was reported on the first page. The New York Times mistakenly has the reputation of being a "liberal" publication. What this "liberal" publication forgot to tell us was that there were 500,000 Venezuelans in the streets demanding that Hugo Chavez remain President of Venezuela. Of course the Times did make a retraction but it came quite some time after the initial event. Current US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice considers Hugo Chavez a "dangerous" man....but why? What crime did he commit? Is he a murderer? like let's say Saddam Huessein?.....absolutely not. This man simply wants the natural resources of his country to be used for the benefit of "all" the people of his country not just a selected elite with US ties. Robert Mugabe is another individual who is disliked by Bush, Rice et al. because he is taking land away from the former colonialists and giving it back to his people. If another country has something that you need you don't steal it...you negociate for a fair price. This ethically challenged administration of George W. Bush just doesn't understand that concept. The uninformed viewer probably does think that Hugo Chavez is a "dangerous" man who must be stopped because that is how he is portrayed to the American public. Very little will be said about the fact that he was elected four times. The same is true when it comes to Zimbabwe. Even though 7,000 foreigners monitored the election and said that it was fair we still saw accusations of the election being unfair and that people were "intimidated" The cruel irony here is that this is exactly what transpired in the United States presidential elections. Yet the uninformed viewer will also think that Robert Mugabe is a bad, dangerous man because that was how he was portrayed on television. Jean Bertrand Aristide was also elected numerous times and had the support of the vast majority of his people but the Haitian elite allied with US operatives did overthrow his elected government and then kidnapped him and sent him out of the country. When he said he was kidnapped the US government vehemently denied it, but there were several eyewitness accounts of the kidnapping. Haiti is a much smaller country than Zimbabwe or Venezuela so a coup would be much easier to enact. Once again the US media made no attempt to present Mr. Aristide's account of the coup. Once again the uninformed viewer would think that Mr. Aristide's overthrow was a good thing because it was reported by the corporate media that he was a bad man. This is precisely the reason nearly 50% of the American public still believe that Saddam Heussein had something to do with 9/11. People are deliberately not given both sides of important issues. This brings us back to Iraq. Even President Bush has been forced to admit that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but instead of admitting that it was a lie he blamed it on faulty information that was given to him by the CIA, the same CIA that told him explicitly there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Those of us who have been forced to rely on alternative media like those outside of the US, those of us who do make a conscious effort to be informed have to contact our elected officials and demand control of the airwaves, demand that PBS be the station that it was originally designed to be and not just another outlet of misinformation and disinformation. Let congresspeople, senators, governors and the FCC know now......before its too late.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Why Did 73 Democrats Support The Bankruptcy Bill?

The high cost of running a campaign for senator, governor, congressperson or even mayor continues to skyrocket. As a result many of our senators, govenors and even the president owe their elections to the huge donations given to their campaigns by these entities. Many elected officials admit that they couldn't have won without them.......and that includes democrats. How else could you explain the fact that 73 democrats voted for the bankruptcy bill? How many of them were in the pockets of big business, especially the pharmaceuticals and credit card companies. The latter "convinced" many that we have a crisis in this country because a substancial portion of the general population is irresponsible. This is a LIE, the vast majority of credit card holders do fullfil their obligations. Most people who declare bankruptcy do so because of the loss of the breadwinning spouse or a medical emergency. The democratic party is perceived as having a primary interests in the well being of the working family, the average American. It is to me
unphantomable that "one" democrat (let alone "seventy-three) would support such a destructive piece of legislation unless they were forced to do so. Many prominent democrats who have a strong record in labor issues and civil rights supported this bill. This includes the senior
democrat West Virginia's Robert Byrd. This underscores the fact that true democrats must be vigilant. There are battles with Republicans and battles within the Democratic party. Campaign
finance reform must become law. Fortunately MoveOn. org has leveled the playing field because now the Democratic Party doesn't have to rely exclusively on so called "fat cat" contributors. The diminished role of the Democratic Leadership Council is a Godsend, but the battle cannot stop there. The state of Oregon has proponents of a plan that would limit state contributions to all major candidates to no more than $145.000. In this way we can insure the will of the people and not the major corporations. It is my hope that this plan goes into effect in Oregon and then spreads like wildfire to the other states. In that way maybe we wouldn't have 73 democrats supporting anti-working class legislation like the bankruptcy bill.