Monday, February 27, 2006

The DLC still doesn't understand

The DLC "still" doesn't understand that they do not represent the majority of the Democratic party (that is why Howard Dean, not Al From is the party leader.) The DLC is determined to change the Democratic Party into "Republican lite" It just doesn't work. These days the Republican party is destroying itself. George W. Bush continues to make blunder after blunder........spying on US citizens, sanctioning torture in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, denying contraceptives to the people of Rwanda, facilitating the growth of Aids, Katrina, an illegal war based on a lie. The list goes on and on. While the Republicans continue to dig a whole for themselves the Democrats are silent.....why? This is the time for letting the American people know the truth because the current media and press will only do it when they are forced to. They have become the biggest ally of the illegal, incompetent Bush administration. By looking at the numbers provided by the Kennedy organization we can see how badly this administration has failed us: 1) Six million Americans have lost their health insurance since George W. Bush took office 2) 28.168 billion dollars promised to "No Child Left Behind" never arrived. 3) The US finds itself with the highest national debt in history 8.146 TRILLION dollars. 4) the 236 billion surplus under the Clinton administration and completely disappeared 5) 10.7 billion is the value of no-bid contracts Haliburton received in Iraq plus $16 million received for the Gulf region after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. If the Democrats had performed in this manner you can be sure the Republicans would be seen complaining in the press and other media, but the Democrats are "silent" why? The DLC Democrats go even further. They are telling Democrats don't believe the polls that show the President's popularity falling to just under 40 percent. They are telling us not to believe established reputable pollsters like Harris or Zogby and put our faith in their pollster Penn. The DLC is telling us to be quiet because we may upset those who support Bush by igniting a backlash. Here is an except from an article by John F. Harris and Chris Cillizza, which appeared in the Washington Post and is also posted on the DLC website www.dlc.org (I am not making this stuff up) "Al From, president of the centrists Democratic Leadership Council and pollster Mark Penn wrote a strategy memo to DLC supporters last week warning party leaders not to use Bush's problems as an invitation to call for the immediate US withdrawal from Iraq, or generally to steer a more liberal course that could alienate the more middle-of-the-road voters the party needs. Don't be fooled by Bush polls the Democratic Leadership Council warns" That is the most assinine thing I have ever heard. Can you just imagine Republican leaders telling fellow Republicans not to take advantage of Bill Clinton's problems with Monica Lewinsky? If someone even tried to do something as ridiculous as that they would be laughed at unmercifully. The DLC has been using this same type of approach for the last two Democratic presidential elections and the Democrats have lost. The time has come for the Democrats to motivate their base, which does NOT happen to be middle-of-the-road. For at least the hundreth time I will repeat something the DLC just doesn't understand. "If the Republican voter is given the chance to choose between a true Republican and a DLC wannabe Republican, he or she will choose the true Republican."

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Republicans are in charge and putting your security at risk every day - August Keso

"Be afraid, be VERY afraid!" That should be the new Republican 2006 campaign slogan. True, that has been the entire Republican and Bush administration campaign platform since 9/11, but in '06 they should follow that statement with, "Because we are in charge and putting your security at risk every second of every day."Shortly after Bush invaded Iraq, Iran wanted to talk about their ongoing support of terrorism and WMD program. Bush, of course, for reasons beyond rationalization or comprehension, refused to engage the Iranians. "On May 2003, shortly after the U.S. military destroyed the army of Saddam Hussein, a fax arrived at the State Department with an Iranian offer to open talks that would include a discussion of weapons of mass destruction..."Critics, including the two former Bush administration officials, European diplomats, and policy experts, say the United States may have squandered an opportunity to negotiate an end to Iran's nuclear program by not talking with Tehran. According to both Leverett and Pillar, the administration's priority was to avoid negotiations with the regime, out of concern it would imply acceptance of its continuation in office. Since then, Iran's government has become even more conservative, making the prospect of further negotiations more problematic."'No one at a senior level was willing to push Iran on diplomacy,' said Leverett. 'Was there at least a chance that we could have gotten something going? Yes, there was a chance.'"Iran, which, until Bush, had been moving toward a decidedly more open and democratic country, has returned to its nationalist Islamist roots. This phenomena isn't unusual. In times of crisis, nations, as evidenced right here in the United States regarding Bush, tend to turn toward radically fringe-type nationalistic leadership. It is Bush's policies, i.e., labeling Iran part of the notorious "axis of evil," invading Iraq without real justification, and then his refusal to engage Iran, that have led to the current unstable, highly volatile, and nuclear-ly dangerous Iranian position. Rather than stabilizing the region, as promised, and making America and the world safer for it, Bush's policies have instead completely destabilized the Mid-East, especially with regards to Iran.It appears now that war with Iran is becoming a certainty. Amazing, because attacking Iran would do little to address any of the region's real issues, and rather than increase security would instead lead to a cataclysmic chain of destabilizing events. The Iraqi government, which is closely aligned with Tehran, would be forced to eject US forces and leave the country to certain chaos. At the very least, the -- up until now -- quiet Iraqi Shia population would feel compelled to join in the insurgency, which would spell absolute defeat for the US military in Iraq. Finally, an assault on Iran would further fan the flames of the radical Islamic jihadist movement, which would exponentially increase the number of bin-Laden terrorists and supporters. Bush's highly irresponsible refusal to deal with Tehran when the opportunity presented itself is but one of many instances highlighting how he and the Republican Party have made America much less secure since 9/11. In a decision that can at best be described as reckless, Bush allowed a company from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to take over control of six of the nation's busiest, if not most sensitive ports. In a stunning display of arrogance and ignorance, Bush's Director of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff of all people, gave his unconditional support to the President's borderline-insane decision."Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff on Sunday defended the government's security review of an Arab company given permission to take over operations at six major U.S. ports."'We make sure there are assurances in place, in general, sufficient to satisfy us that the deal is appropriate from a national security standpoint,' Chertoff said on ABC's 'This Week.'"The UAE's anti-terrorism record is, as even Republicans have indicated, spotty at best. Yet, George W. Bush and his administration feel it appropriate to turnover the country's ports to them? This is supposed to make the country safer, because Chertoff has, "in general," gained assurances relating to national security issues? In general! Finally, and, perhaps, most significantly, although many of the American people still haven't made the linkage, nothing has highlighted the grave state of insecurity created by Bush and Republicans more than their disastrous response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Bush and Republicans have been careful to bundle their bungled Katrina response to FEMA because it helps to deflect from the larger reality. That reality, of course, is that FEMA is part of Homeland Security. FEMA would be responsible for responding to any major terror attack within the United States. Still, years after 9/11, FEMA, rather than improve upon what was once a very efficient and effective program, has actually become less effective. So much less effective that the administration was in "chaos in the wake of [Katrina]." "A series of previously unreleased e-mails shows an administration in chaos in the wake of the storm."Card may have been concerned, but he wasn't in a position to be of much help. Like President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and homeland-security adviser Frances Townsend, Card was on vacation when the hurricane struck. Back at the White House, the job of monitoring the storm was left to Kenneth Rapuano, Townsend's deputy. At 10 p.m., Rapuano left the White House to go home for the night, believing everything was under control."It wasn't. Half an hour later, at 10:30 p.m., the Homeland Security Operations Center sent out a two-page bulletin reporting massive flooding and bodies floating in the water. Rapuano later told Congress that no one at the White House woke him to tell him about the report, and he didn't realize the extent of the damage until 6 the following morning, when another Homeland bulletin warned that 'it could take months to dewater' the city. Only then did it begin to dawn on top administration officials, including the president, how grave a human -- and political -- disaster they were facing."Be afraid America -- be VERY afraid! -- because Bush and Republicans are in charge and putting your security at risk every second of every day!

Copyright © 2005 Progressive Daily BeaconPlease contact editor@progressivedailybeacon.com with any questions or comments

Dwight David Eisenhower's prophetic warning

It is important to me that anyone who reads this blogsite know that I have nothing to do with the appearance of Republican ads. I was outraged when I saw the first two weeks ago, but now they seem to be appearing with regularity. In 2005 I publically thanked "Adsense/Google" for providing meaningful ads for worthy causes and I support Google's refusal to hand over to the Bush administration information on the internet activity of its subscribers. That is why I am puzzled by the appearance of pro-GOP ads on this, probably the most anti-GOP site on the web. Is this somebody's idea of a joke? On the other hand, since apparently there is nothing I can do about it, these ads may serve a purpose....it gives the progressive an insight into the mindset of the enemy. Generalizations are always harmful. I really should not say that ALL Republicans are self-serving, insensitive to the needy, manipulative, racists, greedy, hypocritical and a host of other undesirable characteristics because that is NOT true. Yes those characteristics may apply to many Republicans, possibly the majority of Republicans but definitely not all. Case in point Dwight David Eisenhower, who had the courage to send soldiers to Little Rock, Arkansas to protect African-American children from vicious white mobs determined to prevent any form of integration in the Arkansas educational system. But Mr. Eisenhower back in his 1961 farewell address said something that was so prophetic. He warned us of the dangers of a corporate takeover of our nation. In the January 12-18, 2006 issue of Time Out New York magazine there is a picture of President Dwight David Eisenhower with the caption "I TOLD YOU SO" In his 1961 farewell address, President Eisenhower warned the nation of the military industrial complex. During an interview with filmmaker Eugene Jaworski, Howard Halle asks the question: Why was his warning ignored back then, and why is it still being ignored? to which Jaworski responded: " Eisenhower's address was exactly the kind of moment that the status quo hates, so it was inconvenient for the powerful to make much of that speech. It was left to the public to do what they could with it. But the only thing we can really do anything about is Congress, and in fact, in the original draft of his speech, Eisenhower had written "military-industrial-congressional complex." Congress provides the money for defense and votes on going to war. But in removing the word form his speech- he wanted to leave office in a spirit of bipartisanship- he pulled a punch, leaving the public unable to connect Congress to the role it plays in making the military industrial complex possible." Eisenhower foresaw back then what would be happening today: 1) Corporations using immigrants to work well below minimum wages 2) Corporations providing arms to unpopular foreign heads of state so that they can control that country's natural resources 3) Huge corporate franchises that destroy smaller mom and pop businesses. 4) The existence of the corporate welfare system in which the common US taxpayer bails out an ailing corporate giant 5) CEO's stealing from the 401ks or other pension plans of their employees 6) Corporations establishing headquarters overseas so that they don't pay their fair share of taxes 7) Elected officials, totally at the mercy of multinational corporations with regard to fundraising 8) High salaried corporate lobbyists create and influence legislation. If the people of the United States had listened to what President Eisenhower said then, maybe we as nation would not be in the state that we find ourselves in today. Dwight David Eisenhower is proof that not "all" Republicans are bad.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Massive Demonstration against John Stossel and ABC by New York City Teachers planned for March 8. 2006


Right wing broadcasters dominate cable TV newscasts and with John Stossel they are also overexposed on network television as well. Limbaugh, Hannity, and O'reilly do not let anyone with an opposite point of view get a word in edgewise without becoming outrageously loud and emotional. Limbaugh doesn't let anyone with an opposing point of view on his show and he screens callers so that only his point of view can be heard. Then there is John Stossel the right wing mouthpiece of 20/20 who continues to say "Give Me A Break" well that's exactly how I feel watching his one sided affairs. Mr. Stossel is not loud and abrasive like the three other aformentioned conservative champions. Stossel's style in toned down and relaxed, but he can bend the truth just as quickly as the big three. John Stossel has been taken to task on more than one occasion for bending the truth. Once I remember him making a rare public apology. I sometimes wonder if he receives a bundle of money from the Heritage foundation to do what he does.As recently as January 13, 2006 Stossel went on the attack against teachers, and this wasn't the first time. He focused his ire on the New York City schoolteachers who recently received a pay raise that Stossel felt was unwarranted. By mentioning the actions of two teachers accused of committing perverted acts with children Stossel led his audience to believe that the New York City school system is rampant with perverts who prey on young children. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The percentage of teachers who develop unsavory relationships with their underage students is very small. He has also said that parochial schools, where teachers are paid considerably less do a better job educating New York City's children. What Stossel doesn't tell you is that the New York City Public School system has to take ALL students whereas the private schools are selective. Any student who chronically misbehaves is shown the door. Since the parochial school parent pays for his or her child's education dysfunctional behavior is rare. Even with this in mind statistics show that there is negligible difference between the performance levels of elementary school students of private and public schools in New York City. The rightwingers are on a campaign to privitize everything especially the education system in New York which still has a strong union. The conservative voucher advocates are smarting from the colossal failure of the Edison project in San Francisco and the total rejection of the same program in New York. Stossel says that the typical New York City schoolteacher only works for only six hours and forty minutes a day. This is a very misleading statement because it doesn't take into account the fact that most teachers take their work home with them and can easily spend three or more hours in preparation and correcting papers. The United Federation of Teacher's Michael Hirsh states "Petitioners accuse Stossel's "Stupid in America" segment of having "distorted the UFT's acrimonious contract struggle, denigrating teacher professionalism and bolstering management'sattacks on teacher tenure and due process rights by summarily dismissing the union's responses." "At the February 8 DA, a resolution on achieving a fair and timely contract at the next bargaining round also referred to Stossel :and other right-wing commentators, who, in making their case for vouchers, seek to destroy public education and teacher unionism in America." On March 8, 2006 there will be a massive protest against Stossel and ABC by New York City School teachers. Commentators like Stossel must be watched very carefully since most people believe everything that they see on TV.... even if it is a lie. Apparently ABC has no problem with Stossel's manipulation of the truth. People have been complaining for years yet Stossel is still there. Now Stossel and ABC are going to learn that teachers are going to fight back with a vengeance heretofore not seen. New York City schoolteachers hope to enlighten Mr. Stossel the same way that the nurses of California enlightened Mr. Schwarzenegger.

What Would Jesus Do? (A Second Look)

Back in March of 2005 I posted an article entitled "What Would Jesus Do?" in which I mentioned the Bush Administration's attempt to get new black leadership, just like he did in Haiti. Well a little over a year later even after Katrina it appears as if Bush is still trying to change Black leadership in the U.S. I found it very suspicious that AOL (a major contributor to the Bush campaign) claims that Condoleezza Rice is the most popular black leader in the country today, second only to Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. I can believe that Jackson would be considered the front runner because even though he has made some mistakes he has a very long and distinguished history of service to the Black community of this country and also the world. I realized that no people can be considered politically mononlithic but I am very suspicious about how Condoleeza Rica came in second when I can not think of one outstanding accomplishment she has done in service to African-Americans. There is no doubt that she is well educated and the first black female to occupy the office of Secretary of State, but that in itself doesn't make her great. I wonder where did AOL go to interview black people. I could honestly name about fifty other prominent, influencial black leaders who come to mind before Condoleezza Rice, people like John Conyers, Maxine Waters, Cynthia McKinney et. al. When I think of Condoleezza Rice I think of the woman who was too busy with her New York City shopping spree to go to New Orleans when Black people were dying during hurricane Katrina. When I hear her name I also think of the woman who belittled and insulted a true people's hero Hugo Chavez. Ms Rice is very much at home with the "blame the victim" conservatives who continue to antagonize the black community here and abroad. Ms Rice doesn't seem to notice that in 2006, the nations largest city's employment rate has risen, but over half of New York's black male population is unemployed. Mr. Bush and his conservative brethren wrap themselves in the flag and in this pseudo-religiousity that Condoleezza seems to be so much a part of. I understand that she has presidential aspirations. I for one am not impressed merely because she is an African-American If she is the choice of the Republican party I will either vote for her opponent or not vote at all. The actions of this administration have put a stain on American prestige that will last for generations to come. The actions in Iraq of murder, theft, extortion and torture are not condoned in the bible, yet this president claims that God spoke to him and actually told him to attack a country that never harmed our country in any way shape or form. Is this what Jesus would do? Below you will find what I wrote on the same topic one year ago. Today I find nothing has happened to change my mind about the notoriously insensitive Bush administration and its relationship to people of color here and abroad. It is a pity that Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice were both a part of this disgrace.
''The Bush Administration is making a serious attempt to change Black leadership in this country by courting the Black religious community with his faith based initiatives. The goal here is to intentionally deplete the funds of all public programs that are designed to help the elderly or the indigent and give the downtrodden no other recourse but the administration endorsed faith based programs. The advocates of this policy have tremendous sums of money at their disposal so it is easy for them to throw huge sums of cash to people they feel are influencial (just look at the cases of Williams and McManus). The so-called right(or what Mark Marron calls "Christo-Fascists") are convinced that you can "buy" influencial black clergy. They feel most African-American congregations in the country don't care about the illegal war in Iraq. They feel most blacks with forget about the fact that the last two presidential elections were won by suppressing the black vote. They are convinced that blacks will forget about all that money that was promised for AIDS and how the big Republican inauguration bash was paid for with the funds set aside for Washington's homeland security. What they want to focus on is same sex marriage, and they want it to be the front and center issue. It is for this reason that I warn all African-Americans to keep your eyes open, and don't be fooled by these snake oil salemen. Let's look at this from a totally religious perspective and then ask yourself what would Jesus do? The bible teaches us not to bear false witness. This is exactly what Bush administration has done on more than just one instance. The very fact that our nation is involved in a costly, unjust war is based on a "LIE" that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq goes against this teaching. One of the ten commandants (which other right wingers want to be permanent fixtures in our court houses) states thou shall not kill. On the orders of King George the W over 100.000 Iraqs have been killed and most of them were civilians. In your heart do you believe Jesus would condone such actions? It is written in the bible that Jesus said "It will be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven" Bush himself has said that the affluent make up "his" constituency. The rich have taken away the right to sue corporations for negligence. The rich pharmaceuticals with Bush's endorsement have made senior citizens, among others pay more for badly needed medicine and have made it a crime to go to Canada to find cheaper prices. The rich oil companies have forced us to use one source of energy "oil" when other alternatives are available. The Bush administration has declared war on the poor by dismantling or severely underfunding educational programs that level the playing field like Head Start, Talent Search & Upward Bound. Would Jesus go along with this when we know as a fact that Jesus had a special place in his heart for the poor?......I don't think so. Isn't this Bush administration the equivalent of the Moneychangers we find in the bible? ....and most of us know what Jesus thought of them, don't we? In the months ahead we are going to be bombarded with talk about what goes on in the bedrooms of consenting adults but little will be said about the dismal failure of the so called "abstinance" program for teenagers in Bush's home state of Texas. We are going to be bombarded with talk of how Social Security should be redesigned so that it will benefit blacks. We are going to hear how Iran, Syria and Venezuela either have weapons of mass destruction or represent a threat to our American way of life. But you won't hear any talk about how we can guarantee fair elections. These messages of black compliance with the ultra conservative agenda will be found in black churches, they will be found in the media, primarlily because the Bush administration and their surrogates have the money to do it and in addition to that Bush is using everyone's hard earned tax dollar to promote fake news that support his destructive policies. What would Jesus do? Would he go along with this? I don't think so.

US port security is becoming a joke: now is the time to impeach

''People don't need to worry about security. The more people learn about the transaction that has been scrutinized and approved by my government, the more they'll be comforted that our ports will be secure.''-- President Bush Let's face it the president is a LIAR. Let's look at some other wonderful statements he has made. "My tax cuts will benefit all Americans" "Mission Accomplished"(with regard to the Iraqi invasion), "Bring 'Em On" "This is just the work of a few bad apples"(with regard to the savage US government sponsored torture taking place in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo). "We had no warning that Al Qaida was going to attack.","We didn't know the levees were going to break", "I've got damned good intelligence that tells me that Saddam Heussein has weapons of mass destruction." "If there is anyone found guilty of committing a crime in this administration he or she will no longer be a member of the administration." The only solution to this problem is IMPEACHMENT. The previous president was impeached for a private family matter, ONE lie that didn't result in massive loss of life. This president is a habitual LIAR. There have been so many that it is hard to keep track of them all. Fortunately for this president he has the support of a huge segment of the American public who are like lemmings and will believe anything he says unconditionally, even though the presidents actions are detrimental to them. We can include the followers of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell in this group. This segment of the US population calls that "patriotism", I call it stupidity. The other big thing that the president has going for him is the spineless senators and congresspersons who know what Bush is doing is morally wrong but they are afraid to say anything because they are afraid they will be perceived as being among those who "give comfort to the enemy" And still there is one more powerful ally that the president has..... the media, who will deliberately accept administration payola. There is a growing number of Americans who are fed up with Bush lies, just as there was a huge number of Americans who were fed up with Nixon's lies. Nixon, in restrospect now seems like a choirboy compared to Bush. Michael Moore made a very good point in the movie documentary "Fahrenheit 9/ll" when he said "The president of the United States of America earns $400.000 for his job. Bush's oil interests earn him billions of dollars." Where do you think his loyalties lie with the ones who are paying him $400.000 or the ones who a paying him billions? As Moore so apty put it "Who's your daddy?"Less than 3,000 Americans have died in Iraq, so it's going to take some time before Americans tire of being lied to and sacrificing their sons and daughters for a LIE. 58,000 Americans died before the country decided enough is enough and left Viet Nam , so we still have a long way to go to put up with these LIES. The nations ports are poorly manned already. Only a measly 5% of the containers are inspected now W wants to hand over the security of these ports to a country that both he and his father have economic ties, a country that is one of only three worldwide to establish diplomatic ties with the Taliban. Two of the 19 hijackers who destroyed the World Trade Center were citizens of this country. Bush partisans are quick to point out that many of these east coast US ports' security was controlled by England and that opposing the United Arab Emirate operation of these ports is racism. That statement is utterly ridiculous when you think of the blatant racism and torture innocent Arab and Muslim people are suffering in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib that I mentioned earlier. You really don't have to go that far to find racism. What happened in New Orleans during Katrina was racism when you take into account who was helped and who was denied help. It is also unconscionable to hear Bush say "I didn't know about the deal"(refering to the port security transactions) Mr. Bush you are president if there is anyone who should know it should be YOU! This selected president has the audacity to threaten a veto if this deal is denied. It is totally unbelievable. This man could have been stopped if just a handful of people in congress would have denied him the power to declare war without congressional approval. They didn't so he went on to something even bolder by initiating unnecessary tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. Congress once against did nothing and once again we have actions being made to the detriment of the American people. Because of Bush policies there IS a civil war in Iraq and the US can only sit by and act as a spectator. It appears as if the primary objective of the Sunnis and the Shiites is to eliminate each other. Militarily if the Bush wants to have any influence he must have more troops. How many more American parents are willing to sacrifice their sons and daughters for US corporate avarice? Wake up America!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Look Back at US Election Fraud

BlackBoxVoting.org, which describes itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizens group, said it found 70,000 instances in Palm Beach County of cards getting stuck in the paperless ATM-like machines and that the computers logged about 100,000 errors, including memory failures.
Also, the hard drives crashed on some of the machines made by Oakland, Calif.-based Sequoia Voting Systems, some machines apparently had to be rebooted over and over, and 1,475 re-calibrations were performed on Election Day on more than 4,300 units, Harris said. Re-calibrations are done when a machine is malfunctioning, she said.
"I actually think there's enough votes in play in Florida that it's anybody's guess who actually won the presidential race," Harris added. "But with that said, there's no way to tell who the votes should have gone to."
Palm Beach County and other parts of the country switched to electronic equipment after the turbulent 2000 presidential election, when the county's butterfly ballot confused some voters and led them to cast their votes for third-party candidate
Pat Buchanan' name=c1> SEARCHNews News Photos Images Web' name=c3> Pat Buchanan instead of
Al Gore' name=c1> SEARCHNews News Photos Images Web' name=c3> Al Gore. The Supreme Court halted a recount after 36 days and handed a 537-vote victory to Bush.

Monday, February 20, 2006

A Tale Of Two Tigers

If there were two raging tigers running towards you and one was just a few feet away and the other was a mile away which of the two would concern you most. Well, most people would logically chose the tiger who is just a few feet away. It seems to me that the Democratic party is more concerned with the tiger who is a mile away, (which is the Republican party) rather than the DLC( Democratic Leadership Council), which is actually breathing down the necks of the Democratic Party.The typical DLCer is more concerned about Michael Moore than he( or she) is about George W. Bush. The typical DLCer (i. e. Joe Lieberman) is completely out of touch with the grass roots Democratic who: 1) Opposes the war in Iraq 2) is stunned by how Democrats in Congress let George W. Bush have his way with Supreme Court nominations knowing that over 80% of Bill Clinton's nominees were rejected by Republicans. 3) Democrats (mainly DLC Democrats) gave this selected president tax-cut after tax-cut to such a degree that the administration's Robin Hood in reverse philosophy has severely limited funds for health-care, the environment and education. 4) Progressive Grass Roots Democrats are also enraged over the rampant cronyism that has become a trademark of the Bush administration. Halliburton charges the US government 27 billion dollars to transport 8,200 gallons of gasoline. This money is taken primarily from the middle class. Right after the latest election fiasco I said if Democrats are serious about winning the White House they must address the disenfranchisement of the African-American voter in Ohio and Florida. Even though it has been proven beyond a doubt that Republican operatives sabotaged the voting process in those states and others you will be hard pressed to find a Democrat who will come out and say so. Even though many states are refusing to use Diebold machines in 2008, we have states like Florida that have made the hand counting of votes illegal. The deafening silence on this issue by Democrats is setting the stage for the same thing to happen all over again. It seems as if there are more Democrats representing corporate interests than representing the interests of their consitituents. There are many exciting races all over the country that Democrats have a strong chance of winning: Rick Santorum still trails his Democratic opponents in Pennsylvania, Tom Delay is far behind in Texas. Both Leiberman(Mr. DLC) and Chaffee face stiff competition in Connecticuit while the young fighting Dems (some of whom have lost limbs or sustained other injuries in Iraq) give the Republicans the awesome task of running against someone who really knows what the Iraq war is like because he or she has been there. But all of this will mean nothing to the Democrats if they continue to not give top priority to fair elections in '08. At this time we can only guess about who the Republican nominee will be. It might be John McCain, who might present himself as being kinder and gentler than George W. Bush, but Mr. McCain has shown himself to be a team player and most of the time he endorsed most of the Bush agenda. It could also be Sam Brownback, a notoriously dangerous religious zealot who with the support of the Bush Supreme court could make the United States a theocracy and set civil rights policy back to the dark ages. The hypocritical Frist(opposes abortions yet they are performed in his hospitals) offers the same Bush policies. With the exception of McCain many if not most of the Republican candidates find themselves in skirmishes with the law. But these candidates all represent the tiger that is a mile away. The tiger who is close to us is Hillary Clinton (who enjoys very favorable poll ratings among likely Democratic voters) , to this day still hasn't opposed the Iraq war, even after receiving thousands of letters and e-mails from the people of New York who put her in office. Al Gore has recently made eloquent speeches condemning Bush policies, but to me they ring hallow when I think about the fact that he was the one who cast the deciding vote that made Bush president in the first place. John Kerry to a lesser degree also disappointed progressive grassroots Democrats when he conceded far too early. Even now he still refuses to come out and say the election was stolen. The most that he will say is that there may have been some irregularities. Perhaps the only Democrat thus far who has vigorously and consistently opposed Bush policies is Wisconsin's Russ Feingold, who wasn't fooled from the beginning when he voted against giving Bush extraordinary powers that would allow him to sidestep Congress and bring the country into a war based on the LIE of "Weapons of mass destruction. Even MoveOn.org, an organization that played a vital role in raising the consciousness of the Democratic voter distributed a survey to its members asking them if they preferred to remain silent about the actions of Democratic members of the house or would they prefer to criticize Democratics as vehemently as Republicans. As a MoveOn.org member I was shocked that this question would even be asked when it is painfully obvious that the later choice is the better of the two. Renegade Democrats or Blue Dog Democrats, Republicrats or whatever they are calling themselves today must be taught a lesson, that there are consequences to be paid if you fraternize with the opponents of basic Democratic principles. Wake Up Democrats, if you intend to clean house(and senate) in '08 you have to start by cleaning house(and senate) within the Democratic party. You must kill both tigers but the one that is closer to you is the one that should receive the first shot.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

In Memorium: Coretta Scott King, "Grandpa" Al Lewis, Ray Barretto, Richard Pryor, Shelley Winters

Due to the fact that I haven't been able to post with any degree of regularity in 2006 I was not able to honor several outstanding individuals who we have lost in January and February this year. I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to pay homage to them: 1) Coretta Scott King (1927-2006) The wife of the slain civil rights leader continued to pursue the dream of her husband by being at the forefront of numerous worthy causes ranging from environmental rascism to health care. Ms. King never remarried and managed to raise four highly successful children. Mrs. King was proof that behind every great man there is a great woman. She often reminded us of her husband's words "The racism found at home and the militarism abroad are two sides of the same coin." 2) "Grandpa" Al Lewis(1928-2006) Al Lewis is known world-wide as "Grandpa" on the popular 60's tv show "The Munsters" and as Schnauzer on the series "Car 54, Where are you?" but long after the end of those programs Al Lewis remained in the spotlight as a radio commentator on New York's WBAI and a firebrand social activist. Lewis was nicknamed "The Old Curmudgeon" mainly because of his extraordinary focus and determination in fighting an injustice. He had a wonderful relationship with two very diverse groups....prisoners and policemen. Lewis was at the forefront of the battle to end the repressive Rockefeller drug laws. It was Lewis along with comedian/activist Randy Credico who opened the eyes of New Yorkers to the Tulia, Texas attempt to imprison the entire African-American population of that tiny town on bogus drug charges. Lewis ran as the Green Party candidate for Governor of New York against George Pataki. Lewis received over 52,000 votes. This is a man who will be missed, but the passion he had for his convictions will continue to live on in the hearts of the people he touched in his lifetime. Coretta Scott King and "Grandpa" Al Lewis died on the same day. 3) Richard Pryor (1940-2005)- Comedian/Actor Richard Pryor was undoubtedly one of the funniest people to walk the face of the earth. Through his recordings and public appearances his career skyrocketed in the early 70s and was only stopped by a debilitating disease. Pryor will always be remembered for those hilarious collaborations with Gene Wilder. Pryor also had a flair for dramatic roles too. Who can forget his stellar portrayal of "Piano Man" in "Lady Sings The Blues" or as the oft maligned under appreciated G.I. in "Some Kind Of Hero" but Pryor's forte was comedy, films like "Silver Streak", "Which Way Is Up?" and "Bustin' Loose" are comedic masterpieces. Pryor often would take an unpleasant experience in his private life, expose it to the public and even laugh at it. The best example of this was when he described his life threatening experience with drugs which left his face seriously burned. Pryor was at his funniest when he included this in his act. Richard Pryor grew up in a brothel in Peoria, Illinois, but what most people don't realize is that those who reared him had high ideals and aspirations for a young Richard, who was able to avoid many of the pitfalls of ghetto life simply because of his acid-tongued humor. This one of a kind comedian actor is certainly among the best ever in this field. 4) Ray Barretto (1929-2006). Ray Barretto, or "Manos Duras(Hard Hands)" as he was affectionately known during the 60s played a vital role in bringing salsa music outside of the Hispanic community. The legendary salsa movement of that era included the immortal Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Johnny Colon, Joe Quijano, Eddie and Charlie Palmieri, The Joe Cuba Sextet(which featured the velvet voiced Jaime Sabater for ballads). It was a very exciting time when you could hear Cuba's Bang Bang on mainstream pop radio (WABC). But it was Ray Barretto, a grammy award winning conga player who accomplished what was believed at the time to be the impossible. Barretto's recording of "El Watusi" hit the national top twenty, peaking at No. 17 in 1961. Many people may not realize that it was Ray Barretto along with Joe Wohletz doing the percussion on Eddie Harris' standout '68 jazz hit "Listen Here" which recently was recorded by Eddie Palmieri. Ray Barretto was a mainstay on the popular Fania label which released his hit "Soul Drummers" as well as The Fania All-Stars "Ella Fue" other artists of the Fania label gaining recognition were Ralphi Pagan and Joe Bataan. Through the efforts of Barretto and these artists the Fania label was able to get national distribution through Columbia Records(now Sony) for a brief period. Ray Barretto will be missed. 5. Shelley Winters (1920-2006) Shelley Winters was a two time Academy Award winning actress. She won a best-supporting actress Academy Award for "A Patch Of Blue" in the role of Rose Ann D'arcy, an irresponsible aging alcoholic mother of a blind adolescent teenager. The film starred Sidney Poitier and Elizabeth Hartman. I will never forget her role in "The Poseidon Adventure" where she was an older woman who was an outstanding athlete in her youth who now must rekindle that athletic prowess to save the lives of others and her own life as well. Winters died of natural causes at the age of 85.

Friday, February 10, 2006

"Republican Apparel Ad" a mystery to me

I want to let all people who read this blog know that I had absolutely nothing to do with the advertisement entitled "Republican Apparel" that recently appeared on this blog without my consent. I am beside myself with anger that someone at Google Adsense thought this ad should appear on my blog. I would NEVER do anything to support the advocates of this murderous imperial presidency. I don't usually make generalizations but the current Republican party as a whole is a criminal enterprise connected to the Enron plundering of its employee's pension plans, the genocide in New Orleans and indirectly in Darfur, the absolute dismantling of any attempt to protect the environment, the genocide in Africa caused by preventing people from using contraceptions and above all dragging the United States into an unwarrented war based on a lie. Delay, Abramoff, Noe et. al are all Republicans currently in court because of extortion, theft, cronyism and ineptitude. Are there Republicans who oppose Bush policies?.... of course there are but they are very quiet and powerless, which makes them part of the problem, and if they are part of the problem they can't be part of the solution. With Samuel Alito (another ultra conservative) and the DLC acceptance of the Patriot Act the United States finds itself close to the situation Germany was in just before Hitler came to power. In my point of view "Republican Apparel is only fit for toilet paper".