My main intent is to expose the fear-mongering machine; and with any luck, disarm the machine by arming people with information. It's real news that the mainstream ignores, things I consider to be smokescreens, plus a few ideas on what to do about it all. Please see the bottom of the blog for older posts and a wide variety of resources that I consider need-to-know info.

Monday, November 10, 2008

STOP H8! Campaign

More info, more details, more FIGHT!

First, the uncounted vote update:

The CA Sec. of State ”semi-official” popular vote now shows that Prop 8 has passed by 494,847 votes (an increase of about 60,000 votes since Nov. 5th). This is due to a few districts that have already reported the outcome of their mail-in and provisional ballots.

However, as of Friday, the tally for unprocessed ballots reported to CA’s Sec. of State is said to be a total of 2,738,695. This is a self-reporting system, so I imagine that there could easily be a pretty large margin of error, but this is the official account of uncounted ballots as of now.

I’m thinking it’s a good idea for all Californians that can, to put in a little volunteer time in our home county, monitoring the process of qualifying these ballots. There have been some really weird reports of problems with ballots that would be worth overseeing for accuracy’s sake too! Numerous reports of broken machines, ballots not being run through, etc... The SoS requires that all of these ballots be counted 28 days after Election Day, and that puts it on Dec. 9th (I believe they said the results would be announced closer to the 15th). There are just a little less than 616 thousand votes still yet to be counted in Los Angeles alone!

Things to sign/sign-up for:

Take this pledge to repeal Prop 8! It is a movement being hosted by the “Courage Campaign” – a progressive grassroots organizing network The pledge simply reads:

“We, the undersigned, are united in our refusal to accept a California where discrimination is enshrined in our state's constitution.

We pledge to repeal Prop 8 and restore marriage equality to California.”

One of the petitions I had posted before (that was to go to the governor) was shut down for some unknown reason, and is no longer taking signatures.
However, the other petition by Equality California to put equality on the ballot (if we don’t win in court) is still going.

About the lawsuits that have been filed:

ACLU filed a lawsuit the day after the election. Their case is based on Prop 8 being invalid as a constitutional revision - not amendment –and therefore cannot be enacted by initiative (unless approved by the Legislature first), according to the CA Constitution. Of course, they are also citing the Equal Protection Clause; which was the basis by which the CA Supreme Court ruling last May, and made same sex marriage legal.

There are two more lawsuits filed essentially citing the same argument, and two of the three have asked the court to prevent the prop from taking effect while the cases are pending. One is being taken up on behalf of a married couple. If I remember correctly, they were the very first gay couple to be married in CA, and were the ones that filed the original case that ruled last May.

Three couples that were denied the right to marry:

Invalidate Prop 8 is a legal funds drive to fight the illegality of it. What I really liked is that your minimal donation of $5 is actually made in the Mormon Church’s president’s name, and sends him a post card ending with these words:

“Given that throughout its history the Mormon Church has been subjected to bigotry, we hope you appreciate the donation in your name to fight religious bigotry here in California.”


Protests of All Kinds:

GET BUSY GET EQUAL is the ACLU’s action resource center for equality activists. Click on “organize” and get info on how to become effectively involved in any of the various ways to oppose Prop 8!

Obviously there have been numerous street protests in different cities all over the state. Overturn Prop 8 has a rally calendar, and if you know of a rally that you don’t see listed then send it to the email address at the top of the page. I see there are at least another ten scheduled over the next two weeks.

The Californians Against Hate website is dedicated to exposing the individuals and organizations that have financially supported Prop 8. Not solely to pay them the dishonor they deserve, but also in the interest of calling a boycott. Keep in mind that the Prop 8 proponents actually attempted to blackmail the businesses that opposed them, threatening to blacklist them if they didn’t equally contribute to support the prop!

One of the things that has really gotten under my skin is the Dishonor Roll member, Elsa Prince (mother of Blackwater owner); one of the largest individual donors, along with her daughter-in-law, who is married to the “Amway guy.” Erik Prince (Blackwater) is known to be an evangelical Christian, who has so much as said Iraq & Afghanistan was his opportunity to fight a “Holy War” against infidels. If that weren’t already bad enough; now I feel as if their wealth accumulated by way of our tax dollars, via private contracting has been used to strip civil rights from Californians!

And speaking of taxes...for those that didn’t know, there has been an ongoing “Gay Tax Protest” for many years now, starting with the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) of 1996 (which BTW, Obama has promised to repeal – and we must hold him to that!). Charles Merrill (cousin of the founder of Merrill & Lynch) is one of the latest to protest DOMA this way. The passage of Prop 8 seems to have reignited this type of protest too. I think it’s an excellent idea for the gay population of California to contact the State Tax authorities as well as the IRS to notify them that you will no longer be paying your taxes! As many of the protesters have pointed out, it’s not fair to be paying taxes as a “whole person” when you only receive partial rights as a human being.

Just a couple days ago, Melissa Etheridge announced she was going to stop paying taxes, and instead donate those tax dollars to every legal action that contests Prop 8 as being unconstitutional. Go Melissa!!!

These tax protesters really have it right too! For example, state tax laws require that they not discriminate “based on ace, gender, religion, alienage, or nationality.” I say that this MUST be a two-way street!!! After all, “no taxation without representation” – RIGHT?

Seriously, the gay community contributes an enormous amount of money to the system in CA overall. Hello, Hollywood? San Francisco? Melissa also made mention of the revenues coming into CA by way of travelers from across the nation looking to be married here, and it is an incredibly foolish loss – especially when you consider Arnold is begging the Fed to bail us out of our enormous state debt! I was just speaking to my former roommate in San Francisco, and she said that the gay marriage services (wedding, hotels, parties, etc...) are completely OFF THE HOOK there. I can tell you from my own experience living there as a waitress, the gay community pretty much paid all my bills – while my straight customers were just very thin gravy. So I say, vote with your very powerful dollar, by refusing to pay taxes – it WILL hurt. Let me just say, as a straight person that is likely to be hurt by this strategy, I’m perfectly willing to take that economic punch on your behalf too! I think it’s become clear that many other people feel the same way too, so go for it.
The Mormon Debacle:

Mormons Stole Our Rights is a website that has all kinds of information about the fact that the Mormon Church (or LDS Church) was largely financially responsible for the massive campaign that Yes on 8 launched. Towards the end of their page you will find their petition to revoke the tax-free status for ALL charitable organizations that have or will lobby for state propositions (to be shared with all legal efforts pursuing this issue).

There is another movement to Revoke the LDS Church’s tax-free status based on the violation of financially supporting Prop 8! On this website the tax code that has been violated is there for you to read, as well as instructions on how to address the IRS with your complaint about their violation and request their tax-free status be revoked. There is also a page dedicated to the public reporting of other charitable organizations that have also violated this tax code.

The “Mormons Stole Our Rights” website says this is somewhat of an unclear case because it mentions that “legislation” cannot be financially influenced, and not specifically “propositions” - but because we live in a state where the population can vote on propositions to make them law, or amend the state constitution, then it is clearly the same thing. A linguistic loophole that could very well be closed with the legal actions being taken up based on this law. I actually see this as one of many plusses for Prop 8 passing. I know that sounds weird, but ideally, I’d like to see some of these cases make it all the way to the US Supreme Court. Then perhaps we could have federal law passed, preventing this type of law or amendment from being passed anywhere in the nation!

As noted on the “Revoke LDS Church 501 Status” website, you’ll see this message that is in recognition of the law suits already filed challenging Prop 8’s legitimacy too:

“Whether the proposition was a lawful amendment or a revision that cannot legally be made by a voter initiative remains an open question.”

This petition is for members of the church, asking them to publicly retract their support of Prop 8, based on a part of their own faith:

“We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government , whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.”
(Doctrine and Covenants 134:9)

You can put add your name to the petition, resign from the church, or write a letter via email here:
And they have posted some letters of resignation from members of the church (I’m sure with the author’s consent), so you can read them too. Signing for

Lastly, an inspirational and touching announcement from a former “civil union” advocate...

I can’t believe I hadn’t come across this video before, but it’s incredibly moving! Sorry in advance for the quality of the sound; I couldn’t find a better copy, but I can guarantee you it’s well worth a listen. Well over a year ago, the mayor of San Diego, who had campaigned on vetoing same sex marriage, calls a press conference to explain to his constituency why he felt he had to change his stance:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dancing Around in Glistening Flailure

If you didn't see McCain's appearance on "Meet the Press" today, you really SHOULD (click on "watch the netcast"). I see quite a few people are circulating some segments, but I think it's well worth watching in whole. It's incredibly telling, IF you watch the entire segment.

When asked about his trailing in the polls, he denied that the numbers presented were correct, "I can show you other polls..." And when asked about his campaign's liberal use of word Socialism in regards to Obama, even when confronted with his own plan to subsidize mortgages, he danced around it and essentially refused to answer the question at all.

Then there was the Flailure, when rejecting the idea that Palin needed to be "defended" in any way - that was when he started to glisten, no joke. He was visibly starting to sweat just after the "glow" began, while reasserting Palin's so called "executive experience." I want to know why I've yet to see a reporter challenge the KIND of experience she has had, instead of pretending or accepting that "any 'ol experience will do." There's the abuse of power issue as state executive. And how in the world can the press ignore the obvious parallel to Bush policy failure? Palin as mayor of Wasilla, also came into office with a large surplus and left those citizens with a GIANT deficit!!!

McCain tried to justify the exorbitant funds spent on her campaign trail threads by saying she was "frugal," as if she needed help. Even though the Palin's tax returns revealed they earned more than twice the average income for a family their size in Alaska, turned Todd's racing winnings of $17,000 into a $9,000 loss, failed to report per diem payments she received for working away from the state capital (of which, we now know these types of "reimbursements" were excessive and abused in numerous ways), and ended up only paying $2,000 in taxes (on $166k gross). And again McCain went on with the clearly desperate impromptu plan (after being busted), of donating the clothes to charity.

Palin aside... McCain continues to steal Obama's platform too. Is it a case of "thievery being the highest form of flattery," or is it just more testament to his tendency to go "which ever way the wind blows" on the issues? perhaps a little of BOTH. The McCamp definitely picked up the change mantra, which started out as "maverick" but the actual word change must have proven effective because they added that to their repertoire. The newer stolen items that stuck out for me in this interview included; the idea that mortgage aid was a "first step" (not full solution) to financial crisis, and his dismissal of scandals about Palin by saying "the people are more interested in the issues."

He tried to justify his flippity-floppity positions on taxes, by saying that different times call for different measures (we're in a crisis). That flopped when it was pointed out to him that even Reagan raised taxes when he entered office after the recession - McCain tried to ignore it, and turned it into an opportunity to praise Reagan's policies. Even his defense of his mortgage bailout plan failed to pass the smell test when he said that the "fundamental" purpose of government is to intervene in times of crisis - WHAT? Brokaw pointed out that McCain's own example of FDR's aid in the depression was called Socialism by the Republicans at that time. What happened to his small government, and government must "get out of the way" position? Well, that's VERY inconvenient for this topic, so he's saving it for another issue, another time... Point is THIS time is, if there's a crisis, then it's not Socialism or "spreading the wealth around" to subsidize mortgages.

Now that I've seen McCain react to the Powell endorsement a few times, it's blatently obvious that he's completely stuck on talking point; "I have have FIVE Secretaries of State that have endorsed me" he said with his hand & five fingers up, like a five year old that has been asked how old they are. He wanted to proudly list them all off, but struggled to name the fifth one. "And one more," he said, then jutted his head at Brokaw as if to say, "SO THERE!"

One thing that I thought was particularly funny was the mention of newspapers that had endorsed either Obama or McCain. When Brokaw said an Iowa paper named Obama as their candidate, Mccain uncontrollably blurted out, "Astonished, shocked, SHOCKED!" - but then when it was said McCain's home state's largest newspaper named him (and I might add, not in a very flattering way), McCain said, "And God bless the Arizona Republic." So the press is only warped, biased towards Obama, and distorting the truth when it's unfavorable for McPalin (wrong when disagreeable, just like the polls); but not biased at all when it's your home state paper that's favorable???? LMFAO!!!

Of course, the interview just wouldn't have been complete without a mentions of "Joe the plumber" and "my friend" too. How sad.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Power of Your Vote & Making History

Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan was on the floor of the Senate today with some GREAT signs that accompanied her speech. One read, “75 Republican Filibusters, and counting...” and the other read, “324,000 good-paying American jobs lost since January.”

Senator Stabenow noted that today there are twice as many people looking for jobs, as there are jobs available. She said that as of May there are 1.6 million workers that have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more – meaning they no longer receive aid (unemployment insurance). And one thing that I think never seems to get enough attention is that the fact that the unemployment rates normally given to the public DO NOT include those who no longer receive benefits! Thus, creating this complete LIE that unemployment is going down, when it is actually the number of those that have help getting a job that are going down. Stabenow also points out that for every dollar that goes out in unemployment insurance $1.64 goes back into the economy – making this a worthy investment.

One of the obvious reasons for the bad economy is the rising costs of energy and fuel. The GOP filibustered another measure today; for a windfall profit tax, designed to provide alternative fuel incentives. Yeah, because we wouldn’t want to deny the big oil companies their record breaking profits! After all, they are taking such great initiative all on their own to develop alternative fuels, right? I never understood why we would leave developing alternatives to the biggest competitors, but that’s the Repugnant’s logic hard at work for you!

I hope Americans keep in mind when they go to vote this November that the Republicans’ record-breaking filibusters are all part of their plan. They admitted their plan in 2006, that they would claim that this was a “do nothing Congress” so they could win more seats. It should be known that in reality, this session of congress has been blocked by the GOP at every turn.

Come on people. It’s been far more than twice that we’ve been fooled already, so DON’T BE FOOLED AGAIN! And I will be the first to admit that Democrats are not innocent in the things we deplore, but that means we need to be extra diligent in electing congressional officials this fall!!!


For those of you that missed Kucinich making history yesterday, as he introduced 35 articles of impeachment for Bush; you can hear it all over again right now on C-SPAN.

Also, if you’d rather read the transcript, you can find the congressional record on C-SPAN, but it’s also on Wexler’s website; Wexler Wants - and he was kind enough to also post Kucinich’s articles of impeachment of Cheney too. I have seen the petition gain nearly a thousand more signatures just this afternoon! So maybe Kucinich has reignited something at least.

If you haven’t signed Wexler’s petition yet, please do. I think you all know as well as I do that there isn’t enough time to impeach before they leave office anymore, but that doesn’t by any stretch of the imagination make this a futile effort! For those of you that don’t completely understand the significance, let me explain it a little...

First, it is possible to impeach a president after they have left office – so it still counts. Second, I believe that one of the main reasons why Kucinich decided this is absolutely necessary now is in order to prevent an unwarranted attack on Iran. You see, by putting into congressional record that Congress is aware of the illegal misleading of Americans into a war by intentionally and knowingly, manipulating Intelligence and the facts to suit the desires of the administration to attack Iraq (a sovereign nation that presented no threat), and overriding Congress to do so; Congress can better prevent the same thing from happening to Iran. It has already been determined by a congressional committee that this is in fact the case, so the natural procession is for hearings and an investigation to follow – so it is in part, just a function of governmental process.

Plus, it’s my understanding that in order to overturn the numerous unconstitutional laws, provisions, directives, and so forth that have been orchestrated by the administration and its subordinates; a case must be made that these things that have passed, were in fact unconstitutional. In other words, it’s the procedural duty needed to get more desired results.

Aside from the principle of the matter (which it seems few are truly concerned about), there’s also the pure practicality of this measure. After all, we certainly don’t want this administration’s actions to act as a precedent, therefore allowing future presidents to do the same unconstitutional things - right? This is definitely a case of “Speak now, or forcibly forever hold your peace.” We cannot stop that which we refuse or neglect to speak out against.

Lastly, for those of you that would truly like to see justice be done, and want to see members of this administration face prison time for war crimes; this investigation would lend more weight to those charges, and could very well prove instrumental in getting this result as well.

So, Kucinich’s bill is up for a vote TOMORROW and that means you need to write your House representative NOW. Call them first things in the morning, and encourage everybody you know to do the same too!

Those of you that have an opportunity to vote your rep out if they fail to comply, tell them you will do exactly that if they don’t support this measure.

Find your House Rep here:
Contacting Congress

Call Speaker Pelosi too, let her know that it is NOT supporting impeachment that will cause Democrats to loose seats – not the other way around!
Demand she get out of the way of justice:
San Francisco Office: 415-556-4862
DC Office: 202-225-4965

Friday, May 16, 2008

Upcoming Vote in Senate on GI Bill

The new GI Bill passed the House yesterday, YEA! They were just a few votes short of a veto-proof vote…BOO! What's somewhat strange about the whole thing is that MANY Republicans chose to vote "present" which denied the passage of the war funds spending. Hmmm... I had been personally hoping that the Democrats would do that purposefully for many years, as a way of letting the president know that this occupation should end immediately! However, I suspect that it was a measure that would begin bringing troops home 30 days after the passage of the bill that the Republicans were actually protesting.

There was some more good news this week too though: McLame's alternative to the GI Bill, FAILED. It was a total sham anyway, he and Graham had stuck their lame proposal for vet education onto a completely unrelated bill for giving public safety workers the right to unionize. Yep, that's "straight talk" in action for you. This rejection by the Senate is a far better suited scenario for the use of the phrase "cock-block" if you ask me!

So now that the House passed it, it goes onto the Senate nonetheless, and now is the time to contact your Senators about their upcoming vote scheduled for NEXT WEEK. At the moment, the Senate is a mere 3 votes short of it being veto-proof, so lets do all we can to ensure that Bush will not deny our returning troops what they need and deserve any longer!

Because I found it rather difficult to find a list of the Senators that have yet to put their name on this most important bill (sponsor lists can be found everywhere!), I thought it would be helpful to make one. And I have marked the ones that I think are extra important, those that are probably more likely to hear you right now because they are looking for your vote this November.
***Up for reelection this year!!!

Of course I've listed everybody along with their contact info, and here’s a tip: They all receive thousands of emails almost daily, so a call is better, and a letter by snail mail actually holds the most weight. It’s true, most congressional offices consider handwritten letters to be the best gage because of the trouble it takes to send them, compared to emailing. They literally count them as more than one response because of it too.

GET CREATIVE!!!! I just found an opportunity to tell one of the Senators that have yet to support this bill what you think: Senator Enzi posted a blog on The Hill about his support for making higher education more affordable, and here was my response:

Senator Enzi, you seem to have a comprehensive understanding of the challenges Americans face when seeking a higher education. YET, you apparently don't think that this sort of aid should be provided for our returning vets? True that our economy could benefit from making education more affordable, but how about the Americans that truly deserve this help, and may need this sort of help the most? Why won't you support the new GI Bill?


1. ***Alexander, Lamar- (R - TN) (202) 224-4944
Web Form

2. (retiring) Allard, Wayne- (R - CO) (202) 224-5941
Web Form

3. *** Barrasso, John- (R - WY) (202) 224-6441
Web Form

4. Bennett, Robert F.- (R - UT) (202) 224-5444
Web Form

5. Brownback, Sam- (R - KS) (202) 224-6521
Web Form

6. Bunning, Jim- (R - KY) (202) 224-4343
Web Form

7. Burr, Richard- (R - NC) (202) 224-3154
Web Form

8. Carper, Thomas R.- (D - DE) (202) 224-2441
Web Form

9. *** Chambliss, Saxby- (R - GA) (202) 224-3521
Web Form

10. Coburn, Tom- (R - OK) (202) 224-5754
Web Form

11. *** Cochran, Thad- (R - MS) (202) 224-5054
Web Form

12. Conrad, Kent- (D - ND) (202) 224-2043
Web Form

13. Corker, Bob- (R - TN) (202) 224-3344
Web Form

14. *** Cornyn, John- (R - TX) (202) 224-2934
Web Form

15. (retiring) Craig, Larry E.- (R - ID) (202) 224-2752
Web Form

16. Crapo, Mike- (R - ID) (202) 224-6142
Web Form

17. *** Dole, Elizabeth- (R - NC) (202) 224-6342
Web Form

18. DeMint, Jim- (R - SC) (202) 224-6121
Web Form

19. Ensign, John- (R - NV) (202) 224-6244
Web Form

20. *** Enzi, Michael B.- (R - WY) (202) 224-3424
Web Form

21. Feingold, Russell D.- (D - WI) (202) 224-5323
Web Form
It's odd for Feingold not to support this bill, but I did see it noted on DailyKos that his office had replied that his issue with the bill is that it had not been “pay-as-you-go” resolved.

22. *** Graham, Lindsey- (R - SC) (202) 224-5972
Web Form

23. Grassley, Chuck- (R - IA) (202) 224-3744
Web Form

24. Gregg, Judd- (R - NH) (202) 224-3324
Web Form

25. Hatch, Orrin G.- (R - UT) (202) 224-5251
Web Form

26. Hutchison, Kay Bailey- (R - TX) (202) 224-5922
Web Form

27. *** Sen Inhofe, James M. (R-OK) (202) 224-4721
Web Form
2/29/2008 sponsored – BUT his support was withdrawn on 4/29/2008

28. Isakson, Johnny- (R - GA) (202) 224-3643
Web Form

29. Kyl, Jon- (R - AZ) (202) 224-4521
Web Form

30. Martinez, Mel- (R - FL) (202) 224-3041
Web Form

31. McCain, John- (R - AZ) (202) 224-2235 – OR- (703) 418-2008
Campaign Contact form
Tell him that his continued disregard for the needs of our returning troops makes him completely unfit for the presidency!!! And here is his Contact page for the Senate

32. *** McConnell, Mitch- (R - KY) (202) 224-2541
Web Form

33. Nelson, E. Benjamin- (D - NE) (202) 224-6551
Web Form

34. ***Roberts, Pat- (R - KS) (202) 224-4774
Web Form

35. ***Sessions, Jeff- (R - AL) (202) 224-4124
Web Form

36. Shelby, Richard C.- (R - AL) (202) 224-5744

37. ***Stevens, Ted- (R - AK) (202) 224-3004
Web Form

38. ***Sununu, John E.- (R - NH) (202) 224-2841
Web Form

39. Thune, John- (R - SD) (202) 224-2321
Web Form

40. Vitter, David- (R - LA) (202) 224-4623
Web Form

41. Voinovich, George V.- (R - OH) (202) 224-3353
Web Form

42. *** Wicker, Roger F.- (R - MS) (202) 224-6253
Web Form

43. STAY of these buggers managed to escape this list...

A little more emphasis…
Do you know anybody that lives in these states listed below?

These are the states to focus on, because the Senators in these 13 states have yet to sign on and are running for reelection this year - giving constituents extra leverage! The states listed below are ALL Republican incumbents too – surprise, surprise, right? They are extra scared this election cycle because there are 18 of their seats up for grabs in the Senate, and it’s no secret that things aren’t looking good for them. This list shows that there are 15 of the 18 Republicans running this year that have not signed on to sponsor this GI Bill too. Go get ‘em!!!

These key states are:

Alaska – Ted Stevens
Alabama – Jeff Sessions
Georgia – Saxby Chambliss
Kansas – Pat Roberts
Kentucky – Mitch McConnell
Mississippi – Thad Cochran AND Roger Wiker
New Hampshire – John Sununu
Oklahoma – Jim Inhofe
South Carolina – Lindsey Graham
North Carolina – Elizabeth Dole
Tennessee – Lamar Alexandar
Texas – John Cornyn
Wyoming – Michael Enzi AND John Barrasso

With the vote in the Senate scheduled for next week, clearly any energy you exert on this issue should be focused on those that have yet to commit. We really need this to be veto proof!!! However, it is always a good idea to thank your representatives too, and letting them know that you think they did the right thing by you in representing you will probably go a lot further than you’d imagine! And again, I think that paying extra attention to those that are running for reelection is a great way to go. Let these people know that their support of this very important bill is what keeps them in your favor when walking into the voting booth to reelect them this fall! A little thanks really does go a long ways in this case.
* All running for reelection.

With 43 Democrats, 12 Republicans and both Independents sponsoring this bill, it’s pretty safe to say that it has bipartisan support. What’s interesting about the Republicans (to me anyway) is that two of them are retiring this year; so what’s in it for them, except to do the right thing?

I have posted this list as it is on the Senate’s website, with the date they climbed onboard. I thought it would be interesting to leave that on the list because I think it shows who was sincerely in support – as opposed to perhaps just recently joining in because they’re “feeling the heat.” This bill was after all, introduced over a year ago!

IN SUPPORT (57 sponsors):

1. Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [D-HI] - 4/10/2008
2. * Sen Baucus, Max [D-MT] - 6/12/2007
3. Sen Bayh, Evan [D-IN] - 12/4/2007
4. * Sen Biden, Joseph R., Jr. [D-DE] - 12/3/2007
5. Sen Bingaman, Jeff [D-NM] - 2/26/2007
6. Sen Bond, Christopher S. [R-MO] - 4/7/2008
7. Sen Boxer, Barbara [D-CA] - 2/26/2007
8. Sen Brown, Sherrod [D-OH] - 5/9/2007
9. Sen Byrd, Robert C. [D-WV] - 3/10/2008
10. Sen Cantwell, Maria [D-WA] - 4/17/2008
11. Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD] - 3/6/2008
12. Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA] - 5/10/2007
13. Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [D-NY] - 5/14/2007
14. * Sen Coleman, Norm [R-MN] - 3/11/2008
15. * Sen Collins, Susan M. [R-ME] - 9/24/2007
16. Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [D-CT] - 3/11/2008
17. Sen Domenici, Pete V. (retiring) [R-NM] - 2/29/2008
18. Sen Dorgan, Byron L. [D-ND] - 12/3/2007
19. * Sen Durbin, Richard [D-IL] - 3/13/2007
20. Sen Feinstein, Dianne [D-CA] - 11/15/2007
21. Sen Hagel, Chuck (retiring) [R-NE] - 10/24/2007
22. * Sen Harkin, Tom [D-IA] - 6/12/2007
23. Sen Inouye, Daniel K. [D-HI] - 9/11/2007
24. * Sen Johnson, Tim [D-SD] - 12/18/2007
25. Sen Kennedy, Edward M. [D-MA] - 2/28/2008
26. * Sen Kerry, John F. [D-MA] - 3/1/2007
27. Sen Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN] - 3/6/2008
28. Sen Kohl, Herb [D-WI] - 3/13/2008
29. * Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [D-LA] - 5/23/2007
30. * Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [D-NJ] - 6/13/2007
31. Sen Leahy, Patrick J. [D-VT] - 3/3/2008
32. * Sen Levin, Carl [D-MI] - 4/17/2008
33. Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. [ID-CT] - 4/3/2008
34. Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [D-AR] - 1/29/2008
35. Sen Lugar, Richard G. [R-IN] - 2/28/2008
36. Sen McCaskill, Claire [D-MO] - 2/26/2007
37. Sen Menendez, Robert [D-NJ] - 6/27/2007
38. Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [D-MD] - 2/16/2007
39. Sen Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK] - 4/14/2008
40. Sen Murray, Patty [D-WA] - 3/5/2008
41. Sen Nelson, Bill [D-FL] - 3/5/2008
42. Sen Obama, Barack [D-IL] - 11/14/2007
43. * Sen Pryor, Mark L. [D-AR] - 1/22/2008
44. * Sen Reed, Jack [D-RI] - 4/28/2008
45. Sen Reid, Harry [D-NV] - 10/22/2007
46. * Sen Rockefeller, John D., IV [R-WV] - 2/25/2008
47. Sen Salazar, Ken [D-CO] - 2/28/2008
48. Sen Sanders, Bernard [I-VT] - 2/16/2007
49. Sen Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY] - 2/28/2008
50. * Sen Smith, Gordon H. [R-OR] - 3/5/2008
51. Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [R-ME] - 9/12/2007
52. Sen Specter, Arlen [R-PA] - 5/12/2008
53. Sen Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI] - 4/16/2007
54. Sen Tester, Jon [D-MT] - 3/22/2007
55. Sen Warner, John [R-VA] - 2/29/2008
56. Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI] - 6/27/2007
57. Sen Wyden, Ron [D-OR] - 3/19/2007

Friday, April 25, 2008

US Naval Activities in Middle Eastern Waters

In the item just released by Fox entitled, “Naval-Contracted Vessel Fires Warning Shots on Iranian Boats,” there is a comment that the Iranian Guard is “very unprofessional” and even alludes to calling them sneaky for not using ships that are clearly marked as military vessels:

”Defense officials said that typically the guard behaves in a very unprofessional and aggressive manner, using unmarked boats and uniforms, unlike the Iranian Navy.”

It’s never made clear whether the navy-contracted ship was marked as such or not, but I seriously doubt it because that vessel is reported to be a cargo ship in other accounts. Here is CNN’s far less accusatory version of the same story.

Yet a little less than a month ago our navy was engaged in exactly the same behavior that Fox claims “defense officials” have accused the Iranian Guard of and it ended in an innocent man’s death:

US Navy-contracted ship opens fire on boats in the Suez Canal
March 25, 2008

“The victim worked on the small boats selling cigarettes and other products to ships crossing the canal. These waterborne merchants know not to approach military vessels but the Global Patriot looked like an ordinary freighter, said Abdullah Fouad [brother of victim]. ‘Normally we go nowhere near military ships,’ he said.

Hormoz Shayegan, vice president of Global Container Lines Limited, the New York-based company that owns the Global Patriot, said the ship ‘does not have any markings to suggest it is a military ship or anything like that.’ He said the crew on the vessel was unarmed.

Robertson said the Navy team on board took ‘the appropriate steps to take those measured steps to warn the vessels that were getting too close.’

‘We are very conscious of being in heavily trafficked areas and we as professional mariners try to keep people from getting too close,’ she told The Associated Press by phone from Bahrain."

And there was a brief mention of the confrontation with the Iranian vessel last January:
“On Jan. 6, U.S. Navy ships nearly opened fire on armed Iranian speedboats that repeatedly charged their convoy in the cramped waters of the Persian Gulf's Strait of Hormuz.”

And then, at the very end of the article, there is a small description that is quite telling about just how difficult it is to keep a reasonable amount of distance from other ships within the Strait:

”About 7.5 percent of world sea trade passes through the canal, which at its narrowest is 120 meters (yards) wide and is divided into two 60-meter-wide lanes. The canal is a major source of foreign currency for Egypt.”

Apparently, this is a very common occurrence too, as there was another incident in between these two above (believed to be non-lethal). To give you an idea of just how often this happens nowadays:

“The U.S. Defense Department has said there were three confrontations between the U.S. Navy and Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf from December to January. One ended after a U.S. ship fired warning shots to deter the Iranian vessel.”

What is extra disturbing to me is that Iranian officials have denied that a couple of these incidents have ever happened, and have accused the US of building a case against Iran as aggressors. I would say, considering the giant amount of threatening talk coming from US leaders towards Iran (especially over the last couple years), this is a damn good assessment! Let us not forget that the Iranian troublemakers that have been identified (by Intel) and are suspected to have contributed to violence in Iraq are by in large extremists that have defected from Iran and taken refuge in our allied nation of Pakistan.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

March Round-up

So I think it's been almost a month since I was on here last, and with all that has been going on I’ve certainly been missing reading you all and writing about the currents – that is for SURE! Work has been very, very busy; and good too. So I can’t really complain about much. I came back from my fourth trip in four months almost a week ago, and I’m happy to be here (for once). I’m not really a big fan of LA, but it was enjoyable like never before after coming back from freezing New York!!!

I’m sure you‘re all on top of things as usual, and I doubt that there is much more I could contribute at the moment anyway. I have only heard (in what precious little time I’ve been able to listen to my beloved talk radio) a couple of things that I think have been overlooked.

Again, as we are dwindled down to one candidate on each side, I would like everybody to take notice of it – but REALLY take notice. Notice how there are some states that have finally become viable in the primaries, their vote has actually mattered lately (and even Pennsylvania was thought to be given some say for the first time that I can ever remember). Why must it be in the US that some states get a choice and others have none? Why shouldn’t everybody have a say in whom the Democratic or Republican candidate should be? Why is it that Americans are quite OK with this voting system, which is so obviously UN-democratic? "Hi, I'd like to place an order for Instant Run-Off Voting please...and while you're at it, can you END primaries all together? Thanks."

I just have to ask too, since it was a topic that I have put my two cents in before on…Can anybody tell me why Hillary is still running or hasn’t yet announced she is done when mathematically it’s impossible for her to garner enough elected delegates to win? Even if she won every last one that was left to obtain, it would be enough for her to catch Obama now, so why hasn’t she stepped aside? Unless…she thinks she could still steal the nomination by pandering to the Super Delegates.

I think her out and out lies about Obama “choosing to withdraw” from Michigan were totally disgusting! What it really showed was that she was desperate, and that she was willing to break her own party’s rules in order to get whatever she wants – and why aren’t people talking about how that would translate in a presidential position? Then there was the fear-mongering commercial she ran in Ohio. It just reaffirmed my thoughts on her actually being the establishment candidate, the one that is really just a Republican in disguise. I can’t believe that Democrats didn’t completely wash their hands of her after that stunt. The most disturbing thing to me is, the more she exposes the poisons inside of her, the more support she seems to get! There is yet ANOTHER lie she has been telling completely exposed in the video posted at the end of this blog, and yet nobody seems to really want to call her on it. Hmmmm…let’s see, who else seems to be getting a “free pass” from the press? Oh yeah, McBush…uh, I mean McCain, yeah.

McBush slips right on by with his uneducated statements about Iran and Al Qaeda – even though he said it more than once. Then the press turned the other way as he’s been railing against the lobbyists, even though the ones that are some of the highest officials seated on his campaign board have been exposed as being involved in various scandals. The one that gets to me the most has been talked about the least, and hasn’t even been brought up since, as far as I know – as usual I suppose.

His chief political adviser, Charles R. Black Jr., is chairman of one of Washington's lobbying powerhouses, BKSH and Associates, which has represented AT&T, Alcoa, JPMorgan and U.S. Airways. Black's current clients include General Motors, United Technologies, JPMorgan and AT&T.

United Technologies has put a “hostile bid” on Diebold (voting machines) – meaning that an unsolicited bid was placed on Diebold may actually be forced by the market to sell their voting machines to this company, like it or not! The $3 billion dollar bid they placed on it was the equivalent of $40 a share when placed; when the actual market value was just over $24. Gee, I wonder, why would this company think the voting machines are actually worth almost twice as much as the market says they are, hmmmm….

Hello? Has everybody forgotten the term, “conflict of interest”? Can anybody out there say HYPOCRITE!??!?! How about STOLEN ELECTION - remember what we get when that happens? How about a little screaming, give with some protest people – COME ON!!!

This story broke early this month, and now with the corporate bailouts being handed out for the mortgage companies going on, it sure is interesting to look back on this story now and see JP Morgan on the list of McBush’s campaign-manager’s/lobbyist’s client list. That’s the company that bought Bear Stearns Mortgage Company for pennies on the dollar. JP Morgan got a hell of a deal too! The GIANT discount price of just $2 a share was 93% off of Bear Stearns’ last closing stock price. When was the last time you’ve seen a sale sign that read, “93% OFF”? Seeing as how Bear Stearns also received a corporate bail-out subsidy, don’t you think we should have been offered an option to buy into that too? Hell, I’d go hog-wild at that price! I’d buy myself fifty shares of that for $100!!!!!!! Wouldn’t you at least want to put your lunch money down on that action? Well, yeah…except, those kinds of sales are reserved for the richest – those that don’t even need the bargain price. Don’t despair though; you really did help buy it after all - with your tax dollars! Not that you will getting anything back on that investment you were forced to make. That was perfectly fair, made all the sense in the world, right? Why should we pay for socialized medicine when we can pay for socialized corporate bailouts instead? They need the money more than we do anyway, those poor, poor corporate billionaires, awwww….a little sympathy please, they need your hard-earned dollar to keep their pockets full of million-dollar retirement plans, hedge-fund bonuses, and their mouths full of caviar – have a little compassion, please. And if you don’t like it, then you can pay them to take your job and ship it overseas, OK? Just face it already: Even when it doesn’t work, deregulation is totally awesome – for THEM.

"Hello, I'm calling to add onto my order? Ummm, yeah...I'd like some publicly funded campaigns to go with that Instant Run-off Voting, so I can have a real election please. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!"

This round-up wouldn’t be complete without mention of our fifth year in Iraq. Nealry 4,000 Americans and more than likely over a million Iraqis - are dead. Best estimates say that there are over 3 million Iraqis displaced outside as well as within Iraq, and about a third of them continue to go without clean drinking water or electricity. We have well over 40,000 Iraq vets that aren’t getting the care they have needed for the injuries they’ve acquired in the Middle East, and somewhere between a fourth and a third of America’s homeless population are vets (even more if you include vets from all wars). And the administration has the audacity to celebrate the “successes” and claim it has all been worth it. “Um, Mr. president, and Mr. vice? Get our troops and your private corp-whores the hell OUT of the Middle East NOW - and then, GET BENT!!!

Just so I can end this on a positive note, I have to say that Obama really came through like I always knew he could – good for him. If you’ve been reading me for more than a year, you would know that I have been listening to him for over two years now. Long before he was ever a presidential contender, I somehow discovered him (I forget how exactly) and had been subscribing to a podcast he used to have. I was just listening because I loved to listen to him speak. It was for various engagements at universities and the like, but I always found him inspirational and encouraging to listen to. When he first announced his candidacy, I was really excited – but then I went to see him live here in LA, and watched a few other campaign speeches he gave. I was really disappointed to say the least, but I figured he was tired of repeating the same thing over and over in different cities, one right after the other… That speech he gave after all the hub-bub about his preacher was truly extraordinary, and I was thrilled to see his true talents return. Not only did he respectfully dismiss the absurd allegations that his preacher’s opinions were his own by association, but he also addressed some very important issues in a way that was incredibly intelligent, and in terms easily understood by all Americans – all races & ages. Simply brilliant Obama. Just listening to you made me proud to be an American again, and to have you as president would be an honor. Thank you.

I think this particular edition of below, summed up quite a few things very well. Enjoy

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Shams

Just yesterday I heard that the new FISA reform bill for the wiretapping program, or so-called "Protect America Act" is being reported as some sort of success. Dodd & Feingold won their right for their amendment against retroactive immunity to require a mere simple majority to pass, yet the devil is definitely in the details! The problem is what rests with all the numerous law suits pending against telecommunication companies, which many a lawyer and legal expert agrees that they've quite a good case. In the latest version of the bill the liability would now rest with the federal government, not the telecom companies. Meaning, that when all those claims are paid-out it will essentially come out of our tax dollars, even though it was the telecom companies that were clearly the ones that violated our rights by complying without the lawful warrants. Talk about a sham! Who ever thought that was a good thing to agree to, or as is reported, to accept as a bargaining chip in order to pass this bill? Doesn't this just nullify the entire purpose of holding those responsible for violating our rights accountable? Where is their due punishment, and why are our representatives jumping up to defend the "good intent" of the telecom companies by way of excusing their actions because they wanted to aid the government for security? If that were the case, then why bother with the immunity at all? I think this is more like setting precedent for a free pass for many other private companies to violate our rights on down the road! Private companies would now be able to violate us and blame it on the government, and we would essentially be suing ourselves for damages - nice. Last I checked the fed didn't say there would be any legal consequences if they didn't comply, and I certainly didn't ask for them to spy on my fellow citizens - did you? While the media as well as some members of Congress are boasting this agreement as some sort of victory, I have to say that I am far more inclined to agree with the skepticism of Glenn Greenwald on this one. I have to commend him for staying on top of this one with his numerous updates too, as nobody else seems to think this is worth reporting much about. This quick fix is sure to be a rotten deal for Americans if it is allowed to pass, and I highly recommend you contact your senators and tell them you don't want them to support it in its current form! Tell them that there should absolutely NOT be any compromise, and that liability being displaced on the federal government is tantamount to granting blanket immunity for telecommunications companies!!! It would be good to act quickly and spread the word like wildfire too, since they are due to vote on t immediately.

Then we have the sham we call, "elections." I can hardly believe what has been happening over the last couple of weeks, the few truly good candidates on the left have apparently thrown in the towel before 90% of the nation has even had a chance to vote in the primaries. Two out the sole four states that have participated thus far have been a total sham too. Michigan had ONLY Hillary & Gravel on the ballot; and because Florida has early voting available, every last vote cast for Kucinich & Edwards just went straight to the garbage. I was only a bit disappointed with Kucinich because he was doing some great things in fighting the media that is hell-bent on choosing our president FOR us, and I thought he was a great voice to hear in the debates - maybe the only one that actually stirred things up or appeared different from the others (well, since the media scrubbed Gravel from the debates anyway). I liked that Kucinich seemed to be getting his ire up, and was even swayed to his camp because I thought he was the only visible peace candidate left. I personally don't need all that cordial crap in a debate like I've recently been seeing - yeish. I really don't care if they can "play nice" because that doesn't seem to be getting us anything but more of the same, and revolution doesn't happen without some friction. Although we enjoyed a fair amount of prosperity with President Clinton, most Americans aren't aware of how many of his policies made while pandering across the aisle are damaging us today. On the other hand, I don't feel the need to see any schoolyard smearing, but I'd like to see some real differences on some positions on the issues pointed out and some substantive discussions going on! Is that really too much to ask?

I have to say that Edwards was a giant disappointment AND he really owes Florida a giant apology too. I can forgive Kucinich far more easily than I can Edwards because Edwards was still visible. Plus, Edwards swore up and down just the day before he quit that he was going to hang in until the end no matter what. It's reminiscent of Kerry campaigning on his need for campaign dollars so he could have the resources for a recount that he swore he would call if it was tight, and then conceding before the final count was even completely done - LAME. Edwards claimed to be the people's candidate and he was my third hopeful because he was at least more focused on the domestic mess we need to attend to, but didn't even think he could count on the people and based that opinion essentially on a two state primary or less than 10% of the population. Again, LAME. Honestly, I truly believed that Edwards was going to be the big surprise, the one that came out from behind once the rest of the nation had a chance to put in their two cents. It has been rumored that he went out the day after he quit to try and secure a position in the future president's cabinet, and that just may be the case - makes sense anyway. Although I don't know that I can completely trust that he will be for the people if he does get that position, not any more.

This media elimination of our candidates is a prime example of why we really need to put an end to primaries all together, and implement something truly democratic, like INSTANT RUN-OFF VOTING!!! Imagine if you didn't have only TWO measly choices in November, or a sole one on your side of the aisle when you stepped up to the ballot box. Just imagine if you actually got to vote your conscious instead of the "lesser of two evils." Remember how it was in school, where everybody ran for whatever student council position, and we all just voted for whomever we wanted for each spot? THAT is what Run-Off Voting would be like, and it produces a true majority. It's even better than that because you get to say who your second and third choice would be too! One of my favorite organizations that is campaigning for Run-off voting is There are many industrialized nations that use Run-Off Voting, and there is absolutely no reason why we can't too! The only things I think need to be added to this election reform plan would be to have publicly funded campaigns and abolish the electoral college. Then the lobbyists would be out of the picture too; no more dependency on campaign donations from the mighty corporations for candidates, nor need for them to later be beholden to those corporations once seated in office. More on these two topics on another day...

When I first started blogging on the current "election," naturally, it was about Iowa (being that they are the first). I mentioned that such significance given to a state that literally has one-tenth the population size of mine (California) seemed absolutely absurd. I'll admit that I was feeling burned about the fact that Iowa as well as New Hampshire has heaps of attention poured over them by all the candidates too. A friend of mine said that she was upset about all the smears against Iowa because it was implying their vote was worth less. My reply was that I'm not stupid enough to think such a thing, especially since the electoral college makes my vote worth about a tenth as much as their's is worth. Although, since they had eight candidates to choose from, and I'm supposed to think I'm reduced to just two, I'd say my vote is almost plain garbage! Can anybody tell me why a state that accounts for nearly one third of the entire nation's economy, has little to no say at all in our presidential primary? By the time I will get a chance to vote, my second AND my third choice has already dropped out of the race - nice. What an f'in SHAM we have for a "democracy"!!!

Only "my second and third choices" are gone you ask? Why yes, there is still ONE honorable candidate left in the race - but you'd never know it, thanks to the bought-off propaganda machine posing for the news these days. As it turns out, there is just one man aside from the sole two we see out pimping themselves, and he swears he is in it until the end - no matter what - Senator Mike Gravel.

I had the great honor and pleasure of meeting Senator Gravel today too, here in LA. He held a meet & greet at a local gallery where he also did some Q & A. It was perfectly lovely, and even as a long time supporter I learned some more about his policies too. In the first picture below, where he is speaking, I managed to include the sketch of him (just above him). The show was at Circus Gallery (7062 Lexington), also where the meet & greet was, right in the middle of an exhibit of an artist's entire series of all the candidates.


What was really great about this sketch for me was the reference that Senator Gravel made to it, how it seemed representative of his anger expressed at the televised debates. He recounted how although he was nervous and anxious, just like all the others; but he was also upset about how the coordinators had clearly lied to his face when they claimed that the layout of the candidates was by a random "drawing from a hat" so to speak, and that they would all have equal time. Most of us know that neither was true, considering Gravel and Kucinich were placed on either far end of the stage, and both of them had less than 5 minutes as opposed to the 14 or more minutes that the "tops" placed directly in the center got. When Gravel pointed to the sketch above him he said his wife told him not to get so angry, that people might think he's an angry old man. I had my chance to ask Senator Gravel a question, I started out by thanking him for getting angry, because we have SO MUCH to be angry about - it got some pretty huge applause too, I think we all have good reason to be angry about what has happened to our country. Gravel responded that you would have to be dead not to be angry about what is going on these days. It really was refreshing for me to see him there in the debates, without pussyfooting around and calling candidates out on their votes and behaviors. He was keeping things on the up & up if you ask me. I had planned to shout out, "I'm mad as hell! And I'm not going to take it anymore!!!", but the applause drowned me out and caught me off guard a bit. If you're not familiar with this "Network" reference, please watch that film - it's an absolute MUST. When I had seen the press reporting that he was an angry old man, I instantly thought of the main character in that classic film that made that line infamous.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have had this picture taken today, this man is seriously a giant American hero! For those of you that don't know; thanks to this man's five month filibuster we haven't had a draft since Vietnam - ALSO, Gravel is the man that worked with the legendary whistle blower, Daniel Ellsberg to put the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record, therefore making the public aware of the corrupt intentions behind the Vietnam war.

Anyway, the questions I asked Senator Gravel were as follows... First, what did he think about Run-Off voting, and without hesitation he basically said that it was a no-brainer, and that he would absolutely support it - that it wasn't the full reform we need, but that he was in favor of it. Second, I asked him to comment on Fair Trade verses "free" trade, adding that I thought the deregulation that started with Reagan is destroying our country. This got a little more interesting reply, and I'm looking forward to reading more about it in his book that was just released! Yes sir, it's aptly called "Citizen Power." What I found interesting about his response to my second question was that he said we needed global governance to achieve true peace, but this is a pretty touchy subject - if not downright unpopular notion - for those of us that are hip to the NWO. However, his version certainly was a different take on it. The main difference he pointed out was that the structure of the current global governance (the UN) is all wrong because of the structure. In order to better understand how this would work, you can explore Gravel's revolutionary proposal to make American citizens the lawmakers, otherwise known as "direct democracy" and technically called, "The National Initiative". His idea for a global governance is based upon the same principle, and would simply be the same for all people everywhere in the interest of all life on earth. There is a pretty good synopsis of the initiative on Gravel's campaign site too, and the title is well put; "A Populist Concept of Democracy"

Essentially it's all about the people conducting the business of lawmaking, in conjunction with an administrative body that we would elect to manage the system (of holding hearings and coordinating voting), and it would include a life-long, permanent voters' registration for all citizens nationwide. The premise is that the real power in a democracy is in lawmaking, and without the ability for citizens to make federal laws we will never be able to make the desired and needed changes. Gravel also pointed out that there are several states that already allow people to make state laws, but that the power to make federal laws are what will eliminate the disparity between demographics and so forth. This IS the truly revolutionary change that we all desire, no joke! As for the nay-sayers that I have run into since I discovered Gravel, their total lack of faith in the people isn't warranted in my opinion. The best way I can explain it is that we are all experts by our own experience, and who better to determine what we need to live than ourselves? Think about it, when somebody in your family is diagnosed with cancer, you suddenly become an expert on cancer treatments - it's human nature to want to do whatever we can about the things that devastate us. If we had that kind of power in decision making, do you really think we would still be in Iraq, or even have gone there in the first place? Honestly, bureaucracy is just a scare tactic designed to keep us out of the process. I'd like to add that almost any parent would agree that when you give responsibilities to a child they tend to behave more responsibly, and when you don't allow children to make decisions they tend to act out - I think adults aren't so different.

So we may have to settle for a bought-out corporate shill that we call president once again, IF all the supporters for the other candidates that have dropped out can't get themselves together to vote Gravel, and imagine how incredible THAT would be, if everybody on the left that lost their chosen candidate got behind Gravel - that could seriously turn out to be an incredible surprise. FYI: If you are as tired as I have become with the warm-fuzzy "debates" that have been going on, know that you have an alternative too! Every time there is a Democratic debate, Senator Gravel holds a congruent "alternative debate" where he watches the broadcast and pauses it occassionally so he can put in his two cents. I like it because at least there is a voice that can be heard that isn't just "politics as usual."

Personally, I'm just very gratful to have the ability to vote my conscious in the primary, because my number one choice isn't a quitter! But no matter what... we still have the power to make real change if we want it, and we don't even need our "elected" officials to agree with us to make it happen either! According to the seventh amendment, we have the power to change the way our system works if we can get over 50 million signatures on that initiative, it will simply BECOME THE LAW OF THE LAND.

It's all about Power to the People!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What We Know VS. What the World knows

Almost a month ago former Prime Minister Bhutto died, and there was a bit of a mess in the press as to what actually happened. In first reports I had heard that it was an assassination. But it wasn’t long before the US press began saying things like, she bumped her head when the explosion went off - and other such BS if you ask me. There was the ONE photo that was a still from video that surfaced for a moment, and even Fox reported on it. Then WHOOSH…the story seemed to disappear for the most part.

Less than 24 hours ago the AP broke the story that two of Bhutto’s assassins were arrested near the Afghani border when a terrorist attack was thwarted in Pakistan. A teenage boy was one of them, and he confessed to being one of five sent to kill her. The guys are said to be related to the very man that Bhutto herself had said was a threat to her too, a militant leader with strong ties to al-Qaida. Although it’s said they are waiting on more testimony from other suspects to collaborate the story before accepting it, the AP article said that both the CIA and the Pakistani administration had concluded shortly after her death that this was what happened and these were the people involved.

When I Google “Bhutto’s assassins” today 89% of all articles written on this new development are foreign periodicals – about three or four out of the first 30 listed. The first to appear is this article form the New York Times, where they are reporting the CIA’s conclusion as brand-new (as do ALL the other US publications I see), and the NYT seems to be questioning the CIA’s motives for such a conclusion more than anything else.

Another interesting report within the AP report was related to Bhutto saying many times that she was for a crack down on Islamic militants in the same region where the arrests took place; and in a small note towards the end of the article it’s said that the head of the Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) for that very region, was recently shot and killed.

The whole article is interesting in how it reports “success” in foiling terrorist plots, and yet also reports there is a great deal of unrest coupled with widespread doubts that the elections can actually be held three weeks from now when they are currently scheduled to happen.

On another note about stories that have seems to all but completely disappear….what about that so-called threatening naval incident in the Straights of Hormuz? Even as the story started to unravel, there were little to no US reports that it wasn’t what it was originally reported to be. Nor did the news that the Pentagon played a hand in spreading those false reports of an Iranian threat ever reach the surface.

It is easy to come to the conclusion that all the posturing against Iran by the Bush administration was for the purpose of starting another war, and I was one to have believed this for quite some time. The fact that it has yet to happen up until now does pose an interesting question though. I still suspect that it would have happened by now given the opportunity to justify it somehow. I have also been thinking that just maybe, members of Congress or other entities have somehow prevented it; or maybe the press did give the issue just enough exposure to rile the public up enough to let our officials and the administration know that we would not tolerate such a thing. MAYBE.

However…what if the real reason for all the posturing against Iran was motivated by something else entirely? What if the numerous false accusations had already accomplished the administration’s goals? This article explores that very question, and I think explains quite a bit. It essentially says that the political position it puts the US in, with allies and “enemies” alike, are the most beneficial things of all to the administration. It points out that it has indeed made for unlikely allies as well as bolstered our relationship with Israel, and there are other powers that are then almost handed over to the US under these circumstances. It makes me think of the fact that sanctions have already been placed on Iran three times now, and that alone could very well very soon another entire country under our thumb by way of desperation - amongst other things. Think about how the naval incident shaped the Middle Eastern tour that Bush took shortly thereafter. More later…

About Me

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I had been writing a News & Politics column for an online magazine for a little over three years, and just last fall opened this blog to continue publication. I also had the pleasure of being the associate producer for a progressive talk radio host for about a year. Alittle of everything... I've advised small businesses, and I paint all kinds of things (boxes, figurines, greeting cards, personalized children's and other dish-wares, decor...). I still paint when I can, but mainly I'm manage a wholesale company for a Fair Trade, eco-friendly Jewelry & Homewares designer/producer out of Bali called, Verlu. You can see a full catalog of our line on the website, and there is now a list of our retailers for you to visit too. "Wear in everybody's Good Health!"
The political opinions expressed in this blog are in no way related to Verlu. The proud Progressive in me is thrilled to say I'm working with a company that operates in a manner respectful to both Mother Earth & Humanity; however, Progressive Mews is not meant to reflect any opinion - aside from my very own.

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