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Questions on Iraq Violence Reporters Won't Answer

Posted by libhom Friday, November 30, 2007 11 comments

There are two questions I have been emailing reporters lately when they write that the violence in Iraq is decreasing. The wordings have varied, but the gist has been as follows.

What are your sources for your claim that the violence in Iraq is decreasing?

Is your claim based exclusively on statements from the Pentagon?

Reporters never reply to these emails. This is especially interesting since reporters usually will email me back when I criticize or ask questions about a story.

Hrmmmmmm.

Remembering Connie Norman

Posted by libhom Tuesday, November 20, 2007 2 comments

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance (Described by Gender.org):

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgendered — that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgendered people.

We live in times more sensitive than ever to hatred based violence, especially since the events of September 11th. Yet even now, the deaths of those based on anti-transgender hatred or prejudice are largely ignored. Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgendered people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgendered people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.

Today, I can't help but remember the transgender person who most affected me and my views of life and the world, Connie Norman. She was an incredible AIDS and queer activist who died in 1996 of AIDS. Some might not think of an AIDS death as one due to violence, by I disagree with that view. Our society has sabotaged HIV prevention, provided insufficient care, and done far too little research to find a cure. All of these things may seem passive, but they have proved to be as deadly as knives, guns, baseball bats, and other instruments of active violence. Our society's behavior has been motivated by homophobia and racism for sure. But, transphobia also has contributed to the sick sense among too many in America that people with AIDS are expendable.

Nobody is expendable.

Connie's obituary identified her in part as:
Sometimes called "the AIDS Diva," Norman championed reform of federal AIDS funding formulas, routine offering of HIV tests by medical providers, testing newborns for HIV and better treatment of those who have HIV or AIDS.

I remember her as "Momma Connie." She was constantly taking care of young activists at demos, and she always had so much to teach to anyone who wanted to learn.

I learned how to lead chants at demos from her. I learned how to express anger in public settings in ways that make it difficult for people to dismiss or ignore you. Most of all, I learned that no matter how righteous an activist's anger is, that anger is based on love. We can never forget that we are motivated most of all by love for people who aren't treated fairly or humanely in this world.

Thank you Connie!

I miss you!

This is from Democracy Now a while back, but it still is relevant today. Kucinich makes an excellent point about how NAFTA and the WTO create poverty in Mexico which in turn forces many people there to immigrate to the US. It would be nice if the only people migrating to the US from Mexico and other countries were coming here because they wanted to, not due to artificially generated, desperate poverty.



A similar point can be made about Haiti. If "our" government would stop supporting the murderous oligarchs and overthrowing democratically elected governments there, far fewer Haitians would be fleeing political persecution and horrific poverty.

That Kucinich Guy Keeps Talking Sense

Posted by libhom Sunday, November 18, 2007 3 comments

Dennis Kucinich got a chance to express himself at the latest Democratic "debate" in Las Vegas, which he often does not. Here is a great edit of what Kucinich had to say.



Thanks to researchris2 for posting the video. Hat tip to Tennessee Guerilla Women for posting it on that blog.

Those of us who support Kucinich should do everything we can to publicize his views. It is a win-win. It helps his candidacy and provides a soapbox progressive views.

One of the responses to the video is particularly interesting: a personal, hip-hop endorsement of Kucinich.

Protests already are being planned against the Republican National Convention (which some New Yorkers called the "Repugnant Nazi Carnival" when we were stuck with it in 2004).

Find out more at www.protestrnc2008.org

Folks in the Minneapolis area might be interested in the Organizers Conference Feb. 9-10.

Organizers Conference
February 9-10, 2008
@ University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War invites activists and organizers to join us for a national conference to help organize the September 1 march and discuss other plans for protests at the Republican National Convention. For more Information contact info@protestrnc2008.org.

There have been so many ways in which the Democratic Party "leadership" has betrayed the party's values in addition to supporting the war and pushing through the nominations of Mukasey and other dangerous right-wing extremists.

ENDA
I have blogged extensively on how the Democratic Party "leadership' has sabotaged ENDA by excluding gender identity and through other efforts to water the legislation down. In a year where ENDA faces certain veto, the party power brokers have diluted ENDA so that any bill that will reach a Democratic president in the future will be either incredibly weak or completely worthless.

Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin, acting on behalf of Nancy Pelosi and other heterosexist bigots in the party, have ignored the views of the queer community on what kind of civil rights bill we want. Heterosexual liberals who are vaguely sympathetic to lgbt issues may be fooled by this phony show of support by the Democratic Party insiders, but queers are not. Liberal queers know what was done to us and will remember it in 2008.

Katrina
It is a sad day when liberal Democrats need to lobby Democratic Party bigwigs to actually take action to deal with the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. From Progressive Democrats of America:

Push the Senate Today to Support Katrina Survivors
September 25th, 2007

100,000 displaced. 65,000 families still living in FEMA trailers. This is the Gulf Coast two years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. After years spent dragging its feet, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs is holding hearings today on the Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act, the bill that will create a real road home for thousands of renters and owners in New Orleans and throughout the region.

The Gulf Coast Civil Works Project, an even more comprehensive approach to helping people still being screwed over years after Katrina and Rita still languishes in the House with a leadership more interested in supporting Katrina profiteers than Katrina victims.

Trade
House and Senate Democratic ringleaders have been pushing through more corporate trade deals that hurt wages and jobs in the US while promoting abject poverty abroad. How are they going to get union members to turn out and vote Democrat in 2008 when the party is doing everything to destroy their standards of living?

Impeachment
How can anyone talk about the betrayal of liberal Democrats and constitutional responsibilities without mentioning impeachment?

Bush and Cheney don't just have bad policies, they have committed serious crimes including but not limited to:

- Illegally occupying their offices due to stolen elections.
- Fraud in order to get us into the Iraq War.
- Perpetrating a war of aggression and genocide in Iraq, crimes against humanity which carry life imprisonment as penalties
- Torture
- Illegal wiretapping and email monitoring
- Ordering federal employees to engage in campaign activities, while on the clock.
- Blocking and obstructing criminal investigations of themselves and other administration figures.

Every member of Congress, regardless of party, has a constitutional obligation to impeach Cheney and Bush. Yet, Nancy Pelosi and other DINO's have violated their oaths of office by keeping impeachment "off the table."

Impeachment is one of the most important issues to liberal Democrats and to many conservatives and moderates who place the rule of law above ideology. Yet, power brokers in the Democratic Party treat those views with utter contempt.

How Out of Touch Can the Party Apparatus Get?
If you look at the tone of fundraising appeals from the DCCC and DNC, you would think everything is just fine between the power brokers and liberals in the party. It is as if Howard Dean and other Washington insiders have lost complete contact with the party's base. They only seem to talk to the pundits and corporate interests who write the biggest checks.

You can see what party liberals think by looking at Democrats.com's call for a donor strike.

Impact on 2008
Obviously, Democratic candidates face major obstacles to getting liberal support in November 2008. The Democratic Party is in an amazingly weak position during an election where the party should be poised to pick up the presidency and win a few Senate seats.

However, the GOP has enormous problems too. The military defeat in Iraq is helping to divide the party even though they won't admit publicly that Bush has lost the war. The rapture that never came is weakening the resolve and unity of the Christian Taliban, just as the sexual behavior of many Republicans fails to conform to the puritanical idiocy of Christian extremists. GOP economic policies are kicking many out of the middle class while making the lower middle class and poor whites who used to faithfully vote Republican even worse off.

The Republicans face the opposite problem than the Democrats. The GOP's fanatical pursuit of far right policies has left them incredibly vulnerable as those policies are failing miserably for the vast majority of Americans and the country as an entity. The Democrats are in serious trouble because they have shown contempt for liberal positions and policies that can save our country.

The two major parties in this country are at their weakest point since the time of the disintegration of the Whigs in the middle 18th Century.

Ron Paul Coins??? ROTFLMAO

Posted by libhom Friday, November 16, 2007 9 comments


What Ron Paul Coins Should Look Like

Admittedly, there are plenty of otherwise sensible people who are supporting Ron Paul out of sheer disgust with the Republican presidential candidates and nearly all of the Democratic candidates. However, there also is a cult of Ron Paul worshipers who enter into a frenzied state at the mere mention of his name.

Blog postings criticizing His Holeyness get frenzied responses from Paulians who go to great lengths to try to convince progressives and others they should abandon nearly everything they stand for to join in the Crusade. Many of the comments from the Ronitarians are filled with unintentional humor.

But, the funniest group of Paulian extremists is the one that issued coins in his name. If you want to see the actual coins, the Washington Post article has the pics.

Bernard von NotHaus, NORFED's founder and executive director, said in an interview from his home in Miami Friday night that his employees in Evansville had received the copper dollars late last week and managed to mail out only about 3,500 of them so far. After a six-hour raid, he said, the agents left with the rest of the coins, which weighed about two tons total, as well as smaller amounts of silver Ron Paul dollars, gold Ron Paul dollars that sell for $1,000 and platinum Ron Paul dollars that sell for $2,000. There was a separate raid, NotHaus said, of Sunshine Mint in Coer D'Alene, Idaho, a company that prints the organization's coins, where von NotHaus said agents seized the huge pallets of silver and gold worth more than $1 million that the organization says back the paper certificates issued to its customers.

"They took everything, all of the computers, everything but the desks and chairs," said von NotHaus, who says he served 25 years as the mintmaster for the Royal Hawaiian Mint. "The federal government really is afraid."

The Bush regime would have to beat its own paranoia record to be afraid of this. It sounds more like a prosecutor heard about this because of the Paulipalian frenzy.

I did a fairly comprehensive posting myself on Paul's actual stands on the issues, and I received the requisite flood of comments from the Ronmons. Some of Paul's zealots may be quite funny, but his policies are anything but.

Paul's agenda is, for the most part, frightening.

Like many liberal Democrats, I was stunned When Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein announced that they would vote for Mukasey, despite the fact that Mukasey had lied about the legality of waterboarding in his testimony, condoned torture, and actually claimed that the Bush administration actually has a constitutional right to break the law.

Many of us didn't think even those two "Democrats" could sink so low. There was a protest outside of Schumer's Brooklyn residence. I also joined liberal New York voters who flooded the Schumer offices with calls, emails, etc. demanding that Schumer not give a de facto endorsement of torture by voting for Mukasey.

As usual, Schumer gave liberal, New York Democrats the middle finger.

Thanks to Dusty for collecting information on who voted for Mukasey. Here are the "Democrats" who mocked their oaths of office to uphold and defend the constitution by voting for the Mukasey nomination.

Bayh (D-IN)
Carper (D-DE)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Nelson (D-NE)
Schumer (D-NY)

A look at the full roll call vote gets even more disturbing. 7 not-so-illustrious Senators couldn't even be bothered to vote.

Alexander (R-TN)
Biden (D-DE)
Clinton (D-NY)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Dodd (D-CT)
McCain (R-AZ)
Obama (D-IL)

In other words, none of the Democratic Presidential candidates even voted. It looks like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a dirty deal to push the vote through, according to Talking Points Memo.

According to sources inside and outside the Democratic leadership, Harry Reid allowed a vote on Mukasey because in exchange the Republican leadership agreed to allow a vote on the big Defense Appropriations Bill, which contains $459 billion in military spending but doesn't fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reid had wanted to get this bill passed before the end of this week, and in fact, the defense bill did come up for a vote late last night and was passed after the Mukasey vote.

Some might want to justify the absence of the Democratic Presidential candidates by saying they did not have adequate notice of the vote. Reid deserves criticism of his repugnant decision, but the line of reasoning fails on two grounds.

1) Moral: Those Senators should have been in Washington, leading the fight against the Mukasey nomination. If they are unable or unwilling to lead the fight against an Attorney General nominee who displayed utter contempt for the rule of law in his confirmation testimony, are they really capable of leading the country?

2) Practical: An irony of this is that if Obama, Clinton, Dodd, or Biden led a filibuster fight against Mukasey, that display of integrity would have helped their campaigns more than glad handing and baby kissing.

The Independents did worse than the Democrats, splitting 50/50. Sanders voted against the nomination while Lieberbush voted for Mukasey. Every GOP Senator who voted chose to betray the country by supporting Mukasey.

Looking at the Mukasey confirmation outside of its broader context would obscure much of the dissatisfaction with the Democrats among liberals in the party. Democrats in the Senate have a history of allowing heinous Bush nominees to go through, including anti-Constitution Supreme Court justices Roberts and Alito.

Pundits like to go on about how the Senate supposedly is very jealous of its powers and determined to protect them. Yet, both parties have abandoned their advise and consent powers and responsibilities since Bush took office.

The Senate Democrats have been playing a sneaky game, arranging things to where most Democrats vote against the most unconscionable of Bush's nominees, but enough Democrats support those nominations to give Bush exactly what he wants. It really is like pro wrestling.

Liberal Democrats are starting to catch on.

I attended the NYC October 27 protest, and many things struck me. One of them involved which Democrat protesters were supporting. There were lots of signs supporting Dennis Kucinich, but I didn't see even one sign during the march supporting another Democratic candidate for president. Obama supporters set up an impromptu table at the peace fair after the march, but they got very little interest, facing a similar circumstance to the late arriving Ron Paul table that was set up by a couple of his devotees.

The Kucinich table in the fair was bustling. The Kucinich campaign took the time and effort to get their table in as part of the official fair, and with good reason. Liberal Democrats are quite open to Democrats who listen and take their constitutional responsibilities seriously.

The majority of the protesters were liberal Democrats. There were the usual handfuls of socialists and communists handing out newspapers. Something different happened than usual, though. A significant plurality of the protesters were actually taking the newspapers, which had been a rare occurrence at previous mass mobilizations I had attended.

It would be silly to think that liberal Democrats are suddenly becoming Marxists. However, the behavior did show a greater openness to political ideas and organizations in the face of unrelenting hostility to liberal ideas and values in the Democratic Party.

The change in attitudes towards the Democratic Party is far from limited to street protests. The blog This Can't Be Happening has organized a petition drive to get people to quit the Democratic Party. So far, over 1300 war opponents have switched to independent.

It is clear that the reason Democrats won control of House and Senate in November 2006 is that they campaigned on a promise to protect civil liberties and to end the war. That promise brought independents in record numbers across to the Democratic side. But Democratic election strategists don't get this. They still harbor the illusion that unaffiliated voters are middle-of-the-road or conservative-leaning people who only care about so-called wedge issues, not the big issues of our day. In fact, my travels across this country have taught me that the unaffiliated voter is usually someone who is cynical about politics, believes that there is little difference between the two parties, and that he or she is being screwed, by corporations, by government, and by his or her own political leaders.

The sad truth is that the current Democratic Party deserves that opinion. They briefly managed to convince these skeptics that they were better than that, but in office, they have reverted to form, and these voters will not be back in '06.

Although I prefer to retain my ability to vote against particularly repugnant "Democrats" in the primaries, and to vote for the handful of real Democrats like Dennis Kucinich in those primaries, I cannot help note that the exit of over 1300 highly involved liberal Democrats is a sign of a larger problem for the party in the 2008 elections and beyond.

The response to the peace movement from Nancy Pelosi has been to unilaterally declare that eliminating funding for the Iraq war is "off the table." Other Democratic Party leaders have used less confrontational language to push the same pro-war agenda.

The only House campaign that is generating much excitement among anti-war liberals this time out is Cindy Sheehan's. An independent candidate running against the "Democratic" House Speaker is doing more to capture the imagination of the anti-war movement than any other House Candidate.

Pelosi's mentality is most strongly expressed in a now infamous quote circulating anti-war blogs:
“I’ve had, for four or five months, people sitting outside my home, going into my garden in San Francisco, angering my neighbors, hanging their clothes from the trees, building all kinds of things-Buddhas, I don’t know what they are-couches, sofas, permanent living facilities on my front sidewalk. You can imagine my neighbors’ reaction to all of this. And if they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for loitering. But because they have 'Impeach Bush' across their chest, it’s the First Amendment, four or five months into that. So I’m well aware of the unhappiness of the base.”

Pelosi managed to get a trifecta in terms of showing her true contempt for war opponents, the homeless, and the poor. Pelosi may be aware of the anger of the Democratic Party's base, but she is far from understanding it or the values behind it.

Democratic politicians should be worried.

I went to a recent meeting of a queer Democratic Club. Two things struck me.

1) The meeting had a presidential candidate endorsement, and it was the most poorly attended meeting I had ever seen of the group.

2) The club endorsed Hillary Clinton, despite the fact that she is the least supportive Democratic candidate on lgbt issues.

I know of few liberal Democrats who are supporting Clinton, queer or otherwise. She is being pushed by Rupert Murdoch and other wealthy Republican donors on a Democratic Party where she and her husband are far from trusted. On the other hand, conservative and centrist Democrats, people with career ambitions in the Party, and those who are uncompromising in their partisanship are strongly supporting Ms. Clinton.

You can guess who made up the majority of attendees at that particular meeting of the club. People with outlooks more along the lines of lgbt activists and liberals didn't even bother to show up in significant numbers.

Regardless of what you think of one endorsement in one lgbt political club, this is a microcosm of a larger trend in the Democratic Party. There is a conservative establishment run by well-funded power brokers which is growing increasingly arrogant and dismissive of liberal Democrats. Liberal Democrats are starting to look outside the Democratic Party for venues of political expression and activism. It also is starting to affect liberal donor behavior.

Traditionally, the power brokers have used understandable fear and anger at the behavior of Republicans to hold the party together around overly conservative candidates. However, the behavior of more Democratic politicians gets more frightening and infuriating to liberals with each passing day.

Boycott the New York Daily News

Posted by libhom Friday, November 09, 2007 1 comments

New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin went way beyond the boundaries of journalistic professionalism in his column demonizing people who are against torture. Goodwin has some choice words for people who are against torture:

  • "rabid"

  • "the fanatical fringe"

  • "blinded by their hatred"

  • "ridiculous"

For those of you outside of the New York area, the New York Daily News is a conservative tabloid that is similar to Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, though the Daily News usually is a bit less strident.

Democrats.com has started a boycott against the NY Daily News:
I am joining the boycott against the New York Daily News and its advertisers because columnist Michael Goodwin viciously attacked all progressive New Yorkers in his 11/7/07 column entitled "Chuck bucks the loony left."
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2007/11/07/2007-11-07_chuck_bucks_th...

I will boycott the New York Daily News and its advertisers until Michael Goodwin apologizes for this outrageous attack on progressive New Yorkers - or is fired.

The overwhelming majority of people in NYC are against torture. Why in the world would the New York Daily News print infantile personal attacks against us? Why should we pay them to print these infantile personal attacks by buying their newspaper?

There is something wrong when the only way a daily newspaper will cover a human rights protest is to demonize and ridicule it. Liberals and progressive need to start fighting back when news outlets print hateful nonsense to try to intimidate us into silence.

My Response to a Tammy Baldwin Fundraising Letter

Posted by libhom Thursday, November 08, 2007 2 comments

Please Take Me Off Of Your Mailing List

When I received your campaign mailer a few days ago, I seriously considered sending in a check. However, past experience with so many horrible Democrats has taught me to be very careful before trusting any Democratic politician. It seemed best to wait and see what actually would happen with and to ENDA.

That definitely turned out to be a wise approach.

Nancy Pelosi still is the same heterosexist bigot she was when she gay-baited her way into Congress. She sees Barney Frank's anti-ENDA revisions as part of a broader strategy. She is working to erode ENDA during a time when there is no Democratic president so that any bill that would reach a future Democratic president's desk would do little or nothing to protect any lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender Americans.

You presented yourself as a progressive politician who was a leader on queer issues, unlike Barney Frank who is a shill for the viciously heterosexist Democratic Party leadership. You even offered an amendment to reverse one of the more important efforts to sabotage ENDA: taking out gender identity.

When you withdrew your amendment, it dashed any hopes that there was any lgbt person in Congress that actually cares about the queer community.

If House Democrats don't pass a real ENDA by November 2008, I will avoid voting for any Democratic candidates for any office. I'm mad as hell, and I'm simply not going to take it any more.

I'll write the check to Cindy Sheehan's campaign. At least SHE is honest.

Official Kucinich Endorsement

Posted by libhom Tuesday, November 06, 2007 2 comments

As you can tell if you read this blog, Dennis Kucinich is the Democratic candidate who I agree with on the most issues and of whom I have the most admiration. The Kucinich campaign rests on the view that decency, compassion, and integrity matter.

That is why I'm endorsing Dennis Kucinich for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Want to know more about why I support Dennis Kucinich?

See my previous blog postings mentioning him.

The Brooklyn protest against Sen. Charles "Loves Torture" Schumer to confirm Mukasey was a bright spot in a time when Democratic politicians routinely induce nausea by their actions.

NASA photo of BrooklynAlthough I arrived late, I didn't miss out on the most interesting part of the protest. People who had started across the street from Schumer's coop building moved to the same side of the street as Schumer's quasi-residence in Park Slope. The 30+ people who arrived for a last minute and barely publicized protest expressed sentiments that go way beyond them and beyond Brooklyn.

Brooklyn for Peace, the Green Party of Brooklyn, and Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats (CBID) deserve credit for organizing the moment of sanity in an increasingly insane country.

The support of the latter organization is encouraging. Often, Democratic clubs are so blindly partisan that their members forget why they are Democrats. That certainly was not the case tonight with CBID.

The speech at the end was mercifully short and expressed the protesters' general sense of betrayal that a politician from Brooklyn could so brazenly endorse torture. The speaker, whose name I didn't get, also made an excellent point about Schumer's support of Mukasey.

Schumer put cronyism ahead of the Constitution.


Displaying her fanatical loyalty to a war criminal, Nancy Pelosi diverted Dennis Kucinich's Cheney impeachment resolution to committee, which is expected to bury it.

The Los Angeles Times' coverage showed its right-wing bias in a rather brazen fashion.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) hoped to avoid a bruising floor fight that would have required Democrats to choose between a liberal base that might cheer a Cheney impeachment and a broader electorate that might view it as a partisan ploy at a time of war. She held open the vote, technically slated for 15 minutes, for more than an hour and finally forced the measure to an uncertain future in the committee.

The notion that upholding and defending the Constitution of America is a "partisan ploy at a time of war" is as reprehensible as it is dishonest.

Nancy Pelosi was not the only member of the "Democratic" leadership to act in an execrable fashion:
"Impeachment is not on our agenda," said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.). "We have some major priorities. We need to focus on those."

When upholding and defending our constitution is not one of his priorities, Hoyer is unfit to hold public office.

Kucinich's statement is excellent and shows what a Real Democrat is like.

You can find the full text of Kucinich's impeachment resolution on his web site.

Article III addresses Cheney's military threats against Iran. This is terribly significant since an attack against Iran would be a war of aggression, a crime against humanity under international law.
Article III
In his conduct while Vice President of the United States, Richard B. Cheney, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of Vice President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has openly threatened aggression against the Republic of Iran absent any real threat to the United States, and done so with the United States proven capability to carry out such threats, thus undermining the national security of the United States, to wit:

The corporate media, who are trying to start a war between the US and Iran, are largely ignoring Article III.

Kucinich also has made a logical and courageous call for impeaching George W. Bush.

11/06/07 Press Release from Parents of High School IL Protesters

Parents Urge High School to Reverse Expulsions for Students Who Held ‘Day of Dead’ Iraq War Protest
* Petition in support of students draws signatures from Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan, peace activist Kathy Kelly, antiwar veterans, teachers, parents and students across the nation.
* School administrators say they will expel dozens of students who took part in peaceful school cafeteria sit-in to voice opposition to Iraq War – and routine presence of military recruiters.


BERWYN, Illinois - November 6 - Parents of Morton West High School students will gather for a press conference at 9:30 AM Tuesday, November 6 in front of the school, to urge school administrators to reverse their decision to expel dozens of children who marked All Saints Day last week by staging a peaceful, non-violent sit-in at the school cafeteria to voice opposition to the Iraq War.

The November 1 school cafeteria event served in part as a counterpoint in the school setting to military recruiters on campus, who routinely visit the high school cafeteria seeking to enlist young people into military service. Dozens of students participated in the anti-war protest through the course of the day. All Saints Day -- November 1 – is a revered holiday in the Latino community, when families and friends traditionally gather to honor dead loved onesloved ones.

Students complied with an administrator's request to move the action outside the cafeteria after initially being assured that the only disciplinary action they would face was citation for cutting classes. But administrators have since issued formal expulsion notices to dozens of students, suspended many more, and threatened to bring criminal charges against students age 17 and older who participated in the anti-war action.

School administrators also put the school on lockdown briefly during the All Saints Day protest. That action stands in stark contrast to administrators’ response to a report of a student with a gun on campus last month. In that incident, administrators chose not to lock down the school.

At the press conference, parents and students will read a letter to the superintendent demanding complete amnesty for the students before delivering the letter to the School District 201 office. Administrators have said they’ll issue final decisions on appeals of the suspensions, on Tuesday – but also say expulsion orders still stand. The District 201 School Board will meet at 7PM at Morton East High School on Wednesday evening, located at 2423 S. Austin in Cicero.

The students are marshalling national support through the blogosphere, the Illinois Coalition for Peace & Justice (www.ilcpj.org) and a national petition circulated by a local chapter of Students for a Democratic Society. Signers include Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist Kathy Kelly, authors Jeffrey St. Claire and Joshua Frank, a growing number of anti-war military veterans, local Berwyn residents and teachers, and supporters from New York to Oregon.

To view the national petition in support of the students, see this link: www.petitiononline.com/mortonw/petition.html

For more information on the case, go to
chicago.indymedia.org.

Things like this aren't supposed to happen in America.

Kucinich Rocks

Posted by libhom Monday, November 05, 2007 1 comments

We need politicians in the country who are as honest as Dennis Kucinich.


I voted for him in the Democracy for America poll. You should too.

From Brooklyn for Peace via Democrats.com:

TUESDAY, NOV 6th, 6:00 pm

PROTEST VIGIL at Senator Schumer's residence: 9 Prospect Park West
(corner of President Street in Park Slope)

o Protest Schumer's support of Michael Mukasey - who will support Bush's continued use of torture.

o Protest Schumer's increasing support of military action against Iran and Bush's attempt to launch a new war.

o Protest Schumer's continuing support of funding for the war against Iraq.

Senator Schumer, abandoning his own party and angering many of his constituents, has announed that he will support the nomination of Mukasey. This, despite Mukasey's repeated refusal to state, categorically, his opposition to waterboarding, a form of torture. Mukasey also stated his belief that President Bush has the right to ignore laws passed by Congress in his capacity of Commander-In-Chief, thus showing that he would continue the drift toward authoritarian rule which has become a hallmark of the Bush Administration.

Futhermore, Schumer, originally one of the strongest supporters of the war in Iraq , has been supportive of the increasing bellicose plans of Bush and Cheney to foment a new and even more dangerous war against Iran. He voted in favor of the Kyl-Lieberman bill which many experts beliee Bush can use as justification to launch a new war and he refused to join 30 other Democrats in supporting the Webb bill which warns the President that he has no authority from Congress to take military action against Iran.

Now is the time for Brooklynites to express their anger and concern for Schumer's increasingly pro-war and anti-democratic positions. The election of November 2006 demonstrated clearly that Americans want to end the war in Iraq and reverse the disastrous course of the Bush Administration. Charles Schumer is ignoring the will of those voters and is serving, instead, the interests of George Bush which is to pursue the war, launch new ones and undermine our democratic rights.

** Please attend the protest vigil this Tuesday, November 6th at 6pm outside Schumer's residence at 9 Prospect Pk West.

** Please contact all your friends, family and colleague so that hundreds will gather to protest the Senator from New York who ignores the will of his constituents.

** Call Charles Schumer to tell him he must change his position and oppose Mukasey as nothing short of our constitution and democracy are at stake. Call now Congressional switchboard, ask for Congressman Schumer's office: (800) 828-0498 or direct: (202) 224-6542.

Charles Schumer has been a disgrace and embarrassment to New York for some time now. His support for Bush's illegal and unpatriotic war in Iraq is unconscionable. Schumer's efforts to start an insane and dangerous war with Iran are inexcusable. However, I never thought even Schumer would sink this low.

Schumer has openly endorsed waterboarding and other forms of torture by endorsing the Mukasey nomination.

I don't think I can find words to express how repugnant Schumer's actions are. He is literally as unAmerican as George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Alberto Gonzalez.

The Pensito Review is asking people to contact Schumer and Feinstein, his partner in torture. Here are the Schumer numbers. Living in New York, I would like to focus on the monster who claims to represent me.

Sen. Charles Schumer:

United States Senate
313 Hart Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-6542
Fax: 202-228-3027
TDD: 202-224-0420

New York City
757 Third Avenue
Suite 17-02
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212-486-4430
Fax: 212-486-7693
TDD: 212-486-7803

Albany
Leo O’Brien Building, Room 420
Albany, NY 12207
Phone: 518-431-4070
Fax: 518-431-4076

Buffalo
130 South Elmwood Avenue #660
Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: 716-846-4111
Fax: 716-846-4113

Binghamton
15 Henry Street, Room M103
Binghamton, NY 13901
Phone: 607-772-6792
Fax: 607-772-8124

Hudson Valley
One Park Place, Suite 100
Peekskill, NY 10566
Phone: 914-734-1532
Fax: 914-734-1673

Long Island
145 Pine Lawn Road #300
Melville, NY 11747
Phone: 631-753-0978
Fax: 631-753-0997

Rochester
100 State Street, Room 3040
Rochester, NY 14614
Phone: 585-263-5866
Fax: 585-263-3173

Syracuse
100 South Clinton Street, Room 841
Syracuse, NY 13261-7318
Phone: 315-423-5471
Fax: 315-423-5185

Trade Agreements Cause Global Warming

Posted by libhom Sunday, November 04, 2007 1 comments

In my previous posting on how Vatican policies cause Global Warming, I touched on a problem with the efforts to fight climate change so far. The only ones getting any traction so far are politically safe, market-oriented ones that don't threaten established interests and ideologies. With all sorts of bizarre and dangerous weather all over the world, it is becoming obvious that we will have to change the way our societies do business in far more controversial and uncomfortable ways (at least for the wealthy and the right wing).

Peak Oil people often mention that we won't be able to economically ship items long distances if we run low on petroleum, and then they point out the differences in economic practices that would result.

There is a pressing question that all of us should be asking. Can we afford to wait until petroleum starts running out before we stop relying so heavily on long-distance trade?

Corporate-controlled trade deals are bad for the environment in lots of ways because they are written to let corporations despoil the environment. But, there is a more pressing issue. Shipping goods over oceans and over long distances on land puts a lot of unnecessary CO2 in the air at a time when we need to cut back drastically.

If politicians are really serious about fighting Global Warming, they will need to work to repeal corporate trade deals such as NAFTA, withdraw from the World Trade Organization, and put huge tariffs on products from the old world. "Made in China" will end up flooding much of China at the rate we are going.

However, that is only the first step. In addition to emissions caps, there need to be local manufacturing targets so that the average shipping distance of products consumers purchase is limited and gradually decreased.

"Free trade" has a quasi-religious following among so many on the right, but the planet just cannot sustain the damage and sustain decent lives for the people who live on it. Reality, at some point, needs to triumph over ideology.

While this blog does encourage expression of a lot of views in a lot of areas, comments that are heterosexist, racist, sexist, or based on some other forms of bigotry are not considered acceptable. Those comments are subject to deletion.

There are plenty of other online forums for hatred and bigotry. If that is what you wish to promote, you will have to go elsewhere.

In a 5/11/2007 article from Catholic Online, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, a Vatican official, commented before the UN on Global Warming. Here are some fairly representative samples.

“The earth is our common heritage and we have a grave and far-reaching responsibility to ourselves and to future generations."

“Experience shows that disregard for the environment harms human coexistence."

“Through such education, states can help their citizens grasp the urgency of what must be done, teaching them in turn to expect and demand a very different approach to their own consumption and that around them.”

These comments are perfectly reasonable and are what one would expect responsible people say about Global Warming. They also are typical of the Vatican's position on climate change. However, there is a catch.

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest single cause of Global Warming and its policies promote climate change.

According to the Roman Catholic Church, there were over 1.1 billion Catholics in 2005. That number is growing and growing way too fast. One of the realities of the climate change debate that many would like to evade is that efforts to prevent ecological disaster are doomed if we don't get human population under control.

The last quote displayed above shows that the Vatican knows that human consumption is a problem, but it does not address the fact that reducing human consumption is an unrealistic hope if we keep dramatically increasing the numbers of humans. Before the Vatican tells the rest of the world what to do on climate change, that church needs to put out the burning fire in its own home.

Here are the kinds of policies that Roman Catholic Church, the world's largest sect, would have if they took Global Warming seriously.
  • The Vatican would embrace birth control rather than condemning it. They would start distributing condoms during their church services, rather than interfering with efforts to distribute condoms by governments.

  • They would stop lying and saying that abortion takes human lives. They would endorse abortion and make the kind of abortion sacrament that would exist if men could get pregnant.

  • They would endorse homosexuality as part of a new church teaching that the primary purpose of sex should not be procreation. (Considering the well known fact in the gay male community that most priests are sexually active gay men, such a step really shouldn't be that difficult.)

  • They would call on Catholic families to limit themselves to at most one child.

The Vatican's talk on Global Warming has been pretty cheap so far. Will they ever take serious action?

The pro-Global Warming policies of the Roman Catholic Church are hardly unique. Far too many other sects have similar or identical policies. They are an example of how religion is the single greatest source of human suffering.

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