Thursday, December 28, 2006

GERALD FORD STUNS THE WORLD * EDWARDS FOR PRESIDENT!!

God Bless Betty Ford and R.I.P. Gerald, who seems to be speaking from the grave with his shocking post-mortem tape. I adore Betty, and have always liked Gerald Ford for his humility and integrity. More on the Ford tape below.

I am thrilled that John Edwards has thrown his hat into the ring! He is such an honest, hard-working all-American patriot and visionary with real solutions for America. I love both Edwards and Gore. Obama and Hilary are equally qualified, but Edwards or Gore have a better chance of winning.

Breaking News: A new Associated Press poll has Bush as the NUMBER ONE VILLAN OF 2006. One out of four Americans chose Bush.

AP's Poll the breakdown; Biggest Villain 2006
Bush.......25%
Bin Laden..8%
Saddam.....6%
Pres. of Iran..5%
Dictator of Korea..2%
Satan.......1%

From Clif: "Bush is worse than Saddam, Kim Il Jung, Ahmadinejad, Bin forgotten, and EVEN Satan."

I just watched Chris Matthews interview David Gergen on Gerald Ford's stunning admission that the Bush administration made a catastrophic mistake in invading Iraq under the guise of routing out "weapons of mass destruction." Ford's taped interview was released upon his death; he would not allow it to be released while he was alive. He really sounds disgusted by the neocons.

Gergen said that there is a big difference between a true Republican -- and a neo conservative like Rumsfield and Cheney, who both played prominent roles in Ford's administration. Gergen said that everyone has noticed an astonishing change in Dick Cheney; he is not the man he was. It almost sounded as if he was saying Cheney has been posssessed by some demon. He did say "Once Cheney was made CEO of Haliburton, maybe he acquired CEO-itis." In any case, it was not a compliment. The implication is that Cheney and the Bush neocons have taken the country down a very dark path, fueled by greed and fear.

Gerald Ford and his courageous wife Betty are true heroes of mine. Betty Ford's honesty in admitting her alcoholism, and establishing the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage has helped countless people admit their own helplessness in this devastating disease.

I am posting Step 11 shortly. My favorite step.

Christmas wrap up: In our house, I do all the cooking, baking and housework — so it's not easy keeping up with the blog. Right before Christmas I scrubbed the house from top to toe, getting behind every piece of furniture and literally washing the woodwork by hand. My sweet husband strung icicle lights all around the house and then proceeded to accidentally hose down the boxes of kids' gifts which were hidden on our side porch. After I calmed down, we went to Costco to use the gift certificate my mom and Chuck sent us. WE LOVE YOU GUYS! My sister hung out all day on Christmas and helped the kids put their gifts together. We are so blessed to have each other. We are one of the few houses in our neighborhood with Christmas lights. My son is going to 6 Barmitzvahs this year; I wish we, as Protestants, had this ritual for our boys on the verge-of-manhood.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

RETRACTION and APOLOGY

Jeffrey Cohen is a wonderful attorney, and I would want him on my team. I apologize to him for any perceived misunderstandings, or implications in this blog that he is anything less than an upright, ethical, sober and responsible attorney.

I did not post Jeffrey Cohen's name on this blog in connection with any statements. I certainly do not remember doing so and can't imagine ever having done such a thing. Attorneys names are never mentioned here, and if they are posted accidentally, they are deleted it immediately — as I cannot find it now anywhere on the web, in my files or on blogger itself. In fact, I contacted the webmaster who publishes my items and posted my own statement back in August reprimanding the National Enquirer for defaming my character, and he has no record of Jeffrey Cohen's name anywhere in all my web postings. No one remembers seeing his name posted here.

That said, if his name was mistakenly printed, it was immediately retracted, and there exists no record of it anywhere on the internet. At the time, I was being viciously attacked and slandered on my own blog by a certain "Anonymous"* poster (see below). The blog referred to was deleted within minutes of being posted, so no one could have seen it except the attackers themselves.

Jeffrey Cohen is not the most "corrupt of all crooks" attorney that may have been anonymously referred to in that long-deleted posting, and if that was the impression taken, I deeply apologize. Nothing was said with malice; every impression gathered of the attorneys involved in the case was based on heresay.

If I ever gave the impression that I believed Jeffrey Cohen was disbarred, reprimanded or had drug problems, I also apologize. It has been brought to my attention that Mr. Cohen has never been reprimanded for unethical tactics nor has he been disbarred for corruption and drug abuse. At the time I may have believed these things based on heresay, which I now realize is false, and was not meant to implicate Mr. Cohen or cause him any problems. A blog is a personal opinion journal that often contains mistakes. Again, the immediate deletion of said blog, is evidence that the entire article was already retracted back in August.

Again, Jeffrey Cohen is a wonderful attorney, and I would want him on my team. I hope this clears up any mistakes or misunderstanding.

For the past few months I've received malicious taunts and cruel comments on my blog by a person posing as "Anonymous." This person has defamed my character and slandered me. I would appreciate anyone with knowledge of who 'Anonymous' might be, to please come forward.

This blog is a journal of personal opinion. While it allows visitors from all over the world to comment, the blog owner is not liable for content or for any comments left here.

Thank you and God Bless you,
Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

LETTERS FROM IRAQ

Below is a very honest and amazing letter sent to me from SPC Timothy M. Deane. It's important to understand the kind of heroism and old-fashioned faith some of our troops have. I admire every single soldier, whether they have this kind of faith or not. But on that note please read the top comment from Human in the comment section here.

Our troops in Iraq, the deadliest war zone, are the most brave and inspiring people to me right now. Please pray for them. God Bless our troops.

With the threat of one Democratic senator suffering a stroke (Tim Johnson of South Dakota) last week, and the possibilty of a Republican Senate — I suddenly didn't feel so safe anymore. It's funny how we can go from hope to fear within seconds. Fear that mankind will self-destruct. This is what a Republican Congress would mean: the end of hope for America and all mankind. A Republican Congress means Dick Cheney would have veto power. It may sound extreme to make a statement like this, but it's how the majority "feels" right now.

Top photo: SPC Timothy Deane

Second photo is of our friend and fellow blogger Marcus "Tom Paine" and his wife Alissa, in Iraq.

The following letter is from SPC Timothy Deane. Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Lydia, I read your blog of the ten service members that were killed in country. The one that stood out was the mention of the one that was on his third tour. This is my third tour here as well. I came back from a injury that had me unable to walk for 90 days. I had my tendon repaired and my nerve dissected and repaired on my left foot. I came back to Iraq after healing...why?

If I can try to explain why...

1. We don't have to believe our leaders but we have to believe in our Country. Our love for our Country and our service is something we take pride in. Whether Foreign Policy is screwed up or not we have to protect our Country for whatever threat. Now, this comment can raise a few arguments I know BUT if I believe in my Country then I am willing to defend my Country. Notice, I believe in my Country even if my leaders are slightly off center.

Being in the military we are not allowed to discuss our political views and I will respect that and I don't think it's important on whether I am a Republican or Democrat (even though I am sure you know which I am). I am paid to be a medic, to save lives, not to get into a political debate with my Commander-In-Chief.

2. We continue to come over because we know others won't. This is an ongoing situation. We have folks that go AWOL and vanish on their units, we have folks that claim "conscientious objector" status after they
somehow woke up one day and said "hey, I'm not going to war", and then we have the National Guard men and women who claim the "I only joined for college". We also have entire Guard units that for some reason are
able to jockey their way out of deployments, but they and their personnel are able to remain in the Guard.

3. With being here three times you have experience. You want to share this experience with the younger soldiers or the "virgins to war". At 35 years of age I see it as my part to help those here and to ease their worries and to help them relax know that at any moment thing can and will go down hill fast. If you can learn from those who have been here before and if it helps you to stay alive and to do you mission then that is a success.

4. For some of us, like myself, being here is being able to support our families. Thanks to a poor job market or a job that only pays the status quo, by coming over here with the extra pay and the like we can keep our heads above water and make sure our families can survive. I am married with 3 beautiful children and I know that if anything does happen to me then they will be taken care of. I hate to think of anything happening but I am not the dictator of my time on earth. In the civilian side I would not be able to give my wife of 13 years and my children as good a life as they have now. Once I get back to Alabama after this tour, I return to the job I have and take a huge cut in salary. And once again I look forward to the prospect of having to work two or possibly three jobs just to stay afloat and to continue to provide for my family.

5. Family history. I come from a long line of military blood. I have had family in every major conflict since the Civil War. And due to my German heritage, I have had family on two fronts in two World Wars. Our dedication to Country and service is a way of my family saying "Thank You" to a Country that allowed us to cross the water and enter and to allow us the chance to make our lives better, brand new. From Grandfather to father to brother to sister and uncles and cousins (one cousin - William Wayne Seay gave the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam and was awarded the Medal Of Honor) we have all given our time to our Country. At one time over here my sister, my cousin and I were all in theatre together. Some were raised to be actors, doctors and lawyers and these are noble professions. My family - Deane's and Steiner's - see our calling differently. Some 44 years ago a great man told us to ask not our Country could do for us, but what we could do for our Country. I have never nor will I ever ask of my Country to do for me, I simply give to her without question.

6. Faith moves mountains. I have Faith in my God. And I know that if anything should happen I will look forward to being in His arms and standing with Him. There is a greater place and my Lord has a place for me in it. My family will miss me, yes, BUT what a glorious day when we will be reunited in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Faith keeps me going.

7. My family trusts and believes in me and that is all that matters. As long as I can look at my children and my wife when I get home and know I did the best that I could do and they love me, then that is all that I am after. I have nothing to prove to anyone but to my wife and babies.

8. This is my last tour. I will volunteer for no more.

Also, Please read this riveting post from Marine Philip Martin. Human

I will post excerpts from it, along with my favorite Marcus Byrne posts: Anger Management

For SPIRITUAL SOLUTIONS to the world crises, along with some amazing prayer miracles in the next few weeks, please check out RADICAL PRAYER at my other blog THE PEACEMAKERS* LIGHT OF TRUTH

You can reach my Home page at: LYDIA CORNELL

Thursday, December 14, 2006

MOST INSPIRING PERSON OF YEAR

Most Inspiring Person of the Year, 2006
Most Inspiring of 2006: Why the Amish Won
With an act of radical forgiveness, a grieving community showed the world an alternative response to violence.

I vote for the Amish and also for CANDY CHRISTMAS, the beautiful Nashville singer who feeds the homeless every week out of her own pocket. Here's a letter I got from my friend Larry:

"I wish you have been in Nashville today. Candy took a semi load of food 20,000 lbs and a bus full of volunteers and a bus load of singers to Jamestown Tenn. which is the poorest area in Tenn. They put on a concert, gave away a refrigerator, Stove, 4 recliners and 20,000 lbs of food to the poor.

I don't know how many people I gave food boxes to, that told me this was a lifesaver. You would have loved it. A radio station in Columbus Georgia wants her to bring the troops there and do the same thing. They filmed it so I will get you a copy as soon as I get one. Monday night she is giving a Christmas party for the volunteers to Thank them for their hard work all year. These volunteers love doing this.

As I stood there watching Candy sing and looking over the gymnasium full of really poor people I thought about you and that you would like this."

MOST INSPIRING PEOPLE...
This year’s 12 most inspiring people once again proved the power of individuals to act with love, courage, and forgiveness in the most challenging situations.

The Amish of Nickel Mines, Pa.—a pacifist religious community in rural Lancaster County who practice a simple farming life without modern conveniences much the same as their 17th century Swiss-German forbears—suffered a shocking intrusion into their world when a local milkman, Charles Roberts, invaded a one-room schoolhouse, shooting 10 young girls, leaving five of them dead. During the ordeal, one of the girls, 13-year-old Marian Fisher, offered to be killed first in hopes that the others would be spared. (View video: A Young Girl's Sacrifice.) A Beliefnet member wrote of this event: “I cannot ignore this unbelievable act of love by a girl this young. In my mind, this little girl did no more or no less than Jesus did for us on the cross.” Within hours of the shooting, the families of the children not only expressed their forgiveness of the killer but reached out to his family, giving food and raising money for his wife and children.

In a Beliefnet video interview, Herman Bontrager, a spokesman for the Amish of Nickel Mines, explained, “The Amish believe that we must forgive because we ourselves need to be forgiven. [They're] trying to live the way Jesus lived. He turned the other cheek, he told us to love everybody, to love our enemies." A Beliefnet member noted, “The message of forgiveness, rather than vengeance, goes to the heart of how we should behave toward each other. This is an extreme example of how true faith and true forgiveness can be awe-inspiring. If the Amish can forgive the man who killed their children, how much more should the rest of us be able to forgive the petty hurts and perceived insults we receive each day?”

For the incredible example of living faith on the part of an entire community that lost its children, the majority of Beliefnet users cast their votes for the Amish. And the editors of Beliefnet follow their lead by naming the Amish of Nickel Mines, Pa. the Most Inspiring People of 2006.

We asked you to choose between some tremendously inspiring folks, and we were in for some surprises. Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, who spoke against racism and anti-Semitism, and "green" evangelical Rev. Richard Cizik, who works to save the environment, were knocked off in the first round.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was that a homeless Detroit man, Charles Moore, who returned $21,000 in savings bonds he found in the trash to their rightful owner, defeated billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett, who this year gave the biggest charitable donation in history. Some of you wrote that Moore’s story reminded you of the New Testament lesson of “the widow’s mite.” Moore gave everything he had, because of his deeply grounded sense of honesty and integrity, shattering stereotypes about homeless people in the process.

Some other truly remarkable people lost by a slim margin. Elissa Montanti, the “saint of Staten Island,” who with single-minded devotion cuts red tape to get prosthetic limbs and medical help for war-maimed children, lost narrowly to Todd Corbin, a marine who courageously saved the lives of his unit in Iraq. One remarkable teenager—Adam Zuckerman, who is already one of the country’s most outspoken activists for Darfur—was edged out by another teen, Jason McElwain, an autistic boy whose amazing final-quarter shots for his high school basketball team proved that disability is no impediment to achieving your dreams. Another inspiring child, Bindi Irwin, daughter of “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin who has taken up her father’s mantle of wildlife preservation, was chosen over wheelchair-bound actress, Kathleen Traylor, who started a theater where the disabled showcase their formidable acting talents.

In the second round of voting, Lance Corporal Todd Corbin of Ohio was named one of the final three. He is an outstanding example of heroism under pressure. On patrol in Iraq, Corbin saved the lives of many of the men in his unit, carrying people off the field of battle under heavy fire. At one point, he carried his wounded patrol leader over his shoulder while returning enemy fire with his free hand. When he drove away—in a 7-ton truck with three flat tires—he had the entire remaining platoon safely inside. His courage is only equaled by his modesty and faith. In an interview with Beliefnet, he explained, “The way I was raised, you always put yourself out for other people because there is going to come a time when you are down and are going to need someone to help you up. It is the core of my family values.” He added, “I always say people should not credit me with what happened on May 7, but credit God.”

The other two final candidates showed the kind of radical forgiveness that some have called miraculous. Both finalists suffered the horror of having of having family members brutally murdered. Immaculee Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, hid in a tiny bathroom for three months and emerged to find her parents, siblings, and thousands of countrymen dead. At first unable to pray because of her anger, Immaculee surrendered “everything to God” and in a vision understood what Jesus meant when he said “Forgive them, Father, for they don't know what they do.” She prayed for her enemies and the anger was lifted. She reached out to her father’s killer, and has been lecturing all over the country on the power and importance of forgiveness. Her inspiring example is a beacon for many Beliefnet users.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

THE ULTIMATE ANTIDEPRESSANT * MEDIA AS MENTAL SWITCHBLADE *

Depressed, sad, anxious? Read about the ultimate ANTIDEPRESSANT below. But first these items:

From HuffPo: 25,000 U.S. troops dead or injured since war began...

O.I.L. Do you know why Ari Fleischer had to stop calling the invasion of Iraq, "Operation Iraqi Liberation" (Oil)? Because it was too close to the truth; Bush was embarrassed that it spelled OIL. Hence the war slogan was changed to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Got this tidbit from Cenk and Jilly, THE YOUNG TURKS, on Air America this morning.

Did anyone see the brilliant Robert Dreyfuss on Hannity & Colmes last night? Last time he was on with Sean Hannity during the Israel-Lebanon strikes, Hannity said, "If I hear the word 'proportional' one more time I'm going to punch myself.' So Dreyfuss very dryly says, "Proportional." And Hannity just sat there; he didn't punch himself darn it. Another false Republican promise. But it was a hilarious moment. Dreyfuss is an Iraq strategist, investigative reporter for Rolling Stone, The Nation, Mother Jones — and good friend of mine. He also had a cover story in THE NATION last week. check out his latest article at http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/12/13/bush_v_the_two_majorities.php

THE ULTIMATE ANTIDEPRESSANT: helping others. Angelina Jolie said that until she found "her purpose", in being a mother and helping others — she was depressed, nihilistic, suicidal — as many of us are until we transcend our ego-centered selfishness and really look around at the world. As pain is the touchstone of all spiritual progress, we grow from our tragedies. Again, kudos to Jolie for her compassion, her humanitarian work -- and for using the gifts God gave her.

This is a spiritual-progressive blog, and after this week I want to get back to our true moral values: loving our neighbor as ourself peaceful solutions to conflict, and understanding our enemy. Or in the case of George Bush, SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL. On that note I have to say that I'm beginning to think Bush is a planted spy for Al Quaeda or the Taliban. He had plastic surgery and his Muslim name was changed from Al-Bushawi. He has got to be on their side because every move he makes empowers the enemy and enhances their cause. Definition of a narcissist or Neo-Con: Someone who is so full of self-loathing, he projects all of his self-hatred onto others. No one can live up to his perfectionistic standards because he is so unaccepting of himself — and his flaws. Ted Haggart, Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Mark Foley come to mind, among many others.

The extreme right-wingers are the poor souls who need to be deprogrammed. They need a new view of liberals and a healing view of their fellow man. Of course you can’t propagandize someone who doesn’t want to be swayed or lied to. Neo-Republicans have been willing participants in a brainwashing, and this is because Bush and his hatemongers feeds their bigotry, anger and fear of their fellow man. It's a form of "getting high" by indulging in self-righteous anger.

The remarkable thing is that if we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.
– Eric Hoffer

CAN WE TRUST THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA?
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — After toppling the long-dominant Republicans in a hard-fought election, the Democratic Party's incoming congressional leaders have immediately found themselves in another difficult struggle — with their own supporters...

My letter to the editor regarding the above article

This article provides a perfect example for showing you why Americans no longer trust newspapers, one of the main reasons your circulation is declining.

First, you create controversy where there is none. Very few people, if any, in the Democratic base are demanding immediate action on anything other than what the Party promised in the campaign--raising the minimum wage, affordable health care, bringing accountability to Congress and the administration, and so on. We will lobby for other issues, but we're not demanding that Party leaders to shoot themselves in the foot the way overeager Republicans did just after 1994.

Second, you have an amazingly poor understanding of politics. I rolled on the floor laughing when I read your assertion that "Conservatives, though splintered over Iraq, immigration and other issues, had succeeded in keeping power since 1994 in part by forging a coalition built on compromise and shared goals — a practice that Democrats have yet to perfect."

How anyone who's lived in this country for the last twelve years could believe that Republicans built their coalition on anything other than lies, hate, fear, and corruption has just not been paying attention. There was no compromise in the Republican coalition. The leadership used blackmail, fear, bribery and coercion to force their members of Congress to do what the leadership wanted. And that led to some of the most god-awful legislation ever passed in this country. I sincerely hope the Democrats never "perfect" that kind of "compromise".

Carolyn Kay MakeThemAccountable.com

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

WE CAN'T WAIT UNTIL 2008 TO BRING THE TROOPS HOME

Here is a post from a friend, a Paratrooper stationed in Iraq: "All of us wont be out of here for some time. It wont be a full withdrawal for some years. You have to pay attention to their definitions and nuance. Combat troops: I dont really know what this means but the media has been slinging this phrase around re: "pull out all combat troops." First of all troop refers to a member of a Cavalry unit which are a minority of Army units, and two we are all over here in combat which would give everyone over here the first part of that moniker. But what they mean is pull out all Line tactical units aka Combat Arms personnel (Infantry/Armor/Cav/Arty/Engineers), which would leave Combat Support and Service Support (Logisitcs, Mechanics, MPs, MI, Medics etc.), to do what????? Drive convoys to supply Iraqi units on routes secured only by Iraqis with a few embedded American trainers? That seems like a bullshit proposition to me. They're trying to make it sound like we'll all be out of here by 2008 but I sincerely doubt it. We'll have PTTs and MTTs here for sometime and we have to build up there logistics infrastructure which takes more than one year. It briefs well and sounds great but I'm not counting out another deployment to Iraq." ANGER MANAGEMENT

When the good guys won back Congress, I felt as if we had awakened from a terrible nightmare, and there was hope again. But half-measures avail us nothing. We cannot stand by and let our troops be killed for the bully-dictator's ego. I am proud of the Iraq Study Group, but will wait to hear from Robert Dreyfuss (who has a cover story in this weeks NATION.) Dreyfuss was there today at Congress, and at the White House press conference and he has some wisdom on how this will pan out.

Here is a photo of Larry Johnson, of Kokomo Indiana, taken on my trip there with Robert Dreyfuss. I have an article in today's "Perspective on Labor" issue. I'll have a monthly column in the Kokomo Perspective starting in January.

THANK YOU TO ALL my BLOGGERS called in on Sunday. You guys are incredible, and I feel so lucky to have such a great support system. The show I did was BARRY GORDON FROM LEFT FIELD with Arianna Huffington, Congresswoman Holtzman and Swannee Hunt.
Here's the archive link: DEC 3 SHOW ARCHIVE
Here's the direct podcast link: PODCASTmp3 I am on in the 3rd hour, after Arianna.

Ten more U.S. troops died today. Ten innocent American lives. On NPR last night I heard of one young soldier who was on his third tour of duty, on his way home, and he was killed in a roadside explosion. This is too much to bear. And thinking about Bush having the gall to ask James Webb about his son, and then ordering Webb not to respond in a way that made the dictator "uncomfortable," is just too much.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bye Bye Bolton

There's nothing like starting your work week off on the right foot. And theres nothing more right than seeing the proud, arrogant, hand-picked policy drones of the Bush administration being forced to accept reality as they are being handed their walking papers and shown to the door. And John Bolton's reality this week? His 15 minutes are up. He has burned all the bridges he can burn for now, and since no one at the UN likes him. well, maybe the Chinese ambassador likes him, just a little, he has pretty much worn out his welcome. And for a diplomat, thats as real as it gets.

Back in March of 2005 when John Bolton was nominated to the stately position of U.S Ambassador to the United Nations by President Bush, he was already the subject of extensive criticism. Complaints from coworkers and subordinates dotted his resume, and he seemed perhaps the most unlikely candidate to serve in any position requiring diplomacy or statemenship. But President Bush knew better.

Now, after just over a year of service at the United Nations, Bolton is disliked and even despised by representatives from many other countries, and is described as being rude, arrogant and undiplomatic. In fact, the North Korean ambassador referred to him as "such human scum and bloodsucker", after Bolton openly insulted the North Korean President, Kim Jong Il during the 2003 6 party nuclear proliferation talks. Not exactly what one would normally call "diplomatic" but that didn't stop Bolton. Many republicans admire him for his frankness in speaking his mind. But those who do are missing the point.

He wasn't there to insult our neighbors and their leaders. He wasn't there to tell people "what he thought". He was there to work with representatives from other nantions in open and genuine dialogue that is designed to strengthen international relationships and ease tensions. He was there to "avoid" wars and make friends, and calling the leader of another country a "tyrannical dictator" is probably not the best way to accomplish that. I bet you knew that, didn't you?

Well try and tell him that. Like most Bush appointees, and indeed like Bush himself, Bolton seemed to feel he"knew it all", and no one was going to tell him otherwise. Not while still expecting to keep their jobs anyway. Bolton had mastered that amazing "my way or the highway" smuggery that is signature within the Bush regime. And Bolton also shares his leaders affinity for supporting wars in which one has no intention of fighting in. During the Viet Nam era, John Bolton was a strong supporter of the war. At least vocally. But instead of taking that support for the war and turning it into real action, like Bush, Bolton chose to instead enlist in the National Guard, and opted to avoid the actual combat of the war he so strongly tauted his support for. In fact, Bolton wrote in his Yale 25th reunion book "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost".

And this is the man Bush thought should represent us in a position of diplomat to the world. This is what passes for "character" with George W. Bush, and his administration. After all, it mirrors his own. But fortunately for the rest of the planet, Boltons time is up. His lame duck President can't hold back the tides any longer, and smug, arrogant "chickenhawks" are having their wings clipped on an almost weekly basis now. Rumsfelds out, and now the bully Bolton is following him out the door. Who's next? Rice? Rove? We'll see.

But in the meantime, lets all open a cold beer, light up a good cigar, and wave old Johnny B, bye bye. In fact, lets throw a party. A celebration to acknowledge the leaving of a diplomat who had not one diplomatic bone in his body. We might as well. After all, we know they're rippin it up in the UN building this morning.

Mr Bolton. Your "shoot first and ask questions later" approach was just not welcome in an organization designed to facilitate discourse and comprimise between nations. So Bye Bye Mr Bolton. You were fun to watch, kind of like Yosemite Sam with a necktie, only not as funny. But now, thankfully, your 15 minutes are up and its time for you to go. So go.

Oh and in parting, I'd like to remind you sir, to not let the door hit you on your backside as you exit the building.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

UNDER THE BRIDGE ON THANKSGIVING

Myth: Homeless people are useless members of society.
Fact: 40% of homeless adult males served honorably in the US military. (Read more below)

THE BRIDGE MINISTRY: There is an angel named Candy Christmas, a beautiful Gospel singer in Nashville whose vision it was to feed the homeless. The power of one person's vision is miraculous. All by herself, on a wing and a prayer, she found a way to feed hundreds of desperate souls twice a week, every week. She started "Ministry Under the Bridge" in Nashville
  • THE BRIDGE MINISTRY



  • Myth vs. Fact
    Myth: Homeless are so old they are not "worth" helping.
    Fact: The average age of the homeless adult male is 38; the average age of the homeless adult female is 32. Both genders have many good years left to offer.
    Myth:People are homeless because they are lazy.
    Fact: 90% of homeless have successful work histories, and many are currently employed.
    Myth: A minimum wage job is all a homeless person needs.
    Fact: In Davidson county, it requires a job paying $10.54 per hour/ 40 hours per week to afford the most modest one-bedroom apartment. Minimum wage is $5.15.
    Myth: If you want to work, you can find a job.
    Fact: Manufacturing and industrial blue collar jobs are steadily decreasing. Homeless people need new skills to keep up with the changing face of labor.
    Myth: Homeless don't want to do better.
    Fact: 92% desperately desire a permanent home.

    Candy Christmas began this ministry in late 2004. The ministry currently meets under the Jefferson Street Bridge on Tuesday nights and on Shelby Street at the First Wesleyan Church on Thursday nights.
    A team of more than 75 volunteers work each week packing trucks, bagging groceries, setting up the meetings, preparing meals and gathering clothes to aid over 300 homes every Tuesday and Thursday night.
    You can help! Contact us from the contact page and we will let you know how you can help!
    Candy Christmas
    P. O. Box 463 • Goodlettsville, TN 37070-0463
  • THE BRIDGE MINISTRY
  • Friday, November 17, 2006

    DISARMING THE MADHOUSE

    Bush should stay out of his mind; it's a bad neighborhood. Two articles I wrote on this administration, "BUSH'S LAST WILL AND TESTICLE" and "DEATH IS SEXIER THAN SEX (to Ann Coulter), will be reprinted here soon -- or you can find them in various news journals in the sidebar. The books HOW TO TALK TO ANN COULTER, IF YOU MUST ; BLOGGING WITH THE DEVIL and FALLING UP are in the pipeline, not necessarily in that order.



    There are those who find themselves exiled
    On whom the fortunes never smile
    And upon whose lives the heartache has been piled - Jackson Browne "The Only Child"

    Ran into several of my favorite people last night: the songwriter whose music changed my life, Jackson Browne — whose music is so beautiful it makes me weep, it actually hurts; Norman Lear (activist and creator of "All in the Family"), Brad Friedman of BradBlog.com and Greg Palast, author of the New York Times bestseller, “Armed Madhouse” (Penguin 2006), about the Bush administration. When Palast, an investigator of corporate fraud and racketeering, turned his skills to journalism, he was quickly recognized as, “The most important investigative reporter of our time” [Tribune Magazine] in Britain, where his first reports appeared on BBC television and in the Guardian newspapers. Palast is also the author of "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy", and is launching an even more crucial investigation into how the right wing steals elections by eliminating Blacks from the voter rolls, and sending them to Iraq. You will not believe how corrupt and anti-American these maniacs are, and the criminal tactics they use in voter registration. Please contribute to the Palast Investigative Fund, which employs a team of investigators all over the world, uncovering the neocons' dense maze of crimes and lies.

    Also met Ed Rampell, the prolific journalist, critic and author of many books. His most recent is "Progressive Hollywood." With an introduction by Greg Palast, "Progressive Hollywood" features Rampell's interviews and interactions with Hollywood luminaries such as producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Robert Greenwald; actors Jack Nicholson, Rob Reiner, Mike Farrell, Ed Asner, Martin Sheen, David Clennon, Gore Vidal and Dennis Hopper; directors Michael Moore, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone and Lionel Chetwynd; blacklisted screenwriters Bernie Gordon (who initiated the 1999 protests against Elia Kazan's lifetime achievement Oscar), Bobby Lees (who injected dialectical materialism into Abbott and Costello comedies) and Norma Barzman (author of 2003's The Red and the Blacklist).


    Jackson Browne looks so much like my brother, who died a few years ago, it's uncanny. Browne is also a great soul and activist for peace, the downtrodden, the environment and all good Democratic causes. His first album has a song called "Song For Adam", which is about a friend's suicide. After my brother died, I must have played this song 500 times. To this day, I believe Jackson Browne is the best songwriter alive. I love his album LATE FOR THE SKY. His mainstream hits are great, but I really love the songs that never got enough airplay, his hauntingly bittersweet melodies and lyrics mixed with violin, piano and acoustic guitar. Some of my favorites: "The Only Child"; "For A Dancer"; "Fountain of Sorrow", "Before the Deluge", "From SilverLake", "Looking Into You"; "These Days"; "Take It Easy"; "For Everyman" ... and of course "The Pretender"

    Jackson Browne was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. He is highly respected for both his musical gifts and his integrity. He spends most of his time helping important social causes he believes in. As Bruce Springsteen put it during his speech at the Hall of Fame inductions: "Listen to the chord changes of 'Rock Me On the Water' and 'Before the Deluge,' it's gospel through and through. Now I always thought that... our job here on earth, the way we regain our divinity, our sacredness, and our general good-standing is by reconstructing love and creating love out of the broken pieces that we've been given. That's all we have of human promise. That's the way we prove ourselves in the eyes of God and facilitate our own redemption. Now, to me Jackson Browne's work was always the sound of that reconstruction." Thank you, Jackson, for a creating the soundtrack to our lives.

    Lyrics to "Song for Adam"

    Though Adam was a friend of mine, I did not know him well
    He was alone into his distance
    He was deep into his well
    I could guess what he was laughing at, but I couldn't really tell
    Now the story's told that Adam jumped, but I've been thinking that he fell

    Together we went traveling, as we received the call
    His destination India, and I had none at all
    Well, I still remember laughing with our backs against the wall
    So free of fear, we never thought that one of us might fall

    I sit before my only candle, but it's so little light to find my way
    Now this story unfolds before my candle
    Which is shorter every hour as it reaches for the day
    But I feel just like a candle in the way
    I guess I'll get there, but I wouldn't say for sure

    When we parted we were laughing still, as our goodbyes were said
    And I never heard from him again as each our lives we led
    Except for once in someone else's letter that I read
    Until I heard the sudden word that a friend of mine was dead....

    Listen to the lyrics of "The Only Child" --

    Take good care of your brother
    Let the disappointment pass,
    Let the laughter fill your glass
    Let your illusions last until they shatter...

    Take good care of your mother
    And remember to be kind
    When the pain of another will serve to remind...
    That there those who find themselves exiled
    on whom the fortunes never smile
    And upon whose lives the heartache has been piled...
    They're just looking for another only child

    And when you've found another soul
    Who sees into your own
    Take good care of each other
    When you're thinking you're alone
    Be aware of each other....
    Take good care of each other

    Check out his website and listen to some of his hits from various concerts: jacksonbrowne.com

    I also love Loreena McKennitt "Book of Secrets" #8. It's a haunting Celtic ballad. We played it at our wedding in Malibu, filtered through the oak trees. Sometimes I feel that if you're part Welsh or Irish, as we are, you have Celtic music in your blood. That's why I love the LORD OF THE RINGS soundtrack so much.

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    CAN WE TRUST THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA?

    The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.
    – Eric Hoffer

    Los Angeles Times Liberal groups expect postelection results

    WASHINGTON — After toppling the long-dominant Republicans in a hard-fought election, the Democratic Party's incoming congressional leaders have immediately found themselves in another difficult struggle — with their own supporters...

    My letter to the editor regarding the above article

    This article provides a perfect example for showing you why Americans no longer trust newspapers, one of the main reasons your circulation is declining.

    First, you create controversy where there is none. Very few people, if any, in the Democratic base are demanding immediate action on anything other than what the Party promised in the campaign--raising the minimum wage, affordable health care, bringing accountability to Congress and the administration, and so on. We will lobby for other issues, but we're not demanding that Party leaders to shoot themselves in the foot the way overeager Republicans did just after 1994.

    Second, you have an amazingly poor understanding of politics. I rolled on the floor laughing when I read your assertion that "Conservatives, though splintered over Iraq, immigration and other issues, had succeeded in keeping power since 1994 in part by forging a coalition built on compromise and shared goals — a practice that Democrats have yet to perfect."

    How anyone who's lived in this country for the last twelve years could believe that Republicans built their coalition on anything other than lies, hate, fear, and corruption has just not been paying attention. There was no compromise in the Republican coalition. The leadership used blackmail, fear, bribery and coercion to force their members of Congress to do what the leadership wanted. And that led to some of the most god-awful legislation ever passed in this country.

    I sincerely hope the Democrats never "perfect" that kind of "compromise".

    Carolyn Kay
    MakeThemAccountable.com

    Friday, November 10, 2006

    HOPE FOR VETERANS * JOY AND VICTORY

    "When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." Harriet Beecher Stowe

    "Everyone is walking around smiling and grinning and happy like the bright light of the sun just destroyed all the bloodsucking vampires." - A Comment from Mike, about Democrats winning a majority of seats in Congress.


    Happy Veterans Day! GOD BLESS OUR LOST LOVED ONES... and a special THANK YOU to Clif, Desert Storm Commander; Marcus, currently stationed in Iraq — and John Conley, Marine Combat Vet who sent me his Purple Heart for speaking out against the invasion of Iraq. We need to take care of our troops, who made the ultimate sacrifice.

    BUSH AND THE REPUBLICAN CONGRESS CUT VETERANS BENEFITS!! What a shameful legacy. Haliburton should pay for our handicapped Veterans' severed limbs and all the medical bills and life support these Vets and their families need. Cheney and Haliburton, war profiteers, who charged $45 for a case of Coke in Iraq! They enriched themselves at the expense of our soliders, while cutting their benefits.

    DEMOCRATS TOOK CONGRESS and WE ARE ECSTATIC!! Fascism was defeated and there is HOPE again! America's glory and esteem in the world has a chance now. Good always wins over evil, because evil has no real power. There were almost too many text-book scandals on the republican side. It almost seemed like divine intervention.

    Two articles I wrote on this administration, "BUSH'S LAST WILL AND TESTICLE" and "DEATH IS SEXIER THAN SEX (to Ann Coulter), will be reprinted here soon -- or you can find them in various news journals in the sidebar. The books HOW TO TALK TO ANN COULTER, IF YOU MUST ; BLOGGING WITH THE DEVIL and FALLING UP are in the pipeline, not necessarily in that order.

    "Watch FOX the day after the election. It is like watching Soviet TV after Brezhnev died." Quote from my friend Steve Kelly, head of programming over at KPSI, the ABC affliiate in Palm Springs.

    "I can't help but notice the history channel is showing 'The Fall of the Nazi party'.
    Wonder if this was scheduled, or impromptu?" - Doctor Von Worfeus

    Got this letter today:

    Lydia,
    Some time ago I wrote you an e-mail, my first of a few to you, in which I wrote about my fears that we were on the verge of a new dark age. You wrote me a nice e-mail back and mentioned in your blog that you were confident that things would turn around and that the people of this nation would awaken to what was going on. Never have I been happier about being wrong.Now if we can just start moving ahead. It's my hope that our party will show everyone how our government is supposed to work. A democracy is based on compromise. We mustn't act like the Republicans did in 1994. We must work together and move forward. I have no doubt that is exactly what we will do. During the past two to three years I have had little faith in the future of our nation, but now, finally, the morning has broken.

    May we make the day that has dawned the beginning of a new, bright and enlightened age for all Americans, regardless of race, creed or political philosophy. May we bring that enlightened age to the world through understanding and communication.

    Your faith has been rewarded Lydia. In the future I will endeavor to keep the faith myself.

    Thank you, with love, Thomas J. Comer


    Thank you to all commenters on this blog. Your committment and unrelenting troll-bashing have actually helped win this election in some small way, in this blog. Every single voice counts. Every prayer counts. And we actually made a difference. Also, after doing over 30 radio shows across the country from a spiritual-progressive perspective, and in the South and Southeast — I know for a fact that we changed some hearts and minds. Everything we do makes a dent in the machine.

    "Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little." Plutarch

    Love & Peace xoxo
    Lydia

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    DAWN OF HOPE: DEMOCRATS DEFEAT CORRUPTION!

    "Everyone is walking around smiling and grinning and happy like the bright light of the sun just destroyed all the bloodsucking vampires." - A Comment from Mike, celebrating the Democratic win in Congress 2006.

    Happy Veterans Day! GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS AND LOST LOVED ONES... and a special THANK YOU to John Conley, Marine Combat Vet who sent me his Purple Heart for speaking out against the invasion of Iraq.

    Two articles I wrote on this administration, "Bush's Last Will and Testicle" and ""Death is Sexier than Sex (to Ann Coulter), will be reprinted here soon -- or you can find them in various news journals in the sidebar. The books HOW TO TALK TO ANN COULTER, IF YOU MUST ; BLOGGING WITH THE DEVIL and FALLING UP are in the pipeline, not necessarily in that order.

    "Watch FOX the day after the election. It is like watching Soviet TV after Brezhnev died." Quote from my friend Steve Kelly, head of programming over at KPSI, the ABC affliiate in Palm Springs.

    Thank you to all commenters on this blog. Your committment and unrelenting troll-bashing have actually helped win this election in some small way, in this blog. Every single voice counts. Every prayer counts. And we actually made a difference. Also, after doing over 30 radio shows across the country from a spiritual-progressive perspective, and in the South and Southeast — I know for a fact that we changed some hearts and minds. Everything we do makes a dent in the machine.
    Love & Peace xoxo
    Lydia

    Jim Webb who defeated George "Macaca" Allen, is a Naval Academy graduate and decorated Vietnam veteran who served as Navy secretary under Reagan, bitterly opposed the war in Iraq and switched to the Democratic Party.

    "I can't help but notice the history channel is showing 'The Fall of the Nazi party'.
    Wonder if this was scheduled, or impromptu?" - Doctor Von Worfeus





    WE ARE ALL ECSTATIC!! Corruption was defeated and America's glory is back. Our esteem in the world has a chance now.

    Good always wins over evil, because evil has no real power. There were almost too many text-book scandals on the republican side. It seems like divine intervention.

    Pelosi promises to work with Republicans to move America forward, out of corruption and out of the quagmire in Iraq.
    Boxer's PAC for change says:
    No more rubber stamp Congress
    No more free passes to the Bush Administration on Iraq
    No more arrogance
    No more give-aways to the most powerful
    No more cozy corruption

    Yes to accountability on Iraq
    Yes to consumers
    Yes to our families and our children
    Yes to the environment
    Yes to energy independence
    Yes to affordable health care and stem cell research
    Yes to an increase in the minimum wage
    Yes to the recommendations of the 9/11 commission

    Can we get it all done? Yes, if our colleagues in the Republican Party recognize that this is what the American people want -- and in a democracy, it is what they should have.

    I am hopeful because the people have spoken very clearly. By electing a Democratic House and, if all goes as it it looks now, a Democratic Senate, the American people have clearly spoken out for change -- and with your continued help, that's exactly what they're going to get. - Senator Barbara Boxer (D. Calif)

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    SAVE AMERICA: VOTE DEMOCRAT NOV. 7

    **PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS OF LOS ANGELES** SEE BELOW ON EXACTLY HOW TO VOTE AS A DEMOCRAT

    BUT FIRST THIS: REPUBLICAN COMPUTERIZED PHONE SCAM! Sinister allegations Republicans are tampering with votes in Democratic dsitricts.

    Virginia election officials called in the FBI to investigate misleading phone calls in to Democratic voters (Republican callers deliberately sending Democrats to the wrong precint to vote) and a prosecutor in Ohio urged voters to beware of similar scams.

    The Republicans have begun a nationwide program of making computerized phone calls (robocalls) pretending to be from local Democratic candidates in order to harass voters in their homes. The result? After repeated robocalls (supposedly from the Democratic candidate) the voter no longer wants to vote for the Democratic candidate who is harassing them. Of course, the voter doesn't know that it's really the Republican party pretending to be a Democrat.

    These calls are Republican dirty tricks to steal another election with more of their corruption. Every single Republican candidate should be called on to condemn these tactics and demand they cease immediately. And when the Democrats take over Congress on Tuesday, we need to pass legislation stopping everyone from doing these kind of sleazy efforts to nullify the legitimate votes of Americans. Regardless of the party, there needs to be a sufficient penalty that this never happens again.

    THIS is the GOP's "October Surprise": To crush Democratic momentum, to keep an iron-fisted grip on one-party power in government. These are people who will resort to anything in their desperation. Call your local news outlets and demand they report the story of these contemptable tactics to cheat democracy.
    Please tell everyone you know about these issues!



    MARCY WINOGRAD'S RECOMMENDATIONS are below. Marcy ran in the primary and is the mother/teacher/leader I most agree with on the issues. Below are her very specific voting recommendations for Los Angeles and the Westside. Marcy has really done her research.

    Find your polling place: http://wwww.lavote.net
    Volunteer for election protection: http://www.workthevotela.org
    BALLOT ENDORSEMENTS FOR TUES., NOV. 7TH DEMOCRATIC PARTY CANDIDATES

    Debra Bowen, Secretary of State
    http://www.debrabowen.com/

    Phil Angelides, Governor
    http://www.angelides.com/

    John Garamendi, Lt. Gov.
    http://www.garamendi.org

    Jerry Brown, Attorney General
    http://www.jerrybrown.org/

    Cruz Bustamante, Insurance Commissioner

    Dear Friends,

    Please be sure to vote (7 AM - 8 PM) tomorrow at your polling place (www.lavote.net) and to urge friends and family to vote, as well. If you encounter any election protection problems, you can call: 1-866-OUR-VOTE and/or contact: http://www.alternetvoterprotection.org/ -- also LA County ROV 1-800-851-2666 and Video the Vote at 213-48-2004.

    Below are my personal ballot recommendations, though you'll note I have not taken a position on every ballot issue or candidate. Thanks again for your support during the primary, when together we drove home the importance of challenging the Bush war agenda.

    Warm regards,

    Marcy

    P.S. Scroll to the very end for Election Night party details.

    STATE MEASURES
    * 1A: Transportation Funding Protection - Yes
    * 1B: Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, Port Security Bond Act of 2006 - Yes
    * 1C: Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2006 - Yes
    * 1D: Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2006 - Yes
    * 1E: Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006 - Yes
    * 83: Sex Offenders. Sexually Violent Predators. Punishment, Residence Restrictions and
    Monitoring - No
    * 84: Water Quality, Safety and Supply. Flood Control. Natural Resource Protection. Park
    Improvements. Bonds - Yes
    * 85: Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy -
    No
    * 86: Tax on Cigarettes. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute - Yes
    * 87: Alternative Energy. Research, Production, Incentives. Tax on California Oil - Yes
    * 88: Education Funding. Real Property Parcel Tax - Yes
    * 89: Political Campaigns. Public Financing. Corporate Tax Increase. Campaign
    Contribution and Expenditure Limits - Yes
    * 90: Government Acquisition, Regulation of Private Property - No
    (scroll to end for more on propositions)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CITY OF LOS ANGELES MEASURES :


    H - YES Affordable Housing Bond. (Bond Measure, One Billion Dollars )

    This $1 Billion General Obligation Bond Issue will pay for housing and emergency
    shelters for the homeless and others in need, and will fund the City's share of the costs of local projects constructed by the State under Proposition 1C (if it passes) : YES


    J - YES Regional Fire Station Sites. (Charter Amendment and Ordinance)

    This City Charter Amendment would permit the construction of Fire Stations on sites smaller than two acres, where the Fire Department determines it is warranted : YES

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CONGRESS

    26th: Cynthia Matthews (D) Matthews supports single-payer health care and an end to the US occupation of Iraq. Her opponent, David Dreier, is Cheney's bat boy in Congress.
    28th: Byron De Lear (G)
    Howard Berman continues to fund the war and support eternal occupation of Iraq. Byron De Lear offers a clear alternative -- peace, not unilateral war.
    33rd: Diane Watson (D)
    35th: Maxine Waters (D) (Go, Maxine!)

    CANDIDATES FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE

    Governor: Angelides (D) has had a progressive record as Treasurer,shifting state pension funds from the stock market to community reinvestment, and promoting shareholder activism against irresponsible corporations. He supports the return of the CA National Guard from Iraq, public campaign financing, and strong environmental protections. Schwarzenegger vetoed universal health care before he even saw it, pushed hard to prevent the unjust "3 Strikes" law from being voted out in 2004, spent a ton of state and county money on a special election, cut funding for social programs and is now acting as the good boy of CA. Don’t forget, He is an ACTOR!!!

    Lieutenant Governor: Garamendi (D) has defended consumers' interests
    several times as Insurance Commissioner. McClintock is an arch-conservative, anti-tax, anti-abortion, anti-environment, anti-union,pro-business ideologue. More than a token position, the Lieutenant Governor sits on several important state boards and casts tie-breaking votes in the state Senate, in addition to filling in when the Governor is not available.

    Secretary of State: Bowen (D) is the rare state legislator who has given
    large amounts of time and staff resources to supporting a grassroots movement - in this case, to protect our right to vote and to have our votes counted. Republican incumbent Bill McPherson (R) has been trying to push through the same faulty Republican-owned electronic voting machines that produced surprising Republican victories in other states.

    Controller: Chiang (D) says that going after the tax breaks for oil producers and refineries would be one of his top goals. He is the only elected state official to have organized free tax assistance for the indigent.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    STATE SENATE

    28th: Jenny Oropeza (D)

    STATE ASSEMBLY

    37th: Ferial Masry (D) (Endorsed by Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles)
    39th: Alarcon (D) has made addressing poverty a focus of his work.
    41st: Brownley (D) has great positions on the environment and health care.
    43rd: Krekorian (D) has supported green building policies at the Burbank
    school district.
    44th: Portantino (D) has a good record of supporting open space and has
    avoided the temptation of being a "centrist" even though he represented a
    heavily Republican town. Costa (G) is also a good candidate with a clearly
    progressive agenda.
    47th: Bass (D) is a strong voice for progressive causes.
    49th: As a Monterey Park councilmember Eng (D) has supported environmental
    bills at the state level.

    51st: Price (D) supported the campaign to stop Wal-Mart in Inglewood.
    53rd: Ted Lieu supports single-payer universal health care and has appealed to Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles to work together on progressive legislation. Peter Thottam, backed by the Greens and ICUJP, says he would challenge Lieu's support of the military industrial complex in Torrance and El Segundo.

    56th: Mendoza (D) was endorsed by labor and environmental groups in the
    primary.
    57th: Hernandez (D) was endorsed by labor and environmental groups in the
    primary.
    61st: Soto (D) has a good record as a state senator.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Paul Koretz for West Basin Water Board
    (From Gary Shay of the Democratic Party ...)

    For those of you in the West Side of LA County, wondering about the West Basin Water Board, I am supporting Assembly Member Paul Koretz as is the California and Los Angeles County Democratic Party.

    The West Basin District has been plagued with a culture of corruption and mismanagement including paying for fancy trips and teeth whitening for a Board Member.

    Life long active Democrat, Assembly member Paul Koretz, is running for the West Basin Board in Division 4, which includes all of El Segundo, Culver City, Malibu and West Hollywood, as well as several other areas. I am proud to support Assembly member Koretz because I know that his many years of environmental activism as well as his 18 years of service as a Council member and Assembly member will bring a new dimension to the Water Board.

    Two of Assembly member Koretz's top priorities will be to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on lawyers for ventures into redistricting and making sure the District’s large reserves (over 80 million dollars) are in strong, safe investments.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    From a friend in the progressive community ...


    JUDICIAL - SUPREME COURT JUSTICE

    YES Joyce L. Kennard
    NO Carol A. Corrigan (arch conservative appointed by Schwarzenegger)


    JUDICIAL - COURT OF APPEAL JUSTICE
    (Counties: Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura)

    YES Robert M. Mallano
    ? Frances Rothschild
    NO Roger W. Boren
    NO Victoria M. Chavez
    NO Patti S. Kitching
    NO Richard D. Aldrich
    NO Norman L. Epstein
    NO Thomas L. Willhite
    ? Nora M. Manella
    NO Steven Suzukawa
    NO Richard M. Mosk
    NO Sandy R. Kriegler
    YES Arthur Gilbert
    YES Dennis M. Perluss
    NO Fred Woods
    YES Laurie D. Zelon
    YES Candace D. Cooper
    YES Madeleine Flier


    JUDICIAL
    JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
    (County: Los Angeles)

    Office No. 8: Deborah L. Sanchez
    Office No. 18: John C. Gutierrez
    Office No. 102: George C. Montgomery [with reservations]
    Office No. 104: [do not have a recommendation]
    Office No. 144: Janis Levart Barquist
    Also recommended are: Zacky and Bobbi Tillmon

    STATE SENATOR

    24th: Romero (D) has been a leading advocate for stopping the emphasis on
    imprisoning youth.
    28th: After surviving cancer, Oropeza (D) has become one of the strongest
    advocates for environmental justice.


    JUDICIAL - COURT OF APPEAL JUSTICE

    YES Mallano - Progressive rulings.
    ? Rothschild - Could not determine.
    NO Boren - Conservative, endorsed by Republicans.
    NO Chavez - Endorsed by Republicans.
    NO Kitching - Conservative, endorsed by Republicans.
    NO Aldrich - Conservative, endorsed by Republicans.
    NO Epstein - Conservative, endorsed by Republicans.
    NO Willhite - Conservative, endorsed by Republicans.
    ? Manella - On balance liberal, but some cases give pause.
    NO Suzukawa - Conservative, endorsed by Republicans.
    NO Mosk - Consistently anti-Iranian rulings on Iran-U.S. Tribunal.
    NO Kriegler - Conservative, endorsed by Republicans.
    YES Gilbert - Gave clear thought to clemency for death penalty cases.
    YES Perluss - Progressive rulings.
    NO Woods - Wrote ruling restricting sex discrimination cases.
    YES Zelon - Champion of improving legal rights of the indigent.
    YES Cooper - Strong advocate of affirmative action.
    YES Flier - Progressive rulings.


    JUDICIAL: JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT

    8: Sanchez's opponent is a death penalty prosecutor.
    18: Gutierrez's opponent is an anti-gang prosecutor.
    102: Montgomery is less objectionable since he gives support to due process.
    104: [no position]
    144: Barquist leans liberal; her opponent is an anti-gang prosecutor.

    -------------------------------

    Endorsements from the Santa Monica Democratic Club
    Santa Monica City Council
    Kevin McKeown Gleam Davis

    Santa Monica Rent Control Board
    Jennifer Kennedy Zelia Mollica Marilyn Korade/Wilson

    Santa Monica College Board of Trustees
    Nancy Greenstein David Finkel
    Andrew Walzer Louise Jaffe

    Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District
    Oscar de la Torre Emily Bloomfield
    Kelly McMahon Pye Barry Snell

    Local Measures:
    Measure BB (School Bond) YES
    Measure U (Charter Amend - Remove City Dept Heads from Civil Service . . .) NO
    Measure V (Clean Beaches/Ocean Parcel Tax) YES
    Measure W (Charter Amend - Change Campaign Contribution Restrictions) NO
    Measure Y (Muni Code - Make Marijuana Use Low Enforcement Priority) YES


    PROPOSITIONS: (A friend sent this to me and I'm passing it on ...)

    YES Prop 84 Authorizes $5.4 billion to fund projects relating to safe drinking water, water quality and supply, flood control, waterway and natural resource protection, water pollution and contamination control, state and local park improvements, public access to natural resources, and conservation efforts. (nearly 1 billion available for parks & water projects in LA County)
    http://www.easyvoter.org/site/evguide/content.php?type=1&id=70

    YES Prop 87: Alternative Energy

    This is NOT a gas tax, and won't raise your gas prices. What it will do is make companies extracting oil out of California pay a similar amount of money as they do in states like Texas and Alaska -incredibly, California basically gives away our resources virtually free,unlike everywhere else - and invest that money in alternative energy. You know it has to be something real good if the oil companies are spending $100 MILLION (!) to defeat it. It would establish a $4 billion program to reduce oil and gasoline usage by 25%, with research and production incentives for alternative energy, alternative energy vehicles, energy efficient technologies, and for education and training. The proposition prohibits producers from passing the tax on to consumers. Program administered by California Energy Alternatives Program Authority.

    YES Prop 89: Campaign Finance Reform

    Prop 89 will help take back our elections from special interests and create a level playing field for candidates to compete.
    Maine passed a universal health care plan thanks to grassroots candidates being able to challenge the insurance-funded incumbents. The money for the campaigns will come from a 0.2 percent corporate tax increase. This system has proven to loosen the death grip corporate lobbyists hold over government, though it won't make every politician honest! The public campaign funding will be received through the Fair Political Practices Commission, in amounts varying by elective office and type of election. The proposition also imposes new limits on campaign contributions to state-office candidates and campaign committees, and new restrictions on contributions and expenditures by lobbyists and corporations.

    Proposition 90:
    “Prop 90 is the single most dangerous threat that has ever been leveled at our
    state's environment” Robert Redford.

    If Prop 90 is enacted, environmental protection will grind to a halt, because we the taxpayers will be unable to afford the billions and billions in payouts.
    And guess what? Paralyzing government is exactly what Prop 90 aims to do.

    This cynical ploy is so insidious -- and yet potentially popular -- because it's masquerading as a law that will protect our homes and businesses from
    government seizure under the power of eminent domain.

    This measure being pushed by conservatives and developers would force taxpayers to pay some land owners to follow laws already on the books--or give those land owners a waiver to pollute or break other laws. For example, if a company decides they want to build a polluting factory on their property that’s not allowed by current zoning, the government would have to pay them for the forgone opportunity. It could cost state and local governments billions of dollars to maintain current protections. It is supported by the California Republican Party and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Proposition 90 is opposed by a broad and diverse coalition including: the League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Defenders of Wildlife, dozens of other environmental groups but also Working Assets, California Labor Federation, California Professional Firefighters, the NAACP and the California Chamber of Commerce


    YES Prop 1C- Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act: Allow state government to sell $2.85 billion in bonds for: housing projects and related development in urban areas and near public transportation, assistance for renters, first-time and low-income homebuyers farm worker housing, homeless shelters and other programs. Bond financing is regressive and from working in this industry I know how much money goes to waste and never reaches its targeted destination. Never the less, I think I will vote for it and pray…
    http://www.easyvoter.org/site/evguide/content.php?type=1&id=66

    YES Prop 1D (with reservation)
    Allows state government to sell $10.4 billion in bonds to build and upgrade education facilities:
    • $7.3 billion for K-12 schools, most of which would require local matching funds
    • $3.1 billion for community colleges and public universities
    Funding formula is not favorable to districts that have the greatest need. Bond financing is regressive.
    http://www.easyvoter.org/site/evguide/content.php?type=1&id=67



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    Monday, October 30, 2006

    VOTE OUT THE BROOD OF VIPERS!

    Please send CARE packages to our troops. They all need our love and care. Also, check out a soldier on our blog who writes at ANGER MANAGEMENT

    News Alert: George Allen's staffers beat up a Marine for asking the Senator an uncomfortable question!

    WILL THIS ELECTION BRING A BRIGHTER DAY OR THE END OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY?

    If there were ever a more urgent reason to replace each and every member of Congress virtually without exception, one need only look at the breathtaking new martial law powers granted to the Bush administration this month. It has always been a sacred tenet of our Democracy that the U.S. military should not be deployed AGAINST American citizens. But literally in the dead of night and almost without comment, an amendment to the Insurrection Act was slipped into the just passed Defense Authorization bill stating:

    "...The President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when . . . the President determines that domestic violence has occurred" !!! ARE YOU READING THIS?

    Shame on each and every member of Congress who allowed this to happen with hardly as much as peep or a whimper. Shame on them for their lack of diligence and lack of oversight.

    So let's just say for example that the electronic election results in 8 days are so far out of line with pre-election and exit polling data so as to defy credulity. And let's just say that people organized massive peaceful protests of the theft of their elections. And let's just say that the Bush administration provoked "police" riots, or even had their own provocateurs commit violent acts so as to justify a military crackdown. Voila . . . now you have American soldiers shooting at otherwise peaceful political protesters. And you thought Kent State was a party!

    And if you don't think that could ever happen, then why the hell have they pushed for such changes, which are now the law of the land?

    The whole concept of the president as an unaccountable determiner, or "decider", insulated from any kind of oversight by Congress or the Courts has been the hallmark of the Cheney/Bush executive coup, which just keeps steamrollering along while our presumptive protectors in Congress are asleep at the switch, or cowering in their cloakrooms.

    But there are some candidates who ARE fighting to be the people's voice. There are candidates who were calling for our troops in Iraq to start coming home, and standing strong on that call, BEFORE the general public began to realize the scale of the Iraq disaster, doomed as it was from the start by its illegal and immoral underpinnings.

    SUPPORT THE PEACE TEAM CANDIDATES NOW: PEACETEAM.NET

    And what we are asking you to do, in this last 7 days before the upcoming election, is to donate anything you can, if you have not done so already, to help the brave candidates on the Peace Team to get their Lie/Die TV spots on the air, so the people know that there is at least somebody out there taking a stand on principle.

    CREEPY & SPOOKY: VOTE OUT THE BROOD OF VIPERS!
    HAPPY HALLOWEEN. IS BUSH COMMITTING TREASON? We must get rid of the thugs running our country NOW. Democrats will win Congress next week. Please VOTE next Tuesday, November 7, 2006. There is still hope for a civilized, peaceful, powerful, united AMERICA. But onlyl if you vote out the corrupt politicians currently in power. There is nothing more dangerous to our freedoms than these politicians. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. These Godless people are hiding behind a false version of "Christianity" that is not only anti-Christian but amoral. This is something no Christian or upright moralist can condone.

    Please read Larisa Alexandrovna's (Raswtory.com) great article below. Got this email from the insightful Garth Bishop: "The end of habeas corpus may just be a smoke screen (which the Sup Court will overturn) to cover the fact what it's really all about----giving GW Bush and his wrecking crew a "get out of jail free" card. I'm trying to find a complete copy of the "MCA of 2006" to find out what I heard about the real reason for this act. In the document, according to my sources, ALL WAR CRIMES committed prior to December 30, 2005 are forgiven. So in essence WBush is pardoning himself (and all) in advance. Anyone with info please advise. Meanwhile I will find and read the entire bill to verify this startling fact which I'm convinced is true." - Garth Bishop

    Excerpts From "Bush Signs the Reichstag Fire Decree" By Larisa Alexandrovna RAWSTORY.COM

    "I am certain that my right-wing fellow Americans will no doubt soil themselves silly and cite Biblical curses at me for daring to label their beloved leader a traitor to the United States of America. But he is not only a traitor, he is an aristocratic wannabe despot who is so mentally deranged, that he believes that God tells him to go out and spread Americana into the world, and in the process murder hundreds of thousands of people abroad and destroy thousands of lives at home. Does that sound like something a sane person would do, or even attempt to justify, in public by evoking Jesus, the complete antithesis to these activities?" - Larisa Alexandrovna

    With a flip of the wrist, Bush signed into law the anti-Habeas Corpus, pro-torture law (cleverly repackaged as the Military Commissions Act of 2006), signaling with it the end of American democracy. On October 17, 2006, however, the latest Bush scoundrel outdid his kin at sucking the marrow of this nation and signed into law that which our founding fathers would have called treason, essentially taking the people's rights of liberty, justice, and property solely for himself. What Mr. Bush signed was, in essence, the final assault of a carefully orchestrated, six year long war on the Constitution of the United States.

    ....To add insult to injury, when Bush was finished with his butchery, this half-witted crook had the audacity, the sheer nerve, to claim that he was slitting the throat of America in the memory of those who died on September 11, 2001:

    "And now, in memory of the victims of September the 11th, it is my honor to sign the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law." Yes, those in attendance not only applauded the man who cannot be bothered to govern or to attend to any business beneficial to the health and vitality of this nation, they actually cheered the destruction of this country and allowed Bush to claim the memory of those who died because of his very own indifference.

    (see Rawstory.com)

    Please support California Secretary of State www.debrabowen.com for the latest on the Diebold touch-screen voting problems in the upcoming election.

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    WHERE HAVE ALL THE SOLDIERS GONE?



    Destiny and I opened at PECHANGA CASINO Theater for Paul Rodriguez on Friday night. It's a 1500 seat theater, and Seinfeld performs there next month. It was a great show. Rodriguez really reaches out to the Hispanic and Indian communities.
    The Indian Chiefs come to see him and are big fans of his.

    Doing comedy is like sculpting the air with jokes. Being an actress, I always think I need a script, but it's more fun being surprised — improvising. We got to experiment with a large theater and not freak out! Actually we didn't have any time to rehearse, so I had to take a leap of faith. But the moment we stepped onto the stage, all the fear went away and Destiny and I just played with each other. We are just trying out our new material and getting comfortable with each other. It's kind of scary.

    Paul Rodriguez has some very important things to say about Latino immigrants and the sad idea of putting up a wall at the border. He also has a lot of wisdom about Iraq.

    KOKOMO, INDIANA: Larry Johnson is an amazing spirit and has a great mission, a great radio show. Also did a 3-hour co-host gig on Allan James' show (WIOU 1350 AM and WZWZ 92.5 FM The "Z93 Morning Show".) Robert Dreyfuss, investigative journalist for Rolling Stone, The Nation and Mother Jones joined me. We had a blast and did newspaper interviews for the labor unions. We must support the workers of America! They are our backbone. I'll have a full story on this whole trip soon.

    Where have all the young men gone... to coffins in Iraq.

    “ To learn that not only you suffer, but the other person also suffers, the other group of people also suffers… when you touch the suffering in other people you want to help, and when you want to help, compassion is born in you… you don’t suffer anymore, and you are motivated by the desire to do something, to be something for other people…and that is Peace. ”
    ~ Thich Nhat Hahn
    Zen Buddhist monk, nominated by Martin Luther King, Jr.
    for the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless work to end the Vietnam War

    Here is a new letter from Marcus Byrne, our brave resident soldier in Iraq:

    I've come to realize there is an inherent flaw in Neo Cons running a war of stability and support operations (SASO). They lack the morals and values necessary to fight such a war correctly. To fight a an insurgency correctly requires empathy, to know how the people are suffering and being able to correct it before your enemy can. It require an ability to understand complex social structures and networks and work within those networks to achieve compromise amongst the indigenous people. In other words, a war such as this requires flexible diplomacy from the strategic to the tactical level with a common goal. That goal was unapparent in the beginning months of this war and that's when we lost our momentum. The Neo Cons don't even care about the people they supposedly govern, I reference Hurricane Katrina as one example, why would they care about the plight of people who can't unelect them, or have no power to stop them. Terrorism is the war of the powerless, and war is the terrorism of the powerful. So, what are the powerless going to resort to when they see their grievances, inflicted by us, are not being addressed? The war of the powerless. So, Neo Cons, lacking simple human emotions, morals, and values, and having no other goals but unlimited power, are the wrong people to fight any war, much less a war where the will of the occupied is the center of gravity, and the deciding factor for victory. http://www.airbyrne.blogspot.com/

    Great Words from Great Writer E.L. Doctorow, written earlier this year:

    I fault this president (George W. Bush) for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our twenty-one year olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of D-day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but
    of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

    But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the WMDs he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the
    carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man. He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

    But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the thousand dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be.

    They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life.... They come to his
    desk as a political liability which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq.

    How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his
    reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that rather than controlling terrorism his war in Iraq has licensed it. He does not feel for the families of the dead; he does not feel for the thirty five million of us who live in poverty; he does not feel for the forty percent who cannot afford health insurance; he does not feel for those who retire only to lose pensions; he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills --- it is amazing for how many people in this
    country this President does not feel.

    But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest one percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the safety regulations for coal minesto save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

    And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it.But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneously aroused every soul to alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over the world most of the time.

    But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people throughout the world that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype of democracy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who
    could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    FBI INVESTIGATING VOTING CODE THEFT

    WASH POST: DIEBOLD TOUCHSCREEN SOURCE CODE DISCOVERED STOLEN IN MARYLAND!
    ALSO: State Report Finds Sensitive Voter Registration Database Vulnerable to 'Across-the-Board Access'
    Diebold, State Election Director Lamone Continue State of Denial…

    The Washington Post is reporting in Friday editions that the FBI is investigating the "possible theft" of Diebold electronic touch-screen voting system source code in Maryland.

    While the Maryland State Board of Elections admits that the disks contained "the software…used in Maryland in the 2004 elections," Diebold denies everything. Of course. They gave their catch-all apologia — the software is for "versions…that are no longer in use in Maryland" — although they were forced to acknowledge "the version of one program apparently stored on the disks is still in use in 'a limited number of jurisdictions.'"...

    COMPLETE DETAILS

    This from Marcus, our soldier in Iraq:

    Whoever that guy was that said we dealt with Iraq in "stupidity" and "ignorance" finally got it right. I thought we were about to come into some real honesty in this debate. But...he retracted his statements. Doesnt matter though they have already been broadcast on Al Jazeera.
    I felt better if only for a minute. It scares me that they are just going to deny reality all the way unitl the end. Just keep denying. It doesnt matter what everyone else says I guess they have made no mistakes. The end of what...I dont know. The Iraq Debacle, the elections, the world perhaps.

    Kokomo...big UAW town. The factories span US 31 from the north side to the center of the city. My dads in the UAW. You dont know how much our quality of life improved once my Dad got the union gig at Rolls Royce Engines.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2006

    A HIGHER MORAL POWER

    Hey everyone, please try to send CARE packages to our troops. They all need our love and care. Here is a letter from one of our brave soldiers stationed in Iraq, who writes a blog called ANGER MANAGEMENT

    Lydia,
    Yes, my wife and I are fine. We are pretty angry about the extension because what's another month and a half in an infants life without their parents. It is just too stupid. It seems like our brigade is losing people on a daily basis. My wife is the Executive Officer for the brigades Medical Support Company so she get's to see the casualties everyday, worrying whether or not I might be on the next MEDEVAC into her aid station. It doesnt seem to be getting any better.

    I have not received any packages yet, but the mail takes time around here. I'll get it eventually.

    As Wayne Dyer says, "There's a spiritual solution to every problem." For SPIRITUAL SOLUTIONS to the world crises, along with some amazing prayer miracles in the next few weeks, please check out RADICAL PRAYER at my other blog THE PEACEMAKERS* LIGHT OF TRUTH

    "We all have built into us the capacities for kindness and creativity and beauty. It's a matter of perspective. As Einstein said, "The single most important decision any of us will ever make is whether or not to believe that the universe is friendly." It's our choice.

    When Jesus told us to 'love our enemies,' I really don't think he meant "go and kill them." When children perish (in Iraq in such a manner) there is no moral person in this world who sees it as "self-defense."

    "As I read some of contents of this detainee bill which is called ‘Military Commissions Bill (S. 3930)’ it states categorically, “Re-establishes President Bush's military tribunals, which were rejected by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional." How can any elected official including Bush place their hand on the Bible and take an oath to uphold the United States Constitution, and then support a bill that the U.S. Supreme Court rejected?"

    Congressman, Tim Bishop: “Why Fear a Trial?”
    By Mary MacElveen

    As I attended a debate between Congressman Tim Bishop (D 1st Cong. District, NY) and his Republican challenger, Italo Zanzi: when both were asked of the detainee bill recently approved by Congress which will be signed by Bush today, this is what candidate Zanzi stated that he “doesn’t believe Bush can claim anyone as a terrorist.”

    As I read some of contents of this detainee bill which is called ‘Military Commissions Bill (S. 3930)’ it states categorically, “Re-establishes President Bush's military tribunals, which were rejected by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional." I want candidate Zanzi to focus in on the word ‘unconstitutional’. I want candidate Zanzi to focus in on the word ‘unconstitutional’. How can any elected official including Bush place their hand on the Bible and take an oath to uphold the United States Constitution, and then support a bill that the U.S. Supreme Court rejected? It is not so much that directive, but this one that disproves Zanzi’s assessment of this bill that it, “strips legal residents of the U.S. of their right to challenge their detention in court if they're accused of being “enemy combatants,” So, if an American is arrested that is accused of being an “enemy combatant”, don’t they have the right to due process of law?

    At one point, I was going to write of this country’s most heinous serial killers and we gave them the right of due process. Their victims were allowed to confront them in court and in one case; Ted Bundy was even allowed to marry within a court of law. These killers had and still do have the right to challenge any law in which the prosecution said they broke. Their defense attorneys are even allowed to challenge the courts when it comes to constitutional issues.

    As journalists write of the Iraq War and terrorism in general, it is this part of the bill that does disturb me that it, “names any individual, including citizens, as an “unlawful enemy combatant” if they provide “material support” to those engaged in hostilities against the U.S.” As I see it, words do have value so should be thought of as a physical entity and can be construed as ‘material support’. Journalists also write the opinions and reactions of those that are engaged in hostilities against us, so can journalists be targeted and labeled as ‘enemy combatants’ by aiding the other side with a venue in order to speak out?

    What happens to an innocent American that unknowingly supplies “material support” to an enemy of the United States? Are they not allowed due process? In the past, we placed many on trial for acts of treason, gave them due process and those convicted sit in prison. The United States Constitution served us in those cases.

    While no question was submitted concerning war crimes contained within this bill, this is what that bill soon to be signed into law states “legalizes U.S. war crimes committed before December 30, 2005” So, if down the road and this is directed to, Italo Zanzi, should it be found that Bush had indeed committed war crimes, does this shield him? I would also like him to speak of these ‘U.S. war crimes’ since congress felt the need to place it within this bill.

    As we all know, Bush lied about the facts concerning our illegal invasion of Iraq which even the UN Security Council did not give us permission to invade since we lied about the facts. We all know that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, yet another fact not brought up as it related to this war in this debate. We most certainly do know that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. As a result of these lies it has now been reported that 655,000 innocent Iraqis have died. Wouldn’t he call that a war crime? If so, then through this bill, Bush is now shielded.

    As I listened to Congressman, Tim Bishop’s answer regarding this one bill, he point-blank stated, “Why fear a trial?” which means due process under the law. He also stated that our “government should be run by rule of law” If our Constitution has served us so well in the past, why change it? That is what Congressman, Tim Bishop understands.

    This is what Congressman, Bishop stated of the war in Iraq by us focusing on this war, “We allowed our concentration in Afghanistan to slip” He also stated that we do need to get our soldiers out” He then stated that it has turned into a “civil war” in which our “soldiers are not trained”

    The following remarks were the ones that I focused in on. He (Bishop) stated that “70 percent of Iraqis think that it is okay to attack our soldiers” Gee, I wonder why? Bishop referred to where we would be thought of as liberators and greeted with flowers, when the complete opposite has happened. He also stated that our military is “stretched to the limit” With US Naval ships just off the coast of Iran, just how is this Bush administration going to supply the man power should we invade Iran?

    This was perhaps the one most single and powerful statement made by Congressman Bishop concerning our war in Iraq that it was “a war of choice” I seem to remember Senator John Kerry stating during the 2004 presidential campaign, “You don’t use the military because you want to, but because you have to.”

    When it comes to Bush’s go-it-alone foreign policy, this is what Congressman Bishop believes that we “need to return to a saner foreign policy” He also believes that “diplomacy is not a bad thing” There are some that believe diplomacy is a sign of weakness, but I am of the opinion it makes one stronger and makes this nation stronger.

    By us returning to the rule of law, and through the use of diplomacy, it is then we can most certainly say that we are guided by a higher moral power.


    Read the original article here