Monday, December 29, 2008

Goodwill happens

In Baltimore:

Running out of money to buy food, David P. Anderson was among the first to file into the dining room yesterday at Our Daily Bread. Behind him, dozens waited in line on Christmas morning as Anderson sat down to a turkey dinner and reached first for the cranberry relish.

But it wasn't until he was walking out of the downtown Baltimore soup kitchen that Anderson learned who had prepared the meal and served it to him.

For the 15th year, members of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation stepped in so the usual volunteers, several of them Christians, could celebrate Christmas Day at home with their families.

"That's beautiful," said Anderson, 54, a disabled shipyard worker who lives in Cherry Hill. [...]

Yesterday, 48 members of the Pikesville synagogue served a turkey dinner to the needy in a room featuring a carving titled " The Christ of the Bread Lines," pictures of Pope John Paul II and a poster with quotes from Mother Teresa.

"It's the true meaning of the holidays," said Joann Levy. "When Christmas and Hanukkah overlap, it's very special. For me, we are separated by very little. We are more the same than different."


Well...there you go.

And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bush's parting shot at Women

I'm telling you, it's not just the big news-maker stories that we are up against, with the outgoing administration (I dedided to be nice and not call him a doof).






Take action.

And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

In Other Words Open Letter

This is an open letter from In Other Words' staff and Board, including an update on where they are at now:

Dear friends,

In Other Words, like so many of our fellow independent bookstores, has fallen upon incredibly hard financial times. If we are unable to raise $11,000 by the end of December, In Other Words will have to close its doors in early March. Many of you may have already heard about this financial crisis and in an effort to be as transparent as possible, we want to let you all know about the specifics of the situation and to update you on our progress.

The $11,000 is needed to pay back a short-term loan that is expiring in January. We have been unable to come up with the funds on our own due to significantly decreased store and textbook sales, likely the result of the economy's recession. Unfortunately, our financial troubles will not be over once we pay back this loan. Like many others, we're affected by the recent decrease in availability of bank loans and we're going to need to raise an additional $10,000 by March to pay off our expiring line of credit.

We know it sounds crazy that a small bookstore in Portland could raise this much money in such a short time, however our community of locals, out of town family and friends, as well as feminists nationwide have responded in full force to our plea. They are making online donations, swarming through our doors to support the store by doing their shopping and attending events, and by getting the word out to their own communities that we need help. And its working– we've made over $7,000 in the 5 days since we announced our financial crisis! Clearly, In Other Words is an institution that our community will not let go under.

As promising as this looks, we still have a long way to go to reach our goal. In addition to urging people to make tax-deductible donations online through our secure website (https://www.chi-cash-advance.com/sforms/appeal804/contribute.asp), in person, or by mailing a check to us at 8 B NE Killingsworth, Portland, OR 97211, there are a number of other ways we're asking people to support us.


1. Come to the Dance Party Fundraiser for In Other Words, this Sunday, December 21st from 7-11pm at Zaytoon, 2236 NE Alberta. $5 and up donation, 21+. Special thanks to Aysha Ghazoul (Zaytoon), Sossity Chiricuzio (Dirty Queer), Stacy (DykeTees), and Tamara (Poster Child) for making it happen.
2. Do your holiday shopping at In Other Words and receive 10% off feminist gift packages
3. Mark your calendars for our After Solstice Book Sale which will run the month of January – 50% off selected titles
4. Get involved in our community by attending one of our many in-store events and discussion groups or sign up to volunteer (more info at www.inotherwords.org)

Here are some things we're doing on our end to promote In Other Words' long-term sustainability:

1. Restructuring and rebuilding our board of directors to promote increased functionality and fundraising ability
2. Applying for external funding in the form of 2 grants
3. Expanding volunteer-driven grassroots fundraising efforts to include multiple fundraising events throughout the year – the first of which is scheduled for Saturday, February 7th at 7pm
4. Appealing to major donors and promoting our revamped monthly sustainer giving program, Every Woman Strong
5. Restructuring our store's inventory to reflect current buying trends

We are optimistic that with our community's continued support we can achieve our goals and continue to be a vital resource for this community that sustains us. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or if you'd like to follow up.

Our community cannot afford to lose In Other Words, please help us save her!

Sincerely,
The Staff and Board of In Other Words

503.232.6003
info@inotherwords.org
www.inotherwords.org

--
Program Director, In Other Words
katie@inotherwords.org
503.232.6003
And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

In Other Words Book Store in trouble

I don't know why I didn't see this coming. Considering the fact that many of the local Women's Studies departments depend on the bookstore (not to mention the community itself), this is not welcome news.

In Other Words, like so many of our fellow bookstores, has fallen upon incredibly hard financial times. With the decline in our current economy, we have experienced severely decreased revenue. If we are unable to raise $11,000 by the end of December, In Other Words will have to close its doors.

We desperately need your help. We are confident that if everyone who cares about In Other Words makes a contribution, large or small, we will meet our goal. Please give as generously as you can to save the last remaining non-profit, feminist bookstore in the country: the place where so many Portland artists, activists, organizers, readers, writers, political thinkers, musicians and poets find their voice, their power, their community, and their political home.

Our community cannot afford to lose In Other Words, please help us save her!

You can make your tax-deductible donations on the In Other Words secure website, or by stopping into the store (8 NE Killingsworth).

Please forward this widely to your community, we need all the help we can get!

Sincerely,
The Board, Staff and Volunteers of In Other Words

--
Program Director, In Other Words
katie@inotherwords.org
503.232.6003

And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act

From House Majority Leader Hoyer:

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor tonight in support of the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“This bill is designed to give the automakers the time and space they need to become a competitive, job-creating industry once again. And it is designed to do so while protecting taxpayer dollars. Reconciling those two goals has taken long negotiations and compromises on both sides—but I am convinced that we have come to a sound solution.

“These rescue loans are necessary—not to reward bad decision-making in Detroit, but to protect three million American jobs. Three million livelihoods, three million families depend on the automakers—not only their direct employees, but the workers at their suppliers, the small businesses that serve those workers, and entire communities. Are we really willing to put those workers at risk in this deep recession, after a month in which our country just lost 533,000 more jobs?

“In any economy, and especially in this one, the failure of the automakers would be catastrophic. As John Judis put it recently in the New Republic, without public loans, ‘the industry will disappear the way the American television-manufacturing industry disappeared. American workers and engineers will lose their ability to compete in a major durable goods industry.’ That is the motive behind the $15 billion in emergency bridge loans for the car companies.

“But it is equally important to ensure that those loans lead to real reform—to ensure that we do not find ourselves right back in this same emergency in just a few months’ time. Congress has insisted that the automakers develop detailed plans for long-term viability—that they show us how they intend to build cost-effective, fuel-efficient cars for a 21st-century economy. Those viability plans were presented to Congress on December 2nd, and we have examined them in detail.

“Now, this bill will hold the automakers to their promises. They will be accountable to Congress and the Administration, as well as an Administration-appointed ‘car czar,’ who will oversee the efforts of the industry and its stakeholders to cut costs, restructure debt, and renegotiate labor contracts. Just like any other lender, the federal government is insisting that the recipient of its loans be on a plausible path to profitability. If the automakers stick to their plans for viability, more assistance is possible. But if the Administration-appointed official finds that they have not made adequate progress on restructuring by March 31st, the loans will be called, and the automakers will be a step closer to bankruptcy.

“This bill also includes safeguards for the taxpayers: It lets the American people profit if and when the value of the car companies recovers, and it guarantees that taxpayer money will not fund lavish executive bonuses or golden parachutes.

“Mr. Speaker, if we act today, we can seize the chance for an American auto industry that is leaner, greener, and once more competitive. But if we do nothing, we face the risk that, sometime soon, there will be no American auto industry to speak of. So I urge my colleagues to support this bill. It has the power to protect innumerable American jobs, and its strong safeguards will ensure that we are authorizing anything but a bridge loan to nowhere.”

I take anything from Hoyer with a grain of salt (hard to do on a low-salt diet btw!) and I don't even get in the mood to pretend to be an economist, so I really don't know. On its face, IF the safeguards are as strong as they appear to be, it looks like a needed step. On the other hand, I detest fear-mongering. I just don't know how much fear is warranted here. What do you think?

And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Light Up the Night for Equality

On Saturday, December 20th, at 5:00 PM, silent candlelight vigils will be held at commercial centers in cities across the United States, in remembrance of the rights recently lost around the country, and in honor of the rights that one day will BE, here in Oregon, and for EVERYONE.

In Portland, we will be gathering for our silent candlelight vigil at Pioneer Square downtown.

These are the guidelines from Join the Impact, which we are going to stick to, as much as possible:

  • This will be a peaceful gathering in the spirit of the holidays (This one is a MUST).
  • We'll dress alike: make or buy a "Second Class Citizen" t-shirt.
  • We will stay silent unless asked a question, we will not yell, instigate, or bare signs. Instead, we will let our shirts do the talking and our candles pay our respects.
  • Bring candles (battery powered if need be).

Two weeks ago, we were noisy all across the United States. On December 20th, we will let our silence bring home the reality of our status as second-class citizens. And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Informed Growth Act-Oregon style?

I received this email from Onward Oregon. I don't really like the sliding scale entry fee (the fact that there is a fee at all), although I assume it is to cover the cost of food. Just makes it difficult for financially-strapped folks to feel comfortable. Something they may want to think about in the future. Other than that, I am intrigued by the idea.


BUILDING A LOCAL ECONOMY WITHOUT BIG-BOXES

Stacy Mitchell, author of Big-Box Swindle and The Hometown Advantage, will discuss the growing movement around the country to rebuild and strengthen local economies. Mitchell was instrumental in the passage of the Maine Informed Growth Act, which gives communities the ability to assess the economic impact of big-box development.

Onward Oregon is working to pass a similar bill in the 2009 Oregon legislative session. Big-box disputes have arisen everywhere from Portland to Medford and Lincoln City to Bend. Unfortunately, under Oregon law communities can only oppose big-boxes on the grounds of increased traffic. The Oregon Informed Growth Act would enable our communities to understand the economic and environmental impact of big-box stores. We encourage you to come learn and discuss how best to build our local economy.

Thursday, November 20
6 PM refreshments, 7 PM presentation
First Unitarian Church 1011 SW 12th Ave.
$10-$20 sliding scale (no one turned away)
Call Robin at (503) 232-2943 for tickets and info.
Co-sponsored by the Sustainable Business Network of Portland and the
Economic Justice Action Group of the First Unitarian Church of Portland.

Be sure to come early at 6 PM for a celebration of our local economy with information, refreshments, and representatives from local community businesses and organizations.

Stacy Mitchell is a renowned speaker and advisor to communities on retail development and independent business. She is a senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and author of Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America's Independent Businesses, which Bill McKibben described as "the ultimate account of the single most important economic trend in our country" and Booklist named one of the top ten business books of 2007. Mitchell lives in Portland, Maine.

See you there,
The Team at Onward Oregon
www.OnwardOregon.org


Mailing Address:
Onward Oregon
P.O. Box 15132
Portland, OR 97293
US

Contact Name: Lenny Dee
Telephone Number: (503) 233-3018 And here is the rest of it.

Employee Free Choice Act

Anyone who tries to scare you with the "big union bosses control your lives" B.S. are full of just that...B.S.

And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What am I up to?

For those of you fascinated with what I might be up to, or completely at a loss due to my lack of posts (he he), go here:

pdxjointheimpact

And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Letter from Share Our Strength

An email from Share Our Strength:

Although the election results were widely predicted by polls and pundits, it was nonetheless striking to watch and absorb America’s new reality at the moment the television networks made it official at 11:00 p.m. last night.

The election not only made history, it set the stage for you and me to make history too.

A community organizer has become President-elect. For the first time a President of the United States, whose mom relied on food stamps, will personally understand the critical value of the work you’ve done through Share Our Strength and other nonprofit organizations.

Regardless of one’s personal politics it will be hard not to feel a sense of new beginnings, or get caught up in the excitement of a new president, new priorities, and new appointments from cabinet and ambassadors to judges and generals. But what about the rest of us? What about what Harry Truman called the highest office in the land: that of citizen?

The idealism that inspires us to believe anything is possible will be short lived if translating it into reality is left to the new president alone. Our ability to solve some of the most challenging issues we face does not depend only on a new occupant of the White House. It depends on a new kind of citizenship too.

Hunger in America is a good example. The President-elect recently announced that a top priority will be the ending of childhood hunger in America by 2015, the very goal established by Share Our Strength over the last 2 years. Federal policy matters enormously. But so does its implementation at the local level. That often depends on active citizens and robust, effective, well led civic organizations.

Many kids in America who are hungry today are hungry not because of the lack of food or even the lack of food assistance programs, but rather because they lack access to food assistance programs that already exist. Sometimes logistical or bureaucratic barriers prevent their participation.

For a hungry family wondering how to qualify for food stamps or summer feeding, the most powerful person in the world may not be the Commander in Chief but the local community organizer who helps them navigate the bureaucracy. Achieving the right blend of public support and private efforts is also essential to progress on other issues like nutrition education, mentoring, after school enrichment, drug and alcohol addiction, energy conservation, and environmental protection, just to name a few.

With the United States engaged in two protracted wars, constrained by massive budget deficits, and possibly facing a long recession, it will require more than our elected officials to right our course. It will take all of us. The hardest work of a great nation has always fallen to its citizens, not just its leaders.

In the days ahead the TV, internet, and newspapers will be awash with analysis and commentary about the strategies that led to electoral victory, what worked and why, the role of money and media and political organization. But there is also a deeply personal set of questions that we can only ask of ourselves: at such a precarious moment in the life of our nation, what can I be doing to make a difference? In what way might I sacrifice and serve? What strength can I share to make my country and community better?

The most powerful moments in history are those that invite us to make history too.

Billy

And here is the rest of it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Food Prices-Up, Up, and Away

Let's see. Unemployment is at its highest rate in years. Bad news, in and of itself. Now we get this gem:

U.S. food prices will rise by at least 7 percent in 2009 because of higher feed costs for chickens, hogs and cattle, said a group of food-industry economists on Thursday.

It would be the third year in a row that food prices rose faster than the overall U.S. inflation rate. Food inflation is the highest since 1990.

"The sizable increase in the cost of producing food has not been fully passed on to the consumer," said private consultant Bill Lapp. He foresaw food inflation of 7 percent-9 percent in 2009.

and...

"We've been losing money for more than a year," said Bill Roenigk, economist for the Chicken Council, who said producers intend to cut production by as much as 12 percent. "We need to recover these feed costs."

Thomas Elam, head of Farm Econ, said poultry, hog and cattle producers would cut production in coming months because of feed costs, meaning less meat on the retail market but at higher prices.

Now that stright-up politics will be moving to the back seat, something tells me I will be once again doing more posts on how much low-income and no-income folks are continuing to hurt, along with the food banks that exist to help them. And here is the rest of it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Living through History

Just not anything I can add to this.


Amanda Jones, 109, the daughter of a man born into slavery, has lived a life long enough to touch three centuries. And after voting consistently as a Democrat for 70 years, she has voted early for the country's first black presidential nominee.

The middle child of 13, Jones, who is African American, is part of a family that has lived in Bastrop County for five generations. The family has remained a fixture in Cedar Creek and other parts of the county, even when its members had to eat at segregated barbecue dives and walk through the back door while white customers walked through the front, said Amanda Jones' 68-year-old daughter, Joyce Jones.

and...
Jones' father herded sheep as a slave until he was 12, according to the family, and once he was freed, he was a farmer who raised cows, hogs and turkeys on land he owned. Her mother was born right after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, Joyce Jones said. The family owned more than 100 acres of land in Cedar Creek at one point, she said.

Amanda Jones' father urged her to exercise her right to vote, despite discriminatory practices at the polls and poll taxes meant to keep black and poor people from voting. Those practices were outlawed for federal elections with the 24th Amendment in 1964, but not for state and local races in Texas until 1966.
Amanda Jones says she cast her first presidential vote for Franklin Roosevelt, but she doesn't recall which of his four terms that was. When she did vote, she paid a poll tax, her daughters said. That she is able, for the first time, to vote for a black presidential nominee for free fills her with joy, Jones said.


And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why does Smith assume we won't know?

I received this from BRO. It quite nicely sums up the insult to my intelligence that Gordon Smith has been attempting to accomplish. It isn't working, by the way.

From Jeana Frazzini:

I'm truly stunned. Last night I watched one of the most offensive political ads I've ever seen.

None of us can escape the barrage of political ads in this intense election season. I find some of the ads to be dull, others slightly troubling, but none as offensive as what I have seen from Senator Gordon Smith.

This week alone he is running an advertisement that panders to gay voters in Portland and a different ad bashing us in rural Oregon.

One minute he's bragging about his support for gay rights. And the next he's attacking a minor party candidate for believing that same-sex couples should be treated equally under the law.

I've had enough. It's time for Gordon Smith to stop playing politics with our families.

Email Senator Smith today and tell him that our families are not political pawns.

Tell Gordon Smith that he can't play politics with gay rights any longer.

In solidarity,

Jeana Frazzini
Basic Rights Oregon
And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"I started going liberal when..."

This is a comment made on DailyKos that really hit home for me. I don't ever really remember being very conservative, but I love how straight to the point this is, and will remember it the next time my mother calls me a "died in the wool" Democrat...as if that is a bad thing.

a former colleague left this on my fb page

"When did you get so left wing? Is it a college prof thing?"

This was my response...

If you must know, I got so "left wing" well before becoming a college prof.

I started going left wing when the right questioned my patriotism because I didn't support a war w/ a country that did not attack us.

I started going left wing when the "small government" right decided women don't have a right ... to choose...and wouldn't let a Florida woman die with dignity.

I started going left when "small" Government right wingers bloated the federal government.

I started going left when folks at the Republican National Convention in 2004 mocked a Vietnam Veteran with a Purple Heart while supporting candidates that used family influence to avoid service.

I started going left when the right gleefully chants "Drill, baby, drill" instead of addressing the problem.

I started going left when the "right wing" decided to call a "Christian" an "Arab" as if Arabs are evil.

I am a proud liberal, but I don't judge friends that have a different view

I think the list could go on and on.



And here is the rest of it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Biden and "Pro-American parts of the country"

Dissappointing is right.


And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

ColorOfChange.org calls out McCain/Palin

ColorOfChange.org is sending an open letter/petition to McCain and Palin, calling them out on the incredibly insulting racist pandering they are doing, and allowing to happen in their campaign.


John McCain and Sarah Palin have stopped talking about the issues, and have instead launched a strategy relying on fear-mongering, racial divisions, and hate. The result is McCain/Palin supporters saying "kill him!" "terrorist!" "traitor," and more, at rallies, with the McCain campaign playing dumb in response.It's outrageous and it must stop.

Together, we can show that Americans of all races won't stand for this.

I've signed onto ColorofChange's open-letter calling out McCain and Palin. ColorOfChange.org will publish it this week, and as they've shown in the past, when enough of us stand together, we can force the mainstream media to amplify our message. Will you join us?

http://www.colorofchange.org/united/?id=2110-108809


McCain-Palin rallies have started to look more like mob scenes than political events. The candidates keep asking "who is the real Barack Obama?" (a question that also kicks off almost every McCain television ad).In response, supporters have yelled "terrorist!" and "traitor!" And the venom goes beyond Obama--one McCain/Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at a Black member of a news crew, saying "sit down, boy."

McCain and Palin are going down a dangerous path. Watching some of their supporters being interviewed shows the kind of fear their campaign is stoking and exploiting.McCain and Palin are clearly in the driver's seat. They've personally made it a point to use "terrorist" and "Obama" in the same sentence; they have surrogates repeatedly refer to him by his middle-name;and they keep pushing the discredited guilt-by-association smears that have long been debunked.

All of it plays on the much more sinister rumors in anonymous smear emails which claim Obama is Muslim, anti-American, and is somehow connected with terrorists. This strategy is powerful because Obama is Black, and it's designed to make Obama's race a disadvantage without appearing overtly racist.

As Americans of all stripes, we've seen how Barack Obama's historic candidacy has moved our friends and family to have a more honest conversation about race in this country. It's inspired a lot of people to step out of their comfort zone and confront racism in their own communities, with their friends, neighbors and families.

In the final days of this campaign, we can't let a desperate John McCain and Sarah Palin drag us down. If enough of us act, we can create a powerful story in the media about Black people and our allies of all races standing together against race-baiting and fear-mongering coming from the McCain/Palin campaign. But it will take a lot of us speaking in unison.

Will you sign an open letter to McCain and Palin, telling them who you are and why you won't let them move our country backward? ColorofChange.org will publish the letter and make sure John McCain is forced to respond.

http://colorofchange.org/united/?id=2110-108809


Thanks.
And here is the rest of it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

ACORN Response to Senator McCain's Smear Ad

The fact that McCain would even be dumb enough to try and blame the current crisis on a nonprofit community organization tells me how completely out of touch and desparate the man has become:

ACORN President Maude Hurd released the following statement today in response to the McCain campaign's new ad claiming that, among other things, ACORN is responsible for the mortgage crisis:

"For almost a decade, ACORN, a community organization of 400,000 families in neighborhoods across the country, has been fighting against the predatory lending practices that have robbed our members of their homes, destabilized neighborhoods, and roiled the global economy."



"In his newest ad, John McCain's campaign bizarrely claims, "ACORN forced banks to issue risky home loans, the same types of loans that caused the financial crisis we're in today." Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, ACORN has worked successfully to help working class families get good home loans on fair terms from legitimate banks and has fought vigorously against predatory lenders who have ripped off families in our communities. These predatory loans caused the crisis."



"For more than a decade, ACORN members have held protests, released reports, and advocated for regulations to protect homeowners from predatory lenders. ACORN organizers and volunteers have been working day and night to help victims of the GOP economic meltdown to save their homes from foreclosure. In fact, ACORN has brought class action lawsuits against several predatory lenders, and has lobbied the Federal Reserve and Congress in support of regulations against predatory lending. ACORN has even been successful in convincing many lenders to treat homeowners more fairly and help families be able to make their mortgage payments and save their homes."



"Unfortunately, the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans like John McCain have blocked the sensible regulations that ACORN and others proposed that would have averted the mortgage meltdown. If John McCain thinks that community organizers caused the foreclosure crisis, he knows even less about the economy than previously thought."

"John McCain and the Republicans are desperately trying to shift the blame for the economic crisis they caused with a philosophy of deregulation and indifference to homeowners. All the grainy footage and creepy music in the world can't cancel out some simple, basic facts, and the facts about the economy are not on John McCain's side."
And here is the rest of it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Place in Hell for Women who Misquote Other Women

Ok I know this isn't earth-shattering, but I got a kick out of it.

Does this LOOK like a woman you want to get on the bad side of?



"Though I am flattered that Governor Palin has chosen to cite me as a source of wisdom, what I said had nothing to do with politics. This is yet another example of McCain and Palin distorting the truth, and all the more reason to remember that this campaign is not about gender, it is about which candidate has an agenda that will improve the lives of all Americans, including women. The truth is, if you care about the status of women in our society and in our troubled economy, the best choice by far is Obama-Biden."
And here is the rest of it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Loren Parks-MIA

LMAO. Ok, I know this isn't a laughing matter. Parks and Sizemore have made a mockery of Oregon's initiative system. Even so, I had to laugh.

From Our Oregon:


Loren Parks: Wanted For Questioning
Nevada millionaire apparently evading questions about role in Sizemore contempt case

Oregon—On Thursday, October 2, a Multnomah County Court will once more hear evidence against initiative racketeer Bill Sizemore, who is facing contempt of court charges for violating a court injunction against him.

Sizemore is believed to have set up a sham charity in Nevada to collect money for political purposes, hiding the source of his funders and getting around a 2002 court injunction against engaging in such activity.

At the center of those charges is Loren Parks, the Nevada multi-millionaire who has bankrolled ballot initiative efforts from Sizemore and Kevin Mannix. Parks is believed to be involved in the funding for the American Tax Research Foundation, which appears to be sending money to Sizemore.

For weeks, attorneys have been attempting to depose Parks to determine his relationship to the case, but he's apparently gone missing. Process servers have been unable to find him at his Nevada home, and newspapers have been piling up on his porch.

Curiously, even though he's been unable to answer his front door, Parks has still been able to send large checks to ballot measure efforts, including a $500,000 check to Mannix's ballot measure committee on September 15. Parks bankrolled the efforts to qualify six of this year's ballot measures from Sizemore and Mannix.

Despite Parks' evasion of questioning in the Sizemore contempt case, the hearing will go on as scheduled—October 2-3 in the courtroom of Judge Janice Wilson.
And here is the rest of it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Trans Citizens putting their money where their Obama support is

Oregon Stonewall Democrats is one of several organizations, and major blogging sites, galvanizing financial support for Obama, from the trans community.

According to Laura Calvo:

Trans Bloggers and the trans community can see a whole lot of folks who believe in the hope of a better future for ALL Americans. We can see whole lot of folks who believe in the change we need to have in the way ALL Americans are treated equally and with respect, regardless of who they are.

We can see a whole lot of people coming together to bring the hope and change to put America back on track as a world leader and who believe we can do it!

With the partnership of National Stonewall Democrats, Transgender Americans and their allies have launched a
fundraising drive to help elect Barack Obama. People all across America are encouraged to go to the secure contribuiton page to help elect Obama. Contributions made on the secure Act Blue page go directly to the Obama campaign. But just as important your contribution helps to bring attention to the voice of trans Americans in fighting for the equal and basic rights for all Americans.

Make no mistake, there is a hell of alot riding on this election. We cannot AFFORD a McCain presidency. Obama has shown his commitment to equality and to working for everyone. The choice is simple.


And here is the rest of it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"You are about to be brought under firm control"

Fucking A. Sorry, this one deserved a good cuss word (and I've been hanging out with REALLY jazzed college students lately).


And why do they need to be controlled?

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

And here is the rest of it.

FY'09 Budget

This is a press release of the statements that Hoyer made on the floor of the House today.

WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) today spoke on the House Floor in support of the FY09 Continuing Resolution. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“The continuing resolution before us funds the federal government at its current levels through the month of March.

“Obviously, passing a CR is never an ideal step. But sometimes it’s a necessary one. A vote of 'no' today is a vote to shut down the federal government.

“The CR does contain a number of important funding provisions. An increase in the home energy assistance program to help families heat their houses during a winter of high fuel costs. Funding for Pell Grants, to ensure that college aid is not cut in the middle of the school year. And nutrition funding for women and children struggling with the economic downturn and food prices.

“Nevertheless, we are debating a CR today because we did not complete the appropriations process. Believe me, it was not for lack of effort—the hardworking members and staff of the appropriations committee could tell you that.

“Rather, today’s outcome was a direct result of White House intransigence and political grandstanding. President Bush and his budget negotiators refused to compromise, refused to negotiate, refused to rethink their budget requests. President Bush would have us eliminate 50 education programs, including student financial aid. He would have us eliminate 20 programs to improve healthcare access. He would slash funds for our crumbling infrastructure, for law enforcement, and for energy research. That, and more, is the price President Bush asks us to pay to get appropriations bills passed. Mr. Speaker: that price is far too high.

“But now, a President who has grown government enormously and created record deficits, is paying lip service to fiscal conservatism. With his veto threat hovering over the entire appropriations process, stifling debate and compromise, that process simply could not continue while he remains in office. So we carry over funding levels into a new term.

“I know how many of my colleagues agree that we can and should devote more to education, to repairing our worn-down roads and bridges, to investing in energy technologies that can break our dependence on foreign oil. Those changes now await a new term and a new president.

“Today, though, I urge my colleagues to pass this continuing resolution and keep the government open for business.”
And here is the rest of it.

Tim Wise and White Priviledge

The subject of White Privilege is one of those things that completely scares the crap out of people to talk about. Time Wise, thankfully, has never been scared to talk about it and confront alot of people's refusals to do so.


*T**HIS IS** **Y**OUR** **N**ATION ON** **W**HITE** **P**RIVILEGE*
By Tim Wise


For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are
constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this
list will help.


White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin
and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a
personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents,
because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families
with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible,
pathological and arbiters of social decay.


White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin' redneck," like
Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with
you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot
shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a
great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.


White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years
like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then
returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no
one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a
person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and
probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative
action.


White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller
than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the
same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes
you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on
themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state
Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."?


White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God"
in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding
fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from
holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s
and the "under God" part wasn't added until the 1950s--while believing that
reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the
Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires
it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.?


White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people
immediately scared of you.?


White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an
extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union,
and whose motto was "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or
that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to
come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of
school, people immediately think she's being disrespectful.?


White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the
work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to
vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child
labor--and people think you're being pithy and tough, but if you merely
question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no
foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you're somehow
being mean, or even sexist.?


White privilege is being able to convince white women who don't even agree
with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate
anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired
confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a
"second look."?


White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support your
political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a
typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely
knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you
must be corrupt.?


White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose
pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George
W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian
nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological
principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict
in the Middle East is God's punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and
everyone can still think you're just a good church-going Christian, but if
you're black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin
Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often
the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism
and its effect on black people, you're an extremist who probably hates
America.?


White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a
reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a
"trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word
answers to the queries of Bill O'Reilly means you're dodging the question,
or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.?


White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything
at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and
experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it a "light" burden.?


And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow
someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent
of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their
homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world
opinion, just because white voters aren't sure about that whole "change"
thing. Ya know, it's just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more
years of the same, which is very concrete and certain?


White privilege is, in short, the problem.
And here is the rest of it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Journalist' Charges Dropped

About time.

From
FreePress:

St. Paul City Hall announced today that they are dropping all charges against journalists arrested while covering the protests outside the Republican National Convention -- including Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!

Your action made all the difference.

You and more than 62,000 other people signed our open letter demanding that the charges be dropped. The day after the convention, we delivered your signatures in person to the mayor of St. Paul.

Today’s great news happened because together, we responded quickly and spoke out strongly. This is your victory.

There were alot of people and organizations protesting those arrests. Speaking up works, especially if it puts people in the spotlight who don't want to be there.




And here is the rest of it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The press, Merkley, and the truth

One of the questions that a reporter asked Governor Roberts yesterday at the Jeff Merkley press conference was how could we reach those people who didn't know the truth. Her answer? The press itself holds the key to that. The facts are out there and easy to find. Don't spin them, report them. One of the stations last night ran a piece on the press conference and they ended it by saying that Merkley voted against the bill that the Governor signed, without any mention of the fact that the current statute of limitations, signed into law, is the one that Merkley voted for, not against. I wrote about that yesterday, so I won't repeat myself.

It just really irks the crud out of me when the press sits there and asks how we can get the truth out there, and then refuses to do it, instead spinning for drama. Why ask the question if you don't really care? I know they don't think we are stupid enough to believe that they are doing their job by asking that question, and then nothing more.

Anyhow, Kristi Gustafson, an Oregon police officer, is speaking out against the untruths fostered by Smith's campaign, and by default, Smith himself.

She says:

Smith's lies are despicable, and the truth is the exact opposite: Jeff Merkley supports mandatory life imprisonment for serial sex offenders and he voted to double the statute of limitations for sex crimes.

Jeff Merkley is a devoted husband and the father of two young children. Protecting them and keeping Oregon's families safe has always been his first priority. To say otherwise is flat-out wrong.






And here is the rest of it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Elephant has selective memory

You are entitled to your own opinions – but
you’re not entitled to your own facts.”
- Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY)




And here is the rest of it.

Gov. Roberts tells it like it is

I haven't written much about the Merkley campaign, partly because I wasn't writing on many campaigns, in general, and partly because so many others are doing a better job than I can. However, I feel the need to post for the same reasons I feel the need to post the truth about McCain: When presented with crap, that crap needs to be named and acknowledged. In this case, that name is Smith

Jeff Merkley's campaign held a press conference about an hour ago to address the bullsh** that is the commercial most recently released by the Smith camp. I won't even honor Smith by describing the commercial here. He doesn't deserve it. Suffice to say, it is the one about the statute of limitations.

There were numerous officials there, including Governor Roberts.

Here is a sampling of what she had to say:

"I have never never in Oregon seen anything like Gordon Smith's attacks against Jeff Merkley"

"They are simply not true."

And straight and to the point:

"These ads are simply lies."

She went on to explain that the bill that the Smith camp is harping on (and using to infer that Merkley favors rapists' rights over that of victims) was a bill written by four people, behind closed doors, without public input of any kind. Merkley was among several Democrats and Republicans who voted against that bill. Smith obviously leaves out those types of facts. The fact that Merkley voted in favor of the extension on the statute of limitations (and other like-legislation) that is now IN PLACE, also escapes Smith. We won't discuss Smith's own lack of support for making sure that law enforcement and first responders have what they need, in order to do what we demand of them.

Fortunately, as Governor Roberts mentions, Oregonians are not that stupid or easily fooled. The support that has flooded Merkley's office, in response to these ads, is amazing. If Smith wants to keep giving Oregonians incentive to get behind Merkley, I'm all for it. Keep it up. Somehow I doubt Smith is all of a sudden going to grow a pair and actually begin discussing actual issues.



And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Truth is truth is truth

A statement by the Obama campign:

"We will take no lectures from John McCain who is cynically running the sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern Presidential campaign history. His discredited ads with disgusting lies are running all over the country today. He runs a campaign not worthy of the office he is seeking."


Damn skippy.And here is the rest of it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

McCain: Smokescreens and anti-choice

From NARAL:

From phony attacks about gender politics to being for the 'bridge to nowhere' before being against it, the McCain-Palin campaign and its operatives have used one smokescreen after the other since securing their party’s nomination. Why? What are they hiding? Could it be their dangerously anti-choice records? Maybe they know what we know…that when pro-choice Republican and Independent women find out the truth, they will not support John McCain and Sarah Palin.


The extreme anti-choice base is energized. From James Dobson to anti-choice groups like “Feminists for Life,” since McCain picked the extreme anti-choice Palin as his running mate, the radical right has poured $10 million into their campaign.


And here is the rest of it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

McCain the Reality

I love Brave New Films.







There are more on their website. Evidently the fun never ends with McSame.

And here is the rest of it.

“Not all chronic diseases are equal"

Society can tend to be really fickle about most any subject you can name. Society, particularly Western (and in the United States to the nth degree!) society, also puts a tremendous amount of stock in how "productive" someone is, how hard they work. Put those two things together and you come up with varying degrees of what is considered a "legitimate" enough disease or condition, to warrant acceptance, empathy, or understanding (or heaven forbid, a loss of productivity). Patricia A. Fennell, MSW, LCSW-R, the CEO of Albany Health Management Associates, Inc has this to say about how illnesses are socially categorized, greatly impacting the level of care and resources available to those who suffer from invisible illnesses:

“Not all chronic diseases are equal. Some are more accepted than others,”

There are more than 80 autoimmune diseases, and many can be considered invisible, she says. But there are substantial differences in how individuals are viewed culturally and socially, depending on their diagnoses. Diabetes, lupus, heart disease, and cancer may all be considered invisible illnesses, but “no one would ever consider questioning the limitations of an individual who says [he or she has] one of these diseases,” notes Fennell. Yet, this happens frequently for those diagnosed with FM (Fibromyalgia) and CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), she says. According to The CFIDS Association of America, the condition’s name trivializes the illness as little more than tiredness, even though the illness is associated with a “constellation of debilitating symptoms.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, "CFS can be as disabling as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and congestive heart failure," and recognizes these conditions as legitimate medical diagnoses.

While invisible illnesses (and conditions) are gaining more acceptance and respect in the medical field (although not as much as it should), social acceptance has been much slower in recognizing them. This is particularly impacting when it may take years to get a diagnosis, while the person suffering is viewed as lazy, a complainer, or just a bad "worker" because they call in sick or can't move as fast as others. I remember constantly having to battle my employer over sick time, or changing my duties, etc. because the assumption was that I was making up excuses not to work. Having always been a highly productive worker in my life to that point, I even believed about myself, that I sucked as an employee (and person). I bought into the socially constructed norms that tell us there is something wrong with US when we cannot perform to its expectations.

From the 19th century on, sociological and economic models really attempted to define and recreate people as machines. The medical model of treatment relies heavily on this. "Fix" the machine and get it productive again. If it can't be fixed, ridicule or discard it. However, there is one really important thing that these models don't take into account: We are NOT machines. We are more than the sum of our parts, and a hell of alot more than what we "produce".

And here is the rest of it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Education and social priorities

I expect to see this kind of thing in rural school districts (doesn't make it right, just more commonly seen) but in a high school in the biggest city in Oregon?

And while we’re on the topic of Madison, middle grades and libraries, 88 eighth graders start at Madison High tomorrow, and the school has no library staff. They’re holding a fundraiser to get the position back. Also, word is that the Madison eighth grade academy has a severe shortage of clerical staff to register new eighth grade students who start school tomorrow, many without schedules.

How can you have a HIGH SCHOOL with no staff (librarian?)? Hello! And we wonder why Oregon keeps falling further and further behind in all of the educational success indicators? Why our prison population booms while our graduate numbers are nothing to brag about?

I've been meeting with legislators lately around funding for post-secondary education (always pitted against k-12...sneaky) and everyone I speak to "understands" what education means to the future well-being of our state, but no one seems able or willing to find a way to prioritize education the way it should be.

Yes I know that Oregon's revenue system sucks and will always be vulnerable to economic fluctuations without change. Well, why aren't we changing it? Last year, even the business community got behind (on paper anyway) revising the corporate minimum income tax to bolster our education budget. They understand what the difference between a well-educated and not-so-well-educated workforce means for their economic futures. So, where are the roadblocks? Where is our public will for a strong state and future? I don't have the answer to that. I do know, however, that we better damn well find it before that future gets here.

And here is the rest of it.

Public Service and the GOP

There is a really interesting article in the Nation that completely exposes the GOP's ridicule of public service for the hypocrasy that it was.

For the first time in American history, a major political party devoted a substantial portion of its national convention to attacking grassroots organizing. Speaking Wednesday at the Republican National Convention, former New York Governor George Pataki sneered, "[Barack Obama] was a community organizer. What in God's name is a community organizer? I don't even know if that's a job."

Then former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani delivered his own snickering hit job. "He worked as a community organizer. What? Maybe this is the first problem on the résumé," mocked Giuliani." Then he said, "This is not a personal attack. It's a statement of fact. Barack Obama has never led anything. Nothing. Nada."

A few minutes later, in her acceptance speech for the GOP vice presidential nomination, Sarah Palin declared, "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities."

The party of Ronald Reagan was touting government experience over civic engagement.

At a convention whose theme was "service," GOP leaders ridiculed organizing, a vital kind of public service that involves leadership, tough decisions, and taking responsibility for the well-being of people often ignored by government.

Palin, Giuliani and Pataki denigrated not only the tens of thousands of community organizers who help everyday citizens to participate in shaping their society and the millions of Americans who volunteer as community activists but also a long American tradition of collective self-help that goes back to the Boston Tea Party.

Visiting the United States in the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville observed in his Democracy in America, how impressed he was by the outpouring of local voluntary organizations that brought Americans together to solve problems, provide a sense of community and public purpose and tame the hyper-individualism that Tocqueville considered a threat to democracy. In the same speech in which Palin ridiculed Obama's organizing work, she touted her own experiences as a PTA volunteer and "hockey mom"--the very kinds of activities that Tocqueville praised and that community organizers support.



The party of "government sucks, let the private sector do it" evidently doesn't have much use for the private sector actually doing the work that the GOP says it SHOULD be doing. So, community organizers and those doing public service suck...government sucks. Well, which way is it? Can't have it both ways.

And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Invisible Awareness Week

From Invisible Illness.org

Have you heard about National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week? September 8-14, 2008 will feature 20 seminars via Blog Talk Radio, (4 per day, M-F) plus tons of people are helping spread the word by blogging about invisible illness issues. Do you get tired of hearing, “But you look so good?” or weary of the stares when you park in a handicapped spot? This is our chance to educate the public as well as remember we are not alone. Nearly 1 in 2 people in the USA live with an illness and 96% of it is invisible.

Schedules and links can be found at the Invisible Illness Conference homepage.And here is the rest of it.

Boxer on McCain

In response to McCain's "fighting" acceptance speech, Barbara Boxer replies:

Last night at the Republican National Convention, John McCain used the word "fight" more than 40 times in his speech.

In the 16 years that we have served together in the Senate, I have seen John McCain fight.

I have seen him fight against raising the federal minimum wage 14 times.

I have seen him fight against making sure that women earn equal pay for equal work.

I have seen him fight against a women's right to choose so consistently that he received a zero percent vote rating from pro-choice organizations.

I have seen him fight against helping families gain access to birth control.

I have seen him fight against Social Security, even going so far as to call its current funding system "an absolute disgrace."

And I saw him fight against the new GI Bill of Rights until it became politically untenable for him to do so.

John McCain voted with President Bush 95 percent of the time in 2007 and 100 percent of the time in 2008 -- that's no maverick.

We do have two real fighters for change in this election -- their names are Barack Obama and Joe Biden
And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Journalist arrests holding

From Democracy Now!

UPDATE Action Alert: DN! Journalists Facing Charges for Reporting on the
Republican National Convention

- Charges against Amy Goodman still hold; Nicole Salazar and Sharif
Abdel Kouddous could still be charged with FELONY RIOT
- Please take immediate action to have the charges dropped

CONTACT THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE - DEMAND THAT ALL CHARGES OR POTENTIAL CHARGES BE IMMEDIATELY DROPPED:


Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner
janet.hafner@co.ramsey.mn.us and
susan.gaertner@co.ramsey.mn.us
(cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)
651-266-3079

Susan Gaertner for Governor
info at susangaertner.com (cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)
(612) 978-8625
(612)804-6156

St. Paul Mayor Christopher B. Coleman
chris.coleman@ci.stpaul.mn.us
Bob.Hume@ci.stpaul.mn.us
sara.grewing@ci.stpaul.mn.us
(cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)

Make your voice heard in the Ramsey County Attorney and St. Paul Mayor’s
offices. Demand that they drop all pending and current charges against
journalists arrested while reporting on protests outside the Republican
National Conventions.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s office is in the process of deciding
whether or not to press felony P.C. (probable cause) riot charges
against Democracy Now! Producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole
Salazar. Please contact Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner by all
means possible to demand that her office not press charges against
Kouddous and Salazar.

The St. Paul City Attorney’s office has already charged Amy Goodman with
misdemeanor obstruction of a legal process and interference with a peace
officer. Contact St. Paul Mayor Christopher Coleman by all means
possible to demand that the charges against Goodman be dropped immediately.

Goodman was arrested while questioning police about the unlawful
detention of Kouddous and Salazar who were arrested while they carried
out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the
Republican National Convention.

During the demonstration in which the Democracy Now! team was arrested,
law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion
grenades and excessive force against protesters and journalists. Several
dozen demonstrators were also arrested during this action, as was a
photographer for the Associated Press.


IMPORTANT
Be sure to cc: dropthecharges@democracynow.org on all emails so that our
team can deliver print outs of your messages to the St. Paul City
Attorney, the Mayor and Ramsey County Attorney offices.

* Read Amy Goodman's latest column *

"Why We Were Falsely Arrested"

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080903_why_we_were_falsely_arrested/


And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Freedom of the Press, Take 2 and Take Action

FreePress has a petition targeting officials in St. Paul, demanding the release of journalists arrested this week, and the cessation of them being targeted.

Reports of journalists, bloggers and videomakers being arrested keep rolling in. The St. Paul police department's targeting of journalists, including Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and the I-Witness videomakers, is having a chilling effect on free speech as the city hosts the Republican National Convention.

Many in the mainstream media are ignoring these attacks on journalism -- and some independent media makers are still in jail. But in less than 24 hours, more than 35,000 people have signed our letter demanding that press intimidation cease immediately and that all charges against journalists be dropped.

This is an incredible response. Help deliver the message that a free press will not be intimidated!

Help Us Reach 50,000 Letters:
Take Action Now

And here is the rest of it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Arianna on Cindy McCain's comments



The McCains' comments also beg the question...Does wearing your GOP hat mean you are NOT already wearing your American hat?

RNC-So much for freedom of the press

You have GOT to be kidding me. If the GOP and RNC wants to continue to fool us into believing that we are not fast approaching a police state, this is not the way to do it.

ST. PAUL, MN—Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her. Video of her arrest can be seen here:



Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfully detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman's crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman's office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which they were arrested law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this action.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism's top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists from the nation's leading independent news outlet.

Democracy Now! is a nationally syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.


And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Who is this Sarah character anyhow?

Let's see.

  • She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.

  • Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.

  • She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000.

  • Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.

  • She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.

  • She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.

  • How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.

  • She hasn't paid "much attention" to Iraq.

  • She has ethics and wrong-doing baggage following her from Alaska.

  • LGBTQ rights? What rights?

I don't plan to give this woman much unearned media by writing about her very often, but a few details seemed to be in order. McCain picked her because she isn't a threat to him and because he is assuming that the women of this country will put gender for gender's sake ahead of their actual interests. Maybe some will...I don't know any of them, that's for sure.
And here is the rest of it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Right to Vote

And WHY will I be receiving a ballot in the mail in October, filling it out (the WHOLE thing people!) and mailing it back in?

Well, that would be because:


On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, was declared in effect. And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Greenland melting, melting, melting

Well heck...

WASHINGTON — In northern Greenland, a part of the Arctic that had seemed immune from global warming, new satellite images show a growing giant crack and an 11-square-mile chunk of ice hemorrhaging off a major glacier, scientists said Thursday.

And that's led the university professor who spotted the wounds in the massive Petermann glacier to predict disintegration of a major portion of the Northern Hemisphere's largest floating glacier within the year.

If it does worsen and other northern Greenland glaciers melt faster, then it could speed up sea level rise, already increasing because of melt in sourthern Greenland.

The crack is 7 miles long and about half a mile wide. It is about half the width of the 500 square mile floating part of the glacier. Other smaller fractures can be seen in images of the ice tongue, a long narrow sliver of the glacier.




And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Coquille and same-sex marriage

Just Out caught this piece from the Oregonian.

The Coquille Nation, in southern Oregon, has sanctioned same-sex marriage. I don't think the Oregonian's short piece does justice to the possible legal rumblings likely to be born of this, but I love the fact that there is anything IN the Oregonian about it! And here is the rest of it.

Rebuilding the Gulf Coast

I received this from the Color of Change. They call it bold, but as the message points out, boldness is not a new concept.

Three years after Hurricane Katrina, there's finally a bill in Congress that will give all Katrina survivors a fair chance to rebuild their lives. But it won't become law if your representative doesn't stand up to support it.

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Act would hire 100,000 Gulf Coast residents and evacuees, providing them with training and jobs to rebuild their homes and communities. It started as nothing more than a good idea, but after thousands of ColorOfChange.org members called on Congress to support the plan, and after years of persistent activism from students and Gulf Coast organizations, it now has a real chance of bringing some justice to the Gulf.

Even though it's come this far, it will take massive public pressure on each member of Congress to get the bill passed. If we want justice for Katrina survivors, we need to make our voices heard now as the media focuses its attention on the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Please join us and call on your member of Congress to co-sponsor the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, then ask your friends and family to do the same:

http://www.colorofchange.org/gulfcoast/

It's the right thing to do

The Gulf Coast is still struggling, suffering from a lack of jobs, affordable housing, and basic infrastructure.1

For the last three years, we've seen public officials accept--whether out of hopelessness or carefully concealed joy--that post-Katrina New Orleans will be a smaller, whiter and wealthier city. We've seen politicians support plans that will push Black and poor people out of the Gulf, amplifying race and class inequalities and permanently gentrifying the area.

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Act represents a powerful shift from that path. The plan calls for hiring 100,000 Gulf Coast residents to rebuild New Orleans and the surrounding region. They'll be provided with temporary housing and job-training and will build and repair houses, schools, parks, and other civic buildings.2

It's been done before

The idea behind the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project is not new. During the Great Depression, the federal government believed it had a responsibility to ensure that those hit hardest did not fall through the cracks.3 It also knew that those Americans wanted a hand up, not a handout. So, in 1935, Congress created a program to hire out-of-work Americans to get things done to benefit their communities. Within 2 weeks of launching this unprecedented project, over 800,000 people were hired; within 2 months, 4.2 million were working to build bridges, roads, libraries, schools and other public facilities. If we could put 4 million people to work in just 8 weeks in 1935, why can't we immediately put 100,000 people to work rebuilding the Gulf Coast?

It's a plan that makes sense--for displaced survivors, for the communities of the Gulf Coast, for the nation as a whole. It provides an opportunity to invest in Americans while reversing the most glaring problems that plague current rebuilding plans: gentrification, government waste, and massive corporate profiteering. It would revitalize the Gulf Coast's economy while rebuilding its infrastructure, and it's a model that could be applied to solve similar problems across the country.

ColorOfChange.org members should be proud that we've supported this plan since long before it was a bill in Congress. Getting it introduced as a bill was a great victory and a huge step forward, but it's going to take even more public pressure to get it voted on and passed.

Please join us and call on your representative to co-sponsor the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act. It only takes a minute:

http://www.colorofchange.org/gulfcoast/

And here is the rest of it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Promoting Inequality has a hefty price tag

CAUSA reports that:

Yesterday, it was reported that the State Financial Estimate Committee, comprised of four state officials and one local representative, put a price tag of $250 Million to Oregonians on Measure 58. The measure, placed on the November Ballot by anti-tax activist Bill Sizemore, would limit English language instruction to Oregon students to 2 years.

According to the numbers, Measure 58 would have a drastic impact on Oregon’s General Fund, slashing available funding for colleges and universities, health care, human services, public schools and public safety. In the tough economic times that Oregonians find themselves, Measure 58 would only add to hardship many already face.

So why will Measure 58 cost so much? According to the Financial Estimate Committee, $250 million will be spent in each of the first two years for training new “English immersion” teachers and aides for local school districts.

Well, with all of his sham anti-tax measures (because you know, he wants to save us our hard earned dollars), who exactly does he think will be paying for this crap? And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

McCain-Not pro-much a 'nothin

Doesn't seem so different to me.


NEW YORK -- John McCain has pitched himself as a different kind of Republican but not, apparently, when it comes to gay rights.

In a interview with the Conservative magazine Weekly Standard , McCain was asked if he was considering a pro-choice vice presidential pick like former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge. In his answer he volunteered Mike Bloomberg as an unworthy candidate:

"I think it's a fundamental tenet of our party to be pro-life but that does not mean we exclude people from our party that are pro-choice. We just have a -- albeit strong -- but just it's a disagreement. And I think Ridge is a great example of that. Far more so than Bloomberg, because Bloomberg is pro-gay rights, pro, you know, a number of other issues.


Anyone who thinks this man is a maverick or whatever, is plain kidding themselves. If it's up to him, I have neither rights as a woman nor as a lesbian. Tell me again how he will claim to lead my country (not to mention collect my taxes)?And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

No stagflation...Yippee?

From CNN Money:

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- With the price of practically everything jumping, you probably wouldn't mind getting a bigger paycheck.

But your employer isn't the only one who's unenthusiastic about that idea. Fed chief Ben Bernanke is counting on a weak labor market to keep employees from demanding wage hikes, which could in turn boost inflation. With unemployment rising and jobs moving overseas, you're probably not in the mood to push it anyway.

So the good news is that the Fed's probably right when it says that we're not headed for a replay of the stagflation of the 1970s, replete with its so-called wage-price spiral. Unfortunately, that means Americans are going to be feeling poorer - with no end in sight.

Ok, we should be happy to be avoiding stagflation, but which one of these is the lesser evil? Damn we need better choices. And here is the rest of it.

Domestic Partnerships Solid

This just arrived from Basic Rights Oregon:

In a unanimous decision issued this morning, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision dismissing our opponent’s claims in the Lemons v. Bradbury case. Thanks to your courage and unwavering support, Oregon's domestic partnership law is secure. There will be no referendum on the ballot this November.

More details at their website. For now, I need to go call my girlfriend.:) And here is the rest of it.