Saturday, July 30, 2005

It isn’t always about politics

Someone in the family just purchased a nice RV, so I am going to tag along with my camera on a trip to the Port Townsend area… which is one of my favorite places to go anyway. We are going to get together with the kids and Grandkids for the day, and perhaps spend the night if there is space available on short notice.

The Pacific Northwest weather has been summer nice all week and promises to continue that way through the week end with a minor cooling trend into Monday and Tuesday. The annual road trip is coming up next week end, and a trip to Eastern Washington a few weeks after that, so the lazy pace of retirement is beginning to pick up somewhat.

Enjoy your week end as much as possible.

Friday, July 29, 2005

On second thought...

A lady walks into a drug store and tells the pharmacist she needs some Cyanide. The pharmacist said, "Why in the world do you need Cyanide?"

The lady then explained she needed it to poison her husband. The pharmacist's eyes got big and he said, "Lord have mercy, I can't give you cyanide to kill your husband! That's against the law! I'll lose my license, they'll throw both of us in jail and all kinds of bad things will happen! Absolutely not, you can NOT have any Cyanide!"

Then the lady reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist's wife. The pharmacist looked at the picture and replied, "Well now, you didn't tell me you had a prescription!"

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Let's talk about election transparency

Update - Tabulation results appear odd for July 26 election

Jim March, a member of the Black Box Voting board of directors, was arrested Tuesday evening for trying to observe the Diebold central tabulator (vote tallying machine) as the votes were being counted in San Diego's mayoral election (July 26).

According to Jim Hamilton, an elections integrity advocate from San Diego, he and March visited the office of the registrar of elections earlier in the day. During this visit, March made two requests, which were refused by Mikel Haas, the San Diego Registrar of elections.

1) March asked that the central tabulator, the computer that tallies up the votes from all the precincts, be positioned so that citizens could observe it. According to Hamilton, this would have required simply moving a table a few feet.

2) March also asked for a copy of the ".gbf" files -- the vote tally files collected during the course of tabulation – to be provided for examination after the election.

During the tallying of the election, the Diebold computer was positioned too far away for citizens to read the screen. Citizens could not watch error messages, or even perceive significant anomalies or malfunctions.

Unable to see the screen, March went into the office where the tabulator was housed. Two deputies followed him and escorted him out.

According to Hamilton: "He was not belligerent, not at all. After he went inside the tabulator room he came [was escorted] out and he said learly 'I’m not resisting.' They handcuffed him, took him out of the building. They put him in a squad car. They’re going to take him to the police station, book him and take him to jail," said Hamilton. "He’s getting charged with a felony, 'interfering with an election official.'"

March's actions are the culmination of two years of increasing frustration with the refusal of election officials to respond to security deficiencies in the voting machines. The software that tallies the votes in San Diego is made by Diebold Election Systems, a company that has already paid the state of California $2.8 million for making false claims, due to a lawsuit filed by March and Black Box Voting founder Bev Harris.

On July 4, a report was released by European computer security expert Harri Hursti, revealing that the Diebold voting system contains profound architectural flaws. "It is open for business," says Hursti, who demonstrated the flaws on Leon County, Florida Diebold machines. He penetrated the voting system in less than five minutes, manipulating vote reports in a way that was undetectable.

Despite the critical security alert issued by Hursti, San Diego County sent 713 voting machines home with poll workers, increasing the risk that the "memory cards" housed in the machines could be hacked, and removing the argument that "inside access" was carefully safeguarded.

The arrest of Jim March underlines a fundamental problem facing Americans today as, increasingly, they lose the ability to monitor, verify, or watch any part of the counting process.


Sob stories mask a giveaway for the super wealthy

When, a non-partisan watchdog group, questions the accuracy of a political advertisement, it normally does so in dry language. It might call an ad "misleading," or even "inaccurate."

But when Factcheck focused on ads by an anti-estate tax group, the American Family Business Institute, it opted for more colorful prose, calling them "malarkey."

The word choice is a play on the name of the ad's narrator, World War II veteran Donald Malarkey. But it's also a dig at the ads' contents, which make it sound as if it's no longer safe to pass away. "When you die," one ad warns, "the IRS can bury your family in crippling tax bills. It can cost them everything."

What it doesn't say is that the vast majority of people listening won't even be taxed when they die. Nor does it say that most estate taxes are paid by the very wealthy.

Read the entire account

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"Turd Blossom" inappropriate?

Some Papers Pull, Edit 'Doonesbury' Strip After 'Turd Blossom' Reference

But...not Slate

An open letter to Labor Union Leadership

It is extremely bothersome to me that Labor Union membership has declined to 8% of the American labor force (or less). As a retiree, I am obviously no longer in a position to worry about how union membership might affect my future career and quality of life, but I am not too old to realize that my current quality of life (which is comfortable) would have been far below the standard I enjoy had it not been for labor unions.

Even though I only joined the union when my employment required it, I was always willing to accept the benefits that became the standard in most work places because those benefits were negotiated into existence. Whether part of the membership or not, I was always represented by a labor union.

In this time of economic hardship for the work force and record breaking profits for the corporations, I would like to propose a partial solution to the dilemma faced by dwindling union membership.

The strength of the labor union has always been, and always will be in the vast numbers of its membership. If it doesn’t already exist, I would propose establishing two levels of supporting membership (a reduced fee supporting level that carries no ability to vote and a full fee supporting level that carries the ability to vote) that will assist with rebuilding the rank and file. Supporting members will be able to participate in picket line activities, and will ensure that a boycott against labor hostile companies has the ability to affect the bottom line more severely. Additionally, supporting membership will allow those retirees feeling useless and cast aside to step up one more time in support of the economic future of this faltering, once great Nation.

The benefits of union membership must be aimed toward improving the quality of life for each member and his/her family. If an infusion of supporting members brings additional money and opportunity to that process, it will benefit everyone involved. I, for one, would like to see an environment of people helping people re-established in average America, and honesty, integrity, and genuine caring rewarded rather than scoffed at or punished by those supposedly representing our interests.

I look forward to a thoughtful discussion on this concept.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Reality check on popularity of war in Iraq

Military Update: Personnel chiefs talk around war's unpopularity

(Excerpt from Daily Press) Thanks to Buzzflash

Snyder, the panel's senior Democrat, finally raised what other lawmakers, two senior defense officials and 10 star-rank officers ignored in their remakes - perhaps in deference to President Bush or to protect troop morale.

"I don't think I agree with the view that somehow all we have to do is change the news reporting that comes from Iraq and Afghanistan, and that's going to take care of our problems," Snyder said. "First of all, there ain't no one in this room going to change the news reporting. These folks are professional journalists. They're reporting what they think is the news. But there's a deeper issue."

An advantage of civilian control of the military, he said, is that the commander in chief and Congress - not the military - are responsible if force is used in ways not supported by a large segment of society. That division in the nation doesn't make military service any less noble or honorable, Snyder said, but it shouldn't be ignored. He hears about it, he said, from parents who have children serving in Iraq but who opposed the invasion of Iraq.

"We need to step forward and recognize that even in this time of disagreement over where our foreign policy is going, it helps all of us to have the military be as strong as it can be," he said.

(My Comments)

Congressional Democrats have nothing to lose and everything to gain by standing tall and speaking truth in the hallowed halls. Dennis Kucinich has shown the way since the Iraq invasion began, and it is always good to see others testing the waters.

The difficulty is never with the is always in the energy required to maintain the lie (as Karl Rove and his pack of butt buddies are beginning to understand).


This is the picture I should have included with the previous post. If you haven't investigated the website, I highly recommend that you do. In this world of heart rending political crapola, it helps to be able to have someone specific to root for. My heart suffers for victims everywhere, so Symone's recovery helps me look forward on particularly dark days.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

A tug at my heart

The story of Simone

On Friday morning, June the 24th 2005 at 3am, she suffered a tragic accident and accidentally fell 70 feet from the top floor of a shopping centre. Fortunately an ambulance was at the scene at the time and one of the officers was experienced in intensive, critical care. She was in the hospital within 15 minutes of her fall. Had that not happened she would have most certainly died. Symone suffered a serious brain injury. Her brain was severely bruised and swollen and we were told that one small part of her brain had already died. This was allegedly in the right hemisphere of the brain and in a part of the brain that was the least used. (Note: this may now not be true - see Updates).

The doctors operated immediately and removed part of her skull to relieve the massive brain pressure she was experiencing, as well as a large blood clot. Since that time, for the first week following her accident, they regularly drained brain fluid to keep her pressure down. She remained in an induced coma for 2 weeks so that the brain could begin to heal. Miraculously she suffered no other organ damage or broken bones except for a crushed vertebrae. There were no nerves severed in her back.

Symone appeared to be steadily improving in the first week following her injury with her brain pressure levels stabilizing to slightly above normal. She even seemed to respond to external stimuli. However she suffered a setback on the night of July the 2nd when her brain pressure rose dramatically and she developed a high fever. This, combined with other symptoms she was experiencing, caused the doctors to fear that she may have suffered damage to the central part of her brain known as the Hypothalamus. See its functions below...

(hi-po-thal-ms) , an important supervisory center in the brain, rich in ganglia, nerve fibers, and synaptic connections. It is composed of several sections called nuclei, each of which controls a specific function. The hypothalamus regulates body temperature, blood pressure, heartbeat, metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, and sugar levels in the blood. Through direct attachment to the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus also meters secretions controlling water balance and milk production in the female. The role of the hypothalamus in awareness of
pleasure and pain has been well established in the laboratory. It is thought to be involved in the expression of emotions, such as fear and rage, and in sexual behaviors. Despite its numerous vital functions, the hypothalamus in humans accounts for only 1⁄300 of total brain weight, and is about the size of an almond. Structurally, it is joined to the thalamus; the two work together to monitor the sleep-wake cycle."

Present Time

Right now there are literally tens of thousands of people from all over the world praying for Symone's recovery. This is partially due to the many friends she has worldwide, her father's business connections with Reverse Speech, and also the notice placed on the Jeff Rense radio show website.

Symone faces a long battle in front her of many months, if not years, to recover from this injury. We will be using traditional methods of healing as well as alternate remedies. She commenced "Sound Therapy" on Monday July the 4th, hypnotic healing inductions have already been used (Click here for more information on hypnosis), Remote healing (Click here), as well as some Reiki treatment (Click here for more information on Reiki). Other treatments will begin over the next few weeks

Crimes against humanity

Minor Misconduct

(Excerpt from Mother Jones)

While its certainly not as sexy of a story as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's conflict of interest surrounding nutritional supplements, The House Energy and Commerce Committee recently announced that they had been told by the director of the National Institute of Health that investigators recently found 44 scientists who violated the agency's conflict of interest rules. Nine of the cases have been deemed serious enough to be investigated for criminal wrongdoing.

In June, the prestigious British scientific journal Nature published a study suggesting that close to one-third of American scientists have engaged in "questionable practices." The most widely engaged in misconduct was the relatively minor offense of inadequate record-keeping. But unsettlingly large numbers of scientists admitted to more serious matters like changing a study because of pressure from a funding source (15.5 percent) or overlooking other studies with weak methodology or data (12.5 percent).

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Redefining Honesty and Integrity

Muffled No Longer, Rowley Runs for Congress
Speaking of suicide bombers, FBI agent did—before 9-11—but superiors in D.C. didn't listen

(Excerpt from Village Voice)

Think how devastating it would have been in November 2004. And this is an internal report, mind you. Coleen Rowley made the report's first page:
One of the key questions arising after the attacks was what information the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) knew before September 11 that was
potentially related to the terrorist attacks. On May 21, 2002, Coleen Rowley,
the Chief Division Counsel in the FBI's Minneapolis Field Office, wrote a
13-page letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller in which she raised concerns about
how the FBI had handled certain information in its possession before the

Oops. But too bad if you want to learn more. The rest of that intro (see top photo) was redacted by regime officials, because it concerns Moussaoui. The report's entire chapter on Moussaoui is also blacked out—yes, still blacked out even though Moussaoui finally pled guilty last April.
To refresh your memory, read Rowley's May 21, 2002, memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller; a redacted (of course) version was posted by Time. In it, Rowley told Mueller:

The issues are fundamentally ones of INTEGRITY and go to the heart of the FBI's law enforcement mission and mandate.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Stomp on the weak and hurdle the dead

Washington State Seeking Liens Against Medicaid Patients


SEATTLE -- Washington state officials are going to start seeking liens against Medicaid patients' estates to recover costs of long-term care -- even if the patient has deeded the property to
relatives or others. Liens are allowed under a new law that closes a loophole some Medicaid patients have used to keep their homes out of the state's reach. The law applies to all such property transfers made after June 30. It also clears the way for the state to file liens on property while terminal patients are still in a nursing home or the hospital.

More of the Bush Legacy?

Yen Soars After China Ends Its Decade-Long Peg to the Dollar

Monday, July 18, 2005

Repelling the corporate butt buccaneers

Pirates of the Corporation
News: Holding American companies responsible for high crimes committed overseas.
By Joshua Kurlantzick
July/August 2005 Issue

(Excerpt from Mother Jones)

No plaintiff has yet won an ATCA case against a company, but Collingsworth has persisted, pitting his small staff against the nation’s white- shoe firms and weathering appeal after appeal. (“At no point did I feel their 180 lawyers gave them an advantage,” he says staunchly.) In December, he facilitated the first legal settlement under the ATCA by a multinational company—a payout by Unocal to the Burmese villagers. After the Supreme Court determined that the law could indeed be used against companies, Unocal agreed to pay the villagers a sum in the tens of millions.

Elliot Schrage, a former senior vice president at Gap who is now at the Council on Foreign Relations, believes this was a turning point. “The Unocal settlement legitimates the idea that [ATCA] is a real business risk,” he says. So serious a risk, in fact, that big business and the White House have gone on the offensive to undermine it.

Multinationals have grouped together to file briefs seeking to scuttle ATCA cases, and the National Foreign Trade Council, an organization of corporate giants, has been touting a study warning that ATCA suits could “seriously damage the world economy.” Another study cautions that the threat of ATCA suits could discourage companies from rebuilding countries like war-torn Iraq. Some companies have considered drafting legislation that could kill or seriously limit the ATCA—legislation that could be pushed through Congress with little fanfare. Yet Collingsworth thinks there’s still time to win settlements or decisions in other cases. “The business community,” he says, “doesn’t yet have a champion to stand up and say they’re repealing a statute that prohibits slavery [and] dates back to the nation’s founding.”

The White House has launched its own backdoor strike on the law, filing briefs and letters in support of companies accused in ATCA cases. The administration argues that the suits will damage America’s relations with other countries and impede the war on terror. In one letter obtained by Mother Jones, the State Department’s legal adviser, William H. Taft IV, claimed that an ATCA suit against mining giant Rio Tinto’s operations in Papua New Guinea would damage “an important United States foreign policy objective”—evidently U.S. relations with that obscure island nation have become a critical diplomatic matter. Other corporate defendants are now requesting that the State Department intervene with letters in their favor.

As Schrage has put it, “The message of these actions appears to be that the Bush administration opposes enforcement of international law standards against multinational corporations.” But the White House may be motivated by something more than unilateralism. The ATCA “is a real problem for this government,” notes Sarah Cleveland, an ATCA expert at the University of Texas School of Law. For, as some Iraqis and Afghans have begun to realize, a law that holds corporations responsible for torture and abuse just might do the same for government officials.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

More Congressional Hard Work

Culture of Life (Toxic Womb Edition!)

(Excerpt from Mother Jones)

This from the executive summary:
Researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group. The umbilical cord blood of these 10 children, collected by Red Cross after the cord was cut, harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage.

Garbage!? Among the compounds discovered are eight perfluorochemicals used as stain and oil repellants in fast food packaging, clothes and textiles, dozens of widely used brominated flame retardants and their toxic by-products, and numerous pesticides. Now, admittedly 10 babies doesn't sound like a very scientific sample, though they were picked at random; still, the results are suggestive, to say the least, and indicate that somebody should be, you know, looking into this.

Again, from the exec. summary:

Had we tested for a broader array of chemicals, we would almost certainly have detected far more than 287. But testing umbilical cord blood for industrial chemicals is technically challenging. Chemical manufacturers are not required to divulge to the public or government health officials methods to detect their chemicals in humans.

This is too bad, because "U.S. industries manufacture and import approximately 75,000 chemicals, 3,000 of them at over a million pounds per year. Health officials do not know how many of these chemicals pollute fetal blood and what the health consequences of in utero exposures may be."

There ought to be a law against it! But, alarmingly ...

The Toxic Substances Control Act, the 1976 federal law meant to ensure the safety of commercial chemicals, essentially deemed 63,000 existing chemicals "safe as used" the day the law was passed, through mandated, en masse approval for use with no safety scrutiny. It forces the government to approve new chemicals within 90 days of a company's application at an average pace of seven per day. It has not been improved for nearly 30 years — longer than any other major environmental or public health statute — and does nothing to reduce or ensure the safety of exposure to pollution in the womb.

Looks like we might want to give the law a bit of a rethink, for, as EWG notes (and I think we can all agree):

As a society we have a responsibility to ensure that babies do not enter this world pre-polluted, with 200 industrial chemicals in their blood.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Miscellaneous Quotes

For one man, the truth would be as painful as his anal cysts.

From Troutman

96.37% of all statistics are made up. - Kevin D. Quitt

History is made at night. Character is what you are in the dark. - Lord John Whorfin

The wise man never argues with the fool; casual observers may not be able to tell which is which.

If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable. - John Kennedy

If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you.

An ounce of pretention is worth a pound of manure.

A good idea doesn't care who has it, and neither should you.

I'm not cynical - just experienced.

Democracy is the worst possible political system, except for all the others.

You can lie with statistics, but not to a statistician.

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. - Isaac Asimov

It is impossible to prepare simultanteously for war and peace and still have time for golf.

Opinion - knowledge without the hindrance of silly facts.

The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Democrats speak on Bush protecting Rove

Why Is Bush Protecting This Man?

Posted by Jesse Berney on July 12, 2005 at 06:25 PM


George Bush campaigned as someone who would "restore honor and integrity" to the office of the Presidency. As President, George Bush told his senior staff that they must "avoid even the appearance" of ethical violations. Recently it has become clear that this was all empty rhetoric.

Karl Rove, one of Bush's closest friends and Senior Advisor potentially violated the law when he disclosed the identity of an undercover CIA agent. Ever since the leak was announced in 2003, the White House has defended Karl Rove. They have called the claims Rove was the leak" ridiculous." At the same time, George Bush was saying that if there were a leak they the leak would be "taken care of" and criminal charges would be filed.

Now, President Bush has a tough choice to make: does he protect the man who constructed his rise to power, or does he keep his promise to the American people?

Be sure to read all the comments.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The voting question

Your next vote will most likely be counted (perhaps more than once), but for whom will it count?

The issue of black box voting is not yet close to being resolved although many problems are being uncovered and disclosed by heroic investigators working diligently on the voter's behalf.

Take some time to read about the things you won't find in the media until the angry roar from the voters forces the issue.

Read about it here.

Catching up with reality

Mr. Natural, over at Left Edge North, reminded me to take a look at Driftglass this morning, where the past couple posts are always worth a serious read and today is no exception.

Katharine, over at Cut to the Chase, has already taken some time out of her busy day to post a couple interesting items, and Karlo, over at Swerve Left, has written about the arrest of Leonard Clark, a member of the Arizona Army National Guard arrested for his political beliefs while serving in Iraq.

All of these blogs are worth reading and the links they share are worth following

More Fraud, Waste, and serious Abuse

Reforming California's Prisons: An Interview With Jackie Speier

News: The state senator is working to hold California's powerful corrections department to account.

Interviewed By Lisa Katayama
July 7, 2005

(Excerpt from Mother Jones article)

In April of this year, Jackie Speier spent the night at Valley State Prison for Women to find out for herself what the living conditions in a California women's prison were like. Having recently visited Valley State myself as an attorney representative for California Prison Focus, I was curious to hear about her experience, and to find out more about the reforms she was pursuing.

(My Comments)

If you don’t have a friend or family member currently riding out a hitch in the pen, you are among the few. The prison industrial complex has long been competing with the military industrial complex as a vehicle to siphon taxpayer funds into corporate coffers. This article focuses on California’s prison system, but a little research will uncover a vast number of articles directed toward the high cost of corruption permeating the prison system in most (if not all) other states.
The war on drugs has filled our prisons from sea to shining sea with non-violent offenders who should be working out their social problems in a way that allows them to continue caring for their families, and contributing to their communities in positive ways rather than adding to the financial burden of a constantly increasing prison industry.
Please check this out, and add your voice to the demand for common sense solutions to a situation that is already out of control.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Doing God's work

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.
He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble.
At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.
He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered."Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.”Of course, sir, come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up."The man gestured, and the gate began to open."Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked."I'm sorry; sir, but we don't accept pets."
The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence.As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book."Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?""Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in.""How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog."There should be a bowl by the pump."
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.
When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree."What do you call this place?" the traveler asked."This is Heaven," he answered."Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.""Oh, you mean the place with the golden streets and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell.""Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"
"No, we're just happy that they screen out the Republicans."

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Common Sense at Work

A Liberal Minor League
Progressive Majority says the left needs to develop a good farm system if it is to take back Congress.

by George Howland Jr.

(Excerpt From Seattle Weekly article)

2005 is an off year. There are no regularly scheduled elections for Congress, and liberal Democrats cannot do anything about conservative Republicans' complete and total domination of the federal government, right? Wrong, says Dean Nielsen, state director of Progressive Majority. This year, Nielsen says, liberals need to get busy building the farm team. "If we have any hope of taking back congressional seats," says Nielsen, "we have to start at the local level." Seventy-five percent of the members of Congress were once locally elected officials—members of city councils, county councils, port commissions, and school boards. For instance, nine out of 11 of Washington's congressional delegation began their political careers in local office. If Democrats want to take back the majority in Congress, Nielsen says, they need a pool of locally elected officials who are hungry to move up to the big leagues. "We believe in investing in people," he says.

Progressive Majority is an independent organization devoted to recruiting and training liberal candidates. After the 2000 election, when conservative Republicans ended up in control of the White House and Congress, Democrats began figuring out what had gone wrong. Progressive Majority was founded the following year in D.C. with the help of liberal members of Congress, including Washington's senior U.S. senator, Patty Murray. Most of the group's funding comes from wealthy individuals and labor unions. In 2004, Progressive Majority opened state chapters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington. It has since added chapters in Colorado and Arizona.

(My Comments)

There are many local Democrats out of office by virtue of having lost the last election. Some of these people are seasoned politicians and worthy of support should they be convinced to step up one more time. Talk to them…write about them…then support them however possible should they answer the call.

Do not neglect to consider the Independents or third party candidates either. All people of honesty and integrity need to be encouraged in their political endeavors. Only by purging the system of the political blight we now suffer by infusing local politics with those truly concerned with the common good will we begin to see an end to the corruption that is nurtured and fertilized by many current office holders.


The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a Courthouse?
You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery"
and "Thou Shall Not Bear False Witness" in a building full of lawyers, judges
and politicians.

It creates a hostile work environment.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Abolish election theft

It really doesn’t matter which issue you decide to pour your energy into if the ability to steal elections is not addressed and resolved first. Every blogger should realize the importance of carrying links to voting issues on the sidebar or in a weekly post. If you don’t make it a point to visit Black Box Voting on a regular basis, this issue just might slip from your mind until 2006 when the voters are once again burned at the voting booth. Please don’t let lack of interest occur on your watch.

Voting for Reform

News: For progressive Democrats, fixing the electoral system is job number one.
By Jeff Fleischer
June 21, 2005

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Twisted Tunes

The Bob Rivers Show features a Twisted Tunes Audio Player that currently lists four songs related to Independence Day. Go take a listen to “Burgers on the Grill” or “Burned on the Bar-B-Q”. I think these are the best of the four. You can also select something from the archives.

KZOK 102.5 FM in Seattle is where this show originates. It is definitely a place to spend some time.

Good to be home

This should have been my first post after coming home from a great trip to the ocean, but the article on domestic violence begged to be heard. I hope you read it all, and I hope you feel as I do toward those able to assert their manliness only in the presence of submissive women and children… of course you do, or you probably wouldn’t find anything of interest in the topics that populate this blog.

The picture is of a Southwest Washington beach at sundown. Thirty minutes later, it was dark except for the brief colorful flashes from skyward bound explosives expressing our ability to carry on under the threat of terror. The fireworks displays continued long after I had tasted the bottom of my last White Russian, and was snuggled deep into my sleeping bag.

I managed to work in a face to face meeting with the author of Left Edge North and his lovely wife, Ellen, during this much enjoyed getaway. We were forced to hold our meeting at Doc’s Tavern in Ocean Park because the Republicans refused to allow the use of Congressional meeting rooms for progressive purposes. Joe and Ellen seem to be great people, and I am pleased that we were able to get together for a brief time. Perhaps we will manage to do so again.

It is good to be home with a wonderful road trip behind me, and the prospect of Karl Rove being exposed as “the best argument for abortion” possibly only days ahead.

Domestic Violence: the measure of politics

Domestic Violence is the reflection of a moral society cast through the looking glass of our State and National Legislators. DV is a societal character trait that emanates downward from the character of those who lead us. The DV husband obsessive about having absolute control over all in his domain is little different than the Majority Party obsessive about absolute control in every aspect of Government.

The Lesson of Tacoma

Commentary: How should the Supreme Court and Congress address domestic violence? Tacoma, Washington, offers answers gleaned from tragedy.

By Russ Rymer
July/August 2005 Issue

(Excerpt from Mother Jones)

…Complicity in violence takes many forms. President Bush’s recent budgets underfunded Violence Against Women Act programs by $40 million a year, a Center for Disease Control rape-prevention program by $36 million a year, and grants for battered women shelters by $49 million a year below their authorizations. When the Violence Against Women Act comes up for renewal this fall, its funding may again be cut. And Senator Murray’s 2004 amendment went down to defeat, opposed by anti-abortionists who felt that the measure, in addressing the abuse of women, deflected attention from what Rep. George Nethercutt (R-Wash.) called “the ultimate victims of domestic violence,” fetuses. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce likewise opposed the amendment, on the grounds that businesses might find some of its common-sense provisions expensive. Among those were proposals to extend job protection and family-leave privileges to women forced to take refuge in shelters or called to testify in court, thus interrupting the vicious cycle in which batterers force women to lose their jobs, trapping them further in financial dependence on their tormentors. Murray countered the Chamber’s claims with data showing the cost to business of domestic abuse. That cost accrues to almost 8 million lost workdays and $3 to $5 billion in health care annually, not to mention the price of extra security, since 75 percent of abused women are harassed at their workplaces and 20 percent of workplace homicides are committed by intimate partners