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April 21, 2006
From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...
Dear Washington, D.C. Monuments Commission. I would like to submit a design for the future George W. Bush Monument. It should be built out of the finest granite, so that it may forever symbolize the Bush legacy. Here is my design:
This is actual size, by the way. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely, Bill in Portland
Weekend...straight ahead!! Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Source: Daily Kos Blog
David Mariner, a consultant and activist from Silver Spring Maryland, is the coordinator of Out for Democracy. Out for Democracy (OFD) is a network of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) Progressive Democrats that began as Out for Dean.
Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher has had a busy month turning back the clock on equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people in his state.
First, on April 11th, he reversed the state's non-discrimination policy for state employees, making it legal once again to fire any state employees simply because of their sexual orientation. Many Americans don't realize that firing someone because they are gay or lesbian is perfectly legal in many parts of the country. Currently only 17 states prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and only nine states prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression. (want to know where your state stands? click here.)
Second, Gov. Fletcher is bending over backwards to direct state funds to a school that discriminates against LGBTI people. The University of the Cumberlands expelled a student earlier this month simply because he referred to himself as gay on a personal website and made reference to his boyfriend. Sophomore drama major Jason Johnson was forced to pack his bags and immediately leave the campus, though school officials later decided he could finish the semester before being expelled.
The Kentucky Fairness Alliance and the Kentucky Collegiate Coalition organized a rally in support of Jason. The Governor, however, had a different reaction. He staged a photo-op presenting a symbolic check to officials at the University of the Cumberlands promising them millions of dollars in earmarks he was instrumental in adding to the state's proposed budget.
The governor wants to give the University 11 million dollars to this Baptist-affiliated university, despite the fact that the Kentucky state constitution prohibits funding a church, sectarian or denominational school.
Students Take Action
Thankfully, students like Jason Johnson are increasingly standing up to discrimination in education. Thirty-three young adults are currently on a seven week bus tour to confront colleges and universities that discriminate against LGBTI people. Some of the students who are taking part in the effort have also been expelled from colleges because of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. The Equality Ride, sponsored by Soulforce, is modeled after the freedom rides of the fifties and sixties, and will take these students to 20 college campuses to challenge discrimination head-on. If you happen to be near Chicago, the Equality Riders are currently at Wheaton College, which on a personal note, is the college both of my sisters attended (clearly, they would not have wanted me).
Also next week half a million students, both gay and straight alike, are expected to participate in the National Day of Silence. The Day of Silence is a student-led day of action designed to confront anti-LGBTI bullying and harassment in schools. Students in Kentucky and all across the country will be taking a vow of silence to call attention to the many ways LGBTI students are silenced in our schools.
These events will undoubtedly go a long way to changing the hearts and minds of many Americans, but Governor Rindell is unlikely to change his ways any time soon. To find out how you can counter his efforts and take a stand for equality in Kentucky, visit The Kentucky Fairness Alliance.
April 20, 2006
Several DFA-Link groups offer reguarly-published print and online newsletters. We took a look into The Liberal Media last month, a newsletter printed by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign GenerationDFA group and distributed around their campus.
This month, we have the opportunity to peek into Gettysburg Area DFA's monthly newsletter (PDF). On the very first page, the Vice Chair of the group explains where to meet other Pennsylvania and national DFA supporters online. The next few pages go into the group's monthly businesslike the process for candidate endorsement and upcoming events.
And while there are none of Pat Robertson's Age-Defying Pancakes, there's solid content and clear instructions for joining the DFA-Link group in-person at their next general meeting and individual task force gatherings. Excellent example, GADFA!
Last week, Democracy for the Greater Glens Falls Area in Glens Falls, NY gathered for a meet-and-greet with Congressional candidate Kirsten Gillibrand. They also participated in a weekly peace vigil that takes place Saturday mornings at 11 am at the Five Corners in downtown Glens Falls.
The group is also invited to attend a 2006 Election Kickoff hosted by the Saratoga County Democratic Committee at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs on Monday, April 24 at 7 pm. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer will be the guest speaker, and Kristen Gillibrand will also attend.
Philly for Change joined Liberty City and Philadelphians Against Santorum last week to protest the Senators views on immigration and gay rights. The event took place to show "business owners, who taut themselves as liberal or gay-friendly, but then financially support Rick Santorum and other radical right-wing politicians, that were not buying their goods," Philly for Change organizer Jennifer Murphy said.
DFA groups in the Philadelphia area will meet with DFA Chair Jim Dean at a fundraiser in Narberth, PA. He will host a conversation on political activism at the home of Mark Aronchick.
Montco DFA in Elkins Park, PA will work with the Chester County Democratic Coalition to help get progressive candidate Andy Dinniman elected to the PA Senate in a Special Election to be held on May 16.
All of those involved with New Jersey for Democracy are invited to attend the statewide meeting on April 22, at Raritan Valley Community College at 11 am. The meeting will serve as a way to launch the brand-new statewide GenerationDFA group.
Bergen Grassroots launched the first antiwar billboard campaign in Bergen County, New Jersey. Bergen Grassroots member Paul Eisenman said "we have launched this advertising campaign to underscore our commitment to continuing to pressure the Bush administration, as well as our Congressional representatives in the 5th and 9th Districts, to bring the troops home from Iraq NOW."
I sincerely hope that Americans won't allow President Bush to be 'the decider' on how to deal with Iran's nuclear program. The president's chilling statement regarding the issue ran in the New York Times this week. Should diplomacy fail, he declined to rule out a nuclear attack in order to stop Iran from building atomic weapons. "All options are on the table," Bush said, adding that officials were working hard "to solve this issue diplomatically."
In turn, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his country's military to be "constantly ready," and warned that Iran would "cut off the hand of any aggressor." However, he underlined that Iran would not be aggressive unless provoked.
Last week, The Huffington Post's Cenk Uygur explained the chaos that will unwind if the US is to wage a war against Iran.If you liked gas at three dollars a gallon, you'll love it at five dollars or more. If you liked fighting 26 million people in Iraq, you'll love fighting 68 million in Iran. If you liked turning Sunni Muslims against us, you'll love turning Sunni and Shiite Muslims against us. If you liked war in the Persian Gulf, you'll love war all over the Middle East.
If you thought things were bad now, wait till Iran retaliates against our air strikes by bombing Israel. When Israel strikes back, the whole Middle East will have to get sucked into the war. And then the fun really starts.
Do any of you have any confidence that George W. Bush knows what he's doing when he contemplates starting a war with Iran? Do any of you believe he has carefully thought out all the possibilities and has a plan for every contingency?
I don't care how Republican you are, that is an inconceivable thought. No one could believe that's true. The man who lost New Orleans and accidentally started a civil war in Iraq is going to have a sound strategy for Iran?
Three years ago, Bush 'decided' to invade Iraq. Since then, 2,364 US soldiers have lost their lives, as well as 208 foreign soldiers, 314 private contractors, 4435 US-backed Iraqi police and military, and 86 journalists. Over 17,500 US troops have been wounded, 600 of which suffer from severe brain injuries. Also, more than 500,000 Iraqi deaths have resulted directly and indirectly from military violence.
Bush 'decided' to invade Iraq based on evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction, as well as "biological labratories" in Iraq. It is now certain that not only was there no evidence, but also that the trailers suspected to contain these "biological labratories" were in no way related to the production of biological weapons. A field report stating so had been issued to Washington two days before Bush 'decided' that such weapons of mass destruction and "biological laboratories" did exist.
Bush 'decided' to invade Iraq with or without a UN resolution. Last month, a confidential memo written by Tony Blair's top foreign policy adviser was released to the New York Times. The memo states that, in a meeting between Bush and Blair that occurred on Janurary 31, 2003, the President made clear that he was determined to invade Iraq, regardless of whether or not UN weapons inspectors discovered "unconventional" weapons. At that time, Bush had already chosen March 10, 2003 as "the day the bombing would begin," and diplomatic strategy was arranged entirely around that date.
So, when Bush assures Americans that his goal is to solve the Iran issue "diplomatically," forgive me for not believing a word of it. I fear for what he might have already 'decided' to do.
Larry Lindsey on the "benefits" of "regime change" in Iraq:
As for the impact of a war with Iraq, "It depends how the war goes." But he quickly adds that that "Under every plausible scenario, the negative effect will be quite small relative to the economic benefits that would come from a successful prosecution of the war."
"The key issue is oil, and a regime change in Iraq would facilitate an increase in world oil," which would drive down oil prices, giving the U.S. economy an added boost.
Oil prices leapt above $72 a barrel Wednesday, settling at a record high for the third straight day after a government report showed shrinking U.S. gasoline supplies and traders fretted about nuclear tensions between Iran and the international community.
You were saying Mr. Lindsey?
Appearing this afternoon on MSNBC's Hardball, White House Counselor Dan Barlett adamantly denied that anyone in the administration claimed that the Iraq war would lead to lower gas prices.
. . . As Matthews noted later in the broadcast, Laurence Lindsey - President Bush's senior economic advisor at the time -- argued in 2002 that the Iraq war would increase oil supplies and lower prices.
Source: Daily Kos Blog
DOBBS: Staff changes at the White House, a drumbeat of criticism at the Pentagon, and...
In my view if everyone stopped buying gasoline, getting their cars repaired and getting convenience...
Help Needy Monterey Families and Children
Children's Services International is a unique and wonderful local non-profit that serves homeless and low-income families and children throughout Monterey County. csichildcare.org
Call to participate 3-6pm PT:
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