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Fred Phelps is an ass.  A hateful, vile, waste of space.  There, that’s as angry as I’ll be getting…hopefully.  Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church lunatics (mostly relatives of his) are planning on coming to San Diego within the week to spew forth their despicable ramblings, and thankfully San Diego folks are not going to let it take place without responding.  Mind you, PEACEFUL responses, without engaging these imbeciles who have the audacity to even protest at funerals of military men and women.   (Yes, I will be practicing restraint.  Practice, practice, practice…) Read the rest of this entry »

It goes without saying that we should celebrate and live Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of nonviolence, coexistence, and civil rights for all, each and every day of the year, and not just just on his birthday (today) or on the federal Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrated the 3rd Monday of each January (this year 1/21/08). That being said, and considering the headlines of the past few days regarding the Clinton and Obama camps divisive comments regarding race (don’t get me started on that mess), I think that taking at least today and MLK Day to reflect on the mission and life’s work of MLK, Jr., is something we ALL would be advised to do. One would hope that this introspective reflection would continue well past these two celebratory days set aside to give thanks and appreciation to MLK, and become an integral and commonplace part of each of our lives. There truly is so much joy to be had in reveling in the diversity of us all.

Here is the post I did last year on this day. Peace. 🙂

MUST SEE: A reminder of Martin Luther King’s message

I think we all need a reminder of the message behind the day, behind the man. Here are a couple videos WELL worth a look. Also included is a link to the History Channel’s page dedicated to Dr. King, and a link to the lyrics of “Where is the Love?”, which is the song by the Black Eyed Peas playing over the images in the first video. Peace.

Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial

Today would have been John Lennon’s 67th birthday, and has been chosen to be the day of the Imagine Peace Tower unveiling in Reykjavik, Iceland (LIVE unveiling times and links listed below). I remember the night John was killed and one of my friends at work being so utterly devastated by the news. What an impression this man had on so many lives, and continues to have. In celebration of the work and efforts John put forth for peace, I’m including the video and lyrics of my most favorite of songs; John’s Imagine. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone could put aside their hate, their religious differences, their bigotry, their cynicism, and truly attempt to live in peace for at least today–just one day? Perhaps it’s an unrealistic expectation, but couldn’t each of you reading this make a vow to be peaceful and invoke peace around you for just 24 hours? You have to start somewhere, so why not in your own tiny universe?

Happy Birthday, John, and thank you for all you did!

Imagine

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Yoko Ono: About the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER

Watch the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER Unveiling LIVE at
20:45pm GMT, 3.45pm Eastern, 12.45pm Western (times right)
Also viewable on Icelandic TV: RUV (here) and Channel 2 (here).
After the broadcast, click here to view our specially made tribute video.

Check back later – we will post highlights soon after the event.

OCTOBER 9TH – UNVEILING DAY
Please join us at http://www.IMAGINEPEACE.com at

Oct 9th 11.45pm Anchorage
Oct 9th 12.45pm Los Angeles
Oct 9th 01.45pm Guatemala
Oct 9th 02.45pm Chicago
Oct 9th 03.45pm New York
Oct 9th 03.45pm Montreal
Oct 9th 04.45pm Rio de Janeiro
Oct 9th 07.45pm Reykjavik
Oct 9th 08.45pm Liverpool
Oct 9th 09.45pm Europe
Oct 9th 10.45pm Baghdad
Oct 9th 11.45pm Moscow
Oct 10th 12.45am Karachi
Oct 10th 01.45am Dhaka
Oct 10th 02.45am Bangkok
Oct 10th 03.45am Shanghai
Oct 10th 04.45am Tokyo
Oct 10th 05.45am Sydney
Oct 10th 06.45am Vladivostok
Oct 10th 07.45am Suva
Oct 10th 08.45am Auckland
Oct 10th 09.45am Kiritimati

Information from the Imagine Peace website:

 

Dear Friends

Make sure you visit www.IMAGINEPEACE.com on October 9th, John Lennon’s birthday, for the unveiling of the incredible IMAGINE PEACE TOWER on the isle of Videy,Reykjavik, Iceland.

Please visit the site, have a look around, IMAGINE PEACE and send your wishes to join over 495,000 others buried in capsules around the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, dedicated to my late husband: musician, poet, artist and peace activist, John Lennon.

Please join us on October 9th at www.IMAGINEPEACE.com
Wherever you are, we will all be together that day.

With the deepest love,

yoko ono

—————————————————————————

Visit www.IMAGINEPEACE.com to send your wishes to the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER and join the biggest online peace demonstration on October 9th.

The website contains over 160 pages, loads of easter eggs, and is being augmented every day. Explore, have fun, participate, IMAGINE PEACE and join Yoko Ono and thousands of others at www.IMAGINEPEACE.com on October 9th for the unveiling of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, when we will be uploading photos and videos of the days events as they happen.

————————————————————————–

The IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is an artwork conceived by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon.

It is dedicated to peace and bears the inscription IMAGINE PEACE in 24 languages.

Its construction and installation is a collaboration between Yoko Ono, the City of Reykjavik, Reykjavik Art Museum and Reykjavik Energy.

The work is in the form of a wishing well from which a very strong and tall tower of light emerges. The strength, intensity and brilliance of the light tower continually changes as the particles in the air fluctuate with the prevailing weather and atmospheric conditions unique to Iceland.

Every year it will light up between October 9th (Lennon’s birthday) and December 8th (the day of his death).

In addition the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will be lit on New Year’s Eve, during the first week of spring and on some rare special occasions agreed between the City and Yoko Ono.

—————————————————————————-

A dream you dream alone is only a dream
A dream you dream together is reality
Yoko Ono

Imagine all the people living life in peace
John Lennon

(***UPDATE 9/27/07: GREAT NEWS: Amendment added!!!***)

It is expected that the U.S. Senate will finally be voting on The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act/Matthew Shepard Act (H.R. 1592 / S. 1105) TOMORROW! It is vital that you contact your Senators TODAY to remind them that you are one of their constituents, that you strongly support this very important hate crimes bill legislation to protect ALL people, and that you fully expect them to do the same despite the fact that George W. Bush has vowed to veto the bill. Please DO YOUR PART to make sure prejudice and bigotry is not allowed to flourish in our country by contacting your Senators and spreading the word to others.

From The Matthew Shepard Foundation:

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the Matthew Shepard Act as an amendment to the Department of Defense bill to ensure that all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability deserve to be free from violent crimes committed because of hatred and bias.

Please call your Senators NOW and ask for him/her to the vote for the passage of the Matthew Shepard Act.

URGENT: CONTACT YOUR SENATORS NOW!
CALL (202) 224-3121
& ask for your Senators office

Ask for their support of the Matthew Shepard Act and let them know that all Americans regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability deserve to be free from violent crimes committed because of hatred and bias.

From HRC Backstory:

BREAKING NEWS: Senate vote on hate crimes bill expected on Thursday

September 25, 2007 4:36PM
Chris Johnson

This afternoon, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), one of the lead sponsors of the Senate hate crimes bill, took to the Senate floor to urge the Senate to pass the hate crimes bill (S. 1105) and for President Bush to sign the legislation into law. Earlier today, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) filed a cloture motion on the hate crimes bill, a procedural move to overcome Senator McCain’s objection to bringing the amendment to the floor. Our side must achieve 60 votes on the cloture motion to win; that vote is scheduled for Thursday. The Senate should then move towards passages of the hate crimes bill as an amendment to the Department of Defense authorization bill.

Senator Kennedy’s prepared statement on the Senate floor can be read here.

Senator Kennedy Speaks On Hate Crimes

From the Human Rights Campaign web site:

Hate Crimes Affect More than Just the Individual Attacked
All violent crimes are reprehensible. But the damage done by hate crimes cannot be measured solely in terms of physical injury or dollars and cents. Hate crimes rend the fabric of our society and fragment communities because they target a whole group and not just the individual victim. Hate crimes are committed to cause fear to a whole community. A violent hate crime is intended to “send a message” that an individual and “their kind” will not be tolerated, many times leaving the victim and others in their group feeling isolated, vulnerable and unprotected.

The Truth About Hate Crimes Laws

Related articles/information:

  • Complete text of Senator Kennedy’s statement on the floor of the US Senate regarding The Matthew Shepard Act
    • Hate crimes are a form of domestic terrorism. They send the poisonous message that some Americans deserve to be victimized solely because of who they are. Like other acts of terrorism, hate crimes have an impact far greater than the impact on the individual victims. They are crimes against entire communities, against the whole nation, and against the fundamental ideals on which America was founded. They are a violation of all our country stands for.
  • Fabricated fears about hate crime legislation (Cornel West and Sylvia Rhue Op-Ed piece from The Boston Globe)
    • The truth is that the Matthew Shepard Act protects all First Amendment rights. And, although that is a given, this bill goes out of its way to protect the free speech of ministers. Those pastors who wish to continue condemning and dehumanizing the gay community will be free to do so.
  • Hate Crimes and Justice in the Black Community (Melissa Harris-Lacewell on the Huffington Post)
    • The proposed federal statute does not punish nor prohibit free expression of one’s religious beliefs. The hate crimes bill includes language protecting individuals from race-based and religion-based crimes as well. The Act protects first Amendment rights for everyone while ensuring that the authorities fully investigate all violent crimes intended to degrade and oppress their victims. The bill protects our children, because black youth are disproportionately targeted and victimized in anti-gay hate crimes.
  • Transcript: Judy Shepard Urges Passage of Hate Crimes Law (NOW on pbs.org)
    • HINOJOSA: So right now the House has already passed the bill. And the Senate is—is set to vote on it shortly. But President Bush is expected to veto the bill. The White House has said that state and local criminal laws already cover the new crimes that are defined under the bill. So—the—basically—the President is saying this kind of legislation just isn’t necessary. So what do you say to that?
    • SHEPARD: It’s very disheartening when the leader of our nation goes on national T.V. and says that gay people aren’t—aren’t deserving of every—every equality that everyone else is. I’m very disappointed that they don’t see the difference, if nothing else than the message that it sends, that we need to protect—all of our citizens. Everyone is a race. Everyone is a sexual orientation. It just gives permission for people to continue to harass sexual orientation until we mark them as protected.
  • Senator Kennedy press release on the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007
    • Crimes motivated by hate because of the victim’s race, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, disability, or gender are not confined to the geographical boundaries of our great nation. The current conflicts in the Middle East and Northern Ireland, the ethnic cleansing campaigns in Bosnia and Rwanda, or the Holocaust itself demonstrate that violence motivated by hate is a world-wide danger, and we have a special responsibility to combat it here at home.
  • Support for the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007

Two worthwhile events are coming up in a couple of days: BlogCatalog’s “Blogging Against Abuse” on Thursday, September 27th, and PETA2’s “Hug a Vegetarian” Day on Friday, September 28th. Here is more information about each event. Hope you’ll take part. And if you’re not a vegetarian yet, here’s a link to a post I did that just might help you. Btw, this vegetarian will be expecting tons of hugs on Friday! 🙂

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

“Blogging Against Abuse” on 9/27/07

On September 27th, join 1,000s of bloggers around the world in BlogCatalog’s Blogging for a Great Cause Challenge.

This Blogging Challenge will be:

Bloggers Against Abuse
September 27th, 2007

The Outcome we are after is to be part of the largest group of bloggers to ever blog about an important cause, all on the same day.

So how do you participate?

On Sept. 27th, blog about putting an end to some sort of Abuse (you decide what kind of abuse to blog about).

In the meantime though,

* Spread the word among all the bloggers you know. Perhaps even give them a link to this Discussion.

* If you are a graphic’s designer, perhaps you can come up with some small badges announcing the event, that we can then place on our blogs. To share the badge, place it on this thread.

* List any organizations, on this thread, who are involved in putting an end to abuse.

What do you get?

You will receive a link to your Blog Post from the Blogcatalog blog when we list everyone who participated.

You get to use your blog for an important cause.

You get to create blogging history.

 

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

PETA2’s “Hug a Vegetarian” Day on 9/28/07

Last year was the first-ever “Hug a Vegetarian” Day, and it was a smashing success, with tens of thousands of people taking part. Check out some photos here.

This year promises to be even bigger and better, so we have some brand-new Web banners for you to use to spread the word on your MySpace page or wherever else online. Plus, we have these amazing new signs for you to use at school, band practice, home, or pretty much anywhere you go on Hug a Vegetarian Day!

Get out there and hug your vegetarian (and vegan) buddies—and make sure your friends and family hug it up with you! Snap a picture and we’ll post your photo to peta2’s Flickr page for everyone to see. You’ll even get 2,000 Street Team points! Remember to submit your photo here.

I’ve always admired Keith Olbermann’s ability to put into words many of the thoughts I am unable to eloquently express. He has outdone himself with this video showcasing the outright lies, hypocrisy, immorality and lunacy of George W. Bush. (Here is the text for this video from 9/4/07).

While the entire video is incredible, it’s the last thirty seconds which especially touch upon the outrage I, and countless other Americans, feel toward this entire Iraq situation; Keith gives a voice to our concerns–our demands. It’s in this last half-minute of time that I can’t help but be reminded of a definite “must see” movie I didn’t think I’d like at all, but found myself loving, “V for Vendetta.” I can see legions of citizens fed up with GWB and his regime’s status quo, figuratively standing alongside Keith Olbermann during this video, as were the thousands of masked citizens in the final scenes of “V for Vendetta” fed up with the fascist “Norsefire” party. Could someone please hand me a Guy Hawkes Keith Olbermann mask, please?

Keith Olbermann Special Comment from 9/4/07

Found out about this little gem via a MoveOn.org email I just received. Dick, Dick, Dick, Dick, Dick, where on earth did the apparent common sense, common decency, and intelligence you obviously had shades of in 1994 disappear to come the GWB regime? How different the world would be today, and how many thousands upon thousands of lives on both sides of this disgusting war would not be shattered due to death and injuries, if ONLY you had retained some of your correct thoughts from 1994. Shame on you for losing your way, thereby leading others to lose their lives.

Cheney in 1994 on Iraq

Here’s another pet food recall I just got in an email, but amazingly this one is NOT related to the melamine-tainted fiasco we’ve faced over the past 8 weeks. Seems to be a lot of salmonella warnings/recalls lately in not only the pet food/treat industry, but also the human food industry. Guess if it’s not one thing it’s another.

Recall — Firm Press Release

FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company. This listserv covers mainly Class I (life-threatening) recalls. A complete listing of recalls can be found in the FDA Enforcement Report at: http://www.fda.gov/opacom/Enforce.html

Single Lot of 55lb Bags of Ol’Roy Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food Voluntarily Recalled in Select Stores by Doane Pet Care

Contact:
Doane Pet Care
908-813-8053

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Manassas, Virginia — June 6, 2007 — Doane Pet Care is announcing today a voluntary recall on a specific single lot of 55 pound bonus bags of Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition dry dog food. This product was produced at one facility in Manassas, VA and was distributed exclusively by some Wal-Mart Stores. Please note that no other Ol’ Roy products are affected, and that this recall is not related to the Menu Foods recall (and other recent recalls) of pet food due to tainted Chinese vegetable proteins.

This product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. People handling this pet food can become exposed to Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with this pet food or any surfaces exposed to this product. Consumers who have the dry dog food bearing the code “04 0735 1” with a “Best By Apr 13 08” should not feed it to their pets.

This voluntary recall has been issued because FDA detected Salmonella in the product. Doane Pet Care has not confirmed the presence of Salmonella, despite extensive independent testing of duplicate samples. Nonetheless, the company is issuing this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution. The company regrets any inconvenience to pet owners. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this product, or any product produced at this facility.

Product: Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition dry dog food
Size: 55 pound bonus bag
UPC Code: 6 05388 72076 4
Lot Number: 04 0735 1
Best Buy Date: Apr 13 ’08
Best Buy Date Location: Back of bag

Affected Stores: Only 69 Wal-Mart Stores potentially received this product from 2 distribution warehouses in Virginia. The 69 stores are located in Maryland (4 stores), North Carolina (10), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (3), Virginia (40) and West Virginia (11). A full listing of the affected stores is available at http://www.doanepetcare.com. This product UPC has been blocked from retail sale at these 69 locations.

Any remaining product should not be fed to pets. Dispose of product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle) and return the empty bag to the store where purchased for a full refund.

Pet owners who have questions about the voluntary recall of this 55 lb bonus bag of Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition dry dog food products should call 800-624-7387, or visit the web site listed above.

####

Anyone else feel like the past several AGONIZING years of the Bush administration has been one continuous tweaking of a con artist shell game? Under shell #1 is ANY legitimate concern by Americans (and the rest of the world, too!) regarding anything from the mishandling of Iraq, to the shenanigans Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and crew have been doing in the Justice Department. As soon as there is building interest in shell #1, Bush and crew attempt to throw the unsuspecting victims of this con game off with some fancy sleight of hand, and this time it’s Michael Moore’s trip to Cuba with 10 first responders to the WTC on 9/11, who are now suffering debilitating medical ailments. (Keep in mind the trip was taken in March, yet the letter from the government to Mr. Moore telling him of the investigation was dated May 2, 2007, a mere few weeks prior to his new movie, SiCKO being released…hmmm.) I’m sure shell #3 will probably be some “heightened terror alert” since we haven’t seen that lovely rainbow colored item pulled out of the mothballs for awhile. And it’s always been a favorite of this administration, since it’s so easy to pull the strings of the marionette public and create an artificial sense of fear and panic at the drop of a hat.

Let it be known at the outset that I am a fan of Michael Moore, and applaud what he has done to bring issues to light and have everyone engage in discussions pertinent to the welfare of ALL Americans (health care, our government and its falsehoods, outsourcing, gun control, and many more). That being said, I may not always agree with every move he makes (heck, I don’t even agree with every move I make! ;)), but this is a man who I strongly believe has the best interests of America at heart. Personally I’m pretty fed up with either being chastised or made to feel “unpatriotic” just because I strongly disagree with just about everything the current administration has done, so I can only imagine how Michael Moore must feel having such an enormous spotlight on him 24/7. And yes, I realize he brings it upon himself, but that just makes me appreciate his dedication even more. To put yourself up to the possibility of such scrutiny, ridicule, and hate, shows devotion and dedication to your beliefs. And yes, I even feel that way about those with whom I wholeheartedly disagree. Have strength in your convictions, but also show respect for differing viewpoints. Fine line, I know, but one we all really do need to try and walk–sometimes unsuccessfully.

Another reason I’m a fan of Michael’s is because of what he did for my alma mater, California State University, San Marcos. In October of 2003, Mr. Moore was scheduled to be a speaker at one of our CSUSM Arts & Lectures Series events. Due to the horrific wildfires in our area at the time, the engagement was postponed. By the time it was rescheduled it was close to the 2004 election and Karen Haynes, President of CSUSM, refused to allow Michael to speak saying that there wouldn’t be adequate time to schedule another speaker with an opposing political viewpoint. Thankfully students and community members would NOT let President Haynes control everything, and raised enough funds to have Mr. Moore speak at an off-campus area (Del Mar Fairgrounds) to approximately 10,000 of us (yes, I was there! ;)). Here is one story about the entire flap and subsequent venue change.

While hearing Michael speak in front of so many people with such fervor and determination was exciting enough, it was actually a HUGE surprise he shared with us all that really made the evening spectacular. (And mind you, this is an evening that had Joan Baez as a surprise performer!) The fantastic news that Michael shared with the crowd was that he was creating a “Freedom of Speech” scholarship at CSUSM to give $5,000 to a student who stood up to the administration the most. Due to the number of applicants Mr. Moore found outstanding, he ended up increasing the scholarship amount to $15,000, which was divided between 6 students. Here is a news article about his appearance that night and the impending scholarship.

And yes, I own countless works from Mr. Moore: “Stupid White Men” and “Dude, Where’s My Country?” in my reading library, along with “Fahrenheit 9/11”, “Roger & Me”, “Bowling for Columbine”, and “The Big One” in my media library, and looking forward to catching Michael’s upcoming flick, “Sicko“, as soon as it hits theaters this June 29th. And yes, I realize not everyone shares my opinion of Mr. Moore, but it’s my blog and my opinion, AND I truly believe there are far more folks who agree with Mr. Moore than disagree with him. 🙂 It will be interesting to see how this Michael Moore/Cuba/Bush administration story plays out. Heck, even an online betting site is wagering odds on how far this situation will go!

I’ll leave you with Michael’s open letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson. Take care, folks.

Friday, May 11th, 2007
Open Letter from Michael Moore to U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson

Secretary Henry Paulson
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20220

May 11, 2007

Secretary Paulson,

I am contacting you in light of the document sent to me dated May 2, 2007, which was received May 7, 2007 indicating that an investigation has been opened up with regards to a trip I took to Cuba with a group of Americans that included some 9/11 heroes in March 2007 related to the filming of my next documentary, on the American Healthcare system. SiCKO, which will be seen in theaters this summer, will expose the health care industry’s greed and control over America’s political processes.

I believe that the decision to conduct this investigation represents the latest example of the Bush Administration abusing the federal government for raw, crass, political purposes. Over the last seven years of the Bush Presidency, we have seen the abuse of government to promote a political agenda designed to benefit the conservative base of the Republican Party, special interests and major financial contributors. From holding secret meetings for the energy industry to re-writing science findings to cooking the books on intelligence to the firing of U.S. Attorneys, this Administration has shown time and time again that it will abuse its power and authority.

There are a number of specific facts that have led me to conclude that politics could very well be driving this Bush Administration investigation of me and my film.

First, the Bush Administration has been aware of this matter for months (since October 2006) and never took any action until less than two weeks before SiCKO is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and a little more than a month before it is scheduled to open in the United States.

Second, the health care and insurance industry, which is exposed in the movie and has expressed concerns about the impact of the movie on their industries, is a major corporate underwriter of President George W. Bush and the Republican Party, having contributed over $13 million to the Bush presidential campaign in 2004 and more than $180 million to Republican candidates over the last two campaign cycles. It is well documented that the industry is very concerned about the impact of SiCKO. They have threatened their employees if they talk to me. They have set up special internal crises lines should I show up at their headquarters. Employees have been warned about the consequences of participating in SiCKO. Despite this, some employees, at great risk to themselves, have gone on camera to tell the American people the truth about the health care industry. I can understand why that industry’s main recipient of its contributions — President Bush — would want to harass, intimidate and potentially prevent this film from having its widest possible audience.

And, third, this investigation is being opened in the wake of misleading attacks on the purpose of the Cuba trip from a possible leading Republican candidate for president, Fred Thompson, a major conservative newspaper, The New York Post, and various right wing blogs.

For five and a half years, the Bush administration has ignored and neglected the heroes of the 9/11 community. These heroic first responders have been left to fend for themselves, without coverage and without care. I understand why the Bush administration is coming after me — I have tried to help the very people they refuse to help, but until George W. Bush outlaws helping your fellow man, I have broken no laws and I have nothing to hide.

I demand that the Bush Administration immediately end this investigation and spend its time and resources trying to support some of the real heroes of 9/11.

Sincerely,

Michael Moore

George W. Bush’s veto has elicited some powerful statements from six US military leaders. You know, the ones that actually SERVED in the military. The ones that have a clue what is going on in Iraq. Service members who are the exact opposite of our “Commander-In-Chief”.

From the blog of our Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi:

Military Leaders Against the President’s Veto

May 2nd, 2007 by Karina

“With this veto, the president has doomed us to repeating a terrible history. President Bush’s current position is hauntingly reminiscent of March 1968 in Vietnam. At that time, both the Secretary of Defense and the President had recognized that the war could not be won militarily – just as our military commanders in Iraq have acknowledged. But not wanting to be tainted with losing a war, President Johnson authorized a surge of 25,000 troops. At that point, there had been 24,000 U.S. troops killed in action. Five years later, when the withdrawal of U.S. troops was complete, we had suffered 34,000 additional combat deaths.”
– Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, USA, Ret.

“By vetoing this bill and failing to initiate an immediate and phased withdrawal, the President has effectively gone AWOL, deserting his duty post, leaving American forces with an impossible mission, suffering wholly unnecessary casualties.”
– Lt. Gen. William E. Odom, USA, Ret.

“The rhetoric of Congress not supporting our troops is pure ‘hogwash’. The real non support of our troops is the Presidential Veto. Vetoing this Bill sends a message to our troops, that the President will fund them to fight but is not concerned about returning them to their families.”
– Maj. Gen. Mel Montano, USANG, Ret.

“The President vetoed our troops and the American people. His stubborn commitment to a failed strategy in Iraq is incomprehensible. He committed our great military to a failed strategy in violation of basic principles of war. His failure to mobilize the nation to defeat world wide Islamic extremism is tragic. We deserve more from our commander-in-chief and his administration.”
– Maj. Gen. John Batiste, USA, Ret.

“This administration and the previously Republican controlled legislature have been the most caustic agents against America’s Armed Forces in memory. Less than a year ago, the Republicans imposed great hardship on the Army and Marine Corps by their failure to pass a necessary funding language. This time, the President of the United States is holding our Soldiers hostage to his ego. More than ever apparent, only the Army and the Marine Corps are at war – alone, without their President’s support.”
– Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, USA, Ret.

“Almost 5 years ago, Congress trusted the President enough to give him the power to transform Iraq. Bush violated that trust and deceived us with a misuse of force. Today, the President violated the trust of the American people, our troops, and their families by vetoing this bill and not choosing to do what is right. He has let us down.”
– Brigadier General John Johns, USA, Ret.

Check these out:

VERY powerful video put to John Fogerty’s “Deja Vu”:

CODEPINK

TIMZ

Unfortunately most of us eventually become numb to the news reports and the statistics we hear each day about how many more individuals have lost their lives in Iraq. We never really take the time to find out more about the person behind the headlines. Hopefully a new online memorial, the Iraq Veterans Memorial, will bridge the gap between the statistics and the reality, between the flag-draped coffins and the memories left behind. Please take a few moments to check out this unique way of getting to know some of those who have died in this senseless war.

If you would like to take a more active role in voicing your concerns about this war, one group you may want to check out is MoveOn.org. If you are curious about the staggering losses suffered during the past four years, AntiWar.com has a constantly updated list.

Here’s hoping we will not be meeting again for a 5th anniversary of this horrific mistake.


Those who know me are well aware of my passion for live music of all sorts. That being said, I will admit that while my taste in music would easily be described as eclectic, rap has never really been something I could just pop in the CD player and listen to for hours on end. Give it to me in the infectious, body-moving sounds and beat of Ozomatli, or in the politically infused lyrics and rhythm section of B-Side Players, and I’m fine. Give me rap with nearly-naked women shaking and rubbing their body parts all over the place, and sorry, but no matter how important the rapper’s message might be, you’ve lost me.

Maybe that’s the difference for me: the message and how it is delivered. To that end I’d like to share with you a local talent (San Diego area) who not only has a message to share, but feels strong enough in it to do something I could never do: appear on anything FOX news-related! (UGH!) Tommy Hanna (AKA TIMZ in the music world), is an American-born rapper of Iraqi and Chaldean descent and someone whose music I first ran across due to his Super Chargers 2006 video (yes, I’m still in mourning over my Chargers NOT being in the Super Bowl…sigh). TIMZ recently released his debut album, “Open for Business” and is getting a lot of attention for his video/song “Iraq”. Definitely powerful stuff, definitely a strong message.

I’m including not only the video of “Iraq”, but also his recent appearance on George Bush’s media outlet (AKA FOX news), if you’ve got the stomach to watch Chuck Norris stumble through his attempt at being an interviewer. There’s also a story on the local ABC news affiliate, KGTV 10, and yes, I must also include “Super Chargers 2006″…part of the healing process for Chargers fans everywhere. 😉

I think we all need a reminder of the message behind the day, behind the man. Here are a couple videos WELL worth a look. Also included is a link to the History Channel’s page dedicated to Dr. King, and a link to the lyrics of “Where is the Love?”, which is the song by the Black Eyed Peas playing over the images in the first video. Peace.

 

Sniffin’ out the info

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