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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Demands for a Peaceful Revolution 

By Dennis Baer [dennis.baer@verizon.com ]

Here's how we force congress to pass a progressive agenda. Companies do not like boycotts. I suggest you email these demands to Walmart, Wendy's, Outback Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Curves for Women health clubs, each big Republican contributors. Also include Eckerd, CVS, and Walgreens Pharmacy chains. You can send this to other companies as well.

Send this email to your friends and to others on political mailing lists. Thank you.

Send this text in email or fax to a company you can afford to boycott which either heavily supports Republicans or should know better that we need progressive legislative change.

We demand that your company executives get the Republican Party to hold a press conference and accede to these demands and then finally legislate and sign these into law. Until such a press conference happens and the legislation gets passed I will boycott your products.

We demand that the Republican party end their aggressive and hateful action to end a woman's right to choose abortion or not.

We demand the resignation of Tom Delay.

We demand that the United States withdraw from Iraq.

We demand that the Congress of the United states and the president of the United States enact a law to increase the minimum wage to TEN dollars an hour and also to extend unemployment benefits for all people whose unemployment benefits expired after 6 months even though they still seek work.

We also demand that the Congress of the United States to not privatize social security benefits in any form including taking a percentage of the social security tax and placing it in private accounts. People can already create their own pensions with money after taxes in the private sector.

We also demand that the congress make all of a person's earned income taxable for social security FICA tax purposes and remove the 88,000 dollar salary cap. This will make social security solvent for many years to come.

We demand the congress increase the payroll tax in order to make social security solvent as well.

We also demand congress and the president enact a prescription drug benefit under Medicare Part B which covers 80 percent of medication cost, with no extra premium, no extra deductibles, no means test and no coverage gaps, and no penalties for signing up in a succeeding year..

We also call for the complete repeal of the faulty Medicare law HR 1 / S 1 passed by congress in Nov 2003.

We also demand vote by mail throughout the United States of America. This will prevent Republicans from vote suppression by skin color which happened electronicly and in person in the 2000 and 2004 elections. Demand that your state implement vote by mail with ballots easy to fill out and difficult to change or invalidate by Republican Party officials.

We demand Civil servants on every state payroll should keep track of voter registrations and vote counting of mail in votes in each precinct and not companies such as Choicepoint. We need to take the Republican Party out of the business of keeping track of voter registration and counting votes.

We demand States ban the secretary of state from engaging in politics especially acting as a campaign official for a presidential campaign.

________________________________________

We do this in the spirit of peaceful resistance to a congress that refuses to enact this legislation

If you don't support what the Republicans did since they took over the House of Representatives in 1995 and don't support the Republican party's plans for this year then Join the revolution for progressive legislation and sign the petition at

http://www.boycott-republicans.com

HIT REPUBLICAN CONTRIBUTORS IN THEIR WALLETS !!

Write this url on your one, five and ten dollar bills in the white areas in Pencil.

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To each person reading this if you agree with my message please tell your friends and have them tell their friends.

We can stop the war in Iraq by boycotting the defense contractor General Electric corporation.

I want each and every person who wants to stop the War in Iraq to contact the defense contractor General Electric. Go to http://www.ge.com and send them email to the effect that you have decided

not to buy any GE products including Ovens, stoves, refrigerators, light bulbs, televisions, radios, telephones, video recorders, dvd recorders and players, etc.

UNTIL their company executives get the President of the United States aka THE CHIMP to hold a press conference announcing that he will withdraw all US Troops from Iraq, to get replaced by UN troops to defend Iraq until Iraq troops can defend their own country.

In addition to sending email from the web site you can make these demands of GE through their public relations officials. Please act polite when contacting them.

Gary Sheffer
Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs
(203) 373-3476
gary.sheffer@ge.com

Peter O'Toole
Director, Public Relations
(203) 373-2547
peter.o'toole@ge.com

Yes his name's really Peter O'Toole but Bush appeared the one Lying in Winter about the Iraq war.

Join the revolution for progressive legislation:
http://www.boycott-republicans.com
http://groups.myspace.com/revolutionforprogressivelegislation
http://www.campusprogress.org/page/community/blog/maximus
http://www.network54.com/Forum/259017
http://www.cafepress.com/revolution09
For the complete list of podcasts look here http://savefile.com/projects/330309

Tears for Ripley Mae Sherwood 

The Untold Casualties of War
By Jack Random

“What responsibility do we have as citizens who send people to go fight in our wars? Do we do everything within our power, moving mountains if that’s what it takes, to provide for [them] when they come home?”

Steve Robinson, Executive Director, Gulf War Resources Center.

Why does a 35-year-old man go to war as a private in a volunteer army? Why does he come home on leave to shoot his wife and himself? Why does a 36-year-old man leave an infant child orphaned, motherless and fatherless?

Stephen Sherwood was a musician who played in a heavy metal band. He had long hair, tattoos, and was active in the local music scene. He was twice married and held down a job as a paramedic for ten years.

When his wife became pregnant, Stephen Sherwood joined the army because it was the only way he could find to provide health insurance for his family.

Sent to Iraq, he was assigned to the cannon crew of the Second Brigade Combat Team, serving a year in Baghdad and Ramadi. It was hard duty. The Second Brigade lost sixty-eight soldiers in Ramadi alone, taking some of the heaviest casualties in the war. It also took the lives of a great many Iraqis, undoubtedly including women and children, wives and infant daughters.

When Stephen Sherwood came home on leave to Fort Collins, Colorado, there was no apparent reason to worry. He was just another soldier on his way back to Iraq. Nine days later, he and his wife were dead.

Did the war change Stephen Sherwood?

How could it not?

Stephen, Sara and Ripley Mae Sherwood were not only casualties of an unjust war; they were casualties of an economic system that does not provide health care to the family of a man who held a good job for a decade.

He answered the call of fellow citizens in distress but when it came to filling his most fundamental needs, the privatized medical industry turned its back.

Stephen Sherwood did not want to become a soldier. He did not want to go to war. Like every man, he only wanted to provide for his family. Ten or twenty years from now, Ripley Mae will want to know what happened to her biological parents. A foster parent (or if she’s lucky, an aunt or uncle) may tell her that her daddy went to war and came back a different man. She will want to know why and whether it was worth it.

What will we tell her? What will we tell our own children? That we went to war for a lie and continued to fight for another? Will we say it was to spread the blessings of democracy (without it choking in our throats) or will we finally admit it was all about oil?

Not long ago, America cried a river of tears for Terri Schiavo. Who will cry for Ripley Mae Sherwood? It is safe to say that all America will not cry the tears that this one little girl will cry when she learns the truth.

Forty-five soldiers have gone to war and committed suicide over there. Thirty-five more waited until they came home. Some of them took others with them. They will not be serenaded by honor guards. Parades and memorials will not remember them but they are casualties of the war as much as any other and their numbers are growing.

Lieutenant Colonel Dave Johnson of Fort Carson called Stephen Sherwood “a hero” and maybe, in some strange and twisted way he is, but that is a bitter pill for the surviving family members.

Heather West, his former wife, recalled Stephen as a “creative, thoughtful, very sensitive person.” She added: “This not the person that I knew.”

It is a familiar refrain.

It is what friends and family said when Andres Raya (condemned by the authorities as a gangster) returned home to cut down a local police officer in a probable suicide by cop.

It is what friends and family said when Sergeants Matthew Denni and James Pitts came home to kill their wives. It was what friends and family said when Sergeant Curtis Greene hanged himself in his barracks.

Maybe it is what friends and family are supposed to say or maybe it is simple truth.

War is hell. It is one of the most horrific of human experiences – not only for the fallen but also for the survivors. It cannot help but change a man, a woman, husband, wife, mother or father.

The government that goes to war for less than a compelling reason owes a great deal more to the survivors of war than it can ever begin to repay.

What will our government say to Ripley Mae Sherwood? It will not even send condolences. Unless a sea change happens in this country, it will not even apologize. It will not admit wrong.

Perhaps the government will ask Ripley to go to war so that she can afford a decent education or basic health care.

Do not be fooled, Ripley. A government that will never admit wrong – even in the most egregious cases – cannot be trusted. Tell them to find someone else. Tell them you have already paid enough. There is always another way.

I wish I knew your birthday. I’d like to send you a card in eighteen or twenty years. It would be signed: From someone who remembers. I’m sorry.

Jazz.


Sources:

“Ft. Carson GI, wife shot dead,” By Monte Whaley and Erin Emery, Denver Post 8/5/05.

“2nd BCT Soldier kills wife, self,” The Colorado Springs Gazette, 8/5/05.

“Soldier Just Back From Iraq Kills Wife, Self,” WRAL.com, 8/5/05.

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Monday, August 08, 2005

Mike's Morality Rant 

From the Heart of Michael D. Caine:

Do George Bush and his merry band of conservatives really think that we are safer now than we were before the invasion of Iraq? Is it really possible that they are that blinded by their own stupidity? Does their religious belief in their righteousness really fool themselves?

There were suicide bombers before the Iraq invasion, but were there as many? There was suffering in Iraq, but was there as much? There was hatred for America before Iraqi “Freedom” but did it reach the level we see now?

The Conservative Republicans are spreading a delusionary virus that is killing our democracy at home and our youth in an Arab Nation that never attacked the United States nor was even a threat to do so. Lead by Bush these religious ideologues blatantly scraped the moral high ground right off into the swamp and created a quagmire they can’t seem to understand is too deep to slog through and too wide to bridge especially when the timbers used are our children.

Can the conservatives not see that even religious wars won have their costs, and that some wars aren’t worth it? In Iraq what is worth the cost? They can talk democracy all they want, we wouldn’t be there if Iraq had the same amount of oil as Sudan.

When I hear George Bush pleading for us to back his war because his intentions all along have been to bring Democracy to the Iraqi people, I want to puke. Are the Conservative Republicans really that dumb? Are their memories really that short? Have they truly forgotten that we went there to root out the Weapons of Mass Destruction and the terrorist training camps (that weren’t there in truth until after our invasion)?

The flag bearing, end justifying, super patriotic religious right has kidnapped our nation and is holding us at bay with a knife to the throat of our children, and when those of us that see it say “drop the knife” we are labeled “Traitors”.

The Moral Majority lacks the courage to think and the morality to tell the truth and every one of them is a Conservative Republican. They use a book, a good book, to judge others and hide behind. Lacking the ability to defend their actions they hold up their shields of “belief” as if to believe is to know the truth when their truth lies only in the I of the beholder.

We don’t need the separation of church and state, only the thoughtful, moral use of both.

[Editors Note: I believe the moral majority is now the 62% of the people who no longer support the war. Bring our soldiers home now!]

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