Friday, December 09, 2005

Merry Chanukwanzamas.

Why are the holidays, the time when “miracles” should be happening (you know, angels get their wings when a bell rings, 34th Street, etc.), the time that I begin to really think this world is filled with a bunch of frickin’ assholes?

First, there’s all the people having a hissy fit over whether the tree in the capitol here in Madison, WI should be called the “Holiday Tree” or the “Christmas Tree.” Well, it’s officially a Holiday Tree. Deal with it. I will call it a Christmas tree if I want. I’ve never seen a Thanksgiving tree, a New Year’s tree, or even a Easter Tree (well, I guess I have, but it certainly wasn’t decorated except by nails). So, it is, and always will be, a Christmas tree to me. And I’ll call it that if I want. So the PC got their “holiday wish”. No Christmas tree in the state capital. Whoop-de-frickin’-do. How about holding the government accountable so that more troops could be home for the “holidays” instead of off creating an Islamic Republic sanctioned by the United States?

Second, there’s the Jesus Freaks. Yes, I’m calling them what they really are. Freaks because they think that they are the only ones that are right in the world, and they know how the rest of us should run our lives. Funny, as a Christian, I had always thought that was God’s job. Not ours. We’re created in His likeness. We’re not Him. Stop acting like it. Just this week someone defaced a sign where I work because it said “Holiday Tree” on a flyer that raises money for various charities in the community. They crossed out “holiday” and wrote in “Christmas”. The response was to replace the sign and hang a sign above it: “Please do not deface these signs. WPS recognizes all holidays.” There, enough said, so back off. Because whomever did that would be just as pissed if someone crossed out “holiday” and wrote in Ramadan. Or Hanukkah. Or Kwanza.

Yes, I am angry. So I’m getting it out of my system. Here and now. Merry Christmas. If you don’t celebrate it, I don’t care. Happy Hanukkah. If you don’t celebrate it, I don’t care. Happy Holidays. And Happy New Year. And if you don’t like the holidays at all, I don’t care. It really is just another day on the calendar. Because if people can’t agree on anything at THIS time of year except on who has the best early bird Saturday sale at the mall, then we’re all screwed, and we might as well just say “no more holidays.” And then we’ll take away Valentine’s Day (Saint Valentine! Yes, a religious holiday). Easter. Saint Patrick’s Day. Thanksgiving (who are we giving thanks to?). Might as well get rid of Memorial Day, too. Someone might be offended and think we honor war, not the war dead. And, probably the 4th of July as well. After all, it is the birthday of a nation that was founded on Christian principles. Oh, and the money! It’s got to go. “In God We Trust” is apparently offensive to some. To me, it’s a bald faced lie. This administration does not trust God. Only money. Power. Greed. Control.

So Merry Christmas-Hanukkah-Ramadan-Kwanza-New Year. Unless you’re Chinese or Jewish. Then I think I have to wish you Happy New Year on a different day if I remember correctly.

Happy Holidays. Get in the spirit. Make a change. Celebrate life. Quit the whining for just a few days. Please. Just smile. And put that dollar or loose change in that red bucket next to the poor volunteer freezing his “special place” off ringing that bell.

We could all use a little Salvation right now.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

You Are Not Our Leaders

The following is a letter (in its entirety) from Dr. Wayne Dyer (author of “The Power of Intention”). All I can say at this point about this letter is it certainly creates “contrast” for me, and has me thinking about the direction and future of what I’ll be writing about, not only here on ‘The Truth Is Out There’ (which will always attempt to speak the truth), but over at Powerful Intentions and The Spiritual Democracy Forum. Maybe this will be a wake-up call to some of you out there—get involved—in the most positive way—and you’ll only be able to see positive results. I’m definitely looking forward to the “debate” this letter could create. I expect to see a spirited one in the comments. Those who cannot think for themselves need not apply…

To Our Politicians From a Spiritual Working Stiff
I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat. Frankly, I still have difficulty with the labels, conservative and liberal.
Those who know me have never been able to pigeonhole me.
I relate to Kierkegaard's observation: "Once you label me, you negate me." In truth, I am a working stiff.
I grew up on the east side of Detroit and spent several years in foster homes. I had a father who spent some time in prison, abused alcohol and five wives, and died of cirrhosis of the liver at age 49, never having known his three boys, after walking out on my mother.
I attended the Detroit public schools, entered the Navy at 18, spent four years on board ships and overseas. I worked my way through three degree programs as a stock boy and cashier at a large supermarket chain, graduating with a Ph.D. in Educational Counseling.
I have been a schoolteacher, counselor, and college professor.
As of this date, I work as a lecturer and writer, also producing video and audiotape programs on motivation, spirituality, and higher consciousness.
I have worked all my life, paid my taxes, supported my family, and continue to "chop wood and carry water," while being totally perplexed by what I hear coming out of the mouths of our politicians.
As a working stiff who has earned enough to be in that top 1 percent income bracket, here is what I would like you, the politicians, to hear as you go about the business of government. These are views shared by most of the people I speak to every day, in all income brackets.
No one that I know goes to sleep at night saying,
"My leaders are in Washington, D.C."
I fume when you refer to yourselves as our leaders. You may pass laws while sitting in committees and having Rose Garden ceremonies, but the laws come after the real leadership has been implemented.
No politician was responsible for leading us in the struggle for civil rights. Rosa Parks was a leader. Those who marched and ignored the racist laws passed by lawmakers were the leaders of the civil rights movement.
Who were the leaders of the Renaissance? The office holders? The politicians? No! The leaders were those who brought the world a new consciousness through their writing, art, music, and through challenging the entrenched ideologies of the office holders. These were the leaders.
When I hear you refer to yourselves as our leaders, I am always amused by such arrogance. We go to work and send up to 50 percent of our earnings to you. You use our earnings to make yourselves more privileged than we are, with unlimited medical care, overly generous retirement guarantees, and perks galore! All that you really do is write the rules using our funds to do so.
This might be hard to accept, but try it on for size. We are not sheep who need to be led. We need servants who care. We are perfectly capable of leading ourselves; in fact, we do it every day.
I have written 20 books, produced hundred of tapes, and given several thousand lectures over the past 25 years. When I sit down and create a book, I send it to an editor who I pay to edit the manuscript.
The way I see it, I just created a job. My editor receives payment, sends in her taxes, and now two are working. The editing process involves a computer.
A third job is created. The publisher copy-edits the manuscript, and a fourth job is created. This process continues through many levels, with job after job being created all because I decided to write a book. The printers, inspectors, typesetters, delivery people, booksellers, accountants, stock boys, and cashiers all have jobs that were created because working stiffs have the ingenuity, gumption, and desire to create and produce.
The woman who loves flowers and decides to open a floral shop creates jobs.
Without her desire and sweat, we wouldn't need floral coolers, delivery trucks, or growers. Nor would we need people to grow food to feed those workers or design garments to clothe them.
The money you use to fund job-producing legislation originates from those who produce. It is really quite simple.
Politicians do not create jobs.
As I see it, through the eyes of a working stiff, politicians can pass laws that will ultimately determine whether anyone finds being productive worth the effort any longer. If you decide to punish me with tax rules, over-regulate me, or constantly make my life miserable with forms, rules, and regulations, I may decide that writing another book is no longer worth the effort. If I decide that, and you multiply me by the millions of us who produce wealth and jobs, you will see that you do not produce jobs or wealth with our policies.
You print money. You regulate. You pass laws. But we produce jobs. We create wealth by working and producing, not by sitting in committees and talking up our self-importance.
I heard over and over in the election debate that the inheritance tax should remain because only 2 percent of the population is affected by this tax. I have paid all of the taxes I owe to my government. What is left is mine to do with as I please. My death ought not trigger another tax on my remaining savings that have been already taxed.
It does not matter if the tax affects one person or a million people. It is simply wrong. When our ancestors moved to abolish slavery, they didn't say, "Only 2 percent of the populations is enslaved, so let's keep this practice lawful." They finally realized that slavery was morally wrong.
Let those who aspire to greater abundance in their lives do so knowing that politicians are not going to confiscate it at the moment of their death. Do what's right and what's moral, even when it affects only a small percentage of the population.
If there is a surplus in tax revenues, it is an overpayment and belongs to those who sent it in. It ought to be returned in the same lawful proportion that it went in.
If I paid one million dollars in taxes, it is not so outrageous that I should have returned to me a higher dollar amount than someone who sent in $2,000 in taxes. To say that the wealthy will receive $18,000 each while the poor will only get an $1,800 tax cut is a spurious argument. If you paid no tax, you don't get a tax cut. You can't cut zero and get something back. If you paid $200,000 in taxes and you get a $40,000 refund, that's a 20 percent tax cut. If you paid $500,000 in taxes and you get back $20,000, that is only a 4 percent tax cut.
It stands to reason that if you are going to ask the top 10 percent of income earners to foot over 50 percent of the tax bills, then when it comes time to cut the taxes and return the surpluses, it ought to go back to the taxpayers in the same proportion.
Similarly, if the bottom 40 percent of wage earners pay no taxes, then they get no refund. It may not appeal to most voters, but it makes sense to this working stiff who has been in all of those tax brackets at one time or another in his life.
"I'll fight for you" seems to be the mantra of the modern politician. Just who are you fighting anyway? Aren't you all there in Washington to serve us? Don't you realize that fighting weakens you and rarely accomplishes anything?
I would like for you to work for me, not fight. Tell me what you are for, rather than what you oppose. I don't need to see any more debates.
You are not running against anyone. You have no opponents. The person who is on the ballot with you is not someone you need to fight. Just tell me what you support and how you intend to make it happen, and let the other candidates do the same. I don't need you to fight. I need you to state your vision clearly and commit to bringing it about.
In 1967, Mother Teresa was asked to march against the war in Vietnam, and she refused, saying, "I won't march against anything. But when you have a march for peace, I'll be there." Let this spirit infuse your intentions.
My most disconcerting moments in the election season were hearing, "We're for the people, they're for the powerful," and then seeing this slogan as a USA Today headline the next day. It became a mantra for the last six weeks of the campaign.
Inherent in such a phrase is the idea that the people are not powerful, only those who are well off are empowered. Generation after generation of people in America have come to believe this line of thinking: "You have no power, but we, your leaders in Washington, will do it for you."
It is just this kind of thinking that leads people to assume they are powerless to advance, to create their own greatness, to attract abundance and health into their lives, to transcend the ordinary levels of disempowerment.
I want to hear you say, "You are powerful; you are connected to the divine, and with God you can accomplish anything you make up your mind to do. If you see others who appear to be more powerful than you, then associate with them and emulate their strengths.
Create a powerful vision for yourself.
Don't find fault with those who have elevated themselves. Learn from them, find your own serenity and grace, and know that you are powerful.
I'll support such a vision in all legislation. Keep your hopes high."
In Wisdom of the Ages, I wrote an essay based upon Michelangelo's observation: "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."
I want to hear you speak of high hopes, of the power of our spirit, a spirit that knows no favorites and is in each and every one of us.
If we send a portion of our income to you, don't use that money to vote yourself benefits that we are denied. If you get universal medical coverage paid for by those of us who created wealth, then be sure to grant it by law to all of us.
If you get to retire with 90 percent of your paycheck, then be sure that we who pay for it get the same perk.
Be ever mindful of your role. You have elected to be a servant of the people. The people own the house. They built it. But they can't run it every day nor can they protect it, and build roads leading up to it.
The people can't educate the children and regulate the economy because they are too busy working. So they hire servants to handle these duties, and they pay those servants to protect, regulate, and handle the affairs of housekeeping.
But the house is still owned by the people. The servants don't get to make demands. The people do. The servants don't own the funds they receive for protecting, regulating, and delegating.
The people do. It's our house. We the powerful working stiffs of America own it.
We lead ourselves every day, and if you want to speak to us, do it from your heart, without a Teleprompter or a spin doctor at your side. We are honest, hardworking, and straightforward. We are generous and kind to those in need.
We don't need to be coddled or lied to. We can smell insincerity and BS a mile away. We pay the freight and keep it moving across America every day.
Not because you are leading us. We are not following you or anyone else.
There is a spirit in all of us. A spirit that urges us upward to a greater connection to that which is just, moral, and honest.
We expect no less from those who have chosen to serve.
- Wayne Dyer

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Is Wal Mart Really Evil?

There's been a lot of discussion, and now a documentary about the evils of Wal Mart. Wal Mart, according to critics, is a greedy monster stealing away business from small business owners, discriminating against its employees by unfair health insurance and promotion practices, and purposely preventing full-time employment for some to cut health costs.

The UFCW Union (United Food and Commercial Workers), of which I am a member (in fairness of disclosure), is one of the leaders in the fight against Wal Mart. Just minutes before writing this post, I was watching 20/20 on ABC, which was discussing one of the "Seven Deadly Sins," Greed. Wal Mart was one of the stories (video available here) because of those who "hate" Wal Mart and believe it is truly evil. The UFCW has been leading the fight for unionization at Wal Mart.

After watching the 20/20 segment on Wal Mart, it got me Wal Mart truly evil? Or is Wal Mart a thing that has come along like great changes in corporate history before it? Standard Oil was considered a monstrous monopoly. However, because Standard Oil convinced lower pricing through its ability to provide lower prices, people who used to have to go to bed when it got dark outside were able to afford things like oil for lamps. Their lives were arguably improved because of the perceived "greed" of Rockefeller. Vanderbilt was vilified as well, but made travel cheaper and safer, thereby benefiting society.

Unlike Michael Douglas' character's proclamation in the movie "Wall Street" that "money is a zero sum game", in truth, larger pools of wealth have an effect of doing such things as providing lower prices. When lower prices are available to consumers, they can save more money. Therfore, they (the consumers) are also benefiting from the low costs of Wal Mart. Just like generations before them benefited by the low costs created by giants like Standard Oil. Wealth creates more wealth. It's not a pie where if I get a bigger piece, there's less available to you. On the contrary, if I get a big piece of the pie, your portion could become bigger simply because I'm participating in this "game" called capitalism.

Wal Mart is not evil for providing lower prices. Yes, their employees probably deserve to make more money (but for that, there need to be some attitude adjustments, at least at the ones I visit around my area). Yes, they deserve representation, but only if they feel it is necessary. Many chose to take the jobs. They weren't forced. However, just as many other giant companies, there needs to be protections. Is Wal Mart evil? No. Can they improve? Absolutely. Can we have both an improvement in Wal Mart's "behavior" and maintain the low prices that save over 100 million people money each year? I believe it can be done.

No, it's never a cut and dry situation. There are always grey areas. In the interest of the truth, I present you the sides against and not-so-against Wal Mart. What do you feel about Wal Mart? What can be done to improve the situation?

As a UFCW member, I should probably be boycotting Wal Mart, and admittedly I do contribute to the political action part of the UFCW, which means some of my money is most likely going towards the fight against their proclaimed enemy. However, because of the wages I'm making in the contract I'm in, negotiated by the UFCW, I choose to shop at Wal Mart for certain things. Because when it comes right down to it, my bottom line is the one that matters. To think otherwise is foolish. Without clarity on your bottom line, you cannot effectively help others with their bottom lines. Therefore, no boycotting Wal Mart from me. No, they don't get much of my business (I personally hate shopping there for many reasons, but not the prices), but I will not boycott them. I will not call them "evil." I will call them to task for things that are truly unfair as a social action.

Unionization? Maybe.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Need some more income without investment?

If you've got your own blog, you should consider monetizing your blog (or website) by using Google AdSense. It's been a blessing for me. I also recommend using FireFox for your web browser. So much better to use than "Internet Exploder".

So check out the links on the right hand side above my profile, get FireFox today w/ the Google Toolbar (another great tool), and monetize your site today! ;-)

And, if something interests you in the Targeted Ads Google provides, check it out.

More coming later on "Why Don't People Think For Themselves Anymore"...the truth of why so many in government (despite party affiliation) and business don't want us thinking on our own anymore...


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Rove's Future Questioned

Please note: I'm asking for help. Read about it and join in the conversation and do what you can.

Well, it looks like people in the White House are starting to get a bit "nervous" about Karl Rove's effect on their agenda. According to the Washington Post, there are "private debates" going on about Karl, and whether President Bush will be able to move beyond the CIA Leak scandal as long as Rove remains a close adviser.

If Rove stays, which colleagues say remains his intention, he may at a minimum have to issue a formal apology for misleading colleagues and the public about his role in conversations that led to the unmasking of CIA operative Valerie Plame, according to senior Republican sources familiar with White House deliberations.

While Rove faces doubts about his White House status, there are new indications that he remains in legal jeopardy from Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald's criminal investigation of the Plame leak. The prosecutor spoke this week with an attorney for Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper about his client's conversations with Rove before and after Plame's identity became publicly known because of anonymous disclosures by White House officials, according to two sources familiar with the conversation.

These days grow more and more interesting. My sincerest hope is that a proper resolution to these issues plaguing not only the Administration, but now the entire country can be found. One that makes us stronger as a nation. Sometimes, as history has proved, there seems to be a requirement of pain before change for the better. It doesn't have to be that way...but it seems it will be in this case.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Asking For Help

Asking for help is never an easy thing to do...but here it goes.

I know I've got a ton of regular readers and contributors out there, and I appreciate each and every one of you. Now, here's the "problem".

I've been going through a series of events that aren't so pleasant. A near constant health problem has been draining my finances for many months. In 2004, I was laid off by GE Medical Systems because they outsource to India. I lost a nearly $50,000 per year job, now in one that pays less than half that. And there were 9 months in between with little to no income (not for lack of trying, either). Despite my political beliefs as to why some of this happened, I realize it was a series of events, and I must respond. Many of us (myself the poster child) tend to avoid clarity on issues of finances, until it comes up and bites us in the ass. Clarity is powerful--it gives me choices--which lead to results from action--which leads to even more awareness and clarity.

Now, at my current job, we're overstaffed, and I'm not very high in the seniority department yet. The good and the bad of union employment. I also used to write articles for an online business magazine (but they cut back, too) as a freelance writer. I was making some pretty good money, and with good editing I can command a hefty price.

I'm not looking for charity. I'm looking for help to get me started to my goals. I'm looking for ideas. There's several ways--if you're so attracted to "help", for me to acheive some goals:
Heath is number one.
Financing this quest is a part of that.
If you need articles written, e-mail me through my profile. We can discuss fees.
Link to me.
Click on my ads, and consider purchasing an "exclusive ad" from the banner at the top (Ad Brite).
Donate. I'll throw a link up for that (in the meantime, just e-mail me through the profile link)...and with the donations, we're going to be building what I'm calling (for now) "DashPAC" (think of some better names, let me know in the comments), a political action community working on local and national issues that are in the best interests of those who desire fiscal responsibility, fair media, fair trade, fair work rules, and to work against the destructive agendas--as well as "strongly encourage" our Democratic and Independent leaders to take stands and not bow to the political will of the few.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate you.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Worse Case Scenario ("Scalito")

With the nomination to SCOTUS of Samuel Alito, it got my “moon bat” side going a little wild this morning… So I started the below piece of fiction news article. It’s something we may see—admittedly the worse case scenario, but is simply designed to get those of you who don’t care to think a little bit about what is going on in this country…

The story will be expanded in the near future. Let me know what you think. No need to comment on “being crazy,” hell—I’m just being proactive. Call it “War of the Worlds.” Call it insane, but comment on the merits of what you think may happen when the One Party Rule of the United States is set in stone if Alito is confirmed.

Supreme Court Installs Bush as President For Life

WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Truth Report): Monday, November 6th, 2006.

With mid-term elections less than 24 hours away, the Supreme Court, headed up with the majority opinion co-authored by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, have handed down a decision stating that under The Patriot Act II, President George Bush shall be installed as President for life, or until threats against the United States and its territories have been deemed “nominal.” This unprecedented action has led to massive riots around the nation, beginning with the historical University of Wisconsin-Madison outburst while we waited for the Court’s decision.

UW Madison was, in 1967, the place where “the anti-Vietnam movement” was born with the DOW Chemical protest. “The violence is unimaginable” says one student, as Madison Police, followed by National Guard troops “invaded” the campus and violently put down the anti-Bush demonstration of November 5th, 2006. Over 458 students are said to be in “serious condition” at area hospitals, and the UW Hospital has just released a report that approximately 73 students and protesters were killed in the crackdown by police and the National Guard. The results of this protest have spread like wildfire around the nation, with at last count, nearly 350 simultaneous “acts of civil disobedience” occurring on college campuses-large and small-across the nation. Massive protests over the Supreme Court’s decision have also erupted here in Washington, D.C., New York City, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, and even Houston and Austin. Overseas, London is under a state of emergency, and the European Union has called an emergency meeting to discuss “the disintegration of the world’s most powerful nation into a dangerous dictatorship.” Russia has re-tasked weapons and have upped their alert level to “high” in response to growing threats from the “disintegration of democracy” in the United States.

Reports are flowing in that major media outlets have been surrounded by National Guard and Army troops, along with jamming equipment being used to stop broadcasts and disrupt cell phone communications. Several major Internet Server centers have been taken off-line in an apparent attempt to disrupt (or destroy) Internet communication activity. Major servers are being brought online in other countries to compensate, with a promise that “taking down Internet service on a large scale is the same as a declaration of war by the United States against our people” said a high ranking official for the European Union.



Monday, October 31, 2005

It’s Halloween…

And something wicked this way comes…

On yesterday’s Meet the Press with Tim Russert, Tim reviewed several clips with his panel from the 2000 campaign. One was particularly “frightening” (OK, more like amusing): Soon to be Vice President Dick Cheney says at the Republican National Convention:
“…when we arrive at the White House…we will be delivering a good stiff dose of the truth…”
(Emphasis mine)

Alright then. So it appears that Dick went limp.

Enjoy Halloween. I’m not dressing up—wasn’t feeling creative enough. Well, more like didn’t want to spend the money to create the costume I would’ve chosen. Share what you did/are doing from Halloween. And please check out the “Worse Than Plamegate” entry below, and comment if you are so inclined. A pretty intense discussion may develop there—and I’m still looking for more feedback and discussion about my four talking points in this post to be discussed.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

"Worse Than Plamegate"

The following is from Lee Rayburn, posted at the Mic 92.1 Prog Blog, and sums up my feelings about the indictment very well:
For the first time in my lifetime, Republicans have gained control of the White House and congress.  For the first time in my lifetime, the White House is defending itself against charges of treason, while the House Majority Leader is defending himself against charges of money laundering and the Senate Majority Leader is facing multiple investigations for insider trading.  When George W. Bush was campaigning for President in 2000, he told supporters at stump speeches that he was going to usher in a new "culture of responsibility" in Washington DC.  Now we can see the fruits of his labor.
I am not cheering and I'm not proud.  This is a sad time for our democracy.  While we're trying to spread it everywhere else, our democracy has been hijacked by this culture of corruption that Republicans have ushered into the nation's capital.  Our politics are polluted.  Our democracy is endangered.  And America's future is at a crossroads.  I doubt indictments will prevent this from happening again.  It's more likely it will only change the faces and figureheads that continue to lie for our vote, cheat for their campaign cash, and steal our tax dollars.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews first coined the phrase "worse than Watergate."  White House Counsel under Richard Nixon, John Dean, wrote in his book Worse than Watergate, "I was initially astonished watching the Bush-Cheney presidency, not certain they realized the very familiar path (at least to me) that they were taking."  My greatest fear is that, 30 years from now, a former Bush administration official will be writing the book Worse than Plamegate or Worse than Treasongate.  If we don't change the people's role in politics and the politician's role in people's lives and the way money rules it all, this cycle of corruption will almost certainly come again.
So no celebrations for me today and no "told you so's".  It's time to come together to create what we all want:  a free and fruitful nation where our leaders are those with the ideas that we admire, those that we look up to, and those that are deserving of our vote and our voice.  Saying "never again" won't make it so.  Thomas Jefferson told us that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.  This land is our land, and it's high time we took it back.

Friday, October 28, 2005

I Scooter Libby:

Don't forget to participate in our discussion on democracy below (today's first post)....
More to come.....

The 12+ Days of Fitzmas

Looks like the first of "many days of Fitzmas" has finally arrived!
Of course, no one knows for sure! The irony is wonderful: investigating a CIA Leak (and more, apparently), and his Grand Jury has been Leak-Proof.

And as we approach the first day of Fitzmas, the newspapers and other news sources seem to have different sources:
New York Times: Probe likely to be extended...
Washington Post: Probe will end tomorrow...

So which is it? Your guess is as good as mine in this case. So are who will be indicted and when. Sources now believe that will be indicted today, and will "remain under investigation," but not be indicted today. And there's still news that could be under investigation as well in relation to the infamous forged Niger documents, and that he witheld important intel from Congress (not so much a part of the criminal investigation, but witholding from Congress could lead to more "Resolutions of Inquiry" into the intelligence that led us into the Iraq war).

What Can Be Done?

Now that the Special Prosecutor is preparing to deliver a near-fatal blow to the Bush Administration, the Democrats need to get their act together. There is far too much fragmentation in the Democratic Party. Failed policy, lack of solutions, and failure to act in the interest of its core base of supporters are all things that are going to continue the fractures. The Democratic Party must come up with some solutions, or it will unravel like the Republican Party is currently.

I've experienced lack of response from my representative regarding issues brought to her attention. It seems to me as though Democrats are struggling to find common ground and common goals, and are somehow "in fear" over how far they can level their attacks against the current one-party rule of all three branches of government. I'm becoming slightly unhappy. And it fuels my thoughts: It is indeed time for an organized, grassroots, third "Freedom Party" to be formed. One that is based on the goals of the common good and adheres to the ideals that the Founding Fathers put in place for this nation. It's sort of like "getting back to basics." We're all created equal. Isn't it time we're treated that way? Isn't it time that we recognize that other nations go through natural changes and--if allowed--these nations will indeed serve the best interests of the collective consciousness of their citizens? Our arrogant impatience is not serving the "greater good" of man(and woman)kind, it's serving the interests of those that believe they control the strings of financial wealth.

What so many do not understand is that the world is awash in money. It needn't be our experience that "just a few" have control of the majority of financial resources in the world. It may appear that way--but is it really "the truth?"

Let's open this discussion on the following points:
*Freedom is Free
**What should a third party look like?
***Can we exact permanent change to more closely mirror a Democracy instead of Theocracy?
****If we can...what are your opinions? Thoughts? Ideas for change?

Together, we can make a difference:
Let's discuss the Truth and the Future. All opinions welcome. Just follow the guidelines and we'll all be good. I want to hear from all of you. No matter what your background is, whether or not you're a citizen or a resident of the U.S. Sometimes the best insights come from the outside looking in. Let's make history. My intention is to see this as one of the foremost beginnings of a discussion on exacting change.

I look forward to reading your comments...have a fantastic Friday!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Coded Message...

The following sentence says two things...what it says now, and what I originally wrote before I had the words "blended." What does it say (comment with your answer)? Hint: It's something I'd like to see when the CIA Leak Investigations come to a close...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Now This Is "Fitzmas"

Is it Fitmas Day or Fitzmas Eve?

According to a Reuters story, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald could ask the Grand Jury to indict as early as today in the CIA Leak Probe. Today there are reports that Cheney told Libby of CIA officer Valerie Plame on June 12, 2003, which possible puts Libby in serious trouble with Fitzgerald--Libby informed the Grand Jury that he learned the identity of Plame through reporters.

I believe that indictments will be handed down this week, which will bring the story to the forefront of the American consciousness. I feel that the indictiments will have farther reaching implications than "just" the outing of a CIA operative. It goes to the heart of the given reasons for the war in Iraq, showing that the Administration actively participated in bringing down critics of their plans, and the "cooking of evidence" to lead the nation into war. Will it answer the question of who knew the evidence was cooked? That I'm not sure of. I doubt it. But it may provide the American people with insight, furthering the doubt that this administration has their best interests in mind.

I hope the indictments come down today, but whatever day they come this week, I believe our country will be changed, and the Bush Administration will be damaged "beyond repair."

Merry Fitzmas, everyone.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Rove, Libby In Trouble

It appears more and more likely that at least two individuals, Karl Rove and I. "Scooter" Libby will be indicted for crimes such as perjury, obstruction of justice, and providing false statements in the CIA Leak Investigation.

According to RAW STORY and the New York Times...
Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby have been advised that they may be in serious legal jeopardy, the lawyers said, but only this week has Mr. Fitzgerald begun to narrow the possible charges.
You can read more here.

Discuss. Open thread. Who else will "go down?"
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Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Secret

What is The Secret?

The Secret will premiere in a Worldwide Television Event in early 2006. It will change the course of mankind's history forever, will be seen by billions. You will know how you can be, do, or have anything you desire with The Secret.

The great men of history knew The Secret: Edison, Lincoln, Carnegie, Ford, Emerson, Einstein, and more. In 1909, a man discovered The Secret. Mastered it. Men paid vast sums of money to know the secret, and a deal was formed: The Secret would never be revealed to all. In 1929, the Great Depression hit, and those who knew The Secret thrived. In 1933, a copy of The Secret reached the Holy See. The Secret was banned...

Click on "The Secret" banner at the top of my blog for a sneak peak at the story of The Secret Scrolls. Comment if you've watched the trailer, and let me know what you think.

More on The Secret can be found by visiting The Secret Forum.

You are only one step...away from knowing the greatest Secret in human history.
What Is The Secret

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Cheney To Be Indicted?

The Culture of Corruption story is continuing to unfold...

RAW STORY has a research report stating that sources close to the investigation into the 2003 leak of Valerie Plame's identity say that Fitzgerald is now looking into Vice President Dick Cheney's involvement in the leak--that he, as part of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) may have ordered the leak to take place. This is a potentially disastrous development for the current administration, and, in my opinion, a political crisis, the likes of which have not been seen in recent history, coming soon.

The apologists can say what they want, but there are some simple truths in the fallout of such an investigation. If VP Cheney is indicted, along with other members of WHIG, it will create a political crisis which could ultimately lead to the disintegration of the entire Bush Administration. With such "important" figures possibly involved (and at this point, it doesn't matter if they're guilty or not, the indictments, if and when they come, are what I'm focusing on in this discussion), there are serious Constitutional considerations. Would Cheney have to step down? If he does, the president would quickly need to choose a new VP, and get the nomination to go through as quickly as possible.

What about the other members of WHIG? Here's the list:

Deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove, Bush advisor Karen Hughes, Senior Advisor to the Vice President Mary Matalin, Deputy Director of Communications James Wilkinson, Assistant to the President and Legislative Liaison Nicholas Calio, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby - Chief of Staff to the Vice President and co-author of the Administration's pre-emptive strike policy.

Rice was later appointed Secretary of State; her deputy Hadley was made National Security Advisor. Wilkinson departed to become a spokesman for the military's central command, and later for the Republican National Convention. Hughes was recently appointed Undersecretary of State.

I'll be writing more about this in the near the meantime, what do you think the fallout will be from this investigation?

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Did Rove lie to Bush?

Sources say that Rove told Bush he had "no role" in the leak of a CIA operative's name (Valerie Plame) to the media. So, is this an example of Rove lying to Bush, or is it the spin the White House wants (i.e. creating plausible deniability for Bush)? The truth is out there on this one...

There is so much distrust of this administration now, that I'm beginning to think this could be White House spin. Let's create an environment where Bush is protected from the "dirty work" of All the President's Men, and then hope it saves Bush. That's what I think they're thinking right now...

Add your 2 cents. And vote in the poll on who will be indicted.

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Monday, October 03, 2005

Valerie Plame Leak Probe Indictments

Who will be indicted? Vote in my poll. Leave a comment on this post if you think it's "Other".

Results as of 0742 6 Oct '05:

"Scooter" Libby
Karl Rove
Karl Rove & "Scooter" Libby
George W. Bush, Scooter, and Karl
Keep voting!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Blog Madness

There's a new traffic service for fellow bloggers to take a look at...

Blog Madness

Have a great weekend, I'm off to visit family. Stop by Blog Madness and earn credits.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Republicans Eating Their Own

Republicans Eating Their Own: WH Slams Bennett for Black Abortions Remark.

Coming Soon and Gas Prices

I'm working on a couple of stories that will be posted soon...

Today I'd just like to take a moment to wish Martian Anthropologist a speedy recovery, and complain about gas prices.
Gas prices are once again going up. They barely moved an inch around here after Rita hit (some went up roughly 5 cents a gallon), but now they're soaring. The reason? Supposedly, it's because people have waited to fill their gas tanks post-Rita, and now must start filling up when all the refineries are not yet back on-line. I suppose that's indeed understandable, but at the same time, it truly appears that there's some price-gouging going on. The higher gas prices have led to a record number of late credit card payments. Having been in "situations" regarding my finances in the past, I can understand this happening. At the same time, however, where's the conservation?

Since fuel prices started to climb, I've been simply mapping out my days to avoid any unnescessary trips. I'll go to work, hit the gas station and post office on the way there, and the grocery store on the way home. Thankfully for me (and I know this isn't the case for everyone), everything I need (just about) is on the way to or from my job. This allows me to conserve whenever possible, and avoid extra trips on the weekends or evenings after I'm already home from work. Just a suggestion, folks...

What I'm working on:
  1. TIME FOR A THIRD PARTY? Based on results from a Pew Research Poll, many are fed up not only with the Republican leadership, but getting irritated with the lack of cohesive policy coming from the Democrats. While an Independent part may be a hard sell because of corportate-controlled MSM, I'm not convinced it would fail. The winds of change may be fast and furious enough to absolutely transform the political nature of this country. And I think it is time for a change. Truth and Accountability. Too much to ask?
  2. ICEBURG, RIGHT AHEAD! I started writing this one before was indicted. Now that he's been indicted, and with 's release from prison and plans to testify before the federal grand jury investigating the scandal, this post will delve deeper into the Titanic the GOP has appeared to become.
  3. Conspiracy Investigations: I'm attempting to investigate a couple of "conspiracy theories" that I've ran across (and one recommended by Chris in the comments section of this post). We'll see what information I'm able to gather. If you have any recommendations, or any information that will help investigate HAARP, please comment. Make sure to leave a contact method (easy to do in the Haloscan comment) so we can discuss if needed.
Lastly, because of high gas prices, high electric bills (it was an awfully hot summer here), I'm running into some financial issues myself. Please consider visiting the sponsors through Crisp Ads or Google Ads. I'd appreciate it. The cash will also go towards the time taken to investigate and keep bringing you the truth. Have a fantastic Friday!

Most popular recent posts: Katrina Relief To Be Burned, Fascism, Only Smarter, and The Truth Is Revealing Itself. Also visit Bush: The End posted here and cross-posted at the Impeach Bush Coalition.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

DeLay indicted in campaign finance probe

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and 2 associates have been indicted on conspiracy charges for a campaign finance probe. This should lead to the stepping down of Tom DeLay as the majority leader for the Republican Congress (update, the AP is now reporting that he will step down).

DeLay attorney Steve Brittain said DeLay was accused of
a criminal conspiracy along with two associates, John Colyandro, former
executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and
Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay's national political committee.

The indictment against the second-ranking, and most
assertive Republican leader came on the final day of the grand jury's term. It
followed earlier indictments of a state political action committee founded by
DeLay and three of his political associates.

For more information on this breaking news, you can visit this story.

More later, right here on this blog: "Iceberg, Right Ahead!" an indictment of the Republican led government, starting to act like they're rearranging the chairs on the Titanic as it sinks. The violin player may have just started his last song...

This is a GREAT DAY for Democracy.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Create a Caption Tuesday--Bill O'Reilly

I figured this can be so hillarious, so why not. Need to lighten my mood today. Later, I am hoping to have my "Time for a Third Party?" piece done. Stay's time for change.

Post your caption to this picture.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Monday's Open Forum: Speak The Truth

New Monday Feature--"The Truth Is Out There Roll Call"

We're going to try something new...
Open Forum: Speak The Truth

What do you know to be "truth" to you? It can be in the realm of politics, government, thoughts on conspiracy, whatever...(of course, I'm asking that it be kept "clean"). Then I'll be doing a special post called "The Truth Fact Check". We'll research and discuss the facts from this open forum, to be sure we're finding the truth.

Suggested Topics:
Comment away!

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Why I Blog for Truth

I was once a Republican. I was a super-conservative (now known as a “neo-conservative”), bordering on being what I now consider to be a Fascist. I believed that abortion should be illegal under all circumstances. I believed that Christianity had the right to bleed itself into the realm of The State, and should dictate the laws that were created. I believed that Carter was weak, Clinton was a threat, and Reagan and Bush Sr. were the greatest gifts to Democracy. Yes, I was a Conservative. So, what changed?

Several years ago, a day changed the course of my entire life. While still living in Wisconsin Rapids,WI (at around age 17 or 18), I had a huge blowout with my family. I was going through a difficult and depressing time in my life regarding things happening to me, and the realizations I was having about myself (that I was “different” from others). It was a classic war between the reality of my life and the beliefs driven into me by the Lutheran Church. Then, my mother decided to drop a bombshell on me—to hopefully get me to understand her thoughts—she told me that when I was young (probably only 3 or so), she had to have an abortion. My blood ran cold. She told me the story, which I will not go into here (because it’s really nobody’s business), and it set me on a course of change. First my views on the legal issue of abortion began to change. They’ve become more “liberal” over the years since the change began, but this was the moment that shifted my world.

From there, along with things about my life I could not change, I started to become progressively more liberal. In 1992, I was still very much a Republican, and I admit I voted for George Herbert Walker Bush. My first presidential election (I was 19), and I voted (what I would learn later) against my own best interests. Thankfully, Bush did not win re-election. With Clinton president, I was able to learn and grow—and realize how my “conservative past” really did not serve me (or anyone else). So the path to being a progressive was born…

Things are so much different for me now. I label myself a Democrat, but I have a sense that even that label will change. I’m more progressive than the Centrists, so even though my democratic leanings were born of being a “Clinton Democrat”, I’m more than that now. I’m progressive—not conservative. That part of me is gone for good. And my life, and that of those around me, is better off for it.

The Truth Is Out There was born of my disdain for the lies being spewed forth by the Right (and even a few “liberals”—in the loosest sense of the term) during the 2004 election cycle. I needed to make a difference. I needed to write about what is true, and what people can do (no matter where they live) to further the cause of Truth and Freedom. Many out there don’t like “political blogs”—they just see it as someone whining about the way they wish things were. My view is that without the bloggers—whether they’re progressive, conservative, or somewhere in between—listing their thoughts in a cohesive manner, there would be less knowledge (and therefore less power) in the general public. With the mainstream media’s propensity to go with the current Administration (without question) so often, or providing only the news stories they feel are “worthy” to the general public; there’s a disconnect in this country (and forming around the world, as I’ve learned through other blogs and stories). Propaganda runs rampant. Yes, on both sides.

I ask that people would consider facts, make their decisions, and go with them. Be informed, and be free. I’m of the opinion that facts are hidden from the general public far too often (especially by this Administration) in an attempt to control freedom. Knowledge is power. Facts=Freedom. Truth=Life.

I love America. I love the principles that it was founded on (read the Constitution). Yes, America made mistakes. The Constitution didn’t free the slaves and didn’t allow women to vote. And what the United States did to Native Americans was reprehensible at the very least. But American can learn from it’s mistakes. If nobody questions what their government is doing, there is no room for learning. There’s only repetition of the darkest days of history, and America becomes the place that the Founding Fathers despised so much—a Monarchy, Dictatorship, or even a Theocracy.

And despite what the Right would have you believe, I support our troops. Completely. That’s why I think they should come home. There’s no “noble cause” in Iraq anymore (and it appears there never really was). Our troops are dying so that others may profit, and that is not supporting our troops. Having “mercenaries” and contractors in there making 50-150 times the amount of money our troops are (while having the troops protect them) is not supporting our troops. Dissent can be the highest form of patriotism. Without dissent, America would not be what it became. With the suppression of dissent (through propaganda) by this Administration, America has become less than what it once was. We can be that bastion of Freedom again.

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” ~Jesus Christ

“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.” ~Aldous Huxley

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself” ~Thomas Jefferson

Due to the personal nature of this post on sensitive issues such as abortion, any comments posted as “Anonymous” (no matter what they say) will be deleted. Any comments that are a personal attack on myself or my family will be deleted, and I’ll be sure to note your IP Address. I welcome comments, but you need to read this first. If you cannot form a good argument, but can only spew hate and name calling, you cannot comment. Period. That being said, I look forward to your comments…

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Frist Joins DeLay: Liars Both

Sep. 24, 2005 - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was updated several times about his investments in blind trusts during 2002, the last time two weeks before he publicly denied any knowledge of what was in the accounts, documents show. (From the article...)
Click the Title of this post to read more from ABC News...

Open thread: How does exposing Republican lies affect your views on the House of Representatives changing majority, and the Senate Republican leadership severely eroded in 2006?


Will it further fuel the fires of the movement to Impeach Bush?

"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself." ~Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Operation Offset

"Operation Offset"
Republicans to Screw The Military, Amtrak, Seniors and the Disabled, and First Responders.

Raw Story has received a document completed by the Republican Study Committee called "Operation Offset", which is an internal study by the Republican members of Congress (86 total Republicans are on the committee) on how to reduce spending in the wake of Katrina. This document contains all of the items that the Republicans have been frothing at the mouth to get rid of for years, but never had the broad support to do so. Many of the items appear so inflammatory, I'm not sure what this committee was smoking when they came up with their ideas...

Some of the "highlights":

Medicare Cuts:
  • Delay the Medicare Prescription Drug Program until January 1, 2007 (currently slated to begin January 1, 2006). Yes, this is the same program that Bush was out supporting while NOLA was beginning to drown.
  • Increase Medicare Part B co-payments from 25% to 30%. With seniors and the disabled now having to choose between gas, food, prescriptions, and heating their home this winter due to the expected 125 or more percent increase in Natural Gas costs, draw your own conclusions on the effect this may have...
  • Impose a Home Health co-payment of 10% for Medicare.
Military Benefits and Administrative Cuts:
  • Close the Domestic Dependent School System. Yes, that's right--let's cut benefits to the families of the men and women currently serving overseas under already increasingly harsh conditions (such as Stop-Loss orders and dying in a war that Americans now believe we cannot win).
  • Introduce HSAs as an TRICARE option. In other words, try to force military members and their dependents off of the TRICARE health care system. From the party of "supporting the military".
  • Restrict First Responder grants to "At-Risk Communities". Love this one. So, now it must be that only the Republicans really know who's going to be attacked?
There's much more that can be found in the document here. (PDF)
It seems to me that the Republican party is intent on cutting spending in areas that will affect mainly the poor and already disenfranchised instead of "cutting the fat" that Tom Delay claims no longer exists. I really wonder how they plan on sneaking this proposal through. Whatever their ways--we must all join together and say enough is enough. Become fiscally responsible in other ways, like stopping no-bid contracts to Halliburton and other Bush cronies, rolling back the tax cuts to the 1% of the richest Americans (which would pay for Katrina and Iraq), and stop handing out money-candy to their biggest supporters.

It's time to start fall cleaning. 2006 is the year in which Congress must be cleansed. Enough lies, deciet, and ineptitude. We can teach the Beltway a lesson.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Gas Prices Rise With Rita

Unleaded Gasoline Average Prices

One Week Ago
One Month Ago
One Year Ago

How bad is it where you are?

Yesterday I learned that gas prices could soar to $3.85 a gallon after Rita makes landfall if it remains at it's current strength (Category 5, weakening to a Category 4 just before landfall). And the Hurricane Season hasn't even peaked yet...

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Rita a 5

Make sure to read Katrina Relief To Be Burned...and Katrina Reconstruction Problems: Update. Here's the latest from the National Hurricane Center...

4 PM CDT WED SEP 21 2005


WTNT63 KNHC 211955
255 PM CDT WED SEP 21 2005




Here we go again...

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Katrina Relief To Be Burned

400,000 NATO Ration Packs that were sent to the United States by Britian for Hurricane Katrina relief are to be fire.
It seems the U.S. Government's obsession with Red Tape (hmmm...Red States, Red Tape?) continues in the aftermath of Katrina. Britian's Daily Mirror reported on Monday that red tape from the Department of Agriculture has landed these rations in an FDA incineration plant. The story on their website contains an advertisement that is quite annoying, so the story is excerpted here, found on Raw Story.

The food, which cost British taxpayers millions, is sitting idle in a huge warehouse after the Food and Drug Agency recalled it when it had already left to be distributed. Scores of trucks headed back to a warehouse in Little Rock, Arkansas, to dump it at an FDA incineration plant.

But officials blamed the US Department of Agriculture, which impounded the shipment under regulations relating to the import and export of meat.

One British aid worker, who would not be named, said: "This is the most appalling act of sickening senselessness while people starve.

"The FDA has recalled aid from Britain because it has been condemned as unfit for human consumption, despite the fact that these are Nato approved rations of exactly the same type fed to British soldiers in Iraq.

"Under NATO, American soldiers are also entitled to eat such rations, yet the starving of the American South will see them go up in smoke because of FDA red tape madness."

The worker added: "There will be a cloud of smoke above Little Rock soon - of burned food, of anger and of shame that the world's richest nation couldn't organise a p**s up in a brewery and lets Americans starve while they arrogantly observe petty regulations.

One has to wonder...will this ever end? Will the federal government grow some brains and stop using regulations to further disrupt the lives of those most affected by Katrina? And it begs the question: Whe terrorists nuke a large American city, or the Big One hits San Francisco, or the New Madrid fault many will be strangled to death (literally) by Red Tape? President Bush needs to get on the phone and kick some a**.

In the meantime, preparations should continue to be made to impeach Bush. Not just for his response to Katrina (negligent homicide), but for the web of lies, deceit, and downright disregard for the constitution. The truth will prevail.

Also, read this post for updated information on the suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931.

"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set ye free" -Jesus

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Katrina Reconstruction Problems: Positions on Davis-Bacon Update

Updates on positions related to the suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931:
(Updated 09/24/2005)-See Comments Section for Transcript of Sept. 21st WH Press Briefing...
It's interesting to note where Congress stands on this issue, so I'm presenting a list with information gleaned from Congressional websites, correspondence, and the Talking Points Memo list of "Wage Cut Wigglers."

Where you see No Statement Avaliable, please comment if you're in that congressional district and have contacted your representative's office regarding the president's suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act.

We're going to start with Wisconsin, my home state:

  • Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) 2nd Congressional District (Map): No statement available. Awaiting answer to e-mail sent (see "Katrina Reconstruction Problems: Where are the Democrats?") Update: Rep. Baldwin is a co-sponsor of H.R.3763, a bill "to reinstate the application of the wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act to Federal contracts in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina."
  • Rep. Mark Green (R-WI) 8th Congressional District: No statement available. (Please comment if you're in Rep. Green's district and have contacted his office regarding the suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act)
  • Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) 4th Congressional District: No statement available. Update: Rep. Moore is a co-sponsor of H.R.3763, a bill "to reinstate the application of the wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act to Federal contracts in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina."
  • Rep. David R. Obey (D-WI) 7th Congressional District: No statement available. Update: Rep. Obey is a co-sponsor of H.R.3763, a bill "to reinstate the application of the wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act to Federal contracts in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina."
  • Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) 6th Congressional District: No statement available.
(More to be added)
Other States (Not in any particular order--yet):
Update: For a list of representatives who have co-sponsored H.R.3763 visit this site.

More to come. If you know your Representative's position, post it in the comments and it will be added to the list with you as the source.

Ending institutionalized poverty has got to be one of the priorities in the Katrina Recovery Effort. Ask you represenative to support a bill recinding the president's suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act, and asking for accountability regarding no-bid contracts already awarded...

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Katrina Reconstruction Problems: Where are the Democrats?

Like father, like son.

There's a lot of talk going around the 'net about the suspension by president G. W. Bush of the Davis-Bacon Act for reconstruction of effected areas in the Gulf Coast region in the wake of Katrina. First, it turns out that his father, George H. W. Bush, also suspended the Davis-Bacon Act in 1992 following the devastation of South Florida after Hurricane Andrew. His suspension was indefinite, and was not restored until Clinton took office in 1993. Created in 1931, the act is named after it's two Repubican sponsors (yes, back when Republicans seemed to respect workers) James Davis and Robert L. Bacon. The other presidents who suspended the Davis-Bacon act were Franklin D. Roosevelt, who suspended it for 3 weeks to manage administrative adjustments because of the New Deal in 1934. Richard M. Nixon also supsended the act in February of 1971 in an attempt to lower inflation pressures. He reinstated the act after just 28 days due to allegations of political motive behind the move--giving the impression that construction workers were to blame for the inflation problems.

Proclamation 7924 was issued and signed by the president on September 8th, 2005. Rep. George Miller (D-CA) has stated in a post at TPMCafe that he believes that the proclomation was issued "illegally" by President Bush, because it was done before a national emergency had been declared. I cannot find any information on the time or date that an "official" procomation of "National Emergency" was listed by the President as required to be able to use the wording as an "excuse" or reasoning for the suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act. You can read Rep. Miller's posting here.

According to various sources, the "prevailng wage" in New Orleans (which was protected as the "lowest wage" possible under the Davis-Bacon Act) was around $9.00/hour. This "prevailing wage" in inadequate by many standards, especially for skilled labor. To pay laborers less than this amount, while at the same time rewarding no-bid contracts to friends of the administration, is despicable. It shouldn't, of course, be surprising to anyone.

However, my growing dissapointment is what I perceived as a lack of Democratic action or speaking out against the proclamation suspending the Davis-Bacon Act. I was able to find that Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) has co-sponsored legislation that would recind the president's proclomation. You can read her statement here. It is time for the Democrats to stand up, speak out (and speak loudly) about this proclamation's effect on the residents of these already devastated areas, as well as questioning the supsension (whether or not it was done legally), and the awarding of no-bid contracts to Bush family friends (such as Halliburton for millitary base reconstruction, and this disturbing story about the award of a contract to remove bodies by Kenyon International. Kenyon International is a subsidiary of Service Corporation International (SCI), a scandal-ridden Texas-based company operated by a friend of the Bush family. Recently, SCI subsidiaries have been implicated in illegally discarding and desecrating corpses.

This is not a time for inaction. If you agree that the Davis-Bacon Act should not have been suspended by President Bush, write your congressperson today. I just wrote my congresswoman, Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) regarding the Davis-Bacon Act and the activities of this adminstration that should lead to Articles of Impeachment being drafted against President Bush. Below is an excerpt:

I am particularly concerned with the president's choice via Executive Proclamation 7924 which suspends the Davis-Bacon Act in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. Since the prevailing wage as set by the Dept of Labor is considerably less than what most skilled individuals here in Madison, WI would receive, I believe that suspension of this Act is dangerous to the nation as a precedent being set for the dismantling of the Davis-Bacon Act. I believe that these low wages that gov't contractors would be able to pay will continue the institutionalized poverty along the Gulf Coast, especially in areas of New Orleans and Mississippi.

I have also learned that President Bush may have signed the executive order before the actual declaration of a "National Emergency" which is required to be able to suspend the Act. This information was posted at TPM Cafe ( by Rep. George Miller (D-CA).

It is my further opinion that it is time the Democrats in the House of Representatives took a stand and speak out in the strongest possible terms regarding the diastrous response to Katrina by FEMA and DHS, and the president himself (who played golf, got a guitar, and ate cake while New Orleans drowned, and required a DVD 4 days after the hurricane to be able to "understand" the gravity of the situation). This is neglect of his Oath of Office of the highest order.

Because of this and our nation's disastrous policies in an illegal war (Iraq), I have joined with (now approaching over a hundred) other bloggers in a progressive coaliton that believes it is time to begin strong investigations in the House and begin the process of bringing Articles of Impeachment against the President George W. Bush.
You can use the text above if you'd like, and tailor it to your own needs (obviously if you're not in Rep. Baldwin's district, you'd want to remove the reference to Madison, WI). This is a time of action. Inaction is as good as agreeing with the Bush Administration.

Recind the proclamation. Now.

On another note from Wisconsin: More censorship of Freedom of Speech?

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