Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Death Penalty

In a country that preaches killing is wrong it is completely hypocritical to have state sponsored executions. In a country that coined the phrase moral majority it is hypocritical to have state sponsored executions. In a country whose president used religion to get elected it is wrong to have state sponsored executions. In a country whose leader professes to be a born again whose wife is portrayed as a pure religious woman who turned his life around it is wrong to have state sponsored executions. In a country whose legislative body has repeatable tried to legislate morality it is wrong to have state sponsored executions. In a country whose political leaders pander to the fevering religiosity of the fanatical and corrupt it is wrong to have state sponsored executions. An eye for an eye in the Old Testament but the Ten Commandments say though shall not kill. The contradictions abound on the book we place our hand on as we testify and take office. But if killing is wrong and one looses their freedom for the act then why must we kill to further prove we are right in our judgment that killing is wrong as we do and sanctify the very act we abhor.

Killing is wrong in any way state or fashion. Situational ethics spell hypocrisy. Defend your life as you must but even then killing is still wrong and the knowledge of that makes us whole and keeps the course as we journey through life together. Ask any soldier on any side - killing is wrong and if we all followed that one simple rule this world would be one giant step closer to Utopia.


Our politicians (hardly leaders) are hypocrites and phonies tarnishing the very concepts of the religion they so frequently trot out to get elected. A bigger scare on the face of the earth does not exist and the secular are more pure of heart.

Another opportunity has been wasted to elevate the consciousness of mankind. All excuses for killing are wrong except to meet the killers on a battlefield the Hitler’s, and those who cherish death and bloodshed and look to inflict the same. But even after the battle when the right thing to do wins again - the right still know that killing is wrong and it separates them and makes them right, whole and complete as there is no joy in death or in giving death even for those who seek it. Killing is wrong and we need to lead by example and use death sparingly in defense of our freedoms, civility, and spirituality. A man behind bars will do what he can to avoid death even lend his voice against the path that lead him to be behind bars. He is caged like an animal for acting like an animal although god breathed the very knowledge of right and wrong into his soul. We know the difference inherently; no book or writings need to tell us. Teachings only remind us of what is in our bones. Now another voice for peace and understanding is silenced, another voice for civility gone. Whatever his motives may have been whether innocent or a liar who knew more than he that killing is wrong, and now more potential death row voices are silenced why speak out if you are going to die anyway, as bitterness over takes the truth, and forgiveness is ignored, and our moral high ground is lowered yet again by the politically expedient measures of those who lack vision but gain power through corruption and greed. Worried about getting reelected selfish and puny, cowards they falter in the face of the ultimate truths of our reality and they are not leaders and they are not men.

Monday, November 21, 2005

IRAQ

Vision is gone from governing and the expediency of getting elected and keeping that job is more important. These guys spend millions of dollars to get elected to a thousand dollar a year job. The insider perks must be amazing. These guys are willing to say and do anything. That right there is the root of the problem.

We won't be able to pull out of Iraq until the political risk of supporting the war and loosing your place at the political table becomes too great. That tide may indeed be turning. Iran then steps into the void and sends troops into Iraq to quell the Sunni’s and we are right back where we started when Saddam was fighting the Iranians. The supporters of democracy will be run off (again) and the women will loose whatever rights they are nurturing right now.

Iraq has arbitrary borders drawn by the British after world war two. To me split that country back up into its natural population centers. Too bad the Sunni’s don’t have oil and the Shiites enslave their women. Why should we die to enlighten them or should we? Aren’t we here to help one another? Isn’t that the grand design? Shouldn’t we just lead by example? Aren’t we setting a poor example right now? I don’t know. But the Kurds can govern themselves and so what if Turkey doesn’t like it and Iran has more influence in the south. Something tells me the Shiites aren’t going to get pushed around. Democracy and freedom can come to the Kurds and the rest can pound sand. So let the pull out begin and the natural order of things take shape. The only problem is that those trying to capitalize on the economic opportunities have their politicians in place, and they want all of Iraq, which leads me to the biggest Dick (Cheney).

Are you sick of Dick Cheney's “reprehensible” attitude? He speaks up with that I'm your father do as I say ‘tude and it's just crap. That overblown arrogance isn’t fooling anyone anymore. Someone tell him to shut up. His self righteousness smacks of such self patronage as he keeps padding his personal income by awarding contracts to Halliburton.

The glimmer of hope is to look at Vietnam - after that stupid slaughter it has somehow become peaceful with a growing market economy. Maybe violence and war is like a mood that somehow has to run its course. After people tire of the blood letting it's over. The rest of us won't resort to it and find it hard to understand in the first place, but unfortunately there are many who strive for power and feel that violence is the way. If we shrink from the hard contest then the bolder and louder will pass us by. In hindsight we should have removed Saddam like we removed Noriega and left. Panama seems fine now. It’s certainly not as noisy as Iraq. Ulterior motives and honesty is out of fashion. Power and greed lead the way. It’s ugly and dangerous isn’t it?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Open Letter To Virginia Pilot Newspaper

Hey all - click on the live link writing a letter to the editor has never been easier below is my effort!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Virginian-Pilot
P.O. Box 449
Norfolk, VA 23510 - 2018

Dear Editor,

The idea that the oil executives can testify before congress without taking an oath and Ted Stevens gets to bark down his fellow representatives without repercussion is reprehensible. Mr. Stevens should be brought up on ethics charges for his petulant behavior. Are our energy executives above protocol and the law? Our current set of representatives act like dictators as if the American people don't have a right to honesty and integrity.

Dick Cheney can come out every now and then and speak with conviction like he's our nations conscience, but when he doesn't come forward voluntarily with who was on the energy task force that shaped our nations policy, one has to ask just what is it that is so egregious that he is hiding.

Until this administration comes forward cleanly, and honestly all matter of speculation will continue and it will be bad for the economy, the troops, and the nation as a whole. Democracy cannot tolerate a government run in secrecy.

Sincerely,

Paul
journeyhome

Friday, November 18, 2005

Corporate Media

Big corporate media has consolidated and owns the majority of the major outlets both television and newspaper. The large corporate dominated media speaks with one voice and provides funds for the politicians that will represent their corporate interest on Capital Hill. If everyone is on the same team saying the same things how can a journalist or newscasters say something different and not run afoul of their boss? News reporting is about different points of view and much more than just repeating what those in power want you to say or print. News reporting in this country is on the verge of being hijacked by a big federal government and turned into a propaganda machine the likes of which we fought against coming out of the Soviet Union during the cold war.

Independent journalism is the only hope in countries of repressive regimes and the United States should be a beckon of independent news reporting no matter how hurtful it may seem to someone’s political allegiance. Real world concerns about the politics at their work place hinder newscasters and reporters from doing their job and their ability to honestly report the news if they are worried about what their boss thinks, and the pressure he might be under to tow the company line. That pressure comes from some larger corporate conglomerate trying to curry favor with an administration to protect or enhance their overall bottom line and thus excelling at their corporate self interest. That becomes a conflict of interest because they are also in the news business. Because their holdings are also in the news busines they have a duty greater than their bottom line to the populace and the nation.

It is the duty to uphold the independent status and nature of news reporting, and insulate those news agencies from outside political pressure. News reporting needs to be insulated from the control of power and money with direct political ties especially during this almost Orwellian time of consolidation. Opposing points of view are important to give to the general public so they can make an informed decision. The news reporting services have a greater allegiance to be the fourth wing of the government, independent, truthful and factual. Sometimes our patriotism gets hijacked by blind party loyalty. But the news industry has a historic and patriotic duty to shine a light on the truth and insure that honorable men and women represent our nation’s best interest. Corporate America has to do all that it can to insulate the news reporting arm of their corporate empires so that they can do the peoples business fairly, honestly and openly. It will be a better country for it, and it is their patriotic duty. It is what the founding fathers of our country intended. They knew how vital a free and independent press was to freedom and in keeping an eye on power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and freedom requires constant vigilance.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Chris Cain

Man am I sick of the b.s. - let's get back to something real - this is a post I put out on Chris Cain's web site - It's time for a musical interlude!

While most everyone is out chasing the latest, greatest young gun or another disapointing release from the tried and true. Chris Cain has been doing his thing up and down the West coast for decades. That's his problem he needs to hit the East Coast for an extensive tour, and get over to Europe for a few months. But then again why should he? He's happy playing up and down the West Coast for stoked fans. To know Chris is to LOVE him.

I stumbled into a blues club out west called Larry Blakes. We were just looking for something to eat and maybe catch a local talent. Well before the band took the stage we discovered the juke box and after hearing Bobby Bland's version of Stormy Monday from that Juke Box we were aware that we might be in a vortex of musical righteousness. Then came this casual looking dude and his female keyboard player, and then the horns and that fat hollow body, and we chuckled knowingly - well we had no idea really how blown away we would be. From the opening note and vocal we felt like kids at Christmas died and gone to heaven.

The thing about Chris is that he plays with power and passion and very clean - in both his lyrical phrasing and playing. The musical thoughts are given full room to expand and his phrasing of guitar notes is not all flash and speed. He's using his ear too and playing tastefully and with vigor. Compared too often to B.B. King in his vocal sound - I think Chris's timber is a little lower and fuller, rounder, and that jazz body guitar just jumps. Well (of course after a night of dancing and howling) we bought the album "Late Night City Blues" and I went back east and played it on my radio show every chance I got. When it came out on CD I scooped it up. His later recordings for Blind Pig are just as clean and exceptional, and energetic and fun as ever but this first album with it's extended versions allows for some real breathing room for Chris and the band. It is a sure joy.

With a "cd" collection that includes, Layla, Allman Brothers Fillmore East, Coltrane, MJQ, Hank Mobly, The Band, Tons of Dead, Little Feat, Marshall Tucker, Doc Watson, Bonnie Raitt, Yes, Rolling Stones, Tony Rice, Ronnie Earl, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Robillard, Beatles, Skynyrd, Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, Marley, Tosh, Kottke, Knopfler, Buddy Guy, Grissman, Grand Funk, Deep Purple, Bela Fleck, Tinsley Ellis, Dylan, Diddley and the Del Fonics - this is one of my favorite CD's ever!

You don't have to listen to Chris Cain - you don't have to buy his stuff, and he doesn't have to be famous - or come to your town, because wherever he is there is always a crowd and people dying to see him play and club owners and event organizers and record labels tripping all over themselves to hear him, and get him up on stage. This "cat" is the real deal - seriously!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

BUSH Impeachment Inevitable

This from Perspectives.com
Click on the links the background material is startling and arrests have begun to be made!

During a week when Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean tried to rally his party in a quixotic effort to block the confirmation of John Roberts, Republicans at all levels of government may have given him the keys to Congress. For Democrats, ending the epidemic of GOP corruption, patronage and cronyism has to be one sure fire theme for next year's mid-term elections. Memo to Dean: Clean Up the Mess in '06.

The Republican rap sheet for the past week alone is staggering. Senate Majority Leader and 2008 GOP presidential hopeful Bill Frist is now in deep trouble for likely insider trading. Only days earlier, the senior Bush administration procurement official at the Office of Management and Budget David Safavian was arrested for lying and obstructing the criminal investigation of Republican mega-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Later in the week, the Bush administration continued revving up its patronage machine even in the post-Michael Brown era, nominating unqualified political hacks and industry stooges for a senior post at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and leading investigations at the FTC.

With their notorious "K Street Project", Republicans have perfected the Iron Triangle that greases the skids between officials in federal agencies, the congressman and staff that have oversight for them, and the legions of lobbyists who ply them with connections, cash, and careers. It's long past time for the Republican purveyors of the Triangle of Iron to spend some time behind bars of iron.

The list of Republican miscreants below is by no means complete. But it should provide plenty of ammunition for Democrats running on platform of clean government and ethics reform in Washington, in the states, and on K Street:

In the White House

  • Philip Cooney. The former chief of staff for President Bush's Council on Environmental Quality set the modern day record for running the iron triangle. Cooney, who prior to joining the Bush White House was a lawyer (and not a scientist) for the Petroleum Institute, doctored government reports in order to cast doubt on the consensus linkage between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. In just five days in June, Cooney went from revelations to resignation to rehiring by oil industry leader Exxon.
  • David Safavian. Safavian, the Bush administration's top procurement official at the Office of Management and Budget, was arrested for lying to federal agents and obstructing a criminal investigation. The investigation? The inquiry into his mentor and previous employer Jack Abramoff, from whom Safavian (like Tom Delay) accepted golf outings and for whom he arranged a sweetheart land deal for Abramoff's supposed Hebrew academy. With his other ties to Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed, Safavian may have just procured a lot of trouble for some of the leading lights – and low lifes – of the conservative movement.
  • Dick Cheney. Following the ethical lapses of Vice President Cheney is only slightly less difficult than following his arteries. Cheney successfully fought off inquiries into the composition of the White House Energy Task force, which produced the bill signed by President Bush authorizing massive tax giveaway to industry cronies. Despite leaving Halliburton prior to becoming Vice President, Cheney continues to draw almost $200,000 a year from Halliburton through a blind trust. Halliburton has been investigated over fraud and mismanagement in the $7 billion of contracts it has received in Iraq. And of course, Halliburton subsidiaries were among the first to gobble up Katrina recovery contracts. Not surprisingly, Army whistleblower Bunnatine Greenhouse was demoted for questioning Halliburton's no-bid contracts.
  • Karl Rove. The misdeeds of "the Architect" are legion, many having to do with Valerie Plame CIA outing scandal. But from the early days of the Bush administration, Rove too was involved in corruption and cronyism. In 2001, Rove met at the White House with Intel executives seeking government approval of a merger, despite his ownership of over $100,000 of Intel stock at the time.

In Congress

  • Bill Frist. The good doctor is big trouble over the growing insider trading scandal involving stock of health care giant HCA, stock which supposedly was being held in a blind trust. Despite his repeated public denials, AP reported that Frist has been regularly updated about the status of the HCA stock since 2002. In mid-July, Frist's trust joined a host of HCA insiders in selling off $112 million of stock just prior to a 15% drop in its value. This is not the first time the Frist family had been in trouble over HCA, which acquired the Columbia company founded by his father. In addition to past fines for Medicare fraud, the family business has also been at the center of a 1997 insider trading inquiry involving Bill's brother Thomas. As the record clearly shows, Frist lied twice. Terri Schiavo was blind. His blind trust was not.
  • Tom Delay. The House Majority leader and man who promised to bring "biblical government" to Washington is facing ethical woes of biblical proportions. Delay and key aides have been indicted for accepting illegal corporate contributions to Delay's Texas for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee. His "dearest friend", golf buddy and influence peddler in the Mariana Islands Jack Abramoff has been arrested. And over the years, his wife and daughter have been over $500,000 in campaign funds. No wonder Delay says that he, like Jesus, is being persecuted for his message.
  • Bob Ney. The Ohio Congressman is in hot water over his association with golfing partners Abramoff and Safavian. Ney received a lavish trip to Scotland on Abramoff's private jet, a trip worth over $100,000. Ney also received over $30,000 in contributions from Abramoff casino client, the Tigua tribe. As the American Prospect reported, these favors and perks are just the tip of the iceberg.

In the Federal Bureaucracy

  • Michael Brown. "Brownie", previously fired by the International Arabian Horse Association, resigned in disgrace from FEMA after his performance in the Katrina debacle and his faked resume came to light. Brown’s primary qualification to become FEMA head in the post-9/11 United States was his close relationship with the agency’s previous head, GOP fundraiser and Brown's own college roommate, Joe Allbaugh. (below). Brown's primary qualification for staying on the job? Delivering Florida for George W. Bush in 2004, of course.
  • Joe Allbaugh. The head of FEMA responsible who recommended his college roommate Michael Brown as his successor at the disaster response agency, Allbaugh brought no relevant qualifications to the Bush administration. None, that is, except a proven track record of as a Republican fundraiser. Even moreso than fake Bush environmental watchdog Philip Cooney, Allbaugh quickly translated his government service into quick cash. His latest win? Katrina recovery contracts for his consulting firm from his past employer, FEMA.
  • Julie Myers. Bush nominee Myers found her nomination to head the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) in trouble in the wake of the Michael Brown fiasco. Even Republican Senator Mike Dewine (R-OH) questioned her credentials, which include stints as a federal prosecutor and time at the Commerce Department. Myers, who has no experience running a large bureaucracy, does have experience being the niece of outgoing Joint Chiefs head Richard Myers and being the wife of John Wood, chief of staff for DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff.
  • Deborah Majoras. The Federal Trade Commission chairwoman is the FTC's point person on its gasoline price gauging inquiry in the wake of hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, in her prior life at the Jones Day law firm she was also the point person for Chevron-Texaco and Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root. In 2004, Senator Ron Wyden opposed her nomination for her refusal to outline the steps she would take to investigate and fight gas price gauging.

In the States

  • California Governor Arnold Schwarzegger. The Terminator was forced to terminate his $8 million contract with American Media Inc. signed just days before his inauguration. AMI, which also paid for the silence of Arnold teen paramour Gigi Goyette, was funneling $1.5 million a year to the Governor in exchange for his promotion of the syndicate’s muscle magazines. Not surprisingly, during this time Arnold blocked legislation proposing new regulations for dietary supplements.
  • Ohio Governor Bob Taft. The Ohio Governor got caught up in the Ohio "Coingate" scandal, accepting gifts and golfing outings from Thomas Noe (below). Pleading no contest to four misdemeanor ethics violations, Taft showed that even more than his grandfather, he is "Mr. Republican."
  • Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher. In a new low even for Republicans, Governor Fletcher granted a blanket pardon to nine current and former members of his administration who were charged with violations of state personnel laws. The governor of course claims the investigation into his nepotism and patronage in hiring practices, which led the Kentucky Attorney General to search his offices, is politically motivated. Right.
  • Tom Noe. A prominent Republican fundraiser in Ohio, Noe was a major contributor for President Bush, Governor Taft and governor-want-to-be Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell. Noe is also at the center of "Coingate", a scandal by which Noe received $50 million from the state’s workers compensation fund for investment in rare coins. So rare, in fact, that at least $13 million is unaccounted for.

On K Street

  • Jack Abramoff. The crimes of Republican mega lobbyist Abramoff are so numerous as the prevent listing them all here. In addition to paying for trips and golf outings for Tom Delay and David Safavian, Abramoff swindled over $60 million from Indian tribes whose casino interests he represented. (Abramoff was indicted in August.) Together, Abramoff and Safavian could spell a lot of trouble for a lot of Republicans.
  • Ralph Reed. The Safavian web also entangles Ralph Reed, formerly of the Christian Coalition and Bush's southeastern campaign chairman. Reed was on those golf outings with Safavian and Abramoff. Like Abramoff, Reed also feasted on native Americans to the tune of $1 million in fees for casino lobbying. Interestingly, Reed also worked for Bill Gates in 2000, lobbying then candidate and Reed ally George W. Bush regarding the Department of Justice against Microsoft.

The list goes on and on. The Republicans parasites in the White House, in Congress, in state houses and in the lobbying firms, are turning the United States into a sad parody of the stereotypical South American banana Republic. Better yet, the Bush White House has come to resemble the government of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. Even down to Condi Rice's shoes.

UPDATE: Several readers have written to highlight more members of President Bush's ethically-challeged amen corner. The new web site BeyondDelay highlights the 13 most tainted members of Congress, including suspect Democrats. For those following the likes of Duke Cunningham (R-CA), Roy Blount (R-MO), Richard Pombo (R-CA) and Rick Santorum, BeyondDelay has the goods.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tom Delay

Tom - cried it's a witch hunt - fantastic - what goes around comes around buddy.


Oh and if you think the middle class isn't going to get tired of tax breaks for the uber rich, and sweetheart deals for insiders, the plundering of the environment and the horrible impact on our overall health and well being, and the arrogance and swagger that as an elected official you are somehow above the law, redistricting along highway routes, protecting pesticide companies from litigation brought onto them by their unsafe, cancer causing products that are sprayed on our food, obscene pork, pork, pork give-a-ways in the face of historic deficits - if you don't think the wronged are going to fight back anyway they can you risk your own demise and those of your kind.

Love Paul




Tuesday, September 27, 2005

George Bush Friend of the Environment

George sucks. Today he wants us to drive less? He's starting to worry about oil impacting the economy and his stock portfolio. His great conservation move is to tell us to all stay home while his jet setters and rich and famous friends fly around the world on vacation and business. His solution is that the middle class has to stay home because there isn't enough oil to go around!

We certainly don't want the precious stock market to falter and the fat cats loose their profit margins and earnings in their portfolios. We certainly don't want their plane tickets to go up and prevent them from winging it to the south of France. This is unbelievable we save and scrimp all year so we can vacation or visit family. If George wants to do something to save his valuation in his stock portfolio maybe he should rethink subsidizing the timber industry to the tune of 49 million dollars and collecting only 800,000 thousand in royalties. Maybe he should ask for the billions in subsidies back from the oil companies to spend on developing more fuel efficient cars? Nope he has the gall to ask us to restrict our freedom so his lifestyle won't change. He has done nothing but absolutely nothing to make the environment better and to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. His record is horrendous. He has done for the United States exactly what he did for Texas as Governor. Go to hell George. Americans don't change your habits. The only time these guys will enact common sense laws good for the majority is when the stock market starts to tank. Canceling school in Georgia to save oil so the economy doesn't take a hit speaks volumes. Do you think your politician’s priorities are just a little wrong there?


Read Tim Dickson's short article published in September's issue of Rolling Stone highlighting George's Compassionate Conservative attitude towards God's Green Earth and you!

Friday, September 23, 2005

George Bush Fan Mail From Moby

George W. does what Cheney tells him to do and what Karl Rove tells him to do. Do you remember the attack on McCain’s war record, and from a guy that bailed on National Guard Duty? These are not honorable people. They think they know everything, and that the citizens are chumps and too lazy to pay attention. Pride goeth before the fall.

W. got a free ride because of 9/11. As you can see (as everyone can see) he is horrible as a manager, and places his incompetent cronies in position of authority. If it weren't for 9/11 and the free pass and scare tactics he used to his advantage he would have never been reelected. His ineptness would have come to the fore under regular press scrutiny. That's his home state, a red state that he couldn't get evacuated properly. Those people are sitting ducks. Even the surfers know about opening up the opposite lanes. They even have a fancy word for it - contraflow - or something like that. It's impossible to imagine W. didn't say - have you opened up all the lanes - to the governor of his state.

After 9/11 it became a crime to publicly criticize W. But time has moved on and his free pass is over. Lo and behold as the flood waters breach (at this very moment) the levees in New Orleans (once again) George W. Bush will be hearing for the next several years all the criticism that has been held in check. The American people do eventually get it. W. is blatantly painted by the following words. Thank you Moby for articulating what we all have been excusing up until now:

“George Bush is the worst president in the history of the United States. He was a wealthy child, not very bright, and had everything handed to him. When he invaded Iraq he thought it would be as easy as ordering a pizza at Domino's.”

Pretty strong and accurate words (remember the mission complete banner as he rode onto a carrier in a flight suit?) W. is pathetic. He's blatant incompetence wrapped up in an overabundance of arrogance. He is completely out of his element.

But the citizens elected him and the representatives in congress. The fault lies with them. Until the elections become less about right versus left and more about hey who the heck are these guys really we’ll always have this problem. Until people stop electing candidates because they hate gays or fear women and think rather hmmm what does it take to be a real leader, a solid manager, a clear thinker, a successful executive and what the heck is this guys track record, until we ignore the advertising, the smear tactics (thank you Karl Rove for taking that to new heights) until people take a measured look at each individual and vote their pocket books they deserve what they get for voting ideology instead of practicality.

The difference between honorable men and corrupt individuals can not be summed up by their stand on abortion or gay marriage. We need a return to practicality and out with all the mumbo jumbo consternation about personal predilections and religious beliefs. Otherwise we are going to end up with a Hitler ourselves. Vote for the guy whose resume you like. Looks like W. can add another bankruptcy to his resume!


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. Bush,

You know how to win a race but you don't know what to do when you get there. You have a lack of vision, and what vision you have is limited to your own pocketbook and self interest. Actions speak louder than words. You stayed on vacation when your citizens needed you. No amount of Rove spin strategy can make that go away. You need to know I am a huge supporter of your efforts in IRAQ, but I am continually horrified at your lack of business sense; the amount of pork in the energy and transportation bills; your inability to grasp that a healthy environment lowers health care costs; and your inability to grasp that we need to move away from dirty fuel sources to clean ones. In a vision for New Orleans and this country you might want to add a few more refineries new ones built within EPA standards, increase the size of the levies, restore the marsh land, and not rebuild in the low lying areas. I might also suggest concentrating poor people all in one area doesn't work. If we are going to help the poor as your bible states we are compelled to do then we must help them by integrating them into successful communities where the opportunity to join the work force is ample. Concentrating them in dead end housing projects compounds the despair, crime and drug use that eventually infiltrates the surrounding areas. We are products of our environment. In retrospect it is easy to see the cause and motivation of the rolling blackouts in California and the high gas prices at the pumps are just the market manipulations of an unsuccessfully regulated industry. The government of the United States will not succeed if it practices absentee management.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Expose Exxon




Hello all,
Recently I decided to shelve my Exxon gas cards. After all I have B/P and Citgo so it wasn’t a big decision. I became aware of the Exxon Boycott through NRDC and figured it was an easy gesture. They wouldn’t miss my monthly money. I have been most offended by the junk science since the 70’s that has hampered the proper management of our resources, and worked on the fear campaign that living within the environment in a healthy fashion costs too much money and eliminates jobs. The opposite is the truth as technology and innovative advancements spur on the economy, and a healthy environment lowers health care costs. In a day and age when we need to all work together and see the big picture too many of us are still stuck in the "every man for himself" mode. There’s nothing successful or heroic in ignoring the big picture and screwing the public, but a lot of the fat cats get their jollies this way. They think it makes them men. It makes them classless hypocrites in suits, but they do get rich in the short term. However, it catches up to them. The Expose Exxon campaign is part of the catching up process and you should join. It’s easy use your Shell, B/P or Citgo card. There are enough gas stations (Hess) that you can easily drive by the corner Exxon. The amazing thing is that this campaign must be working.

If you ever felt powerless against big corporate conglomerates look how quickly you can bring them to their knees when you exercise the power of the dollars under your control. When their profit projections start to tail off because of a boycott they’ll do what’s in the best interest of the Citizens. Until then they do what’s in their best interest and hold us in contempt. This is easy and it’s working. Pull your Exxon cards out of your wallets. I haven’t missed them but they sure have missed me. Look at what they are sending me in the mail! The pictures posted at the top are what came in the mail from Exxon. Actions speak louder than words.



Wednesday, August 31, 2005

VASSAR CLEMENTS

I can't tell you how influential this man and talent was. Vassar passed away two weeks ago and I'm just finding out now. That should tell you how unrecognized he was by the "music establishment" which like most "establishments" misses the whole essence of the real thing. Commercial music has lost its soul, period. The true geniuses, the true talents never lay their instruments down. But the Britney's of the world retire exceedingly wealthy in their 20's because music today is not about the love of music it is about money and status. But not that long ago when rock n' roll was about fun and the blues musicians were spawning such a creative force as to birth John Mayall, the Rolling Stones, Buddy Holly, and Elvis, and Bill Monroe gave charge to Grisman and Garcia well there was a guy named Vassar Clements who said frig Nashville, frig the establishment lets all play together. And play he did with everyone you can think of from the Allman Brothers to Woody Herman, the Grateful Dead, Doc Watson to the Byrds, Paul McCartney and the Monkeys(??!!??). Vassar was a true ambassador to what is so great about music and learning to play an instrument, about putting the music above the ego, about getting along with others, about sharing and creating something larger than yourself and the song you are playing. If there was a Mount Rushmore of music Vassar should be up there because he pulled so many people together and spread to the outer reaches of popular music what it was to be a true Country Gentleman.


He in my opinion single handedly bridged the gap between the artificial divides imposed on us by the music industry. He bridged the gap between country, bluegrass, southern rock, jazz, and rock n’ roll. If it's good music it doesn't matter what they call it. Jazz heads who don't like the blues, or country purist who don't like southern rock, or rock n' rollers who don't like blue grass or rappers who don't like anything - I don't get that, and neither did Vassar because he jammed with everybody!!!!

Thank you Vassar for broadening my horizons, thank you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Journey Home Update

Dear Friend,

I wanted to share this note from an unknown reader. It is inspiring and heart felt and why I wrote the book Journey Home. I hope everyone who reads Journey Home gets something personal, profound, profane and fun from the read. In short this rocks and slaps a big smile on my face!

Paul, I finished reading "Journey Home". I had reread many passages as I was so entranced with the messages. It is so refreshing to find someone else who sees the deeper reasons and meanings of life. I especially enjoyed the passages about the wind, water and nature talking/feeling. About how mankind has lost the real journey. As I had a dear friend who was torn between his spiritual quest and the illusions(or delusions) he got caught up with in a rock star world, I can so relate to the characters' journey in your book. It helped me to somewhat understand what he must have struggled with. It all became clear to him at the end; that may have been a blessing in itself.

My own values have become so much less of things and people of this world and more towards a spiritual quest. I see you quoted Edgar Cayce.

Have you written any other books? Have you ever done any biographies?

I would love to read any other books you may have published.

Never loose your inner self.


Donna

_________________

Thank You Donna!!!!

Comments like that make the decades long struggle to finish my novel so worth it I will always remember your kind words.
_________________
for more reader comments click on the link

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Energy Bill Transportation Bill

The glib response to the pork barrel energy bill is atrocious. It is irresponsible, and gives the impression that our government can sustain itself by deficit spending. Our government is totally irresponsible. Our politicians are totally corrupt. The only way to get their attention is to limit their access to our tax money. We need an immediate across the board reduction in the payroll tax. Politicians redistribute our tax money to the cronies that finance their campaigns. Its quid pro quo - it's corrupt, and it's no different than the system of bribery corporate america complains about when they try and do business in the Soviet Union and the Middle East. It's a not too sophisticated form of the same thing. Look they have been robbing Peter to pay Paul up on Capitol Hill for far too long. The Democrats actually handed them a surplus which they gave back to their leading campaign donors, and now instead of paying down the debt and getting out from the enormous interest payments they are continuing to flaunt solid economic sense. If I ran my household the way the government runs theirs I would be out on the street living in a garbage can. Economic advisors across the board tell you to pay off your credit cards first to get away from the interest payments and bank the savings. Our government can't do what some retired school teacher does to manage her money.

The only reason there is a social security crisis is because they manufactured one. Instead of plowing the surplus social security funds back into social security and letting it compound with the interest - they swooped in on the surplus to pay for everything, and anything. Face it Al Gore was right put social security in a lock box, and don't touch it. But our politicians who are supposed to represent us don't care about social security. They have their own different retirement system. Put the politicians retirement into social security and I guarantee you it will never get touched – surplus and all. Their lives aren’t affected so they reach into it time and again in total disregard of the public trust and their mandated responsibility to the public at large. They grab that money and they don't feel any obligation to replenish what they borrowed from our retirements.

Us the people without whom big government couldn't operate we are the last in line behind those that fund the elections. That's treason, that's a conflict of interest and that’s impeachable, corrupt and immoral. Any glib broadcast who tries to cast this energy bill as something else has bought the party spin hook line and sinker. The media should be holding our politicians accountable, and the macroeconomic picture should be illuminated. The robbing of the Social Security surplus to pay for isolated one time projects is corrupt and a violation of their fiduciary responsibility. The misappropriation of our tax dollars for private interest, and the buying and selling of our politicians is bankrupting and corrupting our government. It's fiscally irresponsible to suggest that the economy is better off by having the Chinese finance our enormous debt driven interest payments rather than the government being self sufficient, and putting the tax dollars back into the hands of those who earn it.

Run the government like you run your household. Pay off the debt, get out from under the interest payments, bank the savings for retirement (social security), and put as much money back into the paychecks of the American workers as possible so they can save and spend as they see fit. It’s simple more money in the hands of the consumers who earn it would create a national surge in spending and savings, bond issues could then fund these ridiculous bridge projects when the States have a surplus. No I'm sorry glib assessments that the energy and transportation bills are good for the economy is dead wrong and in support of the misinformation campaign led by the few people who benefit from the passage of these corporate gives aways.

Tax breaks for Exxon/Mobile should have been plowed back into social security used to pay off the interest on our debts or given back to the people in the form of a payroll tax reduction - that's the cure and the only cure for the economy, and it would mean less money for our politicians to give away to their cronies, and less bidding for their favors if they have less money to give away. George W. Bush spent how many months touring the country to overhaul social security, and when he had the chance to plow money back into the social security system he gave it away to Exxon/Mobile and a bridge for 50 people. That’s the definition of a traitor.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

John Roberts Wolf in Sheeps Clothing!!!

First off the louder the right wing media howls about MoveOn.org the more credible they must be. I find that their observations are based on source documents. To tune out the opposition makes you a blind follower, "danger Will Robinson, danger". I find it very disturbing that the White House and Roberts are denying his membership and association with the Federalist Society. Although I agree with their mandate in principle (I'm not sure in action as to what they are exactly doing) as a strict constitutionalist. However to turn a blind eye to lobbiest writing laws, and the silence of the libertarians and Federalist Society on that issue, and the mainstream press saddens me.


Everywhere is a consolidation of power. The media owned by giant corporations who subsequently write the laws to protect their interest, and no where to speak out in the main stream media, and now public radio and television being abducted by the extremists. It is amazing how everyone has swallowed the RNC's talking points including our Senators. The talking points are that Roberts is a nice guy so don't look at his record. Isn't he handsome? Look how non-threatening he looks. Well baloney there is a lot of disturbing information out there that is going to come to light. I continue to say that Bush is a traitor, and a liar and that he and his cabinet are treasonous who deserve impeachment on the grounds of "conflict of interest" and acting in direct opposition to the mandate to "uphold and maintain" the Constitution of the United States. I suggest everyone read it before it’s too late.

You will be amazed at what the second amendment in the bill of rights really says. The right to bear arms is taken out of context and the punctuation illuminates that the second amendment was about state's rights in forming militias. Pay attention to the punctuation "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This isn't about the right of individuals to own guns. This is about well regulated militias and the security of the individual States who regulate them.

It's just another classic example of lazy Americans being duped by special interest twisting the Constitution and Bill of Rights for their own gain. We are being slowly eroded out of our forefathers hard won rights, liberties and gouged on taxes, sweetheart deals, and insider trading government style. In my opinion the population at large deserves what they get for being unaware, clueless and lazy. Read the Constitution and Amendments, the Bill of Rights, and study history. Even a modest amount of historical analysis will shock the pants off of you as to what this administration is doing, eroding the separation of powers, the separation of church and state and the rampant "conflict of interest" destroying the system in place to monitor their criminal behavior. Good luck collecting on your 401K's.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Slaves to Corporate America

WIMPS AFRAID OF LOOSING THEIR FUNDING (campaign donations)

It’s pretty pathetic isn’t it?
Gone are the days of integrity and principle (Karl Rove) win at all and any cost is the fashion of the times, and what is now considered success is the ability to get away with as much as you can.

This President in particular is good at winning the event (the Presidential race) but horrible at managing what he eventually wins (Texas Rangers). He’s a short sighted sprinter who eyes the finish line of the race but not what he is going to do once he gets there (Iraq).

The press has to be the fourth wing of the government especially in these times. The Republicans to me act as “slaves” to corporate America. They are so fearful for their cushy jobs as our representatives that they give the special interest whatever they want in order to keep their own political careers (jobs) afloat.

What’s good for the Country is not necessarily what is good for Exxon/Mobil or Halliburton. It’s a damn shame, and they are beneath contempt forgetting our struggle for independence, and the covenants of the Constitution, The Bill of Right, and the Declaration of Independence. Of the people, By the people For the people. Our representatives need to govern with the whole country in mind. Their special interest financiers should be satisfied with their particular points of view being considered only in the grand order of things.

Our representatives are wimps and they need to have that pointed out to them in no uncertain terms. This is after all the United States of America, and those corporations, businesses and moneyed power brokers (including religious institutions) have the best military, work force and infrastructure in the entire world at their disposal. They are lucky a place like the United States exists protects them their special interests (profit margin), and allows them to operate freely within the confines of their business and social circles. They need to realize their place is not at the head of the table that’s reserved for the Constitution, The Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence and our Nations laws. Their self interest (business profit, and theocracy specific dogma) has only a minor position when weighed against what is best for our Country and consistent with the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence and what is good for our health, and the planet that sustains our very existence.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Trickle Down My Ass!

The huge tax cuts for the massively wealthy don't work. It didn't work for Regan and it didn't work for either Bushes. Bush doesn't govern for the good of the Country but for the good of the Uber-Wealthy, the Nuclear Rich, the Mega Rich. He owes them it's a pay back for funding his elections. The deficit is what is killing this Country. Do you run your household by crawling into insurmountable debt, and if you do isn't your life crippled by it? The same thing holds true for the government, and our national economy.


"The large share of the tax windfalls received by the wealthy are not spent in the short run. And even among those who are induced to spend more, the main effect is not increased demand for domestically produced goods and services, but rather increased bidding for choice oceanfront property and longer waiting lists for the new Porsche Carrera GT. Such spending does little to stimulate domestic employment." From the News Article Link in the Title - to which I might add, no duh!

Want more -

"Had the dollars required to finance the president's tax cuts been used in other ways, they would have made a real difference. Larger tax cuts for middle- and low-income families, for example, would have stimulated immediate new spending because the savings rates for most of these families are low. And their additional spending would have been largely for products made by domestic businesses - which would have led, in turn, to increased employment.

Grants to cash-starved state and local governments would have prevented layoffs of thousands of teachers and police officers. And many useful jobs could have been created directly. For instance, people could have been hired to scrutinize the cargo containers that currently enter the nation's ports uninspected."

So congratulations those of you who voted for W. the economy sucks, but at least we don't have gay marriages (morons!)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Conflict of Interest (it's illegal)

The Energy Companies in Charge of our National Energy Policy:


Face it with the energy companies in charge of our energy policies there won’t be a change. There will be a preservation of the status quo, and an expansion of the status quo. Congress (House and Senate) is not looking forward, and is relying on what is now being called the "Dirty Fuel" option more nuclear waste, more off shore oil spills, and more terrorist targets. The industrialists are so set in their ways. They will not look to the "Clean Fuel" options unless forced. Look, basically they want to sell you their product (oil) so you get marketed big hummers, and SUV's that burn baby burn the oil. Next they want as high a price as possible. They'll force that oil price up until the stock market starts to weaken. The transportation stocks like Fed Ex, and UPS take the first hit. But when they get broad market declines you and I will watch those oil prices (magically) come down.


This administrations energy policy has been sponsored, and initiated, and steered by the oil industry. There isn't going to be a major push for increased gas mileage unless the consumers revolt. Don't be fooled by the main stream media! Get on the phone, write, email your representatives. This new energy policy is dead on arrival without a significant raise in fuel efficiency for all cars and trucks (SUV's are made and marketed as trucks to get through fuel efficiency loopholes). Check out the following link from the League of Conservation Voters It’s time to wise up America. The Conflict of Interest is real, and it's illegal! It's impeachable!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Mark Knopfler - Dire Straits

Make a joyful noise indeed what a wonderful show - two encores. Check out the set list and the links to the bands diary. What a beautiful night in Portsmouth with a great crowd. Catch Mark if you can - one of the finest players, and arrangers ever. The sound was tremendous hats off to his sound crew they did an unbelievable job. Check out his tour schedule and good luck. I hope you are lucky enough to catch the show. He's one of the few talents that can hit you so emotionally with just his guitar - beautiful stuff - a world class musician - and a bit British ehh...very British - thanks Mark!

Porsmouth Show
1. Why Aye Man - Rag Pickers Dream
2. Walk Of Life -
Brothers In Arms
3. What It Is -
Sailing to Philadelphia
4. Sailing To Philadelphia
5. Romeo & Juliet -
Making Movies
6. Sultans Of Swing -
Dire Straits First Album
7. Done With Bonaparte -
Golden Heart
8. Song For Sonny Liston -
Shangri- La
9. RĂ¼diger -
Golden Heart
10. Donegan's Gone - Shangri - La
11. Boom, Like That -
Shangri - La
12. Speedway At Nazareth -
Sailing To Philadelphia
13. Telegraph Road -
Love Over Gold

14. Brothers In Arms
15. Money For Nothing -
Brothers In Arms

16. So Far Away -
Brothers In Arms
17.
Our Shangri-La

He's Been Busy!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Media Matters

For those of you sick of one sided gas bags with their facts wrong, and their heads permanently up their asses because they know all, and are above reproach while they fondle their subordinates, and abuse synthetic heroin check out the link above. What's going on now is history repeating itself in an accelerated mode. As the radical conservatives forge their way back into power trying to ultimately control the executive branch, the legislative branch, the judicial branch, and the media their same old intolerant, misguided and hypocritical flaws that rode them out of power to begin with come brilliantly into light. They use religion to spread hate, and they are intolerant to the very tenants of their religion and the country they profess so ardently to love. The professionalism of measured honest reporting is all but gone. Bring back Walter Cronkite - I'd clone him first.


Figure this out the Republicans with huge support from their media propaganda operatives Fox News, Limbaugh, and don't forget Dr. Laura spent more time and money investigating Bill Clinton than they have the Downing Street Memo. The government spent seven years and $70 million investigating Clinton's alleged misdeeds. That's much more money than was spent investigating the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Watergate combined, even after adjusting for inflation.

Even Rush Limbaugh doesn"t talk much anymore about the debacle that was the Clinton witchhunt because it ended so poorly. Clinton was guilty of adultry. George Bush, Sr. had known affairs while he was in office. How come the Republicans didn't go after him? A bit hypocritical wouldn't you say? When the independent counsel's final report on Whitewater was issued in March 2002, not one new indictment emerged.


Fair and unbiased reporting is dead - the media is now and has been for quite some time the tool of the Republican National Convention and their big money corporate supporters who own the media. Now they want to silence PBS and the nightly News Hour with Jim Lehrer one of the last in depth fair and honest reporting outlets. God forbid Americans are informed on substantive issues. The media, and the books the big corporations churn out are nothing more than high glossed propaganda. Just because it is on television people doesn't make it the truth. Just because you hear it on the radio doesn't make it the truth. Just because it's in print doesn't make it the truth. Do your own investigating dig a little deeper than the surface have some common sense, question authority, and remember absolute power corrupts absolutley.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Message From Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

"You simply can’t talk honestly about the environment today without criticizing this president. George W. Bush will go down as the worst environmental president in our nation’s history."

So writes Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in his new book "Crimes Against Nature," which details how President Bush has rewritten the nation’s environmental laws in favor of industry and filled his administration with former lobbyists and corporate executives who now oversee the regulation of their former industries.

A senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council and president of the grassroots Waterkeeper Alliance, Kennedy argues that the Bush administration consistently favored corporate interests over the environment and public health, assaulting the very idea of a common good. He recently spoke with MotherJones.com George W. Bush's many crimes against nature.

MotherJones.com: How has the U.S. government historically changed its approach to public "commons" such as the air and water?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: One of the successes of the right-wing propaganda campaign has been to convince the American people that the environmental laws were new innovations passed after Earth Day. But in fact, it’s always been illegal to pollute. The pollution was restricted by two ancient doctrines. One’s called the Public Trust Doctrine, which says that those assets that are by their nature shared assets -- the commonwealth, the air and water, the wildlife, public lands -- are owned by the public. Everybody has a right to use them, and nobody has a right to treat them in a way that will diminish their use and enjoyment by others. The other law is Nuisance Law, which protects private property from intrusion by polluters. Nuisance law has been turned on its head by the right wing, who claim to be on the side of property rights, but really only favor property rights when they’re talking about the right of a polluter to use his property to destroy his neighbor’s property or the public property. The law in the United States, in every jurisdiction until about 1876, was that if a factory put smoke into the air, even one day a year, and it got onto a neighbor’s property, the neighbor had the right to enjoin to close down the factory, and the courts had no choice but to do that.

Those strong, ancient laws were dismantled through corruption and the political power of industry, as well as a general recognition that industrialization would be beneficial to the American public. But the pendulum swung too far, and by the early 1960s the polluters had basically displaced the public out of public trust assets. Then you had the reaction; you had Rachel Carson’s book "Silent Spring," which was the clarion call, and then you had Earth Day, 1970, when 20 million Americans came out onto the street to demand the return of their ancient environmental rights. The result of that was the passage of 28 major environmental laws over the next decade that made an effort to restore those rights to the public.

MJ.com: From there, what tactics did industry use to regain its position?

RFK: The "Gang of Five" foundations that are huge repositories of industrial polluter money [the John.M Olin Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Castle Rock Foundation, the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, and the Bradley Foundation] have been used to create think tanks, to recruit phony scientists that we call “biostitutes” and to fund politicians in order to undermine and subvert those environmental laws that were passed after Earth Day: the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act. Industry was kind of caught off-guard by Earth Day and the legislative barrage that followed. But since then, they’ve mobilized to regain control of the public trust assets. And really, the best measure of how a democracy is functioning is how it allocates the goods of the land, the public trust assets. Does it maintain the air and water under control of the people for the benefit of the public, or does it allow those assets to be privatized by politically powerful entities?

MJ.com: How surprising has George Bush’s environmental policy been in light of his track record as governor?

RFK: We weren’t surprised by the federal environmental record, because we saw that he’d been the worst environmental governor in America. Under his leadership, Texas became the most polluted state in the country, with the highest levels of air pollution, the highest levels of water pollution, and the highest level of toxic waste and toxic releases. And it was 49th among 50 states in per-capita environmental spending. He was only worsted by Gov. Mike Leavitt of Utah, who he has named his EPA administrator and who is now in charge of stewarding all of America’s environmental assets.

MJ.com: And yet, as a candidate in 2000, he talked about regulating emissions and combating global warming.

RFK: The problem for the president is that the environment and our environmental laws are very popular with both Republicans and Democrats among the rank-and-file. So, from the beginning, he’s had to conceal his radical anti-environmental agenda from the American public. He did it on the campaign trail by simply saying that he was going to support initiatives to control global warming. But once he got into office, he immediately reversed that and abandoned that promise, and began dismantling our environmental infrastructure.

In keeping with that, his attack has been a stealth attack. They use Orwellian rhetoric to conceal this extreme agenda from the public. When they want to destroy the forests, they call it the Healthy Forest Act; when they want to destroy the air, they call it the Clear Skies bill. Most insidiously, as part of this stealth attack, they’ve put polluters in charge of the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans from pollution. The head of the Forest Service is Mark Rey, probably the most rapacious timber industry lobbyist in American history. The head of public lands is Steven Griles, a mining industry lobbyist who believes public lands are unconstitutional. The head of the air division of the EPA was Marianne Horinko, whose former job had been advising corporate polluters on how to evade Superfund. The second in command of EPA was a Monsanto lobbyist. If you look at virtually all of the sub-secretariats and agency heads in the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Interior and EPA, the same pattern holds. Polluters have been put in charge of the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans from pollution. As I show in my book, these individuals have not entered government service for the public interest, but rather to subvert the very laws they’re now charged with enforcing.

MJ.com: One lesser-known example of that pattern is John Graham at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. What role does he play?

RFK: He’s been an anti-environmental activist for many, many years. He founded an anti-environmental think tank at Harvard, which is funded by polluting industries that pay Graham to produce reports [essentially] defending their corporate profits. He’s developed these phony algorithms that always end in the same result, which is that industry wins and the public loses.

He runs the most powerful agency in the government today, which is the OIRA, part of the Office of Management and Budget. It’s a secretive agency inside the White House that is not subject to many of the laws that require open government. The other agencies that are charged with protecting the American environment from time to time develop new regulations in keeping with that mission. Usually it takes about eight years for a regulation to go through the regulatory process, which involves a lot of public debate, public notice and comment, hearings and review by attorneys and scientists. At the end of this painstaking and extremely democratic process, those regulations now disappear into a black hole at OIRA, which is supposed to review the regulations prior to passage. And at OIRA, the industry meets privately with John Graham and rewrites the regulations in private. When the regulations come out of his office, generally they are no longer designed to protect the public, but rather to protect industry prerogatives and profits.

MJ.com: What's the worst example of how that collaboration between industry and government has played out?

RFK: One of the worst examples is the rewriting of New Source Review. I have three sons with asthma; one out of every four black kids in New York City now has asthma. Asthma attacks are triggered primarily by ozone and particulates, and the major sources of those materials in our atmosphere are 1,100 coal-burning power plants that are burning coal illegally. The Clinton administration had initiated investigations and prosecutions against 70 of the worst of those. But this is an industry that donated $48 million to President Bush and the Republican Party in the 2000 cycle and has given $58 million since. One of the first things that Bush did when he came into office was to order the Justice Department to drop those lawsuits. The Justice Department lawyer said that this had never happened before in American history, where a president accepts money from industries targeted for investigation and prosecution, and then orders the Justice Department to drop those investigations once he gets into office. There were 70 utilities involved here and, according to EPA, just the criminal exceedences from those 70 plants killed 5,500 Americans every year. Then the administration went and rewrote the Clean Air Act, gutting the New Source rule, which means those plants will be able to discharge ozone and particulates forever.

MJ.com: How has the situation changed now that Michael O. Leavitt has replaced Christine Todd Whitman at the EPA?

RFK: It went from bad to worse. Leavitt has giant social skills and charm, but his record is one of the most anti-environmental of any governor except for George W. Bush. The first thing that he did when he came into office was to dismantle President Clinton’s mercury rule. The same utilities that are discharging ozone and particulates, those same coal-burning power plants are also discharging huge amounts of mercury into our air, and the mercury ends up in the fish. Just a few weeks ago, the EPA announced its decision that, as a result of that, all fish in 19 states are now unsafe to eat because of mercury contamination. At least some of the fish in 48 states are now unsafe to eat. In fact, the only two states where they’re “safe” are Alaska and Wyoming, where the Republican-controlled legislatures refused to allocate the funds for their agencies to test the fish.

Today, one out of every six American women has so much mercury in her womb that her children are at risk for a grim inventory of diseases, including autism, blindness, mental retardation and heart, liver and kidney disease. My own levels of mercury are so high -- I had them tested recently -- that a woman with the same levels would have a child with cognitive impairment. The Clinton administration had classified mercury as a hazardous pollutant under the Clean Air Act, which triggered a requirement that those utilities remove 90 percent of the mercury within three and a half years. It would have cost less than 1 percent of plant revenue, and the great thing about it is that it works; we now know that when the utilities stop discharging mercury, that the fish downstream clean up almost immediately.

But this is an industry that gave all that money, over $100 million, to the president. A few months ago, the Bush administration announced that it was scrapping the Clinton-era regulations and substituting instead regulations that were written by utility lawyers, from the law firm of Latham and Watkins. Under the new rules, the utilities will effectively never have to clean up their mercury. And the chief lobbyist for Latham and Watkins was Jeffrey Holmstead, who is now the head of the air division of EPA. This is an example of how corporations have infiltrated our government and are dismantling it in order to privatize the commons.

MJ.com: In "Crimes Against Nature" you explain how the administration has cut funding to laws already on the books, such as Superfund cleanup.

RFK: Superfund has gone bankrupt. The Superfund itself, which was raised through a small tax on the chemical and oil industry, was used to clean up orphaned sites -- sites where the responsible party could not be found. But more importantly, it was used to leverage recalcitrant polluters to clean up their own sites, because Superfund includes a triple-damages provision. That gives the EPA power, when a polluter drags its feet, to say to the polluter, “Okay, we’re going to clean up the site ourselves, and then we’re going to charge you triple.” And 90 percent of the Superfund sites that have been cleaned up in America have been cleaned up as a result of that threat. Without that threat, Superfund just becomes a welfare program for corporate lawyers, who can argue forever and ever about who’s responsible and what kind of cleanup should result. So today, with Superfund bankrupt, you’re not going to see many Superfund sites really cleaned up. And if they are cleaned up, it’ll be with taxpayer money, which is absurdly unjust.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

To Michael Kinsley - LA Times

Michael,
I'm a little tired of the media giving George Bush a free ride where is the hard hitting journalism? Halliburton get's contract renewals even though they overcharge the Pentagon? This is a flagrant abuse of taxpayer’s money. The Downing Street Memo? Everyone knew the President wanted to go to war, and no one believed Iraq had WMD's, that's the excuse for not researching, and commenting on the Downing Street Memo that states that the US intelligence would be "shaped" to fit the policy. Michael that's Kremlin, KGB stuff and vintage "cold war" tactics. The only people that believed there were WMD's were the people that voted for George Bush in the first place. You have a duty to inform especially those that might not be in your circle.

Don't loose sight of the fact that there are two America's. Those that believe George Bush actually gives a hoot about NASCAR racing, and those that know all he is interested in is lining the pockets of his friends, big time contributors, and family. America and the Environment come a distant second, and dead last. High oil prices are good news for George Bush, and his friends, and bad news for you and me. That story needs to be told.

The right wing press hunted Clinton like a dog. The left wing press says "everybody already knows." A little thing called evidence helps everyone recognize reality. Then how they respond is how they respond. But not shedding light on an issue because you assume everyone knows is lazy, and you know what's wrong with assumptions.

Just because Bush say's he's religious doesn't mean he acts religious. An article on his religious hypocrisy would be Pulitzer Prize material? Would a born again lie about McCain and Kerry's war records, service or adoptions? No they wouldn't. He's a phony for that right there. Freedom requires constant vigilance. The right wing dominated press can generate more decibels than you guys. You are loosing the battle for the voters to Rush Limbaugh, and Dr. Laura. Pathetic isn't it? Roll up your sleeves, and ask yourself if the thought of an America where dissenting opinion is mocked, ridiculed, and promoted as un-American is an America that is healthy for journalist.

A Christian theocracy and the moral police are on the rise. Saying it can't happen is making yourself vulnerable to the fact that it might, and an abandonment of your responsibility of vigilance on the behalf of liberty, and the freedom of choice of our forefathers. We need people proud to be liberals especially if being conservative means what it has always meant; a restriction of personal freedoms, a restriction of the press, and a restriction on the freedom of choice. Besides, these alleged conservatives blew up the budget that the liberals had balanced. What's conservative about that?

You need to paint the picture of what George Bush really is, and what he is up to. List the faults. Title it "What's Wrong with George," and call him on the carpet for subsidizing failed industries (timber and automobile), subsidizing record profit earning industries, (big oil and new refineries) being a healthy environment obstructionist, and capitalizing on a terrorist attack to consolidate power, eliminate dissent, and seek advantage and personal gain for himself and his friends.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Move On

Hello,

I'm writing to ask you to join me in signing a MoveOn PAC petition demanding real answers from President Bush regarding the "smoking gun" Downing Street Memo.

To help get the truth about why we invaded Iraq, please sign this letter today.

http://www.moveonpac.org/tellthetruth/

The Downing Street memo is called a "smoking gun" because it contains the minutes from a British cabinet meeting in July of 2002, 6 months before the war began. During that meeting high ranking British officials reported that the Bush administration admitted it was already determined to invade Iraq, and was "fixing" intelligence about WMD's to justify the war.

This, of course, contradicts everything President Bush has told us about how he chose war as a last resort, and made that decision because he thought he had solid intelligence about the Iraqi WMD threat.

Bush has refused to even respond to the memo, but after Tony Blair's visit this week the pressure is really building. Representative John Conyers of Michigan is gathering 500,000 signatures and comments from American voters to take directly to President Bush at the White House gates and demand real answers. Please sign today and help get out the truth.

http://www.moveonpac.org/tellthetruth/

Thanks!

____________________________

Here’s what I added to my submission – you have the opportunity to add to the content of a letter sent right to W. himself (his aides will read it he doesn’t read)

I'm embarrassed by you! I recently saw your video clip of your one finger salute - you flashed it right into the camera at us the American public. George you are President of the United States. You were running for the Office that George Washington occupied. Can you not fathom the responsibility and integrity you must bring to the Oval Office? Arrogance can be a tool for success to a degree, but you will be swallowed up whole by it if you don't get your act together. Getting away with as much as possible is not the mark of success. It is the mark of a criminal. Halliburton should be called on the carpet for over charging the Pentagon, and subsequently the tax payers - who you are supposed to represent. But by rewarding them with yet another contract you prove once again your loyalty is not to the tax payers whose votes you rely on, but to the people who paid for your campaign. That's wrong, and you know better. Come on George I'm rooting for you do something decent - give up privatizing social security to benefit Wall Street - strengthen the EPA - lead the fight against pollution - do something other than just pad your friends pockets, or you will have a legacy of shame - no matter the outcome in IRAQ.

Check out the next topics title link to see the picture of George giving the finger directly to the television camera’s – we are on the other end of that finger – thanks W.!


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Our? President or Halliburtons?

I'm sorry our president just holds all of us in contempt. If you are not a wealthy financier or (a.k.a.) a large oil company, or his close buddy he doesn't care. He's a spoiled frat boy, punk, period. Did you see the picture in Rolling Stone of him actually flipping the bird from the podium? What type of flagrant disregard do you have to have for our government, our system of laws, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the unique position of the President of the United States to stick your middle finger up at anyone while you are trying to represent us - as what - thugs, brats and thieves - disregarding the law that you are sworn to uphold.

George you put your hand on the Bible, and swore to uphold the Constitution, and then immediately set out to erode the Separation of Powers, and the Separation of Church and State, and consolidate as much power into the executive branch as you could muster. If he had any respect or sense of history, regarding the genius of the men who established our country, or any actual real faith in the Bible he put his hand on – he couldn’t advance his greedy agenda. His agenda is unconstitutional, and he swore to his god to uphold the Constitution. In fact he lied to his god in front of us all! Nope our Georgie hasn't a clue - it's all about power, money, and how much he can get away with.

Would a born again lie about our war veterans McCain and Kerry - it is beyond shameful - just to win at all cost. Well when the cost is our system of government the stakes are too high. It's time for a change try to vote for strict constitutionalists next time, or at least someone who knows how to act, and not get swept up in campaign rhetoric. We are getting farther and farther away, and are on the way outside looking in when it comes to having our voices heard in our own country. Thanks George way to go big guy! Friday afternoon watch those executive orders snuck through at 5pm. Classless punk! Flipping the bird on camera behind the podium at an official Presidential event just shows his lack of respect of what it means to be an American, and his horrible judgment under pressure. It's a low class, low rent thing to do, and he should be called on the carpet. The arrogance is unbelievable. Would anyone other than a Republican get away with that?

Where is the so called moral majority on this one - hoping no one notices? Am I the only one who respects history, and what this country is about, and what we came through in the American Revolutionary War, The Civil War, and The War of 1812 – just to hand the reigns over to someone who blatantly disrespects the Constitution, and the voters? This spoiled, draft dodging brat, and his cast off socially inept advisors (Rove and Chaney) soil the integrity of what it means to be the United States. They better get their acts together and start acting a helluva lot more respectful, and in an open, forthcoming, and honest fashion. At this point they don’t deserve to represent us - giving us the finger while running roughshod over our well founded national policies. Giving us the finger like that is in a nutshell exactly what they think about you and those that voted for them (dupes) and those of us sending them our hard earned tax dollars (chumps). They hold us in complete contempt people. Wake up they are ripping us off blind as Halliburton gets yet another contract despite the Pentagon publicly disclosing the overcharge on their previous contracts. Overcharges that had to be recallibrated to show our fighting boys got four meals a day instead of three to balance the bottom line. Pathetic!

The worm will turn it always does - soon those that put them in power will be sickened by their un-American actions, flagrant abuse of tax dollars - plundering of our national resources into their private accounts, and their back door dealings, and all cloaked in the name of Jesus. It disgusts me.