Friday, June 30, 2006

John Mackey, Whole Food's CEO is a Libertarian

John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods.... I must say that this article is a very difficult article to read emotionally. This is a long article, but one that every person who leans to the left should read and discuss and discuss and discuss. I have so much to say about this but for now, I'll leave it here.

The New York Times Controversy

My only regret about reading the New York Times is that I didn’t start reading it 20 years ago. It is undoubtedly the best newspaper in the country. We have been receiving the Times for over a year now and have had numerous problems with our delivery. The paper’s excellence makes me willing to live with unsatisfactory delivery issues. I'm not surprised that the Neo-conservative fanatics hate them. I'm sure silencing the Times would aide them greatly.

Dear New York Times staff-- stay the course.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Fake outrage over New York Times article is a Karl Rovian political tactic

The indignation that the Republican Party is feigning over the New York Times article which reveals more of what we already know (and knew) about the fight against terrorism is so Karl Rove. It reminds me of the feigned indignation in the 2000 recount. In Miami these supposedly irate citizens came and pounded on the door while they were doing a recount in protest. We found out later that these people were paid actors. I hope the American public can see past his shenanigans this time around.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Charities Tied to Doctors Get Drug Industry Gifts - New York Times

More corruption. This time is making its way into our doctor's offices. The pharmaceutical companies are lobbying our legislators and now even our doctors Perhaps doctors should be required to include disclosure statements in the paperwork you have to sign when you go to see a doctor. They should be required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest regarding their treatment of a disease with a particular drug, device or procedure. We need to know whether a doctor owns stock in a company. This my cloud their judgement. Revealing this may help to enlighten the patient as to why the doctors are such strong advocates of a particular product.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bill Frist is an Embarrassment!

Jamie Rose for The New York Times

Bill Frist, the majority leader of the Senate should be an embarrassment to the state of Tennessee. His political pandering to the right wing religious fanatics is not only laughable but is a disgrace to our nation. Boss Hog from the Dukes of Hazard had more scruples that Frist. Unfortunately Frist is not a fictional character. What a tragic day it would be for our nation if this man became the Republican Party’s presidential candidate for 2008. On second thought, everyone would see what the Republican Party has come to stand for; religious fanaticism in the White House! They would lose for sure. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all. Frist for President, now isn’t that a scary thought!

Massive waste and fraud in government reponse to Katrina

The NY Times today reported on the massive waste and fraud that was a part of our government's response to Katrina so what are the good people in Washington talking about today? How to fix this problem for future disasters that are will inevitably occur? No, they are discussing the Flag Bill. They are going to debate a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to prohibit the desecration of the flag!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Food Debate and Whole Foods Takes a Stand On An Animal Rights Issue!

Article in NY Times

Whole Foods is saying no to selling lobsters and other animal products that are brought to the market with no regard for how they live and how they are treated. Suffering and cruelty is not OK!
Kudos to Whole Foods!
I'm going to keep shopping there and
applaud them for giving voice to this issue!

Going Green

Good article in NY Times about the new Green options.
Check out

Connecting the dots: Non-profits, Native Americans, Abramoff and the environment...

Let's play connect the dots and see what won't get reported in the news.

1. People in the environmental movement and the new age movement celebrate the values of the Native Americans because they lived in harmony with nature.

2. Americans for Tax Reform's (ATR) mission is the lower taxes for the American people... mostly billionaires who often make their money by abusing the environment.

3. Jack Abramoff, gets the Native American tribes to give $100,000 donations to ATR.

4. ATR funnels money to the Bush regime.

Who wins? The Native Americans gain access to the White House, Bush gets campaign contributions from ATR. Billionaires pay less taxes and have more money to spend in places like Indian casinos. Bush's policies continue to rape and destroy our planet.

Who gets screwed? Mother Earth, the people who buy "All Things Native American and New Age"

The Native Americans sold out just like the Christians have! It's all things green $$$$. That's what this White House is about and all those who support him.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Past few decades hotest in 400 years

Surpise, suprise! According to the National Academy of Sciences, the last few decades are the hottest temperatures in 400 years. Some scientists are saying it is the hottest in 2,000 years.

A Bush spokesperson said that this was utter nonsense. Everyone knows the Earth is is flat and that's why it will stay cool. This is just a scare tactic to make you believe otherwise. They are sinners and are going to be left behind anyway when the good people who voted for me are raptured out of here anyway. Utter nonsense!

Neo-cons -- NEO FANATICS

I like what Jimmy Carter says in his book, "Our Endangered Values." Call them what you want but the neo-conservatives are really neo-fanatics that have a fundamentalist view of the world; I'm right and everyone else is wrong and I don't have to deal with your point of view because it doesn't matter. They have taken hold of our government.

Puerto Rico fined for Dirty Water

I tried googling an article in the Orlando Sentinel today titled: "Puerto Rico fined for Dirty Water" to no avail. Even though it was an Associated Press news story, at 7:38AM EST it was not to be found on the web...

The news story reports about a compay that is dumping raw human waste into the rivers and the ocean. The compnay is Aqueduct and Sewer Authority and they are going to pay $9 million in fines.

I'm wondering what will happen when the neo-anti-environment fanatics get their way and do away with all environmental regulations?

Cuba's Peak Oil Crisis

Here is an interesting movie about how Cuba coped with less energy after the loss of Soviet oil in 1990. I read some really good articles about Cuba and it's organic movment as well. My only question is, if it's so great there, why do people still risk their lives to leave the country ?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

America's Moral Crisis and A Challenge to Fundamentalist Narrow-minded View of Creation

I am reading Jimmy Carter's book "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis." On Sunday I was in my Spinning class at the YMCA and the guy leading it was playing songs with the theme of "Fathers" because it was Father's Day. He played this song titled: "In My Father's House." The lyrics went something like this:

"My Father has a big big house, there's lots of room in his big big house, he has a big big yard, and we can play football in my Father's house;" alluding to the fact that when the Christians get to heaven there will be plenty of fun things to do including play football... Needless to say, I was quite offended by the song and thought to my self how stupid this new idea of Christ and Christianity is that is being sold to the general public. Thankfully, Jimmy Carter's book brings some reasonable thought back to the debate about values and religion in his book.

It's too bad that so many people are closed minded to the possibility of science and religion being different sides of the same truth. Do we honestly think that God created the heavens and the Earth is six "Earth-days?" Could evolution not be the invisible hand of a greater force that we can't see? Anyway, this is an interesting website that shows that perhaps our views of things are too limited.

Awesome Photography Portfolios

Pictures are worth a thousand words.
I'll let them speak for themselves.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Why I wish Al Gore would run President for the Green Party.

I wish Al Gore would run for president for the Green Party. That would shake things up in this country. I don't know if he could win but it would give someone besides the Republicans a shot in the White House. There are so many Independent, Republican and Democrat registered voters that would vote for him. No one would be able to predict who would win because it would be a whole new ball game.
Al Gore, is probably too loyal to the Democratic party. But the Democratic Party isn't going to make the environment a real issue. They are going to pander to environmentalists just like the Republican party panders to the Christians. So many people are fed up with our political system. It is so corrupt. Al Gore could be the new Ralp Nader, and get a large percentage of voters.... boy do I wish!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Planting a Tree

My husband and I planted a tree today
to commemorate seeing Al Gore's movie,

James Dobson, Baptist Bloggers, Al Gore and "An Inconvenient Truth"

We went to see Al Gore’s new movie, “An Inconvenient Truth” yesterday. It's not at all what I was expecting. I thought it would be more like a Michael Moore movie, but it wasn’t. I almost hate to recommend seeing it because Al Gore does a disturbingly excellent job of explaining the ins and outs of Global Warming so well that anyone can understand what the issues are and why we should be concerned. (Anyone who sees this will not be able to make the excuse that they don't understand it any longer.)

My friend, GK, who also went to see the movie sent me an article this morning about the Baptists electing a new leaders who are a little less to the right than their previous leadership. The editorial by E.J. Dionne Jr. in the Washington Post, highlights a slow incremental movement by evangelicals away from the fringe right. For example, Rich Cizik, the new vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals who is a self-described “Ronald Reagan movement conservative”, urged evangelicals to make environmental stewardship a central element of their political mission.

I think in light of seeing Al Gore’s movie would be a positive move that they are starting to think greenJames Dobson, and other prominent Christian leaders on the right however, are attacking Rich Cizik for his position on the environment. After seeing Al Gore’s movie, I think one has to really question how moral James Dobson is and whether he is merely trying to line his pockets with the money he continues to accumulate with his ultra-conservative mantra. After all this new “FEED THE RICH AND STARVE THE POOR neoconservative dogma is good for “bizz-ness.

Kudos to Baptist Bloggers who are making inroads into the “Good-old-boy” hierarchy of the Baptist church and causing them to modify their extreme positions. Dionne writes, “Over the past several years, an active network of Baptist bloggers has opened up discussion in the convention and given reformers and moderates avenues around what Parham called "the Baptist establishment papers.”

Let’s hope more Baptists go to see this movie.

(That is, unless they get raptured out of here before things heat up.)

Friday, June 16, 2006

The House That Jack Abramoff, Karl Rove, GW Bush and the Neocons Built

photo by Vanessa Vick for The New York
To all those Christians that voted for GW because he was the kind of guy who you could "drink a beer with and he talked about Jesus..."This is a perfect example of the new "Feed the Rich" and Starve the Poor", Free Market, no environmental rules or regulations, hands-off, neo-conservative world view and what it produces. This is what they are fighting for in our country, sleep well.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Political Pandering on the environment

So now that climate change is in the mainstream, I've noticed a lot of politicians starting to pander to the Democrats, the Greens, the Independents and the Crunchy Cons.

Panderer # 1
Just yesterday Joe Lieberman started talking about his concern about global warming. Why now? He's worried that the Democrats are about to throw him overboard so he's pandering to them on the climate to prove he's one of them. Let's look at his long-term record and see where he has voted time and time again. Lieberman has always sided with corporate power and voted to diminish rules tjat would allow citizens or gorups stand up and defend themselves against powerful business interest.
Panderer # 2
George Bush declared the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands a national monument, making it the largest marine reserve on the planet. Pandering! Don't get me wrong, I'm glad for the marine reserve, but I'm sure we are going to find out there is lots more to the story and there's a motive has little to do with the environment.

Dixie Chicks: buy a copy of their CD and piss off a conservative!

I was happy to see a copy of the new Dixie Chicks CD on sell at Starbucks this week and bought a copy. I hope everyone goes out and buys a copy of the CD and makes their CD number one in the charts. My favorite song:

"I'm Not Ready to Make Nice."

Forgive, sounds good. Forget, I'm not sure I could. They say time heals everything, But I'm still waiting...

I'm through, with doubt, there's nothing left for me to figure out, I've paid a price, and I'll keep paying...

I'm not ready to make nice, I'm not ready to back down, I'm still mad as hell and I don't have time to go round and round and round. It's too late to make it right I probably wouldn't if I could cause I'm mad as hell and can't bring myself to do what it isYou think I should...

I know you said why can't you just get over it, it turned my whole world around and I kind of like it. I made by bed, and I sleep like a baby, with no regrets and I don't mind saying, it's a sad, sad story that a mother will teach her daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger. And how in the world can the words that I said send somebody so over the edge that they'd write me a letter saying that I better shut up and sing wr my life will be over...

I'm not ready to make nice, I'm not ready to back down, I'm still mad as hell And I don't have time To go round and round and round...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bush and Rove's Strategy to Stay the Course in Iraq

Bush and Rove's media message for the day was that Democrats "cut and run" but Republicans "stay the course." It makes a good sound bite, but Craig Crawford reminded listeners on MSNBC tonight that Thelma and Louise also, "stayed the course" and Bush may be following in their footsteps.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Moral IQ of the Republican Party

Photos are by internationally-acclaimed photographer Edward Burtynsky

God's Army are losing faith in the Republican Party

Except for the whackos, a lot of Christians are starting to question some of the Republican economic policies; feed the rich and starve the poor. What's a whacko Christian? Here is a quote from the article in American Prospect. In a movie made called, "Jesus Camp”, which is designed to create an army of Taliban "Christian" believers who are as blind and ignorant as the Taliban,” the directors take us into the homes of the children, where we see them “pledge allegiance to the Christian flag” and play a video game called “Creation Adventure” that debunks evolution. A mother helps her children with homework and informs them that, “Global warming is not going to happen. Science doesn’t prove anything.”

That my friend is a Christian Whacko!

And who do the Christian Whacko's worship? "No, it’s not Jesus. It’s George Bush. ” In the movie, clapping erupts and children are encouraged to “say hello to the President.” because “President Bush has added credibility to being a Christian.”

(Correction: President Bush has made it OK to be a Whacko Christian and not feel ashamed of your self for being morally backwards and having the intelligence of a squid.)

Fortunately, there are some people of faith who are true believers in rationale thought and are beginning to question the idiocy of our President and the ruling elite that are more concerned with CEO pay packages, oil and fooling whacko Christians than they are about the people they are supposed to govern.

Who would have thought that the 21st century would start off as
the era of the moron!

Monday, June 12, 2006

A definition of social entrepreneurs

Social entrepreneurs include creative, dedicated, committed, and seeking fundamental change. Social entrepreneurs often are able to recognize trends, work across disciplines, and see opportunities across disciplines by making connections that others have not made. An additional common trait is a single- minded belief and confidence in their cause, their approach, or their solution to a problem.

A social entrepreneur "…has a very special trait -- someone who, in the core of her/his personality, absolutely must change an important pattern across his/her whole society." It is only the entrepreneur who literally cannot stop until he or she has changed the whole society.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

ROGER EBERT's Controversial Review of Al Gore's Movie, "An Inconvenient Truth "

Ebert admits he is a liberal but that is not why he recommends the movie. Here is a noted quote: "When I said I was going to a press screening of "An Inconvenient Truth," a friend said, "Al Gore talking about the environment!!" This is not a boring film. The director, Davis Guggenheim, uses words, images and Gore's concise litany of facts to build a film that is fascinating and relentless. In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film. If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to them why you decided not to."

Commencement Speakers- words to live by

Jodie Foster
Actor, director and producer
University of Pennsylvania
You pick up bits and pieces of treasure and trash, pain and pleasure, passions and disappointments, and you start throwing them in your bag, your big bag of experience. You do some dumb things that don't work out at all. You stumble excitedly on little gems that you never saw coming. And you stuff them all in your bag. You pursue the things you love and believe in. You cast off the images of yourself that don't fit. And suddenly you look behind you and a pattern emerges.

You look in front of you and the path makes sense. There is nothing more beautiful than finding your course as you believe you bob aimlessly in the current. Wouldn't you know that your path was there all along, waiting for you to knock, waiting for you to become. This path does not belong to your parents, your teachers, your leaders, your lovers. Your path is your character defining itself more and more every day, like a photograph coming into focus.

Anthony M. Kennedy
Associate justice of the Supreme Court
New York University

Think of the people around the world, and particularly in Africa, who have no clean water. Women in Africa — and the job falls to women — must spend six, eight hours a day just in trying to bring clean water to their children. Eight billion hours a year of human effort are spent just in bringing water. And when I heard that statistic, sitting like you are in an audience, I thought, "Well, he must have said eight million." Then I thought, "Maybe it's 80 million." It's eight billion hours a year of wasted effort because the water is often contaminated when it gets there. This isn't rocket science. You can fix this.

Wendy Kopp
President and founder of Teach for America
University of North Carolina

During my senior fall, I helped organize a conference about education reform, where one of the topics was the shortage of qualified teachers in urban and rural communities. It was at that conference that I thought of an idea: why doesn't our country have a national teacher corps that recruits us to teach in low-income communities the same way we're being recruited to work on Wall Street? From that moment, I was possessed by this idea. I thought it would make a huge difference in kids' lives ... and that ultimately it could change the very consciousness of our country, by influencing the thinking and career paths of a generation of leaders. So I did the obvious thing. I wrote a very long and very passionate letter to the president of the United States suggesting he start this corps. That didn't get very far — I received a job rejection letter in response. So in my undergraduate senior thesis, I declared that I would try to create such a corps myself, as a nonprofit organization. When my thesis adviser looked at my budget, which showed that to recruit 500 new teachers into this corps during the first year would cost $2.5 million, he asked me if I knew how hard it was to raise $2,500, let alone $2.5 million.

Aided by my inexperience, I was unfazed by his question. When school district officials and potential funders laughed at the notion that the Me Generation would jump at the chance to teach in urban and rural communities, their concerns, too, went unheard. That year, 2,500 graduating seniors competed to enter Teach For America in response to a grass-roots recruitment campaign — fliers under doors, since there was no e-mail back then.

And one year after I graduated, with $2.5 million in hand from the corporate and foundation community, I was looking out on an auditorium full of 489 recent college graduates who had joined Teach for America's first corps. My very greatest asset in reaching this point was that I simply did not understand what was impossible.

Jeffrey R. Immelt
Chairman and C.E.O. of General Electric
Northeastern University

There's a lot of volatility out there, especially when you look 10 and 20 years down the road. Will China or India eclipse the United States as the dominant economic power in the world? Will global warming lead to more ecological turmoil? Will the cost of caring for aging populations around the world bankrupt national treasuries? These are only questions. We don't have the answers yet. The future hasn't been written yet. That's up to you.

Hippie 2.0!

My luck!
I was too young to be a Hippie 1.0
and too old to be a Hippie 2.0 -- chuckle

Then they came for me...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A concern about immigration

I have sat on the sidelines of this immigration debate. I understand that we can't deport millions of people and that these people came here because the needed to work or starve. But this article in the New York Times concerns me greatly. A student who is the class president of his school is afraid to go to his own graduation because gangs are trying to kill him because he sister has agreed to testify in a murder trial that involves a gang member. There rise of gangs in the Northeast, according to David Rocieniewski's article, the rust belt where we are losing jobs in America to free market globalization trend.

Everyone knows ( or should know) that when there is an absence of opportunity poverty prevails and where poverty prevails gangs flourish. And now students are afraid of attending a graduation ceremony because they are afraid of being gunned down. Hello, is anyone out there? Please tell me again what about the Republican Party's platform you like? Gay marriage is more important than the rise of gangs due to poverty and metal detectors in schools because without them kids will be killing kids, teachers and everyone else. Oh, I forgot, the answer is vouchers, NCLB and standardized tests. Forget my last post. Maybe the religious right needs someone to tell them how to think....

Da Vinci Code Movie, Chatholic Church, and China

I'm sorry but this really bugs me. The movie at best is entertaining. Without all the over reaction to the movie from the "religious leaders" my response would be, interesting theory and if anything it would make me want to dig a little deeper into church history. But this just proves to me that what I have thought about religion all along. They want sheep that don't think. If anyone presents a view that differs from theirs they can't handle it and start closing down the information.

I'm not bothered by the idea of the story behind Da Vinci Code. What bothers me is the reaction of the church. Do they think that Christians and Catholics are such morons or that our faith is so weak that if we hear some theory that is out there that everyone will suddenly fall away from their faith? Are the roots of believers so shallow that anything that comes along that offers a counter view will shake the foundations of their belief? Oh ye of little faith. Have a little faith in people’s intelligence.

The controversy here is not the Da Vinci Code, it is the leaders who want to stop people from seeing it! I hope that makes people see how afraid the church leaders are of critical thought. They prefer that we are ignorant and offer them nothing but blind obedience to their dogma. They must think that believers are morons.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Wind Farm News

So the big money is starting to move toward the energy sector. Here is a blog I found that monitors what is happening with wind farms. It looks very informative!

An Inconvienient Truth

Global Warming... coming to your city soon!

"It's difficulty to get man to understand something when his SALARY dpeneds upon him NOT understanding."

Sure there's another side to this argument, but I don't believe it. Tell it to your children and their children why you chose to believe that Global Warming wasn't a problem and why


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A lesson learned

I never could understand why the big blogs required "memberships" in order to post to their blogs but I'm sure they learned through experience, just as I have this week, what works and doesn't work in Blog-land.

My purpose in posting Lisa's resignation letter was to give people a chance to thank her for all she has done for the Democrats in Seminole County and how much she would be missed. Little did I know that the kind of dialogue would erupt and it has been a good learning experience for me. If I have caused any problems for the DEC, I offer my sincere apologies, and assure you it was not my intention at all.

I would like to say how much I admire the people in the DEC: Lisa, Carol and Ed, Rich and Carol, Sy and Shari, Vic, Heidi and George, Tony, Lee, Vic, Bob, Paul, Sid, Marianne and Enoc, etc, and the list can go on and on. I have so much respect for each of you. You have been my inspiration to stay involved and I am sad to see us fight this way.

I decided to end this discussion when someone created an account with my name and posted comments using my name and pretended to be me. Clever one, I must say, I had not thought of that one.

You all are the most wonderful people I have ever known and you have all worked so hard for the Democratic Party. Each of you deserves credit for the huge gains we have made in the last several years. Each of you have added to the overall success of our organization. Each of you deserves much better than this. You have given your time and energy selflessly to our cause.

Our party is struggling right now. We are trying to define what our message should be and how to proceed in this next election. Who knows what's right or wrong. Time will tell. Perhaps DEMSLINK needs to add a module that is a forum where tough issues can can be discussed ( like the ones that were raised over the last week).

I do not just support Carol, I also support each of you. You are strong leaders and have given so much to make the SC-DEC. I thank you for your participation over the last week and I hope you can see why blogging is important to participatory government.

We all have stengths and weaknesses. We all can not be good at everything. But we can weave together our various talents and abilities and come up with something unique. That is, if we decide to pull in the same direction. Maybe that is asking too much, I don't know. Time will tell.

When criticism starts to get you down, remember Bill and Hillary Clinton and what they went through. When they were hounded relentlessly by critics and all seemed lost, they would smile and keep fighting for what they believed in, regardless of their critics. I hope you can be as gracious as they were in the face of their critics. It goes with the territory. No one is going to love you all of the time. Someone is always going to criticize you about something when you are active in politic life. It goes with the territory. But just like the Senate and Congress do after they fight a long battle, they shake hands and go out for a drink aftewards. I hope that we can be as gracious to our critics as our leaders do every day. and continue moving forward.

Factory Farming -- the Meatrix

The Dark Side of Walmart and Organics

I have to admit, I read about Wal-Mart going Organic in Grist Magazine and I was elated! But now I'm learning there is more to the story than meets the eye. There is a dark side to the Wal-Mart move into organics. But the Wal-Mart-i-zation of Organics may have a dark side with it’s CHEAP AT ANY PRICE business model. I read in the NY Times Magazine a different take on the situation:

“As the organic movement has long maintained, cheap industrial food is cheap only because the real costs of producing it are not reflected in the price at the checkout. Rather, those costs are charged to the environment, in the form of soil depletion and pollution (industrial agriculture is now our biggest polluter); to the public purse, in the form of subsidies to conventional commodity farmers; to the public health, in the form of an epidemic of diabetes and obesity that is expected to cost the economy more than $100 billion per year; and to the welfare of the farm- and food-factory workers, not to mention the well-being of the animals we eat. As Wendell Berry once wrote, the motto of our conventional food system — at the center of which stands Wal-Mart, the biggest purveyor of cheap food in America — should be: Cheap at any price!”

So they will turn the factory farming model that is currently employed and just modify it for organics:

“We have already seen what happens when the logic of the factory is applied to organic food production. The industrialization of organic agriculture, which Wal-Mart's involvement will only deepen, has already given us "organic feedlots" — two words that I never thought would find their way into the same clause. To supply the escalating demand for cheap organic milk, agribusiness companies are setting up 5,000-head dairies, often in the desert. These milking cows never touch a blade of grass, instead spending their days standing around a dry-lot "loafing area" munching organic grain — grain that takes a toll on both the animals' health (these ruminants evolved to eat grass, after all) and the nutritional value of their milk. But this is the sort of milk (deficient in beta-carotene and the "good fats" — like omega 3's and C.L.A. — that come from grazing cows on grass) we're going to see a lot more of in the supermarket as long as Wal-Mart determines to keep organic milk cheap.”
For more discussion on this important issue:

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Australia gears up for whaling fight

(File photo) Reuters"
By environment reporter Sarah Clarke

Australia is stepping up attempts to block Japan's bid to resume commercial whaling with Environment Minister Ian Campbell conducting a whistlestop tour of the Pacific.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

A Letter of Resignation to the Democrats

A Letter of Resignation to the Democrats
Lisa is the conscience of the Democratic Party in Seminole County. She is always the first to volunteer her time, energy and efforts to help raise the level of public awareness about many important issues: environmental, war, equal rights, abortion, civil liberties, health care etc. You name it, she has been there helping to organize and rally the troops. It is with great sadness that I read this e-mail from her today...

I wanted to let everyone know that effective immediately I am resigning from all positions with the Seminole Democratic party and the Democratic party as a whole. I am doing this because I feel that the party no longer represents my beliefs and values. When our country is besieged by one of the most morally reprehensible, morally corrupt administrations we have ever known and STILL our party "leaders" do nothing we are all compromised and we all pay the price with loss of civil liberties, degradation of the environment and unceasing war, among other insults. To stand by and let this happen in the name of political expediency and pragmatism is to be a party to the corruption and deceipt and I want no part of that party. To clarify, it is not just the impeachment issue that has led me to this decision. It is the failure of the Democratic party as a whole to actually lead this country anywhere but down the path of complicity and "go along to get along". Hardly a way to change the world, much less lead a country.
Lisa Reddy


This is good advice for anyone....


I used to dread speaking in public. Really. Then I did a lot of public speaking.

I'm no longer afraid.

I once had a hard time writing. I got a job writing for a daily newspaper, and faced hundreds of deadlines.

Now I'm not afraid of writing.

So here's Rule #1 for the graduates of 2006:

Get yourself in the game! Go to where it's played and find a way to get in.

Rule #2: If you want something, dammit, ask for it! Not everybody is going to go for you, but those who do will change your life. They will open doors for you. So if nine people say "no" to you, then ask ten. It's like dating.

The good news is there's a lot of magic in that occasional yes. Because when you ask someone for help, you are really asking him or her to place a bet on you. "If you want to make a friend," said Benjamin Franklin, "let someone do you a favor."

There's a false assumption out there that talent will surely be recognized. Just get good at something and the world will beat a path to your door.

Don't believe it. The world is not checking in with us to see what skills we've picked up, what idea we've concocted, what dreams we carry in our hearts. When a job opens up, whether it's in a chorus line or the assembly line, it goes to the person standing there.

So get in the game and ask!

Hello Joe Biden, shove over Hillary Clinton

Joe Biden was quite impressive today on Meet the Press. He is a more seasoned version of Howard Dean. He speaks the truth, and makes no apologies for it. He looks like a good canidate for the Presidential race!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

How to Grow a Democratic Majority

By DANIEL GALVINPublished: June 3, 2006

Source: NY Times Editorial

RECENTLY, an internal disagreement in the Democratic Party made headlines. That probably sounds familiar, since disagreements over party strategy are nothing new in the Democratic Party. (I AGREE and it we are see this at the local levevl as well)

But the recent conflict between Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic campaign committee in the House, and Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is more than just another family squabble — it shows just how difficult changing the course of party history can be.

Mr. Emanuel and others have questioned Mr. Dean's program to build the party organization in red states as well as blue ones. They want the committee to spend its money on key Congressional races this fall because they believe that the party has a chance to win control of the House in 2006 if it pours its resources into the most competitive races.

Mr. Dean has a different approach. He believes that for the Democrats to regain the majority and make it stick, they will have to build a strong organizational foundation everywhere, even in those places where Democrats don't have an immediate chance. (I AGREE) Democrats may not win many red-state races this year, but Mr. Dean believes that they will be better off in the long run if they start shoring up the party in Republican strongholds now.

What is missing from the current debate is a clearer appreciation for how the Democrats got to where they are today, and how the current leaders might learn from the record of the past.

Since the New Deal, Democrats have given party building short shrift. Democratic presidents tended to use the formal party apparatus as an instrument for raising money but looked to other vehicles for building political support. (Yup, the activitst worked in organizations that influenced the party) They relied on organized labor to get out the vote; on urban machines and congressmen in the South to control local party operations; and on the strength of incumbents to win their own re-elections.

While this was a winning formula, it could not last forever. By failing to create durable organizational capacities in their party, Democrats were often forced to cobble together new political networks with each campaign season. (This is exactly what is happening in Seminole County and why we have so much bickering) Republican presidents and party chairmen, on the other hand, were driven by their perpetual Congressional minority status to strengthen their organization as a means of expanding their party. (This is exactly why the the Republicans are kicking our butts right now in elections )While Republicans won many presidential elections, they were the perennial losers in Congressional and state-level elections and did not gain parity with the Democrats among self-identified partisan voters until 2004.

To establish a new majority, Republicans aggressively built up their organizational presence in weak Republican areas, especially in the South. As early as the 1950's, they ran schools to train activists and campaign managers. By the 1970's, they were developing new methods of recruiting candidates and enrolling party workers and volunteers; they created teams of "field men" to travel from campaign to campaign to lend their expertise where needed; (We have nothing like that ) they built new small-donor fund-raising networks and became adept at sending money where it needed to go; and they invested in technology and voter database management. What's more, these practices were disseminated down to the local level.

For example, Republican presidents focused on party building in the historically Democratic states of South Carolina and Virginia in the 1970's. They gave local leaders the resources they needed to develop a campaign-support system that would entice attractive candidates to run for office as Republicans. (We have nothing like that ) Political neophytes, like business and religious leaders, were promised support — if only they would take a chance on running.

New candidates and activists were sent to work for the national committee, the White House, the Congressional campaign committees and affiliated political action groups. Many of the most prominent Republican leaders of the recent past — Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie — got their start participating in party-building programs.

Using detailed voter lists, phone banks and grass-roots workers, Republicans began to collect wins — at the mayoral, state legislative and, eventually, the gubernatorial and Congressional levels. Each victory softened the electorate's view of the Republican Party; more Republican officeholders encouraged more Republican voters; more Republican voters encouraged more and better Republican candidates to run for office.

And because every Republican president since Eisenhower contributed enthusiastically to these party-building efforts, the party was able to benefit from White House largess, presidential fund-raising prowess and the power of presidential persuasion.

Republicans did not emerge from the minority by trying to win a bare majority in the House or Senate. They put their organization to work for them and discovered that party building bred more party building.

This seems to be precisely what Howard Dean is trying to do. By developing an organizational structure now, Mr. Dean hopes that the Democrats will have something sturdy to rely on if, and when, they win back the White House.

It's uncertain whether Mr. Dean will succeed. After all, Mr. Emanuel makes a persuasive argument for his approach. Why should the Democrats trade a chance to win the House now for an uncertain future?

The answer? Because a victory now will most likely be short-term. As the Republicans have shown, creating a durable electoral majority requires a firm organizational foundation, something the Democrats don't have. But if Mr. Dean can hold fast to his plan, they just might be on the way to getting one.

Daniel Galvin, a doctoral candidate in political science at Yale, will be an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University this fall.

I think this editorial explains perfectly why all of this bickering and backstabbing behavior is not going to get use anywhere. Our current leadership, shares the same vision as Howard Dean. They are trying to build the SCDEC into a strong organization. I'm sorry that some people can't see it, but we are lucky to have them working for the Democrats in Seminole County. It would be good if we could all put our differences behind and start pulling for the same goal as defined above in this editorial. If we continue as we have done so in the past and are doing so in the present, we will continue to see all of the things we cherish, slowly fade into a distant pass that will hurt everyone. The choice is yours.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Take Me Out To The Ball Park (For Faith Night) me some peanuts, cracker jacks and God... at the old ball game.
So now we are going to see going to see the merge of faith/religion, politics and sports. "This summer, the religious promotions will hit Major League Baseball. The Atlanta Braves are planning three Faith Days this season, the Arizona Diamondbacks one. The Florida Marlins have tentatively scheduled a Faith Night for September."

Politics and the Stock Market

It was interesting to read in the news today that the H. J. Heinz Company, one of the world's largest food companies, quarterly profit fell 19 percent and that it would cut 2,700 jobs and exit 15 plants as part of a plan to cut costs and increase profit.

Lest we forget the headlines: Bush Backers Spurn Heinz Ketchup and we have seen more of this; political partisans who are tailoring their shopping habits to their party affiliations.

I'm sure that the Sen. John Kerry, and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry have taken note of this.

Perhaps the Democrats should shun Wal-mart!

Republican candidates are the big winners in 2004 election. They received about 85% of the company's contributions, including those of its political action committee, employees and children of founder Sam Walton.

Wal-Mart's rise is significant because of the impact it might have on congressional debates about health care, labor and other hot-button regulatory issues, says Larry Noble, the center's executive director. "They're clearly making a move," he says.