Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Here's an article on the "Real ID" Act.

...and another from a slightly different angle.
In an effort to minimize my spam-like tendencies when it comes to my political views, everytime I want to shove my opinions down the throats of my dearest friends and family, I'm just going to put it here. That way you can come look if you want, and can continue to stick your silly little heads in the sand if you don't. :-)

Just teasing. Sort of. No really...I'm teasing.

Anyway, in today's message.....

It makes me crazy that they won't even TALK about the concept of how they'll get out of Iraq. They just keep throwing more money around without talking about the who/what/where/when/why and how of it. Plus since the last couple Iraq related votes in Congress, I keep hearing them say they're voting the way they are because they're not hearing from their constituents.

So here's my terryfaceplace action alert for Monday, May 31 2005! Feel free to plagerize. I took it from the CodePink site. I'm sure they wouldn't mind. You can look up your representative ratcheer.

Dear Representative:

On May 11, in a sad and outrageous sign of this country's appalling priorities, President Bush signed into law the $82 billion supplemental war appropriations bill, providing ongoing funding for the U.S. military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and including the outrageous Real ID act – the greatest assault on immigrants at home in recent history.

This war has now cost the U.S. more than $200 billion. More seriously, the U.S. has lost 1,600 soldiers and more than 100,000 Iraqis have died.

Yet, there was little debate during the supplemental about what to do next in Iraq. As a voter and taxpayer, I am concerned that the administration and congress refuse to even discuss our exit strategy while allocating more money. I believe that we need a plan for leaving Iraq.

Many claim that a plan would weaken our effort in Iraq. But a withdrawal plan will help both Iraq and the U.S. For Iraqis, a prompt major reduction in foreign forces is crucial to quelling the violence and giving the Iraqis a chance for true democracy.

For Americans, a plan will help ensure that we will not be seen as running from the insurgents when we do bring our troops home. A clear plan will help diffuse the insurgency and will decrease the danger our troops face daily.

I urge you to co-sponsor Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey’s (D-CA) resolution, H. Con Res. 35 calling for a plan for withdrawal. Woolsey notes, “It’s time for the U.S. to be Iraq’s ally and partner, not its occupier. It’s time to give Iraq back to its own people. And it’s time to truly support our troops - by bringing them home.”, and I strongly agree.

Without a plan, we are being asked to pay with no end in sight. And that's unacceptable.

Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.

Monday, May 30, 2005

There was an article in yesterday's NY Times Magazine about mothers of Marines in Iraq. Good article.

Frankly, this highlights one of my own difficulties with this war. How does one oppose the war and support the troops and their families. I do know that within the antiwar movement there is a significant military perspective. Iraq Veterans Against the War. Gold Star Families. Military Families Speak Out. GI Rights Hotline. One of the big issues/objections of this antiwar movement is that the war is not legitimate or just, and that Bush has betrayed the military by sending them to fight in a war that he wanted but had to sell to the American people and force upon the rest of the world. To me and many others, that's not supporting our troops. I've seen no opposition to the troops themselves, other than one report by an untrustworthy source.

That said, I know that many see us an unpatriotic or unsupportive of the troops. That's the party line, and a lot of people do blame the antiwar movement of the 60s and 70s for the bad end in Vietnam and the way veterans were treated upon their return. I could argue that point, but that's not my point today...

Actually, I'm not sure what my point is...I'm rambling. That article made me cry. I think a lot about those who are over there and their families who are sitting here waiting to hear that their children are ok. I have friends and family who are impacted by this war. I live in a military town and see the funerals and memorials occuring on a regular basis. This is in part why I'm personally opposed to the war, and it bothers me to think that others see what I do as an insult or worse. My brain understands why it's like this, but my heart doesn't.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Good morning. Several weeks ago I went to the SD Roots Music Festival and saw Odetta (among others) and at the beginning of her set she read a quote from Nelson Mandela that I liked very much. Of course afterwards, I couldn't remember it. This morning I stumbled upon it while looking for something else online, so I'm going to put it here:

" Our worse fears are not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are worthy beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous. Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God…there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us. It is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Here's the Woolsey amendment that was defeated in the House today. The good part (afaic) is that FINALLY someone broached the subject of an exit strategy. The vote was 300 to 128.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I promised you info about my recent anti war type activities, and probably the most interesting was the Code Pink rally. The way I see it, Code Pink is a good thing. They are a very visible group and I think the general public needs to be reminded occasionally that there is still a war going on in Iraq.

I saw an interview on NOW with a soldier who's arm was blown off (from the book Purple Hearts; Back from Iraq), so he wears a stainless steel prosthetic. He said people come up to him sometimes and ask how he lost his arm. When he tells them it happened in Iraq many people don't know it's still going on. "There's still a war in Iraq?"

That's why I think reminders are good.

There was a small, but enthusiastic group of us (a week ago Sunday) in the park. We were at a busy intersection between the zoo and downtown, and there was a Native American fair/festival at that intersection too so there was a lot of traffic. Most of the response was favorable. Lots of honking, waving, words of encouragement (way to go, hippies! ;-)), thumbs up. There were a few middle fingers up too, but not very many. Just a few. About half of us took a walk through the park. Just a short jaunt. Several people confronted us there. Either by making stupid comments (boo democracy! boo freedom!) or wanting to argue. I declined to debate.

As we approached our corner, a woman came up to me and told me that we shouldn't be causing trouble for the Indians and should take our protest elsewhere. She said it was disrespectful. I told her that was the usual protest/vigil space Code Pink uses and no disrespect was intended, but we weren't leaving yet. Plus we weren't causing trouble. We were just exercising our free speech muscles. She muttered some comment about how Sitting Bull's relatives wouldn't appreciate us. Frankly, I don't know what she meant by that, other than her implication that we'd draw an unwanted police presence. Okey-dokey.

Wellllll.....I did get an 84% on the ACLU's "is there an fbi file on you" quiz.

Anyway, all and all it was a rewarding experience.
Students at Princeton University held a mock filibuster that ran all day, every day for over two weeks. Here's a summary about the filibuster compromise from their FilibusterFrist website.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Why yes, I did change my outfit. Thanks for noticing!
I'm taking time out from being irritated by Iraq to be irritated by the filibuster issue.
This was my letter to the editor of the Trib. I sent a copy to my senators too. It was probably too long. I've been told I get too wordy.

Republican senators are threatening once again to change the rules of the Senate to suit their political goals by envoking what they have dubbed the nuclear option. Eliminating the filibuster for judicial nominees would be a serious violation of democratic values. It is completely un-American and anti-democratic to stifle debate and dissent. It is an abuse of power to jettison a long standing Senate rule that has historically been defended by both parties. The Republicans are ruling as if they plan to be the party in power forever. I sincerely doubt that to be the case. The filibuster was designed to support minority rights, and prevents the tyranny of the majority. How ironic that Senator Frist claims it is a "formula for tyranny by the minority". The filibuster is used when a narrow majority supports actions that the minority finds deeply offensive, no matter the party. I find it disturbing that the Republican party wants to seize total control over all judicial nominations in an attempt to appoint judges who will roll back decades of progress in protecting worker's rights, the environment, and privacy. In addition, this battle the Republican party is waging in the media is hypocritical, especially in light of the fact that Democrats have attempted to block only 10 of the judges nominated by President Bush; only the worst of the worst. Two hundred and eight of President Bush's judicial nominees have been confirmed by the Senate. These same politicians who claim to be outraged by the filibuster, blocked over 60 of President Clinton's nominees. I find this to be further proof they want to eliminate this important Senate rule only to seize even more power and control. Think about what is happening to the checks and balances our founding fathers envisioned for our nation. I strongly urge all United States Senators to defend the long standing Senate filibuster rules and stop this un-American, anti-democratic attempt to seize absolute power over judicial nominations in order to advance the goals of one political party. Please protect the integrity of the Senate, freedom of speech and long standing American values by contacting your Senator immediately to oppose this blatant grab for power.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I promised I'd post something about the anti war activities of the past week, but it's a bit late in the evening for me to start. Last Wednesday Di and I went to an event for Pablo Paredes, a sailor who was being court martialed for refusing to board his ship. Basically, they slapped his wrist. On Sunday we attended a Code Pink anti war protest. So busy! It's exhausting being a wife and mother, Accounts Payable Technician Extrordinaire and hippie radical. ;-)

hahaha....While we were with the Code Pinkers a couple guys drove by and yelled out the window, "Way to go, hippies!" I'm still giggling over that one. It makes me want to get a pink hippie skirt to wear to Code Pink events. I saw one at Walmart, but it just seems wrong to wear something from Walmart to a Code Pink protest. Princess D needs a pink suit, pink pumps and a pillbox hat.

...but I digress....

There were some other things that were yelled in our general direction, but we won't go there.

I'll post the details about the two events. I promise. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe in installments. We'll see.
I miss Bill Moyers.