Monday, June 27, 2005

Why Arnold Really Wants a Special Election....

If Schwarzenegger and his initiatives were on the same ballot, any money spent putting his words and picture in radio, television and newspaper ads for the propositions would count as contributions to his own campaign.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Because of the talk about the flag descecration amendment, I've been thinking about the whole concept of wedge issues. The term has been around for a while, but frankly I never gave it much thought until very recently. In fact, this whole Us vs Them stuff is, to my mind, is at the root of many problems we face. It encourages hate and discontent. It allows people on the "right" side of the issue to feel superior to those on the "wrong" side. Of course, if you are superior AND right, there's no need to attend to the ideas of those wrong-headed, misguided, evil inferiors!

As long as issues are broken down into the simplest terms of black and white, there's no possibility of a real discussion of the issues. If the government is allowed to define acceptable thought and wrap it in a gauzy film of patriotism and goodness, then any disagreement is, by the nature of it's very existence, wrong.

So now we have this real possibility of a flag descration amendment going out to the states for consideration, and if you're for it you are Good and if you are against it you are Evil.

As long as we play a part in the culture wars, we're feeding the beast. I don't know the answer, but I think I see some of the roots of the problem so I suppose that's a start. It goes back to the whole framing issue. . . who gets to define what's good and what's bad?

I guess in some people's eyes, they can't be a winner unless someone else is the loser.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

from c/net news:

The U.S. Department of Justice is quietly shopping around the explosive idea of requiring Internet service providers to retain records of their customers' online activities.

Data retention rules could permit police to obtain records of e-mail chatter, Web browsing or chat-room activity months after Internet providers ordinarily would have deleted the logs--that is, if logs were ever kept in the first place. No U.S. law currently mandates that such logs be kept.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Oh yeah. I got a reply message from Dianne Feinstein's office about the flag burning amendment. She say's we'll just have to agree to disagree.

from the link above.....

"Ask the men and women who stood on top of the Trade Center," said Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham, R-Calif. "Ask them and they will tell you: Pass this amendment."

Ick. That's revolting. How does he know what they'd say? Personally, I can't think of any circumstance where I'd want Duke speaking on my behalf. What an exploitive thing to say.
Hiya. Carole and I went to a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the Peace Resource Center at Judy the Beauty's Big Kitchen. Yum yum. They presold tickets and took reservations for 175 dinners! That's a lot of spaghetti. The tables on the patio seat six people so three other people joined us and it turned out that two of them are members of the SD Chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America, as well as being members of Princess Di's UU church. Small world. So now I know where and when the PDA chapter meets. The second Saturday of the month in North Park.

It was all good. The food. The people. The atmosphere.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day, to all you dads.

Yesterday afternoon I went to a kickoff meeting for a new SD Chapter of the CA Clean Money Campaign. I think it went very well. There were about 15 people there. We met at the Coronado library, and Susan Lerner talked about the organization and how they support the chapters. She made suggestions about things we can do to educate others about public financing of elections, and talked about some of the other chapters. It was good. Energizing. She's going to come down from LA again sometime soon and do a couple speaker training sessions for us. I suggested we all attend, even those who aren't interested in speaking to groups because it will help everyone to articulate their ideas more effectively when speaking one on one. Everyone agreed so I think our next meeting or the one after might be the first speaker training.

It's an interesting group. There were two elderly ladies there who sound like their retirement "jobs" are public activism. A guy who has been active in state level politics and is working on his masters in political science. A man who's involved with the election reform group at the largest UU church in town. Others said they've been disgusted about the state of democracy over the last few years. A couple who said they got active when Bush was elected. Just a nice variety of folks. A few will probably have to be reminded to keep it non-partisan, but maybe not. We'll see.

Friday, June 17, 2005

MSNBC POLL: Do you believe President Bush misled the nation in order to go to war with Iraq?

Vote to see results

Logan Jenkins from the San Diego Tribune on Duke.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

If the Bush Social Security plan is on the ropes, and he keeps saying that Democrats are obstructionist because we don't have any ideas ourselves, it seems to me it would be a good time to push a different message. Social Security doesn't need fixing. It was doing ok until the spiraling debt and deficit returned. No reform is necessary. A little fiscally responsible leadership would go a long way toward fixing the problem.
The Democratic congressmen were relegated to a tiny room in the bottom of the Capitol and the Republicans who run the House scheduled 11 major votes to coincide with the afternoon event.

But it still made the news. Nyah.

Frist says he never made his own diagnosis in the case. But he did argue there wasn't enough information on the woman's condition to justify removing her feeding tube.

Oh brother. Of course he didn't have enough information, and he shouldn't. It was none of his business. I'm sure he'd like to call this sad chapter closed. Too bad a whole bunch of people will remember it, and probably remind him of it regularly for a while. You can't unring a bell, buddy.

I follow Iraq pretty closely, but was taken aback when Charlie Clements, now head of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, described driving in a Baghdad neighborhood six months before the war “and a building would just explode, hit by a missile from 30,000 feet –‘What is that building?’” Clements would ask. “’Oh, that's a telephone exchange.’” Later, at a conference at Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base, Clements heard a U.S. General boast “that he began taking out assets that could help in resisting an invasion at least six months before war was declared.”

It just keeps getting worse, doesn't it?

A defense contractor whose real estate dealings with Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham have raised ethical questions has another connection to Cunningham: He owns a boat docked at a Washington yacht club ---- a boat on which Cunningham stays while working in the Capitol.Cunningham, R-Escondido, sits on the House Appropriations Committee, which has awarded millions of dollars to the contractor, Washington-based MZM Inc.

Well, there's the terryfaceplace Bringing Integrity Back to Government news report for today. Have a nice day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I hope that last post is ok. What an enormous pain in the neck. I guess it was too large so it was hacking off sentences and punctuation and spaces, etc. I had to make the font smaller to get it all in there.

I told you I'm wordy.

If there's weird formatting in there that I missed, sorry about that.

p.s. Check this out. What nerve.
In the last 24 hours I've heard both Bush and Ah-nold (on tv news...local NBC news show I believe) call Democrats obstructionists. It's kinda sweet the way those two kids share one brain.

Anyway, to the obstructionist label I say Woo and Hoo! Especially with regard to El Presidente. That's my goal. I want to obstruct the way he callously disregards the needs of anyone other than major donors or noisy religious fanatics. Tax relief, my eye. Same goes for the ironically phrased "culture of life."

I want to obstruct him from damaging Social Security, which is probably the most successful social program in the history of this country. I'm willing to hear about reforms that would make the existing system stronger but do not force me to put my savings for my rapidly approaching Golden Years into the freaking stock market. I read my retirement account statements. I'm not stupid. The only good thing is that my SS isn't in there right now. So, I do my best to obstruct his evil plan to throw people into poverty so their riches will benefit investment brokers and his corporate pals.

I'd also like to obstruct his efforts to involve himself in people's personal lives. I don't need him and his
friends to control my reproductive system. If I fall into a PVS and my brain shrinks to a mushy half of it's former self, I don't want them deciding if I live or die. The kissing up to the religious far wacked out right falls into this category too, afaic because he has no business in that sphere. Religion is personal and the government should stay out. By using religion as his public relations tool, he's screwing up what's essentially a pretty decent religion, and giving Christianity a bad name. Not to mention giving whackos a greater voice in our future. Jeez. Just. Butt. Out.

I try my best to obstruct the war in Iraq. Boo on war profiteering too.

I send $$ to the ACLU so they can work on obstructing his assaults on personal freedom, liberty, open democracy and human rights. I figure they can handle that one.

I've tried to obstruct his appointment of judges like
Williams Myers and William Pryor. They're unfit to judge.They deserve obstruction. I like my independent judiciary system so I think Democrats are supporting the constitution by obstructing his manipulation of the courts to suit his scary agenda.

So this is just a small sampling of the issues I would like to obstruct and I'm so pleased to hear it's working. I think I'll keep encouraging my legislators to continue to obstruct any actions that are harmful to the basic fabric of this nation and the world. It's a good thing to obstruct undemocratic, violent, mean-spirited, soul crushing, freedom hating policies!

I'm so proud.


I sent Senator Feinstein an email this morning because she's starting to piss me off.

Dear Senator Feinstein,
I just read that you are one of the co-sponsors of the resolution that flag burning should be constitutionally banned. I find that appalling. I believe that one of the key indicators of how free a country is to be how well the government accepts debate, dissent and even insult. As you well know, it's largely a symbolic gesture since flag burning incidents in this country are extremely rare. However I am 100% certain that you can not legally force people to respect the flag. Since the Republicans are sure to vote for it in the House and the Senate, and are hoping the Democrats are too scared to oppose it there's a good chance your resolution will pass and be forwarded on to the states. I believe this is an symbol of how much this country has lost. Free speech is being compromised, and I will fight that at every turn. How in the world can we claim to be some sort of moral authority in the world while we're on this path to crush freedom and dissent in our own country.

Senator Feinstein, I have been a Democrat all my life and am proud of my Democratic values. I deeply respect our rights of personal freedom, and liberty. I have voted for you every single time. I am starting to consider that a mistake. You've done many good things for this country, and I appreciate that, but I feel you've made a shift to the right and I can not support that.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Ron Kovic on Alternet.

It's the intro to a new edition of Born on the Fourth of July.


From the SD Union Tribune/

WASHINGTON – A defense contractor with ties to Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham took a $700,000 loss on the purchase of the congressman's Del Mar house while the congressman, a member of the influential defense appropriations subcommittee, was supporting the contractor's efforts to get tens of millions of dollars in contracts from the Pentagon.

It's enough to make a reasonable person suspicious.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

I see that Philip Cooney resigned from the White House two days after it was reported that he edited scientific documents to fit the Bush agenda.

Of course, he'd already planned to leave so he could "spend time with his family" and is in no way related to the fact that he got caught. Uh-huh.

I wonder how many "former" lobbyists are holding policy making positions in the federal government these days and how it compares to years past. Hmmm....I know that a year or so ago the number being bandied about was 100(ish) but I wonder if that's accurate today.

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Pimping of the President


On a related note, the California Clean Money Campaign is forming a working group in San Diego and they're having a kickoff on Saturday June 18. Coronado Library. 1:00. I can get behind this. The terryfaceplace Election Reform Plan is as follows:

Clean money campaign finance
Equal free media time for ballot approved candidates
All votes get counted. Period.
Ballots with a paper trail
Non-partisan election officials
Make election day a national holiday :-)
Same day voter registration

I like the Voter Bill of Rights at Code Pink too. We'll do all that too, while we're at it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

On Sunday an elderly man came up to the Code Pink group and asked me why we were there, and wanted to know if we were for peace or against the war. He said he didn't want to be against anything, but he could be for peace. I told him that was just fine with me, and he stood there with us for about half an hour.

My first thought was that he was kind of a funny guy...well, he was, but that's really irrelevant. It's stuck in my mind though, and I had an ephiphany! (ok, maybe not....I just like the word.) I think he had a point worth remembering though. People will be more responsive to something positive. I think that on a larger scale, that's what's happened to the Democrats. They're so busy being "against" that it's hard to see what they're "for". It's those pecking ducks again...

I like the Code Pink gals, and their dedication but the protest/rally thing isn't really a very effective means to accomplish anything. I think it's worth getting out there and doing it, but it's passive, and it's effectiveness is limited by the negative connotations associated with even just the word "protest". I say it's passive because I don't feel that I'm doing anything that will change anything. I'm just standing there and people's (positive and negative) comments are just bouncing off us. It's not like we're doing anything to change anyone's mind. Like I've said, we're just a handy dandy reminder service. Don't get me wrong....I think it's great that us like-minded folks get together regularly, and make our little stand. It also helps me to remember that there's really a groundswell of opposition to the militaristic inclinations of the administration. We really do get an enthusiastic response from the vast majority of people. It's just not the right niche for me.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

We had our Code Pink rally today. Kind of a rally-lite. Not too many people there today, but we had one new person. The low turn-out would probably be more disheartening if we got a negative response from the public, but we don't so that's encouraging. Actually, we get tons of positive response. Sometimes people stop and join us for a little bit which is very cool. I think it's good to be out there and visible, but I really want to do something more concrete. I think that's why PDA and the California Clean Money campaign appeal to me.

CA Clean Money is campaign finance reform. It allows for public financing of elections. To get on the ballot a candidate has to collect a specific number of signatures AND five dollar donations. Then they agree to accept only public financing. There would be a mininum amount set, but if the opponant is doing traditional fund raising and starts trying to get ahead in contributions, the amount the publicly financed candidate goes up too. In other words, there's a disincentive to drive up the cost of the election because the more you raise, the more you raise for your opponant. That and the stigma attached to using private donations to push up the cost of a public election. Not very good election PR.

It's already working in other states and I'd like to see it happen here too. It not only frees the candidates and elected officials from fund raising, but frees them from being financially beholden to anyone.

Friday, June 03, 2005

This is the Craigslist post regarding Code Pink's Sunday vigil in SD. I sent it to the editor of the SD Democrats newsletter too, and he published an event listing today. Hopefully we can get some new people to join us.