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May 5, 2006

I do not consider myself to be a vindictive person. If anyone does something to me personally, I let The Creator deal with them, for as sure as the sun shines they WILL get their due. My religion does not allow me to get involved with joining political parties but even so, I have always been an independent. I say this to say that I have no qualms about speaking my mind when I see political corruption/incompetence.

When an audience member held Rumsfeld's feet to the fire last week I was glad to see that there are people in this country who will speak out publicly and attempt to have public officials be accountable for their actions. This is something that the media should have been doing since this administration was first appointed by the activist judges on the Supreme Court. Now some of them are remembering that their job is to INFORM THE PUBLIC and not just parrot the administration's spin. No congratulations to them from me. They are paid way too much for them to be so cozy with the powers that be.

My question is when is someone going to do the same to Bush, Cheney, Rice et al? Let's be frank. They lied to us and there is no way I am falling for the "intelligence we were given" spin that these criminals have been pushing. When the dots are connected it is very clear that this administration regularly lies. People who lie have what are called "tells" and I recognize their tells every time. They have committed crimes against the citizenry, many of them impeachable and many of them downright criminal and all of them sleazy.

The last President was impeached for having sex with an intern and whether I approve or not I never considered that to be an impeachable offense. But it seems that people in this country feel that sex is worse than waging an illegal war, risking the lives and limbs of the best and brightest of our young soldiers, leaving citizens to die as the consequence of Katrina, running a thoroughly corrupt government, pandering to big oil and Haliburton and threatening to drop a nuclear warhead on a country it is unable to bully into submission.

There are too many questions that have not been asked or answered. I congratulate those individuals who have the courage to stand up in public and ask the hard questions. I say it is time to hold some more feet to the fire!


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Posted: May 5, 2006 2:49pm
Apr 23, 2006

Air Force 1 sat on a California runway last week while G Dubya decided what to do (rememer he pronounced that he is "the decider"). He was to have attended a meeting on the campus of Stamford University but lo, and behold to his chagrin thousands of student demonstrators awaited his arrival. He decided not to appear.

Congress returned from their latest vacation talking about securing U.S. borders. It seems their constituents gave them hell about it being so many years past 9-11 and no meaningful action on border security (among other things).

A recently released poll indicates that 56% of voters want to get rid of incumbents from BOTH parties in the next round of elections.

Lou Dobbs posed a question on his program last week that asked if Dubya's catch phrase "Jobs Americans won't do" is insulting to American workers. 97% responded that it is an insult.

Could it be that citizens are not as terrorized into docility as the administration would prefer to have them? The corporate machine that runs the country is accustomed to ignoring the actual "will of the people" and substituting it's own agenda as being the people's will. But Congress has had real fear put into them by their constituents, many of whom have made it very clear that if they vote in opposition to what the voters want, they may find themselves voted out of office.

I, for one, have been more active this year than ever in my life in contacting my elected officials to tell them what is on my mind. Having no party affiliation I fall into that all important "swing" group all politicians want on their side. Perhaps one way for Democrat and Republican voters to get the attention of their elected officials is to give up party affiliations and register as independents.

Over 75 years ago my grandfather legally emigrated to the US from the Bahamas to pick fruit in Homestead, FL. It was pre-Caesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers' Union so he was paid extremely low wages, never owned a home but managed to raise 5 children single-handedly. My father (the youngest) was born in Homestead, and his three brothers and sisters had citizenship. Two of the brothers joined the force of American migrant workers at early ages and traveled the country following the crops. The oldest brother became a Pullman sleeping car porter and later a Miami hotel worker. In the mid-50s he learned Spanish and when asked why he replied that soon no one would be able to get work in Miami unless they knew Spanish. It seems he had foreseen the influx of Cubans. My Auntie, the only girl, worked in a laundry. My father started as a sleeping car porter, he and his sister eventually migrated to NYC where over time my father progressed from dishwasher to cook, to chef, to restauranteur. None were fortunate enough to go to college and while most did not finish high school all were self-educated.

I regret that my father was seldom home while I was growing up because he worked at least two full-time jobs, sometimes three, as long as I can remember, but Saturdays and Sunday mornings he was all mine. on Saturdays he shopped for his restaurants and I went with him. The first stop was always the nut shop with the upside down sign for fresh raw peanuts in the shell. I always could look forward to a lapful of hot, freshly roasted peanuts when we went home. Saturdays the Metropolitan Opera House broadcast it's matinee live and my father and I listened in the car. 'Cavaleria Rusticana' was his favorite and 'Madam Butterfly' was mine. Sunday mornings my father made my favorite breakfast - pancakes, with lots of butter, drowning in syrup and a glass of icy cold buttermilk. While he started cooking Sunday dinner he kept hot ones coming so that my plate was never empty. I remember eating 36 at one sitting once. My father was amused and amazed and my stomach was simply amazed. The operative word here being "once"! After breakfast we would retire to the living room to read the 'NY Times' and listen to classical records. Ravel's 'Bolero', Handel's 'Messiah', Prokofiev's 'Peter and the Wolf', and 'Sheherazade' (I'll probably remember the composer's name as soon as I post this) were my favorites. My father's favorites seemed to be everything. At age three I could read the headlines and from then on my father would tell me how to pronounce long words, the names of foreign heads of state and other dignitaries and we would discuss the top stories in the news after watching 'Meet the Press'. To this day I watch it every Sunday. For a high school dropout my Daddy was awesome.

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Posted: Apr 23, 2006 4:39am
Apr 19, 2006

While waiting for my first job as a reporter when got back to my hometown (NYC), I worked in an office. Since I always swam against the tide I worked 11pm to 7am, the shift they called "dog watch". There were only three or four of us and my friend Benji always listened to the radio that she kept on WBAI a non-commercial listener sponsored Pacifica station. I remember loving to hear Jerry Jeff Walker singing 'Mr. Bojangles'. It was 1964 and student activists had taken over the administration office of Columbia University. They were camped out in the President's office and called WBAI to give updates on what was going on there. It wasn't too long after that siege was broken that I became Senior Investigative reporter for a radio news service. There was so much going on at the time that I kept busy. The Black Panther Party was big at the time as were The Young Lords (militant latino group), In North Carolina the Republic of New Africa was under siege by local police, in the south voter registration volunteers were being murdered by racists as if it were open season. Eldridge & Kathleen Cleaver fled the US to settle in Algeria, I was picked up by the FBI because they thought I was Angela Davis (we were both tall, had big afros and wore glasses), the Weather Underground accidentally blew up the building they were living in which was a block away from where I lived, Abbie Hoffman ran a storefront that sold items made by southern 'blacks' for a co-operative, Andy Warhol was painting soup cans and Marilyn Monroe, Sly and the Family Stone fell in love with my daughter when I took her to the Electric Circus to see them perform live, Fillmore East was rockin'. Malcolm X was shot to death, the Soledad Brothers were killed "attempting to escape" in Soledad prison, Viet Nam Veterans Against the War held their 'Winter Soldier' hearings and John Kerry testified in Washjington, Rev. William Sloane Coffin preached against the war at Riverside Church, students were shot down by National Guardsmen at Kent State and Jackson Universities and I was in regular contact with all of them, much to my peril.

But these were all people who lived their convictions for better or worse and some died in the process. And these were just a few of those that I knew. There were so many back then and the state of the country was not nearly as bad as it is now. The government still belonged to and responded to the will of the people in those turbulent times so the people were able to bring about accountability and change.

Today government has been hijacked, ignores the will of the people and I really don't think there is anyone out there that would step out of their comfort zone to try to bring about meaningful change. No one (except immigrants) is marching in the streets in protest of government actions. College campuses are quiet. Workers take unemployment, low wages and outsourcing of jobs with a whimper.

Does anybody remember history? Are we all so terrorized that we suffer from terminal paralysis?


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Posted: Apr 19, 2006 10:00am


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Elaine B.
, 5, 1 child
Hudson, MA, USA
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