Saturday, December 01, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I have been silent too long. I can no longer keep my voice silenced while this current administration runs rampant destroying everything that made this a great country. The following is a list of our inalienable rights, as written in the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, and the First Amendment rights, from our Constitution.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." --Declaration of Independence as originally written by Thomas Jefferson, 1776. ME 1:29, Papers 1:315
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
— The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
I remember reciting those words as a young girl, and of being so proud to be an American. To be a part of the greatest nation on earth, knowing that Democracy in all it's glory is absolutely the best form of government, and the only really true form of fair government. But now I hang my head in shame, as I watch our current administration turn what was great into what is ghastly. Preaching Democracy while practicing fascism... that is our current administration. We must not be silent as these rights are being stripped before our very eyes. Who are we as Americans, if we allow our country to fall to such disgrace under such dictators as George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney. Speak out now, and let Washington and Fox News know that we will not stand for this destruction of our first amendment rights.
The best way to take action is to call the Director of Department of Public Works, William O. Howland, Jr. at You can also send a letter or fax by clicking this link.
, and the Mayor of DC, Adrian Fenty, at .
Thursday, January 04, 2007
As you may already know, in the beginning of February 2007, the will most likely submit a new supplemental spending bill to
Congress, and Voices for Creative Nonviolence will launch the
Occupation Project, a campaign of sustained nonviolent civil
disobedience to end war funding.
Kathy Kelly, currently in writes:
"Although we have paltry financial means compared to the weapons
makers who wield so much influence on , we do have
resources. We have our bodies. We have our determination. We have our
compassion for Iraqi people and for U.S. soldiers. We have our concern
for future generations who will not only have to live with the
consequences of this violence, but who will also live on a planet
spoiled by global warming, in no small part because we spent our
resources on war instead of on developing clean energy sources. These
are the grains of sand that will stop the cogs of war from turning.
"Now is the time for seriously strategizing about the best ways, in
our hometowns, to engage in sustained civil disobedience at the
offices of elected representatives, demanding that they vote against
the supplemental spending bill."
Read Kathy's complete article, "Wrapped Around a Bullet" -
You can sign up to participate in the project by visiting the
Occupation Project page -
http://vcnv.org/project/the-occupation-project, or give us a call at
, or write to .
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Sean Penn received the 2006 Christopher Reeve First Amendment Award from The Creative Coalition on December 18, 2006, in New York City, and called for impeachment.
As we all know, Penn was absolutely right in opposing the war in Iraq before it began, and came under withering assault from FOX and the FOX-wannabees at NBC, CNN, CBS, and ABC. Will the TV networks make amends to Penn? Will he be interviewed about Iraq and impeachment by Tim Russert, George Stephanopoulos, Brian Williams, Katie Couric, Larry King, Bill O'Reilly, Chris Matthews, and the rest of the talking heads? Let's ask them!
Here's an excerpt from Penn's speech:
They tell us we lost 3,000 Americans on 9/11. Is that enough? We're about to match it. We're within weeks, if not less, of killing 3,000 Americans in Iraq. I ask Speaker Pelosi, can we put impeachment on the table then? Without former FEMA chief Mike Brown being held accountable, post Katrina (scapegoat though he may have been) we'd have had the same chaos and neglect when Rita hit Houston. Think about it. And, the same people who trumpet deterrence as a justification for punishment when we speak of "crime and punishment," will boast their positive thinking when dismissing the deterrent qualities of an impeachment proceeding.
What is impeachment? It's not a Democratic versus Republican event. Not if used responsibly. If the House of Representatives votes to impeach this president, is he thrown out of office? No, he is not thrown out of office. That is not what impeachment is. Impeachment is the opportunity to proceed with accountability and give our elected senators, democratic and republican, the power to pursue a thorough investigation. The power to put the truth on the table. Mothers and fathers are losing their kids to horrifying deaths in this war every single day. Horrible deaths. Horrible maimings. Were crimes committed in enlisting the support of our country in this decision to go to war? For the moment we're living the most spineless of scenarios; where the hawks abused impeachment eight years ago, now, the rest of us politely refuse to use it today. Let's give the whistle-blowers cover, let's get the subpoenas out there, and then, one by one, put this administration under oath. And then, if the crimes of "Treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" are proven, do as Article 2, Section 4 of the United States Constitution provides, and remove "the President, Vice President and...civil officers of the United States" from office. If the Justice Department then sees fit to bunk them up with Jeff Skilling, so be it.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Hurricane Katrina has been, first and foremost, a human disaster -- a seemingly endless tale of suffering marked by lives lost, communities dispersed and families torn asunder. Our hearts go out to the hundreds of thousands of displaced people who are now struggling to piece some semblance of their lives back together.NRDC is doing all that we can -- as I'm sure you are -- to aid the ongoing relief effort in the Gulf states. We're also contributing our special expertise on oil spills, toxic pollution and drinking water in order to help meet the immediate challenges.As the flood waters begin receding, Americans are also beginning to gain some much-needed perspective on our fragile place in the natural world. Few events in our lifetime have revealed so dramatically the deep interconnectedness between people and nature.As an environmental organization, NRDC has a profound obligation to ensure that the environmental lessons of this disaster are not only learned, but that they are heard loud and clear in our nation's capital.
Hurricane Katrina destroyed more than human lives and homes. She also blew away a decade's worth of denial about major environmental problems that confront America. Katrina destroyed the fantasy that we can blithely go on increasing our dangerous dependence on oil -- whether imported or domestic. Our oil-addicted economy is just too vulnerable to supply disruptions, as anyone who filled up their gas tank last week discovered. The solution is NOT to drill and destroy the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- or our beautiful coastlines -- as many in Congress are now suggesting. Drilling in the Arctic would not have any impact on gas prices until 2025, and even then it would only reduce prices at the pump by a trivial 1.5 cents per gallon. Our nation simply does not have enough oil reserves to affect world oil prices. The only way out of this mess is to reduce our appetite for oil by improving the fuel economy of our vehicles (which consume 40 percent of our oil) and by relying on smarter, cleaner and renewable ways to power our economy.
Katrina also exposed the fiction that we can dredge, bulldoze and fill millions of acres of coastal wetlands without paying a price. Wetland ecosystems are Mother Nature's perfect buffer against catastrophic storm surges. Destroy that buffer and you destroy the last line of defense, not only for New Orleans but for a host of other American cities. In this case, as in so many others, what's good for the wildlife of coastal America is also indispensable to its people. We are part of nature.
Katrina demolished the pretense that we needn't reckon with global warming. While no single hurricane can be directly linked to global warming, climate scientists agree that we are entering an epoch of warming oceans, rising sea levels and much more intense storms. We know full well what kind of pollution controls are required to reverse this trend. If we don't act, Katrina will be our future. You can't say she didn't warn us.
Finally, Katrina tore the lid off one of our nation's most shameful truths: that petrochemical plants, toxic waste sites, oil refineries and other industrial threats to human health are most often sited next to low-income minority communities. The rest of America regularly averts its eyes from this injustice. But with the poorest neighborhoods of New Orleans drowning in a hazardous sea of fuel, sewage and chemicals, it's hard not to notice just which of our citizens are paying the ultimate price.Oil addiction. Wetland destruction. Global warming. Environmental injustice. You're well aware that NRDC has been working for years to awaken America to these terrible problems and to champion urgently needed solutions.
But Katrina has changed everything. The public is finally paying attention. And officials in Washington are looking to respond.Our challenge is making sure our leaders take away the right lessons from this disaster and respond with real solutions, not with the old ways of thinking or business-as-usual giveaways to well-connected industries.It won't be easy. The Bush administration and congressional leaders have spent the last four years digging us ever deeper into a hole of oil dependence, wetland destruction, global warming pollution and environmental injustice. It's unspeakably tragic that it took a deadly hurricane to expose this gaping crater.There's an old proverb that says, "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." Getting our leaders to stop digging will be a tall order. But with more hurricanes sure to follow in Katrina's wake, we have no choice but to dedicate ourselves to the task at hand. As always, NRDC will be counting on your commitment, your support and your activism at every step of the way.
John H. Adams
Natural Resources Defense Council
Friday, September 09, 2005
On the heels of the president's "What, me worry?" response to the death, destruction and dislocation that followed upon Hurricane Katrina comes the news of his mother's Labor Day visit with hurricane evacuees at the Astrodome in Houston.
Commenting on the facilities that have been set up for the evacuees -- cots crammed side-by-side in a huge stadium where the lights never go out and the sound of sobbing children never completely ceases -- former First Lady Barbara Bush concluded that the poor people of New Orleans had lucked out.
"Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them," Mrs. Bush told American Public Media's "Marketplace" program, before returning to her multi-million dollar Houston home.
On the tape of the interview, Mrs. Bush chuckles audibly as she observes just how great things are going for families that are separated from loved ones, people who have been forced to abandon their homes and the only community where they have ever lived, and parents who are explaining to children that their pets, their toys and in some cases their friends may be lost forever. Perhaps the former first lady was amusing herself with the notion that evacuees without bread could eat cake.
At the very least, she was expressing a measure of empathy commensurate with that evidenced by her son during his fly-ins for disaster-zone photo opportunities.
On Friday, when even Republican lawmakers were giving the federal government an "F" for its response to the crisis, President Bush heaped praise on embattled Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown. As thousands of victims of the hurricane continued to plead for food, water, shelter, medical care and a way out of the nightmare to which federal neglect had consigned them, Brown cheerily announced that "people are getting the help they need."
Barbara Bush's son put his arm around the addled FEMA functionary and declared, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."
Like mother, like son.
Even when a hurricane hits, the apple does not fall far from the tree.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Timeline (from Moveon.org)
Friday, Aug. 26: Gov. Kathleen Blanco declares a state of emergency in Louisiana and requests troop assistance.
Saturday, Aug. 27: Gov. Blanco asks for federal state of emergency. A federal emergency is declared giving federal officials the authority to get involved.
Sunday, Aug. 28: Mayor Ray Nagin orders mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. President Bush warned of Levee failure by National Hurricane Center. National Weather Service predicts area will be "uninhabitable" after Hurricane arrives. First reports of water toppling over the levee appear in local paper.
Monday, Aug. 29: Levee breaches and New Orleans begins to fill with water, Bush travels to Arizona and California to discuss Medicare. FEMA chief finally responds to federal emergency, dispatching employees but giving them two days to arrive on site.
Tuesday, Aug. 30: Mass looting reported, security shortage cited in New Orleans. Pentagon says that local authorities have adequate National Guard units to handle hurricane needs despite governor's earlier request. Bush returns to Crawford for final day of vacation. TV coverage is around-the-clock Hurricane news.
Wednesday, Aug. 31: Tens of thousands trapped in New Orleans including at Convention Center and Superdome in "medieval" conditions. President Bush finally returns to Washington to establish a task force to coordinate federal response. Local authorities run out of food and water supplies.
Thursday, Sept. 1: New Orleans descends into anarchy. New Orleans Mayor issues a "Desperate SOS" to federal government. Bush claims nobody predicted the breach of the levees despite multiple warnings and his earlier briefing.
Friday, Sept. 2: Karl Rove begins Bush administration campaign to blame state and local officials—despite their repeated requests for help. Bush stages a photo-op—diverting Coast Guard helicopters and crew to act as backdrop for cameras. Levee repair work orchestrated for president's visit and White House press corps.
Saturday, Sept. 3: Bush blames state and local officials. Senior administration official (possibly Rove) caught in a lie claiming Gov. Blanco had not declared a state of emergency or asked for help.
Monday, Sept. 5: New Orleans officials begin to collect their dead.
Don't let him get away with it. Sign a petition today demanding the president stop the blame-shifting and get to work helping Hurricane victims. Petition delivery will start tomorrow in Washington, D.C.