January 7, 2005

Hatred does not cease in this world by hating, but by not hating; this is an eternal truth.
----Buddha

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Barbara Boxer joined Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, from Ohio, to challenge the electoral votes from Ohio. In the debate that followed, many of the challengers stated that their aim was to stimulate voter reform and not to overturn the election. Nevertheless, the Republicans yelled sour grapes and were unwilling to address the issue. More than one Republican invoked the name of the antichrist, Michael Moore.

January 6, 2005

At 10:00 AM (Pacific Time) KPFA will be broadcasting from the Congress: The Congressional Black Caucus, led by Congressman John Conyers, Jr., will once again challenge the electoral college vote (just like they did in 2001, memorialized so poignantly in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911"). In addition, it has been reported that at least one Senator, Barbara Boxer, will join in that challenge.        

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Malpractice Bill Shields Drugmakers
By Jim VandeHei

The medical malpractice bill backed by President Bush would prevent consumers from seeking punitive damages from the makers of Vioxx and Celebrex, two popular pain medications recently linked to increased risks of heart attacks and strokes, according to legal experts on both sides of the issue.

While Bush often touts the medical malpractice proposals as a prudent way to stop frivolous lawsuits against doctors, the bill's less-discussed liability protections for pharmaceutical companies such as Merck & Co., the manufacturer of Vioxx, is generating controversy this week. more....

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Numbed by the Numbers of Those Who Have Died
by Robert Steinback

News that the Southeast Asian earthquake and tsunami have killed 140,000 people stirs the compassion in us, but estimates that the war our nation started in Iraq might have caused an equal number of casualties inspires little more than a shrug of self-righteousness from many of us.

The tens of thousands of deaths we couldn't prevent sadden us, but the tens of thousands we needlessly caused don't? Is death more tragic when God or nature brings it about, but less so when we do it ourselves? more....

January 5, 2005

eFAX Senators to Urge them to Challenge the Ohio Electoral Vote on January 6, 2005.

  On January 6, 2005, both houses of Congress will meet in a joint session to count and approve the Electoral votes in the Presidential election. At that point, if at least one member of Congress and one Senator challenge a state's Electoral vote, the two Houses consider the objections. If both houses agree to the objection, then the electoral vote or votes in question are not counted. For more details see "MiaMedia Votergate Resources: Challenging the Electoral Vote"...

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Sign the Declaration Against American Torture
Hearings on the appointment of Alberto Gonzales to attorney general of the United States will begin this Thursday, January 6. Serious questions still remain regarding Gonzales' apparent advocacy of torture as a legitimate practice by American soldiers, government agents and contractors.

ActForChange has teamed up with True Majority, MoveOn, Faithful America, Sojourners and Win Without War to call on Alberto Gonzales, nominee for chief law enforcement officer of the United States, members of the U.S. Senate, and other responsible government officials, to sign a Declaration Against Torture, unequivocally renouncing all forms of torture and abuse as instruments of American policy.

The Attorney General is charged with protecting the civil liberties of every American, and the American public must be assured that the person who holds the job is up to that task.

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SOCIAL SECURITY
Massive Benefit Cuts

The real impact of President Bush's Social Security privatization scheme: massive cuts in promised benefits. The White House is expected to propose a new system of calculating Social Security benefits called "price indexing." The technical change would mean "cutting promised benefits by nearly a third in the coming decades" – with even deeper cuts in the future. For example, if the "price indexing" change is made, "a retiree in 2075 would receive 54 percent of the benefits now promised." David C. John, a Social Security expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation called the proposal "very much like sticking your hand in a wasp nest." more.....

January 4, 2005

Elders' Sea Knowledge Spares Some Thais Knowledge of the ocean and its currents passed down from generation to generation of a group of Thai fishermen known as the Morgan sea gypsies saved an entire village from the Asian tsunami, a newspaper said Saturday. more....

January 3, 2005

A Phoenix from the Ashes
by Van Jones

The hopes of the world were dashed on November 2, 2004. An indescribably beautiful, vibrant, and diverse people‚s movement had formed inside the United States, aiming to free the planet from the administration of George W. Bush ...

Ordinary people of every class and color had come together: donating, volunteering, phone banking, poll monitoring, dancing, prayingųall to end the regime of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft.

--snip--

What happens now? What will happen to all this energy, creativity, and momentum?

The good news is it‚s entirely up to us. We can let Bush‚s victory shatter all our new coalitions and efforts. Or we can use the pain to deepen our commitment to transforming America.

Let‚s stick with it. Because, without anyone consciously trying to do it, we have already created something without precedent in our nation‚s history.

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Van Jones can be heard today at 10amPT/1pmET on 91.7 KALW (San Francisco) or http://www.yourcallradio.org

January 2, 2005

Despite Despair, a New Year Brings Hope
by Hubert G. Locke

It would be nice to end this dreadful year on a cheery, upbeat note. To do so, however, one would have to be either totally oblivious or massively indifferent to nearly everything going on around us.

*

In spite of it all, anticipating a new year somehow gives us the conviction that we can also hope for better things. There is something in the human spirit that refuses, in most circumstances, to succumb to despair, that searches for even the smallest signs of positive change and that believes in our capacity to do better in the future than we have in the past. Those of us who believe this nation of ours is arrogantly storming down the wrong path, on both the domestic and international fronts, especially have to guard against disillusionment and redouble our support of the causes and ideals in which we believe. more....

January 1, 2005

Happy New Year! We spent the night partying at Yoshi's, listening to the great Josh Redmond and his fantastic band.

No news is good news. Have a great new year and hope and work for the best in the coming year.

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