Friday, October 22, 2010

Raul Grijalva's Courage

I wish Raul Grijalva was my Representative in the House. If I live a few feet in another direction he would be. He is a courageous advocate for the people of Southern Arizona. The most recent attack on his office came yesterday in the form of a white powder containing, swastika-covered envelope. This is what you have to live with if you are a progressive in Arizona. The Tea Party has been here for decades in the form of an uneducated, bible (in various absolute word of God varieties) thumping state legislature. The violence advocated by Tea Party talking heads encourages radical fringe terrorist groups to act. Thank heavens the FBI has gotten involved. Local law enforcement has issues.

I've reported on how law abiding protesters are ordered onto private property (recruiting offices) by police and then cited for trespassing and how this clearly shows some sort of collusion between cops and military; how cops here show up at your door and terrify your children with threats about arresting their parents (for political protest.) The connections between some of the police and the militia / freepers / tea party wack jobs seems pretty evident when during lawful calls for assistance are not responded to when American flag waving, military uniform wearing "counter" protesters assault, threaten and attempt to intimidate recruitment center protesters with swarming, shoving and verbal intimidation on the main drag here in Tucson. Death threats against peace groups and threats against businesses that have peace groups meeting in them are a matter of public record. There is a right wing terrorist faction here in southern Arizona that needs to be shut down. I hope the FBI does their job. Nazis and skin heads that attended the Kelly / Giffords debate in support of Jesse Kelly might be a place for them to start.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The True Enemy of the Little Gal and True Small Locally-based Business

If you don't know who the Koch Brothers are, that is understandable. Most folks don't even know who lives next door to them these days, let alone who is financing the nationally coordinated assault on their local political candidates who truly just want to support their communities through public service. Basically the Koch Brothers dreamed up the Tea Party and funded it to feed the frustrations and misinformation of regular Jane and Joe Six-packs so they would buy into voting against their own interests in this and the next elections.

Unfortunately they learned from the likes of the left leaning folks who protested at the 2004 Presidential debates like me, PDA folks, some youthful rabble rouser artist types and CODEPINK. We had a cardboard cake puppet (let them eat cake) and chanted outside a hotel where McCain and Napolitano were meeting up, "We're Joe Six Pack and we've come to take our country back. This is the same message the Tea Partiers think they came up with, but the difference is their grassroots aka astroturf movement is being funded by The Koch Brothers of Koch Industries.

You need to know who the Koch brothers are. They are eating cake and taunting us. We do not want blood n the streets or a revolution. And that is what happened in France after the aristocrats pushed the little guy over the line.

At least I sure don't want to see civil war in our country and that is what is going to happen if we let the Koch brothers continue to manipulate, with the help of their brother in kind Rupert Murdoch, manipulate the media and the political system. When the little guy finally figures out what Big Business (remember that term?) and Big Media has done to them there will be rioting in the streets. When the streets explode for whatever reason, religious intolerance and racial hatred will come out in force too. We don't take to the streets as quickly as say our European brothers and sisters, but when we do - it is real serious, real fast. We can't blame ourselves for this -- we work more hours than any other group of people in the Developed World and just don't have time to research behind the news. Most of Koch Industries is involved in non-consumer level production and manufacturing: petroleum and chemical industries, and the paper and cattle industries.

But we women are smarter than that. We have to take both long and short term views simultaneously or we would have died out as a species millennia ago. We can send signals and we can subvert the dominant paradigm so to speak as we and our collective feminine actions are THE dominant paradigm, no matter what.

First step... boycott Georgia Pacific, the main consumer brand of the Koch Brothers.

Georgia-Pacific’s familiar consumer brands in North America include
Quilted Northern®,
Angel Soft®,
Sparkle® ,
Soft 'n Gentle®,
Mardi Gras®,
Vanity Fair®,
and the Dixie® brand of tabletop products.

The company’s leading European brands include
and the Demak'Up® brand of facial cleansing products.

Koch Industries also manufacture LYCRA® fiber and COOLMAX® fabric.
Consumer brands include STAINMASTER ®carpet, ANTRON® carpet fiber, CORDURA® fabric, and COMFOREL® fiberfill.

Don't buy this crap!

Don't eat beef. Or only buy local organic beef so you know you aren't buying from Matador. "The Matador Cattle Company is one of the ten largest cow/calf operations in the U.S." and yep it is Koch-owned.

The second thing I would do is to ask Managers anywhere and everywhere that you come across showing Fox News in a public area to please turn it to a station that doesn't support hate speech and incite violence You can see that advertisers have left Glenn beck for the most part but Fox still has major advertisers. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and Fox News (aka News Corpse and Faux News) is another story. Basically foreign nationals used to be banned, before the 1980s, from owning controlling interests of our print and broadcast media. Rupert Murdoch got kicked out of Australian media for being too conservative and trying to subvert their media. So we change the laws to allow him to own our media and now a Saudi Arabian princes is the second largest shareholder.

This has to stop. Women have to take back the remote and boycott the Koch Bros.--for starters.

Friday, October 08, 2010

We Can't Afford to Send Fiscally Irresponsible People to the Nation's Capitol

Is it just my imagination or are a rather large number of House races around the country being run by Republicans who spout about the deficit (which they never say was created by the Bush War machine, which it was) yet have proven to be outrageously financially irresponsible, or possibly downright criminal, in their personal lives?

First case in point - Christine O'Donnell. She is a professional candidate, accused of misappropriation, and she apparently lies about her educational background. She is neither responsible nor trustworthy. Even The Moderate Voice details all her "baggage."

More typical is a Republican rich guy trying to say he lost a couple hundred thousand bucks when he actually made 13+ million. The Dayton Daily News reports "Renacci, of Wadsworth, has made his success as a businessman and proponent of fiscal discipline a linchpin of his campaign" The problem: "Republican Jim Renacci and his wife, Tina, filed adjusted gross income in 2000 of negative $247,000 but a state audit calculated the sum at $13.7 million, according to an Associated Press review of public documents."

And New Hampshire's Republican Frank Guinta failed to disclose a bank account, and where the money in that account came from, that he is using as a slush fund. The Concord Monitor reports that "The New Hampshire Democratic Party filed formal complaints with the Federal Election Commission and the clerk of the U.S. House about Guinta amending his financial disclosure form in July to include a Bank of America account worth between $250,001 and $500,000."

And closer to our own homes and hearts here in Arizona, according to the NY Times: "In Arizona, Representative Harry E. Mitchell accused his opponent David Schweikert of being “a predatory real estate speculator who snatched up nearly 300 foreclosed homes, been cited for neglect and evicted a homeowner on the verge of saving his house, just to make a buck.”

Then there is Arkansas' First District GOP Congressional candidate Rick Crawford's stonewalling about his bankruptcy.

And of course there is also moral irresponsibility -- perhaps a topic for another entry -- but for now, here is one example:

Massachusetts Republican candidate Rick Perry faces re-examination of strip searches of underage girls by officers in his command.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Brief update

Day 2 and 3 report is coming soon. 

For now: 

Saturday Day:  Umbrellas at the Archives.
                         March and Rally was amazing!  All these groups working together!  
Saturday Night:  Then Alice Walker reading and Furious Dance at Bus Boys and Poets -- Yowza.

Sunday Morning:  BOW$$H training.
Sunday Afternoon:  Umbrella  Action (choreographed) at Eastern Market

Blackwater Makes a Killing Out of Killing

Friday, October 01, 2010

Day 1 of Being a CODEPINKer at One Nation Working Together

October 1 Logistics

12:30 - 3 a.m.
Worked on orienting myself, getting internet installed and working, figuring out my schedules and getting my materials together for the next few days.  Finally crashed around 3 a.m. I'm still very much on west coast time.

Mundane details, but good to know information (especially for women activists of a certain age:

9 a.m. - 2 p.m.Woke up later than I should have -- 6 a.m. AZ time.  9 a.m. here.  Very glad I gave myself a day to orient and do a bit of lobbying.  I transcribed the letter to my Representative and Senators onto my computer -- wrote it by hand on the plane here.  Loaded it onto a flash drive and printed it at the business center in my hotel.  Grabbed a good breakfast.  Got a metro/city map.  Figured out the locations for shuttlebetween hotel to metro.  Got a metro card.  By the time I emerged from the metro at Capital SW stop I was sweating like mad.  We south-westerners forget how much we sweat in the heat because it evaporates instantaneously.   Here when I encounter the humidity that is always present in Washington, D.C.  my body tries to cool itself, sweats, it doesn't evaporate as it usually does when I'm in Tucson and thus my body thinks it isn't cooling off, so it bumps up the process and cranks out even more sweat.  I look like hell and I don't stay sweet smelling very long in this condition either. 

I'm glad I've had a day to adjust to everything.

As I said above, I have letters for all the Rep/Senator types from my part of AZ.  I did manage to deliver my letter to Representative Giffords today around 3.  I wasn't impressed with her staff. 

 Boy Staffer mumbles some sort of a greeting.

Me:  Hi.  I've come to drop off a letter.

Boy Staffer:  Good.  

That was it.  I gave it to him.  No "Oh, where are you from?" or  "Why are you here?"  or "Welcome to D.C. " Nada.  Zilch.  Pretty good mirroring of the way Gabby treats her constituents by her staff. 
I know D.C. is old hat to them, but here I am, a constituent who has come across the country to support working together for progressive reasons, and takes the time to write and drop off a letter, and I'm pretty much ignored.  I was hot & tired and on my way out I told the guy what I thought about how I was treated and even though I vote for Gabby only as the lesser of two evils, I do not feel she represents any of my interests, hears what I tell her in letters, petitions, and the like, nor cares.  Giffords is basically a pro-choice Republican from what I can tell. 

Then I went to a room in the Capitol Visitor's Center to a room Rep.  Raul Grijalva had reserved for use by the PDA.  On Sunday I will go into detail on what John Conyers said when he spoke to maybe 50 or so people from the PDA and associated groups. 

Will also report on the great dinner and orientation session I attended at the CODEPINK Convergence Center this evening.  

But for now I have to sleep, and tomorrow I'm on the ground all day and at Poets and Busboys in the evening.  I will be posting images here, on Flickr, and on Facebook and Twitter until I can write up things later this weekend.