Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tax Day Action - appeal to conservatives

Here's a great idea some clever person had. We'll be outside the post office on Tax Day, Monday 4/17 with flyers on cardstock that say something like:

So far, the Iraq war has cost US Taxpayers 315.8 billion dollars.

That’s approximately $2,992 from your family,

Or $1,122 per person, or

$90,100,000 for the City of Napa.

Before it’s over, it’s expected to cost 1 or 2 Trillion dollars. That’s around $15,000 to your family or nearly half a billion to our town.

Had enough? Mail the postcard below to your Congressman.

The bottom half of the cardstock flyer is a postcard preaddressed to our local congressman, Mike Thompson, supporting his Concurrent Resolution 348*. REMEMBER to leave clear space for a return address. Since the resolution is very brief, I included it on the half page postcard along with a little rectangle around "39c" for the stamp. I even had lines for add'l comments. The whole thing is done on a regular WORD processing program.

A wheelie papercutter with a perforating blade is available for $30 at office supply stores, so you can make your own professional-looking detachable postcards.

Ultimately, politics is personal I've heard. When strangers suffer or die in strange places it just doesn't hit most folks where they live, so to speak. By talking a "dollars and sense" approach, you appeal to a larger audience.

National Priorities Project has costs by city for most U.S. cities. “Local costs of War". E-mail if you need more info.

*I support Concurrent Resolution 348 which says:
“…the United States should not maintain a permanent military presence or military bases in Iraq;
2)the United States should not attempt to control the flow of Iraqi oil; and
3)United States Armed Forces should be re-deployed from Iraq as soon as practicable after the completion of Iraq’s constitution making process or September 30, 2006, whichever comes first.”

Monday, March 27, 2006

Operation Buzz Creation -- Articles of Impeachment

Would you buy a book called, "Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush" by the Center for Constitutional Rights for $9.95? If the bookstores get several calls, they'll not only stock the book, they might even display it in the window. Won't that create a little buzz?

Call your favorite local bookstore right now -- as soon as you finish reading this -- and if they don't have it in stock, ask them to order it for you. This is the perfect April Fools gift for that certain someone who is still loyal to the letter (W).

$10 still too much? CCR will send a copy to your Rep for only $5.00. Maybe you can borrow it when they're finished.

I just ordered 3 copies from each of 3 different local booksellers.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Poll: Nearly half of Americans favor censure
But pollster Dick Bennett said Democratic leaders won't publicly back it until at least 60 percent of Americans support it.
By Scott Shepard
Friday, March 17, 2006

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold's effort to censure President Bush has sent his fellow Democrats scurrying for political safety, but a poll released Thursday suggests nearly half of Americans favor such a move.

A poll by the nonpartisan American Research Group found that 46 percent of Americans support censuring Bush for authorizing wiretaps of Americans without obtaining court orders, as part of the administration's effort to fight terrorism.

But the pollster, Dick Bennett, said he does not expect the Democratic leadership to come out of the shadows until at least 60 percent of Americans support a censure.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, "the basic problem of the Democratic leadership has been their lack of political courage," Bennett said.

Other analysts said the Democrats are simply following one of the basics of political strategy: Stay out of the way as your opponents' problems mount.

"Right now, Democrats can do well by letting Republicans drown in their policy problems," said Darrell West, a Brown University professor and developer of the Web site, "However, by this fall, when voters tune into the campaign, the Democratic Party needs to show citizens . . . a positive vision for the future."

...Democrats appear to be making some progress... to end a dozen years of nearly uninterrupted Republican rule of Capitol Hill.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday showed 50 percent of Americans prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, compared with 37 percent who want it to remain under the control of Republicans. "This sends shivers down the spine of Republicans," NBC Washington Bureau Chief and "Meet The Press" moderator Tim Russert said on the "Today" show.

If I recall accurately Keith Olbermann's comment on the same poll, he said he'd NEVER seen numbers like that.

The article from adds that while 42 percent of INDEPENDENTS support censure, 47% support impeachment.

"Independents are moving beyond Bush, which, in many ways, is the worst thing that can happen to a president," Bennett said. ..."he is becoming irrelevant to their lives," the American Research Group pollster added.

Speaking of numbers, how much longer will corporate media heads be able to characterize roughly half the population as fringe?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Whether we stay the course or chart a new one, it's no picnic in the Middle East. If you'd like to support our servicemen & women in harm's way, you can go to: There's a LOT of info on the site, so let me offer some shortcuts.

If you want to help someone in a particular branch of the service you can follow the links to AnyMarine, AnyAirman, AnySailor, etc., otherwise go to "Where to Send". You'll see on the left, names arranged by most recent requests. Click on the names, and they'll let you know what they'd like. The most popular items are just notes of support, cards, postcards, etc. If you want to invest more, DVD's, candy and old Beanie Babies to give to the local kids -- I sent tennis balls because they're light. Some want reading material or beauty supplies (mostly the female soldiers). The soldier I "adopted" in a DFac "near the sand" in Afghanistan likes dried spices because he's always using up all the garlic. If you send something that weighs more than 16 oz., you'll need to fill out the form at the post office. You can download it from the site, to save time. The form just asks for name, address, what it is, value, weight...

They also have links to groups that, for a fee, will put together a care package for you, which is a real time-saver.

That's pretty much it. Do follow instructions, No porn, no pork, nothing flammable or likely to melt above 100 degrees. Be sure anything that could conceivably break is inside 2 ziploc bags.

One final word of warning. The site is addictive. Read this bit from Marine, Tyler Weiser and you'll understand what I'm talking about:

10 Nov 2005:
i just wanna start out saying thank you for even starting this. over 50% of my marines are under the age of 21 and are going to be serving a year in iraq. for some people it was hard leaving someone at home but for other's like myself it wasnt bad because i dont have a girl to worry about in the states. the whole reason i am doing this is because alot of our guys are constantly going outside the wire in combat and it is good knowing that people care. i am almost 21, single and cant wait to get home. our unit is from camp lejeune n.c. all of us our in the intel field. we are all constantly going out to support the battalions below us. this is my first time doing this so i feel a little weird asking for things. i just really want somoene to write too. but if you wanna send something little bags of candy is always good. when we go out, if there is some children we give them some candy because for majority of them dont get to have candy. that all about winning the hearts and minds of the war. thank you again and feel free to write.
lcpl tyler weiser

That Country Joe & the Fish Song - 2006 Remix

And it’s one, two three; what’re we fightin’ for?
Doesn’t anybody give a damn?
Is our next stop Iran?

And it’s five, six, seven; not another scandal-gate?!
The world just can’t wait
Until two thousand eight.

And it’s one, two three; what’re they dyin' for?
Doesn’t anybody give a damn?
Is our next stop Iran?

And it’s five, six, seven; not another scandal-gate?!
The world just can’t wait
Until two thousand eight.

Friday, March 03, 2006

A Call to Battle

This letter appeared in today's Napa Valley Register (

You may have already seen the draft version which was posted, I'm told, on If anyone could provide a link, I'm not finding it on the site.

“…to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Since I was lucky enough to be born here, I’ve never taken that vow, but I feel the same duty to the Constitution as any military troop or naturalized citizen. Right now, George W. Bush poses a threat to national security, and I hope you’ll help me stop it. Here’s some of what I know:

Richard Nixon spied on Americans, lied about it and tried to cover it up in the name of “national security.” In response, Congress passed FISA to authorize court-supervised surveillance in extreme circumstances, especially war.

George W. Bush spied on Americans, lied about it and tried to cover it up for “national security.” At his request, the NY Times kept the story secret because of “national security” until well after the 2004 election.

Bush says that what he did is not illegal. “Did I have the legal authority to do this? … absolutely.” (Dec. 2005). That sounds like Nixon, “When the President does it, that means it is not illegal.” (1977)

In his State of the Union speech, President Bush looked us in the eye and said only people with ties to al-Qaeda or terrorism were targeted, but he didn’t have to go around FISA to do that. Besides, I saw Richard Hersh testify that the FBI sent undercover officers to his meetings with Quakers. They haven’t the remotest connection to al-Qaeda or terrorism. ( “Democratic Hearing on Domestic Surveillance”).

For National Journal, Shane Harris now confirms the NSA is, in fact, data mining. Although the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program was ordered stopped by Congress in 2003, it was actually renamed “Basketball” and passed from DARPA in the Defense Dept., to NSA under Homeland Security. The agency is capable of collecting virtually every piece of data about you that is recorded electronically. Conservative William Safire warned, “…Total Information Awareness… This is not some far-out Orwellian scenario. It’s what will happen to our personal freedom… if (program head) John Poindexter gets the unprecedented power he seeks.

Attorney General Gonzales is America’s lawyer, but used to be the President’s. He’s defending this abuse of power and investigating the whistleblower(s) instead. He says the President has inherent authority, but that’s not what the Constitution says. You’d think the President has inherent credibility, but that’s wrong too. The President is not above the law. FISA is the law. Congress investigates, then asks the President what they should do about it. They will punish his law breaking by changing the law. (LA Times 2/19/06) Ouch!

John W. Dean who was Nixon’s lawyer said, “In acting here w/o Congressional approval, Bush has underlined that his Presidency is unchecked… utterly beyond the law. …what asserted powers will Bush use next?” (

When Bob Schieffer asked Bush if there was anything he could not do under this unitary executive theory. He could only think of two things. 1) Order torture or 2) Assassinate a leader of a country we're not at war with. The signing statement he famously attached to the McCain torture amendment negates number 1, so that leaves only assassination. This may not be true, either according to economic hit man, John Perkins. (
This President believes he has absolute power. If that were true, he wouldn’t be the President, he’d be a Dictator. We know what absolute power leads to…

We’ve become numb to corruption and incompetence. From forged yellowcake documents that left “no doubt” about Saddam’s WMD, then discrediting the whistleblower by outing a CIA-agent (national security be damned). In Los Angeles, whistleblower Stephen Heller has been charged with 3 felonies for exposing Diebold’s defects. Millions of dollars have disappeared in Iraq, but the contractors who can’t account for the money, get awarded more. After Bush boldly defended the Dubai ports deal -- because it’s good for business – he admitted he didn’t know about it. Then he said he did.

Clearly Congress won’t act and the jury’s out on the courts. Sandra Day O’Connor who advised that “war is not a blank check,” has been replaced by unitary executive proponent, Samuel Alito. That leaves you and me (maybe just me) to defend the Constitution. I want to unite with conservatives, liberals, and everyone else. This is too important to be left to corrupt or cowering politicians. If we believe the lessons we teach our children about democracy and our Constitution, it’s time to stand up and be counted. We’ll be meeting in Napa. Phone 707-252-8242 for agenda, etc. or e-mail

Finally, from Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Talents, “…to be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.”

Let me know you’re out there. United, we’ll stand.

I've received quite a response already. Ryan Lavelle put it into perspective with this comment:

The fight against this utterly evil military-industrial-complex run administration (about which Eisenhower prophetically warned you), is the fight to save humanity and civilization itself, not just the American political system.