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WestHoustonDem's Journal - Archives
Posted by WestHoustonDem in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Jan 31st 2007, 10:57 AM
I think this is Buenos Aires

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Posted by WestHoustonDem in Texas
Sun Jan 28th 2007, 12:40 PM
Over 200 people crowded into the meeting room at the Mickey Leland Federal Building yesterday to hear Sheila Jackson-Lee and others speak about the Iraq war. With less than two days' notice and many of Houston's peace activists at the rally in Washington, D.C., that was nothing short of awesome. KPRC, Fox News, KPFT and others covered the event.

more at
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Posted by WestHoustonDem in Editorials & Other Articles
Sun Jan 28th 2007, 11:30 AM

Democracies depend on an informed public to function. It’s true, Americans are busier than ever. It has become harder and harder for many of us to make a living as the real value of our wages continues to decrease relative to the cost of food, housing, healthcare and college tuition. The gap between rich and poor has widened substantially over the past fifty years; the minimum wage is no longer sufficient for a single person to support him or herself. People work longer hours, and many work more than one job just to survive. With these circumstances, it’s kind up tough to stay informed and to do our civic duties.

There’s also a growing cynicism among the working class that there’s no point in bothering to find out what the government is doing. There’s not even any reason to vote. The government is no longer of the people, by the people or for the people. As we learned during the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, our votes don’t count. Election fraud disenfranchised thousands of voters in Ohio and Florida.

More at
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Posted by WestHoustonDem in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Jan 27th 2007, 12:11 PM
Sneak peak at my friend Amy's speech from Houston's anti-war summit in Houston. (Cross posted at )


These three words may be only words to you and to me, ordinary citizens of the United States of America. To our Servicemen and women, however, they are a code to live by as they serve our country. They live with honor. They do their duty and they serve their country.

These words are the words I had inscribed on my son’s headstone three years ago next month. They are the code he lived by, the words that helped to make him the fine young man he had become.

Honor. Duty. Country. They are the words, the code of honor and ethics they every person who serves this country, whether in the military or as elected representatives, should live by.

Today I am here to call upon the elected representatives of the United States of America to listen to the American people. We want the war in Iraq to end. We want our soldiers to come home. The American people have spoken, and we have told you loud and clear that we do not support this ill-begotten war. We do not trust our Commander in Chief any longer.

I realize that many of our elected officials, present company excepted, are riding the fence on this issue. Some, such as John Cornyn and Kay Bailey-Hutchison, are still firmly behind the President and support him for reasons I cannot understand. Maybe they are fearful of losing their jobs, of backing away from a fellow Texan, of cutting rank.

It is to these people that I speak. I tell you that it is time to muster up what courage you can find – and believe me, you can do it when you have to -- and take a stand against this war. You must take a stand and say that it is wrong. You must end this hideous nightmare and bring our troops home.

Let me tell you about courage. In doing so, I hope you will find even half the courage I tell you about.

All over this country tonight there are mothers and fathers who have kissed and hugged their beloved sons and daughters goodbye, wiped away their tears, and sent them off to battle. One of these mothers that I am friends with does not want to leave her home because she is afraid she will miss a phone call from her son who has been gone so long from his loving family. Another friend, when asked how her son was doing in Iraq had to answer, “I don’t know. I don’t know whether he is dead or alive”. This past week I received an email, forwarded from a colleague, from the wife of a helicopter pilot who was in the same unit as the helicopter that was shot down last weekend. She didn’t know if her husband was dead or alive and was terrified. It took days before she finally learned that he is alive. Many others were not so lucky. This takes a tremendous amount of courage. If the families of the soldiers you have sent into battle can live through sending their loved ones off into harm’s way, fearful every moment for their safety, you can find the courage to stand up against this war.

Let’s talk about the soldiers who do not know, sometimes, who the enemy is. Yet day after day, they put on the gear and go out onto the streets of Baghdad, Sadr City, and other parts of Iraq. They are doing the bidding of their Country, of their Commander in Chief who knows nothing of courage, honor, duty or integrity. These fine men and women in our military serve our country and do their duty in spite of everything. I know they are afraid. They are tired and battle weary. Yet they continue to do their duty day after day under circumstances which you can only have nightmares about. If the soldiers can courageously put their lives on the line every single moment of every single day for months, and in some cases, years, then you can and must find the courage to bring them home.

We can talk about the vets who return home from Iraq, only to be called upon to return time after time, again putting their lives on hold, their families and careers on the backburner. Many of them do not want to go, yet they go because duty calls. Or because their buddies are there. They go because they are people of honor and integrity the likes of which most of us will never again see in our lifetimes.

Let’s talk about the courage it takes to live the rest of your life after you have buried your only son who died so needlessly in this fool’s war. At first you do not believe that the person you spent the majority of your adult life rearing is dead. But you have to pick out the casket. You have to find a funeral home and a cemetery and make funeral arrangements. You have to write an obituary and make terrible phone calls that you know will crush the person on the other end of the line. And then you have to figure out how in the hell to make sense out of something that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

The President has asked us to give his plan a chance. I say he has run out of chances. The President thinks we should trust him. His trust ran out a long time ago.

The Bush Administration told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Turns out they had none.

The Bush Administration told us that Hussein had ties to Bin Laden and al Qaeda. Turns out that was a bold-faced lie.

The Bush Administration told us that we were going to Iraq to help the Iraqi people and bring about “regime change”. Saddam is now dead.

The Bush Administration told us that we needed to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq. They have had their elections. However, Iraq is in much worse shape now that it was before we, the American military and private civilian contractors, arrived.

We have accomplished the things that the President, his administration and the Republican controlled government said we should do. Now, it’s time for all of you to listen to We, the People of the United States of America, to end this war and to bring our soldiers home. You can find the courage and the strength to do this. It is your responsibility and your duty to listen to us and do the right thing by our brave men and women. Cut off funding for the war. Leave enough money for the speedy withdrawal of our troops and bring our sons and daughters home. They have done their duty for you. Now it’s time you did your duty for them.

HONOR…DUTY…COUNTRY… Three words to live by.

Amy Branham
Houston, TX
Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith
Nov. 1981 - Feb. 2004
Gold Star Mother

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Posted by WestHoustonDem in Texas
Thu Jan 25th 2007, 09:34 PM
Hosted by Sheila Jackson-Lee!


Join A Constructive Dialogue On Saving Lives Of Americans, Securing The Homeland, And Bringing Our Troops Home With Dignity.

WHO: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, academician, veterans, clergy and other invited guests


Summit and Peace March with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

WHEN: Saturday, January 27, 2006
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM Iraq War Summit: What Next?
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Silent March for Peace

WHERE: Mickey Leland Federal Building, 1919 Smith Street, 12th Floor

RSVP: Chonya Davis-Johnson
713.655.0050 (office)
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Posted by WestHoustonDem in Texas
Mon Jan 22nd 2007, 09:38 AM
Our new Texas blog launched today at /. We're keeping score and taking names.

Look for contributions from some of your favorite DUers - Pdittie, Lisa0825, Smarty Pants Liberal and David Van Os.

My welcome post is a little long winded, but hopefully worth the read.

See you there!
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Posted by WestHoustonDem in The DU Lounge
Fri Jan 19th 2007, 09:21 PM
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Posted by WestHoustonDem in Texas
Sun Jan 14th 2007, 09:00 PM
Yesterday I got to help plant the better part of more than 3000 flags for the Veterans for Peace. We had well over 25 volunteers and it was quite an effort. Some flags were held and planted this morning.

Sorry I didn't post this sooner, but there's still plenty of time to attend a ceremony, or help pick up flags this week.

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Posted by WestHoustonDem in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Wed Dec 27th 2006, 11:30 PM /

Bob Woodward in WaPo reveals Ford’s criticism of Bush’s “big mistake” in Iraq, in comments the former President had said could be published after his death.

“In a four-hour conversation at his house in Beaver Creek, Colo., Ford “very strongly” disagreed with the current president’s justifications for invading Iraq and said he would have pushed alternatives, such as sanctions, much more vigorously. In the tape-recorded interview, Ford was critical not only of Bush but also of Vice President Cheney — Ford’s White House chief of staff — and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who served as Ford’s chief of staff and then his Pentagon chief.

Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction,” Ford said. “And now, I’ve never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do.”

more at
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Posted by WestHoustonDem in Texas
Thu Nov 30th 2006, 04:19 PM
As many of you are aware Goodyear has chosen to attack our brothers and sisters in Tyler , Texas. Even though Goodyear has made money their greed has led them to close plants in the United States and move them to countries were they can easily exploit workers, such as they plan for the Tyler plant. Any of the places we work could do the same thing, can you imagine having to go home and tell your family that you have lost your job, after you have tried to work with this company, going as far to give many concessions. If you are wondering how can I help these brothers and sisters, well there will be actions by Union people and our friends all over this Saturday, December 2nd. Here in our area we need as many folks to join us at the address below as possible along with your family, friends, and anyone appalled at what
Goodyear has done.

I know many folks are busy, but I am asking you to take a little time from your Holiday season and support the working families (victims of corporate greed). Remember an injury to one is an injury to all.

Please forward to all union people, friends of labor, and people who care about the middle class of our country.

Date: Saturday, December 2, 2006
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Place: Goodyear Store, 1519 Fannin (Downtown Houston @ Leeland St.)

The organizers are requesting an approximate headcount so if you would like to RSVP, pm me for the emaill address,.
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Posted by WestHoustonDem in Texas
Mon Nov 20th 2006, 08:42 PM
is not LBN and these stories are? What am I missing? We have a crisis in the ability of labor in this country to effect real change. This is a huge story for the country, not just Texas.

Mon Nov-20-06 07:02 PM
FBI must correct disclosures on evacuation of Saudis after 9/11

Mon Nov-20-06 06:37 PM
Tech Industry Urges Congress to Pass Immigration, Other Reforms Before Adjournment

Mon Nov-20-06 06:35 PM
Pombo Considers Options in Wake of Stunning Defeat ("seething" @ environmentalists)

Mon Nov-20-06 06:26 PM
LA man, 89, gets probation in crash that killed 10

Mon Nov-20-06 06:21 PM
Banned Iraqi television station illicitly back on the air
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Posted by WestHoustonDem in Texas
Mon Nov 20th 2006, 06:07 PM

Houston janitors ended a month-long strike today against the city's five major cleaning companies after reaching a tentative agreement that will guarantee higher wages, more work hours and medical benefits.

The settlement was hailed as a major victory for the 5,300 janitors who last year organized under the Service Employees International Union. It is the first citywide union contract since janitors formed a union last November.

"We're very happy, and our members are ecstatic," SEIU spokeswoman Lynda Tran said. "It's an incredible, incredible day and this is a major victory."

Under today's agreement, the SEIU janitors will get a 126 percent pay raise over the two-year contract. On January 1, pay will increase to $6.25 an hour, a 21 percent increase over current wage of $5.15 an hour. That will go up to $7.25 an hour on January 1, 2008, and $7.75 on January 1, 2009.
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Posted by WestHoustonDem in Texas
Sun Nov 19th 2006, 09:55 AM
We need to do what we can to help the striking janitors during the holidays. Here's the info:


Please join community members in donating food to the families of over 1200 striking janitors.

Houston janitors, who clean the offices of Houston's wealthiest national corporations, are forced to live on $20 a day with no health benefits.

Please bring food to the locations listed below. They need canned food, beans, pasta, rice, cereal, diapers, etc. Please do not bring open or used items. Drop off locations:

6601 Hillcroft #125

KPFT Radio
419 Lovett
(every day)

AFL-CIO Office
2506 Sutherland
(Monday - Friday)

Tejas Office
6733 Harrisburg
(Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm)

Dominican Sisters of Houston
6501 Almeda Rd.
(Monday to Friday, 9am-4:30pm)

Univ. of Houston Central Campus
4800 Calhoun Rd.
Arnold Agnes Hall, Rm. 323 (Mexican American Studies)
(Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm)

S.H.A.P.E. Community Center
3903 Almeda Rd.
(Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm)

S.H.A.P.E Community Center - Family Center
3815 Live Oak
(Monday to Friday, 9am-7pm)

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
7250 Harrisburg Blvd.

To learn more, go to
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