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K Gardner's Journal
Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Jul 30th 2010, 01:20 PM
"Access to clean, safe drinking water is now an official basic human right everywhere in the world, like the rights to life, health, food and adequate housing. The water rights resolution was approved late Wednesday by the United Nations General Assembly, not unanimously, but without opposition." (UN General Assembly)

Sorry. It's time for me to rant. My country, the good ole US of A, doesn't oppose third world countries having water or sanitation, as long as there is profit in it. Want water? We'll sell it to you. Sanitation.. we have a private company that can handle that. Kids dying of malaria and dysentery? Look at all our Big Pharma !

Of course, no one from the USA Delegation is going to vote against people having water.. they're too smart for that. They'll do some word-smithing and political wrangling, say they're looking for an alternate solution.. and ABSTAIN from voting. An "alternate solution" to being human? WTF?! Are you kidding me?

Here's the dead giveaway: Rumor has it that the United States (and some of their abstaining, greedy Western allies) would have voted FOR the resolution IF ONLY those pesky Bolivians would have placed two words in the Declaration: "access to". You see the difference? Now, where there are whole hordes of people suffering and dying, we can roll up with our Corporate Bottled Water Truck and for a price, give everyone 'access to' water. Can't afford it? Too bad.. we gave you 'access to' it.

Score one for the Bolivians, who refused to buckle under intense pressure, and kept the language clean. Score one for Human Rights of people all over the world as mankind tries to evolve into a more humanitarian race.

Score another one for the USA, where 1% of the people own over 90% of corporate stock; who ranks under most 3rd world countries in infant mortality; ranks highest among ALL nations for warmongering and profiteering; whose prison industrial complex is a model for any country wishing to incarcerate half of its minority populations and profit from it; who has the best healthcare in the world for absolutely anyone who can AFFORD it, and is the only remaining 'civilized' country who still imposes the death penalty on its citizens.

But rest assured, one of the Corporations whose greed lines the pockets of our politicians is waiting in the wings to make a lot of money off of human suffering, and thirst. Just ask British Petroleum about what corporations REALLY control.

"Blackwater" takes on a whole nother meaning...

(edited to add: I would not have been so shocked had this happened under Bush)

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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Jul 06th 2010, 09:01 AM
Best article to date, IMO, at Washington Post.

Oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico unceasingly despite the nation's most sophisticated technology working to stop it. People watched and read the news, felt queasy, tried not to think about it. Tried to just go on with life. But then the catastrophe moved toward the shore and they could not escape the images of birds covered in oil, like one by Associated Press photographer Charlie Riedel, which hit a collective raw nerve.

They posted online the image of the bird flat on its back, wings stuck in thick oil, feet kicking, futilely trying to free itself. People wept at their computers and sent each other messages. Did you see that photo of the bird? He looked like he was covered in chocolate, didn't he?

Even those who don't care much for animals took notice. These were the same people who get annoyed by pigeon droppings and creatures trying to coexist with people in cities and suburbs -- bothered by deer in the garden and raccoons moving around the attic like little men on their knees.

The suffering of other animals was haunting, too -- trapped turtles, crabs drowning in crude, dead dolphins. But the birds have been so visibly numerous, sitting immobile in oily marshes trying to clean themselves, sitting on eggs covered in oil, diving for fish in a sea coated in orange crude -- acting as if everything in the gulf is as it was before the spill began. We watch them try to keep going, just as we do, to live as if everything is normal. Only we know it's not. - International Bird Rescue Center on Facebook.

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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Mar 26th 2010, 01:17 PM
I took a partial list of these to work last weekend and left them laying around anonymously. It did a lot to hush up the right-wing fanatics screaming about socialism. Facts have a way of doing that

(This is also a good one in PDF format with more formal language


* Insurance companies will be barred from dropping people from coverage when they get sick. Lifetime coverage limits will be eliminated and annual limits are to be restricted.
* Insurers will be barred from excluding children for coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
* Young adults will be able to stay on their parents' health plans until the age of 26. Many health plans currently drop dependents from coverage when they turn 19 or finish college.
* Uninsured adults with pre-existing conditions will be able to obtain health coverage through a new program that will expire once new insurance exchanges begin operating in 2014.
* A temporary reinsurance program is created to help companies maintain health coverage for early retirees between the ages of 55 and 64. This also expires in 2014.
* Medicare drug beneficiaries who fall into the "doughnut hole" coverage gap will get a $250 rebate. The bill eventually closes that gap which currently begins after $2,700 is spent on drugs. Coverage starts again after $6,154 is spent.
* A 50% tax credit becomes available for some small businesses to help provide coverage for workers.
* A 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services that use ultraviolet lamps goes into effect on July 1.


* Medicare provides 10 percent bonus payments to primary care physicians and general surgeons.
* Medicare beneficiaries will be able to get a free annual wellness visit and personalized prevention plan service. New health plans will be required to cover preventive services with little or no cost to patients.
* A new program under the Medicaid plan for the poor goes into effect in October that allows states to offer home and community based care for the disabled that might otherwise require institutional care.
* Payments to insurers offering Medicare Advantage services are frozen at 2010 levels. These payments are to be gradually reduced to bring them more in line with traditional Medicare.
* Employers are required to disclose the value of health benefits on employees' W-2 IRS forms.
* An annual fee is imposed on pharmaceutical companies based on market share. The fee does not apply to companies with sales of $5 million or less.


* Physician payment reforms are implemented in Medicare to enhance primary care services and encourage doctors to form "accountable care organizations" to improve quality and efficiency of care.
* An incentive program is established in Medicare for acute care hospitals to improve quality outcomes.
* The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the government programs, begin tracking hospital readmission rates and puts in place financial incentives to reduce preventable readmissions.


* A national pilot program is established for Medicare on payment bundling to encourage doctors, hospitals and other care providers to better coordinate patient care.
* The threshold for claiming medical expenses on itemized tax returns is raised to 10 percent from 7.5 percent of income. The threshold remains at 7.5 percent for the elderly through 2016.
* The Medicare payroll tax is raised to 2.35 percent from 1.45 percent for individuals earning more than $200,000 and married couples with incomes over $250,000. The tax is imposed on some investment income at a rate of 3.8 percent for that income group.
* A 2.9 percent excise tax is imposed on the sale of medical devices. Anything generally purchased at the retail level by the public is excluded from the tax.


* State health insurance exchanges for small businesses and individuals open.
* Most people will be required to obtain health insurance coverage or pay a fine if they don't. Healthcare tax credits become available to help people with incomes up to 400 percent of poverty purchase coverage on the exchange.
* Health plans no longer can exclude people from coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
* Employers with 50 or more workers who do not offer coverage face a fine of $2,000 for each employee if any worker receives subsidized insurance on the exchange. The first 30 employees aren't counted for the fine.
* Health insurance companies begin paying a fee based on their market share.


* Medicare creates a physician payment program aimed at rewarding quality of care rather than volume of services.


* An excise tax on high cost employer-provided plans is imposed. The first $27,500 of a family plan and $10,200 for individual coverage is exempt from the tax. Higher levels are set for plans covering retirees and people in high risk professions.

(Reporting by Donna Smith; Editing by David Alexander and Paul Simao)

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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Jun 09th 2009, 07:59 PM
First Rate Health Care.

1. NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Feb. 18, 2005 – In every case, enemy combatants held here receive medical care that is "as good as or better than anything we would offer our own soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines," the general in charge of the U.S. detention facility here said. The facility is equipped with 19 inpatient beds (and can expand to 28), a physical-therapy area, pharmacy, radiology department, central sterilization area, and a single-bed operating room. More complex surgeries can be performed at the base naval hospital, which also is equipped with an intensive-care wing. The Navy medical personnel who treat the detainees pride themselves on the quality of care they provide, said Capt. Barry Barendse, a Navy nurse and the deputy command surgeon for JTF Guantanamo. "The standard of care here is the best possible standard of care (the detainees) could get," he said.

2. Politicians Receive the Country’s Best Care - at Taxpayers' Expense As soon as members of Congress are sworn in, they may participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). The program offers an assortment of health plans from which to choose, including fee-for-service, point-of-service, and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). In addition, Congress members can also insure their spouses and their dependents. Not only does Congress get to choose from a wide range of plans, but there’s no waiting period. Unlike many Americans who must struggle against precondition clauses or are even denied coverage because of those preconditions, Senators and Representatives are covered no matter what - effective immediately. And here’s the best part. The government pays up to 75 percent of the premium. That government, of course, is funded by taxpayers, the same taxpayers who often cannot afford health care themselves.

The Republicans in Congress - and even many of our own Democrats - don't want 46 million Americans to have access to the same kind of health care they have.

3. But wait, there's more ! What about the Mainstream Media employees/anchors? Take for instance, Joe Scarborough. Joe, as an employee of MSNBC who works more than 30 hours per week (and all his dependents) are covered by Premera Blue Cross. This particular plan includes Medical, Vision, Dental and up to $500,000 in Life Insurance.

Joe doesn't think 46 million Americans who don't have health care should have a public option. Joe gets paid to parrot this propaganda for three hours a day, all while having the luxury of being able to afford to be sick !

Turner Broadcasting providess their employees with first rate health coverage, too. I can't find any info, but I'm willing to bet those hate-spewing anchors at Fox News who don't want Americans to have a public option for health care ever stood in line to be treated in a tent or went bankrupt over medical expenses.

Who does that leave? Well, it leaves the unemployed, the "uninsurable", the middle class, the working class, the poor, the ones whose tax dollars pay for all the care provided to the people in 1 and 2 above, while the Corporations who control group #3 make sure to instill a healthy dose of National Health Care FEAR into the public over the airwaves daily.

This is what we get:

Cars began lining up outside Chilhowee Park in Knoxville, TN, at midnight. It was early January. But despite 27 degree temperatures, the passengers had come to wait for seven hours -- to see a dentist or optometrist they could afford. Relief corps and ventures to provide health care to those who lack basic assistance are no longer limited to Third World countries. Massive aid centers, volunteer medical staffs, and lists of people waiting for help are not just found at foreign aid stations. Working Americans are finding themselves lining up for free medical aid, revealing the growing gap between the wealthy and poor in the United States. Remote Area Medical is helping to serve Americans who cannot afford health care.

This is what they get.

Don't let them tell us we can't have what they have.

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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue May 26th 2009, 10:42 AM
Because he's an arrogant ass, that's why.

There are probably other reasons, but watching Turley openly and unashamedly bash this supremely-qualified, strong, wonderful woman, I now understand our President's emphasis on "empathy".

Thank you, President Obama.

And thank you to Celina Sotomayor - much like Stanley Ann Dunham - a woman strong enough in difficult circumstances to raise a child who can achieve their highest dreams; a child who can make us all proud to live in the United States of America.

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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Mar 16th 2009, 06:46 PM
From Judgement at Nuremburg

"Who made his life excrement, because he walked with them."

It could be Judgement at The Hague. Just substitute a few words from this great speech - Burt Lancaster as Ernst Janning, confessing his guilt. Substitute these words: America for Germany; Bush for Hitler; democratize for militarize; socialists for gypsies; terrorists or illegal aliens for Jews. Substitute a few words and history has, indeed, repeated itself.

What would it sound like - for Bush and Cheney to come clean? How would these words ring in a nation gone hollow, poisoned with fear and paralyzed with hate for nearly a decade; only now once again reaching out for Hope. Can our new beginning come without a washing away of the filth and shame of the past, without a true accounting? Without atonement? We've seen this too many times in America: Native American holocaust, slavery, witchcraft, segregation, discrimination - we've seen it and we've looked away for decades, for generations. Let us not look away again. Let us remember how it began and how it ended. Let us never forget, let us atone, and most surely, let us Prosecute.

There was a fever over the land, a fever of disgrace, of indignity, of hunger. We had a democracy, yes, but it was torn by elements within. Above all there was fear, fear of today, fear of tomorrow, fear of our neighbors, and fear of ourselves. Only when you understand that can you understand what Hitler meant to us, because he said to us:

"Lift your heads. Be proud to be German. There are devils among us, communists, liberals, Jews, gypsies. Once these devils will be destroyed your misery will be destroyed."

It was the old, old story of the sacrificial lamb.

What about those of us who knew better, we who knew the words were lies and worse than lies? Why did we sit silent? Why did we take part? Because we loved our country. What difference does it make if a few political extremists lose their rights? What difference does it make if a few racial minorities lose their rights? It is only a passing phase. It is only a stage we are going through. It will be discarded sooner or later. Hitler himself will be discarded -- sooner or later. The country is in danger. We will march out of the shadows! We will go forward. FORWARD is the great password.

And history tells how well we succeeded, Your Honor. We succeeded beyond out wildest dreams. The very elements of hate and power about Hitler that mesmerized Germany, mesmerized the world. We found ourselves with sudden powerful allies. Things that had been denied to us as a democracy were open to us now. The world said, "Go ahead. Take it. Take it! Take Sudetenland! Take the Rhineland! Re-militarize it! Take all of Austria! Take it!"

And then, one day we looked around and found that we were in an even more terrible danger. The ritual begun in this courtroom swept over the land like a raging, roaring disease. What was going to be a "passing phase" had become the way of life.

Your Honor, I was content to sit silent during this trial. I was content to tend my roses. I was even content to let counsel try to save my name, until I realized that in order to save it, he would have to raise the specter again. You have seen him do it. He has done it, here, in this courtroom. He has suggested that the Third Reich worked for the benefit of people. He has suggested that we sterilized men for the welfare of the country. He has suggested that perhaps the old Jew did sleep with the 16 year old girl after all. Once more, it is being done -- for love of country.

It is not easy to tell the truth. But if there is to be any salvation for Germany, we who know our guilt must admit it -- whatever the pain and humiliation.

Hans Rolfe: Your Honor, I must interrupt. The defendant is not aware of what he's saying. He's not aware of the implications!

Janning: I am aware. I am aware! My counsel would have you believe we were not aware of the concentration camps. Not aware. Where were we? Where were we when Hitler began shrieking his hate in Reichstag? Where were we when our neighbors were being dragged out in the middle of the night to Dachau?! Where were we when every village in Germany has a railroad terminal where cattle cars were filled with children being carried out to their extermination! Where were we when they cried out in the night to us. Deaf, dumb, blind!!

Hans Rolfe: Your Honor, I must protest!

Janning: My counsel says we were not aware of the extermination of the millions. He would give you the excuse: We were only aware of the extermination of the hundreds. Does that make us any the less guilty? Maybe we didn't know the details. But if we didn't know, it was because we didn't want to know.

Emil Hahn: Traitor! Traitor!

Judge Haywood: Order! Order! Order! Put that man back in his seat and keep him there.

Janning: I am going to tell them the truth. I am going to tell them the truth if the whole world conspires against it. I am going to tell them the truth about their Ministry of Justice. Werner Lammpe, an old man who cries into his Bible now, an old man who profited by the property expropriation of every man he sent to a concentration camp. Friedrich Hofstetter, the "good German" who knew how to take orders, who sent men before him to be sterilized like so many digits. Emil Hahn, the decayed, corrupt bigot, obsessed by the evil within himself. And Ernst Janning, worse than any of them because he knew what they were, and he went along with them.

Ernst Janning: Who made his life excrement, because he walked with them.

This is what Atonement sounds like. It is Time. Time for America to come clean. Let Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, Yoo - all of them - come here and tell their Stories to the World. Let Them Be Heard. Let Them Atone.
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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Feb 12th 2009, 02:57 PM

This group was just shown on MSNBC, protesting outside the capitol with "428,000 signatures" from "ordinary Americans". They were accompanied by congresscritters from mostly Southern states, I think. These people are demanding NO stimulus at all, well, except for tax cuts for the rich. I wonder how many of them are unemployed? From their website, here is a sample of their beef:

( Oh NoEs, a cigarette tax ! ) You may remember the famous promise from Obama on the campaign trail not to raise any tax on any family making less than $250,000 a year. Well, that lasted about two weeks. Today Obama is signing a 61-cent-per-pack hike in the federal cigarette tax, buried in the so-called SCHIP bill.

A lot of poor and middle-income smokers who voted for Obama based on his tax promise may feel betrayed immediately. All the nonsmokers out there should also be concerned, because with that promise already breached, you could be next in line.

( Teh TreeHuggers are Coming..Global Warming is a HOAX, it's SerIes!)“In a struggling economy with gas prices creeping back up and folks losing their jobs left and right, we simply cannot afford to spend billions of dollars on “green energy” that will make it more expensive to heat our homes,” said President of Americans for Prosperity, Tim Phillips. “We are disturbed to see the new administration has decided to bow to the will of extremist environmental interest groups, instead of doing what is best for the American people,” said AFP Policy Director Phil Kerpen. “In the midst of an economic downturn and a contentious national debate over the so-called ‘stimulus,’ Obama is seeking to stifle an essential component of the nation’s recovery efforts.”

(The SOCIALISTS are Coming to Take teh Hospitalz! ) What does the so-called “stimulus package” mean for your health care? Hidden in the dark recesses of this monstrous spending bill are the first steps towards full-on health care socialism.

Seriously, MSNBC - Was Henrietta's Homelessness just too much for you to cover? I know Matthews was VERY disturbed about the "real people" at Obama's Town Halls. You don't really think these right wing lunatics represent "average Americans" now, do you? Really?

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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue Feb 10th 2009, 05:37 PM
This is simply amazing to me. Ever since the Town Hall today - since Henrietta and Julio stood up and spoke their hearts - these two are headliners. As if the media had never seen a real person.

Tweety just said it, straight out: This President has taken us out of Washington. These are REAL people. The Hardball icon seemed astonished that these "real" people could talk and that one expressed themselves differently that he did. Earlier, one of the simpering MSNBC anchors gave Julio a solid thumbs down, stating "You wait all day to see the President and THIS is how you act?"

Well, yes m'am, it is. Millions of "us" out here - millions with heartaches and joys that you know nothing of - and just a few of you in your echo chambers. After eight years of being shut out, penned inside fences, unseen and unheard - our cries and our plights falling on deaf, uncaring ears - we have a President who cares. This excites us. We may shout. More often, we may weep.

Barack Obama hears us. He heard us all along.

Now, you will hear us. All of us.

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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Oct 30th 2008, 10:21 PM
I flew 3,000 miles today, from deep inside "McCain Country" (East Tennessee)to the beautiful blue state of California; and at each and every airport one thing became stunningly obvious: Obama Unites.

People gathered round each of two big screen TVs this morning at 6 a.m., in one of the reddest of red states, watching CNN rerun the Florida Rally from last night featuring The Big Dog. They did not sit. They stood, rapt in their attention; occasionally laughing, often nodding heads in agreement and most noticeably, smiling. They reluctantly moved away only when the plane was boarding, and then they moved slowly. It was evident, something was happening. There was something different in the air.

"I like your pin." If I heard it once I heard it a thousand times as people noticed the black & white HOPE pin with a picture of Barack on it. From there, people just wanted to talk. They wanted to smile, to connect with another human being. It was as if they realized they didn't have to hide their excitement any longer, or worry that the other person supported the campaign of Fear and Hate. If there were those around who did not share the excitement, they were eerily quiet today. Maybe, just maybe, Love and Hope does win.

In Dallas, once more, people gathered in the lounges around the scattered TVs showing CNN. Obama comes on, a snippet of a speech, a news item, they look up. They pay attention, they smile. In the bookstore, a gaggle of people gathered around to discuss my "Hope" pin. Friends made, numbers exchanged, strangers united through Hope - the Hope that Barack is bringing. A waitress gives me the thumbs up sign, an extra bottle of water to take on the plane. She says only, "When you come back through, we'll celebrate."

By the time I reached California, I'd lost the irrational fear of being tarred and feathered by hate-mongers. Instead I was bouyed up, floating along in a sea of humanity and realizing this is only the beginning of the reconnection of the American people. We can see the end of it - that long tunnel of greed and war and hate and fear, of animosity nearly a decade long. Moving into the light, people want only to know others will be there to take their hand, to share the journey.

Obama gives us permission to look at each other again; to share our stories as Americans, united in our struggles and working together for solutions; to give and relish in the giving; to strive together for a more perfect Union. He tells us, it's OK to smile with each other; we're not strangers anymore. The long national nightmare really is almost over. Breathe.

"Thank you." The voice of the African-American woman at the rental car counter. "For what?", I say as she hands me my keys. "For not being afraid to wear Hope", she said, and smiled. Overcome with emotion, as I am often these days, I shook her hand; patted it gently and the silent look that passed between us said, "We're going to be alright."

Finally. We ARE going to be alright. There is something stirring in the air. It feels like Hope.

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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Sep 27th 2008, 09:04 PM
(I first want to apologize for posting about this topic yet again, after so much has already been said. But I have to get this off my chest.)

It takes awhile, they say, for the result of a debate to settle in. A bit of time for the words and images to weave their way into our souls and deposit there a lasting image – the impression we then take away for all time. I guess that is why the pundits get it so terribly wrong so very often. They’ve allowed no time for the settling. And anyway, they see what they want to see, what they’re told to see; and from there, try to influence and mold what we see.

I’ve been mostly sad today. I left the TV off. And I didn’t know why until I watched a re-run of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and was dumbstruck by this line, this scene:

“ Miss Jean Louise, stand up, your father’s passin’.”

The people relegated to the balcony stood in unison as Atticus Finch passed. A silent gesture of respect, of honor, to a man who struggled to do what was right, no matter what the personal cost. A man who fought for principles greater and far beyond himself.

And I cried, realizing then that I was thinking about Barack Obama and how hard it must have been for him to stand on that stage and talk to a man who refused to even acknowledge his presence. Who refused, out of a meanness of spirit unfathomable to me, to look him in the eyes, man-to-man; human being to human being, Senator to Senator. I realized then why the picture of him hugging Michelle afterward touched me so. She alone would understand how that hurt him. A hurt he would likely never voice to anyone but her. Yet he stood there, for 90 minutes, without acknowledgement from his opponent. Stood there brave and calm and unflinching, fighting for us and for the principles he believes in.

I turned, as I so often do, to “Dreams from my Father”, to Barack Obama’s own words to try to find some meaning, some salvation; perhaps to assuage my own guilt over the affront I felt was afforded to Barack Obama. And I found, in pages 156-158, words he wrote about people on the South Side – how they felt about accomplishment and the obstacles they had to overcome to be accepted; and how often they were not accepted.

“So, despite the deserved sense of accomplishment these men and women felt, despite the irrefutable evidence of their own progress, our conversations were marked by another, more ominous strain. The boarded-up homes, the decaying storefronts, the aging church rolls, kids from unknown families who swaggered down the streets – loud congregations of teenaged boys, teenage girls feeding potato chips to crying toddlers, the discarded wrappers tumbling down the block – all of it whispered painful truths, told them the progress they’d found was ephemeral, rooted in thin soil; that it might not even last their lifetimes”. (snip)

“As it had for the men in Smitty’s barbershop, the election had given these people a new idea of themselves. Or maybe it was an old idea, born of a simpler time. Harold was something they still held in common: Like my idea of organizing, he held out an offer of collective redemption.”

Even after this, when the man who refused eye contact stumbled painfully upon a name, this remarkable American said to him with a soul full of humility and compassion, "That's ok John, that's a hard one."

That is the mark of greatness. The man who stood there without being acknowledged, unflinching and without a spark of bitterness in his heart, is the next President of the United States.

It’s about Respect. It’s about Hope and the Future of a nation. It’s about the struggle for Human Dignity throughout the ages.

It is, most of all, about Equality.

“Miss Jean Louise, stand up, your father’s passin’.”

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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Sep 22nd 2008, 08:32 PM
Only under the Bush administration can a substance banned from public sale and labeled a terrorist explosive agent be permitted in the WATER YOU DRINK.

Rocket Fuel: A Terrorist Explosive, But Good For YOU !

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Environmental Protection Agency has decided there's no need to rid drinking water of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient that has fouled public water supplies around the country.

Sen. Barbara Boxer said the EPA was walking away from "a widespread contamination problem."

EPA reached the conclusion in a draft regulatory document not yet made public but reviewed Monday by The Associated Press. The ingredient, perchlorate, has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states at levels high enough to interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental health risks, particularly for babies and fetuses, according to some scientists. The EPA document says that mandating a clean-up level for perchlorate would not result in a "meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public-water systems."

The conclusion, which caps years of dispute over the issue, was denounced by Democrats and environmentalists who accused the EPA of caving to pressure from the Pentagon.

"This is a widespread contamination problem, and to see the Bush EPA just walk away is shocking," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, who chairs the Senate's environment committee.

Here's a Word from Elton:

And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
Till touch down brings me round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no I’m a rocket man

(credit to KDR for the subtitle)
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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Sep 20th 2008, 10:46 AM
Dear Sarah,

From one woman to another, one mother to another - get out now. Save yourself, save your future, save your family.

I know you thought you'd ride the Republican wave to the top. I know that Power is a very hard thing to say no to. It's the shiny bling bling. It's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It might have looked like the answer to prayer, your big chance. But it's not too late to summon the courage, the integrity, to JUST SAY NO.

There is nowhere for you to go but down. You will not win this election. You will never be VP, most certainly, never be President. It isn't God's Will. It's nothing your Pastor can pray you into. It simply isn't in the cards for you. And worse than that.. this is going to ruin you and your family. If you love them, if you cherish your children, leave now. Show them what True Courage is - give them an example to follow.

You were not ready for the Big Leagues and they're using you. They lied if they told you they could protect you. We've all caught on - the media has caught on - and if you think it is bad now, you've seen nothing yet. You will be made a laughingstock. Keith Olbermann is writing checks based on your lies. This is something you will never live down. There will be no future for you in politics. Like those who have been savaged before you, this is the end. Your name will be a postscript, a punchline, for many election cycles to come. Most likely, your future in Alaskan politics is now lost to you. This is a gig from which you cannot recover.

Henry Wallace retired from politics and spent many of his remaining days tinkering with egg and corn yields on his New York farm after being pushed into the VP slot by FDR. Spiro Agnew and Dan Qualye... nuff said. But you won't even make it that far, Sarah. Your defeat will be blistering and unrecoverable. You won't go down in a blaze of glory.. you'll just go down, like the Titanic.

You have this one remarkable opportunity to show your children, show the world, what Integrity is.

You must realize, you must understand by now, this is not what you signed up for. Tell your children: "I am not going to lie anymore.. not for Party, not for John McCain, not for Anyone." Tell your children: "I thought I was ready; I thought I was doing the right thing, but I realize now this is wrong." Tell your children:" I love my country and my country is in real trouble.. your futures are at risk..this country needs more than I can give."

Sometimes, Sarah, you have to fall on your sword.

Sometimes, Sarah, those who sacrifice for the greater good DO reclaim a spot in history. This, you can do.

Henry Ward Beecher said: "It is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich."

There is a chance here for greatness, but it will not come from the road you have chosen; it will come from choosing a much harder, less-traveled road. You have it inside you to seize this opportunity. For your children, for your country, for your legacy, for history... Sarah, just say "Enough."

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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue Jun 17th 2008, 07:49 PM
.. less than 24 hours after McCain proposed this to a cheering audience of Texans.

Governor Crist of Florida has also, just now and miraculously, come out in favor of lifting the moratorium on off-shore drilling. This is the next Gas Tax Holiday, folks. Only bigger. They're going to tie it to National Security. The oil industry is NOT going down without a fight. Talking points below.. right wing sites were ready for it.

As Americans pay more for gas than ever under this Congress--
Democrats continue to vote against drilling and oil exploration.

Over the past 30 years:

Democrats have blocked the development of new sources of petroleum.
Democrats have blocked drilling in ANWR.
Democrats have blocked drilling off the coast of Florida.
Democrats have blocked drilling off of the east coast.
Democrats have blocked drilling off of the west coast.
Democrats have blocked drilling off the Alaskan coast.
Democrats have blocked building oil refineries.
Democrats have blocked clean nuclear energy production.
Democrats have blocked clean coal production.

67% of Americans support offshore- 64% say it will lower gas prices.
Rasmussen reported:

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey—conducted before McCain announced his intentions on the issue--finds that 67% of voters believe that drilling should be allowed off the coasts of California, Florida and other states. Only 18% disagree and 15% are undecided. Conservative and moderate voters strongly support this approach, while liberals are more evenly divided (46% of liberals favor drilling, 37% oppose).

Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters believe it is at least somewhat likely that gas prices will go down if offshore oil drilling is allowed, although 27% don’t believe it. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of conservatives say offshore drilling is at least somewhat likely to drive prices down. That view is shared by 57% of moderates and 50% of liberal voters.
Barack Obama opposes drilling for oil.

In related news... Al Gore’s home consumed 10% more electricity this year than last.

(This is no coincidence coming the day after Al Gore Endorsed Obama)

Bush Began Hinting at this Prior to Leaving for Europe

"The United States has an opportunity to help increase the supply of oil on the market," thereby easing gasoline prices for hard-working Americans," President Bush said on Monday.

He reminded Congress that he has proposed opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Continental Shelf to domestic oil drilling -- something that would "help us through this difficult period."

Citing concerns about the environment, the Democrat-led Congress has so far refused to go along with domestic oil drilling.

"We remind our friends and allies overseas that we're all too dependent on hydrocarbons, and we must work to advance tech that help us become less dependent on hydrocarbons," Bush said on Monday as he headed out to Europe.


List of Big Oil Lobbyists Funding McCain's Campaign:

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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Jun 14th 2008, 09:52 AM
In 1983, I decided to become a community organizer. There wasn't much detail to the idea. I didn't know anyone making a living that way. When classmates asked me what it was that a community organizer did, I couldn't answer them directly. Instead, I'd pronounce on the need for Change. Change in the White House, where Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds. Change in the Congress, compliant and corrupt. Change in the mood of the country - manic and self-absorbed. Change won't come from the top, I would say. Change will come from a mobilized grass roots.

I couldn't really blame them for being skeptical. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, I can construct a certain logic to my decision, show how becoming an organizer was a part of that larger narrative starting with my father and his father before him, my mother and her parents, my memories of Indonesia with its beggars and farmers, my father's death. I can see that my choices were never truly mine alone - and that that is how it should be, that to assert otherwise is to chase after a sorry sort of freedom.

Lying in bed at night, I would let the slogans drift away to be replaced with a series of images, romantic images, of a past I had never known.

They were of the civil rights movement, mostly the grainy black-and-white footage that appears every February during Black History Month - the same images that my mother had offered me as a child. A pair of college students, hair short, backs straight, placing their orders at a lunch counter teetering on the edge of riot. SNCC workers standing on a porch in some Mississippi backwater trying to convince a family of sharecroppers to register to vote. A county jail bursting with children, their hands clasped together, singing freedom songs.

Such images became a form of prayer for me, bolstering my spirits, channeling my emotions in a way that words never could. They told me that I wasn't alone in my particular struggles and that communities had never been a given in this country, at least not for blacks. Communities had to be created, fought for, tended like gardens. They expanded or contracted with the dreams of men. I saw the African-American community becoming more than just the place where you'd been born or the house where you'd been raised. Through organizing, through shared sacrifice, membership had been earned. And because membership was earned - because this community I imagined was still in the making, built on the promise that the larger American community - black, white and brown - could somehow redefine itself - I believed that it might, over time, admit the uniqueness of my own life.

That was my idea of organizing. It was a promise of redemption.

In six months, I was broke, unemployed, eating soup from a can. I had all but given up on organizing when I received a call from Marty Kaufman. He explained that he'd started an organizing drive in chicago and was looking to hire a trainee. He'd be in New York the following week and suggested we meet at a coffee shop on Lexington. He offered to start me off at ten thousand dollars for the first year; the salary would go up if things worked out.

After he was gone, I took the long way home, along the East River promenade. The old fluted park lamps flickered to life; a long brown barge rolled through the gray waters toward the sea. I sat down on a bench, considering my options and noticed a black woman and her young son approach. The boy yanked the woman up to the railing and they stood side by side, a single silhouette against the twilight. The boy took a few steps toward me.

"Excuse me, mister, " he shouted. "You know why sometimes the river runs that way and then sometimes it goes this way?" I said it probably had to do with the tides. The answer seemed to satisfy the boy and he went back to his mother. As I watched the two of them disappear into dusk, I realized I had never noticed which way the river ran.

A week later, I loaded up my car and drove to Chicago.

(excerpts from Chapter Seven of "Dreams From My Father" by Barack Obama, pp. 133-143)

Note: Chapter Seven has been heavily snipped and edited for posting. This book was written in the early 1990s and published in 1995, yet note how many of Barack Obama's ideas have come to fruition; how he has taken his dream of grassroots organizing on a community level and applied that to the nation. His dream has become a reality. His dream has become Our Dream.
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Posted by K Gardner in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Jun 07th 2008, 06:20 PM
It doesn't really matter what your opinion is of Eva Peron or her politics. In sum, she carved out a place for herself in history that has made her the stuff of legends and myths. As with all great people, she was posessed of traits both good and bad. The adoring throngs saw what they wanted to see, as did her detractors. Some of the similarities between these two women are remarkable, and if you've studied Evita, you'll see them.

Most of all, however, it was the pose Hillary struck today - and this photo - which brought Evita to mind. What Legends will be written of Hillary? She's been given a clean slate today, I think, and I hope she writes her own story to be remembered for generations.

Women's suffrage

On February 27, 1946, three days after the elections, a political speech was given in an organized act to thank the women for their support of Perón's candidacy. In that opportunity she called for the equality of men and women and suffrage for her fellow females of the nation.

The Argentine woman has surpassed the period of the civil positions of a guardian. The woman must affirm her action, the woman must vote. The woman, moral means of her home, must occupy the site in the complex social gear of the town. It requests a new necessity to organize itself more in extended and rejuvenated groups. It demands it, in sum, the transformation of the woman concept, who has been increasing sacrificadamente the number of her duties without requesting the minimum of her rights.

Female suffrage caused controversy, but the Congress was pressed to pass it. The Senate sanctioned it on the 21st of August of 1946, and it was necessary to wait for more than a year before the House of Representatives could sanction it on the 9th of September, 1947. Law 13,010, established the equality of political rights between men and women and universal suffrage in Argentina. Finally, Law 13,010 was approved unanimously.

Peronist Feminist Party

Eva Perón also created the Female Peronist Party, which was the first large female political party in the nation. Navarro and Fraser write that by 1952, the party had 500,000 members and 3,600 headquarters across the country. In the election of 1952, this base of support won Perón the election by sixty-three percent. Navarro and Fraser also write that Evita has often been given credit for gaining for women the right to vote, but that this is not the case. Nor was Evita, even by her own admission, truly a feminist. And yet her impact on women in Argentina, write Navarro and Fraser, was great.

"Yet Evita's effect on the condition of women in Argentina and on their political life was decisive; what she accomplished here was as important as anything else she did. A mass of women who cared little about women's rights and were indifferent to the concerns of middle-class feminists had entered politics because of Evita. They were the first Argentine women to be active in politics, they gave Perón a large majority in 1951 and they remained loyal to him and what they saw as the principles of Peronism long after their inspiration and figurehead had died."

Eventually, she declined the invitation to run for vice-president, saying her only ambition was that in the large chapter of history that would be written about her husband, she hoped that in the footnotes there would be mention of a woman who brought the "hopes and dreams of the people to the president", who eventually turned those hopes and dreams into "glorious reality". In Peronist rhetoric, this event has come to be referred to as "The Renouncement", portraying Evita as having been a selfless woman in line with the Hispanic myth of marianismo. Most biographers, however, postulate that Evita did not so much renounce her ambition as bow out due to pressure from her husband, the military, and the Argentine upper class, who preferred that she not enter the race.

"'I will come again, and I will be millions,' Evita had said in one of her apocalyptic last speeches just before her death; but even she could not have foreseen her sudden transformation, from Latin American politician and religiose national cult figure to late-twentieth-century popular culture folk heroine.... In her own country her story is at last part of history, arousing the sort of peaceful controversy one might expect from so astonishing a career. In the rest of the world, however, she has attained the condition of apotheosis — becoming a deity in the new world pantheon of electric celebrity."

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How I Spent the Year 2000-2001

We Will Not Forget

Bush House of Horrors

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K Gardner
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K Gardner
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Political activist,nurse and writer.
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