RobbDogg's Rips

Serving the online community to bring awareness to political and social issues affecting Liberals and Progressives. Podcasts are posted every Monday morning and original commentaries are posted throughout the week.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Burden of Patriotism

Patriotism is defined as a devoted love of one's country, many people feel "patriotic" when they wave American flags on the Fourth of July but, it should be understood that patriotism is something that is not limited to America's border. Most countries have a strong sense of patriotism and each of these countries see themselves in some way superior to the rest of the world. So one might ask, what's wrong with patriotism, isn't it a good thing? Well to answer that I would have to use a quote from Guy de Maupassant, "Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched." To that many would say de Maupassant is not describing patriotism but nationalism explaining that patriotism is the love of a country because of its values it represents and nationalism is the belief that one's culture or nationality is superior to the rest of the world. But the love of a country or culture because of its values breeds a sense of superiority which breeds war. After all Albert Einstein once said, "Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind."

To prove my point I will use examples in modern history. The most recent being Al-Qaeda's attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centers in New York on September 11, 2001. Al-Qaeda, more specifically Osama Bin Laden, believed that it was unholy that U.S. troops were in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and believed Americans were trying to take over the Islamic Holy Land. Because his followers believed that their values of Islam were superior to the rest of Islam and other religions, they saw the Americans in the World Trade center as evil Americans and not as simple human being who had wives and children much like the followers of Bin-Laden. Another example would be the Japanese bombings of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In Japan a strong sense of nationalism was growing and thus justified its rapidly expanding conquest throughout East Asia. Because the Japanese people, generally speaking, believed they were superior to the rest of the world they adamantly followed their governments order to bomb Pearl Harbor and start a war with America. Had the Japanese soldiers and pilots seen the American as simple human beings much like themselves a war would have never started. This same principle could be applied to Hitler's followers in Germany. To further prove my point I must ask the question. In most countries it is illegally to end the life of another human being, but why is it acceptable to kill another human being that simply lives in another country in the name of war? This same thought is explained in of Blaise Pascal's Quote, "Can anything be stupider than that a man has the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of a river and his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have not quarreled with him?"

Our species unity and end of meaningless bloodshed would allow us to rapidly advance towards the future. To help explain this we must understand our meaningless when we are divided. Earth is but a tiny island floating in a vast dark ocean spotted with billions of stars. In the same context how could any tiny, inhabited island in the middle of a vast ocean on Earth ever be successful if they were divided? We should respect our individual cultural history and beliefs but we should not use them to justify our superiority over the rest of the world. We as humans should join together as a species to explore our technological possibilities and ultimately our future.

Trevor A Hurst

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Why Americans Have No Rights

Why do the American working class not protest? As I have mentioned before, no society can function without laborers. We can not all be business owners, for who would mind the store? The Europeans have understood the power of the working class united to enforce change, and they enjoy a great deal of work/life satisfaction because of it. They protest, and they most often win. Why do they win? They win because they recognise that their society depends upon them to function. Why do the Americans not recognise this?

Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck. My last article discusses the psychology of spending that entraps us into a pseudo-submissive state. We fear for our jobs, we fear poverty, sudden disasters, and instability. But mostly, we fear our employers. And it is because of this fear/vulnerability that we say nothing when our rights are violated and/or slowly and insidiously taken away from us. They, (we), suffer from chronic low self esteems. Just in case you haven't noticed it, many bloggers through out this country are voicing their dissent amongst themselves, but is it all talk and no action? Imagine, if you would, the working class suddenly going on strike. That's right, all of us! The middle class hosts the largest majority of people and yet we fail to take advantage of this. For if they/we did, our society would finally truly understand the real meaning of the word 'democracy.'

Let us look back in history and review the successes of past revolutions: from the Boston Tea Party to the Civil Rights Movement to Women's Rights. The people spoke. They united, and were heard. And yet, here we are now, in 2008, and not one of us is making so much as a dent in political policy. Slowly, but surely, the middle class is under attack by the likes of employee rights violations such as the establishment of 'will to work' states; the absence of pensions, the dwindling away of employee benefits, extraordinary expensive educational institutions, HMO's ( if you are even lucky enough to obtain group health insurance ), the impossibility to apply for bankruptcy via the new bankruptcy laws enforced by, guess who? Yes, the creditors. The very creditors who have relentlessly manipulated us into debt by allowing lines of credit far above what they knew our incomes could sustain. The very same creditors who used the psychology of spending to their advantage, and won. And now finally, even Medicare is exploiting our senior citizens by cracking down on what they will or will not cover. And social security? Do you feel secure? I, for one, do not.

Speaking of HMO's and Medicare, do you know what health care providers are or are not in your network? Let me tell you an enlightening story. You have a medical emergency and you call 911. You are taken to the nearest health care facility that is, "Thank god!" you say, in your list of 'in network' providers. You trust that all will be taken care of financially, as you are rushed off to surgery. You are hospitalized, and your life is spared. A few months later, you are sent a bill, or two, or three; and you are utterly perplexed that your health insurance has denied much of your claim. "Why" you ask? You followed the rules, the hospital was in network, "What's the problem?" you ask yourself. The problem is this: although Hospital x is 'in your network', the emergency room physician who treated you is not. The surgeon? "Phew!" you say. Luckily, he is employed by the hospital and his services are covered. "But what is this? The anesthesiologist is not? No!" That is your third bill. And it is an enormous one because the anesthesiologist bills not by the hour, but by the minute. " How could I have possibly known this? " you ask.

Honestly, my intention is not to scare you, but to enlighten you. But these things can change if we would only protest it! It is really that simple. These things are very literally, life threatening.

What then must we do?

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Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday's DSM Senate Targets

TARGETS FOR FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2005

In honor of the last day of this campaign, we have listed every member of the Senate Intelligence Committee for your letter-writing, phone-calling, and emailing pleasure.

Take some extra time today and this weekend to please contact the following Senators (even if you have already in the past contacted them) and if the senator's direct email
does not work, use the Chief of Staff's email address provided:

Senator Evan Bayh, Indiana
webmail: http://bayh.senate.gov/WebMail1.htm
463 Russell Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-5623
fax: 202-228-1377
Chief of Staff: Tom Sugar
email: tom_sugar@bayh.senate.gov

Senator Christopher S. Bond, Missouri
274 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2503
webmail: http://bond.senate.gov/contact/contactme.cfm
email: kit_bond@bond.senate.gov
phone: 202-224-5721
fax: 202-224-8149
Chief of Staff: Julie Dammann
email: julie_dammann@bond.senate.gov

Senator Saxby Chambliss, Georgia
webmail: http://chambliss.senate.gov/Contact/default.cfm?pagemode=1
416 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-3521
fax: 202-224-0103
Chief of Staff: Krister Holladay
email: krister_holladay@chambliss.senate.gov

Senator Jon S. Corzine, New Jersey
webmail: http://corzine.senate.gov/contact.cfm
502 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3002
phone: 202-224-4744
fax: 202-228-2197
Chief of Staff: Heather Howard
email: heather_howard@corzine.senate.gov

Senator Mike Dewine, Ohio
webmail: http://dewine.senate.gov/request_form.cfm
140 Russell Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-2315
fax: 202-224-6519
Chief of Staff: Laurel Pressler
email: laurel_pressler@dewine.senate.gov

Senator Dianne Feinstein, California
webmail: http://feinstein.senate.gov/email.html
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-3841
fax: 202-228-3954
Chief of Staff: Mark Karesh
email: mark_karesh@feinstein.senate.gov

Senator Chuck Hagel, Nebraska
webmail: http://hagel.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Offices.Contact
email: chuck_hagel@hagel.senate.gov
248 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-4224
fax: 202-224-5213
Chief of Staff: Lou Ann Linehan
email: louann_linehan@hagel.senate.gov

Senator Carl Levin, Michigan
webmail: http://levin.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm
email: senator@levin.senate.gov
269 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2202
phone: 202-224-6221
fax: 202-224-1388
Chief of Staff: David Lyles
email: david_lyles@levin.senate.gov

Senator Trent Lott
webmail: http://lott.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Email
487 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-6253
fax: 202-224-2262
Chief of Staff: William Gottshall
email: william_gottshall@lott.senate.gov

Senator Barbara Mikulski, Maryland
webmail: http://mikulski.senate.gov/contactme/mailform.html
503 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
phone: 202-224-4654
fax: 202-224-8858
Chief of Staff: Julia Frifield
email: julia_frifield@mikulski.senate.gov

Senator Harry Reid, Nevada
webmail: http://reid.senate.gov/email_form.cfm
528 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-3542
fax: 202-224-7327
Chief of Staff: Susan McCue
email: Susan_McCue@reid.senate.gov

Senator Jay Rockefeller, West Virginia
webmail: http://rockefeller.senate.gov/services/email.cfm
531 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
phone: 202-224-6472
fax: 202-224-7665
Chief of Staff: Kerry Ates
email: kerry_ates@rockefeller.senate.gov

Senator Olympia Snowe, Maine
email: olympia@snowe.senate.gov
webmail: http://snowe.senate.gov/Webform.htm
154 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1903
phone: 202-224-5344
fax: 202-224-1946
Chief of Staff: John Richter
email: john_richter@snowe.senate.gov

Senator John Warner, Virginia
webmail: http://warner.senate.gov/contact/contactme.cfm
email: senator@warner.senate.gov
225 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
phone: 202-224-2023
fax: 202-224-6295
Chief of Staff: Susan Magill
email: susan_magill@warner.senate.gov

Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon
webmail: http://wyden.senate.gov/contact.html
email: senator@wyden.senate.gov
230 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-5244
fax: 202-228-2717
Chief of Staff: Josh Kardon
email: josh_kardon@wyden.senate.gov

And as always, be sure to contact the man who reneged on his promise to the American people for an investigation into how intelligence was used:

Senator Pat Roberts R-Kansas, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee
email: pat_roberts@roberts.senate.gov
webmail: http://roberts.senate.gov/e-mail_pat.html
109 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-1605
phone: (202) 224-4774
fax: 202-224-3514
Jackie Cottrell, Chief of Staff
email: jackie_cottrell@roberts.senate.gov

Thanks to everyone who participated in the campaign!
Stay tuned for the next step....

My Op/Ed on Duncan Hunter

Okay readers, this Op/Ed is going to shock you. This time, I'm playing nice because Duncan Hunter (R-CA) did something unpredictable Thursday morning during the CAFTA vote.

He kept his word.

The following Op/Ed will appear later this morning on Radio News America, and was recorded for a future NorthSouth broadcast on Unfiltered News Network. It explains everything.

Common Ground
Original Op/Ed by Robbie Michaels
July 29, 2005

It’s not often that I agree with Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA). As a matter of fact, I could almost go as far and say I’ve agreed to disagree with him on just about any political issue. However, Thursday marked a special day in our relationship. For the first time, we found common ground on an issue we are both passionate about.

On June 29th, I posted a link on my blog for readers and listeners to sign Care2’s petition to urge their representatives to vote no on CAFTA. I was among over 15,000 people who signed the petition, and two weeks later I received a form letter from Duncan Hunter.

When I arrived home from work and opened my mailbox, I instantly recognized his letter on top of the pile of fast food restaurant coupons and unsolicited credit card offers. The “U.S. House of Representatives” printed in boldface on the left-hand corner, as well as Duncan Hunter’s signature on the opposite side, drew my attention as I laid the mail on the kitchen counter.

I leaned against the counter, reached for a steak knife and sliced the envelope across the top so I could grab the letter. I unfolded it, expecting to read the usual drivel about how Duncan’s happy to hear from me, and then explain in detail why he voted for a bill that I opposed.

I read the contents of the letter, and the first two paragraphs sounded the same as the previous letters I’ve received. However, the third paragraph made my heart stop. While I read each sentence, my hands went numb with shock, and the letter nearly slipped through my trembling fingers into the kitchen sink. After I regained my composure, I couldn’t hold back the smile that crossed my lips.

In his letter, Duncan stated he was very concerned with CAFTA and the effects it would have on American jobs in the textile and agricultural industries. He also stated the fact that CAFTA is based primarily after NAFTA, and he believed that this trade agreement should be opposed.

After all the dissenting form letters I’ve received from Duncan Hunter in the past, I finally got one in which we agreed on a political issue. I was pleasantly surprised to read Duncan’s words that evening, but I was still concerned about the possibility that he would not keep his promise when it was time to vote on CAFTA.

Just after midnight Thursday, the House passed CAFTA by a narrow margin. Immediately, fellow progressives wanted to know the names of Democrats who turned their backs on their constituents and voted for the trade agreement. On the other hand, I wanted to know how my state’s representatives voted.

On Yahoo! News, I found the House Roll Call on CAFTA and scanned down the alphabetized list of states until I found California. As expected, every Democrat voted against CAFTA. On the Republican side, all but one representative sold out the future of blue-collar America.

Duncan Hunter cast that one dissenting vote.

Although Duncan and I are polar opposites on the political spectrum, it is satisfying to know that a Republican who represents me in the House of Representatives had the courage to vote with their conscience and not tow the party line. Even though we didn’t stop CAFTA from passing, I appreciate Duncan Hunter’s efforts, and I won’t forget he kept his promise to me and other constituents who voiced their concerns on this issue.

To show my appreciation, I’m serving lemon-baked fish, fresh fruit, steamed vegetables, and rice pilaf at my friend’s upcoming dinner party. No pun intended.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

More Rick Santorum Hypocrisy

The following appeared in the "Letters To The Editor" section of the Opinion page of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on July 21, 2005...


Not moral messages

As a teacher for the Diocese of Pittsburgh for 14 years, one important lesson I learned was that no matter what I said to the child, whatever the parents said superseded my message. What parents say and how they live sends a message stronger than any teacher's voice no matter what the issue.

Sen. Rick Santorum and his wife have taught their children a powerful lesson on civic responsibility by refusing to pay any tuition money to the Penn Hills School District for their children who attended the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School ("
Penn Hills Loses Bid to Charge Santorum," July 12). Released from that payment on a technicality shows that even an upstanding, moral gentleman like Sen. Santorum teaches his children the following lessons:

1) Take advantage of the system whenever you can.

2) The little guy pays while the rich and powerful guy gets away with it.

3) As a Catholic, you have no obligation to pay your share to the common good in spite of Catholic social doctrine.

Finally, I am shocked that our religious leaders who see Sen. Santorum as some sort of faith-and-morals hero have not spoken up on this issue at all.

SISTER LIGUORI ROSSNER
Sisters for Christian Community
Bloomfield
http://post-gazette.com/pg/05202/541074.stm

My Op/Ed On Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Lawsuit

This is another Op/Ed I wrote for both Radio News America and Unfiltered News Network. The text version will be posted on RNA later today, and the audio version will be part of a future UNN broadcast.

It's also the main reason why I didn't update the blog until an hour ago.

Opportunistic Bastards
Original Op/Ed by Robbie Michaels
June 28, 2005

I was expecting this. Seriously, I was. The only thing I find surprising with this case is that it wasn’t filed in Southern California, the land of the frivolous lawsuits.

Wednesday afternoon, an 85-year-old grandmother sued Rockstar Games and its parent company, New York-based Take Two Interactive Software Inc., for her own negligence. On behalf of consumers nationwide, Florence Cohen sued the manufacturer of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for engaging in false, misleading, and deceptive practices.

Before you pass judgment on this subject, let’s get a few facts straight about this case:
  • The practice of placing hidden scenes within video games is commonplace in the industry.
  • An adult in a position of authority purchased a product for a minor that is clearly intended for mature audiences.
  • No one has publicly stated whether or not the 14-year-old accessed the hidden scenes via a cheat code or any other type of game modification.

I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. The hell with it, I’ll play the devil himself.

This lawsuit stinks like a rotting fish exposed to oxygen and direct sunlight. We have a credibility issue here. First, the timing of the suit is questionable, especially since it comes on the heels of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-NY) request for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Rockstar Games.

And I’m going to ask the golden questions no one else will.

Why did someone in an obvious position of authority purchase a video game for a minor, when the package was clearly marked on the front “M”, as in, “For people age 17 and over”?

Since the game was clearly marked “M”, is it now possible that a district attorney could prosecute Florence Cohen, and other adults who purchased this game for their children, for contributing to the delinquency of a minor?

On behalf of today’s children, I’m telling you it’s time to tell their parents to take responsibility for their own actions and quit blaming others for their own mistakes!

Rockstar labeled the game appropriately upon its release last year. With the number of adults purchasing and playing video games increasing, the retailer selling the video game cannot determine if the person on the other side of the sales counter will actually play it or not.

Unless of course, the adult looks like an 85-year-old grandmother who may no longer have the dexterity to push a sequence of buttons and simultaneously maneuver a couple of joysticks with their thumbs.

What this class action lawsuit suffers from is the same problem that afflicts all class action lawsuits. Who wins here? The plaintiffs, who may split a headline grabbing, multi-million dollar settlement? The defendants, who may get to keep their profits from sales of the video game but pay up the nose in attorney fees in the process?

No. The attorneys will be the winners. They always win in class action lawsuits, regardless of the outcome.

While millions of consumers fight over their miniscule shares of the financial judgment, and Rockstar counts their blessings they reached an agreement to sweep everything under the rug, some Manhattan attorney who filed this lawsuit will be laughing all the way to the bank with the lion’s share of the settlement money at their expense.

And that’s why I call attorneys opportunistic bastards.

Thursday's DSM Senate Targets

TARGETS FOR THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2005

Please contact the following Senators (even if you have
already in the past contacted them) and if the senator's direct email
does not work, use the Chief of Staff's email address provided:

Senator Jay Rockefeller, West Virginia
webmail: http://rockefeller.senate.gov/services/email.cfm
531 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
phone: 202-224-6472
fax: 202-224-7665
Chief of Staff: Kerry Ates
email: kerry_ates@rockefeller.senate.gov

Senator Dianne Feinstein, California
webmail: http://feinstein.senate.gov/email.htm
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-3841
fax: 202-228-3954
Chief of Staff: Mark Karesh
email: mark_karesh@feinstein.senate.gov

And as always, if you wish, contact the man who reneged on his promise to the American people for an investigation into how intelligence was used:

Senator Pat Roberts R-Kansas, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee
email: pat_roberts@roberts.senate.gov
webmail: http://roberts.senate.gov/e-mail_pat.html
109 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-1605
phone: (202) 224-4774
fax: 202-224-3514
Jackie Cottrell, Chief of Staff
email: jackie_cottrell@roberts.senate.gov

Call To Action: Oppose The Parental Notification & Child Protection Act

I received this from Care2 yesterday afternoon...

Dear Robbie,

As part of a special election called by Governor Schwarzenegger, Californians will see a dangerous initiative on the ballot this November. Qualifying for the ballot is a parental notification measure on a woman's access to abortion, which threatens the health and well being of young women in our state.

Sign the petition: http://www.care2.com/go/z/26327

The key issue that this initiative ignores, is that real family communication begins at home, not at the ballot box. The best way to protect our daughters is to begin talking to them about responsible, appropriate sexual behavior when they're young and maintaining open lines of communication as they get older. Our focus should be on pregnancy prevention through comprehensive sex education, which recent polls show that 94% of Americans support.

In truth, this proposed amendment to California's constitution would do nothing to reduce the number of unintended teen pregnancies - pregnancies that have declined 40% in California over the past decade without government mandates like this one!

Join us in opposing The Parental Notification and Child Protection Act.

Raising a teen today isn't easy, but what parents need most are real world solutions, not constitutional amendments.


Thank you for taking action today!

- Dawn S
Care2 and ThePetitionSite team

Call To Action: Stop WalMart's Union Busting Tactics

This arrived in my inbox from Care2 yesterday afternoon...

Dear Robbie

It seems like every day brings another scandal about Wal-Mart's ruthless labor tactics. In a recent example, workers at a Wal-Mart store in Jonquière, Quebec tried to form a union. But rather than negotiate with the employees for better wages and healthcare, Wal-Mart simply closed the store and laid-off all of its workers.

Sign the petition: http://www.care2.com/go/z/26435

Sadly, Wal-Mart's aggressive campaign to prevent its workers from forming unions continues unabated. When Wal-Mart's workers try to organize, they often endure threats, discrimination, intimidation, and even firings. Is this any way to treat employees whose goal is merely to sit down with management to discuss fair pay, more affordable health care, and worker safety concerns?

Wal-Mart's behavior has a huge impact on our society. The company employs a staggering 1.3 million people in the U.S. alone - from students working to pay for school, to single parents supporting families and elderly employees looking to supplement a fixed income. While they struggle to make ends meet, Wal-Mart, the world's largest company, rakes in $10 billion a year in profit.

Clearly, Wal-Mart can afford to give its workforce a slightly bigger piece of the pie.
But to succeed against this corporate behemoth, we'll need your help.

Tell Wal-Mart that workers rights are human rights; let them know their union-busting tactics must stop: http://www.care2.com/go/z/26435

Thank you for taking action today!


- Dawn Sanders
Care2 and ThePetition

Call To Action: Save Social Security

I received this email from Sojourners yesterday afternoon...

Dear Robbie,

Take a break from this summer's heat wave and help shape the debate on Social Security.

The discussion about Social Security raises fundamental moral questions about government and the common good; about how we honor commands to "Honor your father and your mother" and care for those in need.

The current focus on privatization in the Social Security debate is too narrow. Private accounts gamble with Social Security's basic guarantee. They threaten the safety net for too many, cut benefits, and do not address the coming Social Security shortfall or extend the program's solvency. This affects us all. YOU can help protect the guarantee.

»Click here to sign our petition.

Without Social Security, nearly half of elderly Americans would be in poverty. For nearly two-thirds of the elderly, Social Security provides the majority of their income. Over one-third of benefits from Social Security go to non-retirees: widows, the disabled, and low-income kids. YOUR voice can help protect them.

Tell members of Congress to read today's issue of Roll Call (a leading Capitol Hill paper) and spend their August recess reflecting on five principles for keeping Social Security's promise for all God's people.

With this Roll Call ad, Call to Renewal and Sojourners have launched a campaign to save Social Security. We need YOUR help! In coming weeks, we'll offer ways to lift YOUR voice by:

  • Helping us place another national ad to "put a face on Social Security."
  • Joining a Social Security birthday party near you on August 13 or14.
  • Attending a town hall meeting sponsored by the faith community.
  • Visiting elected leaders in their home states.

For today, simply join - and start shaping - the discussion. Tell your members of Congress YOU will be watching.

Call To Action: Close Corporate Loophole Leaving Veterans Out In The Cold

I received this email from Care2 yesterday afternoon...

Hi Robbie,

As Californians, each of us pays taxes to fund services like healthcare and education. Companies that do business in our state pay taxes, too - or at least they're supposed to. But there's a loophole in our law that lets some corporations do business in California without being taxed - and Governor Schwarzenegger refuses to close it!

Large corporations should be made to pay taxes just like everybody else -- I urge you to sign our join our fight for fairness at http://go.care2.com/28748

That's right. Because of one loophole, some companies can do business in California and avoid paying taxes anywhere!

And did you know that by closing this loophole, the state would save enough to offer a refundable health insurance tax credit to returning California National Guard troops and their families?

This tax credit would give those who have given so much something they deserve, something they've earned -- access to decent healthcare.

Our soldiers have left their families behind to defend our country. They have risked their lives to keep us safe and spread democracy. What contribution to our society could corporations that have benefited from a too generous loophole do to match that?

It is time that Governor Schwarzenegger get his priorities straight. It is time to make sure that our troops are protected against the financial risk of sickness and injury when they return home.

If you would like your fellow Californians returning home from war to be treated fairly, I urge you to sign our petition and tell Governor Schwarzenegger to do the right thing: close the corporate tax loophole and provide health insurance for our Guard members.

Thank you!

Michael Lawley,
Care2 and ThePetitionSite team

DSM Update From John Conyers

The following is an email I received from John Conyers yesterday afternoon...


No More Pardons for Traitor-gate Criminals

Convicted Previously of National Security Crimes, Elliott Abrams Joins Rove and Libby as Latest Figures Newest Figure in Traitor-gate

Dear Robbie:

Did you know that Elliot Abrams, pardoned by the first President Bush for the Iran-Contra crimes he committed under the Reagan Administration, now works for the Bush White House? And has been implicated in the leak of Valerie Plame's covert identity?

I have sent a letter to President Bush asking him to say right now that he will not pardon anyone found guilty of criminal offenses related to the disclosure of Valerie Plame’s CIA cover. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may indict senior White House officials in this case. Join me in demanding that the President not pardon anyone found guilty in his administration who compromises our national security! To send your own copy of this letter to President Bush by email, click here. Our goal is to get at least 10,000 people to email the White House and we will post our tally updates daily on the JohnConyers.com website.

Nine of my Judiciary Committee colleagues also joined me yesterday in sending a letter to the Inspector General seeking an investigation into the 12-hour delay taken by Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez before notifying White House staff of the need to preserve documents relating to the Department of Justice’s Valerie Plame leak investigation. Even more troubling is that the Department of Justice only began its investigation 67 days after the CIA first requested it, and only after the Agency asked DoJ four times. To see a copy of the letter, click here.

Treason-gate House Parties

Thank you for signing up for House Party events. I hope you were able to find one in your neighborhood. See reports and photos from house parties across the country at ConyersBlog.com. Please also consider registering and posting your own comments about this past weekend’s events. We would love to hear from you.

As you know, Ambassador Joseph Wilson joined me on a conference call into 320 House Parties with Air America host Randi Rhodes and Democracy Radio's Stephanie Miller. In the call, Ambassador Wilson touched on an element of the emerging scandal with the Administration's leak of Valerie Plame's CIA cover that we would all do well to keep in mind. The Administration's leaks and the Downing Street memos are part of the same issue: they both reflect desperate attempts by the Bush White House to preserve this web of lies that got us into this war under false pretenses.

To listen to a recording of the conference call, visit my website at JohnConyers.com.

Follow the breaking news on Traitor-gate and the Downing Street Minutes on the Stephanie Miller and Randi Rhodes newscasts.

On the front page of my website I have highlighted all the action items that we need to do following the house parties. Click here to take action now.

Please continue to stay in touch and stay involved. It is from the ground up that we will defeat the lies and deceit of this Administration. You are making a difference.

Sincerely,


Congressman John Conyers, Jr.