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Wednesday, March 17, 2010



I'm glad to see that Kucinich has signed on to vote YES
for the health care bill, but I would've rather seen...

Health Care is a Civil Right

Health Care is a Civil Right

...but I would have rather seen the Administration sign on to a public option. People forget that the public option was the compromise, and what we really need is a single payer or Medicare For All system.

● Every other industrialized country has universal healthcare.
● At least 70% of Americans support health insurance reform that includes a public option. [Kaiser Family Foundation, Quinnipac, WSJ/NBC News, September 2009]
● Over 70% of US doctors support a public option in health insurance reform. [Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 9/14/09]
● The largest nurses group in the US refers to private insurance as "The Real Death Panels" for denying 1 out of every 5 claims, leaving millions uninsured, and ultimately leading to the deaths of over a million Americans.
● Private insurance companies make money by dropping people when they get sick, which means, even if you currently have insurance, you have no assurance that you will have it when you need it.
● The housing crisis and the economy are connected to private insurance, since most foreclosures are due or partially due to healthcare costs. Many people have had to choose between saving a family member or losing their house.
● It's not the public option that's the problem, it's clearly the private option that's upsetting people's lives.
● 44 thousand Americans die each year because they cannot afford healthcare.
● Since Nixon began the health care scam that brings us to where we are today, more than one million Americans have died because they could not afford healthcare.

So, this bill is far from perfect. Obama and the democrats lost the opportunity to pass real health care reform, by being too concerned with pleasing private insurance, big pharma, and conservatives (being too bipartisan and too right-wing). Rather than listening to Dennis Kucinich (and his own constituents, the American people), Obama listened to conservatives such as Chuck Grassley, who put the individual mandate to buy insurance in the bill, and then complained about it as if it wasn't his (Grassley's) own idea. Grassley also was one of the biggest promoters of the death panel lie. Obama's a smart man, so why did he waste so much time listening to the hard right? ...only to ruin the bill and lower his poll numbers. The fight for decent healthcare-for-all has just begun, again.

I like Obama, but we have to pressure him to listen to the left. If he only gets pressure from the right and support from the left, he'll move further to the right, as we have seen. Let's keep pushing for Medicare For All.


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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

● Anthony Weiner on Fox

Anthony Weiner calls out Fox & Friends
for misinforming the public on health care

Calling Out 'Fox & Friends' On Their
Lies About Health Care:

Rep.[D] Anthony Weiner criticizing the ongoing Fox campaign to "lie" and spread "disinformation" about health care reform.

Anthony Weiner: We should be honest about something here: On programs like this, there's been an enormous amount of disinformation about what's in the bill. An enormous amount.

Brian Kilmeade: Well, that's according to you. (pause) I mean, that's what you think is...

AW: Look, I think there has been an orchestrated effort in a lot of quarters to lie about the bill. We went through...

Steve Doocy: What are we lying about?

AW: Well, don't take it all personally. Programs like, ...I said programs like yours...

BK: Don't be so defensive, Steve!

AW: Let me ask you something.

BK: "Like" yours!

AW: Let me ask you something.

SD: I can get this guy in a headlock!

AW: Let me ask you something. Did anyone talk about "death panels" on this show in the last six months? Of course. Okay, that was a lie. That was a lie. The only point that I'm making here, gentlemen, is that you can't simply put your finger up in the air and say, "What do people want?" For one thing, when people ask about "the bill" ...there hasn't even been "a bill" until now.


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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

● Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn: The Prominent Influential Historian
Will Be Missed By Many

Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 – January 27, 2010) American historian and professor emeritus at Boston University's Political Science Department . The author of many books, including A People's History of the United States, Howard Zinn was a civil libertarian, political activist, and an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam. He was a powerful voice for the people and spoke out against corporate dominance, and urged the public within the US to resist corporate tyranny. He was also active in the civil rights movement and the anti-war movements in the United States. Howard Zinn died on January 27, 2010, of a heart attack at the age of 87 while traveling in Santa Monica, California. He is survived by his daughter Myla Kabat-Zinn.

"He's made an amazing contribution to American intellectual and moral culture. He's changed the conscience of America in a highly constructive way." -Noam Chomsky

Not only did he give us a better understanding of how history is written, disseminated, and recorded (and for whom), he gave us an otherwise lost history, that we so greatly needed to hear. He will not be forgotten. Arguably, the most important historian of American history, he has inspired many to seek the truth at all costs. Because, not knowing the truth, is ultimately, the greatest cost to society.

"He was a person of real courage and integrity, warmth and humor. He was just a remarkable person." -Noam Chomsky

He will be greatly missed.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

● Corpocracy

The U.S.A. moves further to the right.

A landmark Supreme Court ruling allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to elect and defeat candidates. This turns democracy on its head. In a system that's closer to one dollar, one vote, (rather than one person, one vote) big business can out vote the public on every issue. Obama spoke out against this, hopefully he will do something to turn this around.

corporatocracy or corpocracy : a form of government where corporations, conglomerates (or government entities with private components), control the direction and governance of a country; otherwise known as fascism.

fascism |ˈfa sh ˌizəm| (also Fascism)
an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
  • (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.
  • The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43), and the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, and the merging of business and government.
The right-wing brand of so-called patriotism is essentially the road to (or defense of) fascism. intolerance, AUTHORITARIANISM, totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, autocracy; Nazism, rightism; nationalism, xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism; jingoism, isolationism; neofascism, neo-Nazism.

In a five-to-four decision, the Court overturned century-old restrictions on corporations, unions and other interest groups from using their extensive revenues to advocate for a specific candidate. The conservative members of the Court ruled corporations have First Amendment rights and that we cannot impose restrictions on their political speech.

Justice Anthony Kennedy (writing the majority opinion) described previously existing campaign finance laws as a form of censorship that has had a “chilling effect” on political speech. Although, one lawmaker described the ruling as the worst Supreme Court decision since the Dred Scott case justifying slavery.

In the dissenting opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote:
  • “[It] will cripple the ability of ordinary citizens, Congress, and the States to adopt even limited measures to protect against corporate domination of the electoral process.”
  • A corporation is now a citizen, with all the political rights we have, but with all kinds of economic perks and privileges like limited liability, perpetual life, bankruptcy protection, etc.
  • We subsidize these entities, as we saw with the bailouts, but then they can turn around, spend money, & determine our political destiny.
  • Obama should call for a constitutional amendment to declare corporations are not persons.
  • Congress should declare, if you do business with the government, you can't fund it.
For more on this watch Democracy Now's interview with constitutional law professor, Jamin Raskin, author of Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court vs. The American People. http://democracynow.org/2010/1/22/...

Go to SAVEDEMOCRACY.NET and sign the petition.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

● Haiti Relief Now !

As we send aid to Haiti we must look closely at the way our country and organizations are doing so. We have to insist that aid is sent in the form of grants rather than loans. Haiti is a country that has been abused and controlled by debt, and we must make sure that relief efforts now will not later be used to further tyrannize and impoverish the people of Haiti.

Definitely keep giving and keep encouraging others to give, but insist that it's not used in the form of debt. Because, unfortunately, (as documented in Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine) the US has a history of using disasters to push through tyrannical policies, both here and abroad.

ϟ Earthquake Response ϟ
Help Haiti by Buying a T-Shirt, Bag, Dress, or Jacket.


Help Haiti by Buying a T-Shirt, Bag, Dress, or Jacket.
ϟ Earthquake Response ϟ
Donations through the Red Cross • redcross.org
or Just text "HAITI" to 909-99 • or Call 1-800-RED-CROSS

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Friday, January 15, 2010

● Wall Street Protest


No more bail outs & bonuses for bankers –
FRI., JAN. 15, 2010, 3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
At Wall St. and Broad (across from the Stock Exchange)


. . .

● Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday

"Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam" -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. -Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the civil rights movement in the USA. King led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, spoke out against the Vietnam War, and his efforts led to the March on Washington (August 28, 1963), where he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. In 1964, he became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through non-violent means, including civil disobedience. Dr. King raised public consciousness and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history. He was a chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism and protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. After he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and opposing the Vietnam War, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

In 1977, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a Congressional Gold Medal in 2004. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986.

The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination, was signed into law in 1983, and was first observed in 1986, but was not officially observed by all 50 states until the year 2000.

. . .

. . .

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Vietnam War (1968)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

● BMCC fashion show

BMCC fashion show titled: THIS IS ME
LGBT and friends... (LGBT for Success Club @ BMCC)

LGBT for Success Fashion Show: THIS IS ME with designs by U:RESIST in support of, and in solidarity with, the LGBT community. AFTER SHOW OUTTAKEs. ... YouTube Page

♥ Love, Peace, and Solidarity.
( ☮ > ●๋●๋●๋ PEACE IS GREATER THAN BOMBs and LOVE IS GREATER THAN BOMBs ♥ > ●๋●๋●๋ ) There is no way to love, peace, and solidarity; love, peace, and solidarity are the way.
. http://uresist.com

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Friday, October 30, 2009

● [≠] inequAlIty

Understanding the plight of others may be our only hope.
The denial of inequality as a core problem in society will only ensure it's ever growing existence. Even the privileged will ultimately benefit from a more enlightened society, hence, in giving up some privileges for wisdom.

Examining the dictionary definitions of some key words can help us better understand our own biases, rooted in the language itself. For instance, some dictionaries define underprivileged as being needy, and needy as lacking in ability, effort, and character. Also, in contrast, other parts of the definitions can be more constructive. I've tried to leave out most of the negative connotations, which I believe do more harm than good.

underprivileged |ˌəndərˈpriv(ə)lijd|
(of a person) not enjoying the same standard of living or rights as the majority of people in a society.

deprived, disadvantaged, poor, destitute, in need, in straitened circumstances, impoverished, poverty-stricken, on the poverty line, lower-class; formal penurious. antonym wealthy.

privileged |ˈpriv(ə)lijd| and overprivileged |ˌōvərˈpriv(ə)lijd|
having special or excessive rights, advantages, or immunities : in the nineteenth century, only a privileged few had the vote.
• [with infinitive ] having the rare opportunity to do something that brings particular pleasure : I felt I had been privileged to compete in such a race.
• (of information) legally protected from being made public : the intelligence reports are privileged.
privilege |ˈpriv(ə)lij|
and overprivileged |ˌōvərˈpriv(ə)lij|
a special and excessive right, advantage (or over-advantage
), or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people : education is a right, not a privilege | he has been accustomed all his life to wealth and privilege.
• something regarded as a rare opportunity and bringing particular pleasure : I have the privilege of awarding you this scholarship.
• (also absolute privilege) (in a parliamentary context) the right to say or write something without the risk of incurring punishment or legal action for defamation.
• the right of a lawyer or official to refuse to divulge confidential information.
• chiefly historical a grant to an individual, corporation, or place of special rights or immunities, esp. in the form of a franchise or monopoly.
verb [ trans. ] formal
grant a privilege or privileges to : English inheritance law privileged the eldest son.
• (usu. be privileged from) exempt (someone) from a liability or obligation to which others are subject.
ORIGIN Middle English : via Old French from Latin privilegium ‘bill or law affecting an individual,’ from privus ‘private’ + lex, leg- ‘law.’

Tim Wise - The Pathology of Privilege

Tim Wise - The Pathology of Privilege

● [≠] inequAlIty
inequality ≠ equality

equality |iˈkwälitē|
the state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities : an organization aiming to promote racial equality.
• Mathematics the condition of being equal in number or amount.
• Mathematics a symbolic expression of the fact that two quantities are equal; an equation.
ORIGIN late Middle English : via Old French from Latin aequalitas, from aequalis (see equal ).

1 we promote equality for women fairness, equal rights, equal opportunities, equity, egalitarianism; impartiality, evenhandedness; justice.
2 equality between supply and demand parity, similarity, comparability, correspondence; likeness, resemblance; uniformity, evenness, balance, equilibrium, consistency, homogeneity, agreement, congruence, symmetry.

It's always disconcerting when seemingly intelligent, well-meaning people, who you care about, don't understand the basic social, racial, and ever widening income inequality issues within their own country, and sometimes even within their own life experiences and field of employment.

A recent experience inspired me to post some basic information about the prison industrial complex that I thought everyone already knew. Even if you are aware, it doesn't hurt to review, rethink, re
fact check, and reexamine these important issues once again.

Race and Prison:

As of June 30, 2007, the incarceration rate in state or federal prison or jail for men was 1,406 per 100,000 residents, for women 136 per 100,000 residents. The rate for white men was 773 per 100,000, for black men 4,618 per 100,000, for Hispanic men 1,747 per 100,000. The rate for white women was 95 per 100,000, for black women 348 per 100,000, and for Hispanic women 146 per 100,000.

Source: Sabol, William J., PhD, Couture, Heather, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prison Inmates at Midyear 2007 (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, June 2008), NCJ221944, p. 7, Table 10.


Crime: Prison Population: Prison Population by Race ShareThis

The number of sentenced prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction per 100,000 U.S. residents, by gender, race, Hispanic origin.
The number of sentenced prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction per 100,000  U.S. residents, by gender, race, Hispanic origin.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics


Rockefeller Drug Laws Information Sheet
Prepared by Aaron D. Wilson, Associate Director, PRDI

Brief History

In May of 1973, New York's Governor Nelson Rockefeller pushed through the state legislature a set of stringent anti-drug laws. Among the most severe in the nation, the purpose of these laws was and is to deter citizens from using or selling drugs and to punish and isolate from society those who were not deterred. "It was thought that rehabilitative efforts had failed; that the epidemic of drug abuse could be quelled only by the threat of inflexible, and therefore certain, exceptionally severe punishment."1

The new drug laws, which have since become known as the "Rockefeller Drug Laws" established mandatory prison sentences for the unlawful possession and sale of controlled substances keyed to the weight of the drug involved. Generally, the statutes require judges to impose a sentence of 15-years to life for anyone convicted of selling two ounces, or possessing four ounces of "narcotic drug" (typically cocaine or heroin).

In 1977 The Committee on New York Drug Law Evaluations, a partnership between the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and The Drug Abuse Council, Inc., issued a report2 that was highly critical of the Rockefeller laws. The Committee found that heroin use and heroin-related crime (the major drug concerns at the time) was as widespread in the middle of 1976 as prior to the enactment of the Rockefeller laws in 1973. Despite the expenditure of $76 million and the appointment of 49 additional judges to handle cases under the new law, it was described as a dismal failure.

That same year legislators removed marijuana from the list of substances covered by the Rockefeller Drug Laws, decriminalizing its use and simple possession under 7/8 oz. They were concerned over the large amount of criminal justice resources and prison space being used for marijuana offenders. They felt that criminal prosecution and incarceration were inappropriate penalties for mere possession and use of marijuana. 3

By 1979, in response to extensive criticism, the legislature had amended the laws to increase the amount of drugs needed to trigger the 15-year to life sentence for both sale and possession. In 1988, concern over "crack" cocaine led to a lowering of the weight threshold for cocaine possession to enable the arrest and prosecution of people possessing small amounts of the drug. The Rockefeller Drug Laws have remained essentially unchanged since then. 4


Prison population

  • Between 1980 and 1992, New York's prison population has tripled from about 20,000 to almost 62,000 (in 1973 the state's prison population was approximately 10,000). The State Assembly's Ways and Means Committee projects that the State prison population will grow to 71,300 by the end of the 1998-99 fiscal year, and to 73,100 by the end of 2001-02. Together with the Second Felony Offender Law, also passed in 1973, the Rockefeller Drug Laws have contributed significantly to the overall growth of the NYS prison population.5
  • The percentage of the prison population incarcerated for drug offenses has been increasing since 1973, the year the Rockefeller Drug Laws were enacted, with particularly sharp increases during the 1980's. These mandatory minimum sentences for drug felonies have increased the percentage of convicted drug offenders who receive prison sentences. As a consequence, the NYS prison population has changed from one in which 9% were serving time for drug felonies (1980) to 32.2% (1997).6
  • Since 1981, the State has added about 40,000 beds to its prison system, at an average construction cost of $100,000 each, for a total capital expense, not counting debt service, of approximately $4 billion. 7 Despite these increases, the NYS prison system remains severely overcrowded, forcing prison officials to double bunk or double cell approximately 9,000 inmates. 8

Financial costs

  • Since the 1982-83 State fiscal year, the share of State General Fund spending going towards the funding of the NYS prison system more than doubled, from approximately 10% to fully 25% of the state's General Fund State Operations Budget.9
  • As of December 31, 1997, there were 8,880 drug offenders in NYS prisons under the Rockefeller Drug Laws. According the Correctional Association of New York, it costs an estimated $265 million dollars to pay for these prisoners to be incarcerated. There were an additional 12,102 drug offenders in NYS prisons under the Second Felony Offender Law, costing an estimated $360 million per year. There were a total of 22,670 drug offenders in the NYS prison system, representing 33% of the total prison population. In 1980 drug offenses represented only 9% of prison commitments. 10
  • Since 1989 the yearly budget for the State University of New York (SUNY) has dropped from a little more than $1.3 billion to around $800 million. In the same period, annual spending on prisons in New York has increased from a little less than $1 billion to $1.7 billion.11

Racial disparities

  • In 1997, whites constituted 5.3 percent of the total population of drug felons currently in prison in New York; blacks and Latinos constituted 94.2 percent.12 Among whites committed to prison in 1994, 16% were convicted of a drug offense, among blacks 45% were committed for a drug offense, and among Latinos 59% were committed for a drug offense.13 As of 1996, Blacks and Latinos made up 23% of the state's general population, but constituted over 85% of the people indicted for drug felonies, and 85% of its overall prison population.14

Effects on women

  • Women, especially black and Latina women, are particularly affected by the Rockefeller Drug Laws. Incarcerated women in New York are more likely than men to be drug offenders. In New York in 1990, 61.2% of all female prisoners were committed for a drug offense, compared to 32.2% of men. 15
  • The rate of growth in new court commitments between January, 1987 and December, 1989 was approximately three times greater for women than for men, 98.9% for females versus 33.5% for men. In the same time period drug commitments for females rose 211%, and rose 82% for males. Over the same three year period, African-American women on average accounted for 46.1% of the new court commitment population, Latina women 36.3%, and whites 17.5%.16


Industries that profit from the imprisonment of our citizens

The list is almost endless but includes the following:

1. Contractors who built prisons along with the hundreds of sub-contractors that make specialized prison beds, toilets, window bars, toilets, locks etc.

2. Food services that unload hundreds of tons of inferior food products on our prison population.

3. Clothing manufacturers who manufacture not only guard uniforms but prison uniforms as well, plus the ridiculous clothing that's given to convicts upon release.

4. Other profiteers include gun manufacturers, those who make the chemicals used to kill our citizens, casket makers for the dead ones, the medical profession tasked with keeping the condemned alive until they can be put to death, and even the P.R. operatives who lie to the press about the system and its abuses.

This is just the tip of the iceberg that is the system that preys on our citizens rather than attempts to educate and rehabilitate them.

Nearly every family in America has been affected in some negative way by the PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.


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