Thursday, March 29, 2007
So I re-registered over a month ago. Supposedly the phone calls were supposed to stop after 31 days.
Today, 3/29/07 at approximately 5:30 pm Land-or International a telemarketing phone company located in Virginia Beach at 4452 Corporation Lane violated the Do Not Call registry and contacted me on behalf of one of their clients--Colonial Crossing in Williamsburg.
I have reported them to the National Do Not Call List. I suspect that if this law is going to work for those of us who wish to continue to remain protected we are going to have to report such phone calls.
The company "maybe" subject to a penalty of $11,000 per call....but it doesn't happen if the violation is not reported.
The company HAS to give you their name and address when you request this information....just let them know you have their phone number on caller ID and request the name and address...If they hang up or refuse to give you the information I bet they are more "apt" to end up with that big fine.
I have heard from a number of folks on the Do Not Call List who are experiencing violations. I suspect the telemarketing firms are "experimenting" to "see" if they will be reported and have to deal with fines or if it will be profitable for them to violate the list hoping that those of us who chose to opt out will not be diligent in protecting our legal rights to not have to let them have access to calling us at home.
To report a violation just go to the National Do Not Call list
You can also report them for a number of violations including if they call before 8 am or after 9 pm, leave a message on your answering machine and no return phone number.......
If we stand up for our rights I suspect this sudden onslaught of telemarketing calls will settle down once again.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
One of the hundreds of thousands wounded, maimed or slain in Iraq since March, 2001: Mohammed Abdullah, a 1 year old boy injured by occupying forces in Ramadi (AP photo by Ali Ahmedh - http://www.thewe.cc/weplanet/news/americas/us/welcome_to_war.html )
As we witness the fourth anniversary of the War in Iraq, Alexander Cockburn, the elder caustic commentator on America's endless Imperial crusades, whose brother Patrick is one of the few free-lance investigative journalists still alive and courageously reporting from Iraq outside of the Green Zone and Baghdad's barricaded hotels, offered some sober retrospect on the war's Fourth Estate cheerleaders this last weekend in his Counterpunch Online article entitled "Where are the Laptop Bombardiers Now?". Here is an excerpt:
"But today, amid Iraq's dreadful death throes, where are the parlor warriors? Have those Iraqi exiles reconsidered their illusions, that all it would take was a brisk invasion and a new constitution, to put Iraq to rights? Have any of them, from Makiya through Hitchens to Berman and Berube had dark nights, asking themselves just how much responsibility they have for the heaps of dead in Iraq, for a plundered nation, for the American soldiers who died or were crippled in Iraq at their urging ? Sometimes I dream of them, -- Friedman, Hitchens, Berman -- like characters in a Beckett play, buried up to their necks in a rubbish dump on the edge of Baghdad, reciting their columns to each other as the local women turn over the corpses to see if one of them is her husband or her son."
For Cockburn's full article, click on this article's title or
What we have precipitated in Iraq is a holocaust, a tragedy of immense proportions almost beyond belief, that our reality-challenged media has sanitized and obfuscated for four years now.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Tom Palumbo went to court in Virginia Beach to contest his arrest for trespassing when he attempted to "wait" for Thelma Drake's office to re-open (after it abruptly closed when constituents arrived to present Thelma with their written opposition to her supporting an escalation of the Iraq War).
BUT....Drake's landlord did not show up in court today. Lots of folks are sorry about that. We couldn't wait for Drake and/or her staff to take the oath and then either have to "take back some of their outrageous statements to the media" or end up being caught for plagiarism....
So the trespassing charges were thrown out....and Drake's landlord will have to pay court costs.
I hear the folks then went to Drake's office where they were able to gather for the FIRST TIME without the landlord showing up and threatening to press trespassing charges on them.
Maybe all it took was one person to sit down, take a stand, to stop these right wing anti-democratic bullies from continuing their outrageous behavior.....Imagine arresting a constituent for wanting to communicate with his representative....what have they done to "our" America?
If I get more info and pics I'll post it.....
The actor Sean Penn recently made these linked remarks at Congresswoman Barbara Lee's March 24 Town Hall Meeting on the 4th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and then posted them to his blog at huffingtonpost.com. Penn's remarks are poignant not merely because he is a celebrity, but because he has also traveled to Iraq after the occupation, outside the Disney World Green Zone, and talked to real Iraqis who aren't stage puppets in a Potempkin Village. Here is an excerpt:
"Four and a half years ago, I addressed the issue of war in an open letter to our President. Today I would like to again speak to him and his, directly. Mr. President, Mr. Cheney, Ms. Rice et al: Indeed America has a rich history of greatness -indeed, America is still today a devastating military superpower.
And because, in the absence of a competent or brave Congress, of a mobilized citizenry, that level of power lies in your hands, it is you who have misused it to become our country's and our constitution's most devastating enemy. You have broken our country and our hearts. The needless blood on your hands, and therefore, on our own, is drowning the freedom, the security, and the dream that America might have been, once healed of and awakened by, the tragedy of September 11, 2001."
To read his entire open letter, click on this article's title or
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
The right wing extremists who created the LIE that Americans opposed to the war planned to deface the Vietnam Memorial were able to (finally) get a small group of folks together in a counter protest. The TRUTH is that no one wants to gather and march to support the Iraq War....so if more "counter protests" are planned in the future look for "new lies" in order to try to get someone to show up.
My friends who went to the march told me they had actually been spit upon, some were physically threatened....and all were verbally abused with heaps of obscenity pouring down upon them. So much for a peaceful march with a group of right wing extremists who seem to hate anyone or anything that doesn't conform to their agenda.
Here's a news story about an American Patriot, Charlie Anderson, who served honorably in Iraq. I first met Charlie when he was living in Virginia Beach. He is a dear soul and he's wanting to save more of his buddies so he joined the Iraq Veterans Against the War. As you will hear, those folks who hate so much and call themselves Eagles also spat on my friend Charlie.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Photos of Pentagon March, 3/17/2007
For ANSWER's report on the international protests, click here
Certain purportedly anti-war Virginia bloggers and some of their followers have taken to demonizing the coalition that organized the March on the Pentagon this past March 17, disparaging it as “Marxist-Leninist” and thus evoking all the negative connotations and stereotypes of the Cold War. The term Marxist-Leninism is usually defined as synonymous with the repressive authoritarianism and centrally controlled economy of the old Soviet system. It is thus rather disingenuous to tar a peace and justice organization with such an odious brush, and speaks more about the psychology and ethics of the disparagers then it does about the philosophy of the coalition under attack - ANSWER. Since ANSWER is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals, it has no monolithic ideology to begin with, and even its steering committee is diverse. Here is how this organization describes itself (see answercoalition.org) and go to the “About Us” link):
"The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition formed on September 14, 2001. It is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and prominent individuals and scores of organizing centers in cities and towns across the country. Its national steering committee represents major national organizations that have campaigned against U.S. intervention in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia, and organizations that have campaigned for civil rights and for social and economic justice for working and poor people inside the United States.
IFCO/Pastors for Peace
Free Palestine Alliance - U.S.
Haiti Support Network
Partnership for Civil Justice - LDEF
Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines
Korea Truth Commission
Muslim Student Association - National
Kensington Welfare Rights Union
Mexico Solidarity Network
Party for Socialism and Liberation"
Some of these groups are undoubtedly Left-leaning (and being Leftist has a very wide range, philosophically), at least one is openly Marxist, but others are religion-based or regionally-driven solidarity groups, and they are only a small percentage of the overall coalition to boot, so this is a far cry from propagandizing the entire organization as “Marxist-Leninist”, unless one is so ideologically skewed as to believe anyone on the Left or affiliated with the Left is a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA, which thinking plants us squarely right back in the 1950s. Are those bloggers bandying about this slur betraying an inner intolerance and repressive streak, if not toward others, then toward themselves, because it is a psychological mechanism to externalize that which one cannot tolerate within oneself?
Intuitively, I tend to think the latter, that they can’t accept their own impulses toward international compassion for the vast numbers of victims of traditional, as well as Neocon militarism and imperialism, instead disassociating themsleves from them, and are instead frozen into sitting on the sidelines, waiting for Godot, so to speak, that is, waiting for a pristine, Establishment-blessed, corporate-sponsored version of the anti-war movement to emerge, perhaps with advertising and mortgage-brokering allowed at its rallies and marches. Don’t hold your breath. Either get involved with the existing peace movements and coalitions, thus putting your own imprint upon them, or create your own if you must, but stop hurling insults at those who do take the initiative to confront this horrific war. You are only carrying water for the war mongers otherwise.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I will begin by saying I respect Lowell Feld and Raising Kaine. I'm a regular visitor and I often agree with what Lowell posts. "BUT," no one and nothing is perfect and I think some criticism is in order. I remember being the lone blogger who broke the silence on Israel’s invasion of Lebanon when no one in VA was blogging this. I was surprised that this huge topic was being ignored then I heard a rumor that Lowell would rather not have this topic blogged and bantered about; it might interfere with the Dem's Senatorial campaign. Whether or not that rumor is correct I have no knowledge. But enforced conformity always raises my hackles.
I’m having difficulty with Lowell's recent rant about some pics of the latest march against the war. He came to some erroneous conclusions. First—that the march consisted mainly of “whackos.” Obviously Lowell has not been marching. The march in January, for example, consisted mostly of folks that looked like they came from suburbia… Most marches these days look like middle suburbia and include large contingents of veterans and active duty military (out of uniform of course). Middle America is on the march Lowell.
The fact that folks armed with their cameras are often attracted to the folks dressed up in costume (Underneath the costume maybe a high school teacher or military person currently serving) and some signs aren’t on message does not equal “whacko.” From what I have seen in the corporate media the message did not get distorted and the organizers stayed on message also. (I do agree with the concept that an action needs to stay on message as much as possible...I’ve seen some different groups show up at local HR actions with their own message and this has “disrupted” what we had planned. But let’s not go to an extreme and throw the baby out with the bath...and banish anyone who is not a card carrying capitalist from our ranks.)
I’m particularly offended at Lowell’s suggestion that only "normal folk" are worthy of being counted in the progressive movement. The underlying assumption is that these "normal folk" are capitalists. The whole free trade issue that has caused so much harm in the world is proof enough that our current economic system needs some serious adjusting. What that adjustment should be I don’t think anyone has the entire answer and it will take lots of creative and “DIVERSE” thinking to come up with an optimum answer.
I see a lot wrong with the American Capitalist system and how everything is weighted to favor powerful corporations over the rights of the individual. I see nothing in the current Republican or Democratic party that is working to correct this. My hat is off to Jim Webb b/c he is one of the few Dems who is starting a discussion about the inequality of income distribution, looking at the current incarceration system, and Webb is a Fair Trade advocate. I’m hoping that Webb will help turn the Democratic party around to representing the American people and not the multinational corporations with all their money....
In Europe the Socialist party often has numerous seats in their parliaments (my gracious we actually have one socialist in our congress Lowell) but due to the horrible McCarthy era "socialism" was struck a deadly blow in this country.
I am not a member of the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition and I'm not a card carrying Socialist but I do understand that A.N.S.W.E.R. is worthy of criticism and this occurs even among the left....Unfortunately I was not able to personally attend this latest march...but I have attended A.N.S.W.E.R. marches in the past and will in the future...whenever our goals, such as ending this war, are aligned.
I want to remind Lowell that the founding fathers of this country did NOT TRUST corporations nor did they want them favored. When our legal system gave corporations the right of “persons” a whole lot went wrong in our current legal and economic system. There is a lot that needs to be adjusted in America's Capitalistic system....it is the man behind the curtain in the current evil empire drive that Bush/Cheney are engaged in.
Unfortunately, unless campaign finance reform takes place our government is owned and financed by corporations and their agenda gets priority over the rights of ordinary Americans.
Sorry Lowell but I don’t want to “create” a homogeneous world of capitalists and folks that look the same and talk the same. If the “revolution” doesn’t allow for dancing in the streets with a diverse group I want no part of it.
What’s happening in South America is a beautiful example of real democracy. The people have rebelled against the horrible consequences of Free Trade in their lives and said no more to the global corporations and to the United States (which seems to be the military enforcer for the global corporations). I’d love to see more of the South American love of democracy and freedom occurring here in North America.
Until we stand up for our rights they are going to continue to be trampled. I choose to stand with a large, diverse, creative group of people… They don’t have to agree with me on everything...in fact, I hope they don’t.
Lowell I don’t find your post credible. The march’s message was not distorted by the “lamestream” media and the organizers did not get off message. Personally I have not found the right wing neocons credible as they march in lockstep and all use the same slogans and rhetoric as they dutifully stay on the party’s message. I hope that neither the moderates nor the left takes your advice and adopts a lockstep attitude.
Personally, I think we need to keep less of an eye on a few crazy, amusing, diverse creative souls, i.e. what you call "whackos." and keep a close watch on what the corporations are up to....hopefully we can disrupt the corporate capitalist system enough to make it more humane and fair.
Well now I've ranted and I feel much better. Buzz...Buzz....
A strong delegation from Hampton Roads Virginia drove up to Washington, DC Saturday for the march on the Pentagon against the Iraqi War in particular, the war machine in general, as well as the 911 Commission failings. Chris Jaramillo or someone using his camera took the following shots of the march, focusing on the Virginia Coalition, but catching the overall march too. Chris is the guy in the black beret.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Norfolk, VA 23508
Tickets are $10.00 at the door.
WHY: A "Perfect" way for Virginians of all stripes and colors to come together and be in a creative loving community.
If you've never heard of David Rovics check out his website at www.davidrovics.com
Some of the "buzz" about David follows:
"Listen to David Rovics..." Pete Seeger
"Rovics has his fist tight on the pulse of intervention through music."
Sing Out! Magazine
"If the key to building a mass movement is to make it 'irresistible,' David is opening the flood gates." Medea Benjamin, Founding Director, Global Exchange
"David Rovics is the musical version of Democracy Now!" Amy Goodman, host, Democracy Now!
"David Rovics is a guy George W. Bush would probably like to clamp in chains at Guantanamo Bay -- the last American protest singer (or so it seems)... In these days of ongoing neo-conservatism he carries the torch of dissent and protest -- in fact if the great Phil Ochs were to come back from the dead tonight he'd probably be hailed as the new David Rovics." Andy Kershaw, BBC Radio 3
"In that Wobbly tradition of sharp social commentary, David is a master."
The Industrial Worker
"Inspiring, and inspired... For anyone despairing of finding the next generation, worry no more!" AK Press
"David Rovics' music gives life and hope in the struggle for peace and justice. He is an inspiration." Reverend Roy Bourgeois, founder, SOA Watch
"David Rovics is the peace poet and troubador for our time."
"David Rovics is the musical version of PBS - that is, if PBS had more cojones!"
The Lone Star Iconoclast, Crawford, Texas
Come on OUT, have a GREAT TIME, and SUPPORT an indy artist.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Today ABC News reports that "suddenly" Halliburton is moving it's headquarters from Houston Texas to Dubais.
Halliburton says it is moving to be closer to oil work in the Middle East. Other's are suggesting it is to avoid subpoenas from Congress and U.S. taxes. Halliburton was happy to be here with Cheney leading the way to no-bid contracts in Iraq and in the southern U.S. during the Katrina contracts from our government.
I guess Halliburton doesn't want to be held accountable and have to pay US back for their overcharges and not completing their contracts.
How were these neocons Republicans raised that they feel it is their right to be able to avoid accountability and consequences for their actions? They act like they are above the law, like medieval Kings.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Newspapers all over the country are dropping Ann Coultier's column. In VA there is one paper now carrying her columm--The Daily News Record in Harrisonburg. Take a moment and contact Peter Yates at firstname.lastname@example.org Let him know Coultier has to go.
You might want to suggest Amy Goodwin's column as your preferred replacement.
Media Matters has the lists of the papers carrying Coultier's column.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Please don't sell Virginians out to Dominion Power. They have lobbied hard for this bill which gives them guaranteed profits (at our expense) and limits the powers of our regulatory agency overseeing them.
This will let citizens know if you are going to represent our interests or sell out to corporate interests.
The ball is in your court Gov. Kaine.
Now we shall wait and see who Governor Kaine chooses to represent.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
The deeper truth is that there is no Other, because we are all ONE. There is no separateness, no isolated ego or group of egos disconnected from the rest of Creation. All is God. There is no Christianity intrinsically separate from Islam, or from Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Wicca or Buddhism for that matter. These are but, as the Kublai Khan put it centuries ago, the "fingers of God". Why would God want to cut off one of His or Her own fingers? Lesser still, why would God want one of his own manifestations to cut off one of His or Her own fingers?!
No man or woman is an island. You've all heard that before. Try holding your breath for five minutes and see how self-contained and separate you are from the rest of Creation. If you succeed you will likely have turned blue and passed out, or even dropped dead, because you are inexorably a part of your environment. You depend on it like a cell depends on the bloodstream. So you are already connected to the whole of Creation through the breath. On the deepest level we also share in the same cosmic energy, prana, chi or ki, which is also related to the concept of Spirit. We just aren't fully aware of this. The bottom line is that we are, each of us, the entire Universe, the entire nine yards, as experienced from infinite points of light and consciousness. This is our Greater Self.
So the delusional act of hating or willfully hurting another being is really the height of folly, because what you are doing to another you are really doing to yourself, and by yourself I mean your Greater Self, beyond the illusory ego. Why do you think GIs, Marines and Sailors suffer so badly from PTSD? It's because they have wounded or slaughtered a part of themselves. You or I would be a psycho-somatic mess too if we had, say, just cut off our own arm or leg! This is in effect what we are doing to our Greater Self in war. War, the ultimate obscenity. This is why we have consciences, to remind us to respect the rest of our Greater Self. That is why we love, to enjoy our Greater Self.
Fortunately, there is an awesome website, AVAAZ.org, that is emphasizing this very point of Oneness, and asking us all to sign a petition to stop the pending clash of civilizations. They are asking for one hundred thousand signatures. I say give them one million, at least! You can click here to visit their site or also on the title above to see one far out, hard-hitting video, sign the petition, and pass it on.
Honor your Greater Self, please.
Virginia's Senator Jim Webb has introduced legislation that restores the rightful constitutional power--to declare war--back where it belongs....to the Congress. Webb's Bill would prevent a war against Iran without Congressional power.
U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice continued to supply "vague" answers to Webb's office on whether the Bush administration believed that Bush had the right to declare war against Iran without Congressional approval.
Webb has the guts to do what needs to be done to restore the checks and balances to our system of law based on the constitution. Hopefully, the rest of Congress will have the guts and the backbone to support Senator Webb's legislation.
It is expected that Webb's proposal can be "grafted" onto the Defense Spending Bill that should reach the floor next week.
Source is The Virginian Pilot
Monday, March 05, 2007
Today the Washington Post reports that there is no Plan B. Bush has only the surge planned and there is nothing in place if Bush's "surge" fails.
According to Talking Points Memo, Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) was told by General Patraeus that the "surge" has only a 1 in 4 chance of success.
Isn't this another example of dereliction of duty by President Bush?
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Sorry but one lone example from the left doesn't begin to compare with the hate speech that "splews" from the right wing. Firedoglake has an interesting post up with numerous examples of hate speech from the right wing.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
An elite team of officers known as the "Baghdad Brains Trust" has predicted the military will face a "Vietnam style of collapse" if there aren't positive changes within the next six months. With increased casualites, including the regular losses of helicopters "positive change" does not seem likely. The main obstacles that must be "turned around" to prevent such a collapse are:
· Insufficient troops on the ground--This is not likely to change. The Iraqi's continue to not show up in sufficient numbers. The American military is suffering from multiple deployments and the American people do not support increasing troop levels.
· A "disintegrating" international coalition--This international coalition now consists of troops only from the U.S., Australia, and England. England has already started withdrawing her troops and they plan to be completely out of Iraq within six months.
· An anticipated increase in violence in the south as the British leave--and the British are already exiting.
· Morale problems as casualties rise
· A failure of political will in Washington and/or Baghdad--This "failure of political will" is not a failure at all....It should more correctly be named the "failure of the Bush Administration." Lying to Congress and the American people to launch an illegal war, combined with continued lying in order to continue "occupying" Iraq, is not a successful formula for gaining public support. The political will is to exit Iraq as soon as possible. IF the political will of the people is successful the United States should be out of Iraq within six months.
The incompetents in the Bush White House need to step aside and let the military properly plan and execute a withdrawal from Iraq before our troops are caught in a "Vietnam style of collapse."
For more info you can link the source here.