"In a transparently mercantile bid to keep protesters from disrupting the Republican National Convention later this month, the Bloomberg administration will offer "peaceful political activists" discounts at select hotels, museums, stores and restaurants around town during convention week, which begins Aug. 29.
The city's tourism office will distribute the buttons to all comers to its Midtown office.
The discount program comes at a time when Mr. Bloomberg is under increasing pressure from the largest protest group, United for Peace and Justice, which is demanding the right to protest in Central Park, a request the city has repeatedly rejected. As a result, the city faces the prospect that the largest rally, planned the Sunday before the convention, will be an illegal gathering. "
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Sunday, August 15, 2004
I am currently organizing an effort to get 18-24 year olds registered to vote in Pennsylvania sometime this weekend. The tentative date is saturday. It'll be a fun time, going to movie theaters, malls, and other recreational places to find peers and get them to vote this November. It doesn't matter what age you are, if you're under 18, think of it as a way of voting in November. Please leave a comment as soon as possible if you're interested.
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Same sex marriages voided in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- The California Supreme Court on Thursday voided the nearly 4,000 same-sex marriages sanctioned in San Francisco this year and ruled unanimously that the mayor overstepped his authority by issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
The court said the city illegally issued the certificates and performed the ceremonies, since state law defined marriage as a union between a man and woman.
The justices separately decided with a 5-2 vote to nullify the 3,995 marriages performed between February 12 and March 11, when the court halted the weddings. Their legality, Justice Joyce Kennard wrote, must wait until courts resolve the constitutionality of state laws that restrict marriages to opposite-sex couples.
read the whole article by the AP here.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them
The paperback edition of Al Franken's best seller came out this month. And as Franken promised, the addendums don't fail to entertain. (For those of you who have not read this book yet, I highly recommend it.)
On page 376, Franken tells of his disgust at being betrayed by Colin Powell, "the only high-level official in the Bush administaration that I could trust."
Powell told the General Assembly and the rest of the world that Saddam was reconstituting his nuclear program. As Rice, Rumsfeld, and Bush had said in the weeks prior, we didn't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud. Powell's evidence? Powell wasn't stupid enough to use the uranium-from-Africa stroy the President had tried to feed us in his State of the Union Address. No, Powell's proof was the aluminum tubes.
These were the aluminum tubes that Saddam had beem importing..to make rockets. But the Bush administration told us that they were to be used for centrifuging uranium to turn it into weapons-grade uranium...
As Powell told The New York Times:
What we notice in these different batches is a progression to higher and higher levels of specification, including in the latest batch, an anodized coating on extremely smooth outer and inner surfaces. Why would they continue refining the specifications, go to all that trouble for something that, if it was a rocket, would soon be blown into shrapnel when it went off?
Six months later, on August 10, I read an article in The Washington Post by Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus. It was a little late, consdiering.. that we..were occupying Iraq, losing about 1.7 guys a day... Speaking publicly for the first time, House G. Wood III, founder of the Oak Ride centrifuge physics department...said of the aluminum tubes in question: It would have been extremely difficult to make these tubes into centrifuges. It stretches the imagination to come up with a way. I do not know any real centrifuge experts that feel differently"
It turns out that the aluminum tubes were the wrong size to be used in centrifuges...And the anodized coating?...If aluminum tubes were going to be used for centrifuging uranium, the first thing you'd have to do is mill of all the anodized coating.
On page 380, Franken discusses the faults of the Bush administration:
On February 8, President Bush opened his 2004 campaign with a disastrous appearance on Meet the Press, reminding Tim Russert that he is a "war president." Yet, never before has this country cut taxes in a time of war. I ran this by Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist and Princeton economist, who told me he can't find a civilization in the history of mankind that has cut taxes while at war.
Franken also retells of the hilarious law suit against him by Fox, provides addendums addressing Treason by Ann Coulter, and Bill O'Reilly. He also re-dedicates his book, to none other than Bill O'Reilly.
Super Size Me, (cont)
hmm apparently, I didn't type in the information correctly on the blogspot/hello interface so what i was writing was truncated.
here you go.
Top headline in bold: "Why are the Americans so fat?",
This tray liner was produced in Germany to promote (obviously) Subway. I think it's fucking awesome. Besides Germans can do what they want to right? A lot of Americans are fat fucks anyway. It would be ridiculous for anyone else to judge Germany for the truth right?
"House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, issued a statement Monday decrying the tray liners, saying Subway thumbed its nose at American customers and promoted "Michael Moore's blame-America-first conspiracy in a foreign country."
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
not much time tonight, so i'll keep this brief. just the key quotes from tonight's convention.
"We did it with a go-it-alone foreign policy based on flawed intelligence. We were told that we were going to Iraq because there were weapons of mass destruction. We've lost hundreds of soldiers. We've spent $200 billion dollars at a time when we had record state deficits. And when it became clear that there were no weapons, they changed the premise for the war and said: No, we went because of other reasons.
If I told you tonight, "Let's leave the FleetCenter, we're in danger," and when you get outside, you ask me, Reverend Al, "What is the danger?" and I say, "It don't matter. We just needed some fresh air," I have misled you and we were misled.
We are also faced with the prospect of in the next four years that two or more of the Supreme Court Justice seats will become available. This year we celebrated the anniversary of Brown v. the Board of Education.
This court has voted five to four on critical issues of women's rights and civil rights. It is frightening to think that the gains of civil and women rights and those movements in the last century could be reversed if this administration is in the White House in these next four years.
I suggest to you tonight that if George Bush had selected the court in '54, Clarence Thomas would have never got to law school.
...Mr. President, as I close, Mr. President, I heard you say Friday that you had questions for voters, particularly African- American voters. And you asked the question: Did the Democratic Party take us for granted? Well, I have raised questions. But let me answer your question.
You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule.
That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres.
We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us."
-Reverend Al Sharpton
"John Kerry and I believe that we shouldn't have two different economies in America: one for people who are set for life, they know their kids and their grand-kids are going to be just fine; and then one for most Americans, people who live paycheck to paycheck. You don't need me to explain this to you do you?
You know exactly what I'm talking about. Can't save any money, can you?
Takes every dime you make just to pay your bills.
And you know what happens if something goes wrong, if you have a child that gets sick, a financial problem, a layoff in the family -- you go right off the cliff. And when that happens, what's the first thing that goes? Your dreams.
It doesn't have to be that way.
We can strengthen and lift up your families. Your agenda is our agenda.
Hard work should be valued in this country, so we're going to reward work, not just wealth.
We don't want people to just get by; we want people to get ahead.
The human cost and the extraordinary heroism of this war, it surrounds us. It surrounds us in our cities and our towns. And we'll win this war because of the strength and courage of our own people.
Some of our friends and neighbors, they saw their last images in Baghdad. Some took their last steps outside of Falluja. Some buttoned their uniform for the last time before they went out and saved their unit.
Men and women who used to take care of themselves, they now count on others to see them through the day. They need their mother to tie their shoe, their husband to brush their hair, their wife's arm to help them across the room.
The stars and stripes wave for them. The word "hero" was made for them. They are the best and the bravest. And they will never be left behind.
Tonight, as we celebrate in this hall, somewhere in America, a mother sits at the kitchen table. She can't sleep because she's worried she can't pay her bills. She's working hard trying to pay her rent, trying to feed her kids, but she just can't catch up.
It didn't use to be that way in her house. Her husband was called up in the Guard. Now he's been in Iraq for over a year. They thought he was going to come home last month, but now he's got to stay longer.
She thinks she's alone. But tonight in this hall and in your homes, you know what? She's got a lot of friends.
We want her to know that we hear her.
It is time to bring opportunity and an equal chance to her door. We're here to make America stronger at home so that she can get ahead.
And we're here to make America respected in the world again so that we can bring him home. And American soldiers don't have to fight this war in Iraq or this war on terrorism alone.
So, when you return home some night, you might pass a mother on her way to work the late shift, you tell her: Hope is on the way.
When your brother calls and says he's spending his entire life at the office and he still can't get ahead, you tell him: Hope is on the way.
When your parents call and tell you their medicine's going through the roof, they can't keep up, you tell them: Hope is on the way.
And when your neighbor calls and says her daughter's worked hard and she want's to go to college, you tell her: Hope is on the way.
And when your son or daughter, who is serving this country heroically in Iraq calls, you tell them: Hope is on the way.
We are Americans and we choose to be inspired. We choose hope over despair, possibilities over problems, optimism over cynicism. We choose to do what's right even when those around us say, "You can't do that," we choose to be inspired, because we know that we can do better, because this is America where everything is still possible.
Let's make America stronger at home and more respected in the world. Let's ensure that once again, in our one America -- our one America -- tomorrow will always be better than today."
-Senator John Edwards (North Carolina)
Tomorrow, will be the most important day until November 2nd, 2004.
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
DNC day 2
The highlight of the second night of the Democratic National Convention was not a speech by Teresa Heinz Kerry, Ron Reagan, or even, Senator Ted Kennedy. For those of you watching the Fox News Channel, it was not even the "debate" between Bill O'Reilly and Michael Moore. The highlight of the night was made by a person, whose humble roots bespeak volumes of the integrity, honesty and character of the speaker. Yes, the highlight of the night was definetly made by the indomitable Ilana Wexler, founder of Kids for Kerry. NOT. Barack Obama is currently running to be senator of Illinois. Mr. Obama spoke eloquently and vivaciously tonight, reminding us all of the American Dream and the true nature of American politics. His speech was incredibly well-received and it would be folly to think that Barack Obama will be anything but U.S. senator come election. This 42-year-old civil rights advocate certainly has a terrific career ahead of him. OBAMA in 2012!! WOO!!
Below are excerpts of his speech on July 27th.
"...That is the true genius of America, a faith in the simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles. That we can tuck in our children at night and know they are fed and clothed and safe from harm. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted -- or at least, most of the time.
...People don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.
...When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.
...John Kerry believes in America. And he knows that it's not enough for just some of us to prosper. For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga. A belief that we are all connected as one people.
If there's a child on the South Side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child.
If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent.
If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.
It is that fundamental belief -- it is that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper -- that makes this country work.
It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. "E pluribus unum." Out of many, one.
Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.
Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America.
There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America -- there is the United States of America.
...We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.
In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope?
John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope. I'm not talking about blind optimism here-the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don't talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it.
That's not what I'm talking [about]. I'm talking about something more substantial. It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a mill worker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.
Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope.
In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation; a belief in things not seen; a belief that there are better days ahead.
I believe we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity.
I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair.
I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs, and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices and meet the challenges that face us."
-Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate (Illinois), Barack Obama, keynote speaker at DNC
With hopefully many more to come...
"We Democrats want to build a world and an America of shared responsibilities and shared benefits. We want a world with more global cooperation where we act alone only when we absolutely have to.
We think the role of government should be to give people the tools to create the conditions to make the most of their own lives. And we think everybody should have that chance.
On the other hand, the Republicans in Washington believe that American should be run by the right people -- their people -- in a world in which America acts unilaterally when we can and cooperates when we have to.
They believe the role of government is to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of those who embrace their economic, political and social views, leaving ordinary citizens to fend for themselves on important matters like health care and retirement security."
-Former President Clinton's address at the Democratic National Convention on July 26th.