Thursday, May 31, 2007

Reverend Billy, Healthcare, State's Rights

My significant other and I went to see Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping last night. There were four members of the choir and two members of the band. If you see them in New York the choir is much larger and they have a seven piece band. On the way to the performance they changed the name of the church to the Church of the First Amendment to coincide with the theme of the festival at which they were performing.

In a video the Church Director refers to the group as a "Radical Performance Community." I really like the message and the approach. It is nice to approach the issues that we are all facing with a little lighter touch. If you would like to find out more about this organization go to


I watched a news report last night on a town hall meeting in Selah, WA at which Senator Hastings spoke. I was discouraged that 80 percent of the discussion involved immigration reform. It is apparently an important issue to a lot of people, but I feel that it is a bit of a red herring. Immigration reform won't stop global warming. It won't reinvigorate a free press, place politicians in office that represent the will of the people, nor hold corporations accountable for their actions. It also won't bring our troops home.


Michael Moore's latest movie is about national healthcare. The following comes from the Organic Consumers Association's newsletter:
If you've been reading OCA's Health Page you're aware of the sorry state of the nation's health care system. In 2000, the World Health Organization ranked our system (which is the most expensive in the world) 37th, just after war-torn and drug-ravaged Columbia. In the last seven years, with cuts in employee health benefits and miserly HMO coverage, things have only gotten worse. A 2007 report by the Commonwealth Fund ranks the US last among other rich countries in health care access, patient safety, efficiency, and equity, despite the fact that it spends twice as much on health care. This is the subject of Michael Moore's new documentary, "Sicko." The difference between the US and countries with better health outcomes? Universal health care.
Watch this short interview with Moore and take action for universal health care:

Here is some information regarding the further reduction of state's rights to the stranglehold of the federal government which also comes from the Organic Consumers Association:
Since 1998, the biotech industry and industrial food corporations have unsuccessfully tried to take away local and states' rights to ban or regulate genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other controversial foods and crops. For example, OCA and other public interest groups successfully generated a mass outcry in 2006 that blocked the passage of the National Uniformity for Food Act. This highly unpopular bill would have nullified 200 food safety and food labeling laws across the U.S. Failing to suppress grassroots control over food safety laws and labels in the last session of Congress, industry has now called on their friends in the House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry to slip a similar poison pill into an obscure section of the voluminous 2007-2012 Farm Bill. The provision would give the White House appointed Secretary of Agriculture the power to eliminate local or state food and farming laws, such as those in four California counties banning genetically engineered crops, and set an an ominous precedent undermining states' rights.
Tell Congress to repeal this provision before it becomes law:
If you have been reading along you will recall that I am not to hip to GMOs.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Iraq Deployment Update

In my last entry I discussed my concern with my youngest brother's possible deployment to Iraq. I have since found out that his agreement with the military is that he cannot be deployed until he has received two years of higher education. I sincerely hope that the military upholds its end of the agreement. We'll see how things play out.

If we can get a Democrat into the White House then maybe he won't have to go to Iraq. It is my understanding that Clinton has ties to big business so I am currently leaning towards Obama or Edwards. Go Doves!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Iraq War Hits Home

I found out yesterday that my father is being deployed to Iraq. He will be serving at the US embassy in Baghdad.

This will be the third war in which he was served. It will be the second war that he has served in during my lifetime.

He has been finishing up his service career in the Army Reserves. He is in his late fifties and left active duty because he was passed over for promotion. It is clear that the military is really hurting for warm bodies.

Fortunately he is a doctor now and not a grunt like he was during the Vietnam War.

I have difficulty understanding his continued association with the military as he became a war protestor after his return from Vietnam.

My youngest brother recently joined the National Guard. I also have difficulty understanding this decision. I was not consulted.

My pacifism was confirmed when my father and my best friend were deployed to the first Gulf War. My father is being deployed again and there is a good chance that my youngest brother will serve in this latest conflict.

It is a sad thing to have to accept the potential loss of loved ones in an unjust and illegal war which does not have the support of the American people or the military and in which I personally have no faith.

If we want to get our troops out of Iraq I believe that we will need to get a Democrat into the White House.