Archive for the ‘Opinions’ Category

Win Without War!

  I’m writing to ask you to oppose the supplemental appropriation for the war in Afghanistan, and to co-sponsor Rep. McGovern’s bill requiring a timeline for the withdrawal of US troops, H.R. 5015.

As a senior advisor to Gen. McChrystal admits in this week’s issue of Rolling Stone Magazine “If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular.” Our top Commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and his staff know the hard truth – that our surge strategy is failing.

Earlier this month Gen. Stanley McChrystal called the escalating conflict in Marja a “bleeding ulcer.” A public affairs exercise designed to sell the surge to Americans and Afghans alike, this offensive has instead exposed the weaknesses of the surge strategy. Violence has increased, the vast majority of the local population, 71%, want NATO troops to leave and 61% feel MORE NEGATIVE about NATO forces than they did before the offensive began.

A majority of the American public know it is time for the US military to begin leaving Afghanistan. Spending over $100 billion sending nearly 100,000 troops half way around the world to defend against what the President’s National Security Advisor Jim Jones admitted is less than 100 members of al Qaeda in Afghanistan doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t make America any safer.

I strongly encourage you to oppose the supplemental appropriation for the war in Afghanistan, and co-sponsor Rep. McGovern’s bill requiring a timeline for the withdrawal of US troops, H.R. 5015.

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HR 5143

I believe that our nation’s criminal justice system is in dire need of repair. The United States is home to just five percent of the world’s population, but it hosts 25 percent of the world’s prison population. Over the past four decades, the war on drugs has led to an astonishing and unacceptable increase in the number of Americans behind bars.

I am so sick of hearing that child molesters and rapists are being let walk the streets so that pot smokers can instead take their places! Its time to get smart with our financial resources and get our priorities straight. Then consider all the drug war is doing to our borders. This is simply a case of a few politicians and drug lords making money while the greater majority of us pay all the expense and get nothing in return. If you tax pot and use the money to cure common diseases I think our country will be much better off. These laws doing nothing except make bad matters worse.

A criminal justice approach to illicit drug use has resulted in arrests for low-level, nonviolent drug crimes on a massive scale, and lengthy mandatory minimum prison sentences have stripped judges of discretion and cost state and federal governments many billions of dollars. Because of these failed policies, families and communities are torn apart every day, and communities of color have been disproportionately impacted.

It’s time to reexamine the United States’ criminal justice system. The National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2010 (HR 5143) would create a national commission to evaluate every aspect of the criminal justice system, including drug policy, and set the groundwork for the reforms we so desperately need.

I urge you to join the call for criminal justice reform by supporting HR 5143.

Republicans apologized… to BP.

You won’t believe this.

While President Obama was securing funds from BP to pay for the damage their oil spill is wrecking on families in the Gulf, Republicans apologized… to BP.

Yes, Texas Congressman Joe Barton actually apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward and called it “a tragedy in the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown.” That’s right – Republicans think the “tragedy” is that BP will have to pay victims of their disaster.

This isn’t from some backbencher. Republicans want to put Congressman Barton in charge of the entire Energy and Commerce committee!

With our June 30th FEC reporting deadline fast approaching, now is the time to send an overwhelming message that Americans will not stand by as Republicans shamelessly shill for their Big Oil backers. The national media will use our grassroots totals to judge our will to fight against the Grand Oil Party.

Organizing For America..we all deserve healthcare.

Credit Card reform and the CPA-Consumer Protection Agency

HR 3639 will move up the implementation date of the Credit CARD Reform Act to Dec. 1, rather than Feb. 22, 2010. Since Congress passed this bill in May, credit card companies have been hiking interest rates on customers’ balances, increasing penalty fees and doubling minimum payments. Meanwhile, countless good customers who pay on time each month are suffering.
Implementing the law now will prevent further abuses at the hands of the banks, and make sure that they comply with the intent of this law. The reality is consumers can’t afford another four months of these abusive tactics while the banks find new ways to increase their profits at our expense. I urge you to put these already-approved reforms in place now.

The banks’ recent behavior when it comes to our credit cards underscores the need for fast-acting, effective oversight at the federal level, rather than a new piece of legislation each time a problem like this arises. To achieve that, I also urge you to support a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) whose only job will be to look out for consumers when it comes to abusive financial practices, including credit cards, loans and mortgages.

HR 3126 will put in place an effective CFPA watchdog who looks out for us, not just the banks. Right now, there is no federal banking agency whose primary job is to predict and prevent harm to consumers from new banking and credit practices.
We need a strong federal watchdog to write new consumer protection rules against unfair practices, and keep those rules up to date. Those rules should apply to every type of credit product, bank account and payment method. And the states should be allowed to set even stronger rules to protect against new threats facing their residents. I urge you to pass a strong bill and oppose any weakening amendments.
American consumers are the backbone of our economy, and we’re tired of getting the short end of the stick when it comes to financial products like credit cards. I urge you to put in place reforms approved in the Credit CARD Act immediately, and support the CFPA as well. It’s time Congress gives real help and sensible protections to consumers from financial abuses — rather than taxpayer bailouts to the big banks that got us in this mess.

Shut Up Dog or I’ll Have Your Vocal Chords Removed

Cruel pet owners remove vocal cords to stop barking

Cruel pet owners remove vocal cords to stop barking

posted by: alicia graef

Unfortunately, some pet owners who are looking for a little peace and quiet may choose to have their pets devocalized, or debarked, to get it. If you missed this last time around, you can read the full post here.

Devocalizing involves a not so minor surgery with a high risk of complications that uses either an oral approach, or a laryngotomy that essentially results in cutting or removing an animal’s vocal chords, a controversial procedure many veterinarians will also refuse to perform.

“One snip of soft tissue in the back of the throat is the most painful thing. Many times, the dog has to be re-operated on because the membrane grows over it. It’s not good for the dog. It’s only good for people,” according to Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and renowned animal behaviorist.

This type of quick fix also does nothing to encourage responsible pet ownership, and is an easy way out of working on behavior modification.

Some who are in favor of this “convenience surgery” argue that it can help animals who may otherwise be surrendered to shelters due to barking. However, debarked dogs still wind up in shelters and may also have a harder time finding homes, since some may find the wheezing, raspy or throaty sounds they make even more bizarre and irritating than barking.

Once devocalized, dogs also lose their ability to communicate and socialize normally, which may cause frustration and lead to behavioral issues, along with making them potentially dangerous to people without their ability to give warnings when they’re upset.

As the result of a grassroots effort led by Care2 member Jordan Star, the Animal Law Coalition (ALC) has drafted a bill, An Act to Prohibit Devocalization of Dogs and Cats (H.B. 344), sponsored by Rep. Lida Harkins, and co-sponsored by numerous others, that would ban devocalizing dogs and cats in Massachusetts, unless it’s done for medical reasons.

Currently the bill is still waiting in Committee, and is getting some opposition from the likes of puppy mill breeders, hoarders, dog fighters and those who think they can do whatever they want with their pets because, well, they’re just a piece of property, right?

If you live in Massachusetts, please take a minute to contact your legislators today asking them to support HB 244 as written. If you don’t know who your legislators are, call 1-800-462-8683 or go to www.wheredoivotema.com and fill in your address and then look for “Rep and Senate in General Court.”

Please also sign Care2’s petition to ban devocalization.

If you’re not a resident of Massachusetts but know someone who is then spread the word!

Read more: animal welfare

ITS A GOOD THING I DONT KNOW ANYONE PULLING THIS CRAP! Its just ridiculous what souless humans have been getting away with for so long now. Thats as bad a taking a teenage boy and castrating him so he doesnt get a girl pregnant. If you read this I hope you are ticked off that this could be allowed in our country. Make sure you give someone a piece of your mind about this and spread awareness please.

The United Party

I have been thinking about this off and on for several years. For some reason I feel that I should unveil this and see what kind of response it gets. I have no doubt that Americans are tired of not having representation. I myself hate the fact that big business interests are always put ahead of all other.

We know we need change, but Obama  cant do it by himself or with his way. I applaud the intention and support him the best I can; but let face it, both parties truly favor business over the individual.  I really would like to see health reform or overhaul putting individuals over business.

I know a third party is not a new concept but this one is. I would like to start a party with both Republican and Democrat influence. A party that is a representation of the common man or woman’s interest at heart. This party will sit squarely between Democrats and Republicans and use the strengths of both sides together with a voice for the middle and lower classes.

While big money usually wins elections this platform will give the regular people of this country a big voice. This is the kind of change we need to get our troops back. This is the kind of change that will make possible health care policy that is representative of the masses. This the kind of change we need if we are ever going to change politics as usual, pork rolls and gross mismanagement of our taxes.

We will be looking for real leaders with big dreams and sound ideas. These people will not be far right or left but will have demonstrated their committment to fairness and kindness in both public and private. I believe a kind and compassionate leader who lives to help others makes a much better candidate for office than a corrupt politician.

I will soon put a petition on the site that you can put your digital signature saying you support the party. Also will have a place you can make nominations for someone you think would be a good person to take this. I will push it as far as I can but until a law is changed I cannot run for President.

Stop the wasting of our time and energy simply spinning in circles. We have to act now if we want to see a better world tomorrow. Between myself, my friends and the Internet we can change the world today!