Wednesday, May 28, 2008

BAP at Chocolatefest

The Burlington Area Progressives had a successful run promoting progressive values at this year's chocolatefest. We would like to thank the Kenosha, Racine and Walworth Co. Democratic Parties for supporting this effort and the progressive candidates that spent some time at C-Fest and our booth including State Assembly candidates Doug Herrod (Dist. 32), Mike Orr (Dist. 66) and Larry Zamba (Dist 66), as well as Wisconsin 1st Congressional District Candidates Paulette Garin and Marge Krupp.
We also had information and literature provided for distribution by State Senator Robert Wirch (Dist. 22) and Linda Flashinski, candidate for State Assembly (Dist. 63)
Our presence was well received. We met people and handed out literature. To see the BAP literature that we posted and/or handed out please see the Chocolatefest 2008 file on our yahoo group, the link to which is under "Join the Discussion" on the left-hand side of this page. Photos of our booth will also be posted soon. We also registered 8 new voters!
The results of our presidential straw poll are as follows:
McCain 0
Clinton 8
Obama 8
Well it seems there's just no decisive result to be had in this regard (at least between the dems).
Thanks again to all who helped, stopped by or provided general encouragement. Particular thanks go out to Kay Collins-Schultz for meritorius service above and beyond the call. We couldn't have done it with out you!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

BAP at C-Fest

If you're at C-Fest this weekend stop in, say hi and see our booth in cooperation with the Dems of Kenosha, Racine and Walworth Co.

Our booths looks great and it's awesome to see that finally the GOPsters don't have C-Fest to themselves anymore. In addition to Our booth, Assembly cadidates Larry Zamba and Mike Orr also have booths and other progressive candidates Marge Krupp (House) and Doug Harrod (Assembly) have alsp put in appearance with more expected. The GOP doesn't know what hit 'em!

We're registering voters , handing out literature and conducting a one dollar/vote presidential straw poll with proceeds going to BAP to defray the costs. So stike a blow (or $5) for your cadidate!

Have a great Holiday!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bush Torturer-In-Chief

Well Bush has finally admitted that he is a war criminal. In discussing the use of torture by the U.S. government with ABC news recently Bush stated "And yes, I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved." He was referring to Dick Cheney, Condolezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeldt, George Tenet, John Ashcroft and Colin Powel who met and authorized specific techniques for use on suspected terrorists, including water boarding.

Water boarding AKA the drowning torture, conceived by the Spanish Inquisition is used to repeatedly induce the sensation and terror of drowning. Since the U.S. prosecuted Japanese troops after WWII for war crimes for using this technique on our troops it is clearly a war crime and a form of torture as recognized the world over.Our founders held that certain truths were self evident, that all men, not all Americans, but ALL men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights including due process and not to be subjected to cruel and inhuman punishment. George Bush has betrayed the very foundation of what America stands for in the world.

Furthermore, George Bush has asserted that as Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces during wartime he is above justice and the rule of law. This is a further betrayal of the Constitution and our founding. Do we want to confer these powers on Obama, Clinton, McCain or any other future executive? NO! If this principle is allowed to carry forward we are unlikely to ever see the end of wartime, as we will elect a series of dictators to four-year terms.

It’s time for our representative Paul Ryan and the rest of the House, to stop collaborating with the Torturer-In-Chief and clean up the moral cesspool that is the Bush Administration once and for all by bringing to bear impeachment and criminal proceedings against these perpetrators.

From Abu Grabh to Gitmo to the secret blacksites around the globe this President has betrayed American values and diminished our standing as a nation. This is self-evident, torture is evil! By any name, for any purpose, by anyone, to anyone, no ifs, ands or moral relativisms.

If the Executive can detain you secretly, indefinitely, without charge, recourse or due process, if he/she can torture you, extract testimony and use it against you in a tribunal, you are not free. You are merely at large at the executive’s discretion. The Bushites have done all of these things. It’s time to stand up for freedom and put the criminal George Bush behind bars where he belongs.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Return to Sender - Iraq Veteran Gets the Call Again

The following are snippets from a letter in the SF Chronicle Open Forum (emphasis mine)

Colby Buzzell
Thursday, May 8, 2008

"When I voluntarily enlisted in the Army, I remember asking my recruiter about the fine print on the contract about being called back up to active duty once my enlistment was completed. He assured me not to worry, that every contract said that and it would only happen if "World War III" broke out."

"On way out of my building two weeks ago, I checked my mailbox and found a letter from the Department of the Army with "Important Document" printed in all caps on the middle. I immediately felt sick, so I went back to my room, locked the door, grabbed a beer from the fridge and stared out my window for a while. People outside were all wearing sunglasses and walking about enjoying the sun. I took a picture."

"Looking back, would I have joined the military if I were doing something that I loved? Or had a job that paid $100,000 a year? Probably not. Those are the men and women I feel that we need to mail these letters to. Let's see what happens when they receive letters telling them to put on a uniform and ship out immediately to the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Read the rest of his letter and get the link to where he blogs here.

Faith groups mount campaign against torture

They're protesting Bush administration policies. But polls show Americans are split on the issue.
By Jane Lampman Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the May 8, 2008 edition
As Congress and the Bush administration skirmish over still-secret interrogation techniques, American faith communities are mounting a national campaign to prohibit torture and cruel and inhumane treatment of US-held detainees.
More than 175 religious organizations have joined the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). Their aim is to build a moral consensus among Americans on the issue and to bring government policies in line with US law and international norms.
"Religions of the world do agree on basic tenets about how people should treat each other because of the dignity of the human person," says the Rev. Richard Killmer, executive director. The group involves mainline and evangelical Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and other members.
The campaign has its work cut out for it. Polls since 2001 show great divergence and ambivalence in public attitudes toward the interrogation and treatment of alleged terrorists. And Congress so far has not convinced the administration to change course.
NRCAT worked for congressional passage of the 2008 intelligence bill, which required the Central Intelligence Agency and other agencies to conform to the Army Field Manual in their interrogations. The manual, revised in 2006 after the abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, prohibits the use of waterboarding (simulated drowning), military dogs, beatings, and electric shocks, among other techniques.
Rest of story here