Sunday, December 31, 2006

3,000 Americans Dead in Iraq

The year is ending with another milestone.

3,000 dead American soldiers.

For what?

Click HERE to see the "Faces of the Dead".

John Kerry once testified:

"We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? But we are trying to do that, and we are doing it with thousands of rationalizations...."
What Senator Kerry said in 1971 echoes today.

Echoes with a somber note of young American men and women making the ultimate sacrifice for a lie.

It is time for a new direction in America!

Keep on Coming John! We have got your back!


More Lies and the Truth about Senator Kerry!

This site continues to be hounded by individuals advocating the Swift Boat Veterans, the Vietnam veterans group opposed to Senator Kerry.

But those who actually served alongside Senator Kerry and knew him best support him. There are many who hate Senator John Kerry for being the one to bring the bad news of Vietnam to the American people. But to besmirch his reputation because of his political views stinks.

John Kerry didn't choose to fight hard against those who would rather smear than talk issues. Just visit and read about the Urban Legend of the Swift Boat Veterans and the truth which is something quite different.

It is explained:
"John Kerry's service in Vietnam as an officer in command of a Swift boat and his subsequent activities as an anti-war protester have engendered a good deal of controversy, especially among those who also served in Vietnam. Many Vietnam veterans were angered by Kerry's anti-war stance after he returned to the U.S., viewing his anti-war activities — particularly his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971 — as unfairly and undeservedly smearing the reputations of all who served in Vietnam.

That said, the piece quoted above, in which a variety of veterans offer their views of John Kerry, isn't really something that can evaluated as "true" or "false." It's true that the men named do exist, that they served in Vietnam, and that they made the statements attributed to them, but the substance of most of these quotes is an expression of opinion, not something objectively classifiable as right or wrong.

The important point to note here is that this piece presents only one side of the story:

* Although the men quoted above are often identified as "John Kerry's shipmates," only one of them, Steven Gardner, actually served under Lt. Kerry's command on a Swift boat. The other men who served under Kerry's command continue to speak positively of him:

"In 1969, I was Sen. Kerry's gun mate atop of the Swift boat in Vietnam. And I just wanted to let everyone know that, contrary to all the rumors that you might hear from the other side, Sen. Kerry's blood is red, not blue. I know, I've seen it.

"If it weren't for Sen. John Kerry, on the 28th of February 1969, the day he won the Silver Star . . . you and I would not be having this conversation. My name would be on a long, black wall in Washington, D.C. I saw this man save my life."3

— Fred Short

"I can still see him now, standing in the doorway of the pilothouse, firing his M-16, shouting orders through the smoke and chaos . . . Even wounded, or confronting sights no man should ever have to see, he never lost his cool.

I had to sit on my hands [after a firefight], I was shaking so hard . . . He went to every man on that boat and put his arm around them and asked them how they're doing. I've never had an officer do that before or since. That's the mettle of the man, John Kerry."3

— David Alston

"What I saw back then [in Vietnam] was a guy with genuine caring and leadership ability who was aggressive when he had to be. What I see now is a guy who's not afraid to tackle tough issues. And he knows what the consequences are of putting people's kids in harm's way."2

— James Wasser

* Many of Kerry's Vietnam commanders and fellow officers also continue to speak positively of him:

Navy records, fitness reports by Kerry's commanders and scores of interviews with Swift boat officers and crewmen depict a model officer who fought aggressively in river ambushes and won the respect of many of his crewmates and commanders, even as his doubts about the war grew.

"I don't like what he said after the war," said Adrian Lonsdale, who commanded Kerry for three months in 1969. "But he was a good naval officer."2

"I don't know what conclusions you can draw about someone's ability to lead from their combat experience, but John's service was commendable," said James J. Galvin, a former Swift boat officer . . . "He played by the same rules we all did."1

* How well all of these men knew John Kerry is questionable, and discrepancies between how some of them described Kerry thirty-five years ago and how they describe him today suggest that their opinions are largely based upon political differences rather than objective assessments of Kerry's military record. For example, Rear Admiral Roy Hoffman is quoted above, yet the Los Angeles Times reported:

. . . Hoffman and Kerry had few direct dealings in Vietnam. A Los Angeles Times examination of Navy archives found that Hoffman praised Kerry's performance in cabled messages after several river skirmishes.1"

Politics should not be used to smear the reputation of an American veteran who was decorated several times in Vietnam.

But it does and it continues to be used to try to destroy an American who served his nation bravely and was decorated appropriately in Vietnam.


But there will always be people like that. People who climb out from under rocks and from spider holes, to say something nasty about someone else to advance their own political views. Damaged goods? Senator Kerry now unable to be elected? I think not.

Senator Kerry is tougher than that. He has waded through the mud of Southeast Asia, and he can handle the mud in America! Let us work to discuss issues, and not engage in the filth that has become the American political method. We may not choose to agree about policy, but let us base our political decisions on sound reasoning and not smears and innuendos.

Keep on Coming John! I have got your back.


Swift Boat Lies about Kerry!

Do we need to fight the Swift Boat Lies anymore?

Apparently there are those who wish to smear, lie, spread misinformation, and otherwise defame the Senator. They do not like his opinion about Vietnam, preferring to live in the fantasy that never was. Senator John Kerry showed courage and leadership bringing the injustices of that Southeast Asia morass to the attention of Congress and pointing out the problems of such a war. His actions with Vietnam Veterans against the War has continued to produce a reaction that has followed him since.

For those interested, here is an excerpt from on the 2004 election question:
"A group funded by the biggest Republican campaign donor in Texas began running an attack ad Aug. 5 in which former Swift Boat veterans claim Kerry lied to get one of his two decorations for bravery and two of his three purple hearts.
But the veterans who accuse Kerry are contradicted by Kerry's former crewmen, and by Navy records.

One of the accusers says he was on another boat "a few yards" away during the incident which won Kerry the Bronze Star, but the former Army lieutenant whom Kerry plucked from the water that day backs Kerry's account. In an Aug. 10 opinion piece in the conservative Wall Street Journal , Rassmann (a Republican himself) wrote that the ad was "launched by people without decency" who are "lying" and "should hang their heads in shame."

And on Aug. 19, Navy records came to light also contradicting the accusers. One of the veterans who says Kerry wasn't under fire was himself awarded a Bronze Star for aiding others "in the face of enemy fire" during the same incident."

Another report from the Boston Globe relates the retraction of a Swift Boater who realized that what was being done was entirely political, that those who sought to attack Senator Kerry besmirched the reputation of every American veteran.

As noted:

"Veteran retracts criticism of Kerry

By Michael Kranish, Globe Staff | August 6, 2004

WASHINGTON -- A week after Senator John F. Kerry heralded his wartime experience by surrounding himself at the Democratic convention with his Vietnam ''Band of Brothers," a separate group of veterans has launched a television ad campaign and a book that questions the basis for some of Kerry's combat medals.

But yesterday, a key figure in the anti-Kerry campaign, Kerry's former commanding officer, backed off one of the key contentions. Lieutenant Commander George Elliott said in an interview that he had made a ''terrible mistake" in signing an affidavit that suggests Kerry did not deserve the Silver Star -- one of the main allegations in the book. The affidavit was given to The Boston Globe by the anti-Kerry group to justify assertions in their ad and book.

Elliott is quoted as saying that Kerry ''lied about what occurred in Vietnam . . . for example, in connection with his Silver Star, I was never informed that he had simply shot a wounded, fleeing Viet Cong in the back."

The statement refers to an episode in which Kerry killed a Viet Cong soldier who had been carrying a rocket launcher, part of a chain of events that formed the basis of his Silver Star. Over time, some Kerry critics have questioned whether the soldier posed a danger to Kerry's crew. Crew members have said Kerry's actions saved their lives.

Yesterday, reached at his home, Elliott said he regretted signing the affidavit and said he still thinks Kerry deserved the Silver Star.

''I still don't think he shot the guy in the back," Elliott said. ''It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here."

Elliott said he was no under personal or political pressure to sign the statement, but he did feel ''time pressure" from those involved in the book. ''That's no excuse," Elliott said. ''I knew it was wrong . . . In a hurry I signed it and faxed it back. That was a mistake."

The affidavit also contradicted earlier statements by Elliott, who came to Boston during Kerry's 1996 Senate campaign to defend Kerry on similar charges, saying that Kerry acted properly and deserved the Silver Star.

The book, ''Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry," is to be published next week. Yesterday it reached number one on the bestseller list on, based on advance orders, in part because of publicity about it on the Drudge Report.

The book seeks to undermine one of the central claims of Kerry's campaign -- that his Vietnam War heroism would make him a good commander in chief.

While the Regnery Publishing yesterday declined to release an advance copy of the book, Drudge's website quotes it as saying, ''Elliott indicates that a Silver Star recommendation would not have been made by him had he been aware of the actual facts."

Meanwhile, a television advertising campaign began yesterday featuring many of the anti-Kerry veterans who are quoted in the book, including Elliott. In the ad, Elliott says, ''John Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam."

Asked to supply evidence to support that statement, the anti-Kerry group provided a copy of Elliott's affidavit. Elliott said the same affidavit had been used in the production of the book.

It is unclear whether the work contains further justification for the assertion, beyond Elliott's statement.

Kerry won the Silver Star for his action on Feb. 28, 1969, in which he shot a Viet Cong soldier who had been carrying a rocket launcher and running toward a hut. All of Kerry's crewmates who participated and are still living said in interviews last year that the action was necessary and appropriate, and it was Elliott who recommended Kerry for the Silver Star.

In an interview for a seven-part biographical series that appeared in the Globe last year, Kerry said: ''I don't have a second's question" about killing the Viet Cong. ''He was running away with a live B-40, and, I thought, poised to turn around and fire it."

Asked whether that meant that he had shot the guerrilla in the back, Kerry said, ''No, absolutely not," adding that the enemy had been running to a hut for cover, where he could have destroyed Kerry's boat and killed the crew.

The forthcoming book is coauthored by Jerome R. Corsi and John O'Neill, a former Vietnam naval officer who in 1971 debated Kerry on the Dick Cavett show, challenging Kerry's assertion that US atrocities had been widespread in Vietnam. O'Neill met with then-President Richard M. Nixon for an hour before debating Kerry, and his efforts were encouraged by Nixon's aides.

O'Neill could not be reached for comment yesterday. President Bush's campaign denied working with O'Neill on the book or with the producers of the television advertisement.

Meanwhile, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, urged Bush yesterday to disassociate himself from what he called a ''dishonest and dishonorable" attack. In response, the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said, ''We have not and we will not question Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam."

The Associated Press reported yesterday that Houston home-builder Bob J. Perry, a major Republican donor, gave at least $100,000 to the organization sponsoring the ad, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

The Kerry campaign spokesman, Michael Meehan, said none of those in the ad had served on a boat with Kerry. ''Some of these men defended John Kerry's honor on his military record in 1996 and so they were either lying then or lying now," Meehan said. ''Either way, it is gutter politics."

The book also raises questions about the action of March 13, 1969, for which Kerry was awarded a Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart, according to an advance chapter of the book.

The anti-Kerry group provided three affidavits from veterans on nearby boats questioning aspects of the award.

On that day, Kerry rescued James Rassmann, who went overboard as a result of an explosion. Rassmann appeared by Kerry's side during the Iowa caucus campaign and at last week's Democratic National Convention, telling the story of how Kerry pulled him out of the water while his boat was under fire.

As in the case of the Silver Star, it was Elliott who recommended Kerry for the Bronze Star. According to the recommendation signed by Elliott, a mine exploded under a boat accompanying Kerry's craft.

''Almost simultaneously, another mine detonated close aboard [Kerry's] PCF-94, knocking First Lieutenant Rassman [sic] into the water and wounding Lt. JG Kerry in the right arm."

Elliott then described how Kerry ''managed to pull Lt. Rassman aboard despite the painful wound in his right arm." Elliott concluded that Kerry had been ''calm, professional, and highly courageous in the face of enemy fire."

Elliott, in the interview yesterday, said that based on the affidavits of the veterans on other boats, he now thinks his assessment about the Bronze Star and third Purple Heart may have been based on poor information.

In one affidavit, for example, Van O'Dell, who said he had been in a boat near Kerry on that day, declared that Kerry had ''lied" about what happened on that day and said that Rassmann was not under enemy fire when Kerry pulled him aboard.

Elliott, asked about the contradiction between his recommendation and his new questioning of Kerry's third Purple Heart, responded, ''It makes me look kind of silly, to be perfectly honest."

But he said: ''I simply have no reason for these guys to be lying, and if they are lying in concert, it is one hell of a conspiracy. So, on the basis of all of the information that has come out, I have chosen to believe the other men. I absolutely do not know first hand."

Naval documents said that Kerry ''received shrapnel wounds in left buttocks and contusions on right forearm when a mine detonated close to PCF 94 while engaged in operations on river. Condition and prognosis excellent. Result of hostile action."

Rassmann, reached by telephone yesterday, said he has never had any question that Kerry deserved the Purple Heart. He said there were two separate events: One was earlier in the day, when he and Kerry blew up a rice cache, and the explosion caused some of the rice to hit Kerry, and perhaps some weapon fragments as well. The second involved a mine explosion as Kerry and Rassmann were on patrol. The explosion, Rassmann said, knocked him overboard and threw Kerry against the pilot house, injuring his arm.

Rassmann said that he has always believed that Kerry got the third Purple Heart solely for the injury to his arm as a result of the explosion in the water.

''If he got fragments in the buttocks due to the mine, that is new information to me," Rassmann said.

''I would say there is confusion. Maybe they did lump it together. It was my understanding he got it for the wound being thrown across the pilot house."

Either way, Rassmann said, Kerry deserved the third Purple Heart because such awards are given for injuries incurred in combat, and Kerry's arm injury qualified. He also stood by his recollection that he was under fire when rescued by Kerry.

Those questioning Kerry's medals, Rassmann said, are ''angry about John speaking out against the [Vietnam] war."
Those that attempt to discredit Senator Kerry are acting in a shameful and unAmerican fashion.

They do not like what Senator Kerry had to say about Vietnam.

They do not like what Senator Kerry has to say today about Iraq.

But America needs his courage, his leadership, and his ability to turn his boat into the face of hostile fire. America does not need another 'swell guy' who would be great to have a beer with. America needs Senator Kerry and this blogger pledges to stand with him.


"How Kerry got his Decorations"

It is shameful the depth that some people will go continuing to try to destroy the reputations of decorated American Veterans.

Right here on this blog, I have a "swift-boater" who continues to try to drag down Senator Kerry's record.

Let's make something clear right now. Senator Kerry served in Vietnam. He was wounded in Vietnam. He was decorated in Vietnam. Those that criticize Senator Kerry have been silent when draft dodgers and deferment recipients declare war on lies and send more Americans to their unneeded deaths.

And when he came back to America, he testified to Congress about why Vietnam was the wrong war for America. He criticized what American soldiers did in Vietnam. We have plenty of evidence that atrocities occurred in Vietnam. Just as we know about atrocities in Iraq and elsewhere.

John Kerry had the courage to stand up to those who would advocate more Americans dying for a mistake. He has the courage today. And I support him for President for that reason.

The following article was published in Time in 2004:
"Sunday, May 2, 2004
How Kerry Earned His Decorations

Kerry is one of the Senate's most decorated veterans — though he has far fewer medals than friend John McCain — and his record is impressive for an officer who spent just 10 months in Vietnam. Each of the medals below came with a matching ribbon. Kerry wore his ribbons when he testified before a Senate committee in 1971; the next day, joining hundreds of other vets, he lobbed them at the Capitol.

Silver Star
What is it for? Gallantry in action

Why did Kerry get it? Kerry led three swift boats up a canal on Feb. 28, 1969, and ordered a daring attack on Viet Cong positions. When his boat took rocket fire, Kerry directed his crew to head straight for the beach, taking the guerrilla with the rocket launcher by surprise. Kerry jumped ashore and killed him

Bronze Star
What is it for? Heroic or meritorious service

Why did Kerry get it? On the Bay Hap River on March 13, 1969, a mine exploded under Kerry's boat, driving shrapnel into his arm and knocking Green Beret Jim Rassmann overboard. Despite heavy fire, Kerry turned the boat around and pulled Rassmann back on board with his good arm

Purple Heart
What is it for? Being wounded in action

Why did Kerry get it? He earned three Purple Hearts (the second and third are represented by gold stars), all for shrapnel wounds. His arm was scratched during a night patrol in December 1968. His left thigh was hit during a V.C. attack in February 1969. The March 13 injury, his third, entitled him to return home, and he did

Combat Action Ribbon
What is it for? Ground combat while serving in the Navy

Why did Kerry get it? As the commander of a Navy swift boat, he went ashore several times in pursuit of Viet Cong

Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon
What is it for? Heroism of a unit in combat

Why did Kerry get it? For participating in Operation Swift Raider, a campaign of boat attacks on enemy strongholds and sanctuaries

Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon
What is it for? Heroism of a unit

Why did Kerry get it? For participating in the Rach Gia interdiction, river patrols aimed at stopping Viet Cong infiltration from Cambodia

National Defense Service Medal
What is it for? Honorable active-duty service

Why did Kerry get it? For his service on the U.S.S. Gridley, a guided-missile frigate, from 1967 to 1968

Vietnam Service Medal
What is it for? Six months service in the Vietnam conflict

Why did Kerry get it? For his tour on the Gridley, which supported an aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin

Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross
What is it for? Awarded by South Vietnam to U.S. units for valorous combat achievements

Why did Kerry get it? For service on the swift boats

Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions
What is it for? Awarded by South Vietnam to U.S. units for meritorious civil-action service

Why did Kerry get it? For service on the swift boats

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
What is it for? Awarded by South Vietnam for six-months service in Vietnam

Why did Kerry get it? For his tour of duty aboard the Gridley."

Thank you John Kerry for Serving America!

America needs your leadership now as much as in 2004! Keep on Coming John!

We have got your back.


Friday, December 29, 2006

A Time for Political "Sportsmanship"!

It is unfortunate that Americans have accepted the smear, the inuendo, and even the lies that destroyed Senator Kerry's campaign for the Presidency in 2004.

I recently submitted a column to the Ketchikan, Alaska SitNews site, which I would like to share with you regarding sportsmanship and what we can learn from our children and from Soccer.

"December 29, 2006

I learned a lot about sportsmanship watching my son and daughters play soccer. I recall the first time I saw a player injured on the team that didn't have possession of the ball and the team that did have the ball intentionally kick the ball out of bounds to stop the clock and allow medical assistance on the field. After that, the opposing team, in a sense of fair-play would throw the ball back in to the team that had the ball in the first place--their opponents. Even in soccer, winning wasn't everything. From time to time players and teams would know that the health of a player was of greater importance than winning at that moment.

Why is it then that we as adults cannot learn from soccer players a little bit of political sportsmanship when one of our leaders is injured or is suffering from a life-threatening illness?

Recently Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota, a Democrat, suffered from an intra-cranial hemorrhage due to a congenital malformation of the blood vessels in his brain. Speculation has been rampant about the possibility of him dying or resigning and then the Governor, who for South Dakota, Mike Rounds, is a Republican, would have the opportunity of appointing a fellow Republican shifting the power of the Senate back to the Republican Party--all on the basis of a hemorrhagic stroke.

Coincidentally, a Republican Senator also is dealing with a life-threatening illness that was discovered after the November election. Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming was discovered to have Acute Myelogenous Leukemia shortly after the most recent November election. This possibly fatal disease would also result in the Democratic Governor of Wyoming, David Freudenthal, having the opportunity of shifting power towards the Democrats if in the event of Thomas' death or resignation, he needed to appoint a replacement.

Is this what Democracy is about? That we should ever be interested in the demise of an elected official so that our political party might advance their influence? Should we ever permit a system that discourages an individual suffering with disease to stay in office just to preserve his or her party's power in government?

It is time for a little political sportsmanship. Whenever any elected official, regardless of their political persuasion, takes ill, we should all be wishing for the speedy recovery of that person and should never be speculating about the effects of their demise. If they are a Democrat, let's replace them with a Democrat; same if they are Republican. Let them know that they may not worry about the political effect of their illness; there won't be any political gain or loss associated with Cancer, or Stroke, heart attack, or auto accident.

Let us take the ghoulish out of American politics today! Let us learn from our children and our sportsmen. Whenever an opposing political player is injured or ill, let the party with the 'ball' feel free to kick it out of bounds, knowing that the party who regains the ball will once again return it to the other side. Care of the injured, and concern about the well-being of our leaders is more important than political gain.

America can do better! And it is time for our leaders to learn that lesson.

Robert Freedland"

There have been those in America who choose to spend time destroying the men and women who seek higher office who do not share their particular political views. Attacks have been made quite successfully against Senator Al Gore, Senator John Kerry, and more recently, against Senator Hillary Clinton.

Many of us have chosen to "blame the victim", instead of dealing with this insidious development in American politics today. We assume something is indeed wrong with these people; we are easily convinced that we shouldn't support people like this, instead searching for somebody who can be "elected".

I reject these false assumptions.

America needs greatness in leadership. We cannot allow our political opponents to define who we are and determine our choice of leaders.

Senator Kerry continues to be the most qualified of all of the potential candidates in the Democratic field for President. He thus receives the greatest level of attacks from his opponents who try to bury him under the mud.

Kerry has walked through mud before. He has been decorated in combat going through the mud of Vietnam. He has the strength and the determination to make an outstanding President. But he cannot do it alone.

Do not accept the dictates of our political opponents who will part the sea to allow the least electable among the Democrats to advance. Stand with Senator Kerry.

America needs new leadership now more than ever.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

If you haven't had a chance to see this video, well enjoy it today! From Youtube that great new phenomenon!

Thanks for visiting John Kerry for President 2008 this year!


Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Time of War, And a Time of Peace

Heraclitus (c. 535-475 BC) the Greek philosopher is attributed with the famous quote,

"Nothing endures but change."
A more famous interpretation of the need for different approaches at different times comes right from the Bible, Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, where it is written:
3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

3:5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

3:6 A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

3:7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

    In other words, the world that we live in is full of change. Changing economic situations, changing political arrangements, and yes changing military involvements.

    It is a wise man that can admit his errors. It is a fool who persists in making the same mistake over and over in order to deny his own fallibility.

    Senator Kerry has written a wonderful piece in the Washington Post about change. About "flipping for a flop". Kerry, paraphrasing his own Winter Soldier Testimony writes:
    "I'd rather explain a change of position any day than look a parent in the eye and tell them that their son or daughter had to die so that a broken policy could live."
    Kerry criticizes this Administration's "stay the course" strategy by noting:
    "Changing tactics in the face of changing conditions on the ground, developing new strategies because the old ones don't work, is a hell of a lot smarter than the insanity of doing the same thing over and over again with the same tragic results."
    "The Iraq Study Group tells us that "the situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating." It joins the chorus of experts in and outside of Baghdad reminding us that there is no military solution to a political crisis. And yet, over the warnings of former secretary of state Colin Powell, Gen. John Abizaid and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington is considering a "troop buildup" option, sending more troops into harm's way to referee a civil war."
    Senator Kerry goes on to comment on his advocacy for negotiations with all of the parties in the region. Discussion is not capitulation.

    Thank you Senator Kerry for your continued service to this nation. We need your voice in America now more than any recent moment in history. We need your experience, your insight, and your committment to an America which values peace, believes in a strong military, but is always prepared to try diplomacy before military intervention.

    Keep on coming John! We have got your back!


    Thursday, December 21, 2006


    Unlike some blogs, I have left comments open to the public. On rare occasions I have deleted comments that were of excessive length or simply inappropriate or off-topic. But for the most part, I give readers the opportunity
    to sound-off and put their own 2 cents into the discussion.

    Some people have written things like "are you kidding?" or "is this some sort of satire?" as if anyone with any brains would know what a 'joke' Senator Kerry was. Perhaps if you watched him botch the joke about 'getting stuck in Iraq' you would clearly know that he was not Presidential material. Any Presidential candidate, I guess, must have the ease of David Letterman or the wit of Johnny Carson.

    But I am not joking.

    It isn't funny what is happening in America.

    Guantanamo wasn't a joke.

    Haditha doesn't keep me up late laughing.

    Abu Ghraib didn't tickle my funny bone.

    Katrina didn't make me chuckle.

    Ignoring the FISA Courts didn't leave me rolling in the aisles.

    Editing Global Warming reports by lobbyists who leave to work for Exxon wasn't amusing.

    Signing statements aren't exactly great 'punch lines'.

    Phoney reporters in the White House Press pool wasn't entertaining.

    Outing a CIA Agent wasn't good for a laugh.

    Lying to get us into a war and fixing facts wasn't a great late night stand-up routine.

    "What's a little dunk" and Americans endorsing torture doesn't bring a smile to my face.

    Extraordinary Rendition of individuals from the United States to third world countries wouldn't make a great humor story.

    The Mexico City Policy that denies financial support to African women who are at risk because the clinic mentioned abortion doesn't make me grab my ribs in glee.

    A stem cell policy that requires fertility labs to throw unused frozen embryos into the garbage instead of using them to research into the causes of Parkinson's or cures for spinal cord injuries is not what I would call a great "ha ha ha".

    No these things don't give me a big HO HO HO this Holiday Season.

    So I am not joking. And I am not laughing.

    I am still angry that America failed to see the wisdom of electing Senator John Kerry as President. I suspect he would have even won Ohio if voters weren't stripped from the rolls, if all of the voting machines worked as they should have, and if every voter had access to voting machines without having them limited in certain areas. But that is another story. Much like how Al Gore should have won Florida.

    John Kerry was right and is right on the issues facing America. Issues that aren't funny. Issues that reach into the very core of what America means.

    I supported Kerry in 2004. I shall continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with him as long as he is interested in the job for 2008. There is no candidate better suited and more qualified to lead us through these difficult times!

    Keep on Coming John!


    The Minimum President

    As reported:
    "Washington - President Bush endorsed one of the Democrats' top priorities for the new Congress, a $2.10-an-hour minimum wage increase - and on a faster timetable than they have proposed.

    But his support comes with a catch.

    Bush said at a Wednesday news conference that any pay hike should be accompanied by tax and regulatory relief for small businesses, potentially a tough sell for Democrats, who are about to reassume control of the House and Senate."

    Senator Kennedy commented on the President's offer:

    "Minimum wage workers have waited almost 10 long years for an increase..."

    But it really isn't about an increase for the minimum wage worker. It is about an adjustment for inflation. Those at the bottom rung aren't earning the same as 10 years ago. They are earning less. And the disparity in America continues to worsen as this President, as his comment indicates, feels no obligation to help the poor unless he can get something in return for those in far less need of financial assistance: small business owners.

    As reported by the Economist this year:

    "Even in a country that tolerates inequality, political consequences follow when the rising tide raises too few boats. The impact of stagnant wages has been dulled by rising house prices, but still most Americans are unhappy about the economy. According to the latest Gallup survey, fewer than four out of ten think it is in “excellent” or “good” shape, compared with almost seven out of ten when George Bush took office.

    The White House professes to be untroubled. Average after-tax income per person, Mr Bush often points out, has risen by more than 8% on his watch, once inflation is taken into account. He is right, but his claim is misleading, since the median worker—the one in the middle of the income range—has done less well than the average, whose gains are pulled up by the big increases of those at the top."

    Last month's retail sales figures gave a bleak picture of what is happening in America.

    As reported in the December 1st Chicago Tribune:

    "Wal-Mart posted a same-store sales decline of 0.1 percent in November from the year-ago period, the second month in a row of virtually unchanged sales. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company predicts that same-store sales will continue virtually unchanged for December at flat to a 1 percent gain. Sales at stores open at least a year are a key barometer of a retailer's health."

    But things are doing much better for stores that cater to wealthier customers and not the hard-scrapple population that depends on Wal-Mart.

    The report continues:

    "Discounters in general fared poorly in November, with the exception of Minneapolis-based Target Corp., which caters to higher-income shoppers. Sales at stores open at least one year at Target rose 5.9 percent. Dollar General Corp. rose 2.2 percent and Family Dollar Stores rose 2.5 percent.

    Gap Inc. also had a difficult month with same-store sales down 8 percent.

    Upscale stores fared better. Sales at Saks Inc. rose 7.2 percent, Nordstrom Inc. rose 5.4 percent and Federated Department Stores Inc., owner of Macy's, rose 8.5 percent.

    Tiffany & Co., the world's largest luxury jeweler, said earlier this week that holiday sales are exceeding expectations; it raised its annual profit forecast based on demand for $20,000 rings and necklaces.

    Same-store sales at U.S. luxury retail stores will jump 6 percent in November and December combined from a year ago, the shopping center council saud. That's better than the 4 percent gain the trade group predicts for department stores, 2.5 percent for discounters and 1 percent for apparel chains.

    At Mark Shale, the high-end apparel store owned by Woodridge-based Al Baskin Co., sales have been "very good" in October and November, without markdowns, President Scott Baskin said.

    "My read is that the better sector is doing OK and the moderate sector isn't," he said."

    You know. The rich are getting richer and the poor should just stop complaining about their poor treatment at the hands of the wealthy, or in this case the Republican leadership!

    And by the way Mr. President, requiring businesses to pay higher wages might add to our income tax receipts. And if they don't they still are the right thing to be doing.

    And you do realize that cutting taxes might just possibly add to the fiscal crisis facing this nation.

    As reported by MacLeans:

    "The Bush administration has a standard answer for this critique. In a time of war, they say, budget overruns are the inevitable cost of defending freedom and democracy at home and abroad. But that no longer holds water with Washington's budget hawks. They point out that federal spending has risen by $683 billion a year under Bush, less than a third of which has gone to national defence and homeland security.

    As a result, the U.S. national debt has surged from $5.7 trillion in the last fiscal year before Bush took office, to over $8.3 trillion and counting. Brian Riedl, a budget analyst with the right-wing Heritage Foundation, says the Bush administration has played the benevolent uncle to every special interest that comes calling, using its spending power to win support in potentially vulnerable constituencies. The No Child Left Behind education bill, for example, was aimed at suburban families; the farm bill at Midwest rural voters; and the prescription drug benefit at the most active voting bloc of all, seniors. "No president since FDR has accelerated spending as fast as Bush has," he groans. "I'm shocked about it, but the numbers show what the numbers show.""

    No Mr. President, not every tax cut is good for America.

    And No Mr. President, not every upward adjustment of the minimum wage is bad for business.

    And No Mr. President, being a compassionate conservative does not mean keeping poor people back.

    America needs new leadership in the White House. Things would be so different if Kerry had won in 2004 and if he succeeds in 2008, America will once again have a new direction!

    Keep on coming John! We have got your back!


    Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    Kerry to Tour Middle East: Developing Iraq Strategy!

    As more evidence of Senator John Kerry's continued interest in the 2008 elections, it was recently reported that he is planning to travel through the mid-east, meeting heads of state in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel. Kerry is continuing to "do his homework" to get us all unstuck from the morass of Iraq!
    "Kerry says, "The Mideast policy as a whole is in tatters, and the situation is getting more dangerous, and there is a lot that's at play."

    "This is the most compelling and important issue on the table today: the war on terror, how it would more properly be fought."

    Kerry will visit Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel, and in an unlikely move, will meet with the head of state in all of those countries.

    According to the Boston Globe, Kerry said he plans to venture outside the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad to talk to U.S. troops stationed in more volatile parts of the country, including the "Sunni Triangle."

    Thank you Senator Kerry! The naysayers and critics are outnumbered by those of us who appreciate your sincere effort, real experience, and idealism that motivates you in these difficult hours facing America! We have got your back John!


    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Literacy Associated with Support for John Kerry!

    Not a big surprise for me.

    Always seemed like it was obvious that if you read the news, kept up with world events, and had a good education, you would be supporting Senator Kerry!

    Now comes this story from USA Today on America's "Most Literate Cities".

    They report:
    "•The most literate cities also tend to be more liberal, a
    comparison with voter preferences in the 2004 presidential election suggests.
    Miller found that cities that voted for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in general
    rank higher than cities that voted for President Bush. The average ranking for
    Kerry-voting cities is 27, vs. 51 for cities that voted heavily for Bush.
    (Voting preferences for cities were provided by the California-based Bay Area
    Center for Voting Research.)
    Also, Kerry-leaning cities rank higher in five
    of the six categories. The one exception: Cities that favored Bush rank higher
    in average education levels."

    So I guess, to paraphrase that now famous line, 'If you work hard, do your homework, and study..." you are likely to support Senator John Kerry for President!

    Keep on coming John! You have an important message for America. There are those who would like to see your leadership unavailable to America. But don't worry, they probably haven't been reading much.


    Monday, December 11, 2006

    Dave Johnson and James Boyce Get It "Right" on Kerry!

    Why should I be staying with Kerry? Don't I realize that he "can't win". That he "speaks poorly" as I have been told. That he is "indecisive".

    Because these are all lies and smears.

    Because Senator John Kerry got it right in Vietnam. He gets it right on the Environment. And he gets it right on Iraq long before everyone else got it. He understands what real family values are. He respects the dignity of every American and can distinguish between Science and Religious dogma.

    We are living in the Orwellian world of doublespeak. We are told lies and made to believe that truth must be incorrect.

    It was therefore refreshing to turn to the Huffington Post this afternoon and read the wise words of Dave Johnson and James Boyce.

    They write about Senator Obama and ask:

    "With complete respect to Senator Obama, where are the long-time Democratic leaders who have dedicated their lives to the service of our country? Where are the other possible Presidential contenders? What about Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry? Where are Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid? Are they not leaders that deserve at the very least to have decent favorability ratings?

    Why is Barack Obama "favorable" and not any of the better-known Democratic leaders? And why - of all people is Rudy Guiliani at the top of the list as the Number One leader in our country? The answer is simple, and dramatic.

    This favorability poll proves the power of the Right Wing's ongoing and successful strategy of "SELL and SMEAR."

    Of course, pundits and commentators fell over themselves to see who could be the first or the wittiest in their ridiculing of John Kerry for his place finish. They pondered Guiliani's victory and Senator Obama's high rating. But they missed the point.

    With concentrated and coordinated efforts between the conservative movement organizations, political leaders and the press, we have been SOLD the myth of Rudy Guiliani as a strong leader just as they've SMEARED John Kerry to the point where he is, sadly, damaged goods contemplating the potential end of a thirty-plus year career of service.

    Three Democratic leaders on the poll have faced the full wrath of the smear machine, two as the Democratic Presidential Nominee, the third as co-target of the attacks on President Clinton. And where are Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton? All are near the bottom of the rankings with favorability of under 50%. That is the power of the smear machine. This is what the machine does to our leaders - the leaders of the party of the people. It smears and attacks and destroys them."

    They create a hypothetical and suggest you go to a dinner party and state:

    "John Kerry is an authentic American war hero."

    Watch the reaction. At best, people will acknowledge that he served. At worst, they will laugh at you. But he is. If anyone can claim to be an authentic American war hero it's John Kerry. He volunteered for the Navy out of Yale. He volunteered for Vietnam. He volunteered for Swift Boat duty. He was wounded three times and received three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star with Combat V.

    Wait a minute. We know what you're thinking. But call anyone you know who has served in combat with the Navy, in World War II, in Vietnam or since. And ask them: does the Navy just hand out Purple Hearts like jelly beans? They'll laugh at you and tell you 'Of course not. There are procedures and paperwork.' No one gave those medals to John Kerry - he earned them. He is a war hero. But people "just don't like him."

    But the American public has been lead like sheep to slaughter. We have given up our leaders as we become convinced that they are no longer "electable". Get a "Red State Governor" is the common call. How could a Senator ever get elected? Especially from Massachusetts!

    They continue:

    "Now we are seeing the same pattern repeated with another 2008 hopeful, Senator Hillary Clinton. Every single American should have a favorable impression of Senator Clinton, regardless of whether or not they are supporting her as a potential candidate.

    Hillary Clinton is the first woman in our nation's history, the very first, to have a legitimate shot at becoming President. She is an inspiration. She has the chance to make history. And yet, we repeat the Right Wing talking points about her. We say that she is "polarizing." And we say that she is "hated in her own party." And then there's that omnipresent, "I don't know, I just don't like her."

    What about the image of the Democratic Party itself?

    Have you ever wondered how exactly it is that the Democrats are perceived as "weak on defense" when Nixon was the one who surrendered in Vietnam, and Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy were Democrats? When so many of the leadership and candidates of the Democratic Party are veterans while so few of the Republicans are?

    Did you know that George McGovern was a World War II bomber pilot? And remember, in the debate on Iraq, we have John Kerry, Jack Murtha, Max Cleland, Joe Sestak, Chris Carney, Patrick Murphy, Richard Holbrooke, Wesley Clark, and more - all veterans. Our party collects war heroes as leaders. Their leaders collect deferments. And yet? They're perceived as the party of National Security. Why? Because they have spent billions telling us that it is so.

    Look at any stock market or economic historic growth charts. The second half of the 1990s, under the leadership of Bill Clinton and brilliant business minds like Bob Rubin and Erskine Bowles, gave us a time of incredible growth. And historically Democratic Presidencies have higher economic and stock market growth. And Democrats reduce budget deficits while Republican increase them. Yet people perceive that Democrats are bad for the economy? Why? Because they've spent billions telling us that it is so."

    Because they tell us that it is so!

    Oh I know, we haven't been struck again since 9/11 have we? We are told by the media that Republicans are good for defense. But it was a Republican President who failed to act when warned about Osama bin Laden. It was a Republican Administration that failed to catch Osama at Tora Bora when he was in the caves. We sent our surrogates in after him!

    As for Senator Kerry:

    "Imagine if John Kerry had been President the last two years. The Iraq Study Group's proposals contain many of the elements of John Kerry's 2004 Iraq plan he championed during the campaign. Would we be further along the road to a resolution in Iraq?


    They conclude:

    "Finally, back to Senator Barack Obama. Or is that "Balak HUSSEIN Osama" - as some Right Wing commentators are saying it already? What will happen when he faces the wrath of the Right's machine? Will we still love him then?

    Will our fellow Americans start saying, "I don't know, I just don't like him." Will we let him be smeared? Will we let Senator Clinton and Vice President Gore be smeared again? Will we let John Kerry's legacy be destroyed?

    The answer has to be a resounding no. The Right's $mear machine is one of the most powerful, destructive and pervasive forces of our time. It has to be understood for what it is, fought back against, exposed and destroyed. Not just for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, and everyone else who will or has faced its wrath. But for us, our children, our future and most importantly, our democracy."

    This is a battle for the survival of our nation. For true Democracy that includes real votes with the ability to do recounts. True Democracy that punishes those who strip citizens of their right to vote by removing them from the voter rolls.

    Is Senator Kerry damaged goods? It will take more than a smear to stop this Senator. But he cannot do it alone! We must elect our most-qualified leader as President. It is John Kerry who has the Vietnam experience to know it is time to stop sending Americans to die for a mistake! It is John Kerry who understands the importance of dealing with our allies, protecting our environment, and supporting women's issues.

    Keep on Coming John! We have got your back!


    Monday, December 04, 2006

    Mark Barrett Gets it Right on John Kerry!

    Kudos to Mark Barrett who writes about Senator Kerry:

    For the past four years now, the best voice on Iraq has been John Kerry. Starting with his floor statement on the Iraq War Resolution vote, through his opposition to the launch of the war before Bush pulled the trigger, right up to today, nobody has been more consistently accurate and engaged about what to do about Iraq than John Kerry.

    But we can’t say that. We can’t notice that one person, again and again, gets it right.


    Well, to begin with, he voted for the IWR. In the shorthand used by the brain-dead people who cover politics, that’s equivalent to voting for the war even though there was no actual vote to start the war. George Bush pulled the trigger on his own. But that’s too complicated for the pundits, so they simply say that John Kerry voted for the war, and of course anybody who voted for this war isn’t somebody we should listen to.

    There’s also the fact that he lost to George Bush in 2004. Never mind the context, the Republican prostitution of 9/11, the cynical $300 tax cuts handed out to every voter, the slanderous attacks on Senator Kerry’s war record, and most importantly the wholesale lies told by the Bush administration about their own failing war policy. John Kerry lost the election, so that means he’s a loser. And we don’t take advice from losers in this country. We take advice from winners like George Bush.

    More recently of course there’s the botched joke. Never mind that it was a mugging by the Bush administration and a piling on by the press that turned the story into a front-page saga. How dare John Kerry defend his good name? We don’t take advice from people who aren’t willing to have their noses rubbed in filth whenever the President and the press decide they need a break from confronting the realities of the Iraq War.

    Then there’s the 2008 election, and how other candidates might not fare too well in comparison with Senator Kerry’s engagement on the issue. Hillary Clinton spent most of the past three years in hiding. Barack Obama didn’t have to vote on the IWR, but he and his disciples will tell you he was against the war from the beginning. Same goes for Al Gore. Those are all people we need to protect, and we can’t protect them if we notice that John Kerry has been right about Iraq while they’ve been playing politics.

    Maybe the worst crime John Kerry has committed, however, is that he’s answered the questions people have asked in the context of the moment. And that’s a very serious crime. That’s a flip-flopper’s attitude, unlike the cool-hand certainty and unshakeable resolve of our victorious decider, George Bush. Unbelievably, John Kerry keeps modifying his advice as the facts change on the ground, which is obviously a sign of weakness and indecision. Why is it so hard for John Kerry to do what George Bush did and pick one inviolate course of action that’s perfect for every possible situation?

    Finally, we can’t notice that John Kerry gets it right more than he gets it wrong because we don’t want him to run for president again. He had his chance, and now it’s time to pick somebody new that can help us forget about how right John Kerry was when we decided not to elect him in 2004. He’s not saying that himself, of course, because he’s focused on bringing the troops home and finding a political solution to the problem. But most of us here in the United States really haven’t felt the effects of the war, so we’re much more concerned with how we can get a good, guilt-free night of sleep. And we can’t do that if John Kerry doesn’t go away and let us forget.

    So let’s just keep saying that nobody’s willing to have a serious discussion about Iraq, so we don’t have to notice that John Kerry has been having a serious discussion for four years, and getting it right all along. Let’s just keep saying there’s nobody who knows what’s going on or what to do about it, because that means we don’t have to know what’s going on or what to do about it.

    And isn’t that the easy way out of Iraq we’ve all been looking for?

    – Mark Barrett

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    Republican AIDS Policies Hurt Women!

    President George W. Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary celebrate World AIDS Day on Friday, December 1, 2006.

    President Bush stated:
    "It's a day, as well, for the United States to remember that we have a duty to do something about this epidemic _ this pandemic," Bush said about the disease, which has killed 25 million people."

    While some of the funds from the United States have indeed been helpful to third world nations trying to cope with this medical disaster, many of America's policies have continued to hurt the poorest of the poor in Africa: African women struggling to obtain health care in an environment of extreme poverty and exploitation.

    On January 22, 2001, as one of his very first acts as President, George W. Bush reactivated the "Mexico City Policy" that had been suspended by President Clinton with this memorandum:

    "January 22, 2001


    SUBJECT: Restoration of the Mexico City Policy

    The Mexico City Policy announced by President Reagan in 1984 required nongovernmental organizations to agree as a condition of their receipt of Federal funds that such organizations would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations. This policy was in effect until it was rescinded on January 22, 1993.

    It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or advocate or actively promote abortion, either here or abroad. It is therefore my belief that the Mexico City Policy should be restored. Accordingly, I hereby rescind the "Memorandum for the Acting Administrator of the Agency for International Development, Subject: AID Family Planning Grants/Mexico City Policy," dated January 22, 1993, and I direct the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development to reinstate in full all of the requirements of the Mexico City Policy in effect on January 19, 1993.


    # # #"

    This policy, also known as the "Global Gag Rule", has been harmful to the very people it purports to protect. As noted in this article:

    "The Gag Rule, also known as the "Mexico City Policy," denies U.S. international family planning funding to foreign non-governmental organizations that provide safe abortion services, counseling, referral, or information on safe abortion, advocate for changes in abortion law in their own country, conduct research on the effects of unsafe abortion, or otherwise work on safe abortion issues.*

    The Global Gag Rule undermines efforts to prevent unintended pregnancies in the first place by crippling family planning programs that do so much as collect data on unsafe abortion. It also hobbles efforts to address the toll taken on women's lives worldwide by complications of unsafe abortion, sexually transmitted infections, complications of labor and delivery, and other leading causes of illness and death among women worldwide. According to conservative estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 600,000 women worldwide die each year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, of which at least 78,000 women worldwide die as a result of complications of unsafe abortion in a desperate effort to terminate unintended pregnancies. In Kenya, where abortion is illegal, complications of unsafe abortion are a leading killer of married women in their twenties and thirties. The Kenya Family Planning Association lost U.S. funding because it refused to forgo the right to discuss the toll of unsafe abortion on the lives of women in Kenya. "Loss of this funding has severely undermined efforts to reduce unintended pregnancy in Kenya through expansion of voluntary family planning as well as to prevent HIV infections in women," according to Dr. Godwin Mzenge, Executive Director of Family Planning Association of Kenya."

    Shame on this President for hurting women in third world nations!

    It has been up to private individuals and foundations to help fill in the gaping holes left by the backwards American foreign policy, a policy driven by far-right religious extremists that are more concerned with religious dogma than effective public health policy. As noted by the Palm Beach Daily News last month:

    "The global gag rule prohibits the distribution of U.S. funds to any clinic that provides abortion services, referral or counseling. By law, no U.S. funds can be used to provide abortions in foreign countries.

    "The full range of reproductive health services — their family planning needs, pre- and postnatal care needs — they all get intertwined and sacrificed by this if you will," said luncheon attendee Shirine Mohagheghpourp, acting vice president of international programs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

    "The government can attach strings to the money it gives, that's perfectly fine, but now it's attaching strings to what organizations do with their own money."

    As noted, implementation of this policy has limited the utility of funds:

    "Proponents of the Bush initiative argue a three-pronged HIV prevention strategy _ emphasizing abstinence, fidelity and condom use _ offers people the best options to protect themselves from AIDS. Democrats in Congress have condemned a provision in the Bush initiative that requires that 33 percent of all money committed to prevention programs be spent to promote abstinence. That restriction, they say, has more to do with conservative ideology than scientifically proven successful programs."

    More recently, litigation against a 2003 law which requires nongovernmental organizations to pledge their opposition to prostitution as a condition for receiving funds for international anti-AIDS work has threatened the work to deal with prostitutions who often may serve as unintending vetors for this disease.

    As reported:

    "Leading US and international health agencies working to fight HIV/AIDS have recognized the crucial role sex workers play in fighting HIV/AIDS, and found that strategies that approach sex workers in a respectful and nonjudgmental manner are vital to earning the trust of sex workers and engaging them in efforts to stem the spread of HIV. Forcing NGOs to sign an official pledge opposing prostitution will impede such efforts, exacerbate existing stigma, and perpetuate discrimination against sex workers, driving them further underground and away from existing HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services."

    This is not just theoretical. As noted in this case:

    "The brief was filed in support of USAID v. DKT International. DKT International, a US-based NGO, was denied federal funding when it refused to adopt the policy because it would hamper its HIV/AIDS programs worldwide, including in countries with serious HIV/AIDS epidemics like Ethiopia, India, Brazil and Vietnam. On May 18, a federal court ruled that the pledge requirement violated fundamental free speech rights guaranteed by the US Constitution."

    This past month, President Bush continued to flaunt his right-wing fundamentalist ideology, at the expense of women, with the appointment of Dr. Eric Keroack, an Obstetrician-Gynecologist, to direct fiderally funded planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services. Keroack headed "A Woman's Concern", an organization, which according to the Washington Post:

    "A Woman's Concern is persuaded that the crass commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness," the group's Web site says."

    But some religious Conservatives are angered by the little that the Global AIDS fund is even able to accomplish with all of the strings attached by this Administration.

    As reported:

    "LAKE FOREST, Calif. -- Some leading Christian conservatives, angry over the Global Fund to Fight AIDS's promotion of condoms and its perceived lack of support for faith-based programs, are pushing Congress to cut US support for the AIDS initiative, which was initiated by President Bush in a Rose Garden ceremony five years ago with a $200 million commitment."

    So where does it all stop? When can this nation once again address medical problems from a public health perspective? Are we to slide back into the dark ages and assign God's punishment against "evil" as the explanation of disease? Are we to interfere with the public health assessment that condom usage prevents disease. That we may be unable to impose our Puritanical views on abstinence upon a third world African nation without hurting innocent women and children?

    Yes Mr. President, the time has arrived to do something about AIDS, a scourge facing our generation on every continent.  But we need a President who is willing to use every contemporary method of fighting disease, and not just endorsing a program acceptable to the most religiously conservative supporters!

    The time for change in America is now! We have a new Congress and we need a new direction from the White House. We cannot just mouth the words about curing AIDS while interfering with the delivery of health care to those women and children most at risk!

    Senator Kerry understands this and is committed to delivering healthcare to women in need; not bogging down our aid with puritanical restrictions that interfere with success and deny science its rightful place in Medicine.