Stop! Thief! Cheney's leaving!

I would not want to be the paper shredder in Dick Cheney's office.

That poor device is going to be running 24/7 from now until January 20, 2009.  It probably started when CNN declared Obama the winner and has been going non-stop since.  That crooked and devious thief is going leave behind a remarkably thin paper trail.  When he's done 'clearing out', his office will look like Christmas morning in Who-ville after the Grinch cleaned them out.  Just some hooks on the wall, a few wires and little piles of dust here and there.

Image courtesy of Dr. Seuss
Image courtesy of Dr. Seuss

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

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I swore The Oath of Enlistment 28 years ago

On a January morning at 6am, I left my parents house to enlist in the United States Army Special Forces.  It was 1981.  I drove down to a building on Michigan Avenue to be processed into the service of my country.  I remember filling out paperwork, seeing physicians, answering questions, waiting in line and moving from one room to another for hours.  Sometime in the middle of the afternoon, I was taken into a room with several young men like myself.  Some I had seen on my rounds that morning and some were strangers.  I was excited and eager to begin my tour of duty in service to my country.  We looked around the room at each other as we filed in and were asked to stand in a straight line.

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

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I did not want to become a Democrat.

This is extremely difficult for me to accept, but I have become a Democrat.  I am going to vote Straight-Ticket Democratic on November 4!  That's unbelievable to me.  I cannot even believe that I am writing this down and admitting it.  So, how on earth did it happen to me?

I am a white male, age 48, ex-military and (for years) I was a dyed-in-the-wool Independent.  I was practically a poster boy for the white male independent voter demographic.  Middle-class, christian upbringing but atheist now and my parents were raised in farming communities.  I reserved the right to dislike any candidate based on the deficiencies and faults of that candidate as an individual.  I would not be tied down to voting for any candidate because of some obligation to a political party.

(Cross-posted at The National Gadfly.)

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Fighting Back on Heat Deaths: Farm Workers going to Sacramento

Six California farm workers have died since May from what appears to be heat related causes.  The latest one was Maria de Jesus Alvarez, 63, mother of nine, who died early this month.  The first one to die was 17-year-old Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez, who died in May.  Marie was about a month pregnant when she died, and likely did not ever know she was pregnant. The state fined the labor contractor $262,700 for failing to follow heat illness prevention regulations at the time Jimenez was stricken, but that won't bring her back. And the deaths have continued at an accelarated pace since then.

You can help to end this tragedy. This Monday, August 18, more than 800 farm workers from throughout California want to go to Sacramento to lobby the Legislature on a key bill that will help them help themeselves. They want the chance to tell the Governor and their elected officials to support AB 2386, "Secret Ballot Elections for Farmworkers," which has moved out of the assembly and which will be voted on that afternoon in the state senate.  

How you can help, after the fold.

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Another Farm Worker dies. Does anyone give a damn?

I have been writing for months on the deaths of farmworkers in California from the heat.

United Farm Workers Calls for Manslaughter Charges Against Company in Death of 17 Year Old  

How many Farmworkers must die before someone cares??

Please Tell Fallen Farm Worker's Family We Care

"How much is the life of a farm worker worth? Is it less than the life of any other human being?"

Another farm worker died from the heat today.  5 in the last three months.

Come around after the fold for the sad news.

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