Thursday, March 29, 2007

Over The Cliff

Click image for larger version

Tom Tomorrow

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pet Food and World Domination

Photographer Unknown

The recent poisoning of pet food in the U.S., and subsequent recall of 60 million cans and pouches of pet food, brings to mind the simple question, "Why is one company able to monopolize an industry the way Menu Foods Corp has been able to?" Also, do you have any doubt that the same sort of consolidation is happening in the human food supply industry?

Artist Unknown Source

Today, Monsanto and DuPont control 60 percent of the U.S. corn and soybean seed market. They join three other companies, Syngenta, Dow and Bayer, as the world's leading suppliers of seed and chemicals for commercial crops worldwide. Source

Until recently (oh say November 2000 or so) most of us assumed that our State and Federal governments would be doing oversight of such massive operations as the nation's food and water supplies. Even then we were wrong, now it's much much worse. Sure we pay plenty of taxes and those monies are supposed to go into a pool of funds to finance basic services and protections for everyone in society.

Our taxes are supposed to pay for public schools, roads, scientists, food inspectors, providing electricity, running the courts, and thousands of small and big things that affect our daily life. So when a concerted effort is made to strip government of it's oversight duties, and it's done by a group of people, (especially Grover Norquist)

Artist Unknown Source

who believe that government should ONLY exist to protect the nation in a military sense, and that all "extra" money should be "contracted out" to businesses that will now do the work that government used to do, is it any wonder that we find ourselves at war?

So yet again we must ask ourselves, Joe & Joan American Citizen, what can WE do to stop the take-over of our government, our lives and the world by these greedy sons-of-bitches?

Here's a short list of ideas, things you could start doing today, that will help turn things around:

1) Stop buying products from giant corporations. Whenever possible buy from small, local shops, and try to choose items made locally, especially food. Visit your local Farmer's Market where you can buy locally grown organic food. It may cost a bit more but it's worth every penny you spend. It's healthier, it's supporting small businesses, and it almost always tastes better.

Artist Unknown Source

2) Check the country of origin of every product you're about to buy and stop buying plastic crap from China. China has a deplorable record on human rights, there are barely environmental laws for industry, and most of the stuff they're making for us is replacing products that used to be made by American workers.

3) If and when you do have to buy something "corporate" do so at a BLUE company. That's a company that doesn't fund the Republican Party.

Additional reading:

How Corporations Became "Persons" by Tom Stites.
Corporate Personhood by


Consumer Watchdog
Corp Watch
AFL-CIO Corporate Watch
Free Press
Corporate Crime Reporter

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Do We Finally Have The Smoking Gun?


Your Congress is finally on-the-job working for you. Because of the Democratic Party's win in the November 2006 election, the US House of Representatives now has the crucial subpoena power it needs to hold Mr. Bush and his cronies accountable for the thousands of mistakes (and likely illegal actions) they've committed over the past seven years. Representative John Conyers (one of my personal heroes) released the following document last week:

March 13, 2007

The latest round of disclosures from the Department of Justice raise new and troubling questions about the firing of six United States Attorneys.

We have just received documents from the Justice Department in the last hour and are in the process of reviewing them. At a minimum, we believe these documents show a coordinated effort, initiated by the White House, to purge every United States Attorney in the country.

Until recently, the Justice Department persisted in stonewalling the Congress with claims that these firings were “performance related.” Now, these documents prove that assertion to be categorically false. We now know the original plan was to fire all the United States Attorneys. It is absurd to think that the performance of every United States Attorney in the country was sub-par and that they deserved to be fired. So this is about something else.

Is it about political cronyism? Is it about partisan pressure on public corruption investigations?

We don’t know because the Justice Department and the White House continue to hide behind rationalizations and cover stories that are obviously not true. It is time to come clean.

I have directed my staff to engage with the Justice Department and White House to bring in officials who may have knowledge of these issues for depositions. If they fail to come forward voluntarily, we are prepared to consider further subpoenas.

Media accounts have raised questions about the President’s and the White House role in this matter. The public deserves a full accounting of their involvement. I think the president may want to consider making himself available to answer questions from the press on this matter.

The important thing to remember is that this is an ongoing investigation and we will seek coordination with and cooperation from the White House and the Justice Department to get to the bottom of this first. We will not put the cart before the horse by demanding resignations and issuing subpoenas without first asking these individuals to voluntarily answer our questions so that we might get a better sense of what has happened and who should be held accountable.

Photo Source
But we will get to the bottom of this crisis in our Justice Department with or without cooperation. The United States Attorneys are entrusted with tremendous power in our criminal justice system. Using the United States Attorneys as political pawns undermines their critical work in fighting terrorism and risks subjecting the power of the prosecutor to partisan whims.

If that happened here, we deserve the truth and we deserve more accountability than the resignation of a staff member. We are looking to establish better accountability not just in how the Justice Department handled the firing of these US Attorneys, but we want to them to account for their mishandling of the national security letters.

We will markup a bill in our committee this Thursday that repeals the provision in the Patriot Act allowing US Attorneys to be appointed without Senate confirmation and next week we will hold hearings on the use of national security letters. Next Tuesday we will be holding an issue on the NSL Scandal. We are going to use our oversight authority to the best of our ability to hold this Administration accountable for their actions. - Text Source

Photo Source

Keep track of this dramatic case on Conyers' Website.

An article in today's NYT by one of the "fired" Federal Prosecutors, David C. Iglesias.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Action Item: Bring Them Home!

The Iraq Veterans Memorial is an online war memorial to honor the members of the U.S. armed forces who have lost their lives serving in the Iraq War. It is a collection of video memories from family, friends, military colleagues, and co-workers of those that have fallen. The memorial will be an online destination for people to honor and remember those we have lost. Their Website

It is up to us, regular American citizens, to tell Congress that they must BRING OUR TROOPS HOME! This is overdue, it's urgent, and we must demand this criminal invasion of Iraq end!

Call all three of your Congresspeople right now: INFO HERE

Attend a Protest March/Rally this weekend: INFO HERE

Attend or host a candlelight vigil on Monday March 19th (the 4th tragic anniversary of this heinous war): INFO HERE

THIS WAR MUST END, no IF'S ANDS OR BUTS! You need to do your part to end it. Please join me and help any way you can. Thank you. - Emily

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Meet Senator Barack Obama in Oakland, CA!

Barack Obama

Saturday, March 17, 2007
Oakland City Hall Plaza

(1 Frank Ogawa Plaza)

Tickets are required for this event. Get them HERE!

Here's what Senator Obama has to say about how to end the Iraq war:
At the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations in November 2005, Senator Obama called for: (1) a reduction in the number of U.S. troops; (2) a time frame for a phased withdrawal; (3) the Iraqi government to make progress on forming a political solution; (4) improved reconstruction efforts to restore basic services in Iraq; and (5) engaging the international community, particularly key neighboring states and Arab nations, to become more involved in Iraq. In January 2006 he traveled to Iraq and met with senior U.S. military commanders, Iraqi officials and U.S. troops in Baghdad and Fallujah.

Senator Obama introduced legislation in January 2007 to offer a responsible alternative to President Bush's failed escalation policy. The legislation commences redeployment of U.S. forces no later than May 1, 2007 with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008 -- a date consistent with the bipartisan Iraq Study Group's expectations. The plan allows for a limited number of U.S. troops to remain in Iraq as basic force protection, to engage in counter-terrorism and to continue the training of Iraqi security forces. If the Iraqis are successful in meeting the 13 benchmarks for progress laid out by the Bush Administration, this plan also allows for the temporary suspension of the redeployment, provided Congress agrees that the benchmarks have been met. - Source

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Scooter Libby: Scapegoat

Scooter Libby Goat © Emily Duffy 2007

Goat Photo Source
Libby Photo Source

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who has been found guilty of trying to block a CIA leak investigation, is one of the highest-ranking White House officials ever to stand criminal trial.

He was enmeshed in the inquiry into the leaking of the identity of a CIA operative - who happened to be the wife of a prominent critic of White House Iraq policy.

As chief aide to Vice-President Dick Cheney, Mr Libby had been involved in almost every major decision made by the Bush administration. - BBC News

DNC Chairman Howard Dean on the Libby conviction (Video)

And what about Dick Cheney?
“There is a cloud over the vice president,” the prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, told the jury in summing up the case last month.

Mr. Cheney was not charged in the case, cooperated with the investigation and expressed a willingness to testify if called, though he never was. Yet he was a central figure throughout, fighting back against suggestions that he and President Bush had taken the country to war on the basis of flawed intelligence, showing himself to be keenly sensitive to how he was portrayed in the news media and backing Mr. Libby to the end.

With Tuesday’s verdict on Mr. Libby — guilty on four of five counts, including perjury and obstruction of justice — Mr. Cheney’s critics, and even some of his supporters, said the vice president had been diminished.

“The trial has been death by 1,000 cuts for Cheney,” said Scott Reed, a Republican strategist. “It’s hurt him inside the administration. It’s hurt him with the Congress, and it’s hurt his stature around the world because it has shown a lot of the inner workings of the White House. It peeled the bark right off the way they operate.”
- New York Times

Thursday, March 01, 2007

She's Leaving Home, Bye Bye

MondrianMobile © 2007 Emily Duffy
Photo by Ken Duffy

I've been gone for ten days (you may have noticed a lack of activity here on the blog, for which I apologize.) I was delivering the MondrianMobile to it's new home at Art Car World. The MondrianMobile has joined a half-dozen of the most well known ArtCars at Harrod Blank's under-construction museum for this unusual art form.

ArtCar Caravan 2/07 © 2007 Ken Duffy

We were part of a rolling exhibit driving the highways and backroads of Southern California and Arizona. It was a wonderful trip, and I'm still recovering, but will have more images and stories for you in the coming days. This is not necessarily political art, but it's my own art and it was bittersweet to give up the MondrianMobile in order to save her. More to come....

P.S. If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area please come to the next East Bay Improv Show this Saturday night, March 3rd. Details are at the link.

Please respect the work of the artists you see here and be sure to credit them when you share their artwork with others.

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