05 August 2004


If you haven't yet experienced the JibJab brothers and their amazing animations you need to! Check out Bush and Kerry singing "This Land is My Land" on their website: http://www.jibjab.com/

Prepare to ROTFL. . . .

04 August 2004

My Son Jeremy in NYC in July--no one knows what the drifting white light is or how it got on this photo....
Posted by Hello

More Catsup and Not-So-Free Trade

Remember that family (email) discussionI mentioned earlier about the LACK of a connection between John Kerry and the movement of Heinz factories to Mexico? Well, my brother Mark also had something to say. . . .

Now Mark is something of a conservative and something of an anarchist. I know that sounds odd, but his views do span the gap. He has a conservative attitude toward gays & lesbians, toward women's issues, and he really likes Pat Buchanan. On the other hand, he disagrees with taxes, dislikes government control, is against "free" trade, and is suspicious (as we all should be) of recent government invasions of personal privacy--and the anarchists agree with him there.

After Gillie straightened us all out on the Heinz company, Mark commented on "Free Trade" saying: "Good point, however, more importantly John Kerry did support Bill Clinton in the signing of the NAFTA and GAT treaties.

"NAFTA and GAT are the catalyst of the trend to move manufacturing overseas. It reduces and in many cases eliminates import duties on goods that these companies manufacture overseas and ship back to the United States. In all fairness, George Bush Sr. was a supporter(and original signer) of NAFTA, too, but that limited these trade deals to North American countries not South American countries or the entire world.

"Free trade is bad. Our country was founded on a Constitution that allowed Congress to levy taxes upon imports. This created a treasury for our national defense and it also fostered the growth of a manufacturing industry here. The elimination or reduction of tariffs over the years have created a vacuum that has been filled by income tax, gas tax, etc."

To which I had to respond: "You are very right, Mark! Free trade is seldom very free--it costs Americans jobs and gives no benefit to the Third World countries where American manufacturors pay less than living wages to the locals while getting away with poor ecological and environmental control. I don't understand how it is that we allow our big businesses to get away with things in other parts of the globe that we don't allow on American soil. Or are we just blind?

"But as for Administrations that push free trade, you might also note that the current Bush adminstration is pushing to expand NAFTA from just North America into the FTAA (Free Trade of the Americas) which will spread American interests to the rest of Central and South America. And, by the way, do you remember that $87 billion dollars ostenensibly for the aid of Iraq & Afghanistan which Mr. Bush signed off on last November? Few people know that 8.5 million of that fund was sent by the federal government to Miami to block legitimate, permit-granted rallies that were scheduled to protest against the FTAA summit in Miami:

Our right to deliver this message in a safe environment was systematically thwarted by police in Miami. Thousands of officers were deployed to guard the FTAA Ministerial – an international trade summit hosted by the Bush administration. Forty jurisdictions reportedly contributed officers to the police presence in Miami, which was financed, at least in part, by the $8.5 million in federal funds appropriated by Congress for the FTAA Ministerial in the emergency supplemental appropriations bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

These direct links between the Miami police presence on the one hand, and federal funding and functions on the other, should be sufficient to merit federal oversight. But it is the police’s grave violations of the constitutional rights of union members and our allies that most urgently demands intervention by the Department of Justice. It is the responsibility of the federal government to ensure that state and local authorities respect our civil liberties. I urge you to use your authority as Attorney General to investigate and prosecute those responsible for violating our rights, and to ensure that such repression is never again tolerated in the United States.
From a 'Letter Sent by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney to Attorney General John Ashcroft Urging an Independent Investigation into Miami Police Force Tactics During FTAA Demonstrations'

"So before blaming Clinton & Kerry (never mind the rest of Congress that lets this crap get as easily past them as the so-called 'Patriot Act' did), let's take a closer look which big business pockets G.W. Bush has his hands into!"

Interestingly enough, this is one area in which my brother (the militant right-winger) and I (the liberal feminist bitch) , can totally agree. I want to thank President G. W. Bush for uniting us strange bedfellows in the universal urge to vote for "ANYBODY BUT BUSH!"--as my car bumper so proudly states.

Anyone wanting to do a bit more research on outsourcing overseas might check out Downsize This by Michael Moore and on the foibles of the Bush administration see the new book out by Sen. Robert Byrd Losing America.

My Girls

My Girls: Gentian, Gillianne, & Jaelithe
Posted by Hello

02 August 2004

Heinz Catsup

Just recently one of my cousins sent an email around the family telling us all that we should boycott Heinz products because of John Kerry and his wife Theresa Heinz-Kerry. In part the post blamed Kerry for the (NAFTA related) move of a Heinz plant to Mexico; and it also implied the purchase of Heinz catsup would put money in the pockets of the Democratic candidate for President. The discussion that ensued turned out to be a enlightening example of why you should never take a political statement at face value.

Happily I seem to have raised daughters who refused to make snap judgements without checking for facts. Gillianne, the youngest, went online to check out the Heinz company. Here are her comments:

"Don't change your mind too quickly... Or not for the forwarded reasons. I looked up the Heinz company website (http://www.heinz.com/) and they had the following statement posted under their "newsroom" link: In light of some misleading speculation, the H. J. Heinz Company would like to make clear that neither Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry, Senator John Kerry nor any member of their family is involved in the management or board of the H. J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ). They have no involvement in the Heinz® Ketchup business or any of the company’s other brands or products.The H. J. Heinz Company, in accordance with its corporate governance policies, is a nonpartisan organization."

She further found out that Ms. Heinz-Kerry & the entire Heinz family has less than 4% stock in the corporation, that since 1987 there have been no Heinz family members in control positions in the company, and that over the last seven years the Heinz company has actually donated more to Republican campaigns ($96,000) than to Democratic campaigns ($54,000).

Hmmmm. Maybe you ought to boycott that catsup after all. I would, but I don't use it. I buy an organic catsup called "Muir Glen" from the health food store. It tastes far better than Heinz.