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Important Dates: 1/19/04-Iowa Caucous, 1/27/04-New Hampshire primary, 3/16/04-Illinois primary, Aug. 30th to Sept. 2nd 2004-Republican National Convention in NYC, Week of 7/26/04-Democratic National Convention in Boston

What's at stake

--MUST READ: Will our votes REALLY be counted in the upcoming elections with these unreliable electronic machines--The push for a Voter Verification Paper, H.R. Bill 2239

1. Media reform, media fairness, and media justice--overtime, the media outlets have been taken up by big money companies and our leaders have passed terrible legislations-Telecommunications Act & FCC June 2nd rulings. Many voices are not represented (fairly, if not at all), significant issues never covered, fear and ignorance pressed on in the hearts of many, and so forth. When will this be strongly emphasized and what is it gonna take to ensure that TRUE DEMOCRACY be initiated by the media telling the truth?  Will we ever be able to exist in a society of equality as opposed to a "culture of fear" as was so well addressed in Michael Moore's academy award winning nonfiction doctumentary Bowling for Columbine?  To quote Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek the Next Generation: "a lie of omission is still a lie" see also Free Press FAIR
2. Universal Health Care--too many people are living without proper care and some that are insured have crummy coverage. Too much is at stake here especially when we consider that the sooner you detect an illness or problem, the greater the potential of preventing and/or overcoming it. Why don't we have universal health coverage like many other industrialized nations? How long will it take? What's the deal with all the privitization that has taken place recently and in the recent past?
3.Tax Allocation--there is a creepy reality in reflecting on tax expenditures in our country. There are many that realize what has been taking place and are very well informed. However, many others still don't, mostly because of distortions in the media, history, and coverup from those in power. For instance, there are probably a lot of people that are not aware that their tax money is going towards oppressive things like the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly School of Americas, which is responsible for the deaths and agonizing repression of hundreds of thousands in Latin America. Much of tax money is therefore directly tied into aiding terrorism in many countries around the world. The result is that tyranny runs amok, while social problems here and abroad continue to rise. What is the point of having the Internal Revenue Service when it is outright unfair in taxing the hell out of the working class and very little or nothing at all from the rich to repress people around the world? Why must tax resisters suffer from refusing to participate in the awful distribution of revenue and why aren't people given a democratic voice and means on how it SHOULD be spent? When will we experience improvements in funds for schooling, health care, employment, and so forth? see also Pie Chart Addicted to War Exterminator
4. Constitutional & Civil Rights--as much as we'd all like to believe there is equality, there is just so much to reconsider. History has proven that rights granted in the Constitution have been violated countless times, especially in times of overt war and oppression (as opposed to covert wars and coverups that don't always make it into national/international news/media and often distorted). In addition, people have often been misrepresented, mistreated, and social justice failed:  racism and racial profiling, police brutality, corruption among those in power, unconstitutional and unjust laws passed (e.g. the USA Patriot Act), etc.  Important to note is that minorities and people of color have often been at the receiving end of all this. When will the madness end? Why haven't the basic human rights granted to us been carved in stone so that no one, not even Attorney General John Aschcroft nor the police (hence many believe we live in a police state), can play god in breaking them?  see also Silencing Political Dissent BORDC CCR Free Speech on trial Summer Tour Stripping Away Our Rights October 22nd Coalition Refuse & Resist American Civil Liberties Union
5. The poor get poorer, the middle class continues to break down, and the rich get richer--this is almost a no brainer. Unfortunately, due to lack of awareness on the part of some, it tends to make matters a bit worse. As one politician so eloquently put it: "people are working longer hours and making less than they were thirty years explosion of technology, we are much more productive than we were thirty years ago. Common sense would suggest that we would be working fewer hours and making more money. We're working longer hours making less money. Where has the media been on that huge issue?" That politician, upon many years of involvment in politics and with ordinary people, also stated that among numerous talks with reporters, not one ever asked "Damn it, what are you going to do about distribution of wealth in America?" When will the "minimum wage" be lifted so that there is a LIVING WAGE so that we live productive lives and stop blaming people in their situation in life? Why has the Bush Administration sought endlessly to eliminate over time pay for many hard working Americans? When will there exist a law to bring about justice to the working and the working poor that actually goes into effect? What's it gonna take for people's lives to take precedence over the interests of big business? see also Time Day Union Voice
6. Capital Punishment--now here's a very controversial issue. Obviously most of us agree that killing is immoral. Perhaps what is very much missing from the debate is the system (it is also important to consider contents under number 4 above). No matter what, for the most part, the media and people are often too quick to blame the person rather than circumstances that drive someone to take another's life. Quite a few people have said that the system is "too flawed to fix." When is vengence ever justified, whether by the state or the people? Why do people much of the time neglect to consider the context in the lives of people and loved ones involved? How many more innocent people have to die? Why do we have to waste more money than we already do? What if we stopped mistreating one another? Where is the Love? Is it true that "an eye for an eye and the whole world will go blind?" see also Campaign to End the Death Penalty Info Amnesty International
7. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, gender, women's rights--ignorance is demoralizing. It's freaky how politics has come to manifest itself in religion, particularly with those that are not open to diversity in interpretation of faith. There have been recent attacks on LGBTs once different happenings took place as steps forward, such as gay bishops taking a stand and the passage of rights for gay people to marry in the state of Massachussetts. Particularly harmful to all of us, and not just LGBTs, is the lack of understanding of a very important concept of gender--in a nutshell, masculinity and femininity as INDEPENDENT of sex (male or female). In addition, the women's rights movement has come a long way, but women are still not fairly represented, especially in the work force, in which they make less than men. Since it has been said that you can't force someone into doing something (cause ultimately we each have a mind of our own), why does the stigma that gay people will make someone else gay still exist, when in fact, heterosexuals have clearly failed in doing the converse? When will the issue of gender division/gap be addressed so that we end harmful discriminatory practices, mostly out of ignorance, such as the instance where one heterosexual male abuses another heterosexual male for not being "manly enough"? What is going to be done to protect the rights of people to be who they are and not what others want them to be? How long must LGBTs have to endure prejudiced and hate attacks and what is going to be done about intense violence against transgendered individuals? If we are all equal, how come women don't reap benefits that their male counterparts do (e.g. men get Viagara coverage whereas women don't for contraceptives)? see also DON'T AMEND Coming Out Safe & Secure X Child-Important story about gender VDay National Organization for Women