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Member since: Wed Jan 9, 2008, 11:31 AM
Number of posts: 10,458

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Tomorrow, around the country, is the annual "Buddy Walk" to benefit kids with Downs Syndrome!

Google National Downs Syndrome Society and see a list of cities where the walk will be held, or go online and donate if you can't walk!
These children and grown ups are special as they are without guile. While they are not always happy, they usually are the sweetest examples of the good in human nature! My grandson Logan is one such 4 year old. He is called "The Mayor" at his school because he always greets everyone with a wave and a 1,000 watt smile!
My daughter brought the walk to our community and had over 3,000 show up the first year. They won an award for fastest start up of a Buddy Walk and were flown to NY and to D.C. (Proud Papa)!

If you can't donate, just show up and walk. They have plenty of things for the kids and you can't help but leave with a smile on your face! Thanks to everyone who can help!

I worked for many years on we lawyers called the "Dust Docket," which was usually made up

of elderly men who worked with and around asbestos. This was how I picked my screen name. Many were in the Navy in WW II and Korea, a few from Vietnam. The diseases take 20-40 years to appear which is why they were older. I have heard some of the most amazing, terrifying, heroic, and sad tales of war, all told under oath, recorded by a Court Reporter, all in great detail. To be honest, most did not want to talk about it, one almost quit his case when I told him they would be asking about his time in the service. He later told a story so filled with bravery and pain it was almost unbelievable. He survived a land mine explosion, being bayoneted in the gut, and being shot with a 50 caliber in the arm. He for his troubles he received a Silver Star and a handful of Purple Hearts.
Battle of the Bulge, Omaha Beach, Iwo Jima, Battan Death March, Pearl Harbor..., were brought to life even though they were mainly about death. The names from history books now mean something real to me. These personal stories now gather dust in mini-storage buildings, warehouses, and office buildings, the men who testified to what happened in WW II are all dead.
The horror of war I witnessed through their eyes was enough that now when I see Dick Cheney, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham spouting off about attacking this country or that, with obviously no thought or concern to the actual human cost, the ruined lives, the fatherless children, the young widows and widowers, and the parents who have to bury their child, I just want to puke!
This brings us to now, to the last insult. After starting two wars for oil, (it was always about the damn oil), they cut VA budgets and blame Obama for the VA's problems! If we had a real, functional media and actual journalism, Cheney would be turned over for war crimes, McCain and Graham would never be re-elected in a million years, and soldiers would never, ever vote Republican again!

R.I.P. The Best of the Best!

Proof that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce cares only for Big Business, not Main Street!

Gulf Coast chambers of commerce told the U.S. Supreme Court this week that their mothership, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, does not represent them in its support of BP PLC's challenge to the class action settlement stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
In an unusual public display of disagreement with the national chamber, the local affiliates, said:
"The Chamber did not seek the input nor approval of the amici affiliates, nor to our knowledge any Gulf Coast area affiliate, prior to filing its amicus brief in support of petitioner’s petition for a writ of certiorari."
The U.S. Chamber, represented by Catherine Stetson of Hogan Lovells, filed an amicus brief in BP Exploration & Production v. Lake Eugenie Land & Development. Joining in its brief were the American Tort Reform Association, the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber supports BP's argument that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit erred when it upheld certification of a class that included members who had not suffered any injuries related to the spill. The company, represented by Theodore Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, contends that the certification violated Rule 23 of the federal rules of civil procedure and the Constitution.
The Fifth Circuit decision, it adds, also conflicts with rulings by the Seventh, Eighth and D.C. Circuits.
In filing their amicus brief disputing the U.S. Chamber's views and representation, the local chambers "realized more clearly than most that the national organization does not in this instance and perhaps in other instances speak for them," said Thomas Young of Tampa, their counsel. "It's more than policy or political. It's a matter of great personal importance to the organizations and their members. They felt they had to say something at this stage."
The local chambers on the brief represent more than 7,000 businesses and 200,000 employees, Young said. As a group, they are fairly widely distributed, he added, representing Mobile and Pensacola in the northern Gulf; from Tampa towards Fort Meyers in southwestern Florida; and New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana.
"I had heard from several of the amici that they had reached out on their own to the national chamber through various avenues and were met with either silence or lip service," he said. "These are business people and they operate on a handshake, and when an agreement is reduced to paper and a contract, to them it's sacrosanct. It struck these several chambers and their thousands of members as odd to renege on a deal or an agreement that seems so clear cut."
A U.S. Chamber spokesman said in a written statement:
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides a national voice on behalf of businesses of every size in every sector on policy and legal issues affecting our country's economy, and that's the case here. From time to time local groups will take a different position on a particular issue and we respect their right to do so."
However, in their amicus brief, the local chambers suggest the national Chamber's interests are much narrower than it would have the high court believe.
Citing research by Public Citizen, the group told the high court that "only 1,500 entities (significantly less than 3 million) provided 94 percent of [the Chamber's] contributions in 2012. More than half of its contributions came from just 64 donors. So the bulk of the Chamber's funding appears to come from large, well-funded corporate concerns, not the 'mom-and-pop shops' the Chamber claims and certainly not these amici affiliates."
The U.S. Chamber spokesman said: "Some members of the plaintiffs' bar have seized on the settlement agreement as an opportunity to seek a windfall for persons who cannot show any injury caused by the spill. The Chamber's brief explains that this type of opportunism is inconsistent with the agreement's provisions and the settling parties' expectations."
However, the local chambers argue in their brief that—contrary to the national chamber's brief—BP designed the compensation system; lobbied for district court approval; attested to its adequacy and fairness under oath; and initially defended it before the Fifth Circuit.
By reinforcing BP's version of the facts, the local group said, the national chamber "serves the express interests of a foreign corporation at the expense of a very large number of its affiliates and individual business members."
Young, assisted on the brief by Jean Champagne of the Landson Response Group, an environmental and catastrophic-claims firm, said the local chambers have learned a harsh lesson: "The smaller local chambers are Main Street and the U.S. Chamber is Wall Street. And, like everyone else in America, they're realizing that Wall Street is not on their side."

Read more: http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202672813833/Affiliates-Split-With-National-Chamber-on-BP-Settlement#ixzz3FergolH7

BP has manipulated this whole thing, and the icing on the cake is that they have the Chamber selling out the victims on the Gulf to a foreign corporation! The same Chamber that has secretly started and currently owns several Courthouse and online newspapers designed to brainwash bored jurors about to be picked for jury duty. Check out the Louisiana Record; Southeast Texas Record and West Virginia Record for starters. They are lower than the belly of a snake!

What is DU's Purpose?

Is it to entertain like minded Democrats and Progressives? Nothing wrong with that on its face I guess. I have enjoyed countless hours reading, watching videos, and conversing with some very smart and interesting people.

Is it to educate? Sure it is, I know because I have learned much here and still have much more to learn. There are many informational exchanges taking place that I would have missed altogether had I not been a regular reader.

Is it a place for charity? Absolutely. The people here are some of the most generous I have ever met! Much more so than most of the so called, "Good Christians" I have known.

Is it a place to organize, plan, and start Progressive movements that can benefit all Americans and that can make great, positive, and lasting changes in our politics, environment, and social welfare? Not so much I am afraid. As we are being dragged in another deadly, costly, war, our elderly and disabled are barely able to survive, wages have gone backwards (if you can even find and keep a job), and we are faced with starvation and mass extinction from unchecked climate change. All while our politicians continue to naturally due the bidding of those that sent them and keep them in Washington, their Donors! With the exception of a few brave DU'ers who participated in OWS, most here, if they do anything at all, will sign petitions that will be presented to these corrupt politicians who probably laugh as they toss them in the trash.

I have proposed fighting for Publicly Funded Federal, State, and Local Elections (PFE's) and outlawing campaign contributions. Certainly not an easy proposition, but one which will attack the root of the problem and put us in direct opposition to the PTB. Bernie Sanders has said that PFE's are his #1 issue! If enough of us here put our intelligence and efforts in getting out the message and supporting Bernie, other politicians will take notice and join the movement. Bernie doesn't have to win the election, or even the primary, to actually win by getting this battle started. You don't have to march and be arrested to help, just do what you can do to fix the one problem that is causing most of the others. Or, you can continue to complain that Republicans in the Senate filibustered immigration again. Boner in the House will not bring Equal Pay to a vote... The midterms are a great time to be asking these candidates what are they going to have to do for all of that money Wall Street gave them? Is anyone here willing to make a difference, instead of just bitching about how bad things are? I hope so because I am not good at this stuff, but I am willing to get out there peacefully and stare down riot police if I have you guys with me!

+1! For exposure (no pun intended). I took the name "Dustlawyer" because I used to work the

"Dust docket". I presented thousands of old men for deposition in asbestos and silica litigation and heard some of the most amazing war stories, as well as seeing first hand the terrible racism that existed in the military and industrial America.
I heard stories of battles I had read about in school, the Battle of the Bulge, Iwo Jima, Omaha Beach. I met veterans from WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam and heard things that were at times alternating between fantastic and horrifying.
I saw institutional racism where white men starting work at a refinery spent anywhere from a week to two months in the "labor gang" digging ditches and other back breaking labor, before being moved to a trade. The black men at the same plant spent 30 years or so in the labor gang before being moved to the warehouse when they physically could not do the work any longer. This one particular plant donated the land next to the plant for them to live on and build a school for their children. In the 1990's it was discovered they had buried toxic sludge underneath when it started to bubble up on the playground.
I hope that the men who decided to dump the radioactive waste in that landfill cannot sleep at night and dream of the dead children when they do sleep!

K&R!!! This is why we need Publicly Funded Federal, State, and Local Elections (PFE's)!!!

Think Congress is on vacation again, think again, they are fundraising! Year round, every year, not just election years they go to fundraisers where someone gives them their regular payment (installment) as long as the politician's message is what they want. If the message changes the payments stop. It's a big, crooked joke! How can we have an effective Congress doing the will of the people and protecting us and our environment when our legislatures can be bought? You know the answer, just look around.
The only way out of this mess is a massive uprising of Americans saying enough is enough! We need PFE's at all levels of government to put a stop to this. I read DU everyday and see stories and policies that would not happen if we had true Representative Democracy in America. Our politicians represent these corporations and the wealthy, the rest of us without much speech (money) don't get sh*t except the bill!
Climate Change is the fight of our generation that we cannot afford to lose! We will NEVER get the legislation and the change we need in time if we don't get rid of campaign contributions! Without PFE's we will lose the Climate Change war. While in New York this weekend for the Climate Change protests, spread the word about the way to win this fight!

+1! We need to remain focused this time on the root problem, campaign money!

We must demand Publicly Funded Federal, State, and Local Elections (PFE's) and outlaw campaign contributions. All other issues need to be put aside for the time being as success of PFE's will allow us to resolve many other issues that have been stymied by the PTB.

Climate Change will never be seriously addressed by the PTB. This is an example of the issues that can better be taken care of after PFE's are passed as well as one reason why we cannot wait to start taking action. I keep saying that these midterms are the perfect opportunity to show America how much each candidate has raised and ask the question, "What do you have to do for all this money?" If there is no Quid Pro Quo as Justice Roberts said, why do they do it? They get rid of regulations, have their taxes cut and cut, and syphon money from us, through the government, and into their pockets. These corporations move to other countries to avoid our taxes so it cannot be that they donate this money to candidates out of patriotism.

This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, it's an American issue! As citizens in a Democracy, it is up to us to protect and fight for our rights. We need to spread this far and wide and organize protests outside of TV stations. We need to stay peaceful to show the rest of our countrymen and women that even the right to peaceably assemble has been taken away (see Ferguson). It will not be easy, but it can and must be done to save this country, and this world from ruin.

Johnny Winter, one of the best all time blues guitar players and brother of rock legend Edgar Winter

died yesterday at age 70. He and his brother both suffered from Albinism and as young kids growing up in my hometown of Beaumont, Texas, were stuck inside the house all day out of the sun. Their mother bought them musical instruments which they took to like ducks to water. Both could play dozens of instruments, but it was the guitar that really sang while in his hands. He struggled with heroin addiction for much of his life, and his parties at my sister and brother-in-law's house were downright crazy, but the jam sessions were unreal! He was always polite and reserved the times that I met him. For a good article on his life and a sample of his genius see David Marchese's story at Rollingstone "A Lion in Winter: A Tribute to the Guitar Icon![link:Rollingstone.com|

I don't know how Wall Street maintains their hold on a lame duck President they bought in 08 &

10, but they still OWN HIM like they do almost all D.C. Politicians. Don't get me wrong, Obama did a lot of good, especially with what was opposed to him. I still want to believe that he would do all of the great things he promised, but for whatever pressure they still exert. He put their people in charge of our Financial system from the start despite what he said on the road in 08! They got the money they wanted with no strings attached while the people got nothing. We paid for the Housing crash despite being the victims. I guess they could threaten to ruin his great accomplishments or some such. There is some unspoken deal here we will never know in our lifetimes because of the raw power of all of that money and influence!

I am under no such compunction and neither are you! I say we fight to fix the mistakes of our generation! The oil companies are driving us to mass extinction. Our Freedoms are being spun backwards in time until we have no safety net, minimum wage, public education, child labor protections, or for that matter, any Labor protections. Look at what Hobby Lobby has done to women's reproductive rights! Men, those are in effect, your rights too that are evaporating without the pill, IUD's, abortion...

Fight to get the money out of our elections which will wrest control of our Representatives from their greedy, heartless paws. We can do it by fighting for Publicly Funded Federal, State, and Local Elections. Make the media, complicit in all of this as they too are owned by these same bastards, provide the campaign ads as a public service for using OUR AIRWAVES!

September 13th - November 4th (or as long as it takes) let's organize and hit the streets.

Everyone who cares about Women's and LGBTV equality, the environment, public educations, jobs, infrastructure, Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, Veterans, all of the things we are fighting to keep can only be solved by doing this first. They will not roll over, in fact, they will fight much harder and nastier than OWS because this takes away their control! I am tired of the nay sayers and the ones who say that we will play into the hands of the Right who will out vote us in the Constitutional Conventions. There are more of us than them, we must have to motivate and mobilize. Aren't you tired of bitching about the same problems here, only to watch them get worse?

I missed the 1st one, so I thank you for the dupe! I too have seen the things described in this

story, and it forever changed me. I think the biggest problem today is that too many have not walked in the shoes of the people who are not like themselves. If they would they would know Truth! Sadly, they only know what they are told, usually by equally ignorant fools who spread lies and disinformation.

In the vein of Robert Kennedy, though without his stature and elegant words, I hope to fight the fight that he has begun to help fix the problems that we as a nation suffer. The root problem that is the cause of our current mess is the overwhelming influence in our political system caused by campaign contributions and fat cat Lobbyists, paid for by the obscenely wealthy and greedy corporations. It is compounded by the media which is now only the means of propaganda to keep us fighting "that other party" and displacing the blame for our current sad state on those least able to refute the lies!

Please join with me in the fight to get the money out of our election system by demanding and protesting for Publicly Funded National, State, and Local Elections. We will use the media who helped to place us in this precarious situation by requiring them to air the political ads as a public service since they use The Peoples airwaves under license.

Only then will we see a return of a Representative Democracy. I am calling for these protest to start


The campaign money will be insanely large this election and I urge the protestors to call out the candidates and tell everyone how much they are receiving, how much the shadow Super Pacs are spending. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, this is an American problem that both parties suffer from. I am not foolish enough to believe this can be done with ease, it will take a huge number of Americans, but it can be done, it MUST BE DONE!!'

Spread the word to everyone, every group fighting for their rights, be they reproductive rights of women trampled on by SCOTUS and Hobby Lobby, LGBTV, Education, Environment.... They will not get what they want from our government as long as the politicians listen to the 1% because of their money. No one wants their Representative controlled by the Koch brothers, Unions, corporations, or billionaires. Organize your city/town, meet with both local political parties and find like minded folks who have had enough! Robert Kennedy would be leading us, but since he cannot, we will do it together. (Apologize for length)
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