Thursday, December 30, 2004

Kynd's end of the year Quote

Eisenhower wrote his brother Edgar on May 2, 1956:


"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again.... There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H.L. Hunt...a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."


Sunday, December 26, 2004

Republiscum Drain Elderly People's Savings.

It seems the College Republiscum committee used false advertising and scams to get elderly people, some with dementia, to donate entire savings accounts and even, take out loans to give to the re-appointment of the Bush Crime Family.
The leader of this organized crime group has said all money will be returned to people who didn't know how much or who, were confused about the amount they donated. He has also written the heads of all the chapters to not speak of this swindle saying, "We need this story to go away". Surprise!!! This story is gaining momentum and we are going to see that it gets appropriate media time.

"The Times reported that a number of elderly donors gave far more money than they could afford.

"I don't have any more money," Cecilia Barbier, 90, a retired church worker in New York who made more than 300 donations totaling nearly $100,000, told the paper. "That was all the savings. . . . Now I'm scrounging."

Monda Jo Millsap, 68, of Van Buren, Ark., told the Times that she emptied a savings account, then got a $5,000 bank loan to give a total of $59,000."

In a way you have to feel sorry for these people but, on the other hand, they got what they deserved for contributing to, not understanding the issues and voting against their best interests. This criminal enterprise has no interest in anything to do with people and everything to do with ripping us off. If it involves republiscum you know it is anti-American.


Story Here>>>

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Liberal Minds Attacked By Conservobots

My college years were some of the greatest and most challenging times of my life. Thinking and using my mind was demanded of everyone of us on a daily basis. I always had a knack for problem solving and did well in math, physics and chemistry. The liberal minds that taught me demanded a 360 degree view on any subject put before me.

Today, academia has another problem. Liberal intellectuals are under attack by scum on the right. Claims as asinine as reading assignments that violate religious rights, discrimination and grading improprieties have been alleged. Lawsuits were filed and thrown out (I thought these ingrates didn't like lawyers), probably, by judges who got the same education that these conservobots wanted, by the same types of educators and realized that, the righties want the glory of a degree with out the challenging work.

In all the years I spent in college, I placed a great importance on the liberal minds. They challenged me in diversity. Their educational demands prompted a worldview and not, a one-sided look out of a closed box. It is disgraceful, to say the least, that the people of the right are so hard-pressed to go as far as to want the dumbing down of an entire nation, in order, for them to get a semblance of an education that the liberal mind has.

That is why you rarely, if ever, hear of a conservative intellectual.

Story Here>>>

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

May the Holidays find all of you healthy and happy!!

Friday, December 24, 2004

The English View

I saw this on one of my favorite progressive message boards. The poster who had it as his signature is from England and sympathizes with those of us who continue to fight for a real America....that is, about 49% of us. The true patriots.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

UMWA praises activists...over at Resist Oppression

The website, got a great boost by the UMWA on the 21st. Check it out at Resist Oppression's Blog!!
All of us working folks need to get on to this action and demand reform. If we don't, there will never be any Golden Years for us.

Washington Recount Shows Democrat Gregoire Win.

The handcount in Washington state has the republiscum in an uproar. Unlike the 2000 Presidential election that Bush successfully sued to stop the counting of votes, Washington state law favored democracy over partisan theft.
The righties have already resorted to all kinds of whining and threats but, as usual, they will eventually get over being sore losers. I don't know when loser Rossi will concede and I don't believe there will be much to any of the wingers threats and, who cares anyway??
It would be interesting to see how much fraud the wingers pulled off in this election but, being expert thieves, we may never know.
Oh well, onward to more victories!!

Story Here>>>

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Speaking of Getting Robbed

Seems republiscum values are illustrated at night in Federal office buildings. Thomas Loo, a republiscum and the House Small Business Committee's chief economist, was busted by none other than an honest Democrat named Daniel McGlinchey, a professional staffer for Barney Frank.
Morals people!! Values people!! And we get to see the scum help themselves to government property that is probably paid for by stolen pension and healthcare money.
I'm sure we will hear all kinds of excuses for Loo from the other thieves in the Bush Crime Family. I'm sure they will change the rules, as they did for Tom DeLay, another top member of the criminal empire squatting in the nation's capitol.
The continuing saga of theft, deception and crime will continue, I'm sure, until we can get these people indicted and prosecuted. Until then, watch your wallets, because somewhere close to you is a scumbag ready to take all you have.

Read the story at the Daily Kos>>>

Robbery By Bankruptcy

I've been a diligent member of the workforce for almost 30 years now. I never ever thought that, in America, the masses would allow a criminal and his gang of thieves to occupy the White House and blatantly screw the working people. Anyone who works for any company in America today is playing craps by paying into any pension/health plan.
Under the tyranny of the Bush Crime Family, corporations are beginning to get concessions from the Federal bankruptcy courts to use bankruptcy as a means of nullifying union contracts and robbing from the worker's by robbing them of their pension plans.
If you were to come into my house to rob and steal from me and my future I guarantee you this, you would be leaving in a body bag.
The reform of bankruptcy laws is a mandatory action that needs to be taken up by every working person in America.


"Why is it that when George W says he's going to "reform" something, I instinctively want to grab my money, my liberties, my family...and flee to the woods?

For the Bushites, the word reform means "deform," to monkeywrench the system so the rich get richer...and the rest of us get schtooked. Still, there's one system crying out for real reform: the bankruptcy process that corporations are using to stiff their employees - letting CEOs simply walk away from binding contracts on wages, health care, and pensions." More Here>>>>

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Dems: Wash. Recount Puts Gregoire on Top

It came down to a hand count, a hand count bitterly opposed by the republiscum, and with the votes correctly tallied, the alleged republiscum victor is the loser. And like any one of is ilk, a loser in more ways than one.

Congratulations Governor Gregoire....True Democracy prevailed in Washington State!!

Story Here>>>

Kyndculture gets Published on Buzzflash!!

Congratulations Kynd!!

December 21, 2004


Right Before Christmas (In Iraq) -- A Poem to the White House

A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
by Lisa Knappe

I wrote this poem this morning after reading about the bombing in Mosul. This is my Christmas present to the white house. Poem>>>

22 American Families Will Not Celebrate Christmas.

I had to go to a credible source outside of American media to find this story and, it looks as if an artillery shell hit an American mess hall killing 13 soldiers, so far and I expect that of the 50 wounded more will die before Christmas.

Attack on U.S. base kills 22
Dining hall believed hit, officials say

MICHAEL MCDONOUGH
ASSOCIATED PRESS

BAGHDAD - Rockets struck a mess tent today at a military base in Mosul where hundreds of U.S. soldiers had just sat down to lunch, and a Pentagon official said at least 22 people were killed and 50 wounded.

The attack, claimed by the Ansar al-Sunnah Army insurgent group, came the same day that British Prime Minister Tony Blair made a surprise visit to Baghdad and described the ongoing violence in Iraq as a “battle between democracy and terror.” More>>>

I hope with every fiber of my soul that this will be the last Christmas that the members of the Bush Crime Family ever celebrate in freedom. Never has America needed gallows more than she does now.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Massey CEO and vultures: From the Resist Oppression Blog

You all really need to check out what kind of vermin is running around out in the West Virginia neighborhoods. If you work for this vermin, you will find out what it means to be expendable.

Resist Oppression>>>>

More on the Twisted Religious Mind.

Let's say I have an 8 year-old son. Actually, let's say I'm 33 years-old and I have 9 kids with one on the way and I live in a 2 bedroom house. I also read the Scripture and decipher it to my best interests because, earlier in my life, my parents voted down education funding so that all our school system was left with was pennies, so that, the town government could spend whatever money they needed to put nativity scenes up at Christmas time. This left me with a poor reading comprehension.
So, I read the Scripture then talk to my wife about circumcising my 8 year-old son. The Scripture says I should do it, based on what I understand, and my wife agrees. So, I clean the deer hair and old deer blood off my 12 inch Buck hunting knife and tell the kid to get in the filthy bathtub. I then grab his foreskin and cut it off the best I can with that hunting knife.
Problems arise like Jesus did. My son bleeds profusely and I have to call for medical assistance and I get thrown in jail. As my case progresses it is determined that I have mild religious fervor that results in delusional thinking but, that I am able to stand trial.
I am extremely poor, coming from a flaming red state, Idaho, being chased by Child Protective Services the whole way to Clark County, Washington. Being poor was my motivation for doing this unnecessary deed but hey, the Scriptures and my wife told me to do it.
But, while I am doing my 3 years in prison I will try to find, in the Scriptures, where it says I have to sit in prison.

I hope it is a long, long 3 years for this fool....crimes against children is frowned upon in the prison population.

Story here>>>

Sunday, December 19, 2004

What (Good Things) Happened in Colorado?

Here in Colorado, we kicked the shit out of the republiscum on elections day. Their undoing was a deeply ingrained partisanship that, literally, ruined the Colorado economy and lost new business contracts.
The scum blatantly flaunted their majority and refused to address issues like TABOR, the state's economy, transportation and education. When the citizens of Colorado demanded action the scum would then blame the Democrats for stonewalling.
Well, scum, the people saw right through your scams and removed you from office.
People like Senate President John Andrews, a morally corrupt, low IQ social scumbag couldn't admit to the real problem. He blamed it on the party. Andrews is one of those guys you want to grab by the scruff of the neck and bitch-slap until his face is purple. On his website his true character is revealed in a statement when he touts a god-governed universe claiming that, mass randomness is a fallacy. And the scum wanted this fool as a leader? It goes to show you that education and diversity is not a value to the scum of the right rather, fictional morals and the easy way out are enough to suffice for these people, people who are too lazy to think.
Again, if you want to see what sort of fool Andrews and his ilk are, they have a website....one that I will not link here because I don't want to dirty this blog with the filth of the right.

Alternet has a great article about the Colorado victory here>>>.

Friday, December 17, 2004

When Corporations File Bankruptcy Workers Lose....

OK working people...here is a great site about the ongoing problems of the coal miners healthcare due to bankruptcy laws that make payable benefits null and void to workers who have toiled for years to obtain them and most importantly for workers WHO EARNED THEM!!
Go to this site, read it and remember....your healthcare benefits and the time you put in to obtain them could be worthless if we don't work to get the legislation passed.

SIGN THE PETITION!!

Thanks.

Down and Out in Discount America

I don't know how many of you read The Nation but, it is always full of great and logical perspective. The last 10 years has been a real education for me and I find regressive viewpoints by the anti-worker scum a total no brainer when it comes to knowing the facts and reading spin by the right-wing. Were it not for the sheeple of this country, any journalistic attempt by the right would find it shelved in the comic book section of your favorite bookstore.
Therefore, we must, at the very least, attempt to educate those we see as hopeless.

Down and Out in Discount America
by Liza Featherstone


This article is adapted from Liza Featherstone's Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights at Wal-Mart (Basic).
On the day after Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping day of the year, Wal-Mart's many progressive critics--not to mention its business competitors--finally enjoyed a bit of schadenfreude when the retailer had to admit to "disappointing" sales. The problem was quickly revealed: Wal-Mart hadn't been discounting aggressively enough. Without low prices, Wal-Mart just isn't Wal-Mart.

That's not a mistake the big-box behemoth is likely to make again. Wal-Mart knows its customers, and it knows how badly they need the discounts. Like Wal-Mart's workers, its customers are overwhelmingly female, and struggling to make ends meet. Betty Dukes, the lead plaintiff in Dukes v. Wal-Mart, the landmark sex-discrimination case against the company, points out that Wal-Mart takes out ads in her local paper the same day the community's poorest citizens collect their welfare checks. "They are promoting themselves to low-income people," she says. "That's who they lure. They don't lure the rich.... They understand the economy of America. They know the haves and have-nots. They don't put Wal-Mart in Piedmonts. They don't put Wal-Mart in those high-end parts of the community. They plant themselves right in the middle of Poorville." More>>>


Alleged Baby Thief/Murderer Apprehended

I have to hand it to the Amber Alert system...it works.

MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) -- Authorities Friday arrested a woman they allege came to the home of an eight-months-pregnant woman - purportedly to buy a dog - then strangled her and cut the baby from her womb. Authorities found the abducted infant in good health, ending a day of frantic searching. More>>>

Good News Possibly.....

It seems that the baby cut from her mother's womb may have been found....she is alive and healthy. also.



Police Find Baby; Could Be From Slain Mom
December 17, 2004 4:22 PM EST

SKIDMORE, Mo. - Authorities have found a healthy newborn girl in Kansas and think it could be the child of slain Bobbi Jo Stinnett.

Nodaway County Sheriff Ben Espey said authorities are awaiting DNA testing to confirm the girl is the child of Stinnett, who was found slain in her northwest Missouri home Thursday afternoon by her own mother.

"It's about as good as we can get, people," Espey said.




Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Skidmore, Missouri: A Witches Haven??

Sad and sickening news from Skidmore, Missouri. A 23 year-old woman has an 8 month-old fetus cut from her womb after being strangled.
Skidmore is a little bodunk town that has seen more than it's share of cruelty. In one instance, the townspeople gather together and murder a town bully, run his family out of town and burn his house down. A movie was made called, "In Broad Daylight" and author Harry MacLean wrote a book by the same name.
Yet, in another tragedy, a 20 year-old man goes missing, and has not been seen since.
In such a small town one has to wonder if a town like Skidmore, which was portrayed as extremely religious, has more than just christian wackos running around. Could there be a counter force of witches and warlocks present to fend off the asinine religious views of such a corrupt little town??
We can only wonder what incident will next bring Skidmore back into the limelight. I shudder at the thought of what it will be.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Estes Pledge Dispute

Estes Park, Colorado is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, about 20 miles from my home. It is a mountain town that shares it's parks and lakes with elk, deer and other wildlife.
But, Estes Park has become a battleground over the Pledge of Allegiance.
During town council meetings, Trustee David Habecker refuses to say the pledge or, even stand for it. I respect Mr. Habecker's right not to say the pledge but, he should respect others and stand while they do. I do, however, defend his actions as I would any form of free speech.
Now, the problem is another trustee named Lori Jeffrey-Clark makes this idiotic statement:

"I said it's his constitutional right, but there are consequences," said Jeffrey-Clark, who voted for Habecker and sat next to him at meetings for four years.

So, in Estes Park, exerting your constitutional rights brings consequences. Consequences, I might add, from right-wingnut scum.
Mr. Habecker is facing a recall and from what I can gather from the many people I know there...he doesn't have much to worry about. Not as much as Lori Jeffrey-Clark.


Estes pledge dispute

Trustee refuses to say oath, faces recall vote

By Deborah Frazier, Rocky Mountain News
December 8, 2004

Estes Park Trustee David Habecker may lose his seat in a recall for sitting silently during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Habecker, a former president of the Lion's Club and a town trustee for 12 years, said he objects to the words under God. More>>>

Religion More Important than Education to Wackos

In Oklahoma, a state in Jesusland, voters carried out their immoral views by denying education funding over the display of christian symbols. A former republiscum legislator campaigned for this issue claiming it was a way to retain rights. What rights I wonder?
I find this type of ignorance appalling. Christian wackos are what is wrong in the world today and their ignorant view of life and their blindness to reality only further the fact that, they are truly wackos and do not understand the teaching of Jesus Christ.
Separation of church and State means just that wackos. Keep your bullshit beliefs out of the government and out of our schools. And while you work on that read some Matthew.


Okla. Voters Show Fury at Nativity Removal
December 16, 2004 1:26 PM EST

MUSTANG, Okla. - Voters incensed over a superintendent's decision to remove a Nativity scene from an elementary school Christmas program took out their anger at the ballot box, helping to defeat bond measures worth nearly $11 million.

Tuesday's rejection of the two measures - one of which would have paid for construction of an elementary school - marked the first time in more than a decade that voters in this bedroom community west of Oklahoma City denied additional funds for their school district. More>>>

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Buy Blue

Here is a great little site that we can use to economically show corporate America that we will not do business with those companies that support the right-wing scum.
On the Store Links on this blog is a list of American made, union made, sweatshop free stores that also, donate money to pro-American candidates.

Buy Blue

Anti-Social Security

Anyone with a reasonable and logical minds knows that, the scum have been trying to get rid of Social Security for over 40 years. This is probably due to the fact that it wasn't their idea in the first place and they have remained jealous and spurned ever since.
Their leader, Bushitler, is spinning his plans in many different ways but, not one of them hold water. Most lies by people with his lying record don't hold much water anyway.
If the scum privitize Social Security then, will I have the option of getting a return on my 30 years of withholdings?? Oh, and I want interest, too.

"The battle for Social Security's survival is under way. In a key maneuver recently, N. Gregory Mankiw, George W. Bush's chief economic adviser, explicitly floated the idea of cutting benefits, a necessary but unmentioned part of the White House's privatization plan. More details will be presented to the public in the weeks ahead, but the outlines of the Bush plan are already clear, having been laid out by his 2001 Social Security Commission. As Mankiw suggested, the Bush plan would require a large reduction in the benefits provided by the existing system. A worker who is 20 today would see a cut of approximately one-third in his or her retirement benefit, although workers would theoretically more than recoup this loss by investing a portion of their Social Security taxes in a private account." More>>>

Lawsuit against Rumsfeld Threatens U.S.-German Relations

In an attempt to avoid responsibilty, the Pentagon is threatening Germany for filing lawsuits over the torture and abuse in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Why are you filing lawsuits, Germany? File arrest warrants against these American criminals so we can get them on the gallows sooner and make the world a safer place!!
Either way, Germany, half of America supports your actions and we thank you for it.

"The Pentagon made thinly veiled threats on Monday, suggesting US-German relations could be at risk if a criminal complaint filed in German courts over Abu Ghraib proceeds.

The Pentagon expressed concern Monday over a criminal complaint filed in Germany against US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other officials over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, warning that "frivolous lawsuits" could affect the broader US-German relationship." More>>>

Proof of Ohio Election Fraud Exposed

We knew something was wrong with the 2004 election. Not only is it a shame that America is occupied by 50% brain-dead right-wing scum but, now we may be on the trail that the number of scum that actually exist is less than that.
When evidence of extra votes exists in vote tabulators then, we can safely assume the number of conservative idiots will decline. The signed statements by election officials and whistleblowers only furthers the knowledge that the republican scum are not a majority in actuality but, a criminal minority with expert thieves in it's employ.
I offer this solution: Indict the criminals from the appointed head of state on down to the company CEO's that assisted in this fraud. Part of this indictment shall be that, all family members, between the ages of 17 and 35, of these crooks be immediately inducted into the infantry of the US military and prepared for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not some rear duty but, front line duty. Send some of them back home in a box. Maybe then, these crooks will not be so quick to agree with the criminal empire that has hijacked America and exiled us from the rest of the world.

"Among activists and investigators looking into allegations of vote fraud in the 2004 Presidential election, the company always mentioned was Diebold and its suspicious electronic touch-screen voting machines. It is Diebold that has multiple avowed Republicans on its Board of Directors. It was Diebold that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bush’s election campaign. It was Diebold CEO Walden O’Dell who vowed to deliver Ohio’s electoral votes to Bush." More>>>

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Another Wasted Life.

Close to home, a Columbine High School graduate who, survived the Columbine shootings is killed in Iraq. Yet, another wasted life for an illegitimate, appointed terror regime in an illegal war for corporate America.
The scum are the disgrace of America and the laughing stock of the world.
But, I ain't laughing....yet.


Marine From Columbine H.S. Killed in Iraq
December 14, 2004 1:39 PM EST

LITTLETON, Colo. - A Marine who was a freshman at Columbine High School when two students killed 13 people there was killed in action in Iraq, his family said.

Lance Cpl. Greg Rund, 21, was on his second tour of duty in Iraq when he was killed Saturday, his family said in a statement released Monday. He had talked about joining the Marines throughout high school and enlisted shortly after graduating in 2002.

The Marines confirmed Rund's death Wednesday, saying he died in combat in Al Anbar Province. He was assigned to the 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Rund was a freshman when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris shot 12 students, a teacher, and then themselves on April 20, 1999.

"Greg made us so proud, but he never wanted to be recognized for his actions," said the statement from his family. "Neither Columbine nor Iraq was to define him."

Rund was on the 2000 state championship football team, and his younger brother, Doug, now plays football at Columbine as a sophomore.

"It seems so unfortunate that you get through some things, but it catches up with you," Ken Holden, Rund's former high school counselor, told the Denver Post.

Rund's family described him as "reckless, smart, off-key and wonderful."

"He never did anything like everyone else did," the statement said. "He did everything to the extreme and always knew that somehow with his humor and a little luck, he would make it through."



Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Wal-Mart Lies about the Need for Trade Unions in China.

In China, the top officials of trade unions are consistently ignored by Wal-Mart so that, Wal-Mart does not have to negotiate with trade unions. The company's anti-worker attitude has carried itself across the sea and, hopefully, will further diminish it's reputation.
In China, it is a crime for an 'enterprise' to meddle in any way against workers forming a union. It is supposed to be like that in America but, with appointed criminals running their dog and pony show it is difficult to make progress.
Wal-Mart officials avoid the formation of unions by lying to unionists who attempt to negotiate.
I guess the Chinese are getting a taste of what republiscum are like here in America!!

"Call for Trade Unions

In August 2004, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) launched a nationwide inspection of the implementation of the Trade Union Law. Results indicate that less than l0 percent of the 500,000 foreign-funded enterprises registered in China have established trade union organizations.

The phenomenon has aroused concerns from All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), which plans to blacklist those enterprises who refused to set up trade unions under relevant Chinese law, and urges other administrative and judicial departments to solve the problem. This means that foreign-funded enterprises may be sued if they persist in their refusal to allow the establishment of trade unions."

Why the Fight Over Minimum Wage?

Business interests will always portray a doomsday scenario when the question of minimum wage comes up. An increase of one dollar per hour is enough to put them out of business is their argument. You know what I say?? "Bullshit!!"
If a company cannot increase their Federal minimum wage by one dollar per hour then, they need to close shop anyway. You cannot run a business where your capital is limited in the range of $40/week. Only a fool would believe this, anyway.
The minimum wage, $5.15/hour, is a disgrace to anyone who attempts to survive in the current, regressive republican economy. As usual, recession, inflation and high unemployment are providing fewer good jobs for people and with the increase in prices to support corporate donors the republiscum will argue against any increase in the minimum wage.
My opinion is that the minimum wage should be equal to the current scale that determines poverty level, currently about $19,000/year. That would make the minimum wage about $10/hour. If right-wing corporate interests insist that the wage remain the same then, they should have to pay a health benefit plan to their employee's covering 100% of the costs of the premiums.
Something has got to give in this corrupt, anti-people, anti-worker government and it shouldn't be the backbone of the American worker.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

It took 84 years but......

It took 84 years but, H.L. Mencken hit it right on the head.

"When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental - men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. ... The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through. ... But when the field's nationwide ... then all the odds are on the man who is intrinsically the most devious and mediocre - the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind's a virtual vacuum. "The presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts' desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

A Defeat for an Empire

An excellent opinion piece that says what a lot of people feel about the Bush Terrorist Regime.

A defeat for an empire

By Robert Jensen

Special to the Star-Telegram

The United States has lost the war in Iraq, and that's a good thing.

I don't mean that the loss of American and Iraqi lives is to be celebrated. The death and destruction are numbingly tragic, and the suffering in Iraq is hard for most of us in the United States to comprehend.

The tragedy is compounded because these deaths haven't protected Americans or brought freedom to Iraqis. They have come in the quest to extend the American empire in this "new American century."

So, as a U.S. citizen, I welcome the U.S. defeat for a simple reason: It isn't the defeat of the United States -- its people or their ideals -- but of that empire. And it's essential that the American empire be defeated and dismantled.

The fact that the Bush administration says we are fighting for freedom and democracy (having long ago abandoned fictions about weapons of mass destruction and terrorist ties) does not make it so.

We must look at the reality, no matter how painful. The people of Iraq are better off without Saddam Hussein's despised regime, but that does not prove our benevolent intentions or guarantee that the United States will work to bring meaningful democracy to Iraq.

In Iraq, the Bush administration invaded not to liberate but to extend and deepen U.S. domination. When Bush said, "We have no territorial ambitions; we don't seek an empire," on Nov. 11, 2002, he told a half-truth.

The United States doesn't want to absorb Iraq or take direct possession of its oil. That's not the way of empire today; it's about control over the flow of oil and oil profits, not ownership.

In a world that runs on oil, the nation that controls the flow of oil has great strategic power. U.S. policy-makers want leverage over the economies of competitors -- Western Europe, Japan and China -- that are more dependent on Middle Eastern oil.

The Bush administration has invested money and lives in making Iraq a platform from which the United States can project power.

That requires not the liberation of Iraq but its subordination. But most Iraqis don't want to be subordinated, which is why the United States in some sense lost the war on the day it invaded. One lesson of contemporary history is that occupying armies generate resistance that, inevitably, prevails over imperial power.

When we admit defeat and pull out -- not if, but when -- the fate of Iraqis will depend in part on whether the United States makes good on legal and moral obligations to pay reparations and allows international institutions to aid in creating a truly sovereign Iraq.

We shouldn't expect politicians to do either without pressure. An anti-empire movement -- the joining of anti-war forces with the movement to reject corporate globalization -- must create that pressure.

We should all carry a profound sense of sadness at where decisions made by U.S. policy-makers -- not just the gang in power today but a string of Republican and Democratic administrations -- have left us and the Iraqis. But that sadness should not keep us from pursuing the most courageous act of citizenship in the United States today: pledging to dismantle the American empire.

The planet's resources do not belong to the United States. The century is not America's. We own neither the world nor time. And if we don't give up the quest -- if we don't find our place in the world instead of on top of the world -- there is little hope for a safe, sane and sustainable future.
Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of "Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity." .utexas.edu

Friday, December 10, 2004

Democrats Needed to Fix Republiscum Mess As Usual

In another move to screw our soldiers by the scum, Senators Schumer and Clinton are called in to fix the mess....and as usual in these scum quagmires, they fixed it. When the going gets tough....call on a Democrat to fix it. We have intelligence.


Lawmakers Help Wounded Soldier Get Home
December 10, 2004 4:57 PM EST

WASHINGTON - Spc. Robert Loria of Middletown, N.Y., lost his arm in Iraq, but instead of a farewell paycheck from the Army he got a bill for nearly $1,800. On Friday a platoon of New York lawmakers came to his rescue. Loria found himself stuck in Fort Hood in Texas this week when Army officials said he owed money for travel expenses and for lost equipment.

Rep. Maurice Hinchey and Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton interceded on behalf of the 27-year-old veteran after his wife, Christine Loria, told the Times-Herald Record of Middletown about the problem.

Loria was wounded in February. But as he was about to leave the Army this month, officials told him he had been overpaid for his time as a patient at a military hospital in the Washington area, and said he still owed money for travel between the hospital and Fort Hood, as well as $310 for items not found in his returned equipment.

Instead of a check for nearly $4,500, Loria was told he had to pay nearly $1,800.

"Christmas is coming up, and we are severely overdrawn because of this," his wife said. "It turned out his getting wounded wasn't the worst thing this year to happen - this was."

Clinton, Schumer, and Hinchey said Friday the Army had dropped the billing demands and would allow Loria to return home on leave before he is discharged.

Clinton's office said late Friday that Army officials were now looking at the cases of 19 other injured veterans who may have had payroll situations similar to Loria's.

She blamed Loria's problem on someone in the bureaucracy being unwilling to help him with paperwork the Army insisted upon.

The lawmakers, all Democrats, said Loria should be able to head home to New York in a day or two.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Send a Message to Fox Advertisers

Here is a little device for about $10 that, when purchased, get the top ten advertisers on Fox News an email in your name letting them know you installed a blocker. And it is starting to get some positive results!!

Heck, buy 4 or 5, they will make great Christmas gifts!!

Here is thier 'About Us' statement.



About Us

While watching the documentary "OutFoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism" we started thinking about ways to counter the rampant right wing bias on the FOX News Channel (FNC).

The idea of a filter, simply installed on the cable TV line, to keep your home safe from the FOX News propaganda machine, sounded like a step in the right direction.

We named the filter the "FOXBlocker", which we provide for a token fee.

The FOXBlocker online tools make it easy to make your choice known to the companies that advertise on FNC, the FCC, and others that you, as a consumer and voter, have removed FNC from your household, and that you will give them no peace until they dismantle the dirty media infrastructure, and restrict a conglomerate media that has run amok.

We support and share any profits generated by the FOXBlocker with progressive organizations concerned with taking our country back from the gang of thieves, liars and war profiteers that are currently running the show........with the 24/7 help of FNC.

Temp Workers Disenfrancised

Three scum appointed members of the NLRB have ruled that temporary workers need 'permission' from one of the two employers they work for to organize. This is another backward-assed regressive move against workers.
Soon, it will be time to break out the ball bats and lead pipe, in order, to get a paycheck at the rate the scum is screwing workers.


Temps Lose Bargaining Rights Won In 2000
NLRB Reverses Stand Along Party Lines

By Amy Joyce
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 30, 2004; Page E01

Temporary workers will no longer be able to bargain for job benefits as part of a unit with permanent employees, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled, reversing a Clinton-era precedent.

In a 3 to 2 vote that was issued Friday, the three members appointed by President Bush -- Robert J. Battista, the chairman; Peter C. Schaumber and Ronald E. Meisburg -- said there is a difference between temporary and permanent workers. "Thus, the entity that the two groups of employees look to as their employer is not the same. No amount of legal legerdemain can alter that fact," their ruling stated.

It overturned a 2000 NLRB ruling, called M.B. Sturgis, that said bargaining units that combined both temporary and permanent employees were permissible.

Two NLRB members appointed by Clinton, Wilma B. Liebman and Dennis P. Walsh, dissented. They cited the rise of temp workers and argued that those workers would essentially be barred from organizing labor unions unless their employers consented. They said the board has a "disturbing reluctance to recognize changes in the economy and the workplace."

The new case is the latest of three major decisions overturned by the board this year by 3 to 2 votes. In June, the board ruled that employees in nonunion companies are no longer entitled to have a co-worker present when they are interviewed as part of a disciplinary investigation. In July, it ruled that graduate teaching assistants at universities are not employees, and therefore cannot organize.

Worker advocates say the temporary worker ruling could have a major effect in an economy that is relying more and more on the hiring of workers who usually aren't eligible for health care and other benefits.

"It's a very big deal," said Kate L. Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. "Sturgis said you can't put a temp label on someone to avoid unionizing. It took away the use of the temp status, but also meant you didn't have second-class citizens. Now, by overturning Sturgis, they are giving employers another incentive to disenfranchise workers."

Lawyers representing companies said the ruling will help employers while not really harming workers.

The decision permits temporary workers to organize if both their temporary agency and the company where they work consent. But at least one labor expert said that will be hard to achieve.

"It's going to be an almost impossible set of permissions to be met," said Harley Shaiken, a professor of labor issues at the University of California at Berkeley. "I think it is meant to and will discourage organization among temporary workers."

One of the biggest sources of job gains in September was temporary jobs, which grew by 33,000. Temporary staffing firms added 48,000 jobs in October, according to the Labor Department. There are about 2.5 million temporary workers in the workforce today, and the hiring of temps has accounted for nearly half of the private jobs created since the beginning of 2002.

The AFL-CIO said the decision was one of several where the NLRB is "increasingly siding with employers over workers and denying workers their federally protected rights to form unions."

Shaiken said the new decision "more clearly defines a difference between full-time and temp workers and in certain circumstances it allows an employer to divide them more effectively."

However, some experts say the decision will ease confusion among employers.

Temporary or contract employees work for an agency that places them with the employer, so they are essentially employed by two organizations at once.

"When you have two groups of employees working in the same location, one employed by a contractor or temp agency and another employed by the main employer . . . you need to have two different bargaining units because you are really bargaining with two different employers," said Peter M. Panken, a management side labor attorney with Epstein, Becker & Green in New York City.

The ruling does not prevent temporary workers from organizing, said Kenneth R. Dolin, a partner representing management in the labor and employment practice at Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago. Workers could form a bargaining unit with other temporary workers, he said.

Labor experts and attorneys said they expect the labor board to continue to overturn Clinton-era decisions as its majority moves from Clinton appointees, who were thought to have a pro-labor bias, to Bush appointees, who are thought to have a pro-corporate bias, Panken said.

"The labor movement is really bracing for an assault," said Robert Bruno, professor of labor and industrial relations at the University of Illinois in Chicago.


UPDATE; Wal-Mart Workers Testify in Colorado.

Wal-Mart, using it's anti-union tactics and violating federal law, are having to listen to what thier workers have to say in front of the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board).
Wal-Mart doesn't want these employees represented separately but, feel they should be represented with the other employees of the store.
So, between tire and oil changes, the mechanics are going to have to fill thier off time by stocking groceries or hanging up frilly clothing? I don't think so...nice try Wal-Mart but, no points.


Wal-Mart countering Noble effort?
By Al Lewis
Denver Post Business Columnist

When union agitator Joshua Noble returned to work at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Loveland on Sunday, he said two assistant store managers gave him a written reprimand.

The charge: horseplay. The managers accused Noble of locking one of his colleagues in an employee bathroom as some sort of gag - something he says never happened.

Then Monday, another manager warned him to get rid of the hat he has been wearing for the past six months - the one with the beer company logo embossed on the front.

Noble, 21, is an auto technician. He's trying to get the United Food and Commercial Workers to represent a handful of people who work in the Tire & Lube Express at the back of the store. More>>>


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Censored 2005: The Top 25 Censored Media Stories of 2003-2004

Well, finally we get a good look at what the scum censors from the mainstream media, in order, to keep thier sheep docile.
I am so happy I have not watched television in over 2 years now!!

The Top 25 Censored Stories

#1: Wealth Inequality in 21st Century Threatens Economy and Democracy

#2: Ashcroft vs. the Human Rights Law that Holds Corporations Accountable

#3: Bush Administration Censors Science

#4: High Levels of Uranium Found in Troops and Civilians

#5: The Wholesale Giveaway of Our Natural Resources

#6: The Sale of Electoral Politics

#7: Conservative Organization Drives Judicial Appointments

#8: Cheney's Energy Task Force and The Energy Policy

#9: Widow Brings RICO Case Against U.S. government for 9/11

#10: New Nuke Plants: Taxpayers Support, Industry Profits

#11: The Media Can Legally Lie

#12: The Destabilization of Haiti

#13: Schwarzenegger Met with Enron's Ken Lay Years Before the California Recall

#14: New Bill Threatens Intellectual Freedom in Area Studies

#15: U.S. Develops Lethal New Viruses

#16: Law Enforcement Agencies Spy on Innocent Citizens

#17: U.S. Government Represses Labor Unions in Iraq in Quest for Business Privatization

#18: Media and Government Ignore Dwindling Oil Supplies

#19: Global Food Cartel Fast Becoming the World's Supermarket

#20: Extreme Weather Prompts New Warning from UN

#21: Forcing a World Market for GMOs

#22: Censoring Iraq

#23: Brazil Holds Back in FTAA Talks, But Provides Little Comfort for the Poor of South America

#24: Reinstating the Draft

#25: Wal-Mart Brings Inequality and Low Prices to the World

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

"God Is With Us": Hitler's Rhetoric and the Lure of "Moral Values"

The neo-conservative view in George Bush's America is that deception and insistent injection of religious views is one of the ways the criminals of this appointed empire plan to usurp democracy in the United States.
But, only if we let them.
America is on her way to another civil war. The neo-conservatives and thier supporters are going to use economic collapse as a way to weaken Democracy and as a way to build thier military.
But, only if we let them.
They are attacking our educational institutions by requiring that religious propaganda be put above scientific theory and law. Believers of this ideology only further the dumbing down of America. Examples of this can be found on all conservative right-wing websites and blogs. Diverse thought is a foreign language to them and, is a way for intellectual thinking people to drive them, like sheep, into oblivion.




"Hitler's Germany amalgamated state with church. Soldiers of the vermacht wore belt buckles inscribed with the following: "Gott mit uns" (God is with us). His troops were often sprinkled with holy water by the priests. It was a real Christian country whose citizens were indoctrinated by both state and church and blindly followed all authority figures, political and ecclesiastical.

Hitler, like some of the today's politicians and preachers, politicized "family values." He liked corporeal punishment in home and school. Jesus prayers became mandatory in all schools under his administration. While abortion was illegal in pre-Hitler Germany, he took it to new depths of enforcement, requiring all doctors to report to the government the circumstances of all miscarriages. He openly despised homosexuality and criminalized it." More>>>



Theology, politics, and thoughts on arguing with Dominionists.

This is an interesting article on the so-called christian right in America and it's plan for the world. They have bitten off a little more than they can chew but, being the sheeple they are, are to god-damned ignorant to see it.
You can look at blogs and websites of purported christians who, don't know a damn thing about christianity but, are being lead down the road to hell by the simple-minded coercive rants of people more ignorant and unintellectual than them.
When you hit them with fact, from bibles, dictionaries or encyclopedias, the denial is so ingrained in them it makes one wonder what purpose these people have in a society, other than, a tool for sane people to poke fun at.
The road and people they follow is, basically, a legal form of suicide supported by thier so-called religion. Ignorance among these people is over-whelming to the sane people, the very people they plan to exterminate.
Another amusing point is that, they had to target people with high ignorance and low intellect, i.e., the republicans. Enjoy!!

... The goal of the dominionist movement, as we demonstrate in this web site, is to impose its interpretation of the Bible on the rest of society. Twenty-five years ago it began targeting the Republican Party as the vehicle through which it could advance its agenda. The goal of political dominion is veiled in a cloak of "moral values." Let's look at some of those "moral values." More>>>



Saturday, December 04, 2004

Union Organizer's Mother-In-Law Arrested for Murder

We demand the strictest form of justice for the murder of Brother Soto!!!


Mother-In-Law of Slain Teamster Arrested
December 04, 2004 8:19 AM PST

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador - Salvadoran police have arrested the mother-in-law of a U.S. Teamster gunned down in El Salvador last month, along with five other suspects, describing the slaying as a contract killing that was the result of a family dispute.

Jose Gilberto Soto, 49, a U.S. citizen of Salvadoran origin from Cliffside Park, N.J., was shot in the back on Nov. 5 outside his family's house in Usulutan, 70 miles southeast of San Salvador. Soto had arrived in El Salvador on Oct. 30 to meet with the country's trade union leaders and port drivers.

Rosa Elba Ortiz, Soto's mother-in-law, was in police custody on Saturday, accused of ordering the killing, according to a police report. Ortiz denied any wrongdoing.

Ortiz and three men accused of carrying out the shooting, including two identified as members of a notorious Salvadoran street gang, were presented to the media on Saturday, escorted by armed guards with black masks. Two other suspects were being held on suspicion of acting as middlemen but police did not release their identities.

The suspects had not yet been formally charged and were scheduled to appear in court early in the week.

"The motive of the events has to do with family problems between the victim and his wife" in the United States, said National Police Director Ricardo Meneses, who refused to elaborate. "Right now, we have gotten as far as the responsibility of the mother-in-law, but the investigation is not over."

Ortiz told reporters she did not know the three men lined up next to her.

"I'm innocent," said Ortiz, sobbing as police escorted her in front of reporters and cameras. "I don't know those men."

Police made their first arrests in the case last week after Stanley Gacek, the union's assistant director for international affairs, offered a $75,000 reward in El Salvador for information leading to Soto's killers. It was unclear how police located the suspects, or if the reward would be paid.

Announcing the reward on Thursday, Gacek said it was large enough to allow someone to flee the country if necessary.

Days after Soto's slaying, Teamsters union President James P. Hoffa asked Secretary of State Colin Powell to pressure El Salvador to investigate the death, expressing concern that it was connected to his efforts to unionize port workers.

The Teamsters also rallied scores of U.S. congressmen to sign a letter to the State Department, urging progress in the investigation and sent its own 10-member delegation to visit El Salvador and meet with Cabinet-level officials.

Union representatives could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday.

Soto had emigrated from El Salvador to the United States in 1975, joining the union in 1985 and working his way up the ranks.

His trip to El Salvador was part of a Central American tour that was to include stops in Honduras and Nicaragua to investigate working conditions and establish stronger ties with workers.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Judge Rules: Ohio to be Recounted!!

We may be getting rid of the Bush/Cheney Crime Enterprise very soon.

COBB/LaMARCHE 2004
http://www.votecobb.org

NEWS RELEASE

For immediate release: December 3, 2004
Contact: Blair Bobier, Media Director at 541.929.5755

FEDERAL JUDGE RULES THAT OHIO RECOUNT WILL GO FORWARD IN ALL COUNTIES

Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb today expressed his satisfaction with a ruling by a federal judge taking jurisdiction over a Delaware County, Ohio lawsuit and denying the county's attempt to stop the recount of presidential ballots in that county.

"We are very pleased that the judge recognized our right to a recount and that the recount will go forward in each and every county in Ohio," said Cobb.

The judge also provisionally granted the motion by the Kerry-Edwards campaign to intervene in the lawsuit in defense of the position of Cobb and Libertarian Michael Badnarik.

Although the judge did not agree with Cobb that the recount should proceed on an expedited basis, the Cobb campaign is confident that a full and complete recount will take place.

For more information about the Cobb-LaMarche campaign and its recount efforts in Ohio and New Mexico, see http://www.votecobb.org. Information about the Green Party can be found at http://www.gp.org.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Sex Re-Education

Sex Re-Education.

Condoms will give you AIDS.
Masturbation will get you pregnant.
Touching another person's gentitals will get you pregnant.
45% of all women that have a legal abortion will never conceive.

OH MY FUCKING GOD. Make it stop. Make this circus of stupidity stop. For George, and Joe and Casey and Bobby and Rhonda. Sweet Rhonda. MAKE this shit stop. They died of AIDS almost 20 years ago.

Welcome to regression and repression. George W. Bush has just condemned YOUR children to die. Do you accept this you stupid fucking sheep. Do you accept this? This is not progress. This is not science. THere are 40 million human beings world wide tonight with AIDS and there still is no cure. But nine countries on this planet are close to a vaccine, very very close... and you, you stupid Bush loving American...you and your "president" and his goddamn mandate have executed a death sentence on another generation of brilliant, bright and intelligent children. How do you sleep tonight. I can't. I can't do this again. I won't.





The Moderate Liberal vs. the Libertarian

The Moderate Liberal vs. the Libertarian
names and locations changed to protect the innocent.

John: Don't mind Joe Amy, he's a Republican! He would like to lube up Bush's but with some Astroglide and slip um a pinky! LOL... Love ya ED!

Me: Yeah he sounded like a Neocon. That's usually what they do: "La, la la, I'm not listening" "It's all Clinton's fault" "It's ok to criticize the President if he's a Democrat, but if he's a Republican its unpatriotic" I've heard it all before.

Joe: Ok! La La La! I am a victim of todays society! I am the center of the universe. I will try and find some reason to complain and reach for every little imperfection in todays political world. Yes I am a strong Bush supporter and I don't believe he has done everything right. What I believe is this! People who give up their constitutional rights and vote for a lessor pressident just because they don't like bush are victoms. I rebel agianst people who just need something to be a victom over. I am a registered Republican but am a true Libritarian 100% in my views! I did not vote for bush cause he hates fags! I did not vote for him because he is a Rebublican. I did not vote for bush cause of fear! I did note vote for Bush because he is a fundamentalist. I voted for Bush because of people that are victims over everything, who want to undermine America and look for something to complain about and piss and moan over BULLSHIT THAT DOES NOT MEAN A FUCKING THING. I voted for him because he is a by far better option than that guy who would have taken us back to the post 911 life. Who believes that Holywood is where its at. Yah Bush may have fucked up with both wars but who wouldn't. I would rather have him continue than have Kerry get all complacent and then here a bunch of "I told yah so's". I think the North East has gotton too cmplacent because they are so afraid of being attacked again that it blinds thier judgement. I am not a conpiracist theory person either. Now I did not label you to start with, don't label me. I am just a nut ball from CT who believes in being Free, Nuts and Crazy. Nothing personal to you Amy or John! At least I read your posts! Because I am trying to understand both points of view as much as possible.

me: I voted for Kerry because I genuinely liked him. As for the pre-911 mindset talk, I don't buy into that line of bull. I happen to read a lot about foreign policy and attend many conferences in NY on global economic issues and foreign policy. I have friends in the UN and I read foreign and domestic news of all persuasions including the WSJ and the Weekly Standard. I have a degree in Int'l Business, speak German fluently and know a lot about European politics and history. As for NE liberals being complacent out of fear of being attacked the other way to look at it is this: If you get cancer you'll do all the research you could possibly do to find out what type of cancer you have, what causes it and all the different remedies for curing it. That is how interested I am in this phenomena of terrorism.

Complaining and undermining America? (looking over shoulder) Where? I'm concerned and complaining because I want to save America from fascism. I think it's interesting that the Republicans and Libertarians were complaining about Big Government wasting taxpayer money when the Dems were in power but when the Republicans do it - it's responsible economics and being tough on terrorism even if future generations will have to pay for our bloating national debt and more terrorism. If you add up all the national debt including municipalities and divided by the population you would see we owe $125K per person; that's every man, woman and child.

And your bogus Hollywood elite statement: Ahhnold, Ronald Reagan, sMELl Gibson and all the bosses of the major studios are all Republicans so what's your point? I have a friend who is an actor in LA who tells me Hollywood is very Republican. From my perspective Bush is not a Republican he's a radical. Kerry on the other hand is more like a liberal Republican - yes there are liberal Republicans. I don't care what political party they come from as long as they are socially liberal and fiscally conservative and responsible. Bush is dangerously fiscally liberal and socially conservative. His policies are irresponsible.

I'm currently reading Running On Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties are Bankrupting our future and What Americans Can Do About It by Peter Peterson. It's written from a conservative point of view and very interesting. I don't agree with all of his statements because I believe social programs are needed for the good of society. I'm not saying we should give everyone government handouts, but you still have to educate the people and prevent poverty at minimum. Poverty causes crime and extreme political views like terrorism and Nazism.

Our country needs to get back to rational debate and it's never going to happen if people continue to listen to people like Hannity, O'Reilly, Limpballs and Coulter. That's all I've got for one day.

Here's an interesting quote for you to think about: "The national government will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality. Today Christians stand at the head of our country. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the press......in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of LIBERAL excess during the past few years."
~Adolph Hitler~ The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872

Peace, Amy