Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Disenfranchising Black voters...again

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New Florida vote scandal feared
By Greg Palast
Reporting for BBC's Newsnight

A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.

Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called "caging list".

It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida.
An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown the list, told Newsnight: "The only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on election day."

Ion Sancho, a Democrat, noted that Florida law allows political party operatives inside polling stations to stop voters from obtaining a ballot.

Mass challenges

They may then only vote "provisionally" after signing an affidavit attesting to their legal voting status.

Mass challenges have never occurred in Florida. Indeed, says Mr Sancho, not one challenge has been made to a voter "in the 16 years I've been supervisor of elections."

"Quite frankly, this process can be used to slow down the voting process and cause chaos on election day; and discourage voters from voting."

Sancho calls it "intimidation." And it may be illegal.

In Washington, well-known civil rights attorney, Ralph Neas, noted that US federal law prohibits targeting challenges to voters, even if there is a basis for the challenge, if race is a factor in targeting the voters.

The list of Jacksonville voters covers an area with a majority of black residents.

When asked by Newsnight for an explanation of the list, Republican spokespersons claim the list merely records returned mail from either fundraising solicitations or returned letters sent to newly registered voters to verify their addresses for purposes of mailing campaign literature.

Republican state campaign spokeswoman Mindy Tucker Fletcher stated the list was not put together "in order to create" a challenge list, but refused to say it would not be used in that manner.

Rather, she did acknowledge that the party's poll workers will be instructed to challenge voters, "Where it's stated in the law."

There was no explanation as to why such clerical matters would be sent to top officials of the Bush campaign in Florida and Washington.

Private detective

In Jacksonville, to determine if Republicans were using the lists or other means of intimidating voters, we filmed a private detective filming every "early voter" - the majority of whom are black - from behind a vehicle with blacked-out windows.

The private detective claimed not to know who was paying for his all-day services.

On the scene, Democratic Congresswoman Corinne Brown said the surveillance operation was part of a campaign of intimidation tactics used by the Republican Party to intimate and scare off African American voters, almost all of whom are registered Democrats.

Greg Palast's film will be broadcast by Newsnight on Tuesday, 26 October, 2004.
Newsnight is broadcast on BBC Two at 2230 BST every weeknight in the UK.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2004/10/26 17:06:30 GMT

Saturday, October 23, 2004

And they call this compassion?

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Christopher Brauchli: 'And they call this compassion?'
Date: Saturday, October 23 @ 09:59:25 EDT
Topic: Economic Policy
By Christopher Brauchli, Boulder Daily Camera

Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.
� Hubert Humphrey

...During each of the last three years Mr. Bush has said he wants to end certain programs that provide money to states to help provide money for those without health insurance. In an apparent flip-flop, in 2004 Tommy Thompson, secretary of health and human services, announced that the department was awarding $11.7 million in grants to help 30 states set up programs to provide coverage to those people. If Mr. Bush is elected, he'll have a chance to flip-flop and eliminate the program in future years.

According to a recent report in The New York Times, Mr. Bush wants to reduce the value of subsidized-housing vouchers received by participants in the Section 8 housing program for the poor. Michael Liu, assistant secretary for public and Indian affairs, and Cathy M. MacFarlane, assistant secretary for public affairs, explain that the drop is occasioned by data from the 2000 census and a new way of determining the rents.

Housing secretary Alphonso Jackson has a simpler explanation. He says the Section 8 program was growing too fast and taking money away from other programs. He also thinks that it disadvantages the working poor. In a piece written for The New York Times he explained that most of the vouchers "go to families making less than 30 percent of a given area's median income. This has had the unintended consequence of shutting the door on men and women who are working hard and raise their income above a quota level, but remain too poor to afford a home."

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out that a full-time minimum wage worker earns $10,700 a year, whereas 30 percent of the median income for a family of four nationally is $17,250. Someone who works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, for the minimum wage will not reach the poverty line and those are the people for whom the compassionate conservatives want to raise the rent.

Mr. Jackson does not think the lack of affordable housing is a big problem. In a speech at the National Press Club lunch on June 17, he said, "Rental housing is affordable and plentiful."

He'd apparently not read the "State of the Nation's Housing" report issued a week earlier by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, which found, among other things, that almost 2 million households live in units described as severely inadequate.
HUD's own "Worst Case Housing Needs" says 5.07 million families have worst case housing needs, meaning they are very low income, face severe cost or quality problems in their homes and don't receive housing assistance. Had those statistics been seen by Mr. Jackson, they'd not have troubled him.

In his first appearance before the House Financial Services Committee as Secretary he said: "being poor is a state of mind." Realizing that poverty is a state of mind makes it hard to get upset about the fact that those with a bad state of mind don't have nice places to live. They don't need housing � they need attitude adjustments.

Thanks to compassionate conservatism, if Mr. Bush is elected that's what they'll get.

Copyright 2004, The Daily Camera and the E.W. Scripps Company.

Reprinted from The Boulder Daily Camera:

This article comes from The Smirking Chimp

The URL for this story is:

Friday, October 22, 2004

the hood, Halloween and humiliation

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I decorated the house for Halloween yesterday. It's really nice. But I noticed two people who passed, scowling. One lady passed 3 times, slowly, blatantly staring at me. The man looked angry.

I told Ma I didn't know whether they were just confused by the goblins hanging in our tree, whether they thought I was having a yard sale, or whether they disapproved.

"Why would they disapprove?" Ma asked.

Well, I explained, in the 'hood, the fundamentalist preachers tell the flock Halloween is Satanic.

In fact, I told her two stories of preachers who tormented and hounded me, calling me Satanic. One followed me down the street with a bull horn, shouting I was demon possessed and queer. The other preached against me from his pulpit, because I was taking in the kids from the hood.

Either could have gotten me killed by the ignorant, angry neighbors.

I told Ma stories about the second to last apartment building in which I lived there. Just remembering the constant horror, filth, danger and ugliness made me cry.

I sobbed inconsolably.

I went to that radio station as a volunteer. I walked, many days, the three miles, round trip. I went malnourished, under fed, in pain. I worked hard and tried to be useful.

When I offered my services for grass roots fundraising, not only was I ignored, but the person went to the Volunteer Coordinator AND the Station Manager, to complain about me! I only wanted to help. I had no idea this person would see my offer as a THREAT to the person's position! To this DAY, that person refuses to acknowledge my existance, yet persists on complaining about any possible thing to my 'superiors.'

When I worked as a reporter--without pay, I may add--I was constantly harrassed about my: food, dress, mode of transportation, work style, voice, private conversations... ANYthing, to make an example of me in front of others. I was constantly baited and humiliated.

When someone does something odd or against the regulations, such as bringing a dog to the station, it is I who am questioned, as though it's my doing.

I volunteered in the phone room during this pledge drive. I filled in the gaps for many more shifts than anyone else volunteered to cover. I was never thanked for helping in a crunch. I was barely acknowledged. People gossiped about me and told phone captains to shut me up.

This is a "community" radio station. I am the community. I am being told to SHUT UP at a free speech, public venue.

I thought about what my being banned from the newsroom really means. I no longer have access to equipment I need to be an independent producer.

I was earning a bit to compensate for my meager social security insurance --not WELFARE: INSURANCE!-- by selling my little stories elsewhere.

I've struggled, for months, to set up an independent recording studio in my new home. I've lost a minimum of a thousand dollars' income as a result of this "ban" from the newsroom.

The "ban" could have condemned me to return to the hell of the War Zone. They don't understand how hideous things are there. But the scariest part, for me, is that the people responsible for this decision don't CARE what could have happened to me as a result. Hell, the person who wanted me banned didn't even have the fortitude to do the dirty work; it was pawned off onto the Volunteer Coordinator to give me the bad news!

The next day, I was suicidal. Truly.

All my life, I've struggled to write, to publish, to broadcast, to perform. I've struggled to speak my truth as best I could.

And here it was: one more time, I was being told to shut up and go away.

Not because I'd done anything harmful, dangerous, unethical, unprincipled, irresponsible, etc.: I was being banned for speaking my truth as best I could.

Free speech isn't free.

Now, this "ban" happened, what? Three, four months ago?

I asked Ma, "have you ever seen me cry about it before?"


"Have you ever heard me express my humiliation about this before?"


No, I was a good soldier; I sucked it up. I went through the motions and pulled myself out of my suicidal ideations and walked BACK into that station that never misses an opportunity to let me know how inappropriate my white trash butt is and I CONTINUED to volunteer! I held my head up, put a smile on my face, and acted like their contempt, their abuse, their suspicion, their arrogance didn't phase me--like I didn't even notice it.

I did not renew my pledge to the station this year. As they waxed poetic about how this is YOUR station, broadcasting YOUR neighbors (none of MY neighbors attend poetry readings in Santa Fe, buddy), free speech, community oriented programming--I cleaned my chicken coop, hung my Halloween decorations, washed my dishes and began work on my recording studio.

I contacted a radio news director from a network I've worked for in the past. She assigned me three stories, immediately.

I'm editing a Radio Theater piece nobody else wants to work on.

I sat in that phone room nearly twenty hours of the fund drive. I take it back: the Volunteer Coordinator thanked me.

But the people most obsessed with acquiring money in that station continued to refuse to acknowledge my existence, and one continued to complain about me!

I'm not going away. You might as well get used to it. It's not YOUR station; it's OURS!

Middle class people pretend anger is a "negative" emotion. Bull crap! Anger can save my life! Oh, they're angry, alright. But they don't yell. They stab in the back, manipulate. They're quiet and lethal and sick as hell.

And they call ME crazy, because I won't stoop to their level and employ their tactics!

uh, huh.

I'm never going to let that insanity make me cry again!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


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Well, the chicken coop needs modification. Plastic sheeting, sandwiched between plastic fencing and chicken wire, is just not a sturdy enough roof, as evidenced by the effects of a freak hail storm the other day. Chicken wire is flexible; it "gives" under the weight of several dozen pounds of hail. Could have been several HUNDRED pounds, as my girl and I could NOT lift it up and off.

So, we've decided to invest in some corrugated roofing: either tin, or translucent plastic. We'll start with the portion which serves as our new back porch, and do other sections over the next, few months. It should cost about thirty dollars/mo. that way.

Besides, I worry, having too many building materials, lying around the yard. Don't want the city after us.

I built a storage unit from old pallets, covered in plastic sheeting and chicken wire. The roof peaks at about seven feet tall. It's about 5x5. Holds LOTS of stuff, and the cats and dog love lying on the little "porch" I made on the front for foot wiping.

The back yard's shaping up.

I'm almost done unpacking the things stored on the side of the house now.

Most rooms are about fully furnished and decorated.

But, if I don't clean these floors soon, I'll lose my mind. They've got over a month's worth of leaves, animal hair, dirt, goat heads and assorted feathers on them. It's rather like camping: never walk through the house without some sort of foot gear; you could get hurt.

I'm waiting for yesterday's rain to soak into the ground. The back yard has been flooded twice now and needs time to dry before I clean the floors.

I have two chicks left; they're damn near chickens now and ready to live in the coop, once I roof and door the remaining section.

I have enough chicken wire and pallets left to cover our clothesline and one side of the house for them, too. Since cats, dog and chickens will share the same space, the more space, the better.

I can finish it after she leaves in November.

Right now, I'm concentrating on finishing the inside.

We bought a small freezer, so I'm planning sugarless/ wheatless foods to freeze. I've researched how to make: yogurt, cheese and tofu.

She's severely allergic to gluten; it makes her VERY sick. So, I'm learning to cook everything with nonwheat flours. Some work; some don't. I'm just experimenting right now. I made a decent pineapple upside down cake the other day, though. And I can make wheatless/sugarless pancakes that taste like the real deal.

When I can make a "passable" loaf of wheatless bread, I'll know I'm comfortable with wheatless cooking.

She loves my cooking. And she's eating much healthier with me than she was alone. Cheaper, too.

Which brings me to finances. She earns apx. 3xs what I do. We've broken the expenses down to: my entire income is spent on food, household needs, auto, discretionary and misc. Her income is split into: savings, loan payments, rent and utilities.

This gives me a very generous budget for household expenses. I'm working to save at least a hundred dollars/month toward dentist copays, etc.

This month is harder, because I'm paying for deposits and setup fees for phone, etc. And I've only borrowed a hundred on that predatory loan this month. So, our expenses budget is less than three hundred, out of which I've paid 2 months telephone and phone deposit.

We have plenty of food and supplies. The car's ok.

We enjoy puttering around here so much, we rarely spend any money out, anyway. We occasionally go to dollar movies and a snack, the total for wich is less than ten dollars for the two of us.

We've hit garage sales and flea markets pretty hard, furnishing this place. But that's done now.

So, I'm anticipating saving a great deal of money while she's gone in Nov. and Dec.

By the time she returns in Jan, I should be able to go to the dentist & doctors and get eye glasses, too.

We did indulge in one thing, though: I'm getting an MSNTV2, the newest Little Black BOx...which isn't little, and is white.

It has problems: no cut & paste; no alt.discuss usenet groups...and something else I use regularly.

But it's broadband capable, has ethernet, sees Java, Flash, MediaPlayer and....RADIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The service is ten bucks a month, just like mine is now, with NetZero and Cirt as our ISPs.

When I got the email from MicroSoft, I literally cried. We've waited for a fast and capable WebTV for SO LONG!

Now, they're done beta testing, and are offering it to current customers first.

They SAY I should receive it by the end of October, but I ain't holdin' my breath; it's MicroSoft, y'know?

That way, my girl can take the old box on her adventures, as it'll plug into any tv she's at. She already has her little account set up.

The new box costs less than two hundred dollars, and comes with two month's free service, plus a twenty five dollar rebate. So, we splurged and put it on her already-groaning credit card.

So, I'm paying my webtv bill and phone bill, to compensate, even though those are supposed to come from her budget.

We eat well. We have everything we need here, mostly. We're comfortable and safe.

I have more to say about the interpersonal aspects of living with her, but those will go in Viri Diana. But not today.

Right now, I need to shower. She'll be home for lunch and a nap soon. Then, I'll go to her workplace with her to help with some projects for the evening.

Besides, it's cool and damp, and I'm achy and sore from working so hard all weekend. So, I'm taking it easy and being a potato today.

Speaking of potatoes, I'd better start some lunch, too!

Monday, October 11, 2004

Soylent Green

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I've been thinking like this for quite some time:

Color my future Soylent Green
by Kurt Nimmo, Another Day in the Empire
Oct. 11, 2004

Here's the real deal for the American worker: No pension, no Social Security, jobs exported to India and China, welfare long gone (thank Clinton), a future of endless war and an old age of dumpster diving.

If we are to believe the folks who rail against the NWO crowd, our rulers want to get rid of us, or a whole lot of us through forever war, bioengineered disease, and orchestrated starvation.

Hell, the way things are going, Soylent Green looks like a distinct possibility. In Harry Harrison's novel (and the lame Hollywood movie), people started eating each around the year 2022. Mmmmm. Baby Boomer Fricassee with (GE modified) mushrooms. I'll take seconds.

But seriously. If you read the news you will discover all manner of depressing facts and figures. For instance, US Airways told their employees they will not pay their pensions. But that's not the startling thing. Now it surely is a bummer for US Airways employees, but there was something even more disturbing in the article -- the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a government agency that supposedly guarantees traditional defined-benefit pension plans, is severely in the red -- to the tune of around 11 billion dollars.

In other words, if Joe Free Trade -- the guy who wants to send your job to a Chinese labor gulag -- defaults on your pension there's no money to make sure you don't starve to death when you retire, or are "let go" because you're too old and sick to flip burgers or stock shelves at Wal-Mart.

Most of us should realize by now there will be no retirement. Or Social Security. It will be work until you drop. Just like those sweatshop workers in Indonesia or Vietnam. Just like it was in the good old days of the Industrial Revolution in merry old England and right here in the US of A. Look on the bright side: At least your kids don't have to work 12 hour a day, 6 days a week in a garment factory. Not yet, anyway.

Remember, John Kerry voted for NAFTA, and Bill Clinton said it would be a great deal for the American worker. Never mind that all those factory jobs that went from Indiana and Pennsylvania to the Mexican maquiladoras are now going to China. Maybe you'll want to think about that in couple weeks when you go to cast your vote at the local school the Ministry of Homeland Security tells us al-Qaeda wants to attack with dirty bombs.

Best hope you have family to take care of you in your dotage -- that is if they can afford to take care of you -- otherwise it will be homelessness. I don't know about where you live, but around here the police don't take kindly to homeless people, even grizzled homeless people with Alzheimer's. Looks bad to the real estate investors. Besides, it scares the crap out of the middle class folks driving around in their SUVs because it reminds them what could happen if they lose their jobs (sent to Shanghai) and bank accounts and homes. Nobody wants to be reminded they are a paycheck or two away from homelessness, especially when they are supposed to be casting a fly rod on Golden Pond.

Consider what William Poole, president
of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, suggested the other day. He wants to edge up the eligible retirement age for Social Security. Of course, as the president of the Federal Reserve Bank, Poole doesn't have to worry about dumpster diving in his old age as he waits to hit 100 or whatever the eligible retirement age will be by the time this Baby Boomer is too old and enfeebled to work.

Of course, it doesn't matter. Because there will be no Social Security by the time I hit 70, let alone 100 or whatever the rich people who rule us decide it will be. According to the so-called experts, around 2018 or so existing payroll taxes just won't cover all the benefits going out. Note: 2018 is precariously close to 2022, when Harry Harrison has us dining on each other.

Good old Alan Greenspan, that former Ayn Rand Libertarian who sold his soul to become a central banker. Greenspan provided us with a glimmer of our collective future (or those of us not members of the Fortune 500 millionaire and billionaire club) when he said a few weeks ago: "If we have promised more than our economy has the ability to deliver to retirees without unduly diminishing real income gains of workers, as I fear we may have, we must recalibrate our public programs so that pending retirees have time to adjust through other channels. If we delay, the adjustments could be abrupt and painful."

Translation: Bush and the neolibs have decided the rich do not have to pay taxes and have no obligation to be socially responsible in any way or form to those they have worked to the bone all these years.

In the meantime, we (the non-rich) will have to pay even more to foot the bill for those now lucky enough to retire.

And when our time arrives the "adjustment" could be "painful" -- in other words, if we are lucky, we'll be allowed to queue up in a faith-based soup line. If we're not lucky -- and luck is rarely on the side of the working class -- our rulers will simply let us starve or bioengineer another "La Grippe" influenza pandemic like the one that killed between 20 and 40 million people in 1918-1919. Or maybe our rulers will start handing out Jack Kevorkian pills by the truckload.

Remember, it was the Nazis, who loved their kids and who were civilized and sensitive enough to listen to Richard Wagner and Johann Sebastian Bach, who condemned millions of "useless eaters" to starvation, and not just Jews.

Dubya's grandfather helped them do it.

Please excuse my cynicism. But we have to be realists here. Bush wants to "privatize" Social Security -- that is to say turn it into a sort of casino where we all take our chances on the stock market. How many people lost their pants a few years ago when the stock market "bubble" burst? I don't mean the Big Boys on Wall Street -- those guys rarely lose anything -- but average and gullible people who foolishly believed all the bull[language] pedaled about fortunes to be made.

Remember what our fearless and Supreme Court appointed leader said: "There's an old sayin' in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee, that says, 'Fool me once, shame on, shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again.'"

Unfortunately, due to incessant brainwashing -- instilled by families, schools, and television -- far too many Americans are fooled over and over again. Is it possible they will be fooled into surrendering their Social Security check to some sleazeball investment banker? Count on it.

If you think otherwise, consider the government bailed out looted Savings and Loan banks in the '80s. That scam will ultimately cost us around $1.4 trillion dollars. With the money lost from the S&L scandals, the government could have provided prenatal care for every American child for the next 2,300 years. Dubya's brother, Neil, ran one of those S&L banks into the ground.

Guess what? He never severed a minute of jail time. Do you think anybody will serve time after these same criminals squander your Social Security money? Or is it more likely the brother of one of those criminals will be appointed CEO of America, Inc., by a senile Supreme Court?

Enough questions. I have to stop now. I have to get back on Monster and CareerBuilder, to look for a job that is not there. Earlier today I went to a web development corporation's web site. I was searching for the "Human Resources" contact number. Guess where that was? India! Maybe in my next life I will come back as an Indian -- or Chinese or Indonesian.

It may be better to come back as a cockroach because, as the scientists who understand these sorts of things tell us, the cockroach is tough and resilient and will outlast us all.



Wednesday, October 06, 2004

failure notice

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From: MAILER-DAEMON@maillist.michaelmoore.com Date: Wed, Oct 6, 2004, 6:59pm (MDT+6) To: rriverstone
Subject: failure notice

Mail Delivery Notification

A message you sent earlier with the subject "Declining Michael Moore's Invitation" has been returned to you because it could not be delivered to all of the intended recipients. Here is what the remote mail system said the problem was:
User's Disk Quota Exceeded.

Sorry, your intendend recipient has too much mail stored in their mailbox.

Declining Michael Moore's Invitation

You are reading http://livinginthehood.blogspot.com

Dear Mr. Moore,

I am writing on behalf of Maria C, who is unaware of -- and will not be attending -- your "Slackers Uprising Tour," when it comes to the UNM Pit this Sunday. Ms. C is also unaware that I'm even writing to you, as we've lost touch, since her eldest daughter, Sonia, became pregnant at the age of 16 and left home for parts unknown.

Although Ms. C has the right to vote, she has never exercised her franchise. She is, by your definition, a "slacker."

Ms. C snuck into this country with her five-year-old and infant daughters nearly twenty years ago from Juarez, Mexico. Her family couldn't afford to send her to school beyond the third grade and, although Ms. C appears to possess above-average intelligence, she has been stuck in menial labor ever since.

Her eldest daughter, Sonia, has told me childhood memories of stealing shoes, living in cardboard packing containers and fleeing armed attackers in the streets of El Paso.

Ms. C comes from a long and honorable, family tradition of professional thievery. She has: shoplifted, prostituted herself, sold stolen merchandise and drugs to support her family. Her girls are always well-fed and -dressed. Ms. C married Sonia's father in order to attain citizenship and, therefore, subsidized housing, food stamps, Aid to Families With Dependent Children, Medicaid and other benefits for her girls. Voting was the fartherst thing from her mind.

When I last saw Ms. C, aproximately ten years ago, she was working as a housekeeper to military officers on Kirtland Air Force Base. She worked forty hours per week at minimum wage.

She brought home discarded: chicken wings, beanie weenies, mini tacos and other, catered fare from officers' parties and social functions. This was necessary to suppliment the thirty-seven dollars' Food Stamps she received to feed her girls. I've seen her, on several occasions, feed these leftovers to her daughters, without eating anything for herself.

Instead of eating supper, Ms. C frequently consumed four "tall boy" cans of "Red Dog" beer. She was attempting to self-medicate from the physical and psychological pain of her stressful job, and her long walk there and home.

At the suggestion of her supervisor and coworkers, she had begun a pretty serious crack cocaine habit, in order to work fast enough to fulfill the demands of her job, without getting fired.

Ms. C will not be attending your event because of the costs. True, a five dollar charge at the door seems reasonable. But there are extenuating circumstances which neither you, your event's organizers, nor the Democratic National Committee have taken into consideration.

The event will be held at the Pit, several miles from Ms. C's last known address on North East Tennessee, in the heart of Albuquerque's so-called, "War Zone." The last SunTran bus on Central Avenue suspends Sunday operations at approximately the same time (6:00 pm) as your event begins. Ms. C would have to pay a family member five dollars per trip, in order to attend. Otherwise, she'd have to arrive early and pay for a taxicab ride home.

In addition, based on her circumstances of ten years ago, Ms. C would have had to pay at least five dollars per hour for child care for her girls. Otherwise, she'd have to bring them, which would still cost an additional ten dollars in tickets.

If this Sunday was Ms. C's day to take care of Abuelita, the grandmother, she would have to arrange to pay someone for elder care, as well.

All factors considered, Ms. C's potential, financial outlay for your event could well top fifty dollars for approxemately three to four hours.

Ms. C speaks broken English. I doubt she'd understand most of what occurred, and would have little interest, therefore, in attending, anyway. She can neither read nor write English. Her eldest daughter, Sonia, served as translator for all social services', medical, employment, legal and other, official appointments -- even though most of these services boasted signs in their waiting rooms that translators would be provided. They seemed never to be available for any appointments to which Ms. C was required to attend.

Hence, Sonia missed much of her substandard schooling. And Sonia, and her sister, Michelle, quickly learned that school was not a high priority to survival. Sonia has, therefore, dropped out of high school, out of sheer boredom, frustration, and need to be self employed. Of course, when she became pregnant, she stopped working, moved back in with her mother, and is now subsisting on "welfare" to support herself and her child. Sonia, who is now old enough to vote, will not be attending your event, either.

Ms. C was severely battered by both her husbands (one of whom, ironically, is stationed as an Army sergeant in Germany, with a commonlaw German wife and two kids) and a boyfriend. The boyfriend broke Ms. C's jaw with a cordless telephone receiver, in front of Michelle, who was six at the time.

Ms. C has endured decades of verbal and physical abuse, trying to keep a roof over her daughters' heads. She doesn't need you to call her a "slacker."

I know of no other person for whom this election is critical than Ms. C and her daughters. Ms. C has: a husband, a brother, three cousins and four nieces and nephews in the Army, some of whom are now stationed in Iraq. She works for the military. She relies on social "services" for her children. She knows families in Juarez whose daughters have died in the mass murders there. Current political issues affect Ms. Carter more directly than any of the middle class voters to whom Mr. John Kerry is pandering.

I see no provisions, at your website, for: transportation, child- or elder-care, "scholorships" or "sliding scales," etc.

Therefore, Mr. Moore, I respectfully have to decline your invitation on Ms. C's behalf, and on behalf of the thousands of single moms in New Mexico and this nation. They will neither be attending your event, nor voting in this election, or any other election. They have been more effectively disinfranchised by the neglect of both the two "major" political parties, and most of the "minor" ones, than fire hoses, dogs and jails could ever have accomplished.

Thank you for your time.


Rogi A. Riverstone
(who won't be attending, either, out of protest and solidarity with my sisters)

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Fortunate Son

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Some folks are born made to wave the flag,
Ooh, they're red, white and blue.
And when the band plays hail to the chief,
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, lord,
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no senator's son, son.
It ain't me, it ain't me; I ain't no fortunate one, no,

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,
Lord, don't they help themselves, oh.
But when the taxman comes to the door,
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes,
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no millionaire's son, no.
It ain't me, it ain't me; I ain't no fortunate one, no.

Some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
Ooh, they send you down to war, lord,
And when you ask them, how much should we give?
Ooh, they only answer more! more! more! yoh,
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no military son, son.
It ain't me, it ain't me; I ain't no fortunate one, one.
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, no no no,
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate son, no no no,
� Creedence Clearwater Revival Lyrics