Monday, November 27, 2006

What now? A Christmas list

Here is a short wish list for my community here in St. Clair County, across this country, and around the globe. Please comment, agree, disagree, and add your two cents or "nickel's worth" as Handsome Bill Brown says.

My list:

1. Out of Iraq right now. No more dinking around. We screwed up royally. Leave the Iraqis all the trucks, machinery, and whatever else might help them rebuild and get out.

2. Paper ballots across America for every election from now on. No machines, no Diebold.

3. Take bold steps to save our environment. Let's have a war on polluters. No bloodshed, just make them pay every cent necessary to clean up their old messes and stop making new ones.

4. Put kids and schools first. And stop the majority of testing.

5. Value American workers. Raise the minimum wage to ten bucks an hour.

6. Create national health care. Health care in this country is not working. Let's start from scratch and change direction here. We can do it.

7. Impeach Bush and Cheney. If you don't agree, then you are soft on crime.

Happy holidays to you and yours.
May your holiday stockings be filled with
peace on earth and a
renewed respect for our Constitution.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Levin Statement at the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on Iraq


Last week, the American people delivered a clear — indeed, a dramatic — message to the Administration, to the Congress, and to the Iraqi government that “stay the course” is not a strategy for success in Iraq. It was a message heard around the world.

The American people don’t accept the president’s recent assessment that, “absolutely, we’re winning” in Iraq. Nor should we.

The American people have said, forcefully, that they are impatient with Iraqi leaders who will not make the political compromises required to blunt the sectarian violence and unite the Iraqi people. They are impatient with Iraqi government leaders who have not disbanded the militias and death squads that are a plague on Iraqi society. And they have lost patience with the Iraqi leaders who won’t condemn Sunni-Shia enmity, tribal rivalries, and ethnic hatred.

America has given the Iraqi people the opportunity to build a new nation at the cost of nearly 3,000 American lives and over 20,000 wounded. But the American people do not want our valiant troops to get caught in a crossfire between Iraqis, if the Iraqis insist on squandering that opportunity through civil war and sectarian strife.

We were assured by the president over a year ago that, “As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.” Even though the Pentagon claims that almost 90 percent of the Iraqi Security Forces are now trained and equipped, our troop level remains about the same. We were momentarily hopeful when the Iraqi leaders signed a four-point agreement on October 2 to end the sectarian violence. That turned out to be another false hope.
Recently, Ambassador Khalilzad announced that Iraqi officials had agreed to a timeline for reaching benchmarks to confront the sectarian militias, to implement a reconciliation program, to share oil revenues, and to recommend changes to the constitution. Prime Minister Maliki repudiated that timeline the next day, providing additional evidence that the Iraqi political leaders do not understand that there is a limit to the blood and treasure that Americans are willing to spend, given the unwillingness of the Iraqis themselves to put their political house in order.

Our uniformed military leaders have repeatedly told us that there’s no military solution to the violence in Iraq and that a political agreement between the Iraqi sectarian factions themselves is the only way to end the violence. Just last month, at his October 25th press conference, President Bush said that, “In the end, the Iraqi people and their government will have to make the difficult decisions necessary to solve these problems.” In the end? We are three and one-half years into a conflict which has already lasted longer than the Korean conflict and almost as long as World War II. We should put the responsibility for Iraq’s future squarely where it belongs: on the Iraqis. We cannot save the Iraqis from themselves.

The only way for Iraqi leaders to squarely face that reality is for President Bush to tell them that the United States will begin a phased redeployment of our forces within four to six months. That is not precipitous. It is a responsible way to change the dynamic in Iraq, to stop the march down the path to full-blown civil war on which the Iraqis are now embarked. Yes, some U.S. troops would need to remain in Iraq for the limited missions of counterterrorism and training of Iraqi security forces and to provide logistical support and force protection. And, yes, we should also convene an international conference to support a political settlement and to provide resources for Iraq’s reconstruction.

We are grateful to our witnesses for their service to our nation. We are especially grateful and united in support of the brave troops who are serving us in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives

Tuesday, November 14th, Michael Moore

To My Conservative Brothers and Sisters,

I know you are dismayed and disheartened at the results of last week's election. You're worried that the country is heading toward a very bad place you don't want it to go. Your 12-year Republican Revolution has ended with so much yet to do, so many promises left unfulfilled. You are in a funk, and I understand.
Well, cheer up, my friends! Do not despair. I have good news for you. I, and the millions of others who are now in charge with our Democratic Congress, have a pledge we would like to make to you, a list of promises that we offer you because we value you as our fellow Americans. You deserve to know what we plan to do with our newfound power -- and, to be specific, what we will do to you and for you.
Thus, here is our Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives:
Dear Conservatives and Republicans,
I, and my fellow signatories, hereby make these promises to you:
1. We will always respect you for your conservative beliefs. We will never, ever, call you "unpatriotic" simply because you disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to dissent and disagree with us.
2. We will let you marry whomever you want, even when some of us consider your behavior to be "different" or "immoral." Who you marry is none of our business. Love and be in love -- it's a wonderful gift.
3. We will not spend your grandchildren's money on our personal whims or to enrich our friends. It's your checkbook, too, and we will balance it for you.
4. When we soon bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq, we will bring your sons and daughters home, too. They deserve to live. We promise never to send your kids off to war based on either a mistake or a lie.
5. When we make America the last Western democracy to have universal health coverage, and all Americans are able to get help when they fall ill, we promise that you, too, will be able to see a doctor, regardless of your ability to pay. And when stem cell research delivers treatments and cures for diseases that affect you and your loved ones, we'll make sure those advances are available to you and your family, too.
6. Even though you have opposed environmental regulation, when we clean up our air and water, we, the Democratic majority, will let you, too, breathe the cleaner air and drink the purer water.
7. Should a mass murderer ever kill 3,000 people on our soil, we will devote every single resource to tracking him down and bringing him to justice. Immediately. We will protect you.
8. We will never stick our nose in your bedroom or your womb. What you do there as consenting adults is your business. We will continue to count your age from the moment you were born, not the moment you were conceived.
9. We will not take away your hunting guns. If you need an automatic weapon or a handgun to kill a bird or a deer, then you really aren't much of a hunter and you should, perhaps, pick up another sport. We will make our streets and schools as free as we can from these weapons and we will protect your children just as we would protect ours.
10. When we raise the minimum wage, we will pay you -- and your employees -- that new wage, too. When women are finally paid what men make, we will pay conservative women that wage, too.
11. We will respect your religious beliefs, even when you don't put those beliefs into practice. In fact, we will actively seek to promote your most radical religious beliefs ("Blessed are the poor," "Blessed are the peacemakers," "Love your enemies," "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God," and "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."). We will let people in other countries know that God doesn't just bless America, he blesses everyone. We will discourage religious intolerance and fanaticism -- starting with the fanaticism here at home, thus setting a good example for the rest of the world.
12. We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and who are bought and paid for by the rich. We will go after any elected leader who puts him or herself ahead of the people. And we promise you we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side FIRST. If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it. Simply because we are in power does not give us the right to turn our heads the other way when our party goes astray. Please perform this important duty as the loyal opposition.
I promise all of the above to you because this is your country, too. You are every bit as American as we are. We are all in this together. We sink or swim as one. Thank you for your years of service to this country and for giving us the opportunity to see if we can make things a bit better for our 300 million fellow Americans -- and for the rest of the world.
Michael Moore here to sign the pledge)
P.S. Please feel free to pass this on.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Join BlueNovember.Org
Thursday Afternoon
November 16, 2006
4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
Sanborn and Pine Grove
Port Huron, Michigan
This is a nonviolent, non-confrontational event.

We do not interfere with traffic, nor do
we engage in hostile interactions with passers by.
Signs will be available, but you may bring your own.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Out of the ashes

On November 7 voters across the country called for the renaissance of the Common Good. Clearly, people chose to turn against the Republican party who:

misled us into an unjust war, a war that is a framework for greed, graft, and corruption; a war that has been a gold mine for profiteers, like Blackwater, Caci, Halliburton, Kellog, Brown and Root, and others; a war that, according to 16 Untied States intelligence agencies, emboldens the terrorists.

gave tax breaks to the wealthiest among us, people who, instead, should be paying their fair share of our commonwealth.

refused to move our country forward on issues like education, science, and health care.

failed to protect our land, air, and water.

failed to help millions of citizens devastated by the Katrina disaster.

failed to protectthe vote, instead they protected the manufacturers of unreliable electronic voting machines.

led an all out assault on the U.S. Constitution, the Geneva Conventions, our U.S. statutory laws, all of which have been the foundation of what is good about this country.

So now it is a new day, but it feels like more than that. It feels like the proverbial opportunity of a lifetime. We all must recognize this chance. There is no time to rest. Too much is at stake. We must heed the call of our Forefathers. Listen. Pay attention. Accept the opportunity to do what is right.

I know this is true. The midterm election of 2006 is a calling forth of our democratic ideals from under the suffocating weight of lies, corruption, tyranny, and greed. It is the rebirth of the quest for the Common Good. It is the renaissance of neighbors joining hands and working together again for each other and for the country we love.

As ordinary citizens, let us give wings to this phoenix by following through on every level. We want the best possible lives for our neighbors and for ourselves, but we can't have that until our sons and daughters are home from Iraq. Bringing our troops home will be the first gust of wind beneath the wings of our phoenix, and I can't wait to see her fly.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

No apology necessary for Kerry's remarks

The recent remarks made by John Kerry have been misrepresented. Here is what Kerry said:

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Clearly, Senator Kerry is referring to President George W. Bush, not the troops serving in our military. John Kerry served. Bush did not. Kerry has criticized the Bush administration's Iraq war strategies for quite some time, so this is simply an extension of that criticism. These remarks reflect Mr. Kerry's opinion that the president isn't the brightest bulb in the lamp. Simple as that.

Don't apologize, Mr. Kerry. Call them out on what will go down as one of the biggest blunders of any American president.

Bob Denison to speak at BlueNovember.Org event.

Bob Denison, Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in Michigan's 10th District will field questions about his positions regarding the U.S. occupation of Iraq at BlueNovember.Org's free movie and "town hall" event. Details follow.

Iraq for Sale: A BlueNovember.Org Free Afternoon Movie
Join with neighbors and others to view and discuss the documentary, "Iraq for Sale." This film exposes the Iraq war as a framework for greed, graft, and corruption. If you really want to support our courageous men and women serving in the Iraq war, you should be open to all sides of the debate.

Join BlueNovember.Org for a free film and discussion.
Sunday Afternoon at 3:00
November 5, 2006
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
3201 Gratiot Avenue
Port Huron, MI 48060
Let's talk about this important issue.

Vote for Fairness and Equality - Vote NO on #2

Don't be fooled by the typically tricky wording of Michigan ballot proposals.

Voting NO on proposal #2 means voting for a level paying field for all Michigan citizens.

Until we have parity in schools and boardrooms across this state and land, and until racism and sexism are just bad memories, we MUST be allowed to incorporate programs that promote diversity and equality.
No on Proposal #2
is the right thing to do.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Why we went negative on Jud Gilbert

Our mailer about Jud Gilbert uses a tombstone to symbolize Jud Gilbert's voting record with regard to working class people and their families. Simply put, Gilbert is burying respect for people who work very hard, often for very little. We acknowledge this will be considered a "negative ad." Still, we felt compelled to expose the facts. Consider this, we're not trying to catch anyone with mustard on his chin. We aren't looking into anyone's personal life. We are telling the truth about our Senator, a man who has not voted with the collective interests of the people in mind.

Here are some of the points we make:

Jud Gilbert authored a bill that would require our children's teachers to ask permission from their employers before they could get a new job. This idea is more than incredibly backward workplace policy. It is reinstating indentured servitude. And, considering the overwhelming majority of our public school teachers are women, this plan reeks of misogyny.

Jud Gilbert shows no respect for people who have worked hard every day, yet they find themselves
victims of outsourcing and downsizing. Gilbert voted to make these taxpayers wait longer for their unemployment benefits. Gilbert also had an opportunity to increase these benefits, and chose not to.

When the Michigan State Senate was voting on a resolution to ask our federal government to close loop holes that give tax breaks to corporations for moving their manufacturing operations out of the United States, Gilbert voted NO.

Jud Gilbert voted
to cut important public school programs that helped kids learn to read.

Investigate Gilbert's record for yourself. Visit .

BlueNovember.Org endorses Gary Orr
for Michigan State Senator of the 25th District.
He will put the interests of ordinary people first.

John Tomlinson for Probate Judge

By Cindy Bostwick

There is one political race that may touch your life in the most dramatic way: that’s the race for Probate judge. There’s only one candidate in St. Clair County who will do a good job: that’s John Tomlinson.Find his website at

Let me tell you what it means to be a Probate judge. You deal with the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled, the criminally insane, the parentless children, the widows and widowers, and thanks to the wisdom of our Supreme Court, you also deal with divorces two days a week. You deal everyday with people in crisis, sad people, sick people, our most vulnerable neighbors.

That means that judge decides who gets locked away for treatment even though they are too sick to know they need it, who gets the kids, how much child support should be paid, which heirs get the money, how much money a surviving spouse can live on, who needs a guardian and what sort of powers does that guardian have, and who takes care of the money if someone can’t manage their own.

It takes a special kind of person to be a good Probate judge, and there aren’t, sadly, that many good ones. John Tomlinson will be one of the good ones, but he needs you. Now.

Don’t get me wrong.Every political decision is an important one, every vote counts. But your vote for Probate judge can literally save your life. Did I mention the Probate judge also has the power, if asked, to make end of life decisions for you?

I was the chief clerk of Probate Court for five years, and in June I left that job to move to Ann Arbor with Ben and take a new job with the Friend of Court. But my sister, nephew and brother in law still live in St. Clair County. The best friends of my life still live there. If I died or became unable to care for Ben, my sister Emily would be Ben’s guardian, and I’d want John Tomlinson watching over that. If my dear friends Linda or Jackie or Phil or Nunu or Bev or Janice or Monica or Bill or Matt became disabled, I’d want John Tomlinson to supervise their guardians and conservators. And I want John Tomlinson to be the judge who oversees my friend Mary Beth’s estate.

John Tomlinson knows and cares about real people. He worked at Community Mental Health for a number of years before becoming a lawyer. He has a developmentally disabled adult sibling. He’s the child of divorced parents, he’s been there. He’s served as conservator, personal representative, trustee, and guardian for many people. He's warm and smart and kind and funny. He’ll make a terrific judge and he’s earned it.

This vote could save your life, or the life of someone you know, like a little kid or a gravely ill elderly person.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Iraq for Sale: A BlueNovember.Org Free Afternoon Movie

Join with neighbors and others to view and discuss the documentary,
Iraq for Sale
This film exposes the Iraq war as a framework for greed, graft, and corruption. If you really want to support our courageous men and women serving in the Iraq war, you should be open to all sides of the debate.

Let's watch. Let's talk.

Join BlueNovember.Org for this important film and discussion.
Sunday Afternoon at 3:00
November 5, 2006
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
3201 Gratiot Avenue
Port Huron, MI 48060

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Lay conviction overturned

In case you missed it, Enron's conveniently deceased CEO, Ken Lay, will rest even more peacefully now that his conviction has been overturned. A legal doctrine called abatement erases a conviction if a defendant dies before he is able to exercise his right to appeal. It's as if Ken Lay were never indicted at all.

This turn of events will make it more difficult for former Enron employees and investors to seek damages form Lay's estate. Attorneys had been in the process of seizing $44 million.

Ironic that the same week our president strikes down habeas corpus, a judge protects a dead man's constitutional rights and the ill-gotten fortune he left behind.

America is no longer free

by Paul Lehto, Attorney at Law

Habeas corpus -- it's your most fundamental legal right, your right to go to a court and get an order requiring the government to prove that it is holding you in prison with proper legal authority to do so. Without that right, one necessarily lives in a dictatorship. President Bush today on October 17, 2006 signed a bill repealing that law, meaning that the administration need not comply or show compliance with law any more with regard to who goes to prison or Gitmo.

While it supposedly applies just to terrorism cases, that doesn't prevent it from ending the rule of law in the United States for our newly all-powerful Executive. This is true not just because terrorism is construed so broadly in the prohibition of "material support" for terrorism (which by the way has already been held to include a lawyer's press release on behalf of a terrorist client) but because the administration NEED NOT PROVE IT'S REALLY TERRORISM because they don't need to answer to any court in the land at any time.

Even "Justice" Scalia wrote in the Hamdan case that "the very core of liberty secured by our Anglo-Saxon system of separated powers has been freedom from indefinite imprisonment at the will of the Executive." That very core of liberty died on October 17, 2006 with the signing of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and its elimination of habeas corpus.

Oh yeah, it also legalized torture wholesale. While misleadingly purporting to prohibit a few forms, upon full analysis it prohibits none. But who's going to know since your relatives won't be able to find out where you are anyway, right? Habeas corpus ("produce the body") was not supposed to mean habeas corpses. Habeas corpus started as soon as human beings had the yearning to breathe free of the abuses of unchecked power of a king, aristocrat or lord, starting around the year 1215. We now have a pre-1215 mentality, all because of fear of some primitive and violent guys living in caves somewhere. Many of us are not intimidated.

Yet the same day as the signing of this Military Commissions Act of 2006, a lawyer following her ethical duty to represent her client and ill with breast cancer was sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison for the simple act of issuing a press release on behalf of a terrorist client in prison, which was judged "materially aiding" terrorism. (Such press releases for unpopular clients are hardly ever printed verbatim in any respect by newspapers, yet the allegation was that there could be a coded communication in the press release and there was a no-communication order in effect.) While this terrorist is a genuine terrorist, there's nothing in the law that distinguishes between representing serious terrorists and representing "innocent terrorists" (if there is such a thing) or minor ones, but in any case, remember, they don't need to comply with habeas and show that you are guilty anyway! At most, they just think to themselves "this guy's a terrorist" and you disappear into the torture chamber with no right to be heard from, even indirectly through your lawyer, which you have no enforceable right to anyway.

Even public opinion will likely not catch up with this because people will just disappear and who knows, maybe the missing person just went off on a lark or a fugue to start a new life, right?

Consequently, on October 17, 2006 freedom died in the United States of America . We now live in a dictatorship. We live in a dictatorship even if you think George W. Bush will be a wise and beneficent king or dictator. It is defined as the possession of absolute power as opposed to checks and balances.

In the Keith Olbermann commentary at the first youtube link below; I agree with Professor Turley (Constitutional Law) that people "really have no idea how significant this is." Turley says we now have an "absolute ruler" which is really just another way of saying dictatorship. He's not kidding. I'm not kidding.

I'll be releasing an extended (and devastating, early readers say) critical piece on this within 48 hours, but in the meantime and after that please consider the importance of this issue is at a WHOLE OTHER LEVEL. It's not an "issue" that we form polite activist groups to respond to.

The Executive Branch now has full discretion to imprison anybody they want to without charge or trial or bail and there will be nothing anybody can do except beg the King. I.e. there's no rule of law applicable to the administration. EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN LAW was essentially repealed, because the administration need not prove to anybody that it has complied with the law by indefinitely detaining you, your relative or anyone else.

Keith Olbermann's commentary, with Professor Jonathan Turley

The only thing I don't agree with Turley on is this: There is not a giant Yawn, there are a lot of people shocked, many crying, millions disturbed, millions more waking up. It's always hard to be among the first to know and to wait for the rest of the country to catch up, but somebody has to be in that position. Let's not, because we are among the first millions to wake up, send out the message that getting the American dream back is relatively hopeless based on the Yawn seemingly heard today. After all, there is no media echo besides Olbermann to get the word out and reinforce it. But there will be. I also disagree with Turley's approach, even as he makes strongly worded comments that are nevertheless scholarly and restrained in tone and volume, because it's inappropriate and (if you believe in Constitutional rights) not unlike talking in a similar dispassionate tone when a masked man walks into your local elementary school with automatic weapons drawn.

For a more appropriate tone, here's another two minute video below that was filmed right before this bill was signed but it nevertheless applies to this situation, and gives advice on what to do when "they come for your freedom." Paul Revere said "the Redcoats are coming". Today, "the Redcoats already came."

These situation of legalizing torture and eliminating habeas corpus is WAY WAY WAY "out there" in terms of extreme. Bush and his administration are incredibly isolated now, seeking to legalize the very things we prosecuted ourselves in WWII like waterboarding. If I hear anyone even IMPLY that we live in a free country, the correction will be swift. WE DO NOT LIVE IN A FREE COUNTRY ANY MORE. PERIOD.

The hopeful note is this: We can recognize how incredibly isolated both in the world and in our own country this Administration is, and we can turn away, and withdraw any remaining support and respect. But, if we react just in fear, whether fear of Gitmo or fear of torture or fear of terrorists, the dark curtain of dictatorship will descend further and their power will consolidate. In the end, Americans will not be denied freedom in a struggle for freedom on their own soil.

"Freedom is Under Attack" -- Rollins (f-bomb warning, but appropriate IMHO in this context)

Paul Lehto
Attorney at Law
Permission granted to distribute in full with attribution.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hastert tells Limbaugh Democrats are to blame

Transcript from Rush Limbaugh's radio program is remarkable. Yet, should anyone be surprised? Democrats, Hastert asserts, should shut up about Foley's sex crimes against congressional pages because the Republicans are all that stand between the American people and terrorism.

SPEAKER HASTERT: There were two pieces of paper out there, one that we knew about and we acted on; one that happened in 2003 we didn't know about, but somebody had it, and, you know, they're trying -- and they drop it the last day of the session, you know, before we adjourn on an election year. Now, we took care of Mr. Foley. We found out about it, asked him to resign. He did resign. He's gone. We asked for an investigation. We've done that. We're trying to build better protections for these page programs.

But, you know, this is a political issue in itself, too, and what we've tried to do as the Republican Party is make a better economy, protect this country against terrorism -- and we've worked at it ever since 9/11, worked with the president on it -- and there are some people that try to tear us down. We are the insulation to protect this country, and if they get to me it looks like they could affect our election as well.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Granholm's message powerful in first debate

Governor Jennifer Granholm delivered a clear message in her first debate. Her past work and future plans for the state of Michigan put ordinary people and common sense first.

Overall Leadership

Granholm is the clear winner. She works for the common interests of ordinary people. She has great understanding of our laws and constitution. She outlined the reasons she has made difficult decisions. DeVos could only say everything she did "disappointed" him, and he not once directly answered a question. Good leaders are able to be direct. He skirted around every single question relating to the economy and his business dealings.

Jobs and the economy

Granholm is working to help Michigan citizens through our transformation from a predominantly automobile-related economy to a diverse economy, including the effort to make Michigan a leader in alternative energy.

Dick DeVos said he is "disappointed" in the governor's performance. He stated we needed a new leader, but he offered no specifics and no plan.

Stem Cell Research

Governor Granholm is for using stem cell research to offer hope to thousands suffering from disease and paralysis. DeVos says we should vote for him since he has been "consistent" in his opposition of this possibly life-saving research.


Granholm supports a woman's right to make this decision. DeVos' extremist position is a woman should not be able to choose an abortion even if she is raped or a victim of incest.

Other issues

DeVos refuses to release his tax records. What is he hiding? And the issue about investing in a multi-million dollar nursing home company that hurt seniors. He couldn't have cared less.


Jennifer Granholm became governor of a state in horrible financial trouble, paid the debt off, and is working to offer educational and economic solutions to problems Dick DeVos is responsible for causing.

Jennifer Granholm wins on substance and sincerity. Sorry to "disappoint" you, Dick.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Amos Williams for Michigan Attorney General

Amos Williams has a 40 year history of serving and protecting the people of this nation and this state.

AS A SOLDIER 1966-1968
In 1966, at age 18, Amos left his studies at Wayne State University and enlisted in the United States Army at the height of the Vietnam war. He server in Vietnam as a forward observer directing artillery and air strikes in close support of his infantry company with the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Bridge. He was wounded three times before returning home to Michigan in November 1968. He was awarded bronze stars, purple hearts, a combat infantry's badge and other metals.

AS A POLICEMAN 1968-1985
Within 30 days of returning to Michigan, Amos was appointed to the Detroit Police Department. During the next 17 years he worked as a police officer, sergeant and lieutenant in all areas of police work including Internal Affairs. In 1972 he was assigned to work undercover as an investigator for a grand jury investigating police corruption. In 1980 he attended and graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
While working on the police force, he finished his undergraduate requirements and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. In 1983 he enrolled in law school. In 1984, an Agent Orange cancer resulting from exposure in Vietnam caused him to have an amputation of his right hand and he was retired from the police department in 1985.

AS A LAWYER 1986-2006
Amos received his Juris Doctorate in 1986 from Detroit College of Law. During the next 20 years he became a well-known and respected attorney representing people and small businesses who were the victims of injustice.

Williams said Granholm, "needs an attorney general who will guard her flank and watch her back, instead of lusting after her seat." He said Cox's performance has been substandard on civil rights, insurance redlining, gas gouging, consumer protection, environmental protection and a woman's right to choose to have an abortion.

Compiled by Lyn Chabot

Gary Orr for Michigan Senate (25 District)

Gary Orr has learned first hand what is important in life while raising three children with his wife, taking care of his elderly mother, working full time, and working for the citizens of Marysville as their mayor.

As Mayor of Marysville, Gary fought to keep 750 jobs in the community from being outsourced. He understands that Michigan's economy must evolve to survive and that's why he worked to bring in the Marysville Ethanol Plant. This effort will benefit the economy by creating new jobs, supporting local farmers, and providing a source for alternative energy. Gary will fight for the working class in Michigan because he is one of us!

Gary believes that we must also make the most of the economic engines we have right here in our own backyard our schools, our community colleges, and our universities. If we finally make improving education and access to education - our first thought as policymakers, instead of an afterthought, we'll have the highly trained, 21st Century- skilled workforce that no employer can resist.

Families' budgets are getting squeezed from all sides these days. Heating and gas costs are through the roof, Michigan has some of the highest insurance rates in the country, and people are being forced to choose between the medicine and food. We need someone in Lansing who is willing to put his foot down and take on these big corporations. Reigning in these costs will help consumers buy the cars we make, shop in our stores and do all the other things that will kick start our economy. Gary Orr will do just that.

Too many people in Michigan are living without health insurance - missing out on potentially-life saving treatments, and cost-saving preventive care. Uninsured people end up waiting until illnesses become emergencies and the expense of caring for them falls to all taxpayers - eating up resources that could be spent on schools or invested in infrastructure. Gary Orr believes that we must make sure everyone has a chance at affordable coverage - for their sake and for our economies' sake.

Gary Orr is BlueNovember.Org's pick for Michigan State Senator.

Compliled by Patti Reis

Monday, September 18, 2006

Robert Denison endorsement

Bob Denison
Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress
Michigan's 10th District

On election day, my wife, Carol, and I will vote for Robert Denison, 10th District Democratic candidate for Congress. Why?
Mr. Denison will stand up for working families. He will fight to stop the exportation of American jobs by ending tax incentives for corporations that move jobs overseas. Candice Miller has worked against American workers. She rubber stamped Bush’s policies by supporting NAFTA and voting to strip overtime from millions of American workers.
Our son, Michael, has Cerebral Palsy. Stem cell research could lead to easing the symptoms of Cerebral Palsy so that Michael, may lead a more normal and productive life. Mr. Denison supports federal funding of Stem Cell Research. President Bush’s *only* veto has been against Stem Cell Research. Candice Miller helped sustain sustain that veto. In doing so, she voted against Michael and everyone else who could benefit from this research.
We are also concerned about corruption in the Republican leadership of Washington, D.C., which has resulted in the resignations of Republicans “Duke” Cunningham, Bob Ney, and Tom Delay. In 2004 Republican Candice Miller was publicly admonished by the House Ethics Committee for aiding Delay’s attempts to illegally influence a congressional vote. In addition to the $15,600 Miller has accepted from “big oil” interests, she has taken $20,000 from Delay’s ARMPAC, $5,000 from Cunningham’s PAC, and $1,000 from Ney’s.
As I composed this, five more American soldiers and hundreds of Iraqi citizens died in Iraq. Robert Denison is committed to an effective exit strategy for Iraq while Candice Miller and Bush “stay the course.” Their lack of strategy has resulted in a civil war, 2680 American deaths, and nearly 20,000 wounded.
It is time to CHANGE THE COURSE. Bob Denison will help chart a new direction in the course of American politics. He will be a voice for the people. Please join us on November 7, 2006, and give Bob Denison an opportunity to stand up for all families in Michigan and our soldiers in Iraq.


William M. (Bill) and Carol Brown
Port Huron, Michigan

Friday, September 08, 2006


The BRING ME HOME: Soldier Awareness Project is an idea inspired by the work of other peace activists. While attending the State Democratic Convention in Michigan, one of our youngest members was given a toy "army man." On the bottom of the tiny plastic soldier were the words "BRING ME HOME."

Clearly, the idea is to evoke the tragic human cost our men and women pay as they serve our country in this unjust war. The plastic soldiers are left in public places for others to find. The intent is to offer people a moment of reflection as they read the soldier's message. Our hope is that some will leave the soldier for yet another person, but, mostly, we hope a few will be inspired to do more.

Write a letter to your local paper.

Tell members of your community why we must bring our soldiers home.

Call your senators or member of congress.

Tell them to bring our soldiers home.

Vote for Democrats and Independents who want to end this war and do the work to stay out of others.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Choosing Granholm for governor is an easy decision

BlueNovember.Org endorses Jennifer Granholm for governor of Michigan. Her record proves she is a proponent for community ideals and for the common good. Her opponent, Dick Devos, on the other hand, has a record of working against ordinary people and for the interests of corporations and the privileged few.


Granholm has increased spending per student to the highest level in state history. She is a union supporter, which is good for teachers, and she is an advocate for increased core curriculum standards for public schools. Devos has spent millions advocating a voucher system that would take tax revenue from public schools and give it to private schools. Devos has tried to spin this plan as one to help "poor" students who seek alternative education. We aren't buying a plan that diverts public money to private institutions that have no public oversight.

Granholm earns respect for community mindedness and for seeking the common good. Devos earns a cold shoulder for his lack of commitment to our common interests with respect to educating Michigan children.


Jennifer Granholm pushed the Republican controlled house and senate to increase the minimum wage. When they wouldn't budge, she initiated the drive to get it on the fall ballot. She said, "We'll let the Michigan voters decide." It wasn't until the Republican majority admitted opposing the minimum wage increase would be a political liability that they put their own version of an increase on the table. Governor Granholm signed the compromise into law earlier this year. The lowest paid and often hardest working people in the state will finally see a pay increase in October 2006. Granholm has worked to bring good jobs to the state. Google, Ann Arbor; Whirlpool, Benton Harbor; Duncan Aviation, Battle Creek, are just a few of the companies Granholm helped bring to Michigan.

Dick Devos was never a proponent to raise the minimum wage and he has created more jobs in China than in Michigan. In fact, after laying off more than one thousand Michigan workers, Devos invested millions of dollars in China.

Granholm scores points for valuing hard work and for "insourcing" jobs to our state (It bears repeating here that she is a supporter of unions. As for Devos, with his record of outsourcing and pushing to make this a "Right to Work" or non-union state, and we were actually using a point system, we would have to give negative numbers here.


Regardless of how many slick ads Dick Devos produces, he is not the kind of person we want as an advocate for Michigan citizens simply because he has never been an advocate for ordinary people and their needs. Jennifer Granholm has spent the larger portion of her life defending people and protecting their interests. It is also important to note Granholm inherited a nearly four billion dollar debt from outgoing Governor Engler. She made hard choices, but she paid down that debt. Devos has strong ties to the current Bush administration. Most Americans now agree our federal government is a mess and it has made a mess of our common interests. Education, civil liberties, job security, environmental protection, a quest for peace: all eroded under Bush administration policies. Dick Devos spent several hundred thousand dollars on Bush's presidential campaigns. This must mean he agrees with Bush policies. So, while Devos ads call for "change", it seems to us that "change" means more of what got us into trouble in the first place. We don't need a George W. Bush type-guy in Lansing.

Jennifer Granholm is clearly the best choice for governor of Michigan.

Democrats again call for change in Iraq

September 4, 2006

The President
The White House
Washington , D.C.

Dear Mr. President:

Over one month ago, we wrote to you about the war in Iraq . In the face of escalating violence, increasing instability in the region, and an overall strain on our troops that has reduced their readiness to levels not seen since Vietnam , we called upon you to change course and adopt a new strategy to give our troops and the Iraqi people the best chance for success.

Although you have not responded to our letter, we surmise from your recent press conferences and speeches that you remain committed to maintaining an open-ended presence of U.S. forces in Iraq for years to come. That was the message the American people received on August 21, 2006 , when you said, “we're not leaving [ Iraq ], so long as I'm the President.”

Unfortunately, your stay the course strategy is not working. In the five-week period since writing to you, over 60 U.S. soldiers and Marines have been killed, hundreds of U.S. troops have been wounded, many of them grievously, nearly 1,000 Iraqi civilians have died, and the cost to the American taxpayer has grown by another $8 billion dollars. Even the administration' s most recent report to Congress on Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq indicates that security trends in Iraq are deteriorating, and likely to continue to worsen for the foreseeable future. With daily attacks against American and Iraqi troops at close to their highest levels since the start of the war, and sectarian violence intensifying, we can only conclude that our troops are caught in the middle of a low-grade civil war that is getting worse.

Meanwhile, the costs of a failed Iraq policy to our military and our security have been staggering. As you know, not a single Army non-deployed combat brigade is currently prepared to meet its wartime mission, and the Marine Corps faces equally urgent equipment and personnel shortages. Lieutenant General Blum, the National Guard Bureau Chief, has stated that the National Guard is “even further behind or in an even more dire situation than the active Army.” Your recent decision to involuntarily recall thousands of Marines to active duty to serve in Iraq is but the latest confirmation of the strain this war has placed on our troops. At the same time, the focus on Iraq and the toll it has taken on our troops and on our diplomatic capabilities has diverted our attention from other national security challenges and greatly constrained our ability to deal with them.

In short, Mr. President, this current path – for our military, for the Iraqi people, and for our security – is neither working, nor making us more secure.

Therefore, we urge you once again to consider changes to your Iraq policy. We propose a new direction, which would include: (1) transitioning the U.S. mission in Iraq to counter-terrorism, training, logistics and force protection; (2) beginning the phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq before the end of this year; (3) working with Iraqi leaders to disarm the militias and to develop a broad-based and sustainable political settlement, including amending the Constitution to achieve a fair sharing of power and resources; and (4) convening an international conference and contact group to support a political settlement in Iraq, to preserve Iraq’s sovereignty, and to revitalize the stalled economic reconstruction and rebuilding effort. These proposals were outlined in our July 30th letter and are consistent with the “U.S. Policy in Iraq Act” you signed into law last year.

We also think there is one additional measure you can take immediately to demonstrate that you recognize the problems your policies have created in Iraq and elsewhere –consider changing the civilian leadership at the Defense Department. From the failure to deploy sufficient numbers of troops at the start of the war or to adequately equip them, to the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib, to disbanding the Iraqi military, to the failure to plan for the post-war occupation, the Administration’ s mistakes have taken a toll on our troops and our security. It is unacceptable to dismiss the concerns of military personnel and their families when they are affected by the consequences of these failures, as the Secretary of Defense recently did in Alaska by suggesting that volunteers should not complain about having their deployments extended. While a change in your Iraq policy will best advance our chances for success, we do not believe the current civilian leadership at the Department of Defense is suited to implement and oversee such a change in policy.

Mr. President, staying the course in Iraq has not worked and continues to divert resources and attention from the war on terrorism that should be the nation’s top security priority. We hope you will consider the recommendations for change that we have put forward. We want to work with you in finding a way forward that honors the enormous sacrifice of our troops and promotes U.S. national security interests in the region. We believe our plan will achieve those goals.

Thank you for your consideration of our views.

Harry Reid, Senate Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader Dick Durbin, Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer, House Minority Whip Carl Levin, Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee Ike Skelton, Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee Joe Biden, Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tom Lantos, Ranking Member, House International Relations Committee Jay Rockefeller, Vice Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee Jane Harman, Ranking Member, House Intelligence Committee Daniel Inouye, Ranking Member, Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee John Murtha, Ranking Member, House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Third Thursday Peace and Justice Rally

Join BlueNovember.Org

Thursday Afternoon
October 19, 2006
4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
Sanborn and Pine Grove
Port Huron, Michigan

This is a nonviolent, non-confrontational event.
We do not interfere with traffic, nor do
we engage in hostile interactions with passers by.

Signs will be available, but you may bring your own.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Silent Peace Visualization July 20

Help wake up your neighbors!
Join BlueNovember.Org and take a stand for peace.
Demand an end to senseless loss of life.
Demand an end to this incredible waste of money.
Tell Bush to bring our troops home now

July 20,2006
4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
Corner of Sanborn and Pine Grove
Port Huron, Michigan

We will all be wearing identical peace sign tee shirts. You may purchase one to keep ($10.00)or borrow one for the event.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Paying Taxes is Patriotic!

By ‘Downtown’ Lincoln Brown

George W. Bush has maintained a platform of lowering taxes, and I’m not opposed to lowering taxes if the government is acting in a fiscally responsible manner. It should be incumbent upon our elected officials to work to administer functions of the government in a manner which should be neither stingy nor lavish, but within the confines of necessity, reason and common sense.

The preamble of the constitution of the United States reads:

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

“We the people of the United States;” is inclusive of every citizen of the United States whether born a citizen or those who have immigrated to this great nation. We the people of the United State should have a patriotic desire to pay taxes so we can establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

The Constitution isn’t some “God damned piece of paper” it’s a contract that limits the authority of the Government and establishes a system of checks and balances. The Federal Government should be limited to administration, oversight, and operation of those functions of the Government that establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

Americans should be very willing to pay taxes to establish justice, to maintain the courts, police forces, and jails, prisons, or even medical and mental health programs to help individuals overcome their addictions to drugs and alcohol. Paying taxes to help insure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare may help to alleviate the cost of establishing justice, because those programs may help to give people hope and lead content lives where they may not turn to drug and alcohol use.

Americans should want to pay taxes to insure domestic tranquility, to pay for programs that help maintain the infrastructure of this great nation, to maintain the road ways, the national parks, to help keep the environment clean, to help fight disease, pestilence, famine, and poverty. Programs which help belay the cost of child care for single parents who want to work to make a better life for their children and their selves. We should desire to pay taxes to fund programs that provide for education to help raise the conscious of our great nation, to give our people basic skills that help ensure that our population and our great nation continues to survive and thrive. We should want to pay taxes that insure our elderly have a place to live and that their needs are seen too so that our citizens do not fear for our future. We should pay taxes so that these programs are fully funded so that we do not have a national debt that casts doubt upon our future and lays a burden at the feet of future generations. We should pay taxes to fund programs and research that ensures that our natural resources are not depleted leaving a burden for “our posterity” and we should find ways for our nation to be self reliant, yet still part of a world community that participates in free and fair trade.

It’s not only patriotic to pay taxes to provide for the common defense, but it’s patriotic to voluntarily serve in one of the branches of our nations armed services. If we do not maintain a military that is capable of deterring our adversaries, tyrants and despots may seek to overthrow our nation and subjugate the population. We should be able to defend our nation and render aid to those nations who enter into joint defense contracts with us. Our soldiers, sailors and airmen should not want for pay or have concerns about the capabilities of our equipment. We must be concerned that we do not obsess about our security, our ability to defend our nation to the point of bankrupting our nation or leaving a burden for our children and grandchildren, but we should maintain our forces at a level capable of response and deterrent. The constitution reads “Provide for the Common Defense” not “attack and overthrow nations and subjugate populations whose natural resources we desire.” Also patriotic Americans would want to pay taxes to help keep America safe from terrorism and would not allow our government to borrow over $5 billion a month from China to fund that war.

All Americans should want to pay taxes to promote the general welfare, to diminish the effects of poverty, to help those who cannot care for themselves, to give hope to those that have little or no hope, to ensure that we have trained and skilled medical professionals who can provide the necessary medical care that should be made available to ALL Americans, which is part of our constitutional responsibility as American Citizens. Once you’ve reached a point in your life where you have the basic necessities, where you have some additional conveniences and recreational opportunities, you should want to be patriotic and help others to achieve these austere goals. It’s also patriotic to try and rise above your situation; you should be willing to work to earn an income to provide for yourself and your family, to do your part in helping other Americans who are in need. Americans should want to pay taxes that help maintain these functions of our federal, state, and local governments, that operate these functions with the funding necessary to provide these basic services and goals as called for in the very beginning of the constitution. The reason these services should be fully funded by the taxes we pay is so as not to leave a burden for “ourselves and our posterity.”Operating the Government in a state of perpetual debt is non-constitutional, it should be made illegal. When William Clinton was President he called for a Balanced Budget Amendment to ensure that the United States operated within its budget, with the funds collected through taxation. Each year we could have a small surplus to help in times of emergencies, to give aid and comfort to other countries or peoples in need, and to help secure the blessings of liberty by having a reasonable national nest egg for ourselves and our posterity. I’m not calling for rampant over-funded social programs and I do not believe that our citizens should pay exorbitant taxes that do not allow them to live comfortable lives; our citizens should even have the ability to save for their old age and enjoy conveniences, entertainment, and recreation.
As Americans show our willingness to work towards the austere goals in the preamble, we should also hold our elected representatives accountable and ensure that they are not mismanaging the resources and providing reasonable services at a reasonable cost. I do not believe that we should spend on defense five times as much as any other nation, but to provide for the common defense and insure domestic tranquility I could see spending twice as much on defense as any other nation. The budget savings in decreasing the amount of defense spending would make hundreds of billions of dollars available to help fund these programs.

We should not elect politicians who are corrupt and fiscally irresponsible, who put their own self interest or those of “special interest” ahead of the interest of this great nation, their constituents, and our posterity.

We should as American Citizens want to pay taxes for those ideals spoken of in the preamble of the Constitution, we should want to make America a country where all citizens are treated equally by our government, where other peoples look upon our country as an example of what they desire their nation to be. These ideal expressed in the preamble are goals that all patriotic Americans should strive for and should be willing to pay for.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Be a Voice of Dissent. Demand Peace.

At this critical time in our history, we must lift our dissenting voices over the steady drone of our government's war machine. Do at least one thing every day to further the call for peace. Make it an important part of your day.

1. Talk to your family members, friends, and neighbors.

2. Call, write, or email your elected representatives. Tell them you expect them to bring our troops home from Iraq and keep them out of Iran.

3. Write a letter to your local newspaper. Tell your community why this war must end now.

4. Attend or create a protest in your community.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The war in the distance: Why the U.S. should not attack Iran

By Philip Terrie

I wonder how many Americans are paying attention to an important international drama that could determine the fate of our country and our place in the world. President Bush and his neocon cheerleaders are preparing for air strikes against Iran, possibly, according to recent reports, with nuclear weapons. Their claim is that Iran is itself developing nuclear capabilities, despite expert opinions that Iran is at least ten years away from deployable nuclear devices.

While the emergence of yet another nuclear power is surely not something we want, all Americans should think very carefully about what the likely consequences of an American attack on Iran will be. To Iranians, this will be what Pearl Harbor was for the United States in 1941: an unprovoked attack on their homeland by an aggressive, expansive power. It will set them violently and implacably at war with the United States.

Iran, unlike Iraq, is a relatively wealthy and developed country, with a population approaching 80 million and a well-equipped military. While there is widespread opposition to the authoritarian theocracy maintained by fundamentalist mullahs, there is also a profound sense of patriotism and loyalty to the Iranian state. Nothing would unify the country more than an attack by the United States. The notion of regime change, precipitated by American military intervention, is a neocon fantasy.

It is equally absurd to imagine that Iranians would passively accept an assault on their sovereignty. With its air force and missiles, Iran can stop the movement of oil from the Persian Gulf; this would inevitably lead to a world-wide economic depression, lasting as long as the Iranians want it to. Michigan will hemorrhage jobs, and our state will sink closer to third-world misery. Iran commands allegiance from Shiite militias throughout Iraq; if they are ordered to conduct operations against American troops, the result will be horrible loss of American lives, on a scale far beyond anything we have seen so far.

Iran is capable of unleashing terrorist attacks in Israel and in the United States that will make 9/11 seem tame. If attacked, what is to prevent them from striking back with any means at their disposal? If they do, Israeli and American civilian deaths will be counted in the tens of thousands, if not more. It will be a war without end. Does the United States have an army ready and willing to invade and occupy, indefinitely, a country larger, more unified, and better equipped than Iraq was in 2003? If not, will we launch nuclear warheads against Iranian cities?

I do not like the idea of Iran’s joining the nuclear club; Iran is an unpredictable, anti-Semitic theocracy. But we should remember that for decades the United States faced a far more menacing adversary in the Soviet Union. The doctrine of containment and engagement was hardly perfect, but World War III did not break out, and the Soviet Union collapsed.

The Bush administration invaded Iraq on the basis of faulty or contrived intelligence and clearly had no idea what the consequences of an occupation of that country would mean. Can we be confident that it can accurately assess the long-term consequences of an attack on Iran? Given the debacle in Iraq, can we ever trust this administration?

Friday, April 28, 2006

The People's Platform: We are all in the same boat

Visit BlueNovember.Org to read The People's Platform: We are all in the same boat.

The People's Platform includes twenty statements demanding new directions in American politics. The platform addresses our individual needs and collective responsibilities.

The truth is that our fate is sealed with those with whom we share a community. And, now, in the twenty-first century, our communities start locally but also reach around the planet.

Not many of us can be insulated from the effects of our neighbor's fate. And, although the greediest among us may ignore the needs of our fellow humans, most of us would not trade our visceral shared experience for their insensate ignorant bliss.

The People's Platform calls on us all to restore the values inherent in our democratic ideals with the hopeful language of community and respect.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Rescuing Democracy One Person at a Time

BlueNovember.Org is a St. Clair County, Michigan, grassroots, progressive group of citizens who are working to transform our local, state, national, and world communities. We might not be able to change the social conscience of the world in a giant leap, but we can surely make progress toward rescuing our democracy one step at a time, one person at a time.

BlueNovember.Org began when we held a Funeral for the American Dream on January 20, 2005, the dark day that gave the Bush administration four more years to do things they so love to do: gut our economy, weaken our standing in the world, torture more people, wage an immoral war, ignore the needs of our Katrina victims, vilify science, kiss up to the religious fanatics (American al Qaeda), provide millions in corporate welfare, ruin public education, spy on people without court order, and create more hate in this country than we've had since the civil rights era.

A funeral might sound like the end, but for BlueNovember.Org, it was the beginning.