Panhandle (W.Va.) Grassroots for Democracy

The Panhandle Grassroots for Democracy is working to improve our corner of eastern West Virginia, our state and our nation.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina

While Bush vacations and does nothing, Dr. Howard Dean steps up:

This week millions of Americans fled Hurricane Katrina. Across the South families abandoned their homes and businesses, not knowing what would be there when they returned.

Many stayed behind and suffered devastating loss and injuries -- nearly a hundred have died that we know of, and hundreds of thousands need our help.

America is at its best when we realize that we are one community -- that we're all in this together. That means that each one of us has the responsibility to do what we can to help the relief effort.

The Red Cross is a great place to start:

http://www.redcross.org

They are already moving people and resources into the region to help. Donations will provide clean water, food, and shelter for disaster victims. The Red Cross web site also has important information for victims and their relatives across the country.

Many local Red Cross chapters are organizing volunteers to travel to affected areas -- doctors and nurses to provide medical care, workers to build shelters, first responders to assist in rescue operations.

You can find your local chapter here to learn what you can do:

http://www.redcross.org/where/chapts.asp

We are still learning the full story of the devastation, but there is no time to wait. Please do something now.

Thank you.
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Bush administration re-writing mission of National Park Service

Some of my fondest memories involved spending time with my family at our National Parks. They're our land. We own them. We share them with 285 million other people, but we own them. And this is just flat out wrong what the Bush administration wants to do. From DailyKos:

According to the LA Times, Paul Hoffman -- deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks -- is looking to rewrite the mission of the national parks. J.T. Reynolds, superintendent of Death Valley National Park said, "They are changing the whole nature of who we are and what we have been. I hope the public understands that this is a threat to their heritage. It threatens the past, the present and the future. It's painful to see this."

Hoffman wants to upgrade grazing and mining to "park purposes," allow cellphone towers and low-flying airplanes within national parks, and allow snowmobiles on all paved roads in every park. In addition, he wants to take away the park managers' abilities to use laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act to protect the parks from development. Finally, he wants to deemphasize dark skies and quiet even though they are conditions needed by wildlife.

Hoffman came to the Park Service after serving as director of the Chamber of Commerce in Cody, Wyo. Before that he had served as Wyoming state director for then-U.S. Rep. Dick Cheney from 1985 to 1989.

By the way, this is the same guy who overruled the park superintendent at the Grand Canyon National Park and made the staff leave up religious plaques on display at the South Rim and also made them sell a book that said creationism created the canyon.

In reaction, a group of 400 retired Park Service employees scheduled a news conference to announce a campaign to block the changes from taking effect. Also, the seven regional directors who saw Hoffman's recommendations sent a "searing memo" to Park Service Director Fran Mainella "criticizing the revisions."

I guess it was only a matter of time before the Bush Administration tried to weaken the mission of the parks. I'm sure Cheney and crew see them as just another collection of lands that are waiting to be exploited by industry


Hope you got the chance to visit Harpers Ferry or the other National Parks to enjoy them while we still can.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Support Cindy Sheehan

America stands by Cindy Sheehan. From an email:
Every additional attendee will mean more people standing with Cindy Sheehan. The bigger each vigil is and the more vigils there are will mean a greater impact. Please sign up for this event, or another Vigil for Cindy Sheehan near you—and invite your friends. Vigils are simple. Just show up and bring some candles. Please sign up to attend today.

Costs of War Vigil
McMurran Hall, Shepherd University
17 Aug 07:30 PM



Candlelight vigil in support on Cindy Sheehan. Bring a candle and appropriate sign.


Location: Shepherdstown, WV 25443
Host: Rie Wilson
Status: Public, open for RSVP, 18 Guests (Max 200)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Via Eschaton, I found this. Right wing nuts in Martinsburg expressed many the same sentiments to me:
Staff Sgt. Jason Rivera, 26, a Marine recruiter in Pittsburgh, went to the home of a high school student who had expressed interest in joining the Marine Reserve to talk to his parents.

It was a large home in a well-to-do suburb north of the city. Two American flags adorned the yard. The prospect's mom greeted him wearing an American flag T-shirt.

"I want you to know we support you," she gushed.

Rivera soon reached the limits of her support.

"Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people," she told him.

Chickenhawks. Willing to support the war 100 percent -- as long as other people do the fighting and dying. Cold, heartless right wing cowards unwilling to stand up for their beliefs.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan lost her son Casey in Bush's war of choice in Iraq and she has a question for the president: What is the noble cause he keeps mentioning? She's one mother. And she's waiting outside Bush's brush ranch in Crawford where he's spending five weeks on vacation. Why is he, the so-called leader of the free world and commander in chief of the most powerful military on the planet afraid of one grieving mother? Perhaps truth frightens him.

You can hear Cindy Sheehan for yourself here.