A blog focusing on politics in Central Illinois.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Support Durbin or Support Terror

When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here [at Guantanamo Bay]--I almost hesitate to put them in the [Congressional] Record, and yet they have to be added to this debate. Let me read to you what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his report:
On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.
If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.

There it is Boys and Girls, Sen. Durbin's remarks in their full. This is what all the uproar is about. Is Durbin wrong for pointing out that as Americans we have a responsibility to lead the world, and set a good example. What would be the U.S. position on Al Qaeda holding torture camps for enemy combatants? We would be outraged and do everything in our power to bring it to an immediate halt, and yet we continue to do the same thing. You have two choices here, support Senator Durbin, or support Torture, at least according to wing nut "Solid Logic." So what will you be supporting this morning, torture or Durbin?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Caterpillar, screwing retirees since 2004


Workers said the company's earlier proposals to shift health care costs were too steep, especially for retirees on fixed incomes. Caterpillar said costs were about a third of national averages, and that nearly 80 percent of U.S. employees now contribute to their medical coverage.

The two-tiered wage scale would pay new hires and current supplemental employees less than veterans doing the same job, which workers argued would create friction in plants. Caterpillar countered that the wage scale is needed to stay competitive in its global market and is above industry standards.


Caterpillar Inc. on Wednesday announced a two-for-one stock split and increased its quarterly dividend by 22% to 50 cents a share from 41 cents a share on a pre-split basis. On a split-adjusted basis, the per-share increase of 4.5 cents is the largest in the company's 80-year history. The stock-split shares will be distributed on July 13 to shareholders as of June 22 and Caterpillar's previously announced share buyback program goal to reduce outstanding shares to 320 million will be adjusted for the split to reflect an adjusted goal of 640 million shares outstanding by October 2008. The new quarterly dividend rate of 25 cents a share is payable August 19 to shareholders as of July 22.

And when we tell you competive, we mean we have to make more money than we ever have. Thanks guys for all your hard work, so much for our promises we made to ya, but ya know we need money hand over fist.

Opportunity Returns Take Two

From a forward:

Governor Rod Blagojevich will be in Decatur on Friday, June 10 to announce the Central Regional Plan for Opportunity Returns. The Economic Development announcement will take place at noon at the Mueller Foundry on the corner of Garfield and Jasper streets. The Central Region includes Cass, Menard, Logan, Macon, Scott, Morgan, Sangamon, Christian, Shelby, Greene, Macoupin and Montgomery counties.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Trib or The Onion

It would be funny if it was the Onion, as it is its still funny. From today's Chicago Tribune in an article on Kraft and Harris Bank's Sponsorship of the Gay Games VII.
Randy Sharp, director of special projects for American Family Association, said he was shocked to learn that Kraft, the corporate giant behind brands such as Oreo, Tang and Jell-O, would openly support what he considers a "dangerous" and "unhealthy activity."
"When you look at all the Kraft commericals, they all revolve around family and children," Sharp said. "Now if I go buy Kraft mac and cheese, I'll know that part of my dollar is going to sponsor Olympic-type games for men that have sex together."
The horrors, the horrors men that have sex together participating in Olympic-type Games. Oh wait that already happens, hey Randy guess what I even hear gay people are in the real Olympics! And, I bet that gay people might even work at Kraft. Now if you go buy some Kraft mac and cheese, you'll know that part of your dollar is going to pay GAY people. Quick start the boycott, more Oreos for me.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Yes, I am angry

Macon County Republican recently posted this
I've been reading posts on Decatur Conservative and blogdecatur where there have been "discussions" with regard to differences between democrats and republicans. Many topics have been discussed, but I've detected one recurring theme. Regardless of the topic, I've noticed the democratic posters tend to be fairly angry, and in some cases, down right nasty. Why the anger? Is it just a personality trait, or something else?
As if we need to explain a reason why we are angry with this Congress and President, well here are a few reasons why I am angry.
  • Because I have to worry about friends and loved ones dying because of a war based on false intelligence.
  • Because this president and this congress have consistently sided with corporate interests over everyday Americans.
  • Because of the "national" importance that Terri Schiavo might die, when I have friends who have died because they can't afford the best medical care or the right drugs, and anyone thinking they should be provided with that are pinko commies.
  • Because my government thinks they should have the right to come into my life and tell me who I can and cannot marry.
  • Because the radical right is trying to create a theocracy in this country.
  • Because this president and this congress think the idea of majority rule minority rights is BS, when 8 short years ago they were pulling worse antics.
  • Because you can get impeached for getting a blowjob, but not for letting thousands of people, American and others, die needlessly.
  • Because this President and this Congress chant ceaselessly Support the Troops Support the Troops, while they screw the veterans.
Am I angry? You're damn right I am. What makes you angry?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Social Security Events tommorow

Johnson called upon to stand up for Social Security
Constituents to officially launch 15th District Committee of Illinois United to Protect
Social Security – will release official report estimated average benefit loss under President
Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security
President Bush continues to barnstorm the nation, stubbornly ignoring the will of the majority of Americans who oppose Social Security privatization. With many in Congress torn between fealty to the President and the opinion of constituents, the 15th District Organizing Committee of Illinois United to Protect Social Security will ask Congressman Tim Johnson to join them in opposition of privatizing Social Security.
Illinois United will also release a report compiled by the Institute for America’s Future (IAF)
detailing the estimated benefit cuts the average Illinoisan would suffer under the President’s
plan for Social Security privatization – based on estimates from the Congressional Budget
Office, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and IAF.

Date: Thursday, June 2, 2005

Champaign Event:
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Stevick Senior Center, 48 E Main Street, Champaign IL
Who: Claudia Lennhoff, Executive Director, Champaign Co. Health Care Consumers
Kevin Sandefur, President, AFL-CIO of Champaign County
Barbara Franklin, President, AFSCME Retirees Subchapter 88
Dave Morris, Co-President, UIUC, Graduate Employees Organization
Bernard Hammel, Pres., Champaign-Vermilion Chapter, IL Farmers Union
Barb Pritchard, Director, Campaign for Real Choice in Illinois
Hannah Lehman, Citizen Action/Illinois

Bloomington Event:
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: The new Social Security building, 207 Williamsburg Drive, Bloomington, IL
Who: Hal Gullet, Normal resident, President of IL Alliance for Retired Americans
Don Armstrong, VP, Bloomington-Normal Trades and Labor Assembly
Father Tom Shea, St. Patrick Church of Merna
Hannah Lehmen, Citizen Action
Others to be announced

Questions? Email me.